Vahe Gregorian: Measured Chiefs coach Andy Reid takes calculated risk on NFL officiating of Jawaan Taylor

Vahe Gregorian, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few years back, I spent some time with Andy Reid reflecting on his fleeting aspirations to a sportswriting career when he was a senior football player at Brigham Young and writing a weekly column for the Provo Daily Herald. Somehow we got talking about how he would have covered these Chiefs teams.

“They’d be fun articles to read. You’d look forward to reading them,” he said, smiling and adding, “They’d be colorful. Colorful. I’d use my imagination and not just write from a script.”

Which begged the question: Why doesn’t that sort of color and Reid’s keen sense of humor show up more often when the Chiefs’ coach speaks with the media?

Answer: Because he appreciates the power of words.

“Words can affect a lot of people. We know that. And the person who has the pen last wins,” he said. “Even if you come back with a rebuttal from my side, it’s not going to hold weight.

“Even if you come back and erase publicly what you said as a mistake, it’s still going to stick with what was originally said and written. So you’ve got to be measured. You’ve got to think before you talk.”


That meticulous approach lends a certain dimension and context to Reid’s public complaints about the eruption of penalty calls against right tackle Jawaan Taylor — complaints that certainly could provoke the NFL to fine Reid for violating its rules against criticizing officiating.

His restraint is such a part of Reid’s public persona that you can know his comments on Sunday and particularly those cranked up to 11 on Monday were purposeful in support of Taylor and questioning a number of debatable calls on him.

It’s not the first time Reid has questioned officials, but he’s typically more nuanced than this:

“They’ve got an eye on him, and they better keep an eye on everybody else, too,” Reid said Monday. “Because it’s to the point of being ridiculous.”


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