Rocked by historic ineptitude on the field and nearly unthinkable tragedy off it, the Chiefs handed control of their football operations to 54-year-old Andy Reid, who agreed to a five-year contract making him their head coach.
Reid, a burly, mustachioed man with a striking resemblance to former Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren - one of Reid's mentors - spent the last 14 seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, where in one of the NFL's most competitive divisions he won six NFC East championships and took three other teams to the playoffs as wild-card entrants.
Earlier Friday, the Chiefs cleared the way for Reid's arrival as the franchise's 13th head coach by parting ways with general manager Scott Pioli. The Chiefs won 10 games and the AFC West championship in 2010 under Pioli but were 23-41 overall during his four seasons.
Chiefs, Pioli Part Ways from The Mothership
The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Friday that the club and General Manager Scott Pioli have mutually agreed to part ways.
"After several productive conversations, we made the difficult decision to part ways with Scott Pioli and allow him to pursue other opportunities," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "Scott has been an invaluable member of the Chiefs family since joining us in 2009, and we sincerely appreciate his tremendous contributions over the last four years.
Scott Pioli Out As Chiefs GM from KC Star
Except for center Casey Wiegmann and guard Ryan Lilja, who were signed in 2010 and helped the Chiefs go 10-6 that season; and offensive tackle Eric Winston, who helped the Chiefs rank fifth in the NFL in rushing this season, Pioli had little but embarrassment to show for his dealings in free agency.
Just as Pioli traded Gonzalez as way to divest the team of players from the Peterson era, he ran off five-time Pro Bowl guard and team leader Brian Waters after the 2010 season. Waters signed with New England as a free agent and helped the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 2011.
Pioli also failed to retain cornerback Brandon Carr, who signed a five-year, $50 million contract with Dallas during the off-season and had a brilliant season with the Cowboys. Meanwhile, Stanford Routt, whom Pioli signed to a three-year, $31.5 million contract last spring, was released at mid-season. And the major free-agent signing of 2011, wide receiver Steve Breaston -- who signed for five years at $22.5 million -- has been healthy but inactive for several games, even though the Chiefs were thin at the position.
Hunt Should Take A Bow For His Moves To Save Chiefs from KC Star
Romeo Crennel, a fine man but overmatched NFL head coach, is gone. Scott Pioli, who became his own worst enemy and created unnecessary adversaries both inside and out of the Chiefs' offices, is gone. The old restraints are gone.
In place of Crennel comes Andy Reid, the most accomplished coach available unless Jon Gruden changes his mind and returns to the sidelines. It's a happy time, finally. The New Chiefs are only a few days old now, but it's hard to think of how Hunt could've better handled his most critical moment of running his family's franchise, and Kansas City's most cherished institution other than barbecue.
This is Hunt's finest hour, an undeniable big-boy move to turn the Chiefs into winners. The free jerseys for season ticket-holders were nice, but this goes much further with fans.
Reid's Record Has Respect OF Chiefs' Players from KC Star
Reid won 130 regular-season games and another 10 in the playoffs, making him the most victorious coach in the long history of the Eagles.
"We got a proven winner," Winston said. "You don't win as many games as he has in this league by accident. Obviously, he knows what he's talking about. I'm eager to talk with some of the players that he had in Philadelphia and get their opinions on him, but at the same time I'm excited about the new start. We knew changes were coming and the Hunt family didn't waste any time trying to make those changes."
Reid Likely To Bring West Coast Offense To Chiefs from KC Star
That's when coach Marty Schottenheimer and general manager Carl Peterson, frustrated by falling short in the playoffs, ditched their smash-mouth offense in 1993, brought in offensive coordinator Paul Hackett, acquired Joe Montana, signed Marcus Allen, drafted Tony Gonzalez and implemented the West Coast offense made famous by Bill Walsh with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chiefs didn't win a Super Bowl with that system, but they reached the AFC Championship Game in 1993 and went to the postseason in 1994 as well as 1995 and 1997, when they posted 13-3 regular-season records.
Reid had similar success and frustration after bringing the West Coast offense to Philadelphia from Green Bay, where he was an assistant to Mike Holmgren. His Eagles reached the playoffs nine times in a span of 10 years, including five NFC Championship Game appearances and one Super Bowl loss.
Reid will likely handpick the Chiefs' next GM, reshaping the rest of the personnel department. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has said that his new coach - not the GM - will report directly to him.
Former Browns GM Tom Heckert, who worked with Reid in Philadelphia, has been mentioned as a strong candidate for the GM job, as has Packers director of operations John Dorsey.
The Chiefs' new coach must also find a quarterback.
