While team selection plays a big part in the Chiefs run of form, the coach takes a lot of credit for turning Kansas into a winning franchise. And, let’s face it, everyone loves a winner. So, before we get more forensic in our analysis of why Andy Reid is so popular, let’s start by pointing to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. It’s gonna help – right?
But this is not the whole story by any means. Let’s give some serious thought about what makes Coach Andy Reid such a success in his field.
A good man
If you want evidence that Reid is popular for more than just his winning ways let’s start with the story of Eric Bieniemy. In 1999, he was a free agent and was offered some pretty tasty deals to sign for different teams. Instead, the star man took a deal for a lowball salary offer for the Philadelphia Eagles. Why did he do that? He said he wanted to play for the new head coach there, the then obscure former assistant Andy Reid.
It is what Reid demonstrated when Bieniemy visited on a free agent trip to the Eagles that makes coach so special. He managed, in that meeting, to persuade Bieniemy that he was essential to his vision as a coach for the franchise. Bieniemy was made to feel valued as a player for his contribution and his talent.
When you have already earned millions, there is something more important than money you need from your coach. Bieniemy was clear that he was made to feel at home with Reid and this motivated his choice. He was made to feel foundational to the future success of the Eagles.
According to all reports, Reid has had the ability to make players feel this way from the start. Stars like Mahomes and Kelce who started at the bottom of a roster rose up under the guidance of Coach Andy. It is the reason why players want to work for the coach.
So, only the cynical would say that it is the winning that means he is loved. In reality, his winning streak is as a result of the love, loyalty and desire to succeed he garners in all the players who work with him.
When asked how he does this, no one believes there is any great secret. Andy Reid puts a play on the pitch in a position where they have the most likely chance of success. He then helps them to understand how to succeed and as BetMGM points out he shows them how to maximise their strengths. So, a damn good coach then.
He is also an unbelievable student of the game. He has a brilliant offensive mind that helps players have fun and feel like winners.
With the commitment of players, Reid is able to build year on year the success he has achieved. He managed to resign Mahomes, Kelce and Chris Jones, as well as keep others for the future such as Chad Henne.
He kept his end of the bargain
Being a good man is part of Reid’s appeal. He is likeable and understands how to build relationships with people. However, he also kept his promises. The one thing players say when describing him is that he delivered what he said he would.
He is also willing to say it like it is and with no games played. No matter the talent in front of him, Reid knows he will have more experience on the field and in the game. Therefore, he uses this as the freedom to shoot straight with his players. What Reid has found is that players want to be coached and they want to learn that one more thing that could make them better still.
In turn, he expects his players to say it as it is too. He would start each meaning asking them to tell him their gripes. He didn’t want moans in the locker room to create a sense of negativity – so he asked them to moan to him about the length of practice or the food on offer. He would then go and fix it. The idea is to remove the wriggle room. If the person under performs on a Sunday, he doesn’t want them to have any sort of excuse.
He protects his team
There are other reasons he is a coach beloved by his players. One of the most important is that he will rarely criticise players in public. If a player underperforms he is more often seen to apologise for putting them in a difficult position.
The irony is that Reid is known for putting the players into positions to succeed. He doesn’t ask them to fit into a box that does suit them.
He also doesn’t scream or yell, he seeks to give people opportunity to succeed. He may show disappointment but players respond more powerfully to this than anger. A polite “Gosh darn it” can break a players’ heart.