|Managing Expectations Key for Andy Reid|
Photo: Kirby Lee USA Today Sports
In the aftermath of the Chiefs latest victory, a 26-16 road thumping over the Eagles, the 2013 football season has taken a sharp turn. With winning in their blood, expectations for more victories on the rise in Kansas City, can the Chiefs really keep winning?
I've worn out my DVR watching the Kansas City Chiefs win over the Philadelphia Eagles. I wanted to make sure I understood the totality of the victory before contemplating my next column.
In the wake of the teams 3-0 start, the wonderful national notoriety that has fallen upon this team from that win, I've concluded that Kansas City has relevant football again.
In the heartland, the sport scene in Kansas City is flying pretty darn high. For the first time in nearly three decades, the Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals are both playing meaningful games in the month of September.
For local baseball fans, the Royals have been so bad for so long that the enormous fan base just hopes their not collectively looking into a mirage. In the gap between their 1985 World Series Championship, the Chiefs were able to build some championship rosters. However, either with bad personnel decisions, coaching or bum luck, they're still resting on the laurels of their singular Super Bowl IV championship.
In defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles to start the 2013 season, the Chiefs have catapulted themselves to the mainstream of the NFL world.
What new head coach, Andy Reid, has done in Kansas City is nothing short of a miracle. The Chiefs are atop the AFC West and they've yet to play on all cylinders. Yes the offense has ruled the fourth quarter, the defense has been a turnover machine and the special teams have been solid.
On the flip side though, the offense still has issues to overcome along the interior of the offensive line, the defense, though solid in three games, has to improve it's run defense and on special teams, they need to settle on a consistent return man.
That onus is on Reid.
"I expect good things from everybody, including the coaching staff, myself, I just expect it. That's how I go into it. I expect to do a good job," Reid told reporters after the Chiefs returned from Philly with a win.
Going forward that word is going to be something Reid, his staff and his players must contend with for the remainder of the season. The Chiefs are no longer the NFL's secret nor do they even remotely resemble the 2-14 disaster they were a season ago. That's because a national TV audience saw their performance against the Eagles Thursday night and suddenly the bandwagon is running deep in regards to the overall potential of this team.
If Reid is going to take the Chiefs to the Promised-Land, (I'm not talking playoffs but Super Bowls), then managing expectations and continuing to teach his players that the long-term sustainable of wins will determine his overall success in Kansas City.
He knows the Chiefs fan base is rabidly anxious for consistent winning. He wouldn't have taken the job in Kansas City had he not understood the passion the community exhumes for it's football team.
It might have been special in Philadelphia, but the heartland mentality, that has served this franchise for more than five decades, is without question unique. There is nothing in the NFL like the Chiefs Nation.
What Reid has to do going forward is more of the same. His even keeled nature has fit his new franchise like a glove. The way he conducted himself on Thursday before, during and after the game was impressive in itself.
Through the course of time, we've had some fiery, emotional and brilliant coaches roaming the Chiefs sidelines. But none as even mannered and business like as Reid.
From day one, Reid believed the 2013 version of the Chiefs could compete with the Denver Broncos for the AFC West title. He and General Manager, John Dorsey, built this team to do just that. Neither man wavered in that belief. So they constructed a roster of football players who believed the exact same thing.
In starting the season with three triumphant victories, the road ahead appears tipped in the Chiefs favor. With four of their next five games at home, they can lay claim to Reid's goal of competing for the division crown.
But in order for that to materialize, they can't lose focus or take a single snap for granted. Now more than ever, we're going to learn what type of coach Reid is going to be in Kansas City.
Thus far the players have tasted success. But the fans want more. After the events of what happened a year ago in Kansas City, they deserve the brass ring. They deserve and now expect this Chiefs team to continue the road to franchise recovery with a reservation in this years playoff tournament.
Anything less than that now may be deemed as a disappointment in Kansas City. But regardless if Reid carries the fan base on his shoulders, he has to temper his emotions and make sure reality is actually reality.
"We're early in this season; we're only in the third game here. We have a lot of season ahead of us and it's important that we keep getting better. There's room to improve here and we can't lose focus of that," Reid said.
Thankfully for the championship starved Chiefs Nation they have someone like Reid who understands not only, how to insure his players never lose focus, but the coaching chops to actually get it done.
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The Can Andy Reid temper expectations that continue to rise for his Chiefs?