No doubt one of the major talking points during the nationally televised Chiefs-Broncos game on Sunday night will be the job Andy Reid has done in his first season in Kansas City and how he has the inside track on NFL Coach of the Year honors.
There’s nobody else close. Reid has fashioned a 9-0 record after taking over a 2-14 team, and the Chiefs are the first team in all four major sports leagues in North America (the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NHL) to start 9-0 after posting the league’s worst record the previous season.
And here’s the rest of the story.
Barring a colossal collapse, Reid would become the first Chiefs coach in the 54-year history of the franchise to be selected as the NFL Coach of the Year by The Associated Press, which is the recognized presenter of the award, just as it is for MVP and all-pro honors.
Hall of Famer Hank Stram, Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil never earned the honor as coach of the Chiefs, though Schottenheimer won it in 2004 at San Diego and Vermeil did in 1999 in St. Louis.
In fairness, Stram coached the majority of his Chiefs career in the American Football League, and in 1968 was selected AFL Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly and United Press International, two organizations which no longer give the award.
Schottenheimer was selected the AFC Coach of the Year in 1995 by United Press International, which discontinued the award in 1997.
And Vermeil won the Earle “Greasy” Neale Professional Coach of the Year Award in 2003 by the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia, where Vermeil makes his home.
Reid, by the way, was selected NFL Coach of the Year by The Associated Press in 2002 and by The Sporting News in 2000 and 2002.