Report: Heckert Cancels Interview With Jets from ProFootballTalk
Bob Glauber of Newsday notes via Twitter that Heckert was concerned about the team's cap situation, and not about having to work with Ryan. There's a chance Heckert, who could be a candidate to join the Chiefs, is merely taking the high road.
Andy Reid Hired As Head Coach By Kansas City Chiefs from Sporting News
When news broke that Pioli was out, Reid's agreement quickly followed.
Reid arrived in Kansas City aboard a chartered jet Friday afternoon and drove with Hunt and other Chiefs officials to Arrowhead Stadium. He later visited the team's training complex while the final details on his contract were being worked out.
The fresh start afforded by the Chiefs should be welcomed by Reid, who endured a difficult season on the field and an even more trying time away from it.
Kansas City Gets Its Man, But History Says Reid May Not Win Big from Sports Illustrated
It may be open to some interpretation, but history says Reid's best coaching work has likely been done, and he won't win a ring in his second NFL incarnation after going 0-for-14 in that department with the Eagles. Successful second acts happen frequently in the NFL coaching, but the league is still waiting for the first coach to come along and win a Super Bowl in his second job after going ringless in at least 10 seasons in his first assignment.
You can look it up. Of the seven coaches who won a Super Bowl in their second NFL stop, after failing to do so in their first, the longest tenure turned in was by Jacksonville's Tom Coughlin, who spent eight years leading the expansion Jaguars (1995-2002) before earning a pair of rings in his nine seasons with the Giants.
Is Andy Reid A Fit For Kansas City Chiefs? from NFL.com
Reid only coached teams with a 4-3 defense in Philadelphia. The Chiefs have run a 3-4 since Pioli arrived, and many of their defensive lineman are suited best for the scheme. Still, most of the team's best talent should be scheme-diverse. Defensive end Tamba Hali and linebacker Derrick Johnson were drafted to play in a 4-3. Cornerback Brandon Flowers and safety Eric Berry are talented enough to excel in any scheme.
Pass rusher Justin Houston was an explosive edge rusher in Romeo Crennel's system; his development could be stunted by a change.
Marty Schottenheimer Hails Andy Reid Hiring As 'Spectacular' from USA Today
Schottenheimer said he talked to Chiefs owner and CEO Clark Hunt on multiple occasions during the process, including a conversation this week. He would not characterize his role as a consultant, but in retirement, he has been a resource for the franchise's owner, stemming from a long association with the Hunt family. Clark's late father, Lamar, founded the Chiefs and was the team's owner when Schottenheimer produced seven playoff berths during 10 seasons as coach from 1989 to 1998.
"I definitely didn't have anything to do with the decision," Schottenheimer said. "But I gave my opinions."
One person who told Reid to take the Kansas City job was Dick Vermeil, who coached the Chiefs from 2001 through 2005, and also coached the Eagles from 1976 through 1982. Reid and Vermeil speak regularly, and they did so as Reid made his decision.
"He's coached at the University of Missouri," Vermeil told the Kansas City Star of Reid, who coached The University of Missouri's offensive line from 1989 through 1991. "He's been in middle America before and knows what the people are like. He knows how I feel about it. He's been in that stadium. He kicked my rear ... when we were ahead 18-0 ... and he knows how the fans are there, and how that Arrowhead Stadium is when it's full.
"And he knows the great respect and admiration people in the NFL have for the Hunt family, so why not go? There are no negatives."
Andy Reid Reaches Agreement With Chiefs from USA Today
Reid signed a five-year deal that includes authority over all football decisions, agent Bob LaMonte told USA TODAY Sports. Financial terms were not disclosed. The Chiefs have scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. ET Monday to introduce Reid...
...LaMonte said that as the talks progressed with the Chiefs, Reid quickly decided that he did not want to engage in a bidding war with the other teams that he talked with, the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.
"The bottom line was that there was only one job that he wanted." LaMonte said. "That's why we didn't fool around."
It's Official! Andy Reid Is The New Head Coach Of The Chiefs from My FOX Philly
And Reid has talked to four coaches about coming with him to K.C., Eskin also reported.
Former Eagles quarterback and current QBs coach Doug Pederson is the highest profile.
The Eagles won't let allow former Eagles running back and current RB coach Duce Staley to leave, as he's still under contract.
Reid has also reportedly offered former Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo a position on his staff as offensive line coach, which was his prior job with the Birds.
Shawn Barber played for three seasons with the Chiefs after playing for one season under Reid in Philadelphia in 2002. He says that bringing Reid to town is a good move for the Chiefs.
"The one thing I remember most about being an Eagle is our practice tempo," said Barber, who now lives in Overland Park. "We practiced at a tempo that was unlike any other team that I was with. Everything was 100 miles an hour, fast, fast, fast, fast paced. He wanted you always running from drill to drill, in-between plays there was never any standing around so you got your conditioning while you practiced."
