Andy Reid comes to Kansas City widely viewed as the savior of this beleaguered franchise - one that has not won a playoff game in 13 years. His track record of overall success, measured by winning seasons and playoff wins, has Chiefs fans salivating. Paired with a reputation for recognizing and developing quarterbacks, Reid seemingly has most of the traits that the Chiefs' desperately crave at this time. Despite having a talented roster, including 5 Pro Bowl selections, Kansas City endured a horrendous 2012 campaign - one in which the team was largely uncompetitive. The main missing element was, without a doubt, a legitimate starting quarterback. So fans can expect that the Chiefs will select a quarterback in the first 2 rounds of the 2013 NFL draft. Some of the fresh faces available will include Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, and Tyler Wilson. Based on a
little lot of projection, follow me down a rabbit hole.
So back in the 1999 NFL Draft the first 3 picks were all quarterbacks: Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, and Akili Smith. Tim Couch, out of Kentucky, looked smooth as silk and was drafted by Cleveland. Couch had glimmers of potential but, partially due to injuries, never materialized into a solid player. Donovan McNabb, from Syracuse, developed steadily into one of the best QB's in the NFL - leading the Eagles to 5 NFC championship games and 1 Superbowl appearance. Akili Smith, from Oregon, started one season with the Bengals and never really had the proverbial light bulb come on. In this case, Reid picked right. The wrong pick would have put the Eagles franchise on an entirely different projection (or would it). Reid is now put in a similar situation with Kansas City. Perhaps 1 or 2 of the aforementioned incoming rookie QB's will become solid NFL starters. History tells us that it likely won't be more than 2 maybe 3 (Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger). So if Andy Reid starts to emit a "getting the old band back together" vibe, he could be drawn to a QB that reminds him of the glory days with Donovan McNabb - Geno Smith. Only, what if Geno Smith ends up being more like Akili Smith? Well, it could make all the difference in the world. Then again, is it nature or nurture? If Akili Smith had been drafted by the Eagles and McNabb by the Bengals, would Smith have gone on to become an NFL icon and not be playing on the House of God flag football team (I couldn't make this stuff up)? That's the trouble with "analyzing" coaches. The coach is given too much credit or blame based on the performance of the players. Is Reid really a quarterback guru? Well he has coached the likes of Brett Favre, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb, and Michael Vick. So there might be something there. Or maybe he has just been extremely lucky in his career to not have had a Matt Cassel as his starting QB. Or maybe Matt Cassel would be a perennial Pro Bowler had Reid got to him first. As Chiefs fans we truly hope that Reid has legitimate, tangible skill in the selection and development of quarterbacks. Because if he doesn't, and the laws of averages bites Wilford Brimley on the behind, Chiefs fans have a long, long road ahead of us.