Dick Harmon: Red-hot Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid isn't shy about crediting LaVell Edwards

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Wolfie Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:29 p.m.

    BYU was a pass first team and occasionally used running to keep the defense honest. Coach Edward implemented the passing offense because BYU lacked speed. A well-timely pass neutralizes speedy defense and covers a good distance, faster than a super speed runningback would.
    There were passing plays BYU used not so much for gaining yards, but for the purpose of wearing down and frustrating the defense. BYU was playing very smart football then. BYU used a lot of one-step passes and sometimes no steps at all for the purpose to complete a play before the defense starts figuring out if it’s a run or pass play. I’ve seen Jim McMahon completed a lot of no step passes when the defense line is just getting off the three-point stance. Steve Young also used a lot of quick throws.
    BYU rarely used shotgun until Robbie Bosco got hurt at the last game of their National Championship run. QB gets rid of the football quicker from under the center than the shotgun formation. BYU needs to get back to how Coach Edwards implemented the passing plays.

  • Jello is Good ,
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:04 p.m.

    Such silliness. "Coaching Trees" are determined in the abstract. Every football player and/or coach is influenced by those that lead them. They then take what they like and discard the rest. Sitaki and Whittingham are both perfect examples. They both played for Edwards and most recently at his passing, went on the record as to the influence he had on both of them.

    Do either of them embrace the forward pass the way Billick, Reid, Chow and others have? No. But does Sitaki embrace the personal connection with and treatment of his players as both a coach and de facto ecclesiastical guide? Yes.

    Trees? Branches? Twigs? Who cares. Edwards made a huge impact for the good in both of their lives.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Jan. 10, 2019 12:40 p.m.

    Why do people create drama when there is none?

    BYU fans don't attack kalani for saying that he learned from Whittingham, they worked together for a long time and are friends.

    Why must we distinguish between kalani being Lavell guy or a Whittingham guy? He's both, and Whittingham is a Lavell guy too - that doesn't mean that they are exactly like them, but they learned from them.

    Kyle learned from kalani as kalani learned from Kyle after both learning from Lavell who taught and learned from Fred Whittingham.

    Then to Andy Reid - they all share a legacy.

    BYU and Utah share legacies too. Each team cut it's greatest on shared competition.

    That's why I don't understand those who go too far into the rivalry - you can't love one team and really understand it without giving a tiny amount of credit to their rival.

    Best of luck to Reid.

  • Moon Beam Magna, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 10:50 a.m.

    To Joe Schmoe, you say "LOL at the one claiming Sitaki is a Whitt disciple, who do you think Whitt learned from?" I will answer that. While Kyle Whittingham played for LaVell Edwards, his position coach on defense was his own father, Fred Whittingham. So no, Kyle did NOT learn from coach Edwards, he learned from his dad. Coach Whitt has always been a defensive minded coach who believes in clock management, ball control and avoidance of risk via interceptions. Even in the Potato Bowl win, Sitaki and Grimes relied on the run 33 times, for an average of 4 yards per play, and only passed 19 times for an average of over 18 yards per play. It isn't rocket science to see what works best, but Sitaki will never really embrace the Edwards model on offense. Incidentally, those coaches who have adopted similar offenses from Edwards have been very successful. Andy Reid is a prime example of this. Sitaki so stymied Detmer that nothing worked, and then Detmer took the blame. Sitaki's brand of football will never look anything like Edwards' unless he learns to trust the pass.

  • JustGordon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    LaVell was a very nice man, an innovative coach. It was difficult not to like him...although disliking his teams is easy for this UTE fan.

    However, Dick's continual attempts to link so many things to LaVell seems to make Dick look desperate. Render to LaVell the things that are LaVell's...but there's not as much, Dick, as you would have your readers believe.

  • ArizonaUte SLC, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 9:50 a.m.

    @Joe Schmoe - Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 8:08 a.m.

    Sitake tied himself to Lavell for obvious reasons, since becoming the HC of BYU.

    It was a nice tie to historically good times for the football program while giving homage to the programs all time greatest coach. Heck the stadium is named after him.

    Sitake isn't going to say, I am a Whittingham disciple, while Whitt is HC of arch rival Utah.

    But Sitake has given a LOT of credit to Whitt, and has been ridiculed for it by BYU fans.

