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View Count: 57 |  Publish Date: September 04, 2013
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Andy Reid may have a winner on his hands
Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 3:01 AM
Theres a bar by the name of Big Charlies Saloon in South Philly - 11th and McKean Streets is the location - that is quite unusual because it is a favorite watering hole for Kansas City Chiefs fans.
Its not that rare for these types of places to exist. The Parrot Lounge in Fort Lauderdale is a hot spot for Philadelphia and Penn State fans and you can find a number of bars to watch Eagles games with Eagles fans in New York City, too.
But Fort Lauderdale and New York are filled with Philadelphia transplants. Big Charlies is different because it didnt open for transplanted Chiefs fans. Its a bunch of South Philly guys who adopted the Chiefs as their team. NFL Films did a documentary on the place a decade ago when former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil was coaching the Chiefs.
It was a nice little story back then and Big Charlies is likely to get considerably more attention in 2013 because, as you may have heard, another former Eagles coach is working in Kansas City this season. More coverageVote: How will RGIII fare against the Eagles? Vote: Which RB is better: Morris or McCoy?Get the latest football news with our mobile apps Poll: How many games will the Eagles win?Buying tickets? Make sure you get a good viewPhotos: Eagles cheerleaders photo shootForum: Will the Eagles make the playoffs?
Big Red - Andy Reid - is going to look like a big red fire truck on the sideline this season in the Chiefs bright colors.
Reid is the third straight former Eagles coach to immediately take a head coaching job with another organization, but he is the first one with a resume good enough to make us wonder if he can win the Super Bowl that has forever eluded the Eagles.
Vermeil, of course, won one with the Rams, but by then he was nearly two decades removed from his coaching stint in Philadelphia. Ray Rhodes lasted one forgettable year in Green Bay after leaving the Eagles and Rich Kotite became a human piñata in two Keystone Kop seasons with the New York Jets.
After 14 seasons with the Eagles, its going to be fascinating to watch Reid coach the Chiefs and it wont just be the Philadelphians down at Big Charlies Saloon paying attention. Locally, Reids reputation as a quality coach hit rock bottom last year when the Eagles went 4-12 and the players flat-out quit in an embarrassingly bad season finale against the New York Giants.
Nationally, however, Reids reputation remains in good standing. Perform a Google search of Chiefs predictions and youll find a lot of people who believe Reids Chiefs will be among the leagues most improved teams in 2013.
Andy Reid is underrated as an offensive mind, wrote Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com. He creates yardage and getting out of Philadelphia should be liberating to one of the NFLs better coaches.
Rosenthal predicts the Chiefs will go 9-7 and make the playoffs.
Plenty of Eagles fans felt liberated by Reids departure and Chip Kellys arrival as his replacement. No more throat clearing before sending the redundant message that the coach must put the players in a better position to succeed.
Its not difficult, of course, to improve on a 2-14 season that included the tragic murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. The Chiefs 2012 campaign was right down there among the worst ever.
Talentwise, however, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli left behind a better team in Kansas City than Reid did with the Eagles. Reid and new Chiefs general manager John Dorsey inherited six Pro Bowl players from a year ago and also will have Dwayne Bowe, an elite wide receiver. Four of those players were defenders.
The Eagles, by contrast, failed to send a single player to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1999.
Reid still did a significant overhaul on the Chiefs roster with the most significant move being the acquisition of quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs have 30 new players from last seasons final 53-man roster. The total rose significantly when the Chiefs claimed seven players off waivers Sunday.
The Eagles have 21 new players under Kelly.
While the Chiefs are a popular pick to be among the NFLs most surprising teams, the Eagles are more a curiosity because no one really knows what to expect from Kelly and the fast-paced offense he brought from Oregon. In theory, running more offensive plays per minute sounds great, but in reality it could be a disaster if quarterback Michael Vick commits turnovers at the same rate he did a year ago.
Regardless of what happens, watching Kellys offense, like watching Reid in Kansas City, is going to be captivating.
The schedule gods aligned just right to make this Big Red goes to K.C. story even more compelling. The Chiefs open in Jacksonville, where Reids Eagles once lost a pretty big game. Then Kansas City plays three straight games against NFC East opponents.
If you didnt already circle it, Reids return to Lincoln Financial Field is Thursday, Sept. 19 in a game that will be televised nationally by the NFL Network.
Misplaced Chiefs fans will be watching down at Big Charlies Saloon on 11th and McKean. If Reid wins, Eagles fans are going to need a drink or 12. And if the former Eagles coach were to win a Super Bowl at some point with his new team, Id recommend 24-hour security on all the area bridges.
Contact Bob Brookover at bbrookover@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @brookob.
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