Just days before Andy Reid returns to Philly with the Chiefs in Week 4, the former Eagles head coach spoke to reporters about his health, what returning to this city means to him, and what he expects to see from both teams on Sunday.
Here’s what Big Red had to say:
On his health status
“I’m feeling real good,” Reid said, but didn’t want to get into details about what happened. He did confirm that he’s still able to keep his same work and practice schedule, and wasn’t going to miss any time or meetings.
Later, Reid was asked if he’s given any thought to how many more years he wants to coach, but he admitted that he hasn’t thought about it. He feels good now, so it’s not on his mind. As for how he’s changed since his coaching days in Philly, Reid joked that he older, has less hair — pretty much no red hair left —, and has probably lost some weight, but he’s still the same guy.
On returning to Philly
Reid said that he loved his time in Philadelphia and had a phenomenal 14 years with the organization.
“I look forward to coming back, I look forward to the game, I look forward to the challenge of facing the Eagles.”
He was asked about some of the veterans who started their Eagles career under him like Jason Kelce and Brandon Graham. Reid said that he’s proud of what they’ve done with their careers, they’ve won a World Championship, and they’ve endeared themselves to the city, also noting that they’re great human beings.
On Jason Kelce specifically, since he coaches the center’s brother Travis in Kansas City, Reid acknowledged that he checks in on the Eagles’ veteran. He isn’t able to talk to players on other teams directly, but he does ask Travis how Jason is doing, and said that it’s fun to see Jason being a good dad and doing good in life.
On Nick Sirianni
Reid was in a similar situation to Sirianni when he was hired by the Eagles in 1999 — first time head coach, first time play caller. Reid said that the Eagles organization was great through the first year, and it’s struggles, and that they supported him through what he was trying to do. He noted that is what a head coach needs and he’s sure that’s what Sirianni is getting from the team.
“I don’t know Nick that well other than through the Eagles. I talk to Howie [Roseman] and I’ve gotten to know him through that. I know his reputation [in Kansas City], everyone thought he was a really good football coach when he was here [from 2009-2012].”
“I think the Eagles are in good hands.”
He also acknowledged that Sirianni is doing a good job so far, and that there’s a small margin between winning and losing in the league, so he’ll get things turned around. Reid didn’t have much advice when it comes to be a first-time play-caller and even said that probably comes easily to Sirianni.
“I think he’s doing a nice job over there. He’s had some things to overcome with the offensive line, and so on, but it looks like the program is solid.”
Reid said the biggest difference in being a head coach is having to deal with the media, and paying attention to the team as a whole versus just the offensive side of the ball. Those added responsibilities are probably a bigger adjustment that play calling.
On Jalen Hurts
Reid said that the second-year quarterback has done “a phenomenal job” with what Sirianni has asked him to do. He was asked, despite having Patrick Mahomes if he scouted Hurts last year, and he admitted he did and that he’s a good play and talented.
The head coach also talked a bit about how Mahomes, who has some similar skills as Hurts as a mobile QB, was able to develop being Alex Smith. Reid noted that Smith was great and really brought Mahomes into his world and let the young quarterback see how he balanced his family, his diet, and all of his QB responsibilities. He admitted that some veterans will put up walls and not bring the young guys along, but Mahomes was fortunate to have that year behind Smith.