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Pro Cougar: Andy Reid is back to his winning ways

The last year has had it's share of disappointments for former BYU Cougar Andy Reid, but with a son headed out on an LDS mission and a new team to coach, things are looking much better in the fall of 2013.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an interesting year for Andy Reid, the former BYU player and current head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Cougar faithfuls are always interested to know what is going on with Andy and were delighted to hear last week in a report from Jason Shepherd of KSL how interested Andy still is in BYU. But first a quick overview of what Andy has been up to in the last year.

A Trying Year

Firstly, over a year has passed since Reid’s son Garrett passed away due to a drug overdose. No sorrow can compare with losing a loved one and this was incredibly hard for Andy and the entire Reid family. Many supported and reached out to Andy during this time of grief.

Secondly, Reid was let go by the Philadelphia Eagles after 14 years at the helm. At the time of his firing, Reid was the longest consistent coach in the NFL. For a profession that averages stints of fewer than three years, it is nothing short of amazing that Andy remained a head coach with one team for so long.

A Turn in Luck

Thankfully, things didn’t remain bad for too long.

First off, within 4 days of being let go by the Eagles, Andy signed a 5-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that had won a grand total of 2 games during the 2012 season. The situation seemed ideal for Andy, especially with the low expectations of the Chiefs after such a dismal season last year.

Secondly, after the first week of the NFL season, Reid already has half as many wins as the Chiefs compiled all of last season. The Chiefs beat the Jaguars 28-2 on Sunday, Sept. 8th, the largest opening day win since 1963.

Thirdly, another exciting development for the Reid family is the announcement that Andy’s son, Spencer, is taking a break from the Temple University football team to serve an LDS mission.

This is a challenging, yet rewarding time for the Reid family. Last year had a fair share of trials and difficulties, but things have improved dramatically over the last few months.

Still Bleeds Blue

As BYU’s season came to a close last year and Andy’s job with the Eagles seemed in jeopardy, rumors flew that there might be a chance that Andy would come to coach at his Alma mater. Bronco cleaned house with his offensive staff and many believe that Andy would be the perfect candidate to take over offensive coordinator duties. It didn’t take many days for Andy to get picked up by the Chiefs, but that doesn’t mean the possibility isn’t there at some point, "Listen, if there was ever a college job, that would be it," Reid said of BYU.

Jason Shepherd's Interview

In Jason Shepherd’s interview with Andy Reid recently there were some interesting tidbits I'd like to share.

Andy loves giving BYU alumni a chance to play, because he knows how hard they try, and the caliber of player and person that he is getting. Chad Lewis and Reno Mahe, former Cougars, played for years with the Eagles.

Another interesting quote that many Cougar fans were delighted to hear (especially heading into the Utah game) was Reid saying that "Deep down he (Kyle Whittingham) really bleeds blue, he just can’t say that right now, but he does."

Andy also mentioned how he still talks frequently with LaVell Edwards and thinks Coach Mendenhall has "done a marvelous job" with the program. He has great respect for the program and keeps tabs on the team during the season.

Cougar fans were happy to see Andy Reid start off the NFL season with a win on Sunday night and hope to see many more come this year. It will only take one more win in the next 15 games to equal the Chief’s win total from last year, but with the surprising blowout of the Jaguars in week 1 there is optimism that Andy can improve much more this season.

Final Blood Bath

Speaking of blood, there’s no doubt that’s what the BYU team will be seeking against the rival Utes when the two teams meet on Saturday, Sept. 21. The final rival game for who-knows-how-long begins at 8:15 p.m. MDT. If you're not at the game, catch it on ESPN2.