KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you’re looking for reasons the Kansas City Chiefs have won just one AFC West championship and otherwise participated in the playoffs as a wild-card entrant only twice in the past 11 seasons, there’s more to it than spotty drafts and less-then-stellar quarterback play.
Put instability on the coaching staff near the top of that list, too. In the nine seasons before the arrival of Andy Reid in 2013, the Chiefs went through four head coaches, seven offensive coordinators and four defensive coordinators.
That’s no way to win a playoff game, much less a Super Bowl. The Chiefs changed direction every time the wind did, and the results were predictable.
That appears to have changed with Reid’s arrival. Not only will he coach the Chiefs for a third season in 2015, but unless the situation unexpectedly changes, Reid’s entire crew of assistants will return for the second straight year.
In fact, the only assistant coach from Reid’s original Kansas City staff who isn’t still with the Chiefs is Kevin O’Dea, the assistant special-teams coach in 2013. He left last winter.
That kind of stability can only help. In a league where at least 21 teams have made changes to their staff -- whether at head coach, the assistant level or both -- the Chiefs are keeping with the plan. For the second straight season they don’t have to rid themselves of some players just because they don’t fit the vision of the head coach or the new offensive or defensive system.
In the AFC West alone, that process will take place in Denver and Oakland, where the Broncos and Raiders have new head coaches. Reid has been with his team longer than any of the other head coaches in the AFC West, though he was hired only days before the San Diego Chargers acquired Mike McCoy.
The Chiefs will play 10 games next season against teams who made changes to their staffs, including six against teams with new head coaches.
Coaching stability alone won’t help the Chiefs win any games, claim the AFC West championship or win a playoff game. But it will make those tasks easier.