Andy Reid returns to Tremendous Bowl, the place he finds his previous buddy Philadelphia ready
Over 14 years, the wedding was typically good. At occasions, it was even nice. However it by no means reached the last word peak.
So every partner discovered a brand new accomplice, and alas, they realized of even better heights.
No, we’re not speaking about your buddy’s cousin’s brother-in-law.
We’re speaking about Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles — and the break up that left every, then and now, higher than they’d maybe realized they might turn into.
Reid’s Kansas Metropolis Chiefs outlasted the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, on Sunday night time to win the AFC championship. Three hours earlier, head coach Nick Sirianni and the Philadelphia Eagles had trounced the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7 within the NFC.
Now, a Super Bowl faceoff of previous fellows awaits.
“I had a good time there,” Reid mentioned Sunday night time after the Chiefs’ newest win. “14 years. Very long time, no?”
Youthful NFL followers might affiliate Reid primarily because the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs head coach who received the 2019 season Tremendous Bowl, because the mastermind offensive schemer who has augmented relatively than hindered the success of the very best quarterback within the league, Patrick Mahomes.
The Reid-Mahomes duo (and the opposite 50-plus gamers, and dozens of coaches, and entrance workplace staffers that compose the Chiefs group) have superior to 5 straight AFC championship sport appearances and now three Tremendous Bowl berths within the final 4 years.
However as they look forward to the opponent that awaits in Glendale, they’ll additionally look again.
As a result of earlier than there was Reid and Mahomes, earlier than there was Mahomes the NFL participant (a lot much less Mahomes the NFL MVP), there was Andy Reid, 14-year head coach of the Eagles.
The Eagles have been often aggressive in that stretch. Their information merited playoff appearances in 9 of Reid’s 14 seasons, and 6 division titles together with 4 straight. (The truth is, the NFC East title has not been efficiently defended since that 2001-04 Philadelphia stretch.) 5 occasions, the Eagles competed in a convention title sport — a frequency laborious for Dallas Cowboys followers, whose staff’s drought is 27 years and counting, to think about.
Reid’s Eagles misplaced their lone Tremendous Bowl journey to Invoice Belichick and the New England Patriots following the 2004 season.
However on Dec. 31, 2012, after a 4-12 season succeeded an 8-8 marketing campaign, Eagles staff proprietor Jeffrey Lurie mentioned it was time “to maneuver in a brand new path.”
Reid to Eagles: ‘I want you an enormous ring’
The ending was softer than NFL splits typically are.
Lurie called Reid “a gem of an individual … not solely an impressive coach, however an impressive particular person” because the staff dismissed their more-than-decade chief.
“This man was wonderful to work with, sensible and devoted himself,” Lurie mentioned. “I sit up for the day when everybody welcomes him again into the Eagles Corridor of Fame as a result of that’s inevitable.”
Reid, too, known as his Eagles tenure “the best 14 years of my life” as he exited whereas noting “typically change is nice.”
The Chiefs employed Reid as their head coach 5 days later.
However Reid’s parting want to Philadelphia got here principally true shortly after his departure.
“I do know the subsequent man that is available in can be phenomenal,” he instructed the Eagles. “The last word purpose is a Tremendous Bowl. Everyone on this room, I want you an enormous ring on the finger within the close to future.”
The Eagles would wish two extra head coaches (and an interim) earlier than Doug Pederson, whom Reid beat in this year’s divisional round, introduced the Lombardi Trophy residence to Philadelphia. However Reid’s prayer for a title within the “close to future” took roughly 5 years to materialize.
And two seasons later, Reid and his Chiefs have been hoisting their very own. They’d return to the large stage in consecutive years and, now, for a 3rd time in 4 go-arounds.
However this yr, the nostalgia is completely different.
Reid not first NFL coach to face former staff in Tremendous Bowl
Reid just isn’t the primary NFL head coach to teach a Tremendous Bowl in opposition to a staff for which he was previously head coach.
Jon Gruden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001 earlier than guiding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Tremendous Bowl win over the Raiders the season instantly after departing.
Pete Carroll coached the New England Patriots from 1997-99 earlier than finishing the 2013 season with a title sport in opposition to the Patriots. Invoice Belichick and Tom Brady’s staff in the end trumped Seattle.
Within the 1998 season, Dan Reeves coached the Atlanta Falcons to the Tremendous Bowl the place they fell to the Denver Broncos, with whom Reeves infamously misplaced three Tremendous Bowl blowouts within the Nineteen Eighties.
Now, Reid faces his former staff on the largest stage. The overwhelming majority of Philadelphia’s roster has turned over, solely seven roster gamers even within the league when Reid final coached the Eagles.
However three holdovers stay from drafts underneath Reid: middle Jason Kelce, defensive finish Brandon Graham and defensive sort out Fletcher Cox.
Reid now coaches Kelce’s brother Travis, the four-time All-Professional tight finish who chipped in 78 yards and a landing to Sunday’s win.
“Ha ha,” Reid deadpanned when requested in regards to the brothers’ Tremendous Bowl faceoff. “I’ve invested time in each of these two, so I really feel like I’m a part of the household.”
Storylines will abound when the Eagles and Chiefs compete in two weeks, from cellular quarterbacks to nasty defensive traces to the various roster-building methods these two franchises embraced. Household reunions will start with the Kelce brothers. They’ll proceed on to Reid and the Eagles.
The reunion of the divorce needn’t be awkward or bitter. The wedding featured loads of success, and every partner has established rhythm with an much more apt accomplice since. The Tremendous Bowl ring that Reid wished for the Eagles once they break up has arrived. Reid, too, has been fitted for jewellery. Additional bling is one win away — for both Reid or the Eagles, however not each.
“I’m blissful for them,” Reid mentioned of the Eagles. “I’m blissful for town. They’re passionate. They love soccer.
“I can’t wait until Kansas Metropolis and Philly conflict. I imply, it’s gonna be superior. What an excellent Tremendous Bowl it’ll be.”
Observe Yahoo Sports activities’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein