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Short week helps Reid focus on present in return to Philly

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Andy Reid has no problem with returning to Philadelphia this week, his home for the previous 14 years as head coach of the Eagles.

He's just glad that he's taking his Kansas City Chiefs into Lincoln Financial Field to face his former team on a short week, with the Thursday night game cutting the normal game-week preparation by three days.

The shorter week means fewer questions to answer about his homecoming to the City of Brotherly Love, and means far less time when he has to think about the past, whether it be good or bad. As a successful NFL head coach, Reid attempts to deal in the now, and that's finding a way to get another victory for his 2-0 Chiefs.

"In this business you're focused on getting your team ready to play and that's where my energy is going to go," Reid said. "I haven't really thought about that other part at all. I don't necessarily plan on thinking about that. I want to make sure I concentrate on the game at hand and anything else becomes a distraction and I'm not going to let that happen."

His 14 years in Philadelphia brought a lot of good, a bit of disappointment and a permanent spot in the history of the Eagles franchise. While Chip Kelly has rolled in with new ideas and new procedures, the roster that will face the Chiefs still has 32 players that came to Philadelphia under the direction of Reid.

Reid's imprint is very much on that team, and he has certainly left an indelible mark in just nine months on the job with the Chiefs as well. He and general manager John Dorsey have brought in 30 new players on the 53-man roster, including a new starting quarterback in Alex Smith.

In the middle of it all has been Reid, who has set aside the personnel duties that were on his plate over the last few years in Philadelphia. His concentration is focused on the team he has now.

Since he arrived in Kansas City, Reid has done nothing but praise the people with the Eagles from owner Jeffrey Lurie to general manager Howie Roseman and the rest of the organization. That isn't something that just came up this week, and Reid come to believe that the change has been good for himself and for the Eagles.

But he wouldn't be human if he didn't want to push the Eagles around on Thursday night.

"It's always more fun when you play your old team," said tight end Anthony Fasano. "It's all part of the business of the NFL, but you always want to show your old place what they are missing since you aren't there."

Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson played for Reid and was part of his last few coaching staffs in Philadelphia. He has seen him at different times and different roles and says the real Reid has come out in Kansas City.

"He's really gotten back into the football side," Pederson said. "When he came to Philadelphia back in 1999, he was the head coach and getting involved in the offense as much as he did then. I see similarities now here in Kansas City. It's good to see him back really doing the coaching side, which is the part he really loves doing. It's good to see him back there teaching and coaching and kind of mixing it up with the players."

And that's where his focus has been this week - on his players, and the guys on the tape from Philadelphia.

"I'm going to tell you this right now - it's not about me; it's about our football team," Reid said. "That's the way it's going to remain throughout the next few days."

The players are good with that, but they want to win one for Andy, a coach that has taken a franchise that was 2-14 and has already matched that victory total in two games.

"Don't call it a homecoming," said strong safety Eric Berry. "His home is here now. He's with us."

-- Another factor in the Chiefs-Eagles game will be ceremonies to honor former quarterback Donovan McNabb and retire his No. 5. Although he won't get a chance to take part in the honor, Reid thinks it's much deserved.

"I love Donovan McNabb," said Reid. "I think he's a great person and a great football player. We would not have been able to do what we did there without Donovan. He deserves all the accolades that he gets; he did great things for that organization."

-- TE Anthony Fasano suffered a sprained ankle during the Chiefs' victory on Sunday against Dallas he did not practice on Tuesday when the team got back on the field in preparation for Thursday night's game. Fasano will likely be questionable for the game; it's probably the biggest reason they re-signed TE Kevin Brock this week.

-- RB Jamaal Charles is battling through a sore foot from training camp and a quadriceps contusion suffered in the season opener against Jacksonville. The injuries did not limit his participation against Dallas, but with the short week it may affect how often he's on the field Thursday.

-- LT Branden Albert suffered a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder against Dallas and he was a limited participant during the team's Tuesday practice. Reid said he expected Albert to be available for Thursday night's game.

-- LCB Brandon Flowers suffered a strained knee Sunday and he did was limited a bit in practice on Tuesday. Andy Reid expects Flowers to play.

-- NT Dontari Poe leads the NFL in sacks from an interior defensive lineman with 3.5 sacks in two games. Poe had two sacks against Dallas and 1.5 sacks in the season opening victory over Jacksonville. He's also showing his durability as he played in 100 percent of the defensive snaps against Dallas and all but nine plays against Jacksonville.
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