Super Bowl LVII: Andy Reid can bolster legacy by securing second title with Kansas City Chiefs

PHOENIX. In those few moments that the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles shared the stage earlier this week, Andy Reid greeted the handful of Philadelphia players he still knew with a bear hug. There’s no shortage of affection for Reid in this Super Bowl. The Eagles’ Brandon Graham said he still feels indebted to Reed for choosing him in 2010. Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs was trying to convince his teammates to wear fake mustaches when they landed here as a show of respect for Reed. Geoffrey Lurie, the Eagles owner who hired and then fired Reed, recalled everything from how impressive Reid was when the Eagles interviewed him for a job, to when Reed made his first appearance three years ago. in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs, Lurie admonished the coach. to finally win the title that had eluded him in Philadelphia. Lurie was so excited for Reid when Kansas City won that he cried tears of joy that night while Reid celebrated.

Reed, who led the Eagles from 1999 to 2012 and has been with the Chiefs since 2013, is the only coach to lead two teams to four consecutive conference championship games, a monumental achievement in itself. But his resume finally came to fruition when he won Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs at the conclusion of the 2019 season. Reed was the sentimental favorite in this game, and it appears everyone in the NFL who wasn’t affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers openly cheered for Reed to finally achieve the one professional achievement that had eluded one of the most respected and beloved people into coaching.

Everything changed in the run-up to Super Bowl LVII. Reed is no longer a sentimental favorite. Of course, he is still loved, but he has his own title. He coaches the best quarterback in football. The Chiefs have been the best team in the AFC this season. After they face the Eagles on Sunday, they will be in three of the last four Super Bowls (including LV when they lost to the Buccaneers). In the post-Belichick-Brady Reid era, Reed leads a team that is most like an NFL dynasty. And now Reid is aiming for something that is historically even more elusive than the first title: second.

Only 13 coaches in NFL history have won two Super Bowls. Only four – Chuck Knoll, Joe Gibbs, Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick, all giants of the game – have won more than two. The current view is not that Reid still has something to prove, but that he has a chance to become one of the best coaches. ultra elite.

“Don’t worry about Andy,” Lurie said this week. “He’s going to win more than one. I just don’t want it to be this Sunday.”

It’s tempting to think that winning his first Super Bowl could have freed Reed, and perhaps What helps explain the breathtaking fearlessness of his playoff call, snowball swirling in a heap, hooks and ladders in the playoffs. But Reid has always been a mad scientist on offense. Those who have worked with him recall how he arrived at his office on a Monday morning, his whiteboard already filled with dozens of colored lines, the result of one of his sleepless nights. And they predict that there’s something else where the custom pieces came from, that Reid is almost certainly creating something that’s yet to come, another iteration of game design from his prolific mind.

It’s not that Reid has freed himself from the yoke of victory. Instead, those who know him best say that Reed is only even more motivated after winning the first one to win more. Reed is now fifth on the all-time win list as a head coach (268) and second in most playoff wins (21), behind only Belichick (31). Reed is the only coach in NFL history to have at least 10 playoff wins for multiple teams. When his longtime friend, NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci (who worked in the same state as Reid in Green Bay in the 1990s) mentions these numbers to Reed, he is often unaware of them. But he wants more trophies.

“I think Andy is extremely relieved that he didn’t just get close, but actually had the thrill of holding the trophy,” said Joe Banner, the Eagles’ former president who served in the position for most of the Reid’s time in Philadelphia. . “But he is one of those guys who has even more desire to win the next tournament. He got a taste of the head coach and realized how incredible it is.”

While Lurie believed that Reid was a Hall of Famer coach even before he won the Super Bowl, Banner acknowledges that the league-wide perception of a coach is greatly enhanced by a first Super Bowl win and further enhanced by any number of titles. than one. What’s most impressive to Banner is that Reid rebuilt two teams and took them to conference championship games in a couple of years, and then was able to maintain that success. Playing in 10 conference championship games with a chance of winning a second Super Bowl on Sunday or next season already puts Reed in the running for the moment as one of the best coaches in history.

“To win this conversation, you need to win another Super Bowl or two,” Banner said.

It doesn’t seem like a big reach because everything is set up for Reid and the Chiefs to keep winning for the foreseeable future. You can’t be sure of anything in the NFL, but Mahomes is only 27 years old and just picked up his second MVP award, the Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl despite losing Tyreke Hill, and they’ve brought in a few young players on defense this season. Perhaps most importantly, they’ve already signed Mahomes to a blockbuster deal and figured out how to build a roster and integrate new players to keep the team at its peak. It’s a challenge that still awaits potential challengers such as the Bengals, Ravens and Eagles, among others. Meanwhile, the chiefs are enjoying stability in their two most important positions.

“Andy is 64 and has a quarterback,” Mariucci said. “You will have to check your head to break it. Ride this wave while you can.”

Very few coaches can appreciate the position Reid is in right now. Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin is one of them. Coughlin said winning his first Super Bowl at the end of the 2007 season didn’t change him. He retired from Super Bowl XLII so quickly that he went to the dentist hours after the victory parade ended.

“Your competitive juices are flowing,” said Coughlin, who also won Super Bowl XLVI four years later. “He is focused on winning, winning, winning. Other things do not interest him. He’s a guy who knows what it’s like to lose. He thinks of nothing but winning the game. I’ll worry about that later.”

It’s true that there are a lot of similarities between Reed this week ahead of his third Super Bowl with Kansas City, and Reid who led the Chiefs to Miami three years ago. He arrived at the Super Bowl premiere this week wearing a red and white shirt that was just one step away from his favorite Tommy Bahama wardrobe. His wife, Tammy, stood by during his interview. He answered a lot of questions about cheeseburgers. And while he acknowledged that his remaining career is probably on the shorter end than the longer one, he scoffed at the idea that his long-awaited success made him a completely different coach. Older and grayer maybe, but he’s still Big Red.

“Differently? How am I different from when we won the first Super Bowl?” Reed said this week. “The team has changed. I probably look like who I was then. I must have less hair.”

Follow Judy Battista on Twitter.


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