The Kansas City Chiefs presumably saw trouble on the horizon while earning their last seven regular-season victories last fall by a combined 27 points. Coach Andy Reid steered the defending NFL champions past the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in the playoffs, but the Chiefs were a mess in losing Super Bowl 55 to their toughest opponent of all, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Chiefs undoubtedly want to come out of the gate strong in 2021 to reassert their dominance in the AFC. However, they’ll face the prospect of an undeniable distraction while entering final preparations.
Andy Reid takes the Kansas City Chiefs to training camp on July 27
Although the country is seeing encouraging signs on the COVID-19 front, the pandemic has the NFL moving forward cautiously even as teams have returned to a fairly normal offseason schedule. The window for Organized Team Activities and mandatory minicamps closes on June 18.
Teams traditionally follow that by opening preseason camp on their own timelines beginning in mid-July. But with the NFL keeping an eye on the pandemic, the league decided that almost all teams will start camp on a common date. The Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dallas Cowboys will start a few days earlier, but the Chiefs and the other 28 teams will commence their work on July 27.
The timing is not particularly good for Reid, who is likely to have personal matters weighing on his mind around that time.
Britt Reid has pleaded not guilty
Former Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid appeared Monday in court in Missouri to plead not guilty to charges related to critical injuries to a young girl in a crash days before the team was to leave for the Super Bowl in Tampa.
The judge modified Reid’s bond during his arraignment to allow him to resume driving with the use of a device that requires him to pass a breathalyzer test before his vehicle will start, the Associated Press reported.
Reid, the son of head coach Andy Reid, is charged with causing injury while driving while intoxicated days before the Chiefs headed to the Super Bowl.
Reid’s vehicle struck two cars on an interstate entrance ramp near Arrowhead Stadium. One of the cars had arrived to assist after the other car stalled, according to police reports. A child in one of the cars, 5-year-old Ariel Young, suffered a brain injury after the car she was in was hit by Reid’s vehicle. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $575 for the girl.
Police reported that Reid had a blood alcohol level of 0.113 two hours after the crash. The legal limit of 0.08.
The case resumes July 22
The Chiefs placed Britt Reid on administrative leave following the crash and then did not renew his contract when it expired after the Super Bowl 55 loss to the Buccaneers.
His case resumes with a pretrial conference on July 22, which is less than a week before the start of training camp. Barring a dismissal or plea bargain to resolve the charges, the trial could start soon afterward.
If convicted, Reid faces up to seven years in prison. Understandably, that possibility would likely be weighing on Andy Reid’s mind, whether the trial begins during the preseason or after the regular season kicks off in September.
Football fans have already seen how the Chiefs fared with such a serious issue lingering. Kansas City entered Super Bowl 55 as a slight favorite, but Tampa Bay thoroughly manhandled the Chiefs offense, sacking Patrick Mahomes three times, intercepting him twice, and applying constant pressure. On offense, Tom Brady threw for three first-half scores to secure the 31-9 victory.
The Chiefs were unable to make the necessary adjustments to keep it close.
It’s certainly arguable that the Buccaneers would have won under any circumstances. However, the possibility that his son’s incident distracted Andy Reid can’t be discounted.
As such, Chiefs fans would be right to wonder how events will play out this summer and fall.