Oakland Raiders Offseason Impresses Chiefs Coach Andy Reid


Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid watches the team warm up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

They may be AFC West rivals, but in the offseason the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs appear to be on good enough terms to say nice things about each other even if the two teams have poached players from one another this March. Keeping things friendly at the 2015 NFL Owners Meetings despite the Raiders stealing Rodney Hudson from the Chiefs in early March while Kansas City took Tyvon Branch upon his release in Oakland in a player swapping of sorts between the two sides in free agency.

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Any potential AFC West animosity stemming from the storied history between the two rivals did not stop Chiefs head coach Andy Reid from saying good things about the Raiders offseason this past week. The former Eagles and current Kansas City sideline man giving credit to Reggie McKenzie as well as new head coach Jack Del Rio in improving the team thus far this offseason.

Reid was asked about the competitive nature of the AFC West, arguably the second toughest division in the league behind the NFC West, and noted that the Raiders are a team on the rise to make things even tougher on the Chiefs, Broncos as well as the Chargers in 2015. Citing the bringing in of Del Rio as a head coach along with their young core of talent combined with their high cap space situation as reasons why the team has improved going into the NFL Draft.

“Oakland, even though their record wasn’t as good as they wanted, they brought in some good, young players,” Reid said of the Raiders current situation when talking about his AFC West rivals. “You can see this foundation starting to build there with the things Reggie [McKenzie] has done. He goes and hires Jack Del Rio, and I think that’s a pretty good situation. They have a ton of cap space and an opportunity to build. All of a sudden you look at the AFC West, and they’re kind of on the rise and you’re very familiar with the AFC West so you know. It’s very competitive.”

Naturally Reid also praised quarterback Derek Carr, a player he has said good things about in the past during the 2014 season, saying that Del Rio has a good situation with a quarterback who is on the rise to prominence in the NFL.

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“Jack’s got a good situation,” Reid said of Del Rio’s new head coaching home. “That kid [Carr] can play. Like, really play.”

Coaches are often quick to pay compliments about other teams in the league when asked as the NFL is generally a friendly atmosphere in the media even if things get unfriendly on Sundays during the season. That makes it no surprise that Reid had good things to say about the Raiders, even if he likely meant the things he said to the media this past week as coaches praising other coaches or teams is a common storyline out of the owners meetings each offseason.

The Chiefs are still above the Raiders on paper, but beating Kansas City last season at the Coliseum made a big statement in the AFC West from Oakland that Reid has made a note of that his biggest division rivals are a team on the rise. What 2015 brings is up for debate, but the Silver and Black definitely are going to be a lot tougher to knock off in AFC West play than in recent years which will make for entertaining division battles all season long.