Sunday, February 25, 2024

Chiefs coach Andy Reid already talking about preparations for next season

KANSAS CITY, MO — Chiefs coach Andy Reid gives the rest of his team about a week off after their Super Bowl victory parade through downtown Kansas City on Wednesday, then he expects everyone to be back in the building to start working on next season.

So much for downtime.

The Chiefs have three things to consider.

Reid spoke to a small group of reporters Tuesday, two days after the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime in Las Vegas to win their second straight championship. There have been unsubstantiated reports that the 65-year-old coach might quit after the Super Bowl, and while Reid continually applauded such talk in the run-up to the big game, the sight of him in his office — and we’re talking already from next year – should firmly put an end to this idea.

“Winning one is difficult. Winning two in a row is really tough,” Reid said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, and knowing the effort the guys put in, the way they stuck together through the ups and downs… it’s rewarding as a head coach. “

The only downside to playing in the Super Bowl until February, which the Chiefs have done four of the last five years – with three victory parades to show for them – is that it absorbs any opportunity for coaches and staff to resume their breath.

After the Chiefs head to Union Station, where hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to greet them again, the players will get a break until offseason preparation begins. But the coaching staff, scouts and the rest of general manager Brett Veach’s staff will get right back to work. The period in which teams can use the franchise tag begins next Tuesday, but the key date is Feb. 27, when the NFL begins its weeklong scouting campaign in Indianapolis.

The second week of March marks the start of free agency, the league’s annual meeting is held near the end of the month in Orlando, Florida, and then teams will put the finishing touches on their plans for the NFL Draft, which will have takes place on April 25. 27 in Detroit.

These are two crucial months for Kansas City if it wants to become the first team to win three consecutive Super Bowl titles.

Veach expressed hope that the Chiefs will be able to bring back All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, two high-profile players poised to enter free agency, but that could have a considerable impact on the salary cap.

The Chiefs have several others on the two-deep ready to hit free agency: left tackle Donovan Smith, safety Mike Edwards, offensive guard Nick Allegretti, linebackers Willie Gay Jr. and Drue Tranquill, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi and smuggler Mike Danna, among others. Some will come back with relatively cheap deals, but others will make big money elsewhere.

In addition to filling opening holes on the roster, the Chiefs will also look to improve a wide receiver corps that led the NFL in dropped passes and struggled for much of the season. The free agent class at the position is rich with Michael Pittman Jr., Tee Higgins, Marquise Brown, Calvin Ridley and Gabe Davis among those who could be available.

The Chiefs could address some of their needs in the draft, although they will pick again near the end of each round.

“The coaches will take a little time,” Reid said, “but then we’ll have the combine coming up. We must prepare for it. And then it goes from there. After that, we’re in the thick of it, once we get to the combine.

But before the consolidation, free agency or the draft, comes the parade, a final celebration of another championship season. And during a meeting with his team on Tuesday, Reid gave a parting message about the impending party.

“It’s great to have fun,” he said with a smile, “but you know, be smart.”



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