Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid made the rounds in Orlando this week.
In addition to sitting down with local and national football writers at the annual coaches breakfast, Reid joined the Around the NFL podcast to talk shop with Dan Hanzus, Gregg Rosenthal, Chris Wesseling and Marc Sessler.
With all of the coaches in attendance that come from Reid’s “tree,” the panel nicknamed him “the Godfather” of the NFL, which Reid playfully embraced.
“That’s fine,” he said, “Just watch out what you say because you might lose a leg.”
One of those coaches is a very familiar face to Chiefs fans in Doug Pederson. Reid watched Pederson and his old team, the Philadelphia Eagles, win a Super Bowl this past season.
“It was phenomenal,” Reid said. “I was so happy for that city and the organization. When we were there, we were so close, but we never got over that. For Doug to come in and to be able to lead them the way he led them in a lot of different areas I just thought was tremendous. For Howie Roseman to kind of get back in the picture and to be able to reestablish himself was good. And then for Jeffrey (Loria), who I’ve stayed very close with since leaving.”
A significant change happened for Reid and the Chiefs this offseason in the AFC West. Jon Gruden left the broadcast booth to become head coach of the rival Oakland Raiders.
Reid said that Gruden, who has been his longtime friend, being back is “great for the NFL.”
“To have him back is a neat deal,” Reid said. “Jon is a good football coach, most of all, and that’s really what he wants to do. He did the other thing because he had been excused from his job at Tampa and then was good at that too. Very few guys can be Hall of Fame quality in two different positions and he’s been able to do that.”
Reid, of course, is getting ready to challenge Gruden’s Raiders with a new quarterback this season in Patrick Mahomes.
Asked about the decision to trade Alex Smith, Reid reiterated what we began to hear earlier this offseason. He really knew it was time during the Week 17 Mahomes start.
“To be able to let Alex go like that, he had to show us something,” Reid said, “because Alex was putting together a phenomenal year and a phenomenal five years, really, with the Chiefs and no better than this year right here and I still thought he hadn’t tapped out yet, reached his cap.
“The thing that we had a chance to do with Mahomes was he got a chance to play in that Denver game. So myself and Mike Kafka worked with him as Matt Nagy, Brad Childress and Alex worked on playoff teams and getting ready for those. So I had an opportunity to work firsthand with Patrick and Mike, who also got promoted in this whole deal to quarterbacks coach. It was just so smooth.
“They played their starters, Denver did, their starting defense, and I went into that game feeling like we could score any time and once we got in there I felt the same thing. [Mahomes] gave you that confidence and he made some plays. You saw him do these no-look throws that he does in practice and you go, ‘Ah. It’s practice.’ He starts doing those in the game, I said, ‘Whoa, OK. That’s something special.’”
Before the interview was over, the panel put Reid through a one-word speed round, and one of the questions was whether or not Reid would give up a toe for a Super Bowl.
“Right now,” Reid instantly said.
The podcast is a great listen. The guys also interview Jaguars senior vice president Tony Khan and discuss the latest trade rumors around the league. You may find it here.