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Chiefs introduce Andy Reid as new head coach

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Chiefs introduce Andy Reid as new head coach

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The first call that Andy Reid received came from Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt.

Reid had just been dismissed after coaching the Eagles for 14 seasons, and was back at his office after addressing his team one last time. The phone rang and Hunt was on the other end, asking whether Reid would be interested in a face-to-face meeting two days later.

``There are certain families that stand out, and the Hunt family is just tops,'' Reid said of the family that founded the franchise 53 years ago. ``They're phenomenal.''

The meeting was set for Wednesday in Philadelphia, and Reid's agent Bob LaMonte figured it would take about three hours. But when Reid got in front of Hunt, the two hit it off so well that time kept slipping away - four hours, then six, then eight hours of conversations.

After nine hours, it became clear that Reid would be the Chiefs' next coach.

He was introduced on Monday at a packed news conference at Arrowhead Stadium, taking over a once-proud franchise that went 2-14 last season and hasn't won a playoff game since 1993.

``There was a certain energy that started with Clark and radiated through the other people I met with, and it was just great,'' Reid said. ``You got the feeling that this was right. It was the right thing to do. It made the decision easy. I crossed my fingers that I'd be offered the job.''

Reid agreed to a five-year deal, a person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not disclosed.

He takes over for Romeo Crennel, who was fired Monday after his first full season.

``Sometimes change is good,'' said Reid, who coached the Eagles to a 4-12 record this season, dragging down his career record of 130-93-1. ``It could be tremendous for the Philadelphia Eagles, and at the same time, I think it's going to be tremendous for the Kansas City Chiefs.''

Reid said he's met with the current Chiefs assistant coaches, but would not say whether any of them will be retained. Reid did say he plans to bring along some of his staff from Philadelphia, and quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson is one of the hot names.

Reid also said he'll sit in on interviews for the Chiefs' general manager, but he'll leave the final decision up to Hunt. The Chiefs parted ways with Scott Pioli on Friday after four tumultuous seasons, just hours before Reid agreed to his deal.

Among the candidates for the job are former Browns general manager Tom Heckert and longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey, both of whom have a history with Reid.

Reid said he's already started to dig into the current Chiefs roster - he had already watched video of all 16 games last season by the time he was interviewed. And he said he's buoyed by the fact that the Chiefs have five players who were voted to the Pro Bowl, and they'll have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft for the first time in franchise history.

That should allow Reid and the Chiefs' retooled front office to start filling holes, the biggest of which is at quarterback, where Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn struggled all season.

``I'm going to dig in and look at that and we'll build that thing,'' Reid said. ``We'll see how that works out, but I need to spend some time at that.''

Reid certainly has experience in rebuilding a franchise.

The Eagles were 3-13 before he arrived in 1999. He drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 pick in that year's draft, won five games the following year and then went 11-5 and finished second in the NFC East - the first of five straight seasons in which he won at least 11 games.

``When I look at the Chiefs, I look at the bigger picture. What are they truly about? What are they made of?'' Reid said. ``Every organization goes through a lull, personnel changes, players grow old, they change. Maybe a draft pick here or there didn't work, a free agent didn't work. That happens. What's the grit of the organization?

``I've been in this thing long enough to appreciate that,'' Reid said. ``I came from a great organization. I wanted to make sure I had that opportunity to be again in a great organization.''

That's part of the reason that Reid did his homework on the Chiefs.

In the time between Hunt's initial phone call and that first meeting in Philadelphia, Reid reached out to former Eagles and Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. Reid wanted to know about the Hunt family, about the organization and whether it might be the right fit.

``I just told him to go. That was the first thing,'' Vermeil told The Associated Press. ``He asked, `Well, can I win there?' And I said, `Andy, you can win anywhere.'''

He ultimately chose to win in Kansas City.

After that lengthy meeting in Philadelphia, Hunt said he still wasn't sure whether Reid was truly on the hook. But the following day, Reid canceled an interview with Arizona and decided not to pursue interest from San Diego, and instead scheduled a trip to visit Kansas City.

When he arrived on Friday, he was tailed to Arrowhead Stadium by helicopters from local television stations. Every step he took was watched by fans that had been pining all season for change. A few of them even showed up with footballs, hoping to land his autograph.

He signed his name, adding ``Go Chiefs.''

Reid said he didn't consider taking some time off, despite a trying season on and off the field. His oldest son, Garrett, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

``I'm ready to go. This is what I do,'' he said. ``Never took that into consideration.''

It was something Hunt considered during that initial meeting. But it didn't take long for the soft-spoken coach with the bushy mustache - ``Big Red'' to those who know him well - to set the Chiefs chairman at ease, and convince Hunt he was the right man for the job.

