The Kansas City Chiefs brought starting right tackle Mitch Schwartz to the podium on Wednesday, and friend of the site Tom Martin of KCTV5 asked Schwartz a good question about the creativity of Andy Reid in his play-calling.
Schwartz had a rather interesting answer:
How many NFL players reference the 1920s in an answer about schemes?— Tom Martin (@TomKCTV5) September 12, 2018
A unique take from Mitchell Schwartz when I asked him about Andy Reid's playcalling creativity. Most would assume Andy's mind is on football's future. Mitch insinuates Reid could also be looking at the past: pic.twitter.com/nO6VnG8zqO
Here’s the full quote:
Schwartz: “I’m sure there is some effect of when you scout these college guys, you see offenses and you see the stuff that they are doing and what they are willing to do. Some things are different in terms of the hashes, so you get a little bit more of the field to play with when you can set something in a college hash versus a pro hash. You just see all this stuff and all these guys moving, guys all over the field, playing horizontally and you realize the stress it puts on the defense. You are able to put a scheme like that with players like we have, and it makes things really difficult. I think you try to find the best scheme you can and also the best players you can. And when you can combine the two at a very high level, you can see some good things. That is a huge credit to coach (Reid) to be able to mix things up and change things. Who knows how much of this stuff is just the base stuff they used to do in the ‘50s and ‘60s? I think a lot of things are cyclical. It might have been from more congested formations, but I think a lot of the base concepts are probably similar if you go back far enough and look at it. There is a lot of stuff even when you go back to the 20s and 30s, there’s some crazy concepts that people are pulling out and it looks new because it is 90 years old, but it is just kind of a recycling.”
Winning, of course, makes a big difference when it comes to this thought.
Schwartz’s words immediately reminded me of something earlier this year during the offseason, when Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was pelted with jokes after a story broke of him showing his team film from the 1970s.
Raiders TE Jared Cook was born in 1987. Jon Gruden is showing team football film that is older, he said. “He’s bringing out film from like 1976 when you ain’t even think they had film. Grainy film where you can barely see the players.” Added some of plays, scheme originate there.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) July 31, 2018
Tapping into old concepts is brilliant when it works and your team wins, like the Chiefs did Sunday. But don’t forget, there have been times when Reid has called unique plays that have frustrated Chiefs fans, too.
Fortunately for them, he’s right more than he’s not.