By John Riker
PHOENIX – Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid stepped to the Phoenix Convention Center stage and lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy one last time in Arizona, before reiterating his desire to contend for more titles during a news conference Monday morning.
Asked about his plans to continue coaching, Reid downplayed the possibility of retirement and alluded to one of the main reasons why.
“I haven’t put much thought into all of that,” Reid said. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I’ve got this guy over here who’s a pretty good player, so we’re doing OK.”
Reid gestured toward the left side of the room, where Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes was sitting alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The understatement drew laughs from Mahomes and Goodell and underscored the bond of a duo who has delivered two championships to Kansas City in a span of four years.
The morning after their 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, the Chiefs are still reveling in the thrill of another title and finalized plans for a Wednesday championship parade. Reid called Sunday’s last-minute thriller “a heck of a game” and spent his six-minute news conference deflecting credit and highlighting the contributions of the Chiefs’ players, coaches and executives who helped Kansas City finish the season on top.
Reid, cheerful but measured in his words and emotion at the podium, also took the opportunity to congratulate the Eagles, the franchise he coached for 14 seasons and led to Super Bowl XXXIX.
“I know Philly is hanging their head a little bit, but nobody really lost,” Reid said. “It was two great teams playing each other and two great cities. I’m fond of my time there and I’m fond of my time I’ve had in Kansas City.”
In a fourth quarter defined by creative play calls from the Chiefs sideline and questionable decisions from Philadelphia’s coaches, Kansas City completed its rally with not only impeccable execution on the field, but also inspired decisions from its coaches. Reid elaborated on one of those crucial decisions: his team’s clock management in the Chiefs’ game-winning drive that culminated in a 27-yard Harrison Butker field goal.
With Kansas City well within field goal range and Philadelphia out of timeouts, Reid told Mahomes to go into “church mode” — kneeling to run down the clock and position Butker for the go-ahead field goal — and minimize Philadelphia’s chances of answering back.
“We knew we could run the clock down to eight seconds if we did it right and still stay within that 5- to 6-yard area where your field goal percentage is 99%, and we’ve got a good field goal kicker,” Reid said. “You don’t really give them much of an opportunity to get the ball back.”
The Kansas City coaching staff has familiarized the Chiefs’ players with that exact late-game strategy in practice, according to Reid. The kneel downs made for an anticlimactic finish to the Chiefs’ 66-yard drive but also gave Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts only eight seconds to work with on the final possession.
“We practice it every Friday,” Reid said. “You don’t get to use it very often, but on the biggest stage, we were able to use it.”
After Reid exited the stage, Mahomes walked over to the podium to hold his second Super Bowl MVP trophy and give his perspective on a historic win. In his final words before heading west to Disneyland, Mahomes shared his appreciation for his coach and his hopes for their future together leading Kansas City.
“I said it before the year and I’ll always say it — when Andy Reid is coaching us, we’ll always have a chance,” Mahomes said. “I’ll keep the big guy around a couple more years at least, and we’ll try to be back in this game as many times as possible.”
John Riker is a sports media graduate student at Medill. You can follow him on Twitter.