From Philly to Kansas City, One Chiefs Scout Shares His Journey

When an opportunity presented itself in Kansas City, Brett Veach took advantage of it

Everything came together nicely for Kansas City Chiefs pro and college personnel analyst Brett Veach two years ago.

After spending the two previous seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles Southeast region college scout (2011-12), Veach was given an opportunity to reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City.

Veach, who had worked as a summer intern with the Eagles after his playing career at the University of Delaware had ended, developed a love for scouting and the personnel side of football operations while working under Reid in Philadelphia.  

"My first role with the Eagles was coach Reid's assistant," Veach explained of the position he held from 2007 to 2009. "Really, if you follow the track of that position, most of the time people in that position go on to a coaching career. I had luck on my side in that [Reid] was doing a lot of personnel at the time, so it was natural for him to give me assignments that were more personnel-based.

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"So from there, I kind of grew a love for that side of things. It was just something I was instantly attracted to."

Veach, a converted receiver after being a standout running back at Mount Carmel High School in Pennsylvania, where he was named the 1996 Player of the Year, caught 99 passes for 1,470 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career at Delaware (1998-2001). He also ranks third all-time at the school in kickoff return yards.

Interestingly enough, Veach spent his collegiate career catching passes from Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy, who played for the Blue Hens (1997-2000) before joining Reid and Veach in Philadelphia in 2008 as a coaching intern.

But for Veach, the opportunity to join Reid in Kansas City wasn't just about following a familiar face; the structure of the personnel department was something that piqued his interest.

"I think one thing that we do here which is really cool is we kind of cross-train," he said. "A lot of our pro guys help out on the college side, and then vice-versa, where a lot of our college guys will be asked for our input on the pro side. So there's constant communication and back-and-forth in regards to strengths and weaknesses of where we can improve the team.

"I have a dual role where I do some college and some pro, so it's kind of a unique opportunity. I help out during the free agency period and the cut-down days with the pro side and then hit the road during the fall for college."

Most fans see the NFL Draft as the culmination of an offseason of talking through mock drafts and analysts' projections and opinions.

But for scouts like Veach, the draft is the end of a journey that included a lot of hours on the road away from friends and family, evaluating players, who could potentially help the Chiefs, from all across the country.

"I think whatever you do in life, everything is a people business," Veach said. "It's all about establishing your relationships. I think the ability to go out on the road, meet new people, talk football, learn a little bit about the different areas and cultures and traditions, that's a really cool thing."

Photos of Clark Hunt, John Dorsey and Andy Reid.

Despite the hours and travel, the hook for Veach is trying to determine the trajectory and future of a player.

"Having the opportunity to see young men and their abilities at a certain stage and project in your mind what they could be for your team and how they fit in, I think that's the thing that draws you in the most."

After the collegiate and NFL seasons have ended, the scouts and personnel guys get together with the coaching staff to share what they've learned.

"It's exciting because of the trust we have with our staff," Veach said of this time. "It's exciting for us to come in, sit down with them and share everything we've logged from really June and July all the way up until where we are now.

"It's exciting to give them your spin on things, but then in turn, it's also exciting to hear their take on some of the things you may have missed on a report or evaluation.

"The communication is a thing you really look forward to."

Any decision on a player being drafted is obviously not one that's made with a singular voice, but certain players can stand out from the first time you watch them.

"The guys that really by the time you get to the seventh or eighth play on tape, you already want to watch more," Veach explained. "Most of the time, a scout will watch three to four games on a player and then go back and watch a later tape, but every now and then you'll get a player that you just want to watch every single game because they're so fun to watch.

"They just instantly jump out on tape."

While Veach had a history with Reid before he came to Kansas City, the opportunity to work for general manager John Dorsey, with his respected past and pedigree, was another reason Veach made the move.

"Obviously, having the opportunity to work for coach Reid is something that I don't think many people would pass on," he explained. "But I think what also made it even more attractive was the fact that he'd be working with John Dorsey.

"That was something that I had a strong desire to do. His reputation around the league was solid and everyone spoke very highly of him. The fact that John had that Green Bay pedigree was something that I think all the scouts on the road really aspire to work for."

He continued.

"You look at that track record and knowing that they really do it the blue-collar way, where you just roll the sleeves up, go to work, watch tape, not going to dabble a lot in free agency; it's really going to be all about the draft and creating your own culture. That was something that you're really excited about in regards to that opportunity."

The opportunity, derived from his own hard work, along with the serendipitous hiring of both Reid and Dorsey in Kansas City, put Veach in a position to learn from two of the most respected NFL minds in their respective positions.

That's why Veach decided to continue his career in Kansas City—to learn and develop in his own right—as he looks for prospects to bring to the Chiefs to learn and develop as players.

It's an amalgamation that will hopefully benefit everyone, including members of Chiefs Kingdom, who will see the result of Dorsey, Reid, Veach and company's hard work when the roster is set heading into 2015.

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