Reports indicate that former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid will be joining the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2013 season.
With Reid in tow, the Chiefs jettisoned general manager Scott Pioli, who was unable to build a playoff caliber roster over the past four seasons. Pioli had a strong hand in running the organization and would have had to accept a reduced role with Reid likely to have final say on personnel matters as the Chiefs head coach.
Pioli compiled a 23-41 record with one playoff appearance during his tenure in Kansas City which was marked with a number of questionable personnel decisions, including the decisions to trade for quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel, trade away Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez and use the 3rd pick in the 2009 draft on Tyson Jackson.
Piolo also refused to re-sign the team’s own free agents including cornerback Brandon Carr and failed to reach a long-term contract extension with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, even though free agent signee Steve Breaston had failed to produce and 2011 1st round pick Jonathan Baldwin had failed to develop.
It is expected that the Chiefs will hire either former Cleveland general manager Tom Heckert or John Dorsey, Green Bay’s director of college scouting, to fulfill the general manager’s role. Reid has ties to both Heckert and Dorsey.
In Reid, the Chiefs acquire a head coach with a long history of success, having compiled a 130-94 record during his 14 seasons in Philadelpia. While Reid’s teams were consistently solid, they failed to win a Super Bowl, losing Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004 and losing in the NFC Championship Game four other times.
In Kansas City, Reid inherits a team with issues at the quarterback position, a dynamic running back in Jamaal Charles, the makings of a solid offensive line and uncertainty at the wide receiver position with the pending free agency of Bowe.
With Michael Vick unlikely to return to the Eagles and Kevin Kolb not likely back in Arizona, Reid could decide to reunite with one of his former quarterbacks while grooming a replacement taken in this year’s upcoming draft. Cassel is not likely to be retained.
That would solidify the team’s offense and improve the Chiefs chances of re-signing Bowe, the type of big, playmaking receiver that Reid rarely had in Philadelphia outside of Terrell Owens. With a veteran quarterback running Reid’s version of the West Coast offense, Bowe’s production could approach his career year in 2010 when he caught 72 passes for 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns, which would make him a mid-tier WR1.
Tight end Tony Moeaki could also see his production increase given Reid’s ability to generate passing yardage in the screen game, an area the athletic Moeaki could excel in.
With Baldwin having done little to justify his selection in the first round of the 2011 draft and Breaston having caught just seven passes in 2012, the Chiefs are expected to replenish the wide receiver position in the draft or free agency.
At running back, Reid has generally chosen to go with one player in a workhorse role and that means that Jamaal Charles is likely in line for plenty of touches in 2013. The Eagles LeSean McCoy topped 1,600 total yards in each of the 2010 and 2011 seasons while totaling 29 touchdowns. Even though Reid has shown a propensity to throw the ball more than any other coach, his running backs have generally been solid producers.
Charles’ career-high in touchdowns is eight (during the 2009 and 2010 seasons) and that should increase with Reid calling the Chiefs plays. Consider Charles a mid to low tier RB1 in 2013.