01-07-2013, 12:22 AM
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Reidís first task with Chiefs: Finding a QB
I'm pretty sure Andy Reid is TribalWarfare's dad, or at least related.
Reid’s first task with Chiefs: Finding a QB
The Chiefs have no quarterback capable of taking them where they want to go and, given the meager crop of available passers in the draft and free agency this year, little prospect of finding one any time soon.
That may be a big reason they hired Andy Reid, who in the last 14 seasons coaching the Philadelphia Eagles was rarely without one of the league’s better quarterbacks.
“The Eagles always did a good job developing that position while Andy was there,” former Chiefs quarterback Rich Gannon said. “He teaches fundamentally sound football and footwork and decision making. That’s why they’ve had a lot of success.”
Finding a quarterback will be one of the first priorities for Reid, who will be introduced as the Chiefs new head coach today at a news conference at Arrowhead Stadium.
Given Reid’s history, the next starting quarterback for the Chiefs doesn’t have to be a top draft pick or otherwise a high-profile passer. Reid has worked with high draft choices like Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, but he also took quarterbacks off the scrap heap (Jeff Garcia) and as lower-round picks (Kevin Kolb, Nick Foles as a rookie last season) and got some good play from them.
It’s interesting to note that other briefs playing stints by Garcia and Vince Young, all of Reid’s quarterbacks were better players for Reid than before or after he coached them.
“His history with quarterbacks speaks for itself,” said A.J. Feeley, one of Reid’s former Eagles quarterbacks. Feeley began his NFL career with Philadelphia, later returned to play there and also spent time with four other teams.
“His whole time with Philadelphia, I don’t think the quarterback play was ever in question. Andy’s attention to detail is what sets him apart from other coaches I’ve had. He’s so good at putting quarterbacks in a position to be successful. I played in other places for other coaches. Andy makes the game I don’t want to say easier but he’s always finding a game plan that fits the quarterback’s strength.
“You could make the argument that there are a lot of quarterbacks that came into the league with more talent and a better skills set than some of the guys who played for Philadelphia. But the guys with Andy for the most part were able to sustain it for a long career. That’s a pretty good indication that the guy has a good influence on quarterbacks.”
Reid was a guard and defensive end in college at Brigham Young and began his coaching career working with the offensive line. He later became the quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, where one of his pupils was Brett Favre and it was in part his work with Favre that helped him land the job with the Eagles.
In Philadelphia, offensive coordinators and position coaches worked with the quarterback but Feeley described Reid as being a hand-on head coach when it comes to the passing game.
“What’s being told to the quarterback is being funneled from Andy to the quarterback coach,” said Feeley, who started five games for the Eagles in 2002 and two in 2007. “You’re being evaluated by him all the time. When you’re at practice, he stands behind you all the time and he’s watching closely on each and every play, each and every throw.
“There are things that other coaches might find insignificant and not really relevant to the game of football that are important to Andy. How you come into the huddle to how you break the huddle to the pace of practice to where you sit in meetings to how you dress for practice, those little things mean a lot to Andy and you learn that right away. He believes that practicing perfectly translates to playing perfectly. Not all coaches believe that. In a lot of places, that kind of thing is overlooked.”
Perhaps it’s a testament to Reid’s belief in his ability to find and develop a quarterback that he wasn’t scared off by the fact Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn were the two lowest rated passers in the NFL last season.
The Chiefs also have Ricky Stanzi, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011. Stanzi hasn’t played in a regular season game since he joined the Chiefs.
“It has to be scary to Andy that the Chiefs don’t have a quarterback,” Gannon said. “Look at the situations in Chicago and in San Diego (with both teams looking for a head coach). Those teams have quarterbacks in place. They may be a little bit further along. Kansas City has some Pro Bowl players and a decent nucleus to draw from but it’s a lot harder if you don’t have that guy at quarterback.
“It’s not a good year to be looking for one. The free-agent class won’t be a good one and it’s not a real strong draft for quarterbacks, There’s no Andrew Luck out there and no RG3 (Robert Griffin III). It may be a situation in Kansas City where they do what Seattle did last year and go and sign a quarterback and you also draft one. But there are no guarantees. Just because the rookies this season are playing so well, it doesn’t mean that every time you go out and draft a quarterback he’s going to develop into the next Andrew Luck.”