Otherwise, he's managed to make the most of what he was given.
Reid turned Donovan McNabb from an athletic quarterback coming out of Syracuse into a Pro Bowl regular, even though he'll likely fall short of Canton. He turned Alex Smith from a first-round flop with San Francisco into a fan favorite in Kansas City who helped to establish the foundation of the Chiefs' burgeoning dynasty.
Working with sometimes marginal talent, Reid has managed to pile up wins at a Hall of Fame pace.
After winning 140 games with the Eagles, he is now at 99 with the Chiefs after beating the Browns on Sunday in a rematch of their divisional-round playoff game. Reid also has 222 wins in the regular season, and five more would send him past Curly Lambeau for fifth most in NFL history.
Throw in playoff success and Reid has 239 wins overall, which trails only Tom Landry, Bill Belichick, George Halas and Don Shula. All of them but Belichick are in the Hall of Fame, and the only reason he's not is — just like Reid in Kansas City — the longtime Patriots coach is still roaming the sideline.
“Coach Reid just does an outstanding job over there,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “They always have some wrinkles, some gadget plays, some core plays that they do. They really make you work.”
Perhaps most impressive is the way Reid has reinvented himself in Kansas City.
Remember, he was fired by the Eagles after winning just four games in his 14th season in charge, and he was in danger of wearing the moniker “best coach never to win a championship.”
But with a change of scenery came a change in fortunes. The Chiefs began winning the moment Reid arrived, and the success only grew as the roster improved. And when Patrick Mahomes began running Reid's artistic offense, the coach finally won that championship in 2020 and reached a second consecutive Super Bowl this past February.
“Coach Reid, every single time I think I'm at that point, he keeps giving me a little bit more information that I can learn,” Mahomes said. “It keeps me on my toes and keeps me going and getting better every single day.”
Keeps the Chiefs getting better, too.
Now, all that stuff Reid spouted off about his success being tied to good people around him? It probably has never been more true than right now. Mahomes is already a lock for the Hall of Fame someday, and tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill are putting together resumes that will likely land them in Canton, too.
“I'm very fortunate,” Reid said. “It doesn't always happen that way with people but I've been very lucky.”
NOTES: DE Frank Clark (hamstring) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (COVID-19) were back at practice Wednesday. Both are expected to play Sunday. ... Reid said he hasn't spoken with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy about reports citing anonymous sources that linked him Tuesday to the open Southern California job. “I know he's from that area,” Reid said Wednesday. “He's going to be great wherever he goes. I'm his biggest fan, so I understand if he wants to go there or wherever he wants to go. I'm lucky to have him.”
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FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2021, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid watches from the sideline during an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Cleveland Browns in Kansas City, Mo. Putting together the NFL schedule might be as complex as space travel. All 32 teams have preferences, there are stadium and city issues to deal with, bye weeks to consider and, most importantly, attempting to avoid competitive imbalances. The two Week 1 highlight matchups have Cleveland at Kansas City and Pittsburgh at Buffalo, all potential powers in the AFC. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann, File)
Credit: Reed Hoffmann
Credit: Reed Hoffmann