NFL: Familiar foe: No walk down Sentimental Street for Andy Reid
Andy Reid will stare across the field against familiar uniforms on Sunday but he isn’t going to set aside time to be sentimental.
Reid has the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons, and this one is a bit different. The opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles, the organization Reid guided to one Super Bowl loss during his 14 seasons as coach before being dismissed after the 2012 season.
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“It’s a great thing for the Eagles, it’s great for the Chiefs to be in this position,” Reid said during Tuesday’s press conference. “Once you get through that, it’s two teams playing each other. It doesn’t matter the uniform.”
Reid is attempting to shoo away references to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Ariz., as the “Andy Reid Bowl.”
He understands the storyline and the rarity of the situation. For instance, he is just the fifth head coach to face a former team in the Super Bowl, joining Weeb Ewbank, Dan Reeves, Jon Gruden and Pete Carroll.
But though Reid was certainly dejected to be fired after a 4-12 campaign in 2012, he has nothing but fond memories of his tenure with the Eagles.
“I had 14 great years there and I loved every minute of it,” Reid said. “It’s a great organization. I am still close to people there. It was great to see kids we had drafted — they are now veteran players, All-Pros on that team. Had a chance to give them a hug last night and now we go our separate ways and get ready to play.”
Those Eagles Reid is referring to are center Jason Kelce, right tackle Lane Johnson, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Brandon Graham.
All four were selected during the latter stages of Reid’s tenure and each developed into a key cog in Philadelphia’s success.
“I’m proud of the guys that were there when I was there — whether it was the front office people or a few players that are still there,” Reid said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to play them. They’re a very good football team, we’re a good football team. It should be a lot of fun competing.”
Reid went 130-93-1 in the regular season for the Eagles from 1999-2012 and also went 10-9 in the postseason.
Philadelphia reached the NFC Championship Game in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons under Reid but lost each time.
The Eagles made it back to the conference title game in 2004 and defeated the Atlanta Falcons. Philadelphia then lost 24-21 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
During the 2008 season, Reid’s Eagles reached the NFC title contest but lost to the Arizona Cardinals. The club lost their first postseason game each of the next two seasons and missed the field each of Reid’s last two campaigns.
The 4-12 mark in 2012 is Reid’s worst in 24 seasons as a head coach.
“I think he realized that for his family, a change of venue was probably the best,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “He certainly was very confident in his ability to be an extremely successful coach again, and I had that confidence in him too. That’s what made it so hard.”
After the dismissal, the Chiefs hired Reid and went 1-4 in the postseason over his first five seasons. Then Patrick Mahomes became the starting quarterback and Kansas City has since been one of the NFL’s top squads, going 10-3 in the postseason with Mahomes.
Reid earned his first Super Bowl ring in the 2019 season when the Chiefs recorded a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. They were back the following season but routed 31-9 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.
Reid, who is 117-45 with the Chiefs, has the second-most career postseason victories (21) behind Bill Belichick (31). But he knows winning a second Super Bowl won’t be easy.
“You better come prepared when you play Philadelphia,” Reid said.
Lurie said Reid is one of the best coaches in the history of the sport.
“To me, he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Lurie said. “He’s gonna win more than one (Super Bowl). I just don’t want it to be this Sunday.”
On the injury front, Reid said receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Kadarius Toney (ankle/hamstring) are slated to play Sunday. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed has passed concussion protocol and will play.
–Field Level Media
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