Ahead of the season opener, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid shared his thoughts about taking on the Chargers at Arrowhead. The Reid-led Chiefs finished 2015 11-5, winning 10 straight games to take them into the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
While game-planning for Week 1 is somewhat of a challenge, Reid said opening with a division rival certainly adds another level of interest. However, he feels the familiarity between coaching staffs will benefit both teams.
"I could go either way; that is the card you are dealt," Reid said. "I'm okay with it. You probably wish you could get warmed up a little bit before (a divisional game) but that's alright. That's what we are doing and I am okay with it. One of the unique things is that these two staffs have (mostly) been together for the last three years and going on four, so I guess that helps both teams. In this case, (we) know each other better than they would two new staffs."
Two players he is very familiar with are a pair of Chargers cornerbacks. Reid credits Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers for being tough matchups for his receivers.
"Take the two (cornerbacks) right there," he said. "They're not the biggest guys, but they are talented as all get out. I had (Verrett) over in the Pro Bowl and he has the eye of the tiger and I had (Flowers) here. They are competitive guys and they can play with anybody."
In addition to Head Coach Mike McCoy, the Chargers offensive and defensive units are led by Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Defensive Coordinator John Pagano. Although he hasn't been with the Chargers in a couple seasons, Whisenhunt's "tough" offense is something Reid admires. In addition, he and his offense are prepared for anything Pagano's defense throws their way.
"(Whisenhunt) is a great football coach. I thought he was a great head coach (and) great position coach. He just can coach. And that is what he preaches. He is going to preach execution and toughness and so when you play his offenses you better be ready…. (When you play San Diego's defense), you better be ready for everybody including to popcorn vendor to come at you; (Pagano) knows how to (coach). He is a heck of a coach; very creative. He is going to study (and) is passionate about his job, so we always have to really prepare for his defenses."
Wide receiver Keenan Allen was already placed on Reserve-Injured by the time the Chargers played the Chiefs last year, but with his knack for creating separation from defenders and making tough catches, it's safe to say he's a player Reid is game-planning for.
"He is a heck of a player; I mean he is a heck of a player. From a secondary standpoint, we have to be right on it with him. He has good size and speed and he knows how to play, most of all. He is a good football player. He was (the same) in college and he transferred it over to this league. He did it fast, too,from his first year on."