KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The coach of the defending Super Bowl champions is readying for the NFL draft, preparing for an offseason practice that may never happen and otherwise doing what he would always do this time of year.
Andy Reid is just working from a location other than his office at the Kansas City Chiefs' practice facility.
"I wish I could take you on a virtual tour of this thing,'' Reid said. "It's kind of classic. I'm sitting in my basement, literally. I've got an arc trainer sitting here in case I want to jump on that to get a little exercise. I've got my monitor set up, along with my computer, my iPad right next to that. And I've got one of my wife's antique tables here, a little coffee table that I'm using to throw everything on. But I'm in the basement, yeah.
"You know what? It's not bad.''
The grind never stops for Big Red 🐐 pic.twitter.com/C178nScVHx— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) April 2, 2020
Working from an alternate location makes Reid similar to many people in other fields as the country deals with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It's part of life as a football coach, with NFL facilities shut down for the time being.
Reid, 62, said he's drawing on experiences from early in his coaching career to help him handle the uncertainty.
"I'm glad I coached at San Francisco State because we had to work through a lot of things there,'' Reid said of the college where he was an assistant coach from 1983 through 1985. "It was Division II, non-scholarship, and everything wasn't easy there. We had to have a guy climb up on a ladder to film practice. And the field, we had to have the players pick up rocks on the dirt field so we could actually practice. So those experiences help you in times like this, I think, when everything's not quite perfect, to make it work.
"We stay as current as we can through information from the league. We're approaching it like we're having a season. I think it's twofold, because it can be a real positive energy-giver back to the country at a time of maybe need for that. At the same time, we're very sensitive to everything going on. But as far as the offseason goes -- again, we're out of the office until they let us know that we can get ourselves back in and so I've got different plans that I've kind of set up for different stages of [the offseason], whether it's virtual work or whether they let us back in the building for field work. Whatever it is, I've put together plans for that. And then we'll just take it day by day and see what presents itself.''
The Chiefs were supposed to start their offseason conditioning program on April 20, with practice to begin in May.
"We've got a little time before that,'' Reid said. "We'll just see what direction it goes. That's normally a time we use for conditioning workouts. If we're allowed to do that virtually, we can go ahead and do that at that time. We'll try to stay in touch. If we're allowed to visit with the players with our Webex units or whatever, we can do that. We're prepared to do all of that. And then if they're allowed back in the building, we're good with that. We've got that all planned out, too.''
The next big event is the draft, which begins April 23. Teams haven't been allowed to conduct medical exams or meet in person with draft prospects. Many pro days were canceled. Team officials won't be allowed during the draft to assemble as a group at the team's headquarters.
"[Brett Veach] is working like crazy, using all the virtual equipment that he can, and watching tape,'' Reid said of the Chiefs' general manager, who is also working remotely. "Obviously the tape's not near as clear as it is in the office, but you power through it and you do what you have to do to make sure that you get the evaluations done. And wherever we do the draft from, whether we're at home or whether we're in a hotel, wherever it is, you hope that everybody can stay safe and at the same time get this thing done.
"We were able to talk to players, the guys that are in the draft, we were able to go through and interview them on Webex, so that's been beneficial.''
Reid said he wasn't certain where he, Veach or the team's coaches and scouts would be during the draft. Normally they gather at the team's practice facility.
"Right now, we're kind working through all of that,'' he said. "We've looked at hotels as a possible option, putting people in different rooms. There are a variety of things you can go through to look at. We haven't put our finger down on one thing as of yet.''