Tue Jan 31 6:52pm ET
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer=
Andy Reid was an unknown assistant in Green Bay when Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie took a chance on hiring Brett Favre's position coach to revive a struggling franchise in Philadelphia.
A newspaper headline greeted Reid's arrival with a headline that said: "Andy Who?"
Everybody knows his name now.
Reid won more games (130) than any coach in franchise history during his 14 seasons with the Eagles. He led Philadelphia to nine playoff appearances, six division titles and five NFC championship games. But Reid couldn't deliver a Super Bowl victory, losing to the New England Patriots after the 2004 season. For that reason, he was underappreciated by many fans and reporters in Philly.
Reid eventually lost his job after only his third losing season in 2012, and immediately landed in Kansas City. He finally hoisted that elusive Vince Lombardi Trophy with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs three years ago.
By that time, the Eagles had won their first Super Bowl under then-coach Doug Pederson, one of Reid's prized pupils.
Now, Reid and the Eagles are going head-to-head aiming for that second title. The Chiefs (16-3) vs. the Eagles (16-3) is one of the most-anticipated Super Bowl matchups in recent years.
Just don't expect the stoic Reid to get emotional about it.
"When you really cut to the chase on it, they're a really good football team and so, I think that's where the energy goes because really when it's kickoff, you're playing that team," Reid said Monday.
"It's the players that you're going against and the coaches and so the uniform (and) all, that's not where your mind's at. Your mind's at making sure you have a solid game plan and that you come out and you can perform to the best of our ability.
"That's, I think, where the major focus goes, and you try to — it doesn't matter who you're playing — you try to blank out all the hype that goes with the game. It's a pretty big game for everybody. ... It's a big, big deal. It's the Super Bowl. But you try to blank that out and make sure that you're getting the game plan — what really matters — together."
Nearly a quarter century since he walked into an interview with the Eagles armed with a 6-inch binder containing notes on how to build a winning team, Reid has amassed Hall of Fame credentials. He's led the Chiefs to nine playoff appearances, including seven consecutive division titles in 10 winning seasons. He's been to five straight AFC title games, winning three.
"It's a real testament to the job that general manager Brett Veach and Coach Reid have done over the last several years," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said after the team clinched the division last month.
"We obviously have a bunch of young players and we've got some new players, and Andy and his staff have done a tremendous job of incorporating them into the team. That's just part of the National Football League. They've really done a fantastic job, and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Reid is a no-nonsense, old-school coach who is respected and loved by his players. He rarely throws anyone under the bus. Part of the criticism he received from reporters in Philly was for his unwillingness to call anyone out and to always shoulder all the blame after losses and poor performances. "I gotta do a better job" became a punch line.
He came across as robotic in news conferences, always opening with injuries before turning it over to reporters for questions by saying: "Time's yours."
At 64, Reid has become more of a lovable grandpa in Kansas City. He's known for wearing floral shirts and cracking jokes about his weight. Ask Reid how he plans to celebrate a victory and he'll say with a cheeseburger.
"I'm gonna go get the biggest cheeseburger you've ever seen!" Reid said after the Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2020.
After a victory over the Seahawks on Dec. 24, Mahomes and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce presented Reid with a cheeseburger inside a wrapped Nike shoe box as a Christmas gift.
Players in the locker room cheered and hollered.
Reid smiled and shouted: "May you all get a gift as great as this."
Another Lombardi trophy would be the best present of all.
Championship Round Preview
The Houston Texans have requested permission to interview San Francisco 49ers passing-game coordinator Bobby Slowik for their vacant offensive coordinator position under new head coach DeMeco Ryans, according to a source. Slowik is an impressive young coach and is another branch of the Kyle Shanahan tree in San Fran. The 35-year-old started his coaching career for with the Washington Commanders from 2011-13 as a defensive assistant before later being hired as the 49ers' defensive quality control coach from 2017-18. Slowik was named an offensive assistant by the 49ers in 2019 and was promoted to offensive pass-game specialist in 2021. Houston is in the middle of a rebuild, but they're hoping that Ryans can quickly build a culture in the organization and get them back to winning ways.
Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales will receive a second interview for the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator position, according to a source. Canales has emerged as front-runner to replace Greg Roman as Baltimore's offensive coordinator in 2023. The 41-year-old was instrumental in Geno Smith's Pro Bowl campaign in 2022 with Seattle. With quarterback Lamar Jackson likely to get the franchise tag this year, Canales would have the pleasure of working with one of the best dual-threat QBs in the NFL. Canales has never been an offensive coordinator beyond the high school level, though, working mostly as a receivers coach, a position he held in his first seven seasons with the Seahawks. He is the longest-tenured assistant on head coach Pete Carroll's staff and has been with Seattle for 13 seasons.
The San Francisco 49ers requested permission to speak to former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks for their defensive coordinator position, according to a source. Carolina hired Frank Reich as their new head coach last week, but Wilks is still under contract with the Panthers. The Niners need a new D coordinator after DeMeco Ryans took the Houston Texans' head-coaching job on Tuesday. Wilks was Carolina's defensive pass-game coordinator in 2022 before he became the interim head coach when Matt Rhule was fired. In addition to Wilks, the 49ers are reportedly interested in Vic Fangio and Chris Harris for the defensive coordinator position. Under Ryans the last several season, the Niners defense has been one of the best in football.
The San Francisco 49ers requested permission to interview Tennessee Titans defensive pass-game coordinator Chris Harris for their open defensive coordinator position. Harris coached the Washington Commanders' defensive backs last year and was expected to join the Tennessee Titans as their defensive pass-game coordinator, but nothing is official yet. The 49ers need a new defensive coordinator after the Houston Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as their new head coach on Tuesday. Harris has been with Washington since 2020 and has previous coaching experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears. He also spent seven years in the NFL as a player with the Bears, Panthers, Lions and Jaguars.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to receive the exclusive franchise tag from the organization. The former first round pick is set to be a free agent this summer, but that likely won't happen. The sense around the league is that the Ravens will tag Jackson and keep him around for at least one more season. The two sides couldn't agree on an extension earlier in the year, but a franchise tag gives the two of them more time to work out a deal. It seems unlikely that Baltimore is going to let Jackson leave without getting something in return for him.
The Houston Texans have found their new head coach in San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. The two sides have agreed on a six-year deal, so the organization appears committed to this decision. This is a good hire for Houston as Ryan was one of the most qualified candidates for the job. The former Texans linebacker could turn this team around in a hurry. His presence should mean good things for the fantasy value of Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins. It's a step in the right direction for an organization that hasn't won more than four games in a single season since 2019.
The Denver Broncos have finalized a deal to acquire head coach Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints. In exchange, the Saints will receive a first and second-round pick from Denver. This doesn't seem like much of a surprise considering Payton has been on their radar for awhile. The Broncos were heavily pursuing DeMeco Ryans before he took the head coach job with the Houston Texans. After that, the Broncos went with their backup plan which was Payton. The 59-year-old Super Bowl winning coach should be able to give this Broncos team a boost. The biggest task for Payton is going to be to try and revive Russell Wilson after his horrendous 2022 campaign.
The Denver Broncos finalized a deal Tuesday, Jan. 31, with the New Orleans Saints to acquire former head coach Sean Payton, according to a source. The Broncos agreed to send a 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 second-round draft pick in exchange for Sean Payton and a 2024 third-round pick.
The Denver Broncos are finalizing compensation with the New Orleans Saints in return for former head coach Sean Payton, according to a source Tuesday, Jan. 31. The compensation includes Denver sending a 2023 first-round draft pick and an early pick in 2024.
The New York Jets signed wide receiver/kick returner Diontae Spencer to a Reserve/Futures deal on Tuesday. Spencer spent some time on the Jets' practice squad in 2022 but never made it to the active roster on game day. The 30-year-old went undrafted out of McNeese State in 2019 and spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, catching 10 of 18 targets for 54 yards and no touchdowns in 42 games (to starts). He also returned 68 punts for 667 yards and one touchdown and returned 47 kickoffs for 1,008 yards with Denver. Spencer will serve as additional receiver depth for the Jets in 2023.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (ankle, leg) said he's three to four weeks from being fully cleared for practice and said he'll be 100 percent healthy for organized team activities this offseason. Lance fractured his fibula and sustained ligament damage in his right ankle in Week 2 and didn't play again the rest of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) is a free agent and Brock Purdy (elbow) will miss around six months after tearing the UCL in his right elbow in the NFC Championship. If Lance doesn't suffer any setbacks leading up to the 2023 regular season opener, he figures to be the favorite to start under center for the Niners, barring an outside veteran addition at the position.
