As the events I reported on here earlier today have unfolded, one thing that has come up in several of the conversations I have been having is the question of whether or not the Kansas City Chiefs should have waited to interview current Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly before they committed to hiring Andy Reid. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and there is really one prevailing reason why the Chiefs owner Clark Hunt is better off sticking with Reid and why Kelly wouldn’t work.
It’s all about the state of the franchise. I don’t think anyone can say that Hunt was happy with how the season ended, and it took him no time at all to cut ties with former head coach Romeo Crennel, but there was always some mystery why Hunt chose to keep General Manager Scott Pioli on the payroll. Especially in light of the harsh commentary Hunt put out there about Pioli’s diminished powers and that Pioli was leaving his options open as far as his future. So, when Hunt started coach hunting, he had to be doing so with the thought in mind that whomever he brings in must be able to function not only as a head coach, but also be keen on personnel decisions.
Now, while I don’t consider Reid a master of the NFL draft, in fact he’s far from it, in Hunt’s eyes he must have been thinking that if he hires Kelly, he’s going to have to hold onto Pioli another year in order to make the personnel decisions. With Reid in place, he can hire a new GM that is removed more from that process. So, while hiring Reid makes football sense, at least a part of this has to be because it makes football front office sense as well.
My take-Bad move, if that was his motivation. This Chiefs team is still minus a quarterback, so Reid or Kelly, Kelly or Reid, it still comes down to that. but if I had been Hunt, I’d have rolled the dice and tried to get Kelly, if for no other reason his fresh approach to football, and use that promise of a fresh approach to entice some young up and coming NFL executive to come in and be the GM. Give the pair some time together and see what happens. Getting Reid was the safer pick, but I have to wonder just what his ceiling is at this point in his career. So, looking at it, I think hiring Kelly would have been a tougher hire because of the ties between the head coach and general manager in this franchise. Pioli, pack your bags.