Chiefs' coach Andy Reid shows respect for Giants

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the records, Chiefs and Giants are more alike than different

Andy Reid moved to another conference. He switched divisions and changed colors, yet Week 4 he finds himself in an awfully familiar position: facing an old rival in the New York Giants and coach Tom Coughlin.

The first-year coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Reid has propelled his new squad to a 3-0 start. Alex Smith is playing mistake-free football; the defense is ranked in the top 10 in yards per game (309) and points per game (11.3); and the team boasts a +9 turnover differential.

The Chiefs are not the same kind of team Reid had in Philadelphia, but they're winning in their own way. And change is looking good on the veteran head coach.

"I get excited about every season, but I'm enjoying the situation here and this football team and the coaches and the organization," Reid said. "It didn't work out (in Philadelphia). But for that situation for me, change was good. It's different for everybody and every situation.

"I looked at it as an opportunity to work with the Hunt Family. The Hunts, the Maras, the Rooneys -- these are old traditional football families from the old NFL ... This was an organization (that I'd go to) if the opportunity arose."

After three weeks, the Giants and Chiefs are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Kansas City is 3-0 and New York is 0-3. Kansas City has the No. 2 defense in terms of points/game; New York is dead last (38.3). And while Kansas City owns the best turnover differential in the NFL (+9), New York has the worst (-9).

Yet Reid won't let early-season stats taint his judgment of a Giants team he's seen emerge year after year.

"We don't get caught up in the record. They've got a phenomenal head coach. They're a good football team and so we're preparing ourselves for a good football team," he said. "We're studying the Giants and we respect the heck out of them."

The Chiefs' reinvigorated defense is similar to that of the Giants' -- when, of course, the Giants were generating pressure on the quarterback on a consistent basis.

Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are the outside linebackers in the Chiefs' 3-4 scheme, and the two have combined for 8.5 of the unit's 15 sacks on the season. The Giants' offensive line, on the other hand, has allowed 11 sacksthus far, seven of which coming last week against the Carolina Panthers.

"This is no disrespect to the other teams: I don't know ow they're working (to defend) that," Reid said. "My focus is making sure they improve ... Look at the Giants, who have three or four or five guys that can just bring it."

While Reid's pass rush can be compared to the Giants', as can his new signal-caller.

Smith's numbers aren't eye-popping, but efficient. He has thrown four touchdowns, zero interceptions and has completed 61 percent of his passes. But most importantly, Reid said, Smith has great leadership qualities.

"(Smith) is a great person and he manages the game very well," he said. "(Smith) understands it. He's a tough kid. He gets the respect of the players. I was around Eli (Manning) at the Pro Bowl and for all of those years as an opponent -- some are the way and they are strong guys and good leaders."

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs

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