Chiefs introduce Andy Reid as new head coach

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm •  Published: January 7, 2013
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Reid certainly has experience in rebuilding a franchise.

The Eagles were 3-13 before he arrived in 1999. He drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 pick in that year's draft, won five games the following year and then went 11-5 and finished second in the NFC East — the first of five straight seasons in which he won at least 11 games.

"When I look at the Chiefs, I look at the bigger picture. What are they truly about? What are they made of?" Reid said. "Every organization goes through a lull, personnel changes, players grow old, they change. Maybe a draft pick here or there didn't work, a free agent didn't work. That happens. What's the grit of the organization?

"I've been in this thing long enough to appreciate that," Reid said. "I came from a great organization. I wanted to make sure I had that opportunity to be again in a great organization."

That's part of the reason that Reid did his homework on the Chiefs.

In the time between Hunt's initial phone call and that first meeting in Philadelphia, Reid reached out to former Eagles and Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. Reid wanted to know about the Hunt family, about the organization and whether it might be the right fit.

"I just told him to go. That was the first thing," Vermeil told The Associated Press. "He asked, 'Well, can I win there?' And I said, 'Andy, you can win anywhere.'"

He ultimately chose to win in Kansas City.

After that lengthy meeting in Philadelphia, Hunt said he still wasn't sure whether Reid was truly on the hook. But the following day, Reid canceled an interview with Arizona and decided not to pursue interest from San Diego, and instead scheduled a trip to visit Kansas City.

When he arrived on Friday, he was tailed to Arrowhead Stadium by helicopters from local television stations. Every step he took was watched by fans that had been pining all season for change. A few of them even showed up with footballs, hoping to land his autograph.

He signed his name, adding "Go Chiefs."

Reid said he didn't consider taking some time off, despite a trying season on and off the field. His oldest son, Garrett, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

"I'm ready to go. This is what I do," he said. "Never took that into consideration."

It was something Hunt considered during that initial meeting. But it didn't take long for the soft-spoken coach with the bushy mustache — "Big Red" to those who know him well — to set the Chiefs chairman at ease, and convince Hunt he was the right man for the job.

"It was a very hard year on all of us, my family, the fans, everyone," Hunt said. "When you're not successful in the National Football League, change is coming. And I'm glad 2012 is in the rear-view mirror. We're onto 2013, and in Andy, we already have our first victory."

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