It sounds as if the Chiefs and the suddenly aggressive Clark Hunt are about to pluck Andy Reid from the ranks of the unemployed.
If reports are correct, Reid will soon be the coach in Kansas City with, I assume, as much control over a franchise as any coach has ever had.
And while I think Reid is a good hire, he’s not a without-risk hire.
The Eagles went out and signed everybody who could sign their name in cursive, it seemed. They got Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin as free agents. They traded quarterback Kevin Kolb to Arizona for
cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick in 2012. And, as the frosting on the cake, the Eagles convinced free agent corner Nnamdi Asomugha to take their money and come to Philly.
Vince Young, who was the team’s back-up quarterback to Michael Vick at the time, called the Eagles a “dream team.”
Um, not really.
The Eagles limped to a 4-8 start before winning their final four games. And we all know how the 2012 season went for Philadelphia, which finished 4-12.
Something strange was going on with the Eagles the past couple of seasons. Vick gets a lot of the blame because he’s one of the all-time NFL lightning rods. Philly’s defense never put it together, either.
But I also wonder about the emotional toll that has been taken by Reid over the years. Not only is the wear and tear of being an NFL coach intense, but one of Reid’s sons, Garrett, died of an accidental heroin overdose in August. Garrett, who had a history of drug issues, had seemingly turned his life around.
Reid’s other son, Britt, also has a history of drug problems. He’s now a graduate assistant coach at Temple.
Andy Reid has been through the ringer. I wonder if the 54-year-old coach would be better served by taking a year away from the game.
It doesn’t seem as if Reid is someone who believes in getting away. He was back at work as the Eagles’ coach just days after Garrett’s funeral. That is not an indictment of Reid; every person handles grief in his or her own way.
Reid’s 130-93-1 record as the Eagles’ coach is impressive. But perhaps not as impressive as it looks.
In the five seasons from 2000-04, Philadelphia’s regular-season record was 59-21. The Eagles played in Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 season, losing to New England, 24-21.
In those five seasons, the Eagles played in 12 playoff games, going 7-5.
In the eight seasons since, Philadelphia has played in only seven playoff games, winning just three. Reid’s record since 2005 is 66-61 and the Eagles haven’t made the playoffs since 2008.
So while I believe Reid would be a good hire for Kansas City, it’s not a slam dunk. Hiring coaches almost always is a risk and this would be no different.
It’s possible, perhaps even probable, that a change of scenery would do wonders for Reid at this stage of his career. A new challenge with a new organization, one as hungry as the Chiefs are for success, might be just what Reid needs.
The Chiefs appear to have struck quickly. Credit Hunt for making the first big move of the coach-hunting season.