Andy Reid is the Most Influential Innovator in the League

He uses college techniques that never go out of style.

Andy Reid
Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Andy Reid wanted to bring a new offense into the NFL. It all started when Michael Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. Reid wanted Vick to take the spread offense that was in college and merge it with the traditional West Coast offense. Any offense who melded the two styles would be very tough to stop. It was until now, nearly 10 years later, that Reid’s pursuit of a new offense finally paid off, but it has, because it is the defining tactical feature of this NFL season. Now head coach in Kansas City, Reid brought the style to the Chiefs, who used it to beat the New England Patriots 42-27 in the first game of this year. During the game, the Chiefs unveiled a package of plays that looked like they were lifted from a college playbook. But then, the Patriots acknowledged borrowing the Chiefs’ plays the next week, and since then, the rest of the league has had similar thoughts.

Reid has long-believed that college was typically “five years ahead” of the pros and that we should expect more college influence to come into the pros. He is the only coach who invested this amount of work into investigating the idea of the spread.

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