Exactly one year ago to the day, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid approached the combine podium to speak about what he anticipated for the upcoming 2013 season, his first in Kansas City; fast forward through a record-breaking 11-5 season, including a trip to the playoffs and today, coach began to review the season, as well as look ahead to 2014.
Q: Looking back to a month ago with the loss to Indianapolis, do you think you could pinpoint what it was?
REID: “Well, that’s something we’re going through now. We’re going through all of our self-scout evaluations now and so we’re obviously looking at that head on. You start with myself, and the coaches doing the same thing, and then you obviously look at where we can make improvements, whether scheme-wise and, or, put guys in better positions to make plays.”
Q: What was it like watching Seattle in the Super Bowl do a lot of things you guys did throughout the year?
REID: “I thought Seattle did a great job. I thought they had a heck of a year offensively and defensively. Well deserving of being Super Bowl champs. I thought Denver did a nice job too of being there. Things didn’t work out for them in that particular game, but they’re a good football team, likewise. They did some good things defensively, for sure.”
Q: Where have you targeted personnel wise for free agency and the draft?
REID: “Well, I can’t — I’m not going to sit here and tell you that. Those are cards that you keep close in pocket there, right? But, we look at everybody right now and make sure that you cover all the positions. One of the tricks of the draft is that you take the best players available, if you can stay that disciplined to do so and make yourself a better football team.”
Q: Since you are not drafting first this year, does it widen the amount of players you consider?
REID: “It does. There are a lot of variables there. Being able to predict that may be a little tougher than that first pick, for sure. Again, like I said, you try to stay as disciplined as you possibly can and take the best player available when you get to that point.”
Q: When you drafted Nick Foles, did you have any idea he could play at the level he did this past year?
REID: “He was somebody that kind of jumped out at us when Howie Roseman and I were looking at the tape and Doug Pederson and Marty (Mornhinweg) and (Matt) Nagy. They all evaluated him. He was somebody that I think collectively we came to like. Then once you have him on board there and had a chance to work with him, you knew he was going to be pretty good, at least that’s what we felt.”
Q: What about drafting quarterbacks and the short term and long term prospects for an organization?
REID: “The way the cap is set up today, it’s not quite as demanding financially as it was on an organization a few years back. Still at that same point, if there is a worthy player there at the quarterback position and you have an opportunity to get him, you want to make sure that you get the right one, for sure.”
Q: Do you believe that this is the deepest draft in a bunch of years?
REID: “I’m probably not deep enough into it myself. That might be a question you ask (John) Dorsey tomorrow. It looks like there are some good football players. I’ve had a chance to meet with John (Dorsey) and I’ve had a chance to look at a couple of players. Sure looks like there’s a good group of guys this year.”
Q: How is it being back in Indianapolis since last time you were here it had a rough ending?
REID: “I’m glad you asked me that question. It was a little rough last time, but we’re smoothing that over right now, right? We’re working through it. No, that was a rough day the last time we were here. There are some things we can learn from that though, as a young football team and we will learn from it.”
REID: “Well, you saw as we went on, we were able to do that with Knile (Davis). Knile was a rookie and he was learning every week and getting better every week. As the season went on, we were able to give him the ball a little bit more. I think coming into this season, we’ll be able to mix it up a little bit better than what we did early in the season last year.”
Q: You’re doing a lot less personnel wise than in Philly. What makes you more comfortable on the coaching side?
REID: “I’ve got a lot of trust in John (Dorsey), number one. We have a history back from Green Bay and I think he’s got a great staff. When I was able to meet with Clark Hunt, that’s really the format Clark wanted was a general manager doing the personnel and the head coach being the head coach. I was all for that and that was good at that particular time in my career. Most of all, I have trust in John and he does a great job. He’s aggressive and he knows good football players.
Q: Players say that they see that relationship you and John Dorsey have and that motivates them.
REID: “That’s John. I mean John is upbeat and positive. He works hard. He understands the personnel side. He comes from a pretty good lineage of personnel people, starting with Ron Wolf who, arguably, is one of the finest to ever do his job. John studied Ron and worked with Ron and is very close to Ron to this day. You can see some of the things John does are from things that he learned from Ron.”
Q: What’s your evaluation of the wide receiver and tight end positions on the roster?
REID: “I thought they did a good job. You know Dwayne (Bowe) had his best game the last game. So what we take a lot of pride in doing is spreading the ball around to all of the different people that we have, and we don’t really focus in on, necessarily, one person in the throwing game. As a result, that makes defenses have to cover everybody, right? I’m OK with both of those spots, so that’s where I’m at with that.”
Q: What do
REID: “Well again, they’re skill players that can help us out. I want to see what they do in our system, whether it’s at the wide receiver slot position, whether it’s in the running back position and still being able to flex out and do some of the things that we ask our running backs to do. It’s probably too early to tell right this minute until I get them out there.”
Q: Did you see the film on those guys?
REID: “I did see the film, yes.”
Q: What stood out to you there; did you see a positive quality in their special teams game?
REID: “Yeah, well you have return ability by both of them. One is a receiver and he’s a smaller guy that’s quick. He was exciting when he was a candidate; he was an exciting player. Then (Joe) McKnight is a running back, and he gives you some flexibility just by the things that he does catching the football.”
Q: Do you feel like you have enough talent on the ‘JV’ squad going into this next season?
REID: “There are some guys that I’m kind of looking forward to seeing. It’s different playing the scout team during the year and actually getting out there and competing for a spot. I look forward to training camp and seeing what these guys can do. I think we have a pretty good group of young players to form a nice nucleus there. I look forward to adding guys too, and I’m a big believer that you build your team through the draft. Free agency can be a bit of a tease at times, and I think you have to be real careful with it.”
Q: What are some of the things you like out of the OLB position? Is that a tough position to evaluate in the NFL? And how do you feel about the 3-4?
REID: “Yeah I like the thirty-four. I like some of the things that it gives you. In particular, once you drop the nose and fire yourself into a nickel situation you use those guys as rush and drop guys. It allows you to be a little creative with some of your blitz packages. So from that standpoint, as far as the evaluation part goes, a lot of teams are playing thirty-four so if you’re playing the thirty-four it’s not too hard to evaluate them. If you’re not, you’re taking a defensive end that might be a little bit undersized and you’re going to convert, you just have to make sure you spend enough time with them and he has the flexibility to do that. I thought Trent Cole did a good job this year making that transition. I know a lot of people weren’t sure that he could do that and it looked like he had another good year.”
Q: When you have a prospect that is a little more than a college player, how close to a finished product do they have to be to be comfortable drafting them?
REID: “I think there are certain guys, depending on the round that you take them that might not be quite as finished as some of the other higher picks, but you feel pretty good taking those guys to allow them to grow. I think every one of these college players you’re going to expect to grow in some form and hope that they grow in some form. We took
Q: Do you think the older players coming to the draft are at more of a disadvantage?
REID: “Like my favorite university, BYU? Is that what you’re saying, where guys come out a little older, that’s alright. They’ll play until they’re 34, right? You can’t put everybody in a box like that, it depends on the person.