After Philly Fiasco, Why's Reid Hot? from FOX Sports
The stench of Reid's last two years in Philly is still smothering football fans in the City of Brotherly Love and meanwhile he was the hottest coaching prospect in the NFL, the first coach awarded a seat during professional football's annual game of musical chairs.
The Kansas City Chiefs and owner Clark Hunt outraced Arizona and San Diego to Reid's Philadelphia coaching carcass.
I can't positively say I'm against this hiring. What I can say is that I'm absolutely amazed by its urgency and swiftness.
Kansas City hopes Reid can have a quick turnaround like he did in Philadelphia where he inherited a 3-13 Eagles team that went 11-5 just two years later. However, if history is on Reid's side the odds of him fulfilling the reported five-year contract aren't promising.
The last Kansas City coach to make it through 80 games, the equivalent of five regular seasons, was Dick Vermeil who was the head coach from 2001-2005. Since then it's been nearly a revolving door at Arrowhead Stadium. Herman Edwards was in place from 2006-2008, Todd Haley was the man from 2009-2011 and Romeo Crennel lasted 19 games.
Don't Assume Andy Reid Will Rekindle His Fire In Kansas City from Sporting News
The Kansas City Chiefs made the first coaching hire of the NFL offseason, but it was a questionable hire.
Andy Reid has been a successful coach in the NFL. But the key words in that sentence are "has been." Reid might win big again in the NFL, but if you watched the Philadelphia Eagles the past two seasons, Reid looked like a coach whose best days had already passed.
Andy Reid Could Turn Chiefs Around Quickly from CBS Sports
Assuming Andy Reid had his pick of almost all the open NFL head coaching positions, he didn't exactly choose the best one. But he didn't do that poorly by picking the Kansas City Chiefs and there's a good chance he can flip around the team's fortunes faster than you can fall into a rib-induced coma at Oklahoma Joe's.
Of course, it's also bizarre that Reid could shove all his chips in while coaching Philadelphia during 2011 and 2012, stumble to 8-8 and then stumble further to 4-12, get fired and then immediately get hired and pick up even more power than he had before. There are plenty of concerns with Reid's hiring in Kansas City.
But there are also plenty of reasons to believe Reid can reverse the Chiefs' fortunes rather quickly. Let's take a look at some.
Andy Reid Brings Instant Credibility from ESPN
By hiring Andy Reid -- arguably the biggest and best name of the available coaches -- Hunt has shown he is serious about making his team a winner.
"This is instant credibility," said Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. "It's much like Denver hiring John Fox and St. Louis hiring Jeff Fisher ... it's great for the long haul."
It became clear early that Hunt's plan to revive the Chiefs -- who went from an expected playoff contender to a 2-14 team that has earned the No. 1 pick in the April draft -- was to get a powerful coach.
Reid Brings Something New To KC - Gravitas from FS Kansas City
With Andy Reid, it's not about the baggage. It's about the gravitas.
Loafing? He'll bench your backside. Malcontented? Talk to the hand. You know, the one with the NFC championship ring on it.
Talent wasn't the reason the Kansas City Chiefs were 2-14; five Pro Bowlers will attest to that.
It was cynicism. They claimed to adore Romeo Crennel, the man Reid succeeded as coach Friday, yet they rarely played well for him. They knew the man didn't have the final word, the final veto. They played as if they knew Matt Cassel (or Brady Quinn) gave them no shot at realistically winning that day. They played as if they knew offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's game plans were a joke. They played as if they knew the coaching staff was in over its head, week after week.
I don't think the Reid selection will change the Chiefs' draft plan. They will go for the top defensive player available. Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o may be the best bets for the Chiefs.
But that doesn't do anything for the team's quarterback plans.
I've heard several analysts say perhaps Reid can fix Matt Cassel. I don't think Cassel should be an option. Like with Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs need to completely start fresh at the position. Cassel is what we all know he is -- a backup. It would be a waste to start the Reid regime with Cassel as the starting quarterback.
The N.F.L.'s New World Order from The New Yorker
Reid's change of venue is perhaps the clearest sign that a new era is at least on the horizon. In Reid's fourteen years in Philadelphia, the Eagles made the playoffs nine times. (He won more playoff games in that span than the Chiefs have won in their entire franchise history.) Until Monday, he was the longest-tenured coach in the N.F.L., and the only one who'd held the same job since last century. The Eagles were one of the league's most consistent teams over the decade, at times one of its most dominant-they played in five N.F.C. Championship Games under Reid-and certainly one of the most prominent. Now, Reid leaves them in the dumps, without a clear quarterback, an on-field leader, or a coach.
