Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs closed up shop on another disappointing season Saturday evening, blowing a 21-3 lead against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wildcard Playoffs.
It’s the end of yet another season in which Reid failed to lead his team deep into the playoffs. And questions are sure to come up about his future with the Chiefs.
Following the loss, offensive coordinator Matt Nagy moved on to become the Chicago Bears’ next head coach. Meanwhile, former co-coordinator and assistant head coach Brad Childress seems intent on retiring.
#Chiefs assistant head coach Brad Childress has been planning to retire, sources tell @JamesPalmerTV and me, and it doesn’t sound like Andy Reid will be able to talk him out of it after Matt Nagy’s departure. He’s at peace. More turnover in KC.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 8, 2018
That’s two huge cogs on an offensive coaching staff that received a ton of criticism despite leading the league’s sixth-best scoring unit.
In addition to this, it looks like the Chiefs will trade starting quarterback Alex Smith as a way to make room for 2017 first-round pick Patrick Mahomes to be their new starter.
This tells us a story about some major changes taking hold within the Chiefs’ organization. But the story is in no way complete. The final few chapters have not been written. How might they look?
Despite his lack of playoff success (1-4 record), Reid’s job might be among the safest in the NFL. He’s not going anywhere, at least this offseason.
Instead, Reid has now lost two key offensive minds and will likely be relying on a young quarterback with 35 regular season passes under his belt to start next season. This comes with many other NFL teams in the midst of coaching turnovers themselves.
Reid’s next step in forming a new offensive staff will be key to the team’s success in 2018. Sure the Chiefs have dynamic offensive players such as Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce to rely on, but he can’t be tasked with calling the plays. That’s proven to be fruitless in the past.
There’s a chance Reid turns to running backs coach Eric Bieniemy or receivers coach Greg Lewis as in-house candidates to be promoted. Both have done tremendous jobs in recent seasons.
However, the expectation here is that Reid will go with a seasoned offensive mind and play-caller to help him out.
Remember, Reid has always had among the best coaching staffs in the game. It’s what has made him successful for the most part despite questions about his own in-game coaching.
The 2001 version of his Eagles team included six future head coaches, including Super Bowl participants John Harbaugh and Ron Rivera as well as Brad Childress and Pat Shurmur. In his first season with the Chiefs back in 2013, Reid employed current Eagles head coach Doug Pederson as offensive coordinator.
He’s always relied on good offensive minds and great overall football minds to help him on the sideline. Don’t expect that to change in 2018. And there are a couple viable options out there.
Given how he helped Eli Manning progress prior to a disastrous 2017 season for the two, former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo could be an option here. And going back to Reid’s days with the Eagles, we wouldn’t be shocked if he attempted to pry Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg away from John Harbaugh, who also coached under Reid in Philadelphia.
In any event, wholesale changes are in store for Reid and the Chiefs. How this situation plays out could tell us more about his future in Kansas City than most people think.