Reid putting emotions aside, as usual

Andy Reid may be wearing a different color and on a different sideline, but he's still all business.


— Andy Reid tried to change once. It led to around 30 seconds or so of unemployment.

He learned his lesson. He won't try changing again.

The former coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and current coach of the Kansas City Chiefs is back to being the same leader, teacher and mentor he was for the better part of 14 seasons in Philadelphia, where he eventually strayed from some of his principles of surrounding himself with great leaders in the locker room as well as the coaching staff.

The whole program fell apart slowly and methodically over two excruciating seasons — until owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman put him out of his misery and cut ties with him this past New Year's eve.

Reid snuck out of town quietly, without saying goodbye.

But he did say hello in a conference call with Eagles beat reporters on Tuesday, when it became evident that he was back to being the same old Reid, only with a different-colored wardrobe and some new favorite foods.

His Chiefs will visit the Eagles tonight at Lincoln Financial Field, where he will emerge from the visitors' tunnel for the first time.

Reid was asked how he's changed as coach since he left Philadelphia

"I eat barbecue now instead of cheesesteaks," Reid shot back. "But that's about it."

Throughout the 13-minute session, Reid politely declined to provide the sentimental sound bites most were looking as he kept true to the identity he forged here.

He claims he hasn't allowed himself to think about the fan reception here and that his only focus is on beating the opponent in front of him this week.

"We're trying to buckle down here and trying to get our game plan ready to play them and play the best we can," he said. "... That's where all the energy's going. I mean, I know all the questions and all of that, but the real part of this is just that. It's not very fluffy, but that's what's real.

"You've got `X' number of hours that you can do this thing and get ready to play a good team, and you'd better spend every minute doing it."

Reid has always been a process guy and always will. He never strays, no matter what.

His press conference to open training camp in 2005 began with his customary, alphabetical injury report in which Jerome McDougle, who was nearly killed by a gunshot wound in a robbery attempt the day before, was not even mentioned first.

Last year, when his son Garrett died of a drug overdose on the Lehigh University campus during training camp, Reid was back to work the day after the funeral.

He coaches the way he grieves, too, having a history of leading the Eagles to surprising bounce-back wins after so many potentially devastating losses.

It's no wonder all his former players love him, even the ones he treated harshly.

But with Andy, it was always tough love, even with wide receiver Terrell Owens, who still maintains a great level of respect for Reid despite being thrown off the team for good in 2005.

Reid didn't come down quite as hard on similarly volatile receiver DeSean Jackson, but he did blast him in front of the team immediately after a loss at Chicago in 2010 and essentially suspended him for a game the next year by making him a healthy scratch against Arizona, after Jackson had failed to report to at least one meeting.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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