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NFL Playoffs: Former BYU teammates weigh in on Andy Reid, the participant

Andy Reid, one of many most important branches of the LaVell Edwards teaching tree, is making his practically annual trek to the playoffs once more this week as his Kansas Metropolis Chiefs meet the Jacksonville Jaguars. As has been broadly reported, it was Edwards who acknowledged Reid’s mental method to the sport at BYU — he was so inquisitive that he tended to annoy teammates with all his questions — and directed him towards a training profession. The remainder is, , historical past — as in, Reid is the NFL’s fifth winningest coach.

“Andy as a participant was slightly extra cerebral than the remainder of us. He was all the time watching and analyzing. … He was extra like a quarterback than an offensive lineman. All of us seen it on the time — the best way he checked out issues.” — practice BYU offensive lineman Danny Hansen on Andy Reid

It has been nearly forgotten that Reid was a participant at BYU from 1978 to 1980. That is as a result of, like so many profitable coaches, he was a forgettable participant for many soccer aficionados. However his teammates bear in mind, particularly Jim McMahon, who remembers that Reid nearly obtained him “decapitated,” however extra on that later.

Reid was an offensive sort out who noticed rare enjoying time. “I performed in opposition to him each day in follow,” remembers Jim Herrmann, a former BYU defensive finish. “In a single-on-one go rush I went face to face in opposition to Andy each day once I was a freshman (in 1980).” Requested if Reid performed a lot, Herrmann mentioned, “I am positive he performed. I imply, we beat UTEP 79-3 or one thing that yr (really, it was 83-7), so he needed to get in. Was he a rotator with the starters? No. He did not play a lot. He was not tremendous tall, and we had a number of tall linemen. He was possibly 6-2, 6-3, and thick.”

Kyle Whittingham, the Utah head coach who was a center linebacker on Reid’s groups, remembers, “He did not get a number of enjoying time. Looks as if he had a number of accidents that he needed to cope with.”

Patti Edwards, the coach’s widow who maintains a detailed relationship with Reid and his spouse Tammy, reluctantly notes, “I most likely should not say this, however Andy was recruited to return to BYU so his finest pal would come to BYU.” This story was confirmed by, which reported that whereas Reid was enjoying at Glendale Group School he was planning to just accept a scholarship to Stanford however suffered a knee harm that ended these plans.

His finest pal was Randy Tidwell, who performed guard subsequent to him on the road at Glendale. Tidwell was scheduled to make a recruiting go to to BYU and satisfied Reid to hitch him. As reported, “Edwards … had already been Tidwell, and after the go to, Reid grew to become a part of the package deal of getting each of them to BYU.” Reid’s harm was one among a number of that dogged him at BYU.

Danny Hansen, who performed offensive guard for BYU within the late Seventies, says, “Andy actually did not play a lot. I began at proper guard and Randy Tidwell was the left guard. Nick Eyre and Tom Bell began at sort out. Andy was behind Nick.”

Vai Sikahema, one other nice participant from that period, says, “The man you need (to speak to) is Jimmy Mac (McMahon). He has an important story about Andy nearly getting him beheaded.” Reached at his dwelling in Arizona, McMahon, the best of the nice BYU quarterbacks, explains, “We had been enjoying at Wisconsin (in 1980). I took my five- or seven-step drop — no matter it was — and I obtained planted. Hit onerous. I lookup and the primary man I see is Andy. I mentioned, ‘So you are the one who whiffed his block.’ Andy says, ‘Yeah, sorry ’bout that.’ I noticed him years later when he was teaching the (Philadelphia) Eagles and he was weighing about 400 kilos. I informed him, ‘I want you had been this large once we performed Wisconsin. It might’ve taken that man one other step or two to get round you and I might’ve gotten the go off.”

Wait, so Reid did see enjoying time regardless of the earlier recollections of his former teammates? “I do know he was enjoying that day,” deadpans McMahon.

