Andy Reid knew his time in Philadelphia was over, that after 14 seasons in one place -- a virtual eternity in today's NFL -- he'd be doing his coaching somewhere else once the Eagles' 2012 season cratered at 4-12.
"For that situation for me, change was good," Reid said. "It's different for everybody and every situation."
Reid is not surprised that his next chance turned out to be in Kansas City, where he has the Chiefs off to a 3-0 start after inheriting a team that went 2-14 in 2012. It has been a masterful job so far, although Reid knows there is much work ahead. But he is grateful to have the chance with a franchise steeped in history with a stable ownership situation.
"I looked at this as an opportunity to work with the Hunt family," he said. "The Hunts, the Maras the Rooneys [in Pittsburgh]. These are old, traditional families from the old NFL. I thought this was an organization that if the opportunity arose, this was the team."
It has been a perfect match. As Reid prepares to play the Giants, a team he faced twice a year when he was in the NFC East, he does so with a reinvigorated spirit and a reinvigorated roster. Reid inherited an already solid core of players that included running back Jamaal Charles, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, and he added quarterback Alex Smith in a trade to solidify the offense in a major way.
With victories over the Jaguars, the Cowboys and his old Eagles team, Reid is tied for the early lead in the AFC West with the Broncos. Surprised, Coach?
"I wouldn't say surprised," Reid said. "I knew the type of talent and character we had in the locker room. There's so much that goes into winning in this league and the margin of victory is so small. With a team like us, it takes winning some tough games and getting the ball rolling and getting some momentum, because we haven't won a bunch of games in the past. You just have to go out there and do it."
Will the Chiefs make it four in a row? If it happens, Reid will have beaten Tom Coughlin, someone Reid has grown to greatly respect over the years. And vice versa. It will be the 20th regular-season matchup between Reid and Coughlin, with Reid holding a 10-9 edge. Reid also has two playoff wins over Coughlin's Giants.
"Andy Reid was close to a 70 percent winning percentage until probably last year," Coughlin said. "He makes a 14-year run in one place. He's an outstanding coach and an outstanding person. And I like the guy. I think he's a good guy. I have great respect for him."