``It was a very hard year on all of us, my family, the fans, everyone,'' Hunt said. ``When you're not successful in the National Football League, change is coming. And I'm glad 2012 is in the rear-view mirror. We're onto 2013, and in Andy, we already have our first victory.''

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Simms' 11 points lifts VCU over Missouri St.

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USA Today Sports Images

Simms' 11 points lifts VCU over Missouri St.

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mike'L Simms had 11 points as VCU extended its home win streak to eight games, beating Missouri State 61-51 on Sunday night.

De'Riante Jenkins had 10 points for VCU (8-2).

After VCU outscored Missouri State 35-25 in the first half, both teams scored 26 in the second as the home team clinched the victory. The Rams' 26 second-half points marked a season low for the team.

Isiaih Mosley had 15 points for the Bears (6-6). Keandre Cook added 12 points. Gaige Prim had 10 points.

VCU takes on College of Charleston on the road on Wednesday. Missouri State matches up against Oral Roberts on the road on Saturday.

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Despite loss, Dwayne Haskins has best game with Redskins

Despite loss, Dwayne Haskins has best game with Redskins

LANDOVER — What you are looking for is progress. 

Game by game, Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins is under an intense glare. He is only a rookie. There is still so much to learn. But a first-round draft pick at his position is almost never given the luxury of time. 

Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Haskins had a breakthrough. He kept Washington in a back-and-forth game that featured 10 lead changes. But ultimately, the Redskins lost 37-27. A strip and a fumble return on the final Hail Mary throw from the 47 was returned for a touchdown by the Eagles instead.

The result stung. Bill Callahan sped to the press conference room in record time and didn’t offer much praise for Haskins or anyone else. Haskins himself was bummed. 

“I’m nowhere close to where I want to be,” Haskins said. “That should be an average game for me.”

That’s a harsh self assessment. But in his sixth start as an NFL quarterback, there was more to like than not. Haskins completed eight of his first nine passes and 19 of 28 overall. Yes, Terry McLaurin did most of the work on a 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, but Haskins put the ball in a perfect spot where his old Ohio State teammate didn’t have to break stride.

Haskins didn’t throw an interception, wasn’t sacked and you can cut him some slack on the final play. The Eagles jumped the Hail Mary with an all out blitz and Haskins never had a chance to get a throw off.

Steven Sims also caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Haskins, who finished with a 121.3 quarterback rating. It was easily his best game so far. We might not know who will be coaching the Redskins next season, but they at least have some encouraging film to watch heading into the offseason next month. Callahan didn’t have much to say. So let’s get Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s perspective. 

“They study the tape as well and I thought Haskins really stepped in and did a nice job today, and led his team.” Pederson said. “It was something that you know he is capable of doing. He’s in this league for a reason.”

Haskins’ pass to McLaurin came on the first play of Washington’s second drive of the game. It's third drive went 75 yards, too, and only took seven plays. A 19-yard pass to Sims pushed the ball into Philadelphia territory. The Eagles helped with three penalties on the drive, but Haskins found Sims on a 3rd-and-5 from the 5. The Redskins were in position to score a touchdown and did it to take a 14-10 lead.

Down 17-14, Haskins led another scoring drive in the third quarter. His 11-yard pass to McLaurin on 2nd-and-12 set up a first down run by Adrian Peterson on 3rd-and-short. He found Peterson out of the backfield for seven yards and then used his legs to gain 23 yards on the ground himself.

That isn’t something we’ve seen much from Haskins yet. Call it another sign of growth. Haskins knew the Eagles were going to come with a blitz. The Redskins had run that play six times before and he noticed a linebacker where a defensive end should be. So he tucked it and ran. That scoring drive then ended on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 10-yard cutback run by Peterson to make it 21-17.

A couple more fourth-quarter drives stalled, but the Redskins got points on a pair of Dustin Hopkins field goals. In the end, that wasn’t enough. The Eagles took the lead 31-27 on a Carson Wentz touchdown pass with 26 seconds to go and then added the final score to win it.

There are no moral victories for Haskins or the Redskins. Their standing is clear: It’s a 3-11 team just hoping to see signs from its young quarterback. Sunday, at least, they were there all game and not just in the fourth quarter of blowout losses.

There was the 75-yard touchdown pass to McLaurin, his 23-yard run and six other passes for more than 10 yards. Haskins set his career high in passing yards (286) and tied his career high in completions (19). The result wasn’t what he wanted, but the process was better. Now for the hard part. Do it again.  

“We did a lot of good things that we can continue to work on for next week [against the New York Giants],” Haskins said. “Let’s bring it for the last home game of the season and hopefully we come out with a win.”

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