(Vai provides, “Jim’s punchline was that Andy satisfied the Packers to signal him as a backup to Brett Favre for his or her Tremendous Bowl run late in (Jim’s) profession as a make-up for the missed block.”)

If Reid did not make his mark as a participant in these days, he did so in one other approach. Sikahema remembers, “He wasn’t an important participant, however he was analytical and generally irritated teammates along with his fixed questions. … I am sure Andy hadn’t determined to educate (at the moment) — he simply needed to know why we slid protections proper or left or who was the ‘sizzling’ receiver when a linebacker was left unblocked. His questions had been generally easy, generally complicated. I am positive that is why LaVell requested him to educate. He had a thoughts for it.”

Andy Reid poses for an image in Provo.

Mark Philbrick, BYU Photograph

Hansen echoes Sikahema’s recollections, saying, “Andy as a participant was slightly extra cerebral than the remainder of us. He was all the time watching and analyzing. He spent a number of time watching (legendary offensive coordinator) Doug Scovil and analyzing what he was doing. Doug may have a look at a play and let you know what all 22 guys did on that play. Andy grew to become that man. He was extra like a quarterback than an offensive lineman. All of us seen it on the time — the best way he checked out issues.”

In a narrative that was posted on, Edwards, who died in 2016, made related observations. “We might be on the market practising and dealing, and there’d be questions arising on how one can choose up a sure blitz. I seen a number of instances (Reid) was serving to the guard, the sort out or the middle subsequent to him to ensure they understood what to do if there was some type of stunt or no matter they did. I bear in mind saying on the time that this man’s obtained an uncommon really feel and information of the sport.”

Edwards continued: “He not solely discovered and knew what his project was, but additionally the the reason why and the idea of what you are attempting to do. Numerous gamers did not have that idea or skill, however Andy did. He had a really feel for it. That is one of many issues I like most about him, and it made me suppose the extra I used to be round him, the extra I watched him, I noticed this man may very well be an excellent coach.”

Ultimately, Edwards requested Reid, who was an English main on the time and hoped to put in writing for a dwelling (he wrote a column for the native newspaper), “Have you considered being a coach? You’d be a very good one.” After Reid accomplished his eligibility as a participant, Edwards employed him as a graduate assistant.

Reid wound up being in the best place on the proper time for studying revolutionary offensive soccer ideas. Within the ’70s and ’80s, BYU was pioneering the passing recreation that has now taken over each stage of the sport, from Little League to the professionals. Edwards not solely managed to assemble a group of shiny, revolutionary assistant coaches, he had the egoless sense to go away them alone and allow them to to do their job with none interference from him. They may prosper with out him trying over their shoulders.


In 1982, after his enjoying days at BYU had been over, Andy Reid, sixth from left, labored as a graduate assistant for LaVell Edwards. Right here he poses with that 1982 employees.

Mark Philbrick, BYU Photograph

“BYU was a particular, distinctive place then,” says Herrmann. “There was Doug Scovil, Norm Chow, LaVell, Mike Holmgren… some actually good guys. Individuals who had been forward of their time. He gleaned from that. Sucked all of it in. And later he had all these connections that helped him get jobs.”

Scovil was a broadly revered offensive coordinator and innovator at BYU who additionally coached quarterbacks and receivers for 3 NFL groups. Chow, who discovered from Scovil, took over as offensive coordinator when Scovil went to the NFL, and Chow went on to carry the identical place at USC and for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

Mike Holmgren coached BYU’s quarterbacks for 4 seasons — most notably, Steve Younger and Robbie Bosco — and went on to function quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the 49ers, tutoring a few future Corridor of Fame quarterbacks in Joe Montana and Steve Younger; they received two Tremendous Bowls collectively.

