Earlier this week, Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty published his rankings of NFL head coaches. Unsurprisingly, he gave New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the top spot — but just like last season, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid occupied the second position.
Career Record: 207-128-1 (.618)
With The Chiefs Since: 2013
Last Year’s Ranking: 2
We didn’t need a Super Bowl to tell us Andy Reid’s place in the pantheon. He is the second best coach of his generation, and one of the greatest of all time. We got a Lombardi anyways, forever inoculating Reid against “he never won the big one” caveats while validating two decades of precise, innovative football. Reid has won at least nine games each of his seven seasons with the Chiefs, averaging 11. He has made the playoffs 15-of-21 years as a head coach, doing so with such disparate quarterbacks as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes. In a copycat league, Reid has always been a trendsetter. 62-year-old Reid’s résumé is now complete, but his tutelage of 24-year-old Mahomes means the Super Bowls could just be getting started.
Reid has been in the top five of Rotoworld’s NFL head coaching rankings for five straight seasons. It’s interesting to see what Daugherty wrote about Reid in 2014 — when he ranked Reid as the league’s seventh-best head coach.
Andy Reid has been an NFL coach for 15 seasons. He’s won at least 10 games in nine of them. He’s missed the playoffs only five times, and is coming off arguably the finest year of his career. So why isn’t he higher? Because while we know Reid’s strengths, we also know the weaknesses that have prevented him from calling himself “Super Bowl winning coach Andy Reid.” Reid’s Achilles’ heel — clock and timeout management — was just as evident in last month’s Wild Card loss as it was in Super Bowl XXXIX. In terms of weaknesses, that’s not as bad as, say, “can’t win.” But the fact that Reid even has such a well-known blind spot puts him a tier below the league’s truly-elite coaches. For the vast majority of his 15 years as a head coach, Reid has been slow and steady. Too often, however, he’s been too slow, too unsteady at the game’s most pivotal moments. We know Reid’s ceiling. We also know that after 15 years, he’s unlikely to ever break through it.
That’s what winning a Super Bowl — and having five five former assistants among the league’s head coaches — will do for you.
As Daughtery noted, Reid — and Patrick Mahomes — could just be getting started.