Depending on who you ask—and possibly what kind of mood they’re in at that given moment—the Chiefs’ hiring of head coach Andy Reid was either a brilliant move by a sinking ship or a stupid move by that very same goddamned sinking ship.
And then there are those still who take a middle ground, congenial fence-sitters who say things like, “Well, we’ll just have to see, won’t we?” And while this may be an unsatisfying position to take—particularly amongst those who choose to expound their views for public consumption—it is the right one, and I am one of those pussy-footed folks who prefer to take a seat far away from Oceans of Fun’s wave pool.
Simply put, I am not a football genius and I do not know what the Reid hiring will mean in the grand scheme of things. Nobody does, really, no matter their list of accolades, no matter the vibrancy of the pinstriped suit they choose to wear on Sunday morning gridiron roundtables.
Here are some thoughts I have, however, in no particular order of importance.
1) Andy Reid has a proven track record of being a good coach. Oh sure, he’s not without his faults. His utilization of the running game is inconsistent. His clock management is, at times, abysmal. He’s coming off a spate of poor seasons. He can’t seem to win without Donovan McNabb. His family is full of drug abusing crazy people. He has never won a Super Bowl. BUT!!!
He DOES know how to win. Under Reid, the Eagles made nine playoff appearances to KC’s three. He won TEN PLAYOFF GAMES over that period, to the Chiefs’… none. He was 130-93-1 in 14 seasons and the Chiefs? Well… remember when they had Trent Green and Priest Holmes?? That was a good time, wasn’t it?!
2) So long Pioli. Though it means we will never perchance to see the opening of his crappy Italian restaurant—Aglio Piolio’s—it also means we will never again be subjected to his poor draft picks, maddening tyranny of ineptitude, or general aura of assholishness. Look, Scott might be a decent guy, and he might even end up being a great general manger someday, but it became very clear some time ago that 2012 in Kansas City was neither the time nor the place. His termination was clearly the greatest result of Reid’s hiring, no
matter what fortunes the future may bring. Speaking of bringing:
3) Reid brings a whole bunch of new faces. Though he’ll ultimately be in charge of a majority of the executive decisions—as he was in Philly—he’ll round out his cast with a new general manager and new coaching personnel. Green Bay Packers personnel man John Dorsey is supposedly amongst those in consideration for Pioli’s old spot, as is recently axed Cleveland Browns GM Tom Heckert (who Reid worked with in Philadelphia). It has also been rumored that he’ll attempt to wrangle Black Monday’d Brown’s coach Pat Shurmur (again, the pair worked in Philadelphia during Reid’s greatest period of success) and former Minnesota Vikings’ head coach (and last year’s Browns’ offensive coordinator) Brad Childress.
Are we sensing a pattern, yet? BROWNS BROWNS BROWNS BROWNS.
And yeah, that’s a touch discouraging, given Cleveland’s recent (oh, who are we kidding? ETERNAL) struggles, but let us not forget, these guys have won before—with Reid.
And there’s definitely something to be said for a fresh start. Tom Coughlin used to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bill Belichick coached the Browns. Pete Carroll seems to be back on track in Seattle after being fired in both New York and New England. John Fox led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2003 before being mostly awful for the next several seasons. He has since led the Denver Broncos to back-to-back AFC West wins.
So it would seem that a change of scenery provides quite the rejuvenation at times.
But so does:
4) A Quarterback. The Chiefs don’t have one, period. And, because God laughs at a city full of rubes keen on a 2-mile streetcar and an affinity for something as useless as fountains, he stuck the team and their fans with a number one pick in a year in which there really ISN’T a viable, sure-fire, can’t miss, number one quarterback prospect. So they’re stuck with Matt Cassel, a Pioli product of ill skill. (Brady Quinn—who proved soundly that he is NOT an NFL caliber QB is a free agent, and the less said about Ricky Stanzi, well, Ricky’s got pretty hair.)
See, a shiny new head coach and his feisty new GM are fantastic, but if history has proven nothing else, it’s that a team without a quarterback will NEVER win consistently. (And you dissenters can take your Trent Dilfer and shove him up your lotto-winning, struck-by-lightning-twice asses; he is a great exception and not the rule).
Coughlin found his Eli. Belichick found his Brady. Carroll found his Russell Wilson and John Fox found Eli’s big brother. And surprise, surprise, they’re all working wonders.
Andy Reid can’t throw the ball downfield, no matter HOW comedic his attempt might be. Nor can John Dorsey or Tom Heckert or Pat Shurmur or Brad Childress. Therefore, I am of the firm belief that without a real solution at quarterback—no matter how spectacular the suits and whistles may be—this team is destined for continued failure.
So bring in your Alex Smith’s or Matt Flynn’s. Give me your tired, huddled masses of Kirk Cousins’. And if all else fails, why don’t we see what in the hell McNabb is up to?
Can’t be any worse than Cassel.
Follow me on Twitter @StanfordWhistle.