Andy Reid is back on top of the NFL coaching heap for the first time in 14 seasons. Reid, in a close race over several strong contenders, was voted Sporting News Coach of the Year for his work with the Chiefs in 2016.
Reid is the sixth three-time winner of SN’s award, which has been Cheap High Quality Jerseys handed out since 1947. He joins Mike Smith, Joe Gibbs, Chuck Knox, Don Shula and Paul Brown. Reid also follows Knox (Rams, Seahawks) and Shula (Colts, Dolphins) in winning with multiple teams.
Although Kansas City had gone 31-17 in Reid’s first three seasons, making the playoffs twice as a wild card, he got his team to take it up a notch in 2016 with a 12-4 record and its first AFC West division title since 2010. Reid won Coach of the Year in Philadelphia twice, but the last came in ’02.
Jason Garrett (Cowboys), Jack Del Rio (Raiders) and Dan Quinn (Falcons) got several votes for leading turnaround playoff seasons. Bill Belichick came close to breaking his nine-year drought and becoming a three-time winner with the Patriots, but ultimately, Reid got the most respect from a panel of his peers.
Freeman and his agent have already approached the Falcons about making him one of the league’s highest-paid backs.
Campbell said she didn’t receive a response, but plans to push the matter after the Super Bowl.
Kansas City was a Reid team through and through in ’16, with stability and strong production from offense, defense and special teams. It’s a compliment to put him in the same breath as Chiefs coaching great Marty Schottenheimer, not a detriment.
Although Garrett, Del Rio, Quinn and Belichick could boast great seasons, Reid had long deserved another one for his career resurgence in Kansas City. As he turns only 59 in March, Reid has plenty of time to deliver a few bigger wins for the Chiefs.