Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl LVII: Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes know Philadelphia has improved since 2021

The Kansas City Chiefs returned to practice Thursday for the first time since appearing in Super Bowl LVII. They will travel to Arizona next week to face the Philadelphia Eagles with the Lombardi Trophy.

Speaking to the media before his team took the field, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid reiterated the challenge from the Eagles – who rival the Chiefs with a 14-3 record and boast one of the most talented rosters in the league.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing the Eagles,” said the coach – no different than any other week. “Good football team – great football team. They have tremendous talent, they have good coaching and it’s good organization. I guess you’re not getting to this point if you aren’t. They are really doing a good job.”

The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 42-30 in Week 5 of the 2021 season. After Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes noted the improved talent in Philadelphia since the teams last faced each other. In particular, he knows this isn’t the same defense he set on fire for five touchdowns.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

“First of all, they have a great defensive coordinator,” noted the league’s leading table leader. “He does a lot of different things. Your scheme has evolved because of the players he has. You have great [players] — All-Pro [and] Pro bowlers – at all levels. They keep adding talents.

“They have a lot of great players – experienced players mixed with young players. I don’t know if they’re number one, but they’re one of the best defensive teams in the league for a reason. You get after the quarterback. So it’s going to be a big challenge for us to go out there and try to have some success.”

Reid agreed that the Eagles are vastly improved on both sides of the ball. He credited Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman.

“Nick has done a great job with this team — as has Howie Roseman in the general manager position,” said Reid. “They’re much more familiar with the schemes – they have a great defensive scheme [and] They have a great offensive scheme – and the players are more comfortable with either side.”

Reid is in a unique position to comment on Sirianni and Roseman’s performance because he did so effectively both their jobs at the same time. Before coming to Kansas City, Reid was the head coach of the Eagles from 1999 to 2012. He also had people responsibilities as the team’s vice president of football operations from 2001 until the end of his tenure.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

When Kansas City hired Reid, it was widely assumed that he would continue to wear both hats with the Chiefs. But John Dorsey was appointed general manager and took over staffing duties as soon as the coach arrived. Brett Veach replaced Dorsey as the team’s general manager in 2017.

For Reid, the way out of HR was intentional.

“Once I start doing this, you end up spending a lot of time on it — if you do it right,” he admitted. “It’s hard to do both. I felt like I got into it because I wanted to be a coach. Also, I have guys around me who are really good. Brett Veach is really good. Dorsey was good.

“So let these guys do their job and I’ll focus on the football part – something I really wanted to go back to and enjoy. I enjoy that part.”

The crossover in coaching between the franchises extends beyond Reid’s 13-season stint with the Eagles. Sirianni was an assistant coach at Kansas City under former head coaches Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel. Reid declined to keep him on the Chiefs’ staff when he took over – but stressed that the decision did not reflect his opinion of his current colleague.

“I loved his personality,” Reid recalled. “He’s a guy who’s easy to talk to and communicates well. There’s a fire about him that you’ll appreciate – and players will appreciate. And he’s smart. I had a chance to speak to him – smart boy.

“I think he’s perfect for Philadelphia. This is a tough place – and he’s a tough guy. He gets along well with the people there.”

Philly Eagles

Photo by Hunter Martin/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images

Although his tenure ended a decade ago, three Eagles players have been drafted by Reid in Philadelphia. Kansas City knows center Jason Kelce; The Eagles selected Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s older brother in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. Reid also drafted defensemen Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox as first-round picks in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

The coach is happy with the way her career has gone.

“I’m very proud of these guys,” Reid said. “I know her personally, so I’m proud of her. They are tough guys, stubborn. They are good leaders, fun to be around and good soccer players.

“Everyone is an individual, and everyone has their own characteristics – but in general, that’s what I would tell you about them. Great team guys.”

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