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Never Take Big Red for Granted

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On Sunday Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid passed franchise legend, Hank Stram for the most wins in team history. For me, it was a bittersweet moment because of my admiring respect for the Ole Mentor. Yet, the accomplishments of the two-time Super Bowl Champion coach who has orchestrated the Patrick Mahomes era to near perfection Reid should be celebrated and appreciated.

For the six decades, the Kansas City Chiefs have been in existence, we’ve seen two separate dynasties. If you were around in the early 60’s, you know the rich history of the team’s move from Dallas to Kansas City, taking the AFL by storm and winning Super Bowl IV.

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Fast forward to the last five years and the resurgence of the Chiefs is as equally dominant as the 60’s teams. Both teams were innovative offensively led by the late Len Dawson, and the best player in the game today, Patrick Mahomes.

Orchestrating those teams some fifty years apart, Hank Stram and Andy Reid share more than Super Bowl titles, they share a bond that goes much deeper. They are the greatest coaches in franchise history.

At 65 years young, Andy Reid has paid his NFL dues and then some. The fact he’s now the winningest Head Coach with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, puts him on a pedestal of accomplishment all his own.

Over the last eleven seasons in Kansas City, Reid has taken a down franchise and turned them into a juggernaut of success. Seven straight AFC West Titles, five straight AFC Title Games at Arrowhead, three Super Bowl appearances, and two Lombardi Trophies in hand.

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For most NFL Coaches that would be good enough to leave the sport behind and ride off into retirement, but not for Reid. He seems more confident and motivated to continue his AFC dominance until they drag him off the sidelines.

It’s unclear how long he’ll remain the Chiefs head coach, but I suspect once Reid hits the 70-year barrier, and if Mahomes play drops, he might then call it quits. Until, that day, Chiefs fans need to understand this is the golden era of the franchise, and we should all thank Reid for leading the teams renaissance.

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This season has been a struggle for Reid and his usually high-powered offense. Mahomes is tutoring a young core of receivers who are still learning the offense on the fly, Travis Kelce is 34 and not the player he used to be, and honestly, the offensive line with two new tackles, hasn’t quite gelled into a cohesive unit capable of winning another Super Bowl. At least not yet!

However, after their most recent performance in Las Vegas, perhaps Reid found the secret sauce and his offense can rise to its old level. Though they don’t have to be perfect like in past seasons, because Reid has one of the best defensive units in the NFL.

To date, his defense has held every opponent under 25 points per game.  If the offense can get its’ average over 30 points per game, the Chiefs will not lose another game this season or in the postseason.

Of course, Reid knows this as well and that’s why his patience with the offense is so important. You will never see Reid call out his players publicly. I’m sure privately he gets on them pretty well. We’ve heard rumblings about some of his legendary rants, but they generally stay in-house.

Still, fans get impatient and frustrated with the offensive struggles. We see all the same things that Reid sees, and we think we have all the answers. However, we really don’t because this offense is a complex machine that requires all its parts and pieces to operate at an equal level all over the field.

In other words, if one player is in the wrong spot, the offense is out of sync. Granted Mahomes can upend any deficiencies, but he can’t do it all by himself every snap. This season we’ve seen that play out in three bitter losses.

I think where Reid gets a bad deal from the fan base is that he’s so good at his job when things aren’t going well, fans don’t understand that playing at a high level consistently with different personnel each season, makes it difficult to sustain success.

Add that to the fact the NFL has shifted back to a defensive league, that has slowed down many high-powered offenses that have dominated the league the last five years, should be noted.

Reid understands that better than anybody. The fact his offense goes against his defense each week in practice could be one of the reasons this team continually challenged itself to be better on offense. Eventually, it will click.

The Chiefs understand the regular season is a grind. Reid knows it’s not easy for his players to bring that fire every snap for seventeen games, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t expected to do just that.

Kansas City is built for the postseason. The Chiefs will be favored to win Super Bowls if Reid and Mahomes stay together. This season doubt has crept in about the offense, and the AFC is far more competitive, so the margin for error is as slim as it’s ever been for the Chiefs.

Yet, that’s the challenge for Reid, and if he accepts that now and, in the future, there’s very little doubt he will win more AFC West titles and Super Bowls.  How many remain to be seen?

For now, let’s just be grateful Big Reid is our Head Coach, and enjoy the ride forever long it lasts.

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