If the Kansas City Chiefs had any more of a Green Bay flavor, they’d replace barbecue with fried cheese curds.
General manager John Dorsey spent more than a decade in the Packers’ personnel department.
Coach Andy Reid spent seven years on the Packers’ coaching staff.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson spent seven seasons as Brett Favre’s backup quarterback.
Assistant secondary coach Al Harris was a standout cornerback for the Packers for seven seasons.
And that’s not even mentioning guys like former Packers linebacker Frank Zombo and former Packers strength coach Barry Rubin in those same roles with the Chiefs.
To help teach the Chiefs’ offense to quarterback Alex Smith upon acquiring him in 2013, Reid went to the tape.
The Brett Favre tape.
“We watched our fair share of that stuff, especially when I first got here,” Smith said Thursday during a conference call as he looked ahead to Monday night’s game at Lambeau Field. “Just kind of where I had come from, it was different -- different structure, different mind-set mentally. So, you’re kind of learning it all over and figuring each other out and getting used to each other. But, yeah, we watched a lot of Green Bay, you hear a lot of stories. Doug, obviously, spent a lot of years up there with Coach (Reid), so you get some stories here and there and a fair share of film.”
Pederson’s rise up the coaching ranks has been remarkable. After 2004, his final season in Green Bay, he was head coach at Calvary Baptist Academy -- a 1-year-old football program -- in Shreveport, La., for four seasons. From there, he joined Reid in Philadelphia for four seasons before following Reid to Kansas City in 2013 to be his offensive coordinator.
“I know that Brett listened to him and he had a good way with Brett, and you could see that if he chose to be a coach that he'd probably have a pretty good future at it, just by the way he handled himself,” Reid said during his conference call. “That's the direction he went. He had a successful high school program and then he wanted to get in the NFL and I happened to have a position there in Philadelphia and I was able to bring him in. I will tell you that he's probably one of the guys that has a chance to become a head coach in this league. I think he'd be very good at that, just by the way he handles himself.”
Reid also hired Harris, a two-time Pro Bowler with 21 career interceptions from 1998 through 2011, upon taking the reins in Kansas City in 2013. One of his roles is to mentor first-round pick Marcus Peters, an incredibly talented cornerback who got kicked off the team at Washington last year.
“I was lucky enough to have Al as a player at Philadelphia before he went to Green Bay,” Reid said. “Al's a good person and he's really developed. It's been fun to watch. He's developed into a heck of a football coach. He has a son, Al Jr., who plays at South Carolina. I watched him coach him when he first got here to get him ready for that level and the kid goes down and he's on the freshman all-conference team. Listen, Al can coach. It's neat to watch.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.