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Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s long-delayed journey to NFL summit reaches rarefied air

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Posted at 1:29 AM, Feb 12, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five years ago, Andy Reid wasn’t universally considered a lock for the Hall of Fame because his coaching résumé lacked one very important thing — a Lombardi Trophy.

It’s hard to fathom now, but there are plenty of Hall of Fame voters who consider winning a Super Bowl title a prerequisite for any coach’s enshrinement in Canton, Ohio.

After his first 20 NFL seasons — 14 with Philadelphia and six in Kansas City — Reid remained without a Super Bowl championship and, thus, a Hall-worthy career.

Now? Reid’s place among NFL coaches is secure.

With the Chiefs’ overtime win Sunday against San Francisco in Super Bowl LVIII, Reid became the fifth coach in NFL history with at least three Super Bowl championships. He’s tied for third on the all-time list with Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs, trailing only Bill Belichick (six) and Chuck Noll (four).

“He’s one of the best coaches of all time,” Mahomes said. “I think he’s the best coach of all time. I know he doesn’t have the trophies yet, and I have a lot of respect for those great coaches, but the way he’s able to navigate every single team he has [and] continue to have success no matter where he’s at.”

The 2023 season proved more challenging than his previous championship season — 2019 and 2022, when Kansas City looked the part of a Super Bowl contender on a weekly basis.

The Chiefs limped through three losses in four games in December as NFL pundits fled the bandwagon like rats fleeing a sinking ship, but Reid never let the ship run aground.

Kansas City steadied itself for the playoffs — thrashing Miami in one of the coldest games in NFL history before hitting the road to upset second-seeded Buffalo and top-seeded Baltimore before beating the NFC’s top seed, San Francisco, in the Super Bowl.

“I appreciated the first one because it took me 1,000 years to get into the Super Bowl and be able to hold that Lombardi Trophy,” Reid said.

However, the journey this season may have been more fulfilling.

“This is a tough profession, which we all know, competitive,” Reid said. “The parity in this league is ridiculous. To watch your guys work and focus and all that, you just appreciate it.”

Patrick Mahomes’ arrival obviously helped usher in Reid’s championship era, but the three-time Super Bowl MVP said he couldn’t do it without “Big Red.”

“For me, he brings out the best in me, because he lets me be me,” Mahomes said. “That’s important. He doesn’t try to make me anybody else. I don’t think I’d be the quarterback I am if I didn’t have my head coach. Other than that, he wants you to be the best person you can be. That’s something that I think is truly special.”

Much like the chemistry the coach-QB duo has shown in winning three Super Bowls in four appearances during the last five years together.