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Andy Reid Undervalued Coach No More

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Is Andy Reid undervalued as a coach in the NFL or does he deserve the criticism he sometimes garners?

Andy Reid Underappreciated

Is Andy Reid undervalued a coach in the NFL? Growing up in the Philadelphia area, I’ve personally witnessed Andy Reid be taken for granted. He took over a Eagles team that went 3-13 in 1998. After drafting Donovan McNabb with the 2nd pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, Reid went 5-11 that first season.

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Andy Reid with Donovan McNabb after drafting him in the 1999 NFL draft
MCNabb and Reid 1999 Draft

New Millennium

New Birds

In 2000 The Eagles improved to 11-5, making their first playoff appearance under Reid. From 2001-2004 The Birds would play in 4-straight NFC championship games. Philly only made one SuperBowl appearance during those 4 years, that was in the 2004 season. The Eagles lost that SuperBowl to the best defensive Patriots team in the Bill Bellichick era.

After the disruption of the Terrell Owens saga and a major rebuild of aging players from those early years, Philadelphia was back in the NFC title game in 2008. After falling behind early to the high powered offensive passing game of the Arizona Cardinals, The Eagles came back only to succumb late to Arizona.

Andy Reid as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles
DETROIT – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 19, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Eagles defeated the Lions 35-32. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Initial Negativity

14 seasons, 6 NFC East titles, 10 playoff wins, but No championships. One SuperBowl appearance and 4 NFC championship game losses. Fans and media started complaining. I have been an Eagles fan since the late 80’s, this was the most success Philly ever experienced on a consistent basis.

Before 2004, The Eagles, had been to one other SuperBowl in 1980. A loss to the Raiders. Fans want to win it all. Before Andy, no Eagles fan had reason to cheer, get hyped, or party due to Eagles games late into January.

The QB Guru

 
Mike Hplmgren and Andy Reid giving advice to Brett Favre

Favre

QB’s coach in charge of teaching Brett Favre to be an NFL starter

Title

McNabb

Donovan McNabb:
Reid’s 1st draft pick as a head coach

Jeff Garcia playing QB for the Eagles

Garcia

2006: Jeff Garcia believed to be washed up, leads Eagles to playoffs 

QB guru Andy Reid talking to his quarterback Michael Vick

Vick

in 2010,2011
Vick set career highs in Touchdowns, yards
comp% and QB rating

yards and TDs are set in just 12 games compared to any previous full season

Andy Reid giving Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb advice on the field

QB Guru

Nick Foles and Andy Reid talking football
Nick Foles

Drafted Nick Foles and his 1st NFL QB coach

Alex Smith listening to Chiefs coach Andy Reid
Alex Smith

A former 1st overall pick.
Thought to be a bust then a game manager in San Fran
In 5 seasons under Reid
Smith went to 3 Pro-bowls
2017 he threw for 4,042yds.

PatrickMahomes with his arm around his head coach Andy Reid
Mahomes

The reigning NFL MVP
Many believed he was a product of his spread system in college
Andy Reid wasn’t one of them

 

In the beginning

When Reid first became a head coach in Philadelphia he seemed unwilling to change his offensive philosophy. It was pass, pass, and then some more passes. This probably has something to do with the Bill Walsh philosophy of a screen pass being the west-coast version of a running game.

Reid was a valuable assistant in Green Bay under Mike Holmgren. Holmgren, a Superbowl winning head coach, is a branch that came from Walsh’s coaching tree.

Two iconic NFL coaches, Bill Walsh & Mike Holmgren. talking on the field

Reid changes philosophies

Andy Reid didn’t change his coaching philosophy per se. Reid rather through his experience and skilled running backs switched his schemes to match his strengths. Every season Andy called more passes vs. rushing attempts, but when he had the backs the ratio closed quite a bit.

The Running Game

First it was the three-headed monster attack of Duce Staley, Corell Buckhalter, and Brian Westbrook. He drafted Lesean McCoy in 2009. When Reid took the job of the 2-14 Chiefs in 2013, Kansas City arguably had the best back in the NFL. Under Reid that first season, Jaamal Charles set career highs in TDs and touches, including 259 carries in 15 games. Charles was names 1st-team all-pro.

 

Eagles running back Lesean McCoy

 

Lesean McCoy

 

Shady was drafted by Reid in Philly
2019 McCoy rejoined Reid in Kansas City

 

 

 

Andy Reid 21 Seasons

Does he get enough credit?

