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Andy Reid just fine with assisting, not leading, the Chiefs’ draft process

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 9:31 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, at 7:57 a.m.

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— One of the more interesting things about the NFL Combine is the questions the league’s coaches and executives field during their time on the podium. Candor is rare, given the nature of today’s NFL.

But occasionally, even the most mundane question can bring forth a revealing answer, and that’s exactly what happened when Chiefs coach Andy Reid was asked Wednesday if he buys into the hype regarding this being the deepest draft in 20 years.

Reid waited only a split second before answering. He literally could not do it fast enough.

“Uh, I’m probably not deep enough into it, myself,” Reid said, quickly. “That might be a question you ask Dorse tomorrow. But it looks like there’s some good football players.”

Dorse, of course, is Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, the man who allows Reid to focus on football in a way he wasn’t able to during the last several years of his 14-year run as Philadelphia’s head coach, which came to an end after the Eagles went 4-12 in 2012.

“I loved doing it when I did it,” Reid said. “I understand the time commitment and when I was doing that, it took away from the football part of it. I kind of gave up a little bit to do that, football-wise. So now I’m more football-wise and less in the personnel department.”

So when asked about personnel matters with the Chiefs both large and small, Reid has been quick to refer to Dorsey. It’s Reid’s way of making it clear who runs the show and displaying his faith in Dorsey’s draft-centric approach to team building. The two worked together, albeit in different roles, during 1992-98 in Green Bay, which won a Super Bowl in 1997.

“I’ve got a lot of trust in John, No. 1,” Reid said. “Really, that’s the format (owner) Clark (Hunt) wanted, just a general manager doing personnel and the head coach being the head coach.

“I was good with that at this particular time of my career.”

That isn’t necessarily a given in a pressure-filled league with coaches who , as Bill Parcells once said, would rather buy the groceries if they have to cook the meal, too.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt has both Reid and Dorsey report directly to him, which is unlike several organizations in which the coach reports directly to the general manager.

“When I first got to Kansas City in January, I said the greatest thing about this relationship is when the head coach and general manager, philosophically, are on the same page and they go to work everyday and they want to work to get better,” Dorsey said. “That’s very meaningful because that’s what successful organizations do. Andy is one of those guys that lets you do that, and he trusts me enough to do that, and I have great respect for Andy. That’s the way Clark laid that whole system out, and so far, it’s worked out pretty good.”

Indeed, it’s hard to argue with the results. After going 2-14 in 2012, the Chiefs went 11-5 last season and made the playoffs as Dorsey was chosen as the Pro Football Writers Association’s executive of the year. Reid was chosen AFC coach of the year by the Committee of 101.

Of course, a great season can often inflate egos in an organization, often to the detriment of the group. But if Reid’s reaction to the draft question he received Wednesday was any example, the Chiefs’ power duo isn’t about to let that happen. Reid and his assistants were at the combine, trying to marry their scouts’ evaluations with their own, but Reid said the power structure at draft time could not be more clear.

“First of all, the scouts do a great job with their evaluations, and they’re kind enough to have the coaches be a part of that and look at that,” Reid said. “They’re doing this all year, and we’re just part-time employees in the personnel (matters), so we listen to what they say.

“They have 51 percent of the vote. They’ve got it and we respect that.”

And Dorsey’s role in the 51 percent?

“Dorsey is the 51 percent,” Reid said with a laugh.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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