Kansas City Chiefs players often speak with reverence when asked about Andy Reid and his influence on their careers. Reid has helped players become MVPs, Super Bowl champions, and Hall of Famers.
Frank Clark is one of those players, and according to him, his and Reid’s relationship goes far beyond that of a player and a coach.
“I love him because of the man he is first, not the coach, (but) the man he is,” Clark told reporters on Thursday. “And I feel like if you know him from that standpoint you will be able to attest to what I am saying.
“A lot of guys know him as a coach, and they only see the coach side of him. I (have) actually been fortunate enough to see the other side of him where I had a lot of conversations with him from that standpoint. Just helping me become a better father, helping me understand life a little bit more, and some of my tougher situations I (had) to endure over the last two years.”
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for Clark. In September, he pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon stemming from two separate incidents in 2021. The NFL, in turn, suspended Clark for two games for violating the league’s conduct policy.
Clark believes that having his head coach in his corner helped him navigate this pivotal juncture.
“Understanding that guys do have some bad times, guys do (mess) up sometimes but sometimes you got to have those guys there,” Clark explained. “Having coach Reid there was big because my father passed a few years ago – I lost my father in a house fire a few years ago – so you know the father figures are of lack at times. Having a guy like that, I spend a lot of time with coach. We spend 70% of our week, we at the building. We in here from eight in the morning to six at night sometimes and camp is even longer so I’ve spent a lot of time with Andy, and we have a great relationship.”
After the Chiefs’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Inside the NFL caught a candid embrace between Clark and his head coach.
A wholesome moment between @TheRealFrankC_ and Big Red after the @Chiefs' win @NFLFilms | #Chiefs #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/YvHtXB0Ow9— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) January 31, 2023
“The things we talk about on the record and the things we talk about off the record,” Clark continued, “helped shape our relationship and (brought) us so close, and I feel like I’m able to talk about him about anything and just winning that game was one of those things.”
Clark is having yet another productive playoff run. With 2.5 sacks through the last two games, he now ranks third all-time with 13 career postseason sacks, trailing only Willie McGinest (16.0) and Bruce Smith (14.5).
Next weekend, the 29-year-old will have a chance to add to his total Super Bowl LVII vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. Clark knows it’s an opportunity worth cherishing.
“Last year, the Bengals came in and got rid of us,” Clark said. “Just to be able to get back in my fourth year here is just dope.”