Kansas City Chiefs Hire Andy Reid: Did They Make the Right Choice?
There are plenty of reasons for Chiefs fans to be excited by the hire of the 54-year-old Reid. His track record of solid quarterback play heads that list.
Reid has shown an ability to develop quarterbacks such as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and even Nick Foles to an extent. Reid's top task and clearly his toughest will be to find the Chiefs a franchise quarterback either through a trade, free agency or the draft.
Reid has been one of the most successful coaches in the NFL over the past 14 years, leading the Eagles to nine seasons with an above .500 record.
His Eagles' track record included nine trips to the playoffs, six NFC East titles, five trips to the NFC title game and one Super Bowl defeat. The Eagles had just three losing seasons under Reid, and six of his previous coaching assistants have found work as head coaches in the NFL.
Another thing that should not be overlooked is how well-respected Reid is by both his own players and players around the league. Obviously the "Dream Team" didn't work out in Philly, but Reid was able to help attract top free agents, which the Chiefs have been unable to accomplish in previous years.
Last season's free-agent prize, Peyton Manning, wouldn't even speak with the Chiefs because of the team's former general manager Scott Pioli. Those days appear to be in the rearview mirror as Pioli is out and Reid is now in as the Chiefs' new head coach.
What grade do you give Clark Hunt for hiring Andy Reid?
Last season was Reid's toughest on many levels. On the field, his team won just four games; off the field, he suffered the loss of his son.
The NFL is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, and Reid is not without his detractors but virtually no coaching candidate who has been recently discussed is without holes. Many fans have already expressed concern over Reid's use, or lack thereof, of his former running back LeSean McCoy in Philly.
Jamaal Charles is clearly the Chiefs' best player and top offensive weapon as things currently stand, so how much concern should there be that he won't get enough work now that Reid is at the helm?
Not as much as you might think.
McCoy was targeted in the passing game in Philadelphia much more than Charles has been in Kansas City, which could be a plus for the Chiefs' new offense.
Charles is the most explosive back in the NFL (maybe someday he will pass the torch to C.J. Spiller but not yet), and his added touches in the passing game could be a big boost to the Chiefs offense.
Former Chiefs great Priest Holmes did some of his best work on screen passes coming out of the backfield, and we could see a return to those days with Charles and Reid joining forces. Holmes had a few seasons of 60-plus catches and 1,500 yards on the ground for the Chiefs, and I think that is something we could see from Charles in the coming years.
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McCoy has had over 200 carries in each of the past three years, including 273 last season (just 12 fewer than Charles this season). McCoy's carries suffered this season because he was hurt and the Eagles didn't consistently run the ball late in games even when they were trailing (Brian Daboll, I'm looking at you).
Charles proved this season that he can be a workhorse back, and he should continue to get plenty of touches with Reid in charge.
Charles is easily the Chiefs' most recognizable player on the current roster, but there is more to this team than just their star running back.
The Chiefs have plenty of workable pieces in place with five Pro Bowlers and two more Pro Bowl alternates (Justin Houston and Brandon Flowers), the first overall pick and some emerging young talent.
It will all be a matter of how well Reid can put these pieces together and right the ship of a team that was expected to be much better than the first team on the clock in April.
A change of scenery should benefit Reid, and a change of culture will inevitably benefit the Chiefs.
Maybe the Chiefs could have done better than Reid, but they certainly could have done much worse.
Hunt and the Chiefs needed to hit a home run with this coaching search, and they look to have hit the first fastball they saw right out of the park.
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