Hail to the Chief: Andy Reid takes over in Kansas City

As the Eagles’ coaching search drags on, the team’s former leader has moved on. Dressed in a red Chiefs tie and shiny Chiefs lapel pin, Andy Reid was introduced yesterday as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Reid spoke glowingly of both his new employer and his old one. He had no regrets on his 14-year tenure in Philadelphia, re-iterating several times that change can be a very positive thing.

“Sometimes change is good,” said Reid. “It could be tremendous for the Philadelphia Eagles, and at the same time, I think it’s going to be tremendous for the Kansas City Chiefs.”

After addressing the Kansas City media, Reid did a conference call with Philadelphia reporters. His message was the same — no regrets — and he stressed his fondness for the city that gave him his big break, back in 1999.

“I still love Philadelphia. I haven’t sold my home there. I wish nothing but the best for the team and people there,” Reid said.

Reid had come under some scrutiny in recent days for cancelling a farewell news conference at the NovaCare Complex. The coach explained he meant no disrespect, instead he needed to get his emotions in check.

“It’s an emotional thing, I needed to take a step back,” Reid said. “This is the right time. Fourteen years, man, the fan base there is great, they’re all in, they care about football.”

He went on to compliment the entire Eagles organization, from owner Jeffrey Lurie to GM Howie Roseman. Reid, without getting into specifics, admitted to a few mistakes along the way and hinted that he should have stuck with Juan Castillo.

“When all is said and done, we were a better defense with Juan than we were without Juan,” he said.

All in all, Reid is content with his legacy.

“Did we get the championship? No. But I’m not going to forget those other wins. There was nothing more that I wanted to do than win a Super Bowl for Philadelphia.”

Then he added, “I think they’re in a better place now than when I took over.”

Who had final say: Reid or Roseman?

Andy Reid, ever the company man, took the high road again.

When asked who had final say on personnel matters over the past three offseasons, he cited a “joint effort.” It had been speculated that GM Howie Roseman was in charge of those drafts and drastic coaching changes. However, owner Jeffrey Lurie absolved Roseman of it, except for 2012. Roseman later confirmed that Reid had final say.

“When it’s working right, it’s a joint effort. It’s not one guy sitting in there with a hammer,” Reid said. “When that gets out of whack it goes downhill real fast. If that’s skewed at all, it goes downhill real fast.”

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