Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will face off against a familiar face this Sunday, as Baltimore takes on the Kansas City Chiefs - led by Andy Reid. Harbaugh coached under Reid from 1999-2007 as the special teams coordinator and defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Since joining the Ravens in 2008, Harbaugh has a 100-69 regular season record (.592 winning percentage) and a 10-5 postseason record (.667). Much of his success he owes to Reid and the where he began in the NFL.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about that and they’ve done quite a few little pieces on that, stories on that, so I get asked that a lot – the impact Andy has had on my career, and I’m just grateful,” Harbaugh said of his former mentor. “One of the most important things in any profession – it’s probably true in journalism – is where you start.”
“Who you start with really makes a big difference. If you start with people that do it the right way – good people, teach you the right things – it just gives you a chance, gives you a leg up. And Andy, for me, was a big part of that in every way. I learned a great many things from him, and watching his tape now, I still learn a great many things from him. Yes, he’s certainly at the top of the business in what he does.”
In 14 years with the Eagles, Reid went 130-93 (.583) during the regular season and 10-9 (.526) in the playoffs. In 2004, the Eagles won an NFC Championship and played in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots, where they’d lose 24-21 in last few minutes.
Though Reid would get fired from the Eagles in 2012 — after a 4-12 record — his Mark was left on the organization forever. He put together the greatest win total in team history, best winning percentage at that time, finishing with six NFC East division titles and making five trips to the NFC Championship Game.
Before Reid became the head coach of the Eagles, Ray Rhodes was the head man in charge. Harbaugh was just with Philadelphia for one year before Rhodes was ousted in 1998. With Harbaugh’s status up in the air with a new regime coming in, he had knew he had a chance to stay on with Reid.
“It was a long time ago,” Harbaugh said. “No, I thought I had a chance. We had played well on special teams, so you’d like to think that that would have had an impact, and he gave me a chance. That’s the thing: He didn’t have to. Andy did not have to give me a chance coming in at the time. I’m sure he had a lot of people he knew, but he decided to take a chance on me, and like I said, I’ll be forever grateful for that.”
Reid has since taken a commanding role with the Chiefs. Kansas City has a 10-2 record and currently hold the first seed in the AFC Playoff race. They also lead the NFL in points scored with 444, are third in total yards (5,246) and third in passing yards (3,798).