Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who turned a moribund franchise into a playoff team in his first year in Kansas City, was selected AFC coach of the year Wednesday by the Committee of 101.
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
It’s the second time Reid has been honored by the 101, a national media committee comprised of 101 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL.
The other winners are: Carolina’s Ron Rivera, NFC coach of the year; Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, AFC offensive player of the year; Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis, AFC defensive player of the year; Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy, NFC offensive player of the year; and Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, NFC defensive player of the year.
The winners will be honored at the 44th annual NFL 101 Awards dinner on March 1 at the Westin Crown Center.
Also, the newest inductee into the Chiefs Hall of Fame, the winner of the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, and the recipients of the Chiefs’ Derrick Thomas Most Valuable Player award and the Mack Lee Hill Award for top first-year player will be introduced at the dinner.
Reid, in his first season with the Chiefs after spending 14 years in Philadelphia, inherited a team that went 2-14 last season and guided it to an 11-5 record, tying for the second-best one-season turnaround in NFL history.
“It’s a great testament to what he has done in his first year with the Chiefs,” said Chiefs president Mark Donovan on behalf of Reid, who was unavailable for comment. “Being recognized nationally is important. We all see it locally, we see it in the building every day, but it’s nice for him and for the organization as well.
“This is his first year in the organization and is one of the things that has me excited for the future, that we have a coach and general manager (John Dorsey) who have had the success they’ve had, they have a good base and core, and we’re going to grow from that. That gets you excited for the offseason and for next year.”
Reid previously won the award in 2002 while with the Eagles. Donovan was in the Eagles’ front office during 2003-08 and played a role in Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt hiring Reid less than a week after the 2012 season ended.
“I was biased when we went on the (coaching) search,” Donovan said. “I’m biased to this day. Andy is not only one of the best football minds in the business, but such a great a leader of men. You saw that this year. We’ve been through some challenges, we’ve been through some success, and he leads the same way every day. That’s the key to his success and our success as an organization.”
McCoy, Kuechly, Mathis and Rivera, are all first-time 101 winners. Manning won for a record eighth time.
Rivera, in his third season in Carolina, appeared on the hot seat when the Panthers began the season 1-3, but they won 11 of their last 12 in claiming the NFC South title.
Manning, the top-rated passer in the AFC with a 115.1 rating, set NFL single-season records with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns in leading Denver to a 13-3 record and AFC West title.
Mathis led the NFL with a career-best 19 1/2 sacks and forced eight fumbles in helping the Colts to an 11-5 record and AFC South title.
McCoy, a former player of Reid’s at Philadelphia, led the NFL in rushing with a franchise-record 1,607 yards and led the league with a club-record 2,146 yards from scrimmage as the Eagles went 10-6 and won the NFC East.
Kuechly led the NFC with 156 tackles and had four interceptions. He had six games with double-digit tackles, including a 24-tackle game against New Orleans in week 15.