The Las Vegas Raiders will be a reality before long, and while Chiefs coach Andy Reid understands why the move was made, he also sympathizes with the Oakland fans who are about to lose their team.
“There is something special about Oakland — I’m not going to tell you different,” Reid said at the NFL’s annual meeting. “The fans are passionate. You hate seeing the fans losing. I said that with the Chargers. You hate seeing San Diego lose the Chargers.”
Reid, however, doesn’t think the move will have a negative impact on the franchise’s health.
“I think the organization will continue to grow and will be the Oakland Raiders in Las Vegas,” Reid said. “I don’t think that mystique and all that will change. That’s what they’ve been built on.”
Oakland owner Mark Davis said he would like to keep the Raiders in Oakland for the next two or three seasons, which could be bittersweet for diehard fans. But Reid thinks they’ll have a good team to watch in the meantime; remember, the Chiefs and Raiders both finished 12-4 in 2016, with the Chiefs winning the AFC West thanks to perfect division record.
“They’ve got a great football team — one that can contend for a championship,” Reid said. “I think they’ll be all in and enjoy every snap that they’ve got in Oakland ... I don’t think there will be any reflection towards the players or coaches.”
In fact, Reid wouldn’t be surprised if many of those fans continued to go to games.
“I’m sure a lot of those crazy fans wouldn’t mind going to Las Vegas and enjoying a couple games over there,” Reid said. “I don’t think it’s going to change the following of the Raiders. It didn’t when they went to Los Angeles, and I don’t think it’s going to change it when they go to Las Vegas.”