Andy Reid is popping up as a prime Chiefs option, and while there are a lot of polarizing opinions of 'he sucks' or 'he's been to five championships!', let's take a more casual look at Reid's positives and negatives, and how he could fit with our team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
What makes Andy Great?
In KC, it's all about the QB
Andy understands how to evaluate QBs, develop them and use them in vertical system. To say that the Chiefs need this kind of talent on our sidelines and in our draft board is the understatement of the year. There are a few very positive gambits we have that will attract an incoming coach, and the main one is that we have an opening at QB (which by itself isn't attractive) but several powerful options to have a coach bring in a few talented guys and make them 'his own'. There are a few good FA options, and the #1 overall pick are very shiny toys that a HC will want to use. Reid has been a veritable production academy for QBs that are attractive to the rest of the league. McNabb and Kolb were highly sought-after resources that although didn't pan out outside of the Eagles, created a powerful resume while under Reid's tutelage.
What makes him fail?
Reid's failings are almost as strong and play almost as powerfully as his weaknesses.
Not a dynamic leader
Reid is not a dynamic leader. He's not a Jim Harbaugh or Dick Vermeil; he's not going to empassion players by example and lead them out of the tunnel screaming. He's a Norv Turner or Bill Belichick cerebral type that is great when you're winning, but makes you look floundering when you're not. This matters since the KC environment is quite hostile lately.
Not a 'high character' guy.
Throw whatever you want at Pioli, no one is really going to have a problem bringing a random Chiefs player home for dinner. You can't say the same about Reid's choices of players. From Terrel Owens to DeSean Jackson to Babin, this is a group of players that are in it for themselves. These players put up the big numbers they want, but aren't as concerned with winning. Babin was let go because he wanted sacks, but would refuse to cover or stop the run. He wanted his stats.
Not a good talent evaluator at everything but QB.
Reid's defenses have been overpaid, overhyped and lack cohesion. We know firsthand how Raider's CBs lack the ability to play zone. The Eagles have real pain in this area, signing Asomugha to a crippling $60 million contract.
What will work well with the Chiefs?
Pioli's strengths play to Reid's weaknesses, and vice versa. Pioli believes in versatile, high character guys with very strong contract discipline. Which is good, because that's his job.
Reid has an eye for QBs, and how to make them work. Which is good, because Pioli's attempt at that for the Chiefs has fallen flat.
Reid brings a style of offense that the Chiefs are hungry for- one that scores. He understands how to develop players and move the ball up the field. He incorporates them into a system that will allow them to succeed during the season and into the playoffs.
What will be a struggle with the Chiefs?
Reid has some unfortunate similarities with our latest coach, Crennel. They look and act similar (I'm calling for some clever Walrus 1 is replaced by Walrus 2 jokes). Their lack of dynamic leadership makes it easy to pile on them when they're down.
Again, the KC Star's business/promotion model is to go knives out against the Chiefs for a chance at future promotions, ala Whitlock style. This will create some miserable times as we hit the down cycles (which WILL come, no matter who we get).
Reid will be another polarizing figure for the Chiefs scene. It won't take long for the KC Star to set their sites on him as their next target, and although it might take awhile for the fanbase to follow, it will when things are down.
While Pioli is oft derided for being awful at picking Coaches, I'd argue that in 2010 he may have put together the best coaching staff we'll see at Arrowhead for some time. Weis and Crennel were Pioli implants.
Regardless of if you think we 'deserved' to make the playoffs that year, we took a noodle-armed QB, relatively unknown RB and put together an enjoyable year to cheer for the Chiefs.
On the flip side, Pioli definitely shows his lack of large pool of candidates for the assistant positions by letting them go unfilled several times in the last few years.
This will be a struggle due to Andy Reids collossal failures and assistant coach building in the last few years. No better example is a look at Luis Costello. The Eagles needed a Defensive Coordinator and Reid promoted his man from Off Line coordinator, then fired him when it wasn't working out. Beyond that, Reid didn't help Costello 'own' the defense, as there are rumors about the front 7 playing independant of Costello's scheme.
This is singlehandedly the biggest issue with this match up. Getting the right assistants in place with two guys that are perceived as dangerous bosses.
Recruiting is a lot less about who you want, than who you have in front of you. For all time, people will lament who we don't have, as if there was every opportunity to get anyone. Key factors here- we have Pioli. No GM is going to want to come to KC with the current media anger blitz that rivals Philly's. No one wants their first step into a city to be a media guillotine. Reid may well be the best option we have.
Pioli may be a villain here in KC, but given the culture the KC Star has built, he's probably our only option at this point that isn't someone taking a huge leap from an unqualified position, or a former GM like Holmgren, Millan, or Piolan that have their tails firmly tucked between their legs.
With those two statements, if Reid comes to KC, we MUST keep Pioli. Clark MUST play it right to set each of them up for success. Putting these guys at their strengths, and allaying their egos enough (which shouldn't be hard considering their recent failures) to structure them away from their weaknesses, we have a well rounded FO.
Reid only has a chance at being a good fit if Clark divides the duties between Pioli and Reid appropriately. At the end of the day, it's about winning. With the right set up, Reid might not be the flashiest option, but he can help us win if we provide a positive environment for him to thrive in.