KC Chiefs’ Andy Reid, WFT’s Ron Rivera take center stage in mentor vs. pupil matchup

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Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s former Philadelphia Eagles assistants have gotten the better of him so far this season.

Reid lost to John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens in Week 2 and to Sean McDermott’s Buffalo Bills in Week 5.

The mentor versus pupil scenario once again takes center stage when Reid looks across the field and sees Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, who served on Reid’s staff in Philadelphia from 1999 to 2003.

And for Reid, there are some differences in how he approaches the games knowing the opposing coaches are familiar with him.

“Well, they kind of know what you’re going to do and you kind of know what they’re going to do,” Reid said. “So, you try to have a couple creative things for him, but most of all, it’s going to come down to fundamental technique and so on as you go through it.

“Ron’s got a good football team, so we’ve got to make sure we have a good week of preparation as we get ready for them.”

Sunday’s opposing head coaches have a close relationship, as expected. They talk during the year and serve on some of the same NFL committees together.

The tight bond can be said about all of Reid’s former Eagles assistants turned head-coach opponents, all of whom served together at the same time throughout various stages of the 2000s. In addition to Rivera, Harbaugh was in Philadelphia from 1998-2007 while McDermott was there from 2001-2010.

Rivera said during a Zoom conference call with Chiefs media members that he came away with an appreciation of a rigid practice structure, which includes an up-tempo style, from his time with Reid in Philadelphia.

He is also grateful that Reid gave him and others an opportunity to do their jobs.

“I appreciate the way he empowered us — we were a bunch of young coaches — he empowered us to handle our positions and he showed that he trusted us,” Rivera said. “I think that meant the world to a lot of us. Here we are getting our opportunities and we’re being trusted by him to do our jobs, and that was always cool.”

Whatever Rivera has applied from his time with Reid to his own current coaching style has evolved, and the Washington coach has his mentor’s approval.

“He uses personnel well,” Reid said. “So, he knows what the strengths of a person are, the weaknesses. He does a good job at I think playing to their strengths. Therefore, every time I’ve played him, it’s been a little bit different and I’m sure this will be too, but the base fundamentals are there.”

Reid is 1-1 against Rivera, so Sunday represents a tiebreaker.

But if Rivera hopes to defeat Reid this time around, he must deal with Reid’s success against former assistants, despite the two recent losses to Harbaugh and McDermott.

Reid holds an 15-8 record, including the postseason, against his former staffers. He is also 6-4 against ex-assistants the first time he’s faced them, with the most recent occurring in Week 16 of the 2019 season when Reid’s Chiefs defeated Matt Nagy’s Chicago Bears.

And when the headset comes on, Reid doesn’t see former assistants across the field.

While he takes pride in seeing the success of his coaching tree, the Chiefs head coach spots an opponent.

“I don’t like getting beat by them, but I’m proud of them,” Reid said. “It bothers me, period, losing games. I’m not big on it. But listen, they’re good coaches, and Ron is the same way. They’re well-coached.”

REID VS. FORMER STAFFERS

  • John Harbaugh 5-2

  • Brad Childress 2-1

  • Sean McDermott 2-2

  • Doug Pederson 1-0

  • Pat Shurmur 1-0

  • Steve Spagnuolo 1-0

  • Matt Nagy 1-0

  • Ron Rivera 1-1

  • Todd Bowles 1-1

  • Leslie Frazier 0-1

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