Four questions with Andy Reid ...
Not long before the end of the season, I wanted to ask Andy Reid whether he'd be interested in writing something around the time of the Super Bowl for Sports Illustrated. He said no -- even though in his youth he wanted to be a sportswriter. He thought he might be otherwise occupied. I'd felt he wouldn't take a year off from coaching up to that point, but then I knew if there was a job out there, he'd want it.
Q: So, since you've been named the Chiefs' coach, many people wonder: 'With everything you've been through -- your son Garrett's death by overdose, the turbulent year on and off the field you just went through -- why not take a year off to recharge and get your life back in order?
Reid: "Because I love what I do. Garrett loved what I did. It doesn't feel like work. I didn't want to sit home and not coach. What was I going to do? There was nothing I wanted to do as much as coach football. The thing with Garrett ... it was not very sudden; this was a long, long process. Unfortunately, [drug addiction] is so rampant in America, and people who have gone through it realize that you don't just -- as in my case -- lose a son; you lose a great friend. Now I'm able to bring my other son here. [Reid hired Britt Reid, who also had drug-addiction issues, to be a Chiefs quality-control coach.] Remember, he lost his best friend. But I am so proud of how far he's come. And it says something about him that the three coaches he worked for at Temple wanted him to come with them. The other side of this is working to move on like a man and handle what life throws at you. We're doing that.''
Q: Why the Chiefs? Why not, say, Arizona, or the other places you were linked to?
Reid: "The Hunt family is one of four or five bedrock families in the NFL that I always thought, 'If I'm ever released [by the Eagles], if one of those families calls, I'd listen.' The history here is so rich, the tradition is so rich, the fan base is so strong.''
Q: What's the one overriding thing you take from Philadelphia into this job?
Reid: "I learned to embrace a city in Philadelphia. They'll take you from boyhood to manhood, which they did with me, and that's okay. It's a results business. I got that. As far as the team goes, it's imperative that everybody's pulling in the same direction. That's the only way you can succeed."
Q: What's your take on the talent you inherit?
Reid: "Before I interviewed with the Chiefs, I looked at every snap from every [Kansas City] game this year. Special teams were average. The talent overall, it looked to me like they were transitioning from an older team to a younger one. And I thought, 'With a couple, three drafts, very good things can happen here."