PRO FOOTBALL: MCA grad Brett Veach working to make Kansas City Chiefs better
Brett Veach has always had a good sense of humor, so he'd probably get a kick out of the following item taken from a Kansas City Chiefs message board the day after he left the Philadelphia Eagles organization to reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City:
"A guy named Brett Veach just left Philly to join the Chiefs. Big scouting genius apparently." posted Taylor916.
Veach may or may not be a "scouting genius" but Reid felt the Mount Carmel native was sufficiently involved in the Eagles' success during his time there to lure him to Kansas City with a promotion, and several Eagles' beat writers later wrote stories about how Veach's loss was a blow to the organization.
Veach, who left the Eagles in March, is listed on the Chiefs' website as Pro and College Personnel Analyst, and in a recent phone conversation he stated that his duties will be a little heavier than what he did for the Eagles, for whom he was Southeast region college scout the past three seasons.
"I get to come out here and get more involved with pro scouting, which I didn't do before," said Veach, "Plus I'm going to have an opportunity to branch out and get to see more of the country with the colleges. I'll get into the Pac 10 and the Southwest, which I'm excited
about. I've developed a lot of good relationships around the country and I'm starting to do that in Texas now."
Two of the Eagles' top picks in 2012, first-rounder offensive tackle Fletcher Cox from Mississippi State and fourth-rounder Brandon Boykin, who played nickel back all last season, were Southeastern Conference guys highly touted by Veach, who was also known to champion DeSean Jackson to Reid even when Veach was the head coach's personal assistant.
Veach played college football at the University of Delaware after his all-state career at Mount Carmel, where he played on two state championship teams. Veach caught 99 passes for 1,470 yards at Delware and also graduated as the school's career leader in kickoff return yards (1,558). He became an intern with the Eagles in 2004, was promoted to Reid's personal assistant in 2007 and became a scout in 2010.
Work to do
Now Veach, Reid and the rest of the Broad Street Gang will try to work some magic for the Chiefs, who are coming off a 2-14 season, which was bad not only from a won-loss standpoint but included the murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. Belcher's suicide took place before coaches and other team officials.
"There is work to do here," Veach said. "But one of the intriguing things about it is that it's a franchise with a lot of history and a dedicated fan base. Now we all need to do our jobs. The leadership is there from the owners. They're going to give us what we need to win."
Veach is particularly excited about working with General Manager John Dorsey, whom Reid persuaded to come to the Chiefs from the Green Bay Packers,
"I've worked for five GMs already and I've learned a lot from all of them," Veach said. "Dorsey spent over 20 years there (Green Bay) and he is as good as anybody in the league. If you've followed the Packers over the years, they almost never dip into the free agent market. They build with the draft. That's the way to do it."
Veach said his parting from the Eagles' organization was amicable, and wished the Eagles the best. He said such moves, when a coach changes organizations and then takes some of his people with him, are fairly standard procedure in the league.
"A lot of coaches are under contract. It's usually up to the GM (whether or not to approve other staff moves)," Veach said. "He (Reid) had an idea of what he wanted. He put a short list together for his staff. Obviously, he had been in Philly so long so he wanted some of those guys."
Coaching, scouting different
Veach said he doesn't really get to deal with the day-to-day operations of the coaching staff much during the season, although in his new post he will be scouting other NFL teams' personnel.
"Coaching and scouting are two separate entities, at least until after the season," he said. "The coaches have so much week-to-week business, the reality is it just takes up too much of their time. Then in the offseason you have mini-camps, plus OTA (organized team activities) plans, etc. After the season, there's a little more interplay between the two."
Veach said the first thing he looks for in a potential NFL player, no matter the position, is speed.
"I think the first things you always have to look for are speed and athleticism," he said. "Whether it's a running back, a receiver or linemen or whatever, there is no substitute for speed in this league. Ideally, someone will have the full package. Then you look at coachability, how hard they work. But at the end of the day, you need speed at every position."
Veach said his ultimate goal is to become a general manager in the NFL, but he said that's also the ultimate goal of just about everyone in the league.
"Everybody who is involved in the NFL, whether it's on the field or in the offices, is kind of playing the game," he said. "We're all innately competitive and have great work ethics, right down to the interns. We all have goals but you have to understand it's going to take awhile. You have to do the job you're at right now and get down to it."