Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City Chiefs were in shambles after the worst season in franchise history, and chairman Clark Hunt promised their devoted followers that better days were ahead.
That was on Monday. By Friday, he had delivered Andy Reid.
While only the future will tell whether the longtime Eagles coach will be able to replicate the success he had during 14 seasons in Philadelphia, the reaction to his hiring in Kansas City was overwhelming positive — to the point where every move he made was being documented.
Reid arrived at a downtown airport aboard a chartered flight Friday afternoon, shortly before he signed a five-year deal with the Chiefs. Reid climbed into a black SUV and drove to Arrowhead Stadium, tailed the entire way by helicopters from local television stations.
His hiring hadn’t even been announced, and he was already receiving rock-star treatment.
The Chiefs ultimately announced Reid’s hiring on Twitter, a few hours after he toured the team’s facilities. A news conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon, but neither the Chiefs nor Reid has spoken to the media or offered a statement upon his hiring.
Leave it to others to sing their praises.
“Excited for the new hiring,” said defensive back DeQuan Menzie, who spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. “Looking forward to playing for such a highly respected coach.”
Tight end Tony Moeaki tweeted, “Andy Reid though? That’s sweet!” Left tackle Eric Winston also took to Twitter when he was asked his impression, and said: “Excited. Proven winner.”
Winston even said he was looking forward to April and the start of offseason work.
The work is only beginning for Reid, who takes over a team that was just 2-14, but whose own record of 130-93-1 represented the most wins in the history of the Eagles.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Reid had already begun assembling his staff, and the majority of that work could be done soon. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because those details were not public.
It’s expected that Reid will attempt to lure back many names from his best days in Philadelphia, including Pat Shurmur, who was fired as the Cleveland Browns coach on Monday. Shurmur was an assistant with the Eagles from 1999-2008.
Another name that has surfaced is Brad Childress, who was the Browns’ offensive coordinator this past season. He worked in Philadelphia from 1999-2005, first as quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator, before taking the head coaching job in Minnesota in 2006.
Doug Pederson, who played ahead of Donovan McNabb during part of the 1999 season, rejoined the Eagles as an assistant coach in 2009 and could stay with Reid in Kansas City.
Juan Castillo reportedly has an offer from Reid to become his offensive line coach. Castillo was successful in that role with Philadelphia, but after struggling in a new role as defensive coordinator, Reid made a difficult decision to fire him earlier this season.
Reid will also have to fill out his front office.