On Thursday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid appeared on “The Rich Eisen Show,” relating a couple of previously unknown anecdotes about the team’s 31-21 Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
First, he revealed that Patrick Mahomes question to offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy — “Do we have time to run Wasp?” — wasn’t exactly as off-the-cuff as has been previously thought.
“It’s funny, because we’d been talking about that [for] the few series before that — really all the second half.” Reid recalled. “It was, ‘Listen, if we get an opportunity where we felt protection was good enough’ — you heard Patrick actually say, ‘Do we have enough time to throw the thing?’ — and so we were kind of working in that realm. We had talked about it — we had just talked about it before we went on the field — and so between Eric, myself, Pat and Mike Kafka, we were all on the same page; we were all kind of thinking the same thing.”
It would be nice, of course, to think that Mahomes had come up with the play out of the blue — that it hadn’t been part of the game plan. But by now, we should know better than that. Modern NFL coaches — especially Reid — only rarely (if ever) operate that way. The days when Gloster Richardson could run into the huddle with “65 Toss Power Trap” and have his quarterback respond, “Are you sure? We haven’t run that for a while” are long gone.
And that’s fine with Reid.
“He trusts myself and Eric and Mike as teachers — and we trust [him] when he brings us something.” Reid told Eisen. “It’s there. Myself and Eric have to make that final decision on what we do, but at the same time, to have a team — again, to have that trust — becomes a very important thing.”
So if it makes you feel any better, we can’t be sure that Reid, Bieniemy and Kafka would have thought to call “2-3 Jet Wasp” on third-and-15. Maybe in the end, it was all Mahomes’ idea. Let’s go with that.
But there now can’t be any question that the Chiefs always intended to run “Shift to Right Rose Bowl Parade” in the Super Bowl. We already knew that all season, the Chiefs had been practicing several versions of the 1948 Rose Bowl play — the one where all four players in the backfield spin while doing a pre-snap shift — even making sure during his pregame meetings with officials to let them know it was a play the team might run.
“I reminded the officials all year: ‘Listen, we’re going to line up the quarterback here, we’re going to spin around — but it’s going to be a dive,” Reid explained. “That’s what the play is going to end up being. We’re legal.’ And then — of all the games to forget to tell them — I didn’t tell them in the Super Bowl; I didn’t have the chance before they were heading for the door. And one of the officials goes, ‘Listen, I’ve done your last three of four games. Are you still running that play from the Rose Bowl?’ I go, ‘Oh, absolutely. We’re running it today.’”
Reid also revealed that the one player who had trouble getting the spin move down was wide receiver Sammy Watkins — not because he isn’t athletic, but because he has big feet. With a chuckle, Reid speculated that Watkins “might not be a very good dancer.”
But he can sure sell the route to break Tyreek Hill open on “2-3 Jet Chip Wasp.” We’ll take it.