Dynasty | Robert Woods is a likely cap casualty for the Titans Dynasty Analysis: Woods is entering his age-31 season and was returning from an ACL tear before turning in a disappointing 2022 campaign. The numbers just aren't justified for a team looking to get younger and the likelihood is for the veteran to seek employment elsewhere unless he's willing to take a pay cut to remain in Tennessee. Woods is found as DLF's WR81 and is fading quickly.
Dynasty | Isaiah McKenzie could be a cap-casualty in 2023 Dynasty Analysis: This stands to reason as the Bills struggled to find WR3 consistency in 2022 and McKenzie would provide a $2.62M cap savings for a team needing to shed $20M to get into compliance. At only 27 years of age, McKenzie still has value as a potential slot option but it may not be with the Bills in 2023 who are certain to look for an upgrade. He's listed as DLF's WR89. He profiles as a WR5/WR6 flier at best in deep-roster leagues.
Tennessee Titans WR Robert Woods is unlikely to play at his current expected base salary of $13.75 million in 2023, according to TennesseeTitans.com's Jim Wyatt.
Fantasy Spin: Wyatt believes Woods is capable of doing more than he did in 2022 and will be better than he was last season another year removed from his ACL tear. His biggest issue in 2022 might have been the uneven play-calling of offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who was fired recently. A return to his heyday with the Los Angeles Rams is unlikely to happen, but Woods may be able to squeeze out one or two more good years if the Titans land a more imaginative offensive coordinator this offseason.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed tight end Nick Bowers and quarterback Jake Browning to Reserve/Futures deals on Tuesday. The team also signed defensive ends Owen Carney and Raymond Johnson III, offensive tackle Devin Cochran, safety Yusuf Corker, defensive tackle Domenique Davis, offensive guard Nate Gilliam, tight end Tanner Hudson, linebacker Keandre Jones, wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II and cornerback Marvell Tell III to futures deals. Bowers spent all season on the team's practice squad before being elevated to the active roster for the Divisional Round win over the Buffalo Bills, but he didn't play any offensive snaps. Browning was elevated to the active roster three times in 2022, but he didn't make his NFL debut.
The Kansas City Chiefs released kicker Matthew Wright from their practice squad on Monday and signed wide receiver Jerrion Ealy to their practice squad in a corresponding move. Wright kicked in two games for the Chiefs this year when Harrison Butker was dealing with back spasms, and he made three of his four field-goal tries and all eight of his extra points in those two games. He played in six total games in 2022 (four with the Pittsburgh Steelers) and finished 15-for-18 on field goals and a perfect 15-for-15 on extra points. Ealy will give KC some more receiver depth ahead of the Super Bowl after JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney were all injured in the AFC Championship.
The New England Patriots signed wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. to a Reserve/Futures deal for the 2023 season. Bowden spent the 2022 campaign on the team's practice squad and was active in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, but he played only 14 offensive snaps and wasn't targeted at all. The former third-round pick by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 was eventually traded to the Miami Dolphins. In 10 games for the Dolphins in 2020, Bowden caught 28 of 37 targets for 211 yards and no touchdowns. The 25-year-old will remain in New England this year and will compete for an active roster spot this summer.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been added to the 2023 Pro Bowl roster for the AFC. With the Pro Bowl being in Las Vegas this year, this could end up being his farewell to the city and organization. The Raiders benched Carr the last two regular season games and are expected to trade him this offseason. Carr has been the Raiders' starting QB for the last nine seasons after he was drafted in 2014 out of Fresno State. The 31-year-old veteran disappointed in 2022 with All-Pro receiver Davante Adams at his disposal, completing 60.8 percent of his 502 pass attempts for 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and a career-high-tying 14 interceptions in 15 regular season games. Carr's 2023 fantasy value will depend on where he lands.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore caught three of his seven targets for 13 yards in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship. Moore also contributed a clutch 29-yard punt return late in the fourth quarter that set the Chiefs up for the eventual game-winning field goal with three seconds left on the clock. Moore saw extra work with JuJu Smith-Schuster leaving with a knee injury in the second quarter as the rookie's seven targets were a season-high. The rookie wideout now has four catches for 13 yards across his team's two playoff games this postseason. He has two weeks to prepare to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made all three of his field goals and added two extra points in a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship. Butker drilled field goals from 43, 24, and 45 yards out. His final field goal of the game came with three seconds left in the game and broke a 20-20 tie, propelling the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. Butker has hit all five of his field goals in his two playoff games this postseason. He will now have two weeks to get ready to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.