All bets are off amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s why Andy Reid, head coach of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, is conducting his business in a makeshift setup in the basement of his home.
“I wish I could take you on a virtual tour of this thing — it’s kind of classic,” Reid told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “I’m sitting in my basement, literally, and I’ve got an arc trainer sitting here in case I want to jump on that to get a little exercise.”
The grind never stops for Big Red 🐐 pic.twitter.com/C178nScVHx
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 2, 2020
Reid has a monitor set up with his laptop, with an iPad right next to that. He also has his wife’s antique coffee table that he’s using to throw everything on.
“I’m in the basement, and you know what? It’s not bad,” Reid said.
It is fairly bare bones, all things considered. Here’s where Reid’s long coaching history — he’s been at it for nearly four decades — pays off because this isn’t the first time he’s had to get creative to get the job done.
“I’m glad I coached at San Francisco State, because we had to work through a lot of things there, right?” said Reid, who was the school’s offensive line coach from 1983-85. “It was Division II, non-scholarship, and everything wasn’t easy there.”
To film practice, for example, they had to have a guy climb up on a ladder. Players had to pick up rocks on the dirt field so they could practice.
“Those experiences help you in times like these, I think, when everything is not quite perfect to make it work,” Reid said.
So Reid, who just turned 62 in March, is keeping a positive outlook to the situation, largely because he knows there are so many things happening in the world — and in his city — that are more important than football right now.
“Our hearts go out to everybody that is suffering from this son of a gun [COVID-19],” Reid said. “In our community, I know it is a crazy time right now. All of the frontline people that are out there kicking butt working on this thing, we just appreciate everything.”
On a positive note, Reid said no one in the organization has tested positive for the virus, and the club, one of the first wave of teams to encourage staffers to stay home, continues to embrace social distancing and working from home.
“It works out OK,” Reid said. “We’ve been off here doing this for a couple weeks now so it’s interesting for old guys like me. The young guys, they just whip right through it, but some of us old guys, we have to learn everything.”
That includes how to use applications for video conferencing that allows staff to talk to players they signed during free agency and draft prospects.
It’s unclear how long the organization will have to get creative in handling business due to the pandemic. The team’s offseason workout program was scheduled to start on April 20, but with that currently up in the air, strength coach Barry Rubin has a plan to get players the workouts needed to get ready for the start of an uncertain season.
With the draft set to take place April 23-25 — and the customary “war room” being unusable due to social distancing — the Chiefs have looked at using a hotel and putting people in different rooms as an option.
Nothing is set, and with plenty of uncertainty still looming, Reid is just grateful that the team’s IT and video departments have gone above and beyond to help the rest of the coaching staff and front office make the best of an unorthodox and unfortunate situation.
“They’ve been awesome — they’ve gone up and over the top, and so has Pat Brazil with the video department,” Reid said. “They’ve been up and over the top trying to get this situated to where it’s smooth sailing. I think all the coaches are just going, ‘Wow, this is something.’ It’s the best it can be for this type of situation.”
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