Andy Reid adds to his legacy, weighs in on retirement talk after winning another Super Bowl
Reid coached his Kansas City Chiefs to a 2nd Super Bowl title in 4 years
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Andy Reid wasn’t having any of this “retirement” talk.
Prior to Sunday’s Super Bowl, a report from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer postulated that the Kansas City Chiefs head coach may have a retirement decision to make after the game.
The 24-year NFL head coach shut that idea down pretty quickly in the postgame press conference after his Chiefs rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in this year’s Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium.
“I look in the mirror and I’m old. My heart, though, is young. I still enjoy doing what I’m doing. I’m good with what I’m doing right now.” — Andy Reid
“I look in the mirror and I’m old. My heart, though, is young. I still enjoy doing what I’m doing,” the 64-year-old Reid said. “I’m good with what I’m doing right now.”
When pressed to clarify if that means he will be coaching the Chiefs next season, he said, “Listen, if they’ll have me, I’ll stick around.”
That answer elicited cheers from people inside the press conference room.
That was also music to his Super Bowl MVP quarterback’s ears.
“Obviously coach Reid — he has every right to retire. He’s done so many things for so long,” Patrick Mahomes, who was named the game’s MVP, said. “I can tell by how much he enjoys this that that’s not anywhere in the near future.
“... Whenever that time is right for him, we’ll embrace it, but I’m glad he’s sticking around because we feel the job is not finished.”
That all suggests that the future of the Chiefs dynasty is looking like it will march on — a positive sign for a franchise that has played in five straight AFC championships and three of the past four Super Bowls.
Reid, the former BYU offensive lineman and graduate assistant, became one of just 14 head coaches with two career Super Bowl wins with Sunday night’s victory.
“I’m honored to be in that (group),” Reid said. “I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had a lot of great players that have helped me get to this spot and great coaches. I respect the game. I respect all those guys and the jobs that they’ve done.”
If Reid wins another Super Bowl, he would become one of just five head coaches to win three or more.
Despite trailing 24-14 at halftime Sunday, Reid’s Chiefs rallied behind an improved defensive effort in the second half and Mahomes, who led the Kansas City offense to scores on all four of its second-half possessions.
That included three touchdowns and a field goal, capped by Harrison Butker’s 27-yard field goal with eight seconds to play that proved to be the game-winner.
This Super Bowl championship, like the one three years ago when Kansas City beat San Francisco, didn’t come easy, as the Chiefs had to rally again.
Mahomes, too, saw more doubt from outside critics questioning whether this Kansas City rendition could win a Super Bowl.
“I wouldn’t say counted out, but I think there were a lot more critics than there were the previous years I have been here,” Mahomes said.
“I told them at the beginning of the year, as long as Andy Reid’s coaching, we’re going to have success as an offense, and I trust in the leaders we have on that defense.”
Behind a valiant effort from Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Eagles took a 10-point lead into the half and made a second Chiefs Super Bowl win in four years appear in doubt.
Hurts ended up throwing for 304 yards and a touchdown, while adding 70 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
“If there’s any doubters left (about Hurts), there shouldn’t be now,” Mahomes said. “The way he stepped up on this stage ... that was a special performance I don’t want to get lost in the loss that they had.”
Another Utah tie, former Utes wide receiver and return specialist Britain Covey, also had a pair of nice punt returns (totaling 35 yards) in his Super Bowl debut for the Eagles.
His 27-yarder just before halftime helped set up the Eagles’ field goal to end the first half that gave them their first double-digit lead.
Philadelphia’s halftime lead could have been more, if not for a defensive touchdown from Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton in the second quarter.
All the Eagles did wasn’t enough, though, as Mahomes worked his magic.
“We just challenged each other (in halftime) to leave everything out there. I don’t want to say we played tight in the first half but didn’t have that same joy we (normally) play with,” Mahomes said.
“I just wanted guys to know that, everything you work for is this moment. You have to enjoy this moment. You can’t let this moment overtake you. I thought the guys did that in the second half, and they fought until the very end.”
Mahomes completed 21 of 27 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns in earning Super Bowl MVP honors in the same season he was also named the NFL MVP.
Added Reid: “These guys always believe. ... They always think they’re in the game.”
The Chiefs turned to the usual characters offensively — guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster (seven receptions, 53 yards) and Travis Kelce (six catches, 81 yards, one touchdown) — as well as lesser-utilized guys (Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore both caught touchdowns) to complete the comeback.
“These are all new faces, and they just stepped up,” Reid said, about getting key contributions across the board.
In the second half, there were pivotal moments that helped Kansas City counter Philadelphia’s own efforts to win a competitive, back-and-forth contest.
- Toney returned a punt 65 yards — a Super Bowl record — to set up Kansas City with a short field at the Eagles 5, leading to a touchdown and a 35-27 lead with 9:22 to play.
- After Hurts and the Eagles responded with a touchdown and a two-point conversion that tied the game, Kansas City went on a methodical 12-play, 66-yard drive that took more than five minutes off the clock.
- On that final drive, Mahomes scrambled 26 yards for a first down to the Philadelphia 17, getting his team into field goal range with just under three minutes to play in a tie game.
- After a costly holding penalty on the Eagles’ James Bradberry on a third-down play with less than two minutes left gave Kansas City a first down at the Eagles 11, Philadelphia’s outlook was bleak, as the Eagles had just one timeout remaining to stop the clock.
- On the next play, veteran running back Jerick McKinnon had an open lane to score on a run, but he stopped at the 2-yard line. That allowed Kansas City to run the clock down before Butker’s winning kick.
That essentially stamped out any hopes of a Philly miracle.
“He made it a little bit closer than I wanted him to,” Mahomes joked about McKinnon’s heads-up slide.
“We talked about it in the huddle before the play ... it was a smart decision on him. In that big of a moment, you just want to run in and score the touchdown. We work on that stuff every single week to prepare ourselves for those moments.”
Six total Utah ties, including Reid, ended up winning Super Bowl rings on Sunday night.
That included three players on the Chiefs’ practice squad — former Layton High receiver Marcus Kemp was a practice squad call-up and played on special teams Sunday, winning his second ring with Reid. Former BYU players Matt Bushman and Zayne Anderson (also of Stansbury High) also earned a Super Bowl title.
Two of Reid’s assistants have ties to Utah as well: BYU grad Porter Ellett won his second ring while serving as the team’s offensive quality control coach, and former Utah linebacker Alex Whittingham earned his second Super Bowl ring as the team’s defensive quality control coach.
There was even more familiarity in this win for Reid: it came against his former team, the Eagles, whom he coached from 1999-2012.
“I love Philadelphia,” Reid said. “I loved my time in Philadelphia — phenomenal people and we had some great years. I left the organization on a positive note. ... And there’s still three of their really good players (still there) that I had the chance to coach. I’m so proud of them for the careers that they’ve had.
“It’s a great city, as is Kansas City. I’ve been very fortunate — very, very fortunate.”
Enough about the past, though.
It’s more about the future — and enjoying another Lombardi Trophy headed to Kansas City.
Mahomes and company will happily follow their player’s coach into whatever comes next.
“He’s the best coach I’ve ever had about how he connects with players from everywhere,” Mahomes said. “No matter where you are from, he can connect with you. You can tell he cares about you as a man as much as he does about a player.
“... Obviously he wants to win football games and be great, but he cares about the men that step in that locker room and how he can make them better whenever they leave him.”