Chiefs' Reid already at work assembling staff


Chiefs' Reid already at work assembling staff

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs were in shambles after the worst season in franchise history, and chairman Clark Hunt promised their devoted followers that better ways were ahead.

That was on Monday. By Friday, he had delivered Andy Reid.

While only the future will tell whether the longtime Eagles coach will be able to replicate the success he had during 14 seasons in Philadelphia, the reaction to his hiring in Kansas City was overwhelming positive - to the point where every move he made was being documented.

Reid arrived at a downtown airport aboard a chartered flight Friday afternoon, shortly before he signed a five-year deal with the Chiefs. Reid climbed into a black SUV and drove to Arrowhead Stadium, tailed the entire way by helicopters from local television stations.

His hiring hadn't even been announced, and he was already receiving rock-star treatment.

The Chiefs ultimately announced Reid's hiring on Twitter, a few hours after he toured the team's facilities. A news conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon, but neither the Chiefs nor Reid has spoken to the media or offered a statement upon his hiring.

Leave it to others to sing their praises.

``Excited for the new hiring,'' said defensive back DeQuan Menzie, who spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. ``Looking forward to playing for such a highly respected coach.''

Tight end Tony Moeaki tweeted, ``Andy Reid though? That's sweet!'' Left tackle Eric Winston also took to Twitter when he was asked his impression, and said: ``Excited. Proven winner.''

Winston even said he was looking forward to April and the start of offseason work.

The work is only beginning for Reid, who takes over a team that was just 2-14, but whose own record of 130-93-1 represented the most wins in the history of the Eagles.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Reid had already begun assembling his staff, and the majority of that work could be done soon. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because those details were not public.

It's expected that Reid will attempt to lure back many names from his best days in Philadelphia, including Pat Shurmur, who was fired as the Cleveland Browns coach on Monday. Shurmur was an assistant with the Eagles from 1999-2008.

Another name that has surfaced is Brad Childress, who was the Browns' offensive coordinator this past season. He worked in Philadelphia from 1999-2005, first as quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator, before taking the head coaching job in Minnesota in 2006.

Doug Pederson, who played ahead of Donovan McNabb during part of the 1999 season, rejoined the Eagles as an assistant coach in 2009 and could stay with Reid in Kansas City.

Juan Castillo reportedly has an offer from Reid to become his offensive line coach. Castillo was successful in that role with Philadelphia, but after struggling in a new role as defensive coordinator, Reid made a difficult decision to fire him earlier this season.

Reid will also have to fill out his front office.

The Chiefs and general manager Scott Pioli agreed to part ways Friday after four tumultuous seasons, and Hunt appears willing to give Reid a significant say in his replacement.

Longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey, who has turned down overtures from other teams in the past, has been closely linked to Reid in Kansas City. Former Browns GM Tom Heckert, who was a longtime executive in Philadelphia, is also on the list of candidates.

Reid's new brain trust will have plenty of decisions to make once they're in place.

Kansas City has the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft for the first time in franchise history, so there will be pressure to dissect the college football all-star games, visit the pro days hosted by schools, and then prepare for the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis.

``We have the first pick in the draft and that's a unique opportunity,'' Hunt told the AP in an interview earlier this week. ``On one hand I'm sad we have, because we had to earn it through playing poorly, but on the other hand it's a great opportunity for us. I think there's going to be a lot of thought that goes into that pick.''

The Chiefs are in desperate need of improved play at quarterback. They benched Matt Cassel, who has two years left on a $63 million, six-year deal, and struggled the rest of the season with former first-round pick Brady Quinn, who is scheduled to become a free agent.

Kansas City is expected to add at least one quarterback through the draft.

``The GM and the head coach are really going to dictate what the priorities are,'' Hunt said, ``but clearly better quarterback play is a priority in 2013.''

Along with the draft, the new front office will have to make other personnel decisions.

