LAS VEGAS – Andy Reid ran toward Chris Jones, the defensive cornerstone of his three Super Bowl-winning teams.
Jones was lying on the field, physically exhausted and revealing that new dynasty feeling after the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. Reid joined Jones on the turf, stood on his hands and shook his player’s shoulder pads vigorously.
“What do you think, huh?” Reid yelled at Jones as confetti fell around them. Reid moved his face closer to Jones and then repeated for effect. “What do you think?!”
This childlike joy was a rare display of emotion for the Chiefs’ veteran head coach. Reid’s bushy eyebrows, mustache, and small, round glasses give him a distinct appearance and also have the effect of obscuring his true feelings.
ALL THE FEELINGS ❤️ pic.twitter.com/yd1ByK7VPw
– Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) February 12, 2024
“He never shows any emotion,” cornerback L’Jarius Sneed said after the game. “It’s like a snake, ah! He comes to look for you. “That’s what I love about him, like a little rattlesnake.”
Rattlesnake Reid sank his fangs into the Niners on Sunday in Las Vegas, when receiver Mecole Hardman scored the winning touchdown in overtime. It was the debut of new overtime playoff rules inspired by the Chiefs’ 2021 overtime playoff victory over the Bills. Kansas City didn’t win the toss this time, but the Chiefs still couldn’t be stopped.
The 25-22 victory is Reid’s third Super Bowl in his fifth attempt. He is now the fifth head coach to win at least three, joining Bill Belichick (six), Chuck Noll (four), Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs (three), and the seventh coach to win it all in consecutive games. years ago.
“It’s a little surreal,” Reid said in his postgame news conference. “Consecutive backs is a rare sight for this football team and this organization. I don’t know what a dynasty is. You have the thesaurus, you can figure it out. It’s a big victory because I know how hard it is to do it. “I know how hard the season was, the ups and downs of the season.”
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Reid’s Chiefs were a little more definitive in their summary of the season and their coach.
“Dynasty, I think we met all the necessary requirements,” catcher Márquez Valdés-Scantling said in the postgame locker room. “If he’s not the best, he’s one of the best to ever do this.”
“Check the stats, check the numbers,” Sneed said. “It’s legendary.”
“He’s one of the best guys in football, and this just makes him one of the best coaches,” Chiefs assistant running backs coach Porter Ellett said. “Now it’s increasingly difficult to argue against him being in the top two or three in history.”
“Before tonight he was a Hall of Fame coach,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said. “But adding that third Super Bowl trophy in five years, I think really solidifies his status as one of the greatest of all time.”
“I wouldn’t want to play for another coach,” center Creed Humphrey said. “He is the best coach in the sport right now.”
At halftime, with Kansas City trailing 10-3, Reid didn’t panic. The offensive was stalled. Mahomes was constantly under pressure, he was sacked twice and running back Isiah Pacheco fumbled the Chiefs’ most promising ball. But Reid’s message to players and staff was the same: Keep going.
“When you’re in the Super Bowl and you’re down seven points, it feels like 20,” Reid said. “And then you just calm down, we’re there, we’re getting the ball to start the second half and everyone just rallies around each other, and good things can happen.”
“When you’re down 10 points in a big game like this, a lot of coaches can’t handle it well and start throwing things at the wall hoping it sticks,” Humphrey said. “But he stuck to the game plan. And he had a great game plan for us. He did a great job, a masterful coaching job.”
“No matter how good a coach he is, he never changes,” offensive coordinator Matt Nagy said. “He stays the course. He is a leader of men and a great teacher. And not only does he teach his players, but he also teaches his coaches how to be good leaders. And then you stick together and make things happen.”
The two players who scored touchdowns for Kansas City on Sunday present direct evidence of that togetherness quality that coaches say makes Reid special. Valdes-Scantling, who scored the first touchdown on Sunday, struggled with costly drops all season. Hardman returned to the Chiefs in a trade after being waived by the Jets midseason and struggled this postseason, notably getting the ball out of the end zone in Buffalo, before scoring the game-winner.
“Coach Reid is one of those guys that stays the course no matter what,” Valdes-Scantling said. “We’re all here for a reason and we all make plays, and we all have the special skill set that we have, and to be able to continue that and stay the course with us has been good.”
Ellett is in his seventh season on Kansas City’s staff. He injured his right arm in an accident when he was 4 years old and later had it amputated. He never played football and ended up connecting with Reid when he got a job as Reid’s assistant. Since then, Reid taught him how to coach.
“He never gives up on a guy,” Ellett said. “He puts a lot of faith in people. And if you reward faith, he will continue to trust you. I mean, I’m a good example of that. “People don’t hire one-armed football coaches who haven’t played football.”
Because he is 65 years old, there has been growing speculation about Reid’s future. How much longer will she continue training? How many more rings will this budding dynasty acquire? When asked after Sunday’s win if he would return to coach Kansas City next season, Reid was nonchalant: “Yeah, I haven’t had time to think about it, but yeah, sure.”
The Chiefs players don’t hear any of that noise.
“He’s got a lot left in the tank,” Humphrey said.
“We won two Super Bowls in a row,” Valdez-Scantling said. “We’re trying to find another one.”
Plus, the boss is confident Reid will stick around for a while longer.
“I know Andy is full of energy and loves what he does,” Hunt said. “I certainly hope he comes back next year to defend our title.”
(Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)