The Clark Hunt-led Kansas City Chiefs coaching search has almost officially concluded. Andy Reid, who was fired by the Eagles on Monday, has agreed to a deal with the Chiefs. We only await the official word from the Chiefs. (Andy Reid illustration: @ChrisSembower | See it large at Facebook)
The Kansas City Chiefs will hire Andy Reid as the 13th head coach in franchise history. Reid, fired by the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, interviewed with the Chiefs on Wednesday and Thursday. After a whole bunch of twists and turns (at least on Twitter!), the two sides hammered out a deal by Friday afternoon that will make Reid the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. For a great look at what to expect from Reid in KC, make sure you read Jason Brewer's piece So You've Just Hired Andy Reid.
What the heck just happened? Scott Pioli fired, Andy Reid hired
It all started on Wednesday morning when news broke the Chiefs were headed to Philly to interview Reid.
Reid's agent was present for the meeting on Wednesday, as was Clark Hunt, GM Scott Pioli, team president Mark Donovan and four other members of the Chiefs. The meeting took place at a Philadelphia airport. The interview lasted over nine hours, according to reports.
Reid was scheduled to travel to Arizona on Wednesday night to meet the Cardinals but canceled that trip. He was also rumored to be interested in the Chargers job but nothing substantial ever came of that.
On Thursday morning, reports emerged that the Chiefs and Reid were "on the verge of a deal." This was quickly disputed as several media outlets reported that Reid still planned to interview with both the Cardinals and Chargers.
But later on Thursday night, those reports eventually morphed into some variation of the Chiefs and Reid are "nearing" a deal, "on the verge" of a deal or, my personal favorite, in "deep negotiations."
On Friday morning, the Chiefs announced that GM Scott Pioli has been fired, which led to further confirmation that the Reid deal was nearing it's conclusion.
Watching a live stream on Friday afternoon of Andy Reid arriving at Arrowhead confirmed that this was the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs:
Is this the type of head coach Clark Hunt was looking for?
Hunt said the new head coach would be reporting directly to him, which is a first in Kansas City. The coach has previously always reported to the GM but Hunt is apparently taking a stronger hold of his franchise. His words seemed to indicate that the coach would have a larger say in the football operations, whereas the GM, Scott Pioli, previously held that role.
But this does seem like the type of coach Hunt was looking for. This was the criteria for the next head coach that Hunt laid out:
- Proven leader
- Someone who has been part of a building a successful program
- High integrity
- Effective communicator and teacher
- High football IQ
- Hard worker who holds others accountable
Those are the traits Hunt was looking for and, from the outside looking in, it appears he found many of those in Reid.
What else do we know about Andy Reid?
Check out this video with Andy Reid and former Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. The two coaches touch on diversity in football, their past coaching history, former quarterbacks and more.
Andy Reid/Dick Vermeil from Jon Isen on Vimeo.
Speaking of our old pal Dick Vermeil...
Andy Reid consulted with former Kansas City Chiefs Coach Dick Vermeil about the job sources confirm to @6abc.— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) January 3, 2013
And this one from the early days:
Who will Andy Reid bring with him to Kansas City?
A new general manager.
ESPN and others report the No. 1 candidate would be John Dorsey, the Packers director of operations.
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer and NFL.com both report Reid wants Tom Heckert, the former Cleveland GM, with him. Heckert worked in Philadelphia with Reid before.
Further reports from NFL.com have suggested Reid hopes to bring BOTH to Kansas City.
Reid would mostly likely also have a chance to hire some of his other former Eagles buddies in Kansas City, such as former Browns coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress.
But, really, who knows at this point. The guy was just hired.
No member of the Chiefs staff should feel safe right now. A new coach plus a new personnel man would likely mean changes across the board.
So, changes they are comin'.
What other NFL teams wanted Andy Reid?
Like GM Scott Pioli four years ago, Reid was the biggest name on the market (with a nod to Chip Kelly). Reid was said to have been "95 percent" sure to be heading to Arizona at one point but he never got on the plane to Arizona. The Cardinals later asked for permission to interview Todd Haley, a sign that they moved away from Reid.
Reid was connected to other jobs, like San Diego, where he has a home, but those rumors never got as serious as the ones with the Chiefs did.
Who were the Chiefs other head coach candidates?
The known candidates included Dirk Koetter, the offensive coordinator of the Falcons, Keith Armstrong, the special teams coach of the Falcons, and Reid. The Chiefs interviewed Koetter in Atlanta on Tuesday. It's not clear if they interviewed Armstrong but they very well may have if they have indeed complied with the Rooney Rule.
Those are the only candidates we knew about. The search process started last Tuesday with interviews so Reid's interview on Wednesday was early in the process.
Needless to say, Clark Hunt was aggressive in his quest for Andy Reid.
Can Andy Reid be successful again?
"Sure, Andy Reid certainly lost his way here, but given his track record of success I can certainly see him doing well after a fresh start. Assuming he hasn't permanently lost the ability to evaluate talent or select coaches (at one time he was good at that) I think the fact that he won't be desperately title-chasing anymore will help. Hopefully he can get back to the core principles that led to his early success in Philadelphia."
What does Andy Reid look like in Chiefs red?
What does this mean for the Chiefs No. 1 overall pick?
What do you think, Joel?
I think this is a good move for a couple of reasons.
First, the priority for the next head coach should be all about the No. 1 draft pick. I want the Chiefs to select a quarterback so I want them to pick the head coach that will give them the best chance of A.) identifying the right quarterback and B.) developing that quarterback. Reid has some history of doing that.
Second, the organizational structure of the team is changing, so this is bigger than just one hiring. It sparks a change in how the Chiefs operate, with Clark Hunt apparently getting more involved in football operations. One of the knocks on Hunt has been that he's a hands-off owner. Taking over the search for a head coach and identifying and hiring Reid shows Hunt is heavily involved with the Chiefs now. That's a good thing.