Bloomington, Minn. • Andy Reid likely will earn, sometime during the 2019 season, his 200th victory as an NFL coach with two teams over 21 years.
The former BYU offensive lineman would merit Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration with his .604 winning percentage, except for this number: zero Super Bowl wins.
Maybe he could count other people’s championships. Reid’s influence on the NFL will add another dimension Sunday, when one of his former assistants leads a team into the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson, a member of Reid’s staffs in Philadelphia and Kansas City, will coach the Eagles against New England five years after Baltimore’s John Harbaugh won a title.
Super Bowl LII is a 13-years-later rematch of Reid’s only appearance on this stage, a loss to the Patriots. Whether Reid personally ever will get another title shot is questionable. But the increasing number of his former assistants as head coaches will give him more chances to enjoy someone else’s success.
With two new hires in January, his coaching tree extends to seven franchises — eight if you include him with the Chiefs. That covers one-fourth of the NFL, not counting three other former assistants who were head coaches in the past.
“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” said Eugene Chung, who coaches the Eagles’ tight ends after working for Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City.
“There’s a reason why guys are getting those jobs,” Chung said. “[Owners] like what coach Reid does. … That model works, and it’s going to work for a while.”
The late LaVell Edwards was a longtime mentor of Reid and encouraged him to consider coaching as his BYU playing career was ending. In an NFL context, Reid was influenced by Mike Holmgren, who was a Bill Walsh disciple as a San Francisco 49ers assistant (after having coached BYU’s quarterbacks). So framing Sunday’s game as a matchup of Walsh’s lasting impact vs. New England’s Bill Belichick, who’s already a legendary coach, requires only a minor leap.
Pederson was a backup quarterback in Green Bay in the late 1990s when Reid was coaching Brett Favre and the Packers’ other QBs. Reid brought him to Philadelphia as a player and later gave him an entry-level job after Pederson had coached for four years at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La.
The move into NFL coaching under Reid, even in a quality control position, didn’t take “a lot of twisting of my arm,” Pederson said this week.
Pederson was promoted to quarterbacks coach with the Eagles and became Reid’s offensive coordinator in Kansas City before returning to Philly as head coach. The Eagles won the NFC championship in their second year under Pederson, who is credited with saving a season that could have crumbled amid injuries to quarterback Carson Wentz and other key players.
“Doug’s done a great job with the guys,” Chung said. “He changes with the times, different techniques and things, but for the most part, it’s still how coach Reid ran his team.”
Duce Staley, the Eagles’ running backs coach, played for Reid in Philadelphia and got into coaching through Pederson. Asked if Pederson has an element of Reid’s personality, Staley said, “We’ve all got it, and it’s a good thing.”
Staley continued, “The way we put together the game plan, the way we see things came from Andy. … Those guys coming from that Andy Reid coaching tree, they’re very detail-oriented, they know the offense in and out.”
Chad Lewis, a BYU associate athletic director, played for the Eagles when Pederson was a teammate and Harbaugh coached special teams. Lewis, who labeled Reid “a builder of coaches,” long ago identified those two as potential stars in the profession.
Pederson had “the temperament, the knowledge, all the makings of a great coach in embryo,” Lewis said. “To see what he’s done now to keep it all together, what a great statement.”
Pat Shurmur, hired last week by the New York Giants for his second opportunity as a head coach, was Lewis’ position coach in Philadelphia and most recently was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator. Matt Nagy, who succeeded Pederson as the coordinator in Kansas City, was chosen as Chicago’s coach.
Carolina’s Ron Rivera and Buffalo’s Sean McDermott took their teams to the playoffs this season; Rivera’s team recently lost a Super Bowl vs. Denver.
Belichick is expected to lose both of his coordinators to head coaching vacancies next week, with Matt Patricia (defense) going to Detroit and Josh McDaniels (offense) headed to Indianapolis. After beating the Eagles in February 2005, Belichick sent Romeo Crennel (defense) to Cleveland and Charlie Weis (offense) to Notre Dame. Belichick assistants such as Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz have become college head coaches, but his NFL influence is not nearly as extensive as Reid’s.
Belichick’s 250-118 (.679) record and five championships are unmatched in this era. Yet in his own way, Reid will have an NFL legacy that’s tough to top.