Since becoming an NFL head coach 22 seasons ago, Andrew Walter Reid has won more than 61% of his games while coaching for two teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. He went 3-1 against the Dolphins during his time toiling under the Liberty Bell and is 2-0 against them with the Chiefs, his only blemish coming during his, and quarterback Donavan McNabb’s rookie year with the Eagles, a 16-13 setback on the road at Joe Robbie/Pro Player Stadium in 1999.
Three general attributes separate Andy Reid from other NFL head coaches: first and foremost, he remains one of the best and brightest offensive minds in the game, he’s well known for his work with quarterbacks and, unlike many head coaches, he’s a stickler for good offensive line play, and generally makes personnel moves to improve his team’s front line every single year. During the 2009 offseason, when the Buffalo Bills balked at left tackle Jason Peters’ contract demands, Reid sent three draft picks, including a first-rounder, to Buffalo for the two time Pro Bowler, and Peters, who turns 39 next month and is still with the Eagles, has been to seven more Pro Bowls since arriving in Philadelphia.
If Reid had left the Eagles a year earlier, or if Miami had held on to Tony Sparano for one more season, it is likely that Reid would be the coach of the Dolphins today. Indeed, the South Florida newspapers were full of stories, speculating that Fins owner Stephen Ross would hire Reid if the Eagles let him go after the 2011 season. Ironically, it was a December home loss to Reid’s Eagles that prompted Ross to send Sparano packing, and the next week, in interim coach Todd Bowles’ first game leading the team, the Dolphins would defeat the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, thus allowing Buffalo the right to draft stud offensive lineman Cordy Glenn four months later. With Glenn pulled off the board one pick earlier, ticking time bomb Jonathan Martin was the only top offensive lineman who remained, and Miami selected him in the very next slot of 2012’s second round.
To no one’s great surprise, Reid’s Chiefs are touchdown favorites at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, and only a nearly flawless effort from the Dolphins in all four phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams, coaching) will prevent them from winning this game. Still, the Dolphins could yet find a way to emerge victorious, and if anyone can author an upset over these AFC West leviathans from K.C., it is Tua Tagovailoa. To that end, look for Miami to finally open up the offense, curtail the number of ridiculous, nonproductive runs into the middle of the line and let the kid fling it all over the field. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tagovailoa throws the ball enough times to finally be charged with his first official NFL interception, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he were to rise to the occasion and win this game. That’s how good he is. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.