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Old 01-03-2013, 09:32 PM   Topic Starter
KcMizzou KcMizzou is offline
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Hunt puts his stamp on Chiefs franchise with pursuit of Reid


The Kansas City Star

The short man with the stern look and pressed suits is not messing around. He will not waste time. Enough. No more clinging to the background or letting other people make the biggest decisions with his familyís Kansas City institution.

Clark Hunt has lived his entire 47 years in and around the Chiefs organization, and today he is in control of it like never before. His grasp is tighter than ever, his fingerprints in places he used to entrust to others. The worst Chiefs season in franchise is history is less than a week in the past, and Hunt appears to be giving his best effort to rebrand this thing back to respectability.

Absentee owner? Huntís got your absentee right here.

Huntís power grab means the Chiefs are a different franchise. The stark differences between him and his beloved father are coming into focus. Clark is quiet but ambitious. Respectful but ruthless. Flexible on details but intolerant of failure.

Lamar was a golf cart and a smile and enduring loyalty, known for driving himself around town and personally selling tickets. Clark is a black SUV and a direct question, a calculating man who in four years has pushed out his fatherís co-pilot and neutered his own top football deputy.

Look, none of us know for certain whether Andy Reid will rise or sink if heís the Chiefsí new head coach. There are no guarantees in the NFL. Maybe you think Reid is a tired retread coach who could use a year off after being fired in Philadelphia. I happen to think heís a proven coach and innovative offensive mind, a good fit for what the Chiefs need even as there are legitimate reasons to wonder whether heís ready for another job so soon.

Maybe you wanted a push for Chip Kelly.

Maybe Mike McCoy intrigued me.

But whatever we think of Reidís bona fides, we can all see what Hunt has done since Sundayís appropriately limp, season-ending blowout loss at Denver: fired a failed coach, publicly emasculated a failed general manager, made clear a new power structure, identified the new coach he wanted, flew in for a meeting that effectively canceled other teamsí meetings and appeared on the verge of making the first hire of a seven-coach NFL offseason.

In Reid, he has settled upon a respected football mind, a classy man who quietly suffered awful personal tragedies and was put on public notice by his owner before last season but still wished the franchise well after being fired.

Reid had just three losing seasons in 14, and his teams ranked near the top in scoring offense and defense more often than not. He is a lover of both the screen pass and the long pass, a reputed hater of the running play who nonetheless gave his star back the ball more often than all but four other NFL rushers over the last two seasons.

Reid is also a proven evaluator of talent who made critical recent personnel mistakes that helped lead to his firing. The Eagles sent more players to the Pro Bowl than any other franchise during Reidís time in Philadelphia, but his demise is directly traced by many to a free-agency binge that produced spicy headlines but just 12 wins the last two years.

Instant judgments of coaching hires are typically made with fewer facts than feel, initial speculation that turns into a lasting narrative of how a man is viewed. Along with the owner and quarterback, the head coach is one of the three most important positions in the Chiefsí new power structure. But he is probably not as critical as it feels at the moment.

Reid could be the new face of the Chiefs, but no head coach goes it alone. Even if he has final say on staff and personnel, heíll need help. Smart people willing to push back along the way. Obviously, he will need a better quarterback. Wide receivers, too. An upgraded offensive line. A better second cornerback opposite Brandon Flowers. You know the list.

But Reid would be the central beginning of a franchise reboot. Heíd be here because the boss is fed up with losing. Starting now, Reid would be the Chiefsí voice, the guy on the sidelines and in the news conferences. But his would-be boss is the muscle, shaping the Chiefs into something entirely new.

This is Huntís franchise, now more than ever before. He is remaking the Chiefs into something theyíve never been. Thatís the change that makes this a historical week. Good or bad, we will soon see the results.
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