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Chiefs’ Reid deflects attention as he approaches NFL history

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Good luck getting Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid to ruminate on the fact that he’s nearing NFL history, just one win away from becoming the first to reach 100 with two different franchises.

The answer you’ll get is pretty standard whenever such topics arise.

“I’ve been around a lot of good people. I’m very fortunate that way,” Reid said this week, as the Chiefs turned their attention to a Sunday night showdown in Baltimore. “I’ve been with two great organizations but, most of all, good people, whether coaches or players. I’m very fortunate that way.”

The thing about that? It’s not entirely true.

Sure, the affable coach affectionately known as “Big Red” has had good players over the years, and no fewer than 11 assistants have gone on to become head coaches. But just two players in more than two decades as a head coach have reached the Hall of Fame, and only Eagles safety Brian Dawkins did it playing mostly for Reid.

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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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

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