Andy Reid on Koetter calling plays: 'He'll keep doing it'
The day after his first season as an NFL head coach ended, the Bucs' Dirk Koetter said he was considering giving up calling offensive plays, recognizing the challenge of doing that and being head coach at the same time. Koetter said his hesitation in giving up play-calling was an awareness of how many successful head coaches have given up the reins on calling plays, only to change course and take them back down the road.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who has called plays for much of his 18 years as an NFL head coach, understands that challenge well, and has known Koetter more than 30 years, since they were assistant college coaches together at San Francisco State, UTEP and Missouri from 1985-91.
"I stepped away from it for a little bit, and I came back," Reid said Thursday after a morning practice coaching the AFC squad in this week's Pro Bowl in Orlando. "I felt it was a good thing and wanted to get back in doing it. That's the fun part. You've got one of the best in the business. It can be done."
Reid said he and Koetter still talk all the time, and his admiration for the Bucs coach is only topped by that for Koetter's father, Jim, who coached at Idaho State and in high school before retiring. Reid said Koetter's skill at NFL play-calling makes it unlikely he'll give it up, as much as he's considered the option.
"(Dirk) is the best football coach I've ever been around, besides his dad," Reid said. "He'll keep doing it and do a great job at it. He's special at calling plays."
One of the Bucs' biggest wins this season came against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, and Reid said he was impressed, though not surprised, by Koetter's first season.
"You saw the wins, and the unity," Reid said. "He was coming off a situation that could be tough. I have a ton of respect for Lovie Smith. He's a great football coach, and to replace someone like that, when you're already on staff, that's a tough situation to juggle. I thought he did a great job. I talked to his quarterback (Jameis Winston) because I had him at the Pro Bowl (last year), and his quarterback loves him. But he also is tough on him, and Jameis knows that will help him out down the road."