Patrick Mahomes with an arm around Andy Reid

 

10 Division Titles

 

Last 4 in a row with Chiefs

Andy Reid made his first playoff appearance in his second season as Eagles Head Coach. Andy’s had 15 winning seasons out of his 21 campaigns since 1999. The 3-13 Philadelphia franchise that Reid inherited went 5-11 in that first season with him at the helm. Andy Reid’s second year saw his Eagles team ascend to 11-5. Winning a playoff game. Philadelphia was trending upwards.

 

Only 4 Losing Seasons

 

7 Conference Title Appearances

This upcoming weekend will mark Reid’s 7th Conference Championship game. In the previous 6, Reid only has won once to advance to the SuperBowl.

That win came in the 4th of four straight appearances with Philadelphia. Losing in SuperBowl 39 to defending champion New England. Andy Reid has been an undervalued coach for sometime.

Troy Brown & Terrell Owens talking to one another on the field during SuperBowl 39
Troy Brown and Terrell Owens during SuperBowl 39

 

Reid can’t win in the playoffs?

This is untrue. Andy Reid is 2nd on the active coaches list of playoff victories. How he replaces talent is amongst the best to ever do it in league history. There are many franchises that in hindsight would love to have Reid at the control. Marvin Lewis went to a few playoff games, losing all of them. To say Andy doesn’t win in the playoffs is false.

 

Bud Grant and Marv Levy each lost four Superbowls. I feel if Grant coached Pittsburgh and Levy coached Dallas, both would be called champions today. Talent wins and it will continue to win.

Reid has had a top 5 team talent-wise many times but never a super-team like the 2007 Patriots. Every team that beat Andy’s teams in a conference title game went on to win or prove they deserved to be in the Superbowl, literally until the final whistle.

 

Reid hasn’t won a SuperBowl yet, so does that mean all the division titles and having the 2nd most playoff wins since 2000 don’t matter? 
To put together championship caliber teams for 20 years, rebuilding again and again, and having people think that he isn’t good enough to win a championship is ridiculous. 
Many great coaches never won titles and coaches who were mediocre at best have won them. Andy Reid is not mediocre.
If he wins a title this year it might be validation for him, but he is already an all-time great coach
 

Patrick Mahomes & Andy Reid

The Chiefs

Taking over a two win Chiefs squad, Reid staying true to form, in his first season led K.C to the playoffs. From 2013-2019, he rebuilt both sides of the ball more than once. Through injury, sickness, legal issues, and diminished talent, Andy’s kept the Chiefs on top of their division.

In 2018 Reid almost returned to the SuperBowl. In a classic AFC Championship game, Tom Brady did Tom Brady things as the Patriots defeated Kansas City in overtime. This upcoming weekend Andy Reid will be returning to the AFC title game. Andy Reid shouldn’t be an undervalued coach.

A Superbowl victory would force the critics to acknowledge all of his merits but it shouldn’t have too.

Coaches who struggled to win a championship in college or in the pros all say the same thing when interviewed after winning one. They say it’s great but they aren’t better now than they were the night before. If anyone thinks Andy Reid lacks something in intelligence or coaching ability that prevents him from ever winning a championship is crazy.

Andy Reid the GM and Talent Evaluator

Andy Reid has hit big on 1st rd. draft picks and he’s also swung and missed. Where I believe he shines and why he always has a good team is his drafting in rounds 3-6. In these rounds, Reid has continuously not just drafted depth or future starters but rather future stars and hall- Of-famers.

 
Eagles DE Derrick Burgess

Derrick Burgess

3rd Rd.

 

2x pro-bowl
52.0 Career Sacks

2001
 
Brian Westbrook running the ball for the Eagles

Brian Westbrook

3rd RD
2x pro-bowl
2007 All-Pro

1st NFL yds scrimmage.
2,104 [2007]
 
10,275 career yards scrimmage

 

2002
 
Eagles DE Trent Cole

Trent Cole

5th rd
2x pro-bowl
90.5 career sacks
 
2005
 
Jason Kelce at the Eagles superbowl parade

Jason Kelce
6th rd

3x pro-bowl
3x All-Pro

 
2011
 
Nick Foles winning the superbowl with the Eagles

Nick Foles
3rd rd

1x pro-bowl

superbowl MVP

 
2012
 
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce
3rd rd

5x pro-bowl
2x All-Pro

 
2013
 
Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill
5th rd

4x pro-bowl
2x All-Pro

 
2016
 
Kareem Hunt running the ball for Kansas City

 

Kareem Hunt
3rd rd

1x pro-bowl

1,327 yards rushing

led NFL
[2017]

 
2017

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