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Let’s get to know Brett Veach, the Chiefs in-house GM candidate

UPDATE 7/10: Chiefs name Veach the new GM, officially

With John Dorsey’s surprise firing, we’re scrambling to figure out how the Chiefs replace him. Listen to Terez Paylor’s Facebook chat from earlier this week. He talked a lot about how this is typically vacation time for the NFL, and the Chiefs may have a hard time getting outside candidates in to interview.

The unusual timing of Dorsey’s dismissal also means that the new GM really has to hit the ground running. Training camp is coming soon, as are roster cuts, both for the Chiefs and the other 31 teams. Whoever takes over this role needs to have deep familiarity with the Chiefs roster, and with what Andy Reid values in a player. He has to understand Reid’s scheme, and the makeup of the Chiefs locker room. He needs to be able to make quick decisions when players become available, and know which players on the current roster are vital to retain.

The team has valued consistency (as the guys from Amateur Hour pointed out) since the big purge following the catastrophic 2012 season. It’s worked well for the Chiefs, as they’ve returned to the upper tiers of NFL teams, competing for division titles and even winning a playoff game again.

These and other signs point to the team looking at in-house candidates to take over the General Manager job. Some assumed that Andy Reid would want to take on more responsibility for personnel, but that’s been largely refuted.

The biggest name remaining in the Chiefs personnel department is Brett Veach. Veach was recently a candidate for the Buffalo GM job, even earning the endorsement of star RB Shady McCoy.

Brett is currently the Chiefs co-director of player personnel, and he has a stellar reputation as a scout’s scout. Sound familiar? It should, Veach has followed a career path that is similar in many ways to John Dorsey.

Quotes on Veach

Scouts are largely anonymous to NFL fans, so we have to go by what other people say about them. Below are some quotes and information that help paint a picture of Brett Veach.

A good piece on Veach from CSNPhilly.

  • “Veach first broke into the NFL as an intern with the Eagles in 2004 and was later hired as Reid’s assistant in 2007. He ascended quickly in the front office and was considered one of the team’s keenest scouts.”
  • “Basically, an opportunity presented itself in Kansas City to be a part of Coach Reid’s staff again and [general manager] John Dorsey staff, and it was an opportunity I was excited about,” Veach, a native of Mount Carmel, Pa., and former University of Delaware standout, told CSNPhilly.com.”
  • “Veach said he left on great terms with the Eagles, calling his time there “six unbelievable years” of learning under general manager Howie Roseman, former player personnel chief Ryan Grigson (now the Colts’ general manager) and director of college scouting Anthony Patch.”
  • “Those guys taught me everything I know to this point,” Veach said. “You’re talking about three really sharp minds that I learned from every day.”
  • “Veach was assigned to study wide receivers in 2008 leading up to the draft. That year, the Eagles picked DeSean Jackson in the second round.”

From Twitter, Veach has been getting plenty of chatter as a GM candidate.

  • “Next in line from Kansas City? Keep an eye on Brett Veach. Has been climbing the ladder there. Great reputation as a scout's scout”- Matt Miller
  • “Name to watch in Buffalo is Brett Veach. Worked with Sean in Philly & is highly respected by Andy Reid & all the Philly people. In KC now”- Joe Banner
  • “If it doesn't happen this year, it'll happen very soon. Veach is a future GM.”- Matt Miller

Read this piece on Veach from our own BJ Kissel, now reporting for the mothership. We see a lot of close ties to Andy Reid and some insight into his potential philosophy as a GM.

  • "My first role with the Eagles was coach Reid's assistant,” Veach explained of the position he held from 2007 to 2009. “Really, if you follow the track of that position, most of the time people in that position go on to a coaching career. I had luck on my side in that [Reid] was doing a lot of personnel at the time, so it was natural for him to give me assignments that were more personnel-based.”
  • “Interestingly enough, Veach spent his collegiate career catching passes from Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy, who played for the Blue Hens (1997-2000) before joining Reid and Veach in Philadelphia in 2008 as a coaching intern.”
  • “You look at that track record and knowing that they really do it the blue-collar way, where you just roll the sleeves up, go to work, watch tape, not going to dabble a lot in free agency; it's really going to be all about the draft and creating your own culture. That was something that you’re really excited about in regards to that opportunity."

More ...

This is an exciting example of his eye for talent - he pounded the table for Fletcher Cox while with the Eagles.

Definitely give this podcast a listen, it features interviews with Veach (starting around 24-minute mark) along with Chris Ballard and Mike Borgonzi (another potential in-house candidate)

  • Veach indicates he has a dual role in scouting pro players (for cut downs) and traveling to scout college players. (this is great preparation for a GM role)
  • Veach discussed how the back end of the roster is critical, and the Josh Mauga and Husain Abdullah signings were the types of free agents that pay dividends.

The likely favorite?

If Brett Veach isn’t the clear favorite for the job, at a minimum, he’d be the least disruptive candidate the Chiefs could hire. Veach is clearly an “Andy Reid guy” and wants to build through the draft. Based on the interview in the podcast, he’s a very humble, team oriented guy that loves scouting, and loves the staff the Chiefs have assembled. He’s got a great background as a player, coach, and scout. He’s got a stellar reputation and has steadily risen through the ranks over his career. His scouting resume includes Pro Bowl players Fletcher Cox and DeShaun Jackson. He knows the Chiefs roster, and has experience scouting both pro and college players. He knows what Reid is looking for in players, and how to find guy that fit his system. If there’s one guy that could step in and keep the Chiefs on the same trajectory as they’ve started with Reid and Dorsey, it’s Brett Veach. And, by all accounts, if the Chiefs don’t promote him, someone else will.