In his third Super Bowl in four years, Andy Reid, the mastermind behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes‘ mentor, will face some old and beloved acquaintances this Sunday for the NFL title: the Philadelphia Eagles, whom he coached from 1999 to 2012.
“I spent 14 great years there and loved every minute of it. They are a great organisation and I still have a close relationship with the people there,” the coach explained at a press conference this week.
Reid, regarded as one of the NFL’s most prestigious coaches, will seek his second ring with the Chiefs on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona, after the one he earned in 2020 by beating the San Francisco 49ers. But this coach also knows what it’s like to lose in a Super Bowl as he has lost two finals: the 2021 final with Kansas City to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2005 final with Philadelphia to the New England Patriots. In both cases, Tom Brady stood in his way.
Leaving his mark in Philly
Although he failed to win the Super Bowl with the Eagles, Reid, who has guided the Chiefs to five consecutive American Football Conference (AFC) Finals, left a significant mark on the Philadelphia franchise. In his first head coaching job in the NFL, Reid took a team that had bled to 3-13 in 1998 and, beginning in his second season, he put together five consecutive playoff appearances. Those Eagles from 2000 to 2004 reached the NFC finals four times and played in a Super Bowl.
Reid would go on to lead the Eagles to the playoffs four more times before moving on in 2013 to coach the Chiefs. Interestingly, Nick Sirianni, now the Eagles coach, was then on the Kansas City coaching staff working with the receivers but Reid didn’t keep him on his staff when he landed with the Chiefs.
Far from having a score to settle, Sirianni said this week that, at the time, Reid met with him to explain why he wasn’t going to continue with the Chiefs and to encourage him for the future.
“I was down at the time and he gave me strength, he tried to encourage me and I think that says a lot about his personality and who he is so I thanked him for that,” the Philadelphia coach said.
The intertwined Eagles and Kansas City journey is further entangled when you see that Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, veterans and mainstays in Philadelphia right now, were all draft picks by Reid during his time with that franchise.
“It’s been great to see these guys that we drafted who are now veterans and stars on that team,” Reid said. “I got a chance to give them one last hug Monday night and now we’re going our separate ways and getting ready to play. But I’m proud of what they’ve done.”
The affection is mutual as Jason Kelce also praised Reid unreservedly and said he couldn’t stop saying “good things about Andy. The players love playing for him… And I think he just instills conviction and confidence in them. Everybody trusts him and he’s just a great person.”
In yet another twist of fate, Reid has coached the two Kelce brothers who will face off in a Super Bowl showdown: Jason on the Eagles and Travis on the Chiefs.