Perhaps the most shocking sight at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine happened Thursday, and it had nothing to do with anyone’s 40-yard dash time.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid took the podium. Without a team-issued hat on his head. And he talked. And he cracked jokes. And he looked, for a moment, like a man refreshed.
Reid never did these interviews at the Combine when he ran the Eagles, so the simple glimpse of him stood as news. But he spoke at length about a number of Chiefs-related topics, tried to quell any Nick Foles speculation, and even drew a few laughs along the way.
“He’s not available,” Reid said when asked if he’d try to acquire the Eagles quarterback. “You just had Howie (Roseman, the Eagles general manager) up here, so I think you know that. . . . Listen, Nick is the property of the Philadelphia Eagles, and I think they like him.”
Reid might like him too, but if he’s unable to put his hands to his former Eagles pick, he’s going to have to find one elsewhere. Like every coach, he talked about “the process,” and “evaluating” and didn’t offer much in the way of specifics.
While admitting this year’s class of draftable quarterbacks might not measure up to last year’s (“but I would tell you that there are some good players in there”), Reid also acknowledged the Chiefs might be open to trading the top pick in the draft.
“We’re just not going to give it away, so we’d have to see what people throw our way,” he said. “It’s a pretty valuable pick I’d say.”
But the best, and most surprising line might have been when he was asked about his introduction to the AFC West.
“I’ll tell you it’s a pretty good division,” he said, setting up his punch line. “The Broncos, I’m sure they’re probably looking for a quarterback, too. . . . He’s (Peyton Manning) a pretty good player. I think we know that.”
While it’s not exactly Henny Youngman, it was a peek of personality that Reid hadn’t shown at all in Indianapolis, and not terribly often during 14 years in Philadelphia.
Things won’t stay this relaxed for Reid in Kansas City forever (the reality that he inherited a 2-14 team and doesn’t have a quarterback will come crashing down soon enough), but for a day he looked like a man enjoying a new challenge.
And after a long stay in Philadelphia that included plenty of ups and downs of the personal and professional variety, it looked like one he needed.