As reported by NFL Network, the Kansas City Chiefs will be interviewing co-director of player personnel, Brett Veach, for their open general manager position. This position is one of the hottest commodities in the NFL right now after John Dorsey was surprisingly let go last Friday. After the first rumour that ESPN analyst Louis Riddick was interviewing with the Chiefs was shut down by Riddick himself, the Chiefs turned internally toward Veach and their other co-director Mike Borgonzi for interviews. Externally the Chiefs have reached out toward Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, and Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden. Paton has stated he will be staying in Minnesota, but neither Fitterer or Cowden have offered comments yet.
Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Search Continues with Brett Veach Interview
The Kansas City Chiefs general manager will be assisting Andy Reid in making roster cuts and personnel decisions at the end of August – a quick two months away. In the case of injuries, the new general manager may also be searching for talent currently on the street to fill in roster spots. Implication: hiring an internal roster manager may be the best decision for the Chiefs.
Brett Veach leads the pack of internal candidates, and all candidates for that matter. He is no stranger to the proposition of becoming a general manager after a strong candidacy for the Buffalo Bills vacancy when LeSean McCoy advocated for his hiring on Twitter.
Veach began his career for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004, and was quickly promoted as a scouting assistant in 2007. His tenure would last six years, when in 2013 Andy Reid personally brought him over to the Chiefs. During that time Veach has helped lead the scouting department, make cut decisions, and scout college players.
In an interview with Chiefs.com writer BJ Kissel, Veach talked more about his favorite parts of the job:
“I think whatever you do in life, everything is a people business. It’s all about establishing your relationships. I think the ability to go out on the road, meet new people, talk football, learn a little bit about the different areas and cultures and traditions, that’s a really cool thing.”
An incumbent scout and essential scout to the Seattle Seahawks methodology since 2001, Scott Fitterer has seen his share of college players and NFL regimes. Fitterer was hired by Mike Holmgren as one of the many scouts for the Seattle organization. Holmgren promoted Fitterer to various assistant scouting positions throughout his tenure. After wading through the one-year 2009 disaster that was Jim Mora, general manager John Schneider took over and in 2010 Fitterer became the Director of College Scouting. Since that time, Fitterer has been involved in the selection of Golden Tate, Kam Chancellor, Russell Wilson, and Bobby Wagner, only a few of the all-pro players taken under his watch. His reputation in the organization earned him the promotion to co-director of player personnel in 2015.
Fitterer is a scout who loves the process. In a 2012 story on Seahawks.com, Fitterer discussed the process of watching players over and over again until finally meeting them at the combine. He went into depths about going hands on with players, finding, “How he thinks. What his makeup is. How he learns. How he can take coaching, and then spit it back out.” Much like the hyper-intense Pete Carroll, Fitterer is a detailed oriented guy. Both are among the contingent of Seahawks staff that coordinate and conduct interviews throughout the day at the NFL combine, as discussed in this detailed breakdown of the 2017 Seahawks combine preparation by Seahawks.com John Boyle.
Fitterer has received interest from both the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles as a general manager candidate, but opted to stay in Seattle both times. If he takes this position with the Chiefs, he has the skills to get uniformed with the roster right away.
Working meticulously in scouting since 2000, Ryan Cowden has seen his share of the United States as a scout for the Carolina Panthers, and now as the director of player personnel for the Tennessee Titans. He was first assigned to the southeast region of collegiate scouting, and quickly became friends with the current Titans general manager Jon Robinson. Robinson has stated as much, “He has a strong eye for talent, he has developed good managerial skills over the years…”
Cowden took over as Titans director of player personnel on May 5, 2016, and thus is the least experienced of candidates in a top position. Do not discount his work immediately, however. Robinson has a plethora of experience after being promoted from the southeast scout to a nation scout in 2008, then to a senior college scout in 2012, and finally assistant director of college scouting in 2014. Titans assistants have stated Cowden has a “strong eye for talent,” and they are excited to see the kind of team he can craft.
Cowden loves to focus on the relationships developed between scouts and players, and discussed this aspect in length in a 2016 interview with Panthers correspondent Joe Menzer. Although “…a major portion of it is on-the-field evaluation, going to practices, seeing them in the drills, being live and up-close with them,” the subtle interviews are the most important part. Cowden and his scouts would often find themselves casually talking about the grind in the hallways of practice facilities throughout the scouting process. However, once the scouts got to the combine, it was all football talk. The personal aspects of life were left for the school Pro Days.
Ryan Cowden can turn into the Kansas City Chiefs general manager that carries on the special relationships Andy Reid loves to find on his football teams.
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