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Andy Reid on developing an MVP, Dee Ford and Justin Houston

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Steve Mariucci and Melissa Stark sat down with the Chiefs head coach at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid appeared on NFL Network’s Total Access Monday in an interview with hosts Steve Mariucci and Melissa Stark.

I always enjoy Reid’s sit-downs with someone like Mariucci because Reid’s familiarity typically leads to a better-than-usual interview in which he is more comfortable and open.

Mariucci was the Green Bay Packers’ quarterbacks coach from 1992-95 when Reid was a Packers offensive assistant (1992-94) and assistant offensive line and tight ends coach (1995).

Looking back on a year in which his Chiefs made it all the way to the AFC title game, Reid said he was proud of the team.

“Most of all, now they’ve got a taste,” Reid said. “We’ve got a nice blend of young and old on our team—they got a taste of what it takes. So you could sit there as a coach and you tell them, ‘Listen, everything’s a little faster as you move up in the playoffs and games are a little bit more intense. You can get away with a little bit more here and there,’ but to experience it now, it’s a different deal.”

Looking to her right at Mariucci, Stark mentioned that both Mariucci and Reid coached a previous MVP in Brett Favre, leading to a nice segue to discuss Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the reigning MVP.

Stark wanted to know how you go about developing an MVP.

“You try not to over-coach him and ruin him,” Reid laughed. “You try to play to his strengths. You take his weaknesses that he might have this offseason. This will be great for Patrick.”

But could a player who threw for more than 5,000 yards, 50 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions possibly have any weaknesses?

“They’re little things,” Reid answered. “I’m not going to throw them out there because he’ll get destroyed. He’ll take these cut-ups that we put together. He’s going to look at them and go, ‘Oh my gosh. I could have been so much better right here,’ whether it’s footwork or arm angle or trusting his O-line in a situation, whatever it might be, whatever that thing is, he’ll go back and he’ll look at those and then you see another jump. He’ll handle that the right way. Not everybody does that. Not everybody handles that second year the right way.

“The thing that he understands is that every coach in this league knows who you are, and they’ve got an eye on you, and there’s some pretty smart coaches in this league. They’re going to sit there and study you and say, ‘I’ve got the answer right here. I’ve got the answer to slow Pat Mahomes down.’”

When it came to the questions about Dee Ford, Justin Houston and the salary cap, Reid answered as he usually does—by explaining that topic is the business of Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and his “capologists.”

Veach works very closely with two individuals named Chris Shea and Brandt Tilis at this time of year to figure out Kansas City’s ideal cap situation.

“They beat this thing up on where you can put money here or there, and both of those guys fit in,” Reid said of the trio. “[Ford] is a free agent, the [Houston’s] got a big number. Both of them are like my two favorite guys. I’ve loved coaching them and I hope I’m still coaching them, but if I don’t, we also understand that. That’s the name of the game in today’s world. There is change, whether they’re with us or somebody else, I always wish them the best and success down the road, just so long as they’re not doing it against us. That’s the one place you hope it doesn’t happen.”

The Chiefs officially placed the franchise tag on Ford on Monday, so he should remain in Kansas City for 2019. What happens with Houston remains to be seen.

As of Monday, he is still a Chief.