Reid In, Pioli Out With Chiefs As Clark Hunt Continues To Impose More Command
The Chiefs have reached a deal to make Andy Reid the team's new coach, and the contract "is now being reviewed by attorneys and is expected to be finalized" later Friday, according to sources cited by Mortensen & Schefter of ESPN.com. The move comes after the Chiefs and GM Scott Pioli "mutually agreed to part ways after four seasons." Pioli joined the Chiefs after nine years with the Patriots, but he "failed to turn around the Chiefs, who were 23-39 in his four seasons" (ESPN.com, 1/4). NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal writes Reid will be "able to shape the organization in his image." He is "expected to bring a general manager or personnel director that he's familiar with so they can work together in lockstep" (NFL.com, 1/4). ESPN's Ed Werder reports Reid "did not want to work with Pioli even though he was part of the Kansas City delegation that came to Philadelphia and interviewed him” on Wednesday. However, Pioli is leaving the organization for "a lot of reasons." He did not "solve the Kansas City quarterback situation," and he hired two head coaches that "failed.” The move also shows that Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt "is committed to sort of creating a new environment throughout the Kansas City organization” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 1/4). NFL Network's Steve Wyche said Reid is the “biggest name coach out there,” the Chiefs hiring him “could help pacify a fan base that grew rabidly disenchanted with what was going on with the Chiefs this season.” Wyche: “This is major bridge-building with the fan base and a media base there in Kansas City that had grown incredibly disenchanted.” NFL Network’s Omar Ruiz added, “Lots of empty seats in Kansas City toward the end of the season” (“NFL AM,” NFL Network, 1/4).
HUNT LETTING IT BE KNOWN WHO'S IN CHARGE: In K.C., Sam Mellinger reports the worst Chiefs season in franchise history is "less than a week in the past," and Hunt already "appears to be giving his best effort to rebrand this thing back to respectability." Hunt is in control of the franchise "like never before," with his grasp "tighter than ever, his fingerprints in places he used to entrust to others." The "stark differences between him and his beloved father are coming into focus." Mellinger: "Clark is quiet but ambitious. Respectful but ruthless. Flexible on details but intolerant of failure." Regardless of what fans think of Reid's "bona fides, we can all see what Hunt has done since Sunday's appropriately limp, season-ending blowout loss at Denver: fired a failed coach, publicly emasculated a failed general manager, made clear a new power structure, identified the new coach he wanted, flew in for a meeting that effectively canceled other teams’ meetings and appeared on the verge of making the first hire of a seven-coach NFL offseason." Reid will be "the Chiefs' voice, the guy on the sidelines and in the news conferences," but Hunt "is the muscle, shaping the Chiefs into something entirely new" (K.C. STAR, 1/4).