Defensive end Tyson Jackson, who's been a disappointment since being the No. 3 overall pick in 2009, is due to make close to $15 million this season. The Chiefs could try to restructure his deal or simply cut him in an attempt to create more money for filling in other holes.

Decisions will also have to be made about left tackle Branden Albert, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and even punter Dustin Colquitt, one of their five Pro Bowl selections. All three were key contributors who can become free agents.

``I think the Pro Bowl balloting tells us a little about what coaches and players around the league think about the roster, that there's some very talented players,'' Hunt said. ``But at the same time, we all know there are holes and those need to be filled.''


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We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington


We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable


UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — UMBC's improbable run through the NCAA Tournament was brief. The statement the Retrievers made and their place in history is forever.

For one weekend in March, the tiny commuter school from Baltimore known for its academics and championship-winning chess team captured the hearts of the college basketball world and beyond. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 in March Madness, a victory over Virginia that made the Retrievers the ultimate Cinderella.

The fairytale came to an end Sunday night in a 50-43 loss to No. 9 Kansas State -- heartbreaking because it was a game UMBC could have won, but still satisfying because the Retrievers touched so many people by accomplishing what many thought was impossible.

"We put our name on the map. We gave hope to teams that come to the tournament with lower seeds," said senior guard K.J. Maura. "I think we gave hope to guys that are not even that tall like me. People that feel like they are underdogs in their life, I think we gave hope to everything they want to do in life."


Stephen Curry noticed the team and sent UMBC the sneakers the team wore against Kansas State. The Golden State Warriors had his Curry 5s, which are in limited release, and other swag sent to the team. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared the Retrievers "Surgeon General approved" and posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing a sweatshirt from his alma mater.

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted to UMBC guard Joe Sherburne, who claims to be Rodgers' biggest fan. And for a team addicted to the video game "Fortnite," their dreams were made when Ninja, a popular gamer who recently played against rapper Drake and JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, FaceTimed with the team early Sunday.

"They play with passion, they play with heart, they play together," coach Ryan Odom said. "We do things together for one another, and obviously when you have a big win like that (over Virginia) and it's so shocking, you know, people love to see that. They love to see the upset.

"And our guys handled it with grace and understood the circumstances. They weren't pounding their chests or anything. They expected to be here and expected to compete."

When UMBC returned to the locker room following its ouster, Odom had written just one word on the whiteboard. The Retrievers needed a buzzer-beating 3 against Vermont to win their conference title and make the NCAA Tournament, but they showed up believing they could beat Virginia, and the same about Kansas State.


So Odom simply penned "Proud" on the board for his players.

"Just very proud of these kids and what they've been able to do as the representatives that they are for our university," Odom said. "Just captured our country and beyond, to be honest, from a sporting perspective and it's really, really neat to see."

Sherburne said Odom relayed stories from friends who had texted or called from outside the country to rave about UMBC. Near tears after an 0-for-9 shooting night, Sherburne found consolation in the joy UMBC brought to so many.

"From when we beat Vermont until the last two hours were the greatest time of my life," Sherburne said. "What we did, everyone in here, it's the greatest time of our lives."

Odom arrived at UMBC two years ago and inherited a team accustomed to losing. He told them he was going to get them to .500 that first year; they thought he was joking. But slowly the culture changed and the Retrievers did everything Odom told them they could accomplish.

And then some.

"When I got here, first we were a four-win team that year, and then the next year we went on to win seven games," said graduate student Jairus Lyles. "Then Coach Odom and his staff came in, we won 21 games and this year we had a tremendous season."

Odom doesn't know how far the UMBC program can grow. Those four letters are now synonymous with the biggest upset in college basketball history, but it's a long way from becoming a basketball school.

"UMBC is a unique place -- lot of high achieving kids on campus," Odom said. "We want guys that want to be great from a basketball perspective and want to play after college. But, at the same time, we want folks that are highly motivated academically that want to do great things past basketball. Because the air goes out of the ball at some point for everybody."