Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in NFL history and he didn’t earn that label with drastic changes to first trouble. If anything distinguishes the Kansas City Chiefs coach, it is his loyalty in various aspects of his work.
In recent years, Reid’s loyalty has been put to the test and the coach has remained firm in his convictions, a precedent that, in 2021, puts the Chiefs near the breaking point to see if they can save their season or start plan for the next one.
The answer to this crossroads may not appeal to Chiefs fans.
It was until Tom brady and the New England Patriots offense dragged the Chiefs defense into overtime to win the AFC Final of the 2018 season that Reid was convinced he should change defensive coordinator to give more support to the offense he already commanded. Patrick Mahomes.
Reid arrived in Kansas City in 2013 and did so with Bob Sutton as his defensive coordinator. In its early years, the defense in Kansas City performed well, but in 2017, things quickly took a turn for the worse, ranking No. 28 in yards allowed per game, but No. 7 in the most important department, that of points received.
By that time, Reid had managed to build an efficient and productive offense with Alex Smith at quarterback, and while it was clear that Sutton and his work were no longer up to the task of that offense, Reid retained it. By 2018, with Mahomes up front, the Chiefs’ even more explosive offense made up for the poor quality of a defense that fell further, to No. 31 in yards per game and 24 in points allowed per game.
It took Brady to convince Reid to let Sutton go after leading the Patriots to score in the first offensive series of overtime of the 2018 AFC Championship Game to win the Super Bowl pass. The following year, Reid hired Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator.
Firing Spagnuolo in the middle of the 2021 season will not be the solution, it is not even an option, but Reid’s loyalty to his defensive coordinator is reflected in the inaction to ask him to modify his strategies. It is clear that move to Chris jones From his natural tackle position to defensive end position hasn’t worked out: The Chiefs hardly put pressure on opposing quarterbacks with their front line.
It took five games of the current season for Spagnuolo to decide, after Daniel Sorensen was burned and shown twice on national television against the Buffalo Bills, deciding to switch to safety and put Juan Tornhill on the field.
Reid is an offensive genius and despite having the authority to do so, he will not get his hands in an area that he does not tactically dominate. He may suggest changes, but he won’t go any further, so it is feasible to consider that Jones will remain on the ends of the defensive line, at best, a few more weeks.
Reid’s loyalty is also reflected on the offensive side with adherence to his schemes. It is clear that Mahomes needs a good running game to counteract the defensive schemes proposed by rivals.
Reid is not a coach who likes to run a lot with the ball. He is a coach who in 23 years as head coach of the NFL, with his work and open schemes, encouraged the evolution of the league to one in which the passing game predominates. Since his time as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, he has had versatile running backs, with good hands to be an important piece in the short passing game and who makes little use of running backs who attack the line of scrimmage.
Reid is who he is and that’s how he has made his regular contending teams, and his perseverance won him the Super Bowl two seasons ago.
The process in which the Chiefs went from being just another team in the NFL to being contenders paid off in six years and Reid will not drastically change his style despite his team’s bad start to the season and the expectations with which Kansas City reached the 2021 campaign.
By guiding the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years, Reid earned the benefit of the doubt. Whoever asks for his resignation does so from the kidneys and not with reason.
The Chiefs probably won’t make the playoffs this season and if they do, they probably won’t go far, but if recent history is any guide, Reid will make the necessary changes in the next offseason to return Kansas City to the elite of the season. NFL.
If it worked once, it can work twice… right?
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The loyalty of Andy Reid, tested again in the Chiefs