With three Super Bowl titles in a five-year span, no one could blame 65-year old Andy Reid for walking out on top.
Retirement speculation fueled the runup to Super Bowl LVIII, and the Kansas City Chiefs head coach wouldn't exactly douse the rumors after the thrilling 25-22 victory, saying, "Yeah, I haven't had time to think about it."
Chiefs owner/CEO Clark Hunt told NFL Network's James Palmer after the game, however, that he expects Reid to return in 2024.
"I expect Andy to be back next year as we go for the three-peat," Hunt said.
Reid already finds himself in a rare coaching fraternity, joining only Bill Belichick, Chuck Noll, Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh as coaches to win three or more rings.
That alone puts Reid in the best-coach discussion, not to mention his incredible body of work prior to winning his first Super Bowl, sitting No. 4 all-time in coaching victories and second in postseason wins.
And in his quarterback's mind, Reid is HC1. As in, all time.
"I believe he's the best coach of all time," Patrick Mahomes said after winning Super Bowl LVIII. "I mean I know he doesn't have the trophies yet, and I have a lot of respect for some of those great coaches, but …
"For me, he brings out the best in me because he lets me be me."
Mahomes has been Super Bowl MVP in all three of Reid's Super Bowl championships with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was in a tough spot early in LVIII -- a familiar place for Mahomes much of the season -- but came through with four straight scoring drives to close out the game in dramatic fashion in overtime.
If getting the most out of Mahomes could be quantified, it might go a long way toward backing Reid's case. This had been the Chiefs' most trying season with Mahomes to date, losing five out of eight games (including a chunk of coal against the Raiders on Christmas) down the stretch. Receivers were dropping balls (or lining up offsides). Mahomes was misfiring. The defense was having to carry an outsized share of the load.
Of his five teams to make a Super Bowl, this one had the worst record, the worst scoring average, the worst point differential and the worst turnover ratio. It was un-Chiefs-like and very un-Reid-like.
But Reid stayed the course and kept entrusting his players to get it right on the fly, believing that their playoff experience and Mahomes could deliver. His wisdom paid off, as Reid doubled down on his quarterback, his great defense and his instinct, landing in Las Vegas after emotionally grueling playoff wