Here’s what we took away from Monday morning’s press conference:
From Clark Hunt
Clark Hunt said Chiefs interviewed more than a dozen candidates for the position, so due diligence was had.
More Hunt on Veach: “I think Brett’s a great people person. He’s mentioned already the relationship that he has with the folks in our personnel department and on the coaching staff. I think he has very strong organizational skills and I think he’ll do a really good job of managing the department and helping those individuals to grow and also contribute to the success of the Kansas City Chiefs.”
The obligatory barbecue mention
Veach mentioned how lucky he is to pull up to Arrowhead Stadium, and in classic playing-to-the-crowd fashion, specifically cited the smell of barbecue on game day.
New Chiefs GM Brett Veach: “I was very fortunate to grow up in a small town where football meant everything.”— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 24, 2017
Veach had some thank yous, some of the names you may recognize: his high school coach, his coaches from the University of Delaware, the Lurie family and the Philadelphia Eagles, Jim Johnson, John Harbaugh, Marty Mornhinweg, Juan Castillo, David Culley, James Irvin, Todd Bowles, Sean McDermott, the Chiefs’ coaching staff, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy (Nagy was Veach’s quarterback at Delaware; Veach a wideout), Tom Heckert, Jason Licht, Matt Russell, Ryan Grigson, Phil Savage, Anthony Patch, the Chiefs’ personnel staff, John Dorsey and Chris Ballard.
Veach said he was headed right up to training camp after the presser.
How he plans to attack the job
Veach said his priorities once he took the job were to reach out to his personnel staff to set up schedule, and then get quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed so that he was on time for camp.
Veach said his strengths are that he has spent a lot of time on the “college side” and the draft board. Dorsey and Ballard threw him right into fire with pro personnel work as soon as they got to Kansas City in 2013. By now, he feels comfortable with that, but said you always need to continue to get better.
This quote is interesting
Veach said he learned about how to handle the cap working with former Eagles president Joe Banner, explaining it like this:
“I know relative value. I know what players are worth. I know how the pieces fit together. Those guys are really good at what they do and very specialized at what they do, but again, my job is to articulate the plan and vision for the year, two or three years. These are the guys we want, here’s how they fit in the puzzle, and it’s their job to make it work. I think the issue you can sometimes have is when the plan isn’t articulated. I think you see guys getting signed late or not meeting a specific deadline, but I do understand the cap and I do understand player value, and I do have a plan.”
“I can be very vocal and very opinionated (in the draft room).” - new Chiefs GM Brett Veach— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 24, 2017
On John Dorsey
Veach explained he learned, as Dorsey called it, “The Green Bay Way” from him. Veach said Dorsey had a “format,” meaning there’s a way to attack each period of the NFL’s transactional phases. Veach appreciated Dorsey’s layout and the aggressiveness of how he attacked each period. That, Veach said, was very important to him.
Veach said Dorsey taught him the whole process and with his experience, shifted the way he thought.
Veach said he has spoken to Dorsey twice since Dorsey’s departure—before and after he interviewed for the general manager position with Hunt. Veach said he still maintains a great relationship with Dorsey.
Veach told a story about how successful Chiefs have been able to attack the waiver wire. During 2013 draft, Veach said he remembered sitting in draft room with Dorsey, Ballard, (director of player personnel) Mike Borgonzi and (director of college scouting) Ryan Poles, and we slept in the room, and we acquired those seven players.” You’ll often hear Mitch Holthus call these players “the Magnificent Seven.” They were defensive lineman Jaye Howard, linebackers James-Michael Johnson and Dezman Moses, cornerbacks Ron Parker and Marcus Cooper, tight end Sean McGrath and wide receiver Chad Hall.
Veach said there will be things he’ll take from experience with John Dorsey, but he’ll now put his own individual spin on it.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 24, 2017
On Andy Reid
Veach said Andy Reid teaches you more about life than the game of football. Not only did he say Reid made him a better scout, but also a better person.
Reid initially hired Veach into the NFL as an intern back in 2004. When Brett Veach became Reid’s coaching assistant in 2007, many of those he was working with went to coaching side. When that happened, Reid gave him much of the Eagles’ personnel work. That led him to a growing passion for that side of the game, and the rest is history.
Veach said that in all the years working with Reid, they have disagreed a lot. Veach felt that Reid wouldn’t have respect for him that he has if he was a yes man for 10 years. Veach said Reid likes to surround himself with people that work hard, but challenge him. Veach said that when he’s come to Reid with “solutions” in past, it has been well thought out and well researched.
Earlier in the day, Hunt said Veach would have the final say on the 53-man roster. While that is true, Veach said he expects it to be a collaborative process, and will always do things that will be best for the Chiefs.