Andy Reid isn’t new to this game. As the veteran head coach walked onto the podium for another Super Bowl news conference, it was readily apparent that this moment isn’t too big for him anymore — not that it should be.
Reid is no stranger to the postseason during his decades-long coaching career as the head man and an assistant. Of course, having someone like Patrick Mahomes helps in the quest to win more Super Bowls, but Reid has developed into an immensely valuable piece to have at this point in the season. He has a wealth of knowledge that can be gained only by experience. It's a big reason why Kansas City is here and a big reason why the Chiefs have been able to develop a program that consistently has them deep in the postseason.
And it shows no signs of ending soon as Reid, 65, on Monday night ended any speculation of this being his last season before calling it quits. That claim was reiterated by Chiefs team owner Clark Hunt on Tuesday.
"I've heard the same reports that you have and have been surprised to see so many of them out there because I have no sense from Andy that he's ready to retire," Hunt told Mad Dog Sports Radio's Chris Russo on Tuesday.
Reid has an interesting background as an offensive guru who has become a well-rounded head coach. He spent the early portions of his career as an offensive line coach before moving onto coaching tight ends and quarterbacks with the Green Bay Packers in the late 1990s. That gives him a wide source of knowledge that he can rely on in order to make sure that his players are up to speed in incredibly high-leverage situations like this.
Pro Bowl Chiefs center Creed Humphrey spoke on the value of having a head coach who understands what’s going on with a group of players that need an insane amount of coordination to be good at their jobs.
“It’s a unique thing to have a head coach who understands offensive line stuff,” Humphrey said. “He’s been awesome. It’s so much fun playing for him. I’ve gotten really lucky to be in the situation with him as my head coach and also having Coach [Andy] Heck, who is one of the best offensive line coaches in the league.”
The development of players like Humphrey and guard Trey Smith speak to the work and knowledge that Reid has as far as the offensive line is concerned. Getting Mahomes up to speed as quickly as that happened and two decades of offensive prowess makes it apparent that Reid has the offensive side of the ball down pat. However, the head coach has to do more than just dial in on one side of the ball. Even if Reid isn’t calling plays on defense like he is on offense, that’s still a side of the ball where he’s going to need to have some input on what happens.
Andy Reid will be tied for third most Super Bowl appearances by a HC 💯 pic.twitter.com/8hbKPJfAYt
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) February 7, 2024
According to linebacker Drue Tranquill, who joined the team last summer based on a text message from Reid he shared on social media, Reid’s best defensive asset is that he lets that group do what it does best. Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has had success over the past few seasons, gradually improving the Chiefs’ defense year-over-year into the juggernaut unit that it has become this season. Reid will chime in every once in a while, but this is Spagnuolo's show — and the delegation on that side of the ball seems to be working, and is an extension of head-coach influence to a degree.
“He’s just a great coach in general,” Tranquill said. “He understands football, he understands how to win and he does a really good job of not overstepping his boundaries. He trusts his coaches. I don’t know what happens behind the scenes as far as all the meetings go in terms of who is setting the game plan, but he lets Spags lead the ship when it comes to the defense.”
That’s obviously been a productive setup for the Chiefs, seeing as they are playing in their fourth Super Bowl over the past five seasons.
This roster is filled with some of the best players and coaches in the NFL, but it doesn’t come together with this level of success without the man at the top piecing it all together.