Over the years he’s been the leader of an NFL team, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has had some narratives rise up around him. One of them is that he doesn’t have the killer instinct to win an NFL championship.
Part of this has to do with the fact that Reid is a genial, soft-spoken man. It’s not the image we might typically associate with a coach in such a violent sport as professional football. But it’s also true that Reid — now finishing his 21st season as one of the NFL’s most successful coaches — has never won a championship.
His teams have appeared in seven conference championship games, but have won only two. The last time was 15 years ago, when his Philadelphia Eagles followed the win with a loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
On Sunday, Reid gets another chance to get his championship — and the national spotlight is burning brightly.
In a Football Morning in America column published by NBC Sports on Monday, Peter King provided a lengthy (and fascinating) interview with the Chiefs’ leader — one that is well-worth your time. Riding to Arrowhead with Reid well before dawn on a recent morning, King asked him about the narrative that Reid can’t win the big game.
“You just took the drive that I take every day and there’s nothing to the outside world right there,” he said. “It’s calm, it’s dark, and then I go in this building and I study. Then when I leave it’s dark. It’s calm, and I go home and sleep and rest and then come back and do it again. That to me, is what’s real. That’s what I enjoy. I don’t worry about the other stuff. I don’t go there.
“Everybody’s gonna have their opinion on whether you can coach or can’t coach. Or this or that. I’ve been doing it a long time. Loved every minute. I love the relationships maybe most of all. I love putting the strategy together with my young coaches. I get in there and grind with them. I got some great minds that love to study and be creative.
“Everything else? Eh. It is what it is.”
King then asked if Reid thought the Chiefs would win Sunday’s game.
“I’m gonna tell you,” Reid said. “I go into every game thinking we’re gonna win and rip your heart out. That’s every game. Right or wrong. You can talk to the sports psychiatrist or psychologist and they’ll probably tell you that’s the wrong way to go. But that’s the way I go. I’ve gone that way everything I’ve done. I try to do it humbly because that’s how I roll.
“But yeah, that’s why we work this hard. We don’t work this hard to lose.”