The Kansas City Chiefs are playoff losers again, and fans have been left to their own devices to mourn, question, and wonder.
In the five years prior to Andy Reid’s arrival to Kansas City in 2013, the Chiefs were consistently inconsistent, with one playoff berth (2010) sandwiched by stretches of 26 (2008-2009) and then 23 losses (2011-2012).
Those years weren’t fun, but really, is this?
I took a break from campaigning to be the next offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs to review how you, the fans, feel about Reid as your head coach. And I did so by posing this question:
Looking for some input from you guys here for a piece: In one thought (max two sentences), how do you feel about Andy Reid?— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) January 8, 2018
More than 240 of you replied. Joel and I do this every day—that’s a lot. This topic struck a chord.
So I read each and every answer. And here’s what I found:
You as a fan base predominantly feel that Andy Reid is “good, but.” More than 60 (25 percent) of your tweets could fit into this category. You appreciate Reid as a head coach, but you’re unhappy with a certain aspect of his head coaching.
Many of you never want him to call plays again. Some of you gave him your full support, while others wanted him fired. A few of you who have been around awhile said Reid reminded you of Marty Schottenheimer. Regular-season success and not so much in the playoffs.
So let’s dive in.
Andy Reid is good, but
second most successful coach of this century. chiefs unlikely to find someone better, despite frustration— Kylo Stimpy (@Yelix) January 8, 2018
Of all the tweets on the thread, Kyle Stimpy’s received the most likes—more than 45 of this writing.
He makes a great point, and it’s one that many teams go through every year. It is why Jeff Fisher and Tom Coughlin held onto jobs for so long. The case for staying with a once-proven coach is greatly strengthened by the weakness of the pool of those available. And you can argue that Reid is better than once-proven: he’s ninth in history when it comes to regular-season wins, and the Chiefs have made the playoffs four of five years since his arrival.
The problems with Reid have always come after the berth.
One of the greatest regular season coaches ever. One of the worst in the playoffs.— Chiefs Fandom (@ChiefsFandom) January 8, 2018
This point has always astonished me. How in the world can the same man be so good in the regular season and so bad in the postseason?
Reid is 183-120 in the regular season and 11-13 in the playoffs. In 19 years, including 13 seasons of postseason play, he has made the Super Bowl just once, in 2004. Reid’s Eagles lost the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
He is like the Dan Marino of coaches. We'll look back and wonder how he didn't win a Super Bowl.— ADAM WHITE (@admwynewhte) January 8, 2018
Yikes. The “Dan Marino of coaches.” That’s not a comparison anyone wants to draw.
So how does Reid stop it?
Needs to develop killer instinct. Gets too conservative with a lead and the attitude permeates through the team and they can’t finish off games. Needs to build a tougher team both mentally and physically.— Justin Beets (@JustinBeets) January 8, 2018
Great manager of people but too "compassionate" to step on the throat of his opponent when calling plays.— Rob Wolfe (@Spottylogic) January 8, 2018
Andy is probably one of the best coaches in Chiefs History. But his Achilles heel is being to conservative with a lead.— Justin Kolenda (@JustinKolenda) January 8, 2018
Reid is good, but.
Andy Reid should NEVER call plays again.
If you’re like me, you noticed the shot from ESPN this weekend of Andy Reid calling plays again.
Great shot from ESPN Saturday…I guess Andy wasn’t lying pic.twitter.com/m2srBmA1co— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) January 8, 2018
No, the sheet did not actually say “all the bad plays.”
Andy Reid twice after the game stated he was calling all the bad plays while
offensive coordinator Bears head coach Matt Nagy was calling all the good ones (Nagy later revealed he was calling the second-half plays).
Many of you did not like this:
I feel like he needs to not call plays anymore. Don't know why tf he was calling plays again but please never again Andy— Chase P. Richardson (@CPR_JAYHAWKS) January 8, 2018
I think he does a great job designing offensive plays in the off season. However, I feel he has a problem making the right call in the heat of the moment. Too many questionable play calls.— KCFaninPA (@fanin_pa) January 8, 2018
He just needs to stop calling plays forever and then I’m fine— Garrett Claud (@garrett_claud) January 8, 2018
The Chiefs were much better once Nagy began calling plays in the middle of the season, but they were also really good at the beginning of the year with Reid calling them. Reid said his calling may have gotten a bit stale in the middle of the year and that’s why he made the switch.