But consider the fact that on Monday, at the end of this regular NFL season, seven coaches and five general managers were canned. Sure, the Kansas City Chiefs, who fired Romeo Crennel, went 2-14 this season. But the Chicago Bears, who fired Lovie Smith, went 10-6. And while the Philadelphia Eagles, who fired Andy Reid, went 4-12 this season, he'd been there 14 years; they had a little more to go on than that.
And who's close to hiring Reid, according to a report on ESPN? That's right: the Kansas City Chiefs. The team that just went 2-14 and fired the coach is wooing the coach who just got fired for going 4-12. Now, to seasoned NFL watchers, this is all perfectly normal; this is how it goes, round and round, with coaches wandering hither and yon, blamed for the collapse of one team and then given the opportunity to excel with another.
Scott Pioli's Program Never Took Flight from ESPN
This is not the way it was supposed to happen.
As excited as Kansas City is to welcome Reid, they were just as excited when ownership hired Pioli nearly four years ago. He was the top GM candidate available in 2009 and the Chiefs were given a lot of credit for bringing him on board.
He was well-respected for being part of New England's success as Bill Belichick's right-hand man.
But, in the end, Pioli didn't succeed as the main decision-maker in Kansas City.
In KC, Reid Finds Another Good Football Town from The Philadelphia Daily News
The winters are much colder in Kansas City than they are in a couple of the other places Reid probably could have gone to work after getting fired by the Eagles earlier in the week. But I'm not at all surprised by his choice.
Phoenix and San Diego aren't football cities. They're resorts. They're places to go to play golf or work on your tan or die.
Kansas City is a football town. Or at least it was when the Chiefs were good. And if Reid can somehow make them good again, as he made the Eagles good again, he'll feel the same kind of passion in Arrowhead Stadium that he felt at the Vet and the Linc.
Minus the beer dumps and four-letter insults.
Thompson On Dorsey: "He Could Do Whatever" from ESPN Wisconsin
If the Green Bay Packers are going to lose director of football operations John Dorsey - multiple reports have the longtime Packers personnel man likely headed to the Kansas City Chiefs to run that team's personnel department for soon-to-be new head coach Andy Reid - general manager Ted Thompson will do the same thing in his front office that he does with his players: Develop from within.
Famous for his draft-and-develop philosophy with players, Thompson said in a phone interview Friday morning that he believes in the same approach with his personnel lieutenants.
Andy Reid Hired By Chiefs: Winners And Losers from CBS Sports
Clark Hunt: The Chiefs owner -- who has made some bad decisions in the past year (keeping Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli in the organization being Nos. 1 and 2) -- landed the most-coveted free-agent coach of this offseason. And, unlike Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who has had success only at the NCAA level (which doesn't always translate to NFL success), Reid has a long and impressive resume. This will be the first step in winning back Kansas City's loyal fan base.
Andy Reid's Challenge: Find Chiefs A Good QB from Yahoo! Sports
But if you peel back the intrigue of how Reid got so much power in the face of his disappointing final two seasons in Philadelphia and look at how Pioli failed in his four years in Kansas City, there is a simple thread:
Neither man had a good handle on the quarterback position at a time when the position couldn't be more important.
The difference is that Reid's history shows he has been willing to pull out every stop to find one. Pioli, by contrast, made a one-stop shop in his effort to find a passer.
They All Want Chip from The New York Times
This is all standard operating procedure when there are N.F.L. jobs open and owners have itchy A.T.M. fingers. Logic flies out the window during the frenzy. Why else would teams be elbowing one another out of the way for the right to inherit the architect of the Eagles' complete flameout? Jason Whitlock of Foxsports.com, for one, cannot understand the Chiefs' leading the frantic pursuit of Reid. Sam Mellinger writes in The Kansas City Star that this is Clark Hunt's desire to put his stamp on the Chiefs, and there is no accounting for his stamping ability.
The struggle over who will care for the daughter of a Chiefs player who committed suicide after killing the girl's mother is taking shape in Missouri and Texas courts.
And tensions between paternal and maternal grandparents of the 4-month-old daughter of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins have emerged in court filings.
Authorities turned over Zoey Michelle Belcher to Cheryl Shepherd, her paternal grandmother, just after her parents' deaths on Dec. 1.
But in an email to a Jackson County probate commissioner Thursday, a lawyer for Shepherd disclosed that Zoey is in Texas with her mother's family.
KCChiefs.com Video: Turning Point: Andy Reid At The Helm
CSN Philly Video: Local Chiefs Fans Are Excited To Get Reid
CSN Philly Video: Vermeil Says Reid Needed A Fresh Start