Holmgren received one other Tremendous Bowl as head coach for the Brett Favre-era Inexperienced Bay Packers. He employed Reid as an assistant in Inexperienced Bay and ultimately made him the quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach, which served as a springboard to his profession as a head coach, first for the Eagles after which for the Chiefs. Holmgren ranks because the Seventeenth-winningest coach in NFL historical past. Whereas with the Packers, Reid labored intently with Holmgren and fellow assistants Steve Mariucci and Jon Gruden. All 4 of them received Tremendous Bowls as head coaches.

And eventually in fact there was Edwards, who had extraordinary interpersonal and organizational expertise and enabled his assistants and gamers to thrive. Reid has all the time been effusive in expressing his respect and appreciation for his former coach and mentor. Reid and Edwards developed a deep friendship over time.

When Edwards handed away, Reid left his teaching duties (it was in the course of the soccer season) and flew to Provo for the funeral. Requested about Edwards, he informed, “He was my man. I am most likely one among 10,000 guys which are saying that proper now, and that is what made him distinctive, proper?

“…He was the whole lot.” After pausing to collect his feelings, he added. “I get too emotional on these items, so I am going to go away it at that.”

He ultimately resumed his recollection of Edwards, saying, “(Edwards) was nice with individuals; he was a individuals particular person. You set all of the Xs and Os and put that apart — he was good at that too — however you may put all of that apart. It was the best way he dealt with those who I believed was unbelievable. …I wasn’t going into teaching. He was the one which talked me into doing it. He known as me each week from that day on like he had put me in a foul place or one thing. He was all the time checking on me.”

“I’ve extra respect for him than anyone. He is on the prime of my record. Whenever you ask me about my favourite individuals, he is proper there on the prime.” —Andy Reid on LaVell Edwards

“As a younger man you are going in 1,000,000 completely different instructions. You are not precisely positive what route you wish to go, and he requested me if I had ever considered going into teaching, and I mentioned, no, I actually hadn’t. He mentioned, properly, you need to give it a strive, and I am going to preserve you on (as a graduate assistant coach) and pay you for the additional college in case you determine to go in a unique route. So I obtained in, obtained the bug and right here I’m.”

Reid as soon as mentioned of Edwards, “I’ve extra respect for him than anyone. He is on the prime of my record. Whenever you ask me about my favourite individuals, he is proper there on the prime.”

Through the years Reid and Edwards known as each other each week (“I knew when he was on trip as a result of then I would not get a name,” mentioned Reid). As Patti remembers, “It was greater than Xs and Os when Andy known as. Possibly about half of the dialog was about soccer; the remainder of it was about private life.”

He additionally frequently texted Edwards’ son Jim, a fellow English main with whom he shared a love of books. The Reids and Edwards vacationed collectively. The Edwards would hire a California seaside home close to the Reids’ seaside home. “LaVell and Andy would meet for breakfast after which we would all exit with them at night time,” remembers Patti. “It was an expensive factor to my household.”

Ultimately, Reid has turn into very similar to his mentor, profitable championships, hiring good assistants and exhibiting nice individuals expertise.

Former NFL tight finish Chad Lewis as soon as informed the Deseret Information’ Dick Harmon, “He treats individuals with kindness, just like LaVell. He is aware of when to crack a joke or when to crack the whip. He will be powerful and tender in the identical sentence. He has a real reward at being a coach. He loves individuals and he is aware of how one can work with nearly everybody.”

Reid is a part of the nice Edwards teaching tree that features three NFL head coaches, all of whom received Tremendous Bowls (Brian Billick, Holmgren, Reid), nearly two dozen collegiate head coaches and greater than a dozen NFL and collegiate coordinators. Reid, in flip, has grown his personal teaching tree. He has employed 11 assistants who went on to turn into NFL head coaches, together with John Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, Doug Pederson and Sean McDermott.

Reid’s enjoying profession might need been forgettable, however he has left his mark on the teaching career.


Kansas Metropolis Chiefs security Justin Reid and head coach Andy Reid have fun with followers after a recreation in opposition to the Denver Broncos Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Kansas Metropolis, Mo.

Charlie Riedel, Related Press

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