LAS VEGAS (AP) — Michael Vick once played for coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia, and when he saw the potential of a young Patrick Mahomes, he knew that enormous talent was in good hands.
“I remember the first thing he said: ‘Hey, you’re going to be special. Look at that big man (Reid) right there. He's going to take you to another level,'” Mahomes recalled Monday, the day after he led the Chiefs to a 25-22 overtime victory over the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
Reid has done that, overseeing a budding Kansas City dynasty and quarterback in Mahomes who is putting himself in the Greatest Of All Time conversation with Tom Brady and his seven championships.
The victory over San Francisco made the Chiefs the first team since Brady's Patriots 19 years ago to repeat. They have won three of the past five Super Bowls and played in four of them.
And they didn't sound like they were done, either, talking openly about trying to become the first team to three-peat. Reid, however, cautioned it wouldn't be easy, pointing to new divisional coaching hires, with the Chargers bringing in Jim Harbaugh and the Raiders elevating Antonio Pierce.
“We've got great competition in the AFC West,” Reid said. “These guys are good football coaches. It's not just going to be easy.”
No matters what happens, Reid has secured his spot among the greatest coaches ever. His three Super Bowl titles trail only Bill Belichick's six with New England and Chuck Noll's four with the 1970s Steelers.
Reid is even with San Francisco's Bill Walsh and Washington's Joe Gibbs. Walsh was known for his innovative West Coast offense, and Gibbs is the only coach to claim three championships with three different starting quarterbacks.
Reid has shown an ability to adapt his offense around his personnel and maximize its potential, but his success will especially be linked to Mahomes. Before Mahomes arrived, questions dogged Reid about whether he could win it all.
In 14 years in Philadelphia, he went 224-130 and led the Eagles to one Super Bowl appearance and four consecutive NFC championship games.
But no ring.
The questions have since gone from whether Reid can win it all to where he sits among the NFL's greatest coaches.
“I believe he’s the best coach of all time," Mahomes said. "I know he didn’t have the trophies (before Kansas City) and I have a lot of respect for some of those great coaches. But the way he’s able to navigate every single team he has, continue to have success no matter where he’s at.
"He brings out the best of me because he lets me be me. I think that’s important. He doesn’t try to make me anyone else. I don’t think I’d be the quarterback that I am if I didn’t have Coach Reid being my head coach.”
Reid is planning on sticking around as Mahomes' coach for at least one more season, even if at nearly 66, he could head into retirement after yet another Vince Lombardi Trophy and with his legacy secured.
“I haven't even thought about it, but I get asked it,” Reid said. “I'm still kind of in awe of the game (Sunday) and what went on there. ... I keep saying, ‘Why didn’t Belichick and Pete (Carroll) retire?' Ask those old guys that question, but I'm the old guy now.”
Reid remains on the job as fellow Super Bowl winners Belichick and Carroll appear as if they will sit out next season with the hopes of eventually latching on somewhere.
Belichick has been considered the gold standard of NFL coaches, but Reid is showing — like Mahomes with Brady — that he might be quickly catching up.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Reid is one of the coaches he relies on for “perspective from a team standpoint.”
“Coach Reid has been a leader on all levels, not just the football field,” Goodell said. “His leadership shows in everything he does. ... There's no better coach than Coach Reid."
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL
Mark Anderson, The Associated Press