Quarterback is Andy Reid's top challenge

January, 4, 2013
1/04/13
6:45
PM ET

When Andy Reid took over as the Philadelphia Eagles coach in 1999, they ended up with the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft.

They took quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the Reid era in Philadelphia immediately was on the right track.

Will Reid try to take the same approach as he begins his tenure as the Kansas City Chiefs’ coach? The Chiefs have the No.1 pick in the draft and they badly need a quarterback.

The problem is it doesn’t appear that any of the quarterback prospects will be worth the No. 1 pick. The top choices -- North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon and West Virginia’s Geno Smith -- will likely be available later in the first round.

So, I don’t think the Reid selection will change the Chiefs’ draft plan. They will go for the top defensive player available. Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o may be the best bets for the Chiefs.

But that doesn’t do anything for the team’s quarterback plans.

I’ve heard several analysts say perhaps Reid can fix Matt Cassel. I don’t think Cassel should be an option. Like with Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs need to completely start fresh at the position. Cassel is what we all know he is -- a backup. It would be a waste to start the Reid regime with Cassel as the starting quarterback.

I think the Chiefs will need to find a veteran bridge quarterback. It is natural to think perhaps Reid will try to reunite with a former Philadelphia quarterback such as Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb. He could probably get either of them if he wants.

Still, there is a faction that believes that Vick is too turnover prone and because Vick will soon be 33 years old, Reid may not be overly interested in him. Reid was ready to talk to the Cardinals this week, so that means he could be open to getting Kolb.

I think anything is on the table. What if the new Eagles brass doesn’t like second-year quarterback Nick Foles? Perhaps Reid can find a way to get him.

Like before the hiring of Reid, the Chiefs’ search for a quarterback is wide open. But there are now more possibilities. But the reality remains the same -- Kansas City won’t truly succeed until it gets a successful quarterback. That is Reid’s greatest challenge.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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