1. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Seasons With Team: 10 | Head Coaching Record: 247-138-1
Analysis: Reid has sustained success for more than 20 years with two different franchises and an assortment of quarterbacks. Plus, he’s been to three of the last four Super Bowls and won two of them. There’s nobody better right now than Big Red.
A controversial topic from last season centered around the sporadic kicking problems from Harrison Butker. During the home stretch of the regular season in December, former Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt provided critical commentary on current team punter Tommy Townsend’s holding and positioning of the football during field goals and PATs.
“He’s an exceptional punter,” Colquitt tweeted. “If you look back at the holds on the extra point, the laces are facing the sidelines, and on the missed 50+ yarder, he pulled the ball to him at the last second and forced the ball to go to the right -he’s been missing the spot all year.”
When NFL owners approved a rule Tuesday allowing teams to start a drive on the 25-yard line when a fair catch is signaled on a kickoff, the league was aware a backlash was coming.
“It’s never easy for special teams coaches. They’ve coached it a certain way. They think they have an advantage, so they’re not gonna be happy with changes like this,” Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL’s competition committee, told NFL Network.
“But the changes needed to be made because, in our mind, we have the data that said it should be made.”
And backlash has ensued, with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce ripping the rule on the “New Heights” podcast.
Around the NFL
Former NFL cornerback Damon Arnette has pleaded not guilty in Nevada to felony charges and his lawyer is challenging his indictment alleging he displayed a handgun during an argument with Las Vegas Strip casino valets in January 2022.
“He never brandished a gun. He never pointed a gun,” defense attorney Ross Goodman said Thursday of Arnette.
The former player appeared in court Wednesday and remains free pending trial in October on assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm charges.
QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
In 2022, Lamar Jackson missed the last five games of the regular season and the Baltimore Ravens’ wild-card playoff matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals because of a sprained PCL. Skeptics wondered about the severity of the injury as Jackson prepared to head into contract negotiations with the team, but he provided an update via Twitter that cleared up speculation about his condition.
“It hit me out the blue, and it hit a couple players on my team and around the league out the blue,” Williams told reporters in Detroit on Thursday after an OTA practice.
“I wasn’t aware of this situation. But as it happened, I took it on the chin. I was ready to move forward. As things went on, I got the consequences. That’s been my whole plan: moving forward from things and just looking at the better days.”
The head coach did not discuss Garoppolo’s foot procedure directly, but he expressed confidence in how things have developed regarding his health.
“Nothing has happened that would surprise us based on the information we had. We don’t play a game for 100 days. Everything that’s happened since we signed Jimmy, we knew ahead of time. … Certainly had an awareness of all of it. Our preference is not to push it and rush anybody back at this point in time.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Creed Humphrey: Center play is dramatically underrated in the NFL. Look at most great stretches of quarterback play, and typically, there’s a great center snapping the ball. If not for a surefire Hall of Fame center (Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles) being active, Humphrey would be widely considered the best at his position. Doing this after just two years in the league is a great sign for his bright future and bank account.
Joe Thuney: Bringing in Thuney to start the offensive line rebuild was a foundational piece to an offensive line that won a Super Bowl. Thuney has often been overlooked because he’s never been viewed as the top player at his position. However, he’s always been top two or three, and that consistency makes him great. The three-time Super Bowl champion is one of the best pass-protecting guards in the league, making him a perfect fit for the Chiefs offense.