Big Red’s Big Finale?

02/06/2024 Big Red’s Big Finale?

By: Jeff Yoder

If This Is Andy Reid’s Last Run With the Chiefs, It Might Have Been His Best Coaching Performance Yet

Ah, Big Red. He’s not your typical ball coach. Somewhat tame and mild mannered, Andy Reid is in a class of his own as far as coaching personalities. When you think of football coaches, you often think of toughness, and a lot of yelling. Reid is, how should we say, more friendly. His voice is soft and comforting. The red mustache hides any quiver of the lip in times of panic. He can’t be rattled. Steady… even when things look bleak. And while this no-shame, cheeseburger-loving, open-hearted coach has endeared him to the masses, it’s Reid’s validation from his players that tells the story of his coaching legacy. Everybody loves this guy!


In all of Reid’s 25 seasons as an NFL head coach, this might be his best. Perhaps, too, his last.


Big Red’s Big Finish?

This story arch is purely speculation. And as you’ll come to read in our next section on the NBA, speculation isn’t a great habit for a journalist (shame on us). But it’s not far out. There have been murmurs of Reid nearing the end of his NFL journey, whether it’s this year or soon after. He’s 65 years old with little left to prove other than climbing a few more rungs in the ladder of coaching history. It’s also not hard to imagine that Reid goes out on top, and a win in Super Bowl LVIII could be the last bite of the Big Red apple. Followed by another celebratory cheeseburger… in paradise. Hawaiian shirt and all. And if it turns out this is the end, the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs will have been his best handiwork yet.


The Chiefs’ Rollercoaster Season

You might recall the defending champs lost the season-opener to the Lions (21-20). They were never, at any point beyond October, sitting alone atop the AFC. Instead, this dynastic offense with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce relied on the defense to keep them in ball games. They won six straight to get to 6-1 by November before the wheels fell off. Losses to the Broncos, Eagles, Packers, Bills and Raiders (five total) all came in Weeks 8-15. They were the AFC’s No. 3 seed — almost by default since no one else from the AFC West made the playoffs — and they were a road playoff team, twice, for the first time ever in the Reid-Mahomes era. The fact that Andy got them back to the big game this year? This could be his legacy sendoff.


What We Know About Andy

You might ask, “why?” Why are we speculating that this might be the end? For starters, Reid has a more telling and open persona than most coaches, and we know he won’t let the game force him out against his will. That’s no knock on Bill Belichick, but few football insiders would expect Reid to coach into his 70s and put the team in a tough situation. He’ll go out on his own terms, likely on top, and he’ll do it in a special way. If Mahomes wasn’t such an absolute juggernaut, one that makes KC a guaranteed yearly Super Bowl contender, I think Reid might have already retired. He’ll turn 66 in March, and he’s the oldest active head coach since Pete Carroll stepped down in Seattle.


Big Red’s Big Resume

Regardless of when, where or how Reid decides to take his last bite of the NFL, he’ll walk away one of the top-5 coaches in all the records that matter most. He’s been in five Super Bowls already; one as an assistant in Green Bay, one with the Eagles, and three with the Chiefs.


Wins: 258 (4th All-Time)

Playoff Wins: 24 (2nd All-Time)

Super Bowls: 2 (Tied-5th All-Time)


Another ring, and that last record moves up to a tie for 3rd all-time. Only Bill Belichick (6) and Chuck Noll (4) have won more than three Super Bowls.


So is three the magic number? Only Andy himself knows. Maybe there’s truth to the chatter and Big Red rides off into the sunset. Or maybe (imagine) another decade alongside Mahomes, and Andy Reid breaks every Belichick-held record in the book. Regardless of his final list price on a piece of paper, Big Red has nothing left to prove.


Read More

Sporting News: Is Andy Reid Retiring? What Chiefs Coach Has Said About Returning for 26th Season

Yardbarker: ESPN Broadcaster Discusses Retirement Rumors About Chiefs’ Andy Reid


Photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images