A Big Red milestone will be reached when the Chiefs take on the New Orleans Saints at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
Andy Reid will coach his 300th NFL career game. Only 14 in NFL history have coached more, and assuming Reid remains on the sideline for the remainder of the season he’ll jump to No. 13 in longevity by game, counting the regular season and playoffs.
Reid, 58, paused briefly before answering a question on the topic on Friday.
“I didn’t know that, and I never look backwards,” Reid said. “I’ll do that when I retire.
“I know I’m older because when I look in the mirror … at a lot of grays.”
So perspective on this landmark won’t flow from Reid, at least not while he has to prepare for a game. The posture is understandable. Some coaches go along with such subjects and offer at least a token peek in the rear-view mirror. Reid doesn’t.
But others are happy to weigh in for Reid.
“He’s always been a gentleman, a great football coach and a real good friend,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “We watch his film all the time. There are a handful of tapes that we’re always going to watch offensively, and his would be one of them.”
Payton was a member of the outgoing staff in Philadelphia when Reid was hired by the Eagles from the Packers’ staff for the 1999 season. Had he not taken the Eagles job, Reid probably was headed for Seattle with Mike Holmgren to become the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator.
But at 41, Reid became the game’s second youngest head coach and began an Eagles’ tenure that lasted 14 years and produced 140 victories, including 10 in the postseason.
The first game? Reid said he didn’t remember, and selected amnesia serves him well here. The Eagles opened a 21-0 first quarter lead on the Cardinals at Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia, with the help of two touchdown passes from future Reid assistant and current Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, but fell 25-24.
Reid’s first Chiefs game ended in triumph, a 28-2 victory over the Jaguars. His overall record (including playoff games) of 175-123-1 includes a 35-21 mark in Kansas City. Alex Smith has been the starting quarterback for all but two of the games while Reid has been with the Chiefs. Reid had tried to land Smith from the 49ers in Philadelphia. He got his man with the Chiefs, and Smith was asked about Reid’s success.
“It would be hard for me to break down what’s gone into that success and longevity,” Smith said. “For one, the passion for the game. It starts there. For the game, the teaching side, coaching and being around it.
“It doesn’t end, and it’s not getting satisfied anytime soon. You’ve also got to be good at it. The chance to (coach) that many games, you’ve got to be good and have some success.”
Reid’s had that, and his teams have come through on his milestone games. The Eagles won at the New York Giants 27-6 in 2004 in Reid’s 100th game, and they defeated the Falcons 31-17 in 2010 in his 200th game.
No. 300 kicks off on Sunday. Reid will consider every aspect of the game, except that one.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” he said.