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Feb 5, 2024 10:23 pm

Retirement on hold, Chiefs’ Andy Reid makes run at best ever

Andy Reid

LAS VEGAS — Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid embraces Tommy Bahama button-town style to the extent questions about retirement no longer inspire shock and disdain.

“My mom and dad told me a long time ago, ‘You’ll know when it’s time,'” Reid said Monday at Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium. “I’m here. And I’m still ready to go right now.”

But at age 65, another question might apply to Reid by Sunday night: Could he become the GOAT?

“I don’t think about that sort of thing really,” Reid said.

Reid is second in NFL history with 25 playoff wins and fourth in regular-season victories with 258. Recently unemployed Bill Belichick ranks No. 1 with 31 postseason victories and is closing in on Don Shula’s regular-season wins mark. Belichick stands at a grand total of 333 victories (302 in the regular season).

Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has coached against Belichick and worked for Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chiefs. He wouldn’t claim to have foreseen Reid chasing 300 career wins, but he did see greatness in the young coach groomed under Mike Holmgren with the Green Bay Packers.

“You knew immediately that Andy knew exactly how to do it,” Spagnuolo said Monday, adding the detail-oriented Reid has encyclopedic volumes of notes from his coaching experiences and offseason visits to college programs to keep learning and exploring what’s next. “He never looks riled. Rock solid. He never gets too high, never gets too low. Stays the course all the way through. When the coaches, the players see that — they follow.”

Reid snapped Kansas City’s 49-year streak without a Super Bowl appearance when the Chiefs claimed Lombardi Trophy after the 2019 season. He has taken Kansas City to four Super Bowls in the past five seasons and is pursuing his third title.

Since being hired by the Chiefs in January 2013, Reid hasn’t had a losing record in 11 seasons. No other franchise has a streak of consecutive non-losing seasons higher than five during that same window.

Fired by the Eagles in 2012 after 14 seasons in Philadelphia, Reid isn’t underappreciated in Kansas City. Before his arrival, the Chiefs hadn’t won a playoff game since January 1994, when Shula was still coaching the Miami Dolphins. Miami beat the Chiefs in the playoffs the following season.

That was one of Shula’s 347 total wins. He logged 328 victories in the regular season.

Reid stands at 283 total, 64 behind Shula’s all-time record tally.

But Reid’s 28-year-old quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is set to become the youngest to start four Super Bowls — a clip two years ahead of Tom Brady, who started his fourth at age 30 with the New England Patriots under Belichick.

With Reid — who drafted Mahomes in 2017 — they’re on a run of eight consecutive AFC West division titles and six straight AFC Championship Games.

Could Reid catch Belichick and Shula? Well, it depends.

Belichick, 71, and the Patriots split in January. Pete Carroll, 72, and the Seattle Seahawks did, too. That makes Reid the NFL’s elder statesman with his 66th birthday on March 19, six days after NFL free agency begins and less than a week before he is scheduled to represent the Chiefs at league meetings in Orlando.

Within the NFL pantheon of coaching legends, greatness narratives often are coupled with dynasty-level success, the type Reid is in the throes of with the Chiefs.

He has 37 regular-season wins and eight playoff wins in the past three seasons with a chance to get another playoff “W” this week. Including the Chiefs’ franchise-record 14 wins in 2020 (a mark they matched in 2022), Reid’s four-season totals are 51 wins, 10 in the playoffs.

For now, Reid wants to keep his focus on the next one.

He has never lost in Las Vegas (4-0 vs. the Raiders) and said the Chiefs are thanking the Raiders for the Christmas Day defeat in Kansas City that lit a spark under the team.

“We had some ups and downs throughout the year,” Reid said. “It was good to see the young guys step up and finish strong. The growth would be the biggest part of the journey.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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