Dontari Poe on New DL Coach Britt Reid: "He Earned Our Respect"

The veteran is all in with his new defensive line coach

At the time, Britt Reid was the assistant defensive line coach.

It was last year and veteran Dontari Poe was working his way back from offseason back surgery, and the two-time Pro Bowler had a lot of hard work in front of him.

"I don't know if many people knew, but last year, especially coming off of my surgery, I missed a lot," Poe explained after Thursday's OTA practice. "So I kind of had to speed it up. I would stay after practice just working on fundamentals.

"Every single day it was me and [Britt] out there just doing hand work, doing any individual work we could."

During this grueling rehabilitation process, Britt gave Poe his time, extra time—as much as Poe needed—and it meant something to him.

They had already worked together for two years, with Britt coming over with his father, head coach Andy Reid, in 2013—a year after the Chiefs selected Poe with their first round pick.

Poe had shown flashes of what he could do as a rookie for the Chiefs in 2012, but he would blossom into a Pro Bowl player in 2013 and 2014 under the guidance of then-defensive line coach Tommy Brasher.

Brasher has been involved in coaching football in some capacity since 1970, including 28 years of experience at the NFL level, and he served as the perfect mentor to Britt over the past three years.

This offseason, when it was decided that Britt would be promoted to defensive line coach as Brasher moved on to a special projects role, Poe was on board with the move.

"I was excited first of all because I know he's a good coach," Poe explained of Britt. "He learned a lot from coach Brasher, and I know he knows the (defensive line) room. That's a big part of coaching that people don't understand—the vibe of the room and the atmosphere of the room."


The process in which Britt was offered the position from his father wasn't unlike the way it would be for any other coach looking at a promotion.

"He called me in and we went through the whole process," Britt explained. "We did the interviews and went through all of that."

When the decision was finally made, Britt was ecstatic.

"It meant the world," Britt explained of getting the job. "It was so important for me—not only because I spent the last three years as the assistant, but I had a pretty good relationship with the players. Then you add in the fact that it was my father who I got the job from—it was really special.

"There's still a lot of pressure that comes with it, but I'm just honored to be able to coach these guys."

Here's a look at @AllenBailey57 & @PoeMans_dream working with #Chiefs DL coach Britt Reid today at practice. — BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) June 1, 2016

Britt understands the pressure that comes along with being the son of the head coach, particularly one with the pedigree of his father.

"If I can be even half the coach that my father is, then I'll be alright," he added.

After two weeks of OTAs and running his own drills, Britt acknowledged a few of the important things he's learned from his mentor over the past three years. "I've learned everything from coach Brasher," Britt explained. "Probably the number one thing is just knowing when you need to get on a guy and when you don't. There's times when you don't need to rip a guy. You might need to pull him aside and tell him, 'That's not the way we do it.'

"Then there's other times when you might need to yell at the guy. That's probably the number one thing I've learned from him."

If he's put in the position of having to get on a player, Britt will have his attention.  

"He earned our respect because of what he knows and what he's willing to learn," Poe explained. "He's an energetic guy. Sometimes he might get a little over-excited, but you know energy rolls over.

"We might be tired and we look at him being energetic and excited about it and he brings it to us."

A look at the defensive line during the Kansas City Chiefs offseason OTAs

"They're not afraid to work," Britt said of his group. "They come out here every day and they want to get better. They want to be the best.

"It's a really, really close group of guys. They're best friends outside of here and I think that really helps them on the field."

One player who will get plenty of Britt's attention is rookie Chris Jones, who was the team's first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-6, 308-pound former Mississippi State Bulldog was taken in the second round with the No. 37 overall pick.

The opportunity to be working with the top player selected by the team in the most recent draft is something Britt embraces.

"I was just excited to get him," he explained. "It's a great opportunity to help a guy that has all the potential in the world to fill his dreams. He's an unbelievable talent and I looked at it as more of an opportunity and a blessing than a challenge."

While Poe said Britt can be a little energetic at times, the players are a little quieter in how they help bring along the younger players.

"It's not much talking with us," Poe added. "We tell the young guys to just pay attention and we lead by example. We go out there and we work and do what we have to do every day. As long as they pay attention and follow our lead, it will work out."

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