It was quite a refreshing moment to see Clark Hunt deliver the opening statement to introduce our new veteran head coach. He was bursting with enthusiasm as he rattled off many of Andy Reid’s accomplishments. For Kansas City Chief Fans that weren’t already excited about their new coach, seeing Clark deliver this speech could help change your mind. Since I grew up an hour outside of Philadelphia, the Eagles and Coach Reid were in the news quite a bit. I always thought he was a well-respected coach and it was uplifting to hear Clark reiterate those thoughts on Monday. Mr. Hunt put a strong emphasis on how much family means to Coach Reid and even spoke about his wife’s involvement.
After watching years of press conferences from our new coach, it’s clear he won’t be winning any awards for speaking. His delivery is monotone and sometimes lacks the emotion some fans like to see. Obviously, he has many other qualities that are much more important than how he comes off in the pressers.
“When Clark called – I have been in this league a long time – and there are certain families that stand out.” Andy Reid said in his first minute at the podium. This really stood out to me after the treacherous year that we all watched unfold. A lot of people were questioning what was going on in Kansas City and if Clark would right the ship. It is great to see that there is still a level of respect for this storied organization.
When Clark set up the interview with Andy, you could tell he was very prepared. From changing the structure of the organization to bringing along so many staff members for the interview, it was quite obvious that Clark had his full attention on landing the perfect coach. Coach Reid went on to say “What I thought would be a three hour meeting turned out to be a nine hour meeting and it probably could have gone on a lot longer than that.” The fact that the two sides were engaged in a deep, meaningful conversation for such a long duration shows that the owner and coach are definitely on the same page. I felt it was important that Scott Pioli be involved in the interview at the time as well. Everyone assumed he was out the door, but since he still held the title of general manager, I felt it was valuable to have him there.
Hearing Coach Reid’s focus on “digging in” and really evaluating the quarterback position was an enriching thought. Clearly, all coaches would be focusing on the quarterback position if they were going to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. But, not many have the track record as being a quarterback guru. On top of that, there aren’t many other quarterbacks you would rather begin your career coaching than Brett Favre. After watching the parade of underwhelming quarterbacks over the past decade, it is great to finally feel like we are in good hands.
I also found it very encouraging that Coach Reid may be exercising the philosophy of taking the best player available with the number one pick in the draft. Quarterback is obviously the biggest position of need, but with the current class, I’m not completely sold on taking a signal caller at number one. Unless someone blows everyone away at the combine and pro day, I think it’s a very tough year to hold the number one overall pick. Now that the rookie wage scale is more reasonable, more positions make sense at the top of the draft than in years prior. However, with a weak draft class, it limits a lot of options for trades or the positions that we will go after.
When it was first announced that Andy Reid would be the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, I couldn’t help but think what would happen to the defense. Coach Reid has always been a big 4-3 guy, and I immediately assumed that he would continue that at 1 Arrowhead Drive. When the media asked this question, I was invigorated by his response. “In regards to the 4-3, 3-4, I’m evaluating that right now. I understand the values in both. I’ve been a 4-3 guy, and I’ve played against a 3-4 so I got it and understand it.” He went on to say, “There has been an effort to bring in players that work in the 3-4, so I will look at that first and go from there.”
In my opinion, it would be a mistake to move this defense to the 4-3. My thoughts when I hear that go to our star outside linebackers. While Justin Houston might be able to transition into a role similar to Von Miller in Denver, why mess with a good thing. The young linebacker has been working hard and coming into his own. Tamba Hali went from being an undersized, average defensive end in the 4-3 scheme to a pro-bowl outside linebacker.
Overall, there were many positives to be taken from this press conference. I look forward to many more after Chiefs victories this year!