And the cheese stands alone. Or in this case, the cheese happens to wear red and sport a bushy mustache.
Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated at 7-0 and it makes me a little bit uncomfortable.
I wish Reid all the best in his new digs. Although, once you leave the Eagles’ nest, you’re really as much of an outsider as David Ruffin when the Temptations asked him to leave the group. The only difference is Reid is entering hallowed ground in K.C., while the Eagles are staring down a quarterback conundrum and have a defense that is improving but still might have trouble stopping the barista at Starbucks from adding too much cream and sugar.
Reid is off to the second-best start in the history of the Chiefs. (Kansas City won its first nine games of the 2003 season.) As my colleague Neil Hartman wrote, the change of scenery has refreshed him, and his players have responded to a new voice the way Reid's Eagles didn't in his disappointing final years (see story).
Big Red started 7-0 just once in his 14 seasons with the Birds, going 7-0 en route to his only Super Bowl appearance.
Credit Reid for knowing a good thing when he sees it (the Chiefs had six Pro Bowlers on their roster when he took over) and getting a quarterback in Alex Smith, who minimizes mistakes and can manage the game. Smith is 27-5-1 over the last three seasons, the second-best QB record next to Peyton Manning.
Reid has said he is enjoying coaching again and not carrying the responsibility of handling player personnel. It stings when I hear that because those are duties he was asked about numerous times during his tenure in Philly. He could have relinquished his front office responsibilities here on several occasions but decided against it. Admittedly, it worked for a while. Still, eventually the mantra rings true: jack of all trades, master of none.
My discomfort with Reid’s success in K.C. may have the ring of jealousy. Maybe. Do I wish Reid was back here in Philly? No. Do I wish he had finished the job here and brought a parade down Broad Street? Absolutely. He has said so himself.
The issue for me is that the same success Reid is enjoying in the Midwest could have been mirrored here in Philly, if only he had ceded control of shopping for the groceries sooner and simply focused on cooking the meal, to borrow an old Bill Parcells analogy.
Reid and his unblemished Chiefs face off with the 6-1 Broncos in Week 11, which could be Kansas City’s ultimate litmus test. The Chiefs’ defense is first in the league in points allowed, sacks and turnovers. On the flip side, the Broncos are averaging a league-best 42.6 points per game and are tops in total yards and yards per play. It’s the classic sports matchup. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.
I’m simply uneasy with Reid moving into the spotlight after leaving a dark cloud over the Eagles because of deficiencies he helped create.
With that said, I still wish good luck to Big Red and thanks for the memories.