Smith told the New York Times, “We’d love to stick it to everybody who thought we couldn’t do it, he (Andy Reid) and I included.”
Reid, who took the Eagles to the playoffs nine times in 14 years, won’t go there.
“The change of scenery has done him good,” says Whittingham. “He got a fresh start. He is really excited about it, and so far it has worked. He had a couple of options where to go next, and he opted for the Chiefs. He thought they had talent.”
Edwards agrees. “Andy has a great attitude and he remains pretty good friends with the (Eagles) owner. He spent time with him when he went back (to Philadelphia). He recognized that you can probably stay too long in one place, and then it’s time to move on, particularly at that level. At least in college you change a third of your players every year. There, you have many of the same guys over and over. After a period of time, what do you say to them? They’ve heard it all so many times.”
It is remarkable the difference one man can make in a team. The Chiefs have been transformed under Reid. The Eagles, too, are playing better under new coach Chip Kelly. At 3-3, they are one win away from matching last year’s win total.
“Yep, it’s a win-win,” says Whittingham. “He left on as good a terms as you can after getting fired. He felt like it was good for both.”
“Sometimes a new guy brings in new excitement and makes a difference,” says Edwards. “Andy told me when he first went there that he had some good players, and Alex has made a difference, too.”
Both Edwards and Whittingham cite many of the same characteristics when discussing what makes Reid successful. Meticulous and organized. Intelligent. Relates well to players. An even temperament.
Remembering Reid’s GA days, Edwards says, “I figured he’d be a good coach. First of all, he’s very intelligent. He was an English major. When he told me he wanted to coach, I remember thinking, ‘You’re too smart to do this.’ He has a good way with players, too. He grew up in an area with a lot of different nationalities and relates to the players well.”
There’s just one thing Edwards might change. “I try to tell him he works too many hours, and that he’s going to wear himself out. But you have to do what you’re comfortable with. He’s stayed in it and made it work.”
Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Email: email@example.com
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