‘Beautiful alien’ Andy Reid can boost legacy against former team

It’s not lost on Reid that his chance to win a second Super Bowl in three seasons is coming against the Eagles, the team that fired him just over 10 years ago.

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Chiefs head coach Andy Reid answers a question Wednesday at the team hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid answers a question Wednesday at the team hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

PHOENIX — It took less than a week for Andy Reid to get from Philadelphia to Kansas City.

The Eagles fired their coach after 14 years on Dec. 30, 2012. After a clandestine meeting at the Philadelphia airport with Chiefs brass, Reid agreed to take the job Jan. 4, 2013.

Matt Nagy, an Eagles assistant who followed Reid to the Chiefs, still remembers what happened in Reid’s first meeting with his new players. After spending a stressful season under fire in Philadelphia — he was booed as often by locals as another red-clad large man with facial hair, Santa Claus — Reid was treated as a conquering hero by veterans Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry.

“These vets that were sitting there were staring at him like he’s this beautiful alien that came out of nowhere that’s going to take us to the promised land,” Nagy said. “And he did it.

“It was refreshing to go from Philly to that.”

It took him seven years to do just that. The Chiefs beat the 49ers 31-20 in the Super Bowl three years ago, thanks to a ridiculous third-and-15 throw — remember “Jet Chip Wasp?” — from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill. Down 10, the Chiefs completed the 44-yard pass midway through the fourth quarter, sparking a 21-0 run to pull away.

Then the Bears coach, Nagy was sitting in his basement, whose walls were lined with his old call sheets, watching the game by himself. He choked up when his flat-screen television showed confetti floating to the ground.

“You just get emotional,” he said. “I was by myself. I was watching it. I was not a part of it, but I was so happy for him to finally have that moment.”

Up until then, Reid was known as the coach who couldn’t win the big game. He only had three losing records with the Eagles but lost four times in the NFC title game. After he won the conference title, he lost to the -Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

“No one does it as good as him,” Nagy said. “The right way. The way you treat people, the way you teach people, the relationships. He is, in my opinion, the best to ever do it.”

That’s overstating things — but Reid could make an argument for the second-best modern coach, behind Bill Belichick, with a victory Sunday in the Super Bowl against the same Eagles.

Only Belichick has more postseason wins than Reid’s 21. Counting playoff games, Reid has won 268 games, the fifth-most in NFL history. He trails only Belichick, Don Shula, George Halas and Tom Landry.

Teams have spent the last two decades trying to find the next Reid, hiring young play-callers as coaches. The Eagles’ Nick -Sirianni is one. So was Nagy.

It’s not lost on Reid that his chance to win a second Super Bowl in three times is coming against the Eagles, the team that fired him just over 10 years ago. It hit him hard at first.

“Initially,” he said, “that was quite a deal.”

He has spent the last two weeks or so trying to get over it.

“It’s a great thing for the Eagles,” Reid said. “It’s great for the Chiefs to be in this position. Once you get through all that, now it’s just the teams playing each other. It doesn’t really matter, the uniform.”

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