Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Reid happy to be in the building for McNabb’s number retirement

09/19/2013 5:41 PM

09/19/2013 6:30 PM

Andy Reid will presumably have too much on his mind tonight — like, you know, actually winning the game — to focus too much on his return to Philadelphia, where he coached for 14 years before being fired in January.

However, Reid admitted he will be grateful to be at Lincoln Financial Field tonight when the Eagles officially retire longtime quarterback Donovan McNabb's number during a halftime ceremony.

“I won’t be able to enjoy it other than being there,” Reid said. “But I’m honored that he did it this week, I appreciate that.”

Reid was part of a braintrust that drafted McNabb second overall in 1999 amidst boos from Philadelphia fans, who wanted the Eagles to take former Texas star Ricky Williams instead. The Chiefs’ new coach said he loves McNabb, who completed 59 percent of his passes for 37,276 yards and 234 touchdowns in his 13-year career, 11 of which were spent in Philadelphia, which went 92-49-1 with No. 5 at quarterback.

“Obviously, we were unable to do what we did there without Donovan McNabb,” said Reid, who coached in Philadephia from 1999 to 2012. “I know that he’s very honored to have his number retired. I think it’s a special day for him. He’ll have a lot of his teammates back with him, and I think that’s important for him. He deserves every bit of that, all of the accolades he gets.”

Reid wishes he could be right there with his former pupil, but knows he’ll be in the locker room, making halftime adjustments with his new team.

“We’re going there to play a football game and a heck of a football team,” Reid said.

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