Chiefs coach Andy Reid is at start, not end, of something big after Super Bowl victory
He could call it a career today and leave with an impressive legacy, but Reid sees a chance to stack championships in his 60s.
MIAMI — Chiefs coach Andy Reid is roughly old enough to be Patrick Mahomes’ grandfather, but he felt as young as his quarterback after watching him spin and sling his way to a jaw-dropping comeback in the Super Bowl.
Reid had been up all night celebrating the Chiefs’ 31-20 victory Sunday against the 49ers and sauntered into an early-morning news conference Monday looking ready to do it all over again.
‘‘It’s been a phenomenal experience the last few hours,’’ Reid said, not a bit groggy from partying with his team and rapper Pitbull. ‘‘I haven’t slept. I might stay up another night.’’
Pressed for details, the 61-year-old let it rip.
‘‘I didn’t really sleep last night, but I didn’t spend it with the trophy,’’ he said. ‘‘Well, I did. I spent it with my trophy wife.’’
His jokes are as sharp as his play-calls, and we’re probably going to witness plenty of each for the next several seasons. The Super Bowl victory checked the final box on Reid’s career when it comes to public opinion, but he sounded as though he’s at the beginning of something big, not the end.
The Chiefs have been a perfect second act for him, and Reid is now 82-40 (including the playoffs) since landing with them after the Eagles fired him at the end of the 2012 season. That record includes averaging more than 10 victories a season before Mahomes took over as the starter.
Mahomes’ arrival energized Reid personally and professionally. The two speak glowingly about each other, and Mahomes’ incomparable ability means there’s no limit on Reid’s creativity for the offense.
With that in his favor, Reid said he doesn’t have a retirement plan.
‘‘I’ve got this young quarterback over here that makes life easy for everybody every day,’’ he said, motioning at Mahomes. ‘‘It’s a pleasure coming to work knowing that you have an opportunity to coach him and his teammates.’’
The relationship has been ideal for Mahomes, too. He is gifted, no doubt, and would have been a star no matter where he landed in the 2017 draft — even with the Bears. But credit Reid for excellent stewardship. They’ve been a perfect combination.
Reid’s players and the many branches of his extensive coaching tree, including the Bears’ Matt Nagy, already regarded him as one of the greats. He is seventh in NFL history with 207 career regular-season victories, and his teams have ranked among the top 10 in the league in scoring 13 of his 21 seasons as a head coach. He has had only three losing records in his career.
Reid’s pupils at quarterback include Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith and Mahomes. He also spent a little time as Brett Favre’s position coach in the late 1990s. His coaching tree is as broad as a mighty oak, with 10 former assistants having gone on to be head coaches. Two of his current staffers, Eric Bieniemy and Mike Kafka, should get there soon.
Those achievements and the respect he has in the game were enough for him. If fans or media members wanted to undercut his legacy, so be it.
‘‘He’s one of the greatest coaches of all time,’’ Mahomes said. ‘‘I don’t think he needed the Lombardi Trophy to prove that. But just to do that, it puts all doubt aside. He’s gonna be listed as one of the all-time great coaches in history whenever he wants to be done, which I hope is not any time soon.’’
The roaring celebration at Hard Rock Stadium was 38 seasons in the making for Reid, who began coaching as a graduate assistant at BYU in 1982.
But Reid didn’t see it as a coronation. There’s so much left to do. As incredible as Mahomes has been, he’s not a finished product. He’s still one of the least experienced starters in the NFL.
The Chiefs are just getting started, and, in some ways, so is Reid.
‘‘You get one, you want to go get another,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re gonna backpedal for a minute and enjoy this one, then we’ll get busy on the next one.’’