Chiefs’ Andy Reid eyes more post-bye success vs Giants
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Andy Reid has grown accustomed to deflecting any plaudits that are lobbed his way, whether out of humility or personality or simply a desire to keep the focus on his teams.
That’s especially true when the reason for the praise is justified.
You see, Reid has led numerous teams to the playoffs and even guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl. He has the best winning percentage in Chiefs history since taking over in Kansas City five years ago, and his uncanny ability to develop QBs has made him something of a “quarterback whisperer.”
But it’s his almost unbelievable record following a bye that seems to raise the most eyebrows, and earn him the most respect. He is 16-2 over the course of his career.
“A lot’s been made about that record,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. “Part of it is that he does his method the whole week, getting guys their rest, not just physically but mentally as well.”
That may be part of it. But in truth, nobody really knows how Reid has built his post-bye record.
Even he seems to write it off as a curious coincidence.
“Well, listen, I love every day of it,” said Reid, whose Chiefs return from a bye this week to visit the New York Giants.
“I come to work, I’m fired up to coach in the National Football League. It is a privilege. And then to work for the Chiefs is a privilege and an honor.
“You can ask me that almost every day I’m hanging with you,” he said, “that I enjoy being in here. If it’s a loss, you want to get it fixed, and then it’s a challenge. And if you’re winning, it’s still a challenge. You are still very critical of what you’ve done as a coach.”
Hard to criticize Reid when he’s coming back from a week off, though. His only losses came in 2012 to the Falcons and 2013 to the Broncos, teams that were a combined 16-1 when he faced them.
When the team he is facing has a losing record, as is the case with the Giants (1-8) on Sunday, the coach with the aww-shucks attitude has never lost in seven tries.
The post-bye success isn’t limited to one game, either. The Chiefs went 10-2 after their week off last season, winning their first AFC West title since 2010. They were 8-0 after the bye in 2015.
The Chiefs (6-3) ought to be able to have a similar second half this season, too. They’ve already played the toughest teams on their schedule, including visits to the Patriots and Texans and a game against the Eagles at home, and now get teams that mostly reside in the bottom half of their division.
That’s good news for the Chiefs.
They were the NFL darlings after running off five straight wins to start the season, and were pegged as an early Super Bowl front-runner.
But breakout rookie Kareem Hunt began to get bottled up, speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill began to be held in check, and quarterback Alex Smith — gasp! — even threw an interception in a loss to Dallas as the Chiefs dropped three of their past four games.
In other words, the bye offered a good time for a reset.
“Listen, we’re sitting here 6-3. We’re in good shape,” Reid said. “We didn’t finish up at the bye very well. We’ve all been sitting here, fans included, on a loss for a couple weeks.
“But I like this team and I like their work ethic. I like the way they battled through the first nine games. But there is room for us as coaches and players to improve. To me, I get kind of fired up about that.”
NOTES: LB Tamba Hali was held out of practice Wednesday for what Reid called a combination of “setback and rest.” Hali began the season on the PUP list because of ailing knees. ... LB Dee Ford (back), WR Albert Wilson (hamstring) and DL Allen Bailey (knee) also missed practice. ... LB Dadi Nicolas was brought off the PUP list, beginning a 21-day practice window. He must be activated by the end of it or his season is over. Nicolas ruptured his patellar tendon in January.