Don't Kill the Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

Under Andy Reid, Chiefs are finally a team with a plan

09/16/2013 8:21 AM

09/16/2013 8:32 AM

You may have already seen what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the Chiefs’ 17-16 win at Arrowhead yesterday:

“it has everything to do, in my mind, with Andy Reid being their coach. He’s outstanding.”

Look, this is just one line of one quote out of a million things that Jerry Jones has said over the years. The most important things in Jones’ life might be the Cowboys, his stadium and hearing his own voice, and that may not be in order.

In Dallas, I’m guessing this will be read as a shot at Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. Garrett is on the hot seat, like all Cowboys coaches always are, and probably doesn’t need to hear his boss talking about how good the other team’s coach is.

But Jones has watched Reid coach a lot of games. This was Reid’s 30th game against Jones’ Cowboys, and Jones is 12-18. This isn’t just head games, in other words.

Grand declarations after two games are dangerous, of course. Especially when one of those games is against Jacksonville, the NFL’s equivalent of FCS competition.

Like, I happen to think the Chiefs defense is for real, but who knows, maybe the Eagles carve them up on Thursday.

But I do think we’ve seen enough to notice the Chiefs’ upgrade at head coach. It’s a low bar, of course, but the bumbling I-don’t-know-what-happened-out-there ways of Romeo Crennel are replaced by a team with a clear plan. You may not always agree with the plan, obviously. You may be like me and think Jamaal Charles should get more than four carries in the first half or that the Chiefs should throw the ball downfield more to, if nothing else, loosen up the defense a bit.

But you can always see the plan, and Reid’s track record in Philadelphia commands a certain level of respect.

The Chiefs are, at least so far, choking their opponents with defense and asking the offense to value the football. There are telltale Reid signatures like Charles being more involved in the passing game, and the creative route that ended with his touchdown catch against Dallas. He is funny and sharp, but prefers to keep his press conferences dull. He likes a ball-control passing game and wants his defenses to be the aggressor.

But the point here today is that you can see a plan. You can see a goal. You can see order.

You can see a major upgrade from the last few years.

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