The coaching carousel has made its first stop of the 2013 offseason. Of all places, it stopped in Kansas City, and of all coaches, it stopped with Andy Reid. For the Chiefs, it is a major victory; one that could prove to be the best coaching hire of the year. As for Reid, it is a rather curious choice, what with all seven head coaching vacancies still available when he decided to take the job.
Reid gives the Chiefs instant credibility. He took the Eagles to the playoffs in nine of his 14 seasons in Philadelphia, in what is traditionally one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Five of those nine playoff appearances ended with Philly in either the NFC Championship Game or the Super Bowl. Outside of his first year and his final year, Reid suffered a losing season just once. Reid has proven himself to be a consistent winner, who bounces back quickly from disappointment and can swiftly turn a franchise around.
The move to Kansas City is curious for Reid because, of all the jobs available this offseason, the Chiefs are one of the biggest reclamation projects. The Chiefs were arguably the worst team in the NFL this past season and have a myriad of issues that need to be addressed before they can become competitive.
At the forefront of Kansas City’s issues is the quarterback position, where the Chiefs were completely inept in 2012. Without a stable quarterback in place or any promising candidates on the roster to speak of, Reid is at a great disadvantage right off the bat. In addition to the personnel issues, Reid will also be inheriting a team that showed questionable work ethic and competitive spirit at various times throughout the season. Putting a stop to this will require a complete culture change inside the team’s locker room, which is likely to make the rebuilding process even longer than one would expect for a 2-14 team.
When Reid arrives in Kansas City, he will find quite a monumental task in trying to re-establish the Chiefs as a competitive team that’s capable of competing for championships.
It’s also interesting that Reid wanted to take a job at all. After 14 years in Philadelphia, the extensive criticism he took from the Philadelphia fan base and the Philadelphia media throughout that time, and the family tragedy he lived through in the past year, why would Reid be so anxious to get right back into the NFL as a head coach, less than a week after being fired by the Eagles? Wouldn’t it serve Reid well to take a year off and get away from football? It’s not like there won’t be six to eight more NFL head coaching jobs available next offseason for Reid to go after.
Reid has the resume that will allow him to return to coaching, and be a desirable commodity in the league, anytime he wants, even after a significant time away from the game. In fact, Reid not taking at least a year off after all that he’s been through over the past year or so is more of a surprise than him taking a job so quickly after being let go by the Eagles.
That being said, there is plenty for Reid to like about the situation he’s walking into. Kansas City’s current general manager Scott Pioli may very well be on his way out [Ed. Note: He’s out.], allowing Reid to take control of his duties; and even if Pioli stays in Kansas City, it will be in a decreased role, allowing Reid to have significant control over the organization, which is exactly what he desires as a head coach.
Reid will also be getting the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, which will give him an intriguing way to jumpstart the rebuilding process. Whether or not he uses the number one overall pick to draft a quarterback or not, Reid will be drafting a quarterback at some point in April, giving him an opportunity to take someone he likes and develop him, something he’s done in the past with the likes of Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, and Nick Foles.
Finally, there is the fan base in Kansas City that will welcome Reid, and will be excited that the Chiefs were able to land such a high profile head coach. The fans in Kansas City are as passionate as any in the NFL, but definitely not as merciless as the fans Reid is leaving behind in Philadelphia.
Are all those reasons enough for Reid to immediately jump to the Chiefs right after being fired by the Eagles? Apparently, they are. The quick move from one job to another, as well as the destination itself, is curious. But the Chiefs aren’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. They just landed perhaps the best head coach available, a guy who is a proven winner, and who has all the tools to turn their franchise back into a winner. So while we sit back and scratch our heads at Reid’s decision, the Chiefs can rejoice, as their future just got a whole lot more promising.