This is a tough topic now because with Nagy leaving for Chicago, I’d expect Reid to be calling the offensive plays again when 2018 begins.
Whether this is right or wrong probably won’t be on the table anymore.
Andy Reid has your full support.
Loyalty over everything.
Some of you aren’t worried at all about the back-to-back home playoff losses. Andy is your guy.
People forget Gansz, Herm, Haley, Romeo. Reid made us relevant. Every coach in the league sans Belichick has a fatal flaw. Andy gets the yips with the lead. We torture him for the ones he loses but don't give him the credit for the 90% that he doesn't blow.— Steve in RI (@Steve_in_RI) January 8, 2018
We wouldn't be where we are today without Andy. Great coach but an even better person.— dalyss (@dalysshanson) January 8, 2018
Just look back at KU fans before 2008, no one's happy until you win one. Reid gets us there every year, you have to get there before u win one— Brandon and Maggie (@Braggie23) January 8, 2018
Brandon and Maggie (#Braggie) make a good point. How does this all (the unhappiness, the Reid debate, the play-calling, the everything) get solved once and for all?
By winning. I think it’s true that sometimes we can get caught up over a bad day, a bad game when throughout the course of Reid’s body of work, he’s had so many more good days.
Has he just gotten unlucky and had 13 bad playoff days over the years? I’d say it’s unlikely, but it’s possible.
Just think about it: if the Chiefs hold onto their 21-3 lead, Titans coach Mike Mularkey is out of a job right now.
The margin is so small in the NFL, and that’s why some of you are sticking by Reid. I get it.
Still, others say:
Fire Andy Reid.
FIRE ANDY REID. He has proven he cannot coach the Chiefs to win a playoff game.— Joe Smith (@Joelibera) January 8, 2018
Marty 2.0— Bobby H (@F18RodeoClown) January 8, 2018
He needs to be fired. Have seen ZERO improvement since his first year. Team is also soft.
And the most extreme:
Loser who fits well with the loser owner and us loser fans who continue to support a franchise that’s a fraud— Sully (@SullyFootball) January 8, 2018
If fans are allowed to throw full support behind the head coach, you have to acknowledge the ones who want him gone.
And I think it goes back to whether or not the lack of success of Reid in the playoffs is unlucky or if it is a trend
Because to the point of the Negative Nancys and Sullys, who really cares if you are getting to the playoffs every year if you’re not going to win the Super Bowl, anyway?
And that leads me to this.
I gave you the chance to speak your mind. Here’s my take:
I like Andy Reid, and I think the Chiefs are lucky to have him. I also think how he consistently underperforms in the playoffs isn’t good enough. I’m allowed to feel both things and so are you.
Making the playoffs each and every year is really, really hard. Reid has done it four out of five times in Kansas City, and though the results haven’t been there yet, the Chiefs are now consistently a competitive football team.
How often can you say that?
Not to pick on the Buffalo Bills, but do you really think they will be back to the postseason next year? I think we’d all say probably not. You know with Reid the Chiefs will at the very least be back in the mix.
But I also think that’s where Reid needs to improve. The Chiefs are always a team on the fringe. Even when they had the bye in 2016, they felt on the fringe. They hardly ever dominate a football game and press through to the end in convincing fashion.
I think many of you are right. The Chiefs miss a killer instinct.
You’re all upset, and I get that. In a lot of ways the Chiefs have become a yearly playoff afterthought, the Bengals of the West.
But this isn’t Cleveland, you’re not the New York Jets.
The Chiefs, for the fifth year in a row, were right there, and I think you would be crazy to fire Andy Reid because you probably won’t like what’s behind door Number 2.
All that said, “good but” is not going to be good enough forever.
And changes this offseason—real changes—need to reflect that Reid and this organization comprehend that.