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Andy Reid: Brett Veach was responsible for Patrick Mahomes

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Reid says Veach was responsible for Mahomes, talks NFL Draft and Carson Wentz

Pro Bowl Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

In my short experience with Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, he likes to keep things close to the vest when it comes to the media.

That is why I was pleasantly surprised at how candid Reid was when I heard his most recent interview on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

Coming off NFL Draft weekend, Cowherd stayed with that theme in his line of questioning, asking Reid how they came to the decision of trading up last season for Patrick Mahomes.

“Brett Veach was responsible for him,” Reid told Cowherd. “John Dorsey kind of put him in that position to look at him. Brett spent a lot of time with this kid and so he hammered me on watching him and watching him and watching him and watching him, and so, I had couple years worth of film that I was able to watch, and I can’t tell you it’s one play but there were a few, these passes where he’d be running right and looking right and then throwing back left but not all the way to that danger zone but in position where you’d just go, ‘Whoa. That’s something.’ He still has a ton of room to grow for us, but those are the things that got me.”

Reid has been rather deliberate in complimenting his general manager lately, often referencing how Veach likes to “wear him out with players.”

We’ve heard it a number of times now, but Veach evidently “wore Reid out” about players the likes of DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Fletcher Cox, Chris Jones, Patrick Mahomes and very recently, Breeland Speaks, the Chiefs second-round pick in this year’s draft.

Reid added another player to the list during the Cowherd interview—Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz.

“You’re asking the wrong guy, man. I loved him. Doggone it. I loved him,” Reid said of Wentz. “That’s another one that Veach wore me out on. Veach was on that thing two years in advance. I think the kid hadn’t even thrown a ball up there in the Dakotas and all of a sudden, I’m asked to look at him. [Veach] goes, ‘You have to see this kid. He’s unbelievable. Brilliant.’ I’d like to tell you I didn’t. That one there I was kind of on, but only because of [Veach].”

Reid told Cowherd this past draft was his 20th as a head coach, but he’s been involved in many more than that thanks in part to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame general manager, Ron Wolf.

1998 was a special year for Reid, he explained, because Wolf gave him a special project, despite him being the assistant head and quarterbacks coach and not a member of the personnel staff.

NFL Hall of Fame Induction
Ron Wolf and his son Eliot pose with Wolf’s bust during the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

“Wolf gave me a list of a bunch of quarterbacks,” Reid said. “He said you don’t really need to look at the top two, and that was Peyton (Manning) and the guy from Washington State, there, so. I go, ‘All right.’”

Wolf gave Reid a list of 17 quarterbacks, and Reid joked—not in alphabetical order—and he was able to find Matt Hasselbeck.

“As an assistant coach, I was proud of that,” Reid said. “He gave me an assignment—Ron Wolf was the best in the business at what he did, and so he gave me an assignment to do this, he gave me a responsibility, and that was huge. That was huge back then. So I took it, ran with it and I was lucky enough to hit on Matt Hasselbeck.”

Cowherd asked Reid about the idea nowadays that it is much harder to evaluate quarterbacks coming into the NFL, but Reid passionately disputed that thought.

“I don’t buy that,” Reid said. “We have all this technology—get rid of the bubble screens, kick them out. Get the routes that are down the field routes, short or intermediate routes, evaluate them. These kids are all having to throw the football now. I mean you have an opportunity—they’re not running the wishbone, the V or the I-formation, all these things. So you have an opportunity to watch these guys throw the ball. Take advantage of it. I think it’s great.”

Properly evaluating the secondary talent, to Reid, is much more difficult.

“The coverages are pretty vanilla when you get to the secondary part of it, so you have to take your time to evaluate,” he said. “I’m big on drafting offensive and defensive linemen, I think you have to take care of those positions, and I think you need to do that within the first three rounds.”

The Chiefs selected one defensive lineman—Derrick Nnadi in the third—in the first three rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. They selected Kahlil McKenzie, a conversion project from defensive tackle, as an offensive guard in the sixth.

“If you possibly can, you want to stock up on those guys,” Reid added. “You want to take care of your secondary. If you fix those corners, you can normally go compete. You have quarterback, corners, you have the offensive line, a couple pass rushers, you can compete in this business, and stay not only employed, but also get yourself in the playoffs and potentially win the Super Bowl.”

Reid has made a habit during the course of his career at doing the former. In 2018, his Chiefs will be looking to finally accomplish the latter.