    Fact is Sitake learned more about coaching football from Whitt than anyone. He coached under Whitt for 10 seasons and still employs Whitt's defense and Whitt's team construction philosophy.

    Sitake played for Lavell. He didn't learn to coach from Lavell.

    Whitt has a lot of influences. Urban, Lavell but the biggest influence on Whitt's coaching style comes from his dad Fred.

    Whitt's and Lavell's teams don't resemble each other. Lavell was an offensive guru, Whitt a defensive guru. Lavell = win by out scoring your opponent. Whitt is score just enough and win with defense, special teams, low-to-no turnovers, and clock management.

    Sitake is MUCH more like Whitt

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 8:08 a.m.

    LOL at the one claiming Sitake is a Whitt disciple. Who do you think Whitt learned from?

  • cy1951 Arlington, VA
    Jan. 10, 2019 8:00 a.m.

    I agree with previous comments that Sirake is a protege of Whittingham and not Lavelle. And Jeff Grimes will never be mistaken as a West Coast pass game officianido. The two are merged at the hip in believing in power run game football. Until Kikani changes the run-pass ratio from 60-40 run or even 50-50 run-pass to 70-30 pass, he cannot be described as a Levelle Edwards disciple, even though he says he loves Lavelle. The best player on the 2019 team will be Zach Wilson. If Grimes has him handing off the ball to someone else to run with it more than he has Zach pass it, get ready to say goodbye to Kilani and Grimes. Mike Leach at WSU says a balanced offense is half-stupid. Lavelle might not go so far, but he knew. Good pass catchers and a great QB with hefty OL in front creates success in the college game. Kilani better mimic Lavelle soon or his 50-50 run-pass ratio will be his win-loss ratio and his legacy will be a nice guy who failed.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 9, 2019 11:00 p.m.

    Run pass option was in Lavell’s play book. Jim McMahon ran it well. So did Ty Detmer and Steve Young. The night they played at Texas El Paso in ‘85 is when their winning streak came to an end. And that’s the game they passed on almost every play. There was no RPO in that game and that’s why they lost.

  • justbereal , 00
    Jan. 9, 2019 9:39 p.m.

    Dick got it wrong again. Sitake is not LaVell's disciple. He played for LaVell, but he is a Whittingham disciple and comes from Whittingham's coaching tree. This is also evident when Sitake is houting praises to Utah while Whittingham won't even mention his alma mater's name. And none of the offenses from the coaches under Sitake have been unleashed.

    Kudos to LaVell. It says a lot about a man who retired almost 2 decades ago and has now departed us. He left quite the legacy because of who he was. The success he had was a bonus.

  • 93 COUGAR Orem, UT
    Jan. 9, 2019 8:28 p.m.

    Great article! How can you not miss the Lavell days? Not only a great coach but a great human being.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 9, 2019 7:47 p.m.

    Andy Reid is a class act and a great coach.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Jan. 9, 2019 6:51 p.m.

    It is nice when coach LaVell Edwards gets the credit he so richly deserves, but to suggest that Sitaki is trying to replicate it is a far stretch. Sitaki is actually more of a disciple of Kyle Whittingham and his penchant for focusing on defense and clock control with the run game. Personally, I could care less about clock control and prefer the faster tempo of the passing game. Coach Edwards used to say that BYU ran the ball to set up the pass, but the BYU teams of today seem to run the ball to set up the run game, and only pass when the run game isn't working. The Potato Bowl game is both a perfect example of what BYU is trying to do in the run game, where they ran the ball 33 times, and the passing game where BYU SHOULD be, when they passed the ball only 19 times. The passing game averaged over 18 yards per play while the running game only averaged 4 yards per play. Obviously coach Reid learned his lessons well, but Sitaki's unwillingness to embrace the pass hampered a brilliant pro QB to a disastrous season and the loss of Detmer (who took the blame for a green head coach). Hopefully, coach Grimes can see the light!

  • CO Ute , 00
    Jan. 9, 2019 6:35 p.m.

    LaVell was a coach that saw deep into college football. He knew he could not out recruit the likes of Oklahoma and Ohio State, nor even recruit at their level. So while other teams ran offenses like the wishbone, he saw the passing game as his ability to elevate his team. But the smartest move he ever made was turning down the Lions and staying at BYU. Not surprised to hear modern coaches praise him.