Andy Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 years, and he can’t seem to escape his former team. Not only does he have to return to Philadelphia in September with the Kansas City Chiefs, but there was a hot rumor during the draft that the Eagles jumped ahead of Kansas City at the beginning of Round 4 to steal Matt Barkley from them. Not so, says Reid. They were dead set on taking Nico Johnson all along.
Andy Reid joined Soren Petro on WHB in Kansas City to discuss some of his team’s later draft picks, particularly two guys — Travis Kelce and Sanders Commings — who come with character concerns. He also talked about the difficulties attached to coaching players with those concerns, a popular draft rumor involving his former team and Luke Joeckel, whom the Chiefs passed on with the top pick.
On third-round pick Travis Kelce, who has gotten into some trouble in the past and whose older brother Jason played for Reid in Philadelphia:
“He’s kept himself on the straight and narrow here for the last couple years and done well with that. I told him if he acts up I’m gonna just sick his brother on him.”
On fifth-round pick Sanders Commings pleading guilty to domestic violence charges after striking a woman last year:
“I’m not very good with those situations. I have kind of a no-tolerance with that, and so we made sure we did our homework on it, and his roommate was actually a kid [Brandon Boykin] that played for us last year as a rookie at Philadelphia, and I knew the character of the kid. I talked to the coaches about the situation and we looked into it from the law-enforcement standpoint, and we found out what we think really happened and we felt comfortable taking him at that position. Obviously I can’t get into all the details of that, but neither John nor I, we’re against those type of things, but again, we did our homework on it and we feel pretty comfortable with him.”
On the distractions that come with having to watch over players who are also known troublemakers:
“You don’t want to do too much babysitting because then it takes away from everybody. Everybody’s babysitting and not coaching football, so I don’t wanna do too much of that. And I don’t think this kid [Commings] falls into that category, although we’ll see. We tried to do our homework so we wouldn’t have to do too much of that. And particularly in those kinds of situations, again, we made sure we were as thorough as we possibly could be.”
On the belief out there that the Eagles jumped ahead of them at the beginning of Round 4 because they thought they were going to take Matt Barkley:
“Well, we weren’t going there. I actually was on the phone with Nick Saban from Alabama before that day ever started, so that’s just not the direction [we were going]. We had pinpointed Nico [Johnson] and that’s who we were going after. I know how rumors start and how people justify picks and all this other stuff, but I think if you look at our roster, we’ve got Akeem Jordan at middle linebacker; that’s the only player that we have there. So we needed a middle linebacker, we had a good one sitting right there and it fell that way and we were tickled pink to go get Nico and bring him on board. That rumor started and I heard it, and I had to laugh at it. That wasn’t even in the picture.”
On picking Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel first overall:
“Those are two great players. We just felt, not that one’s gonna be better than the other — we just felt that Eric fit in better what we were doing. And Joeckel’s gonna be a great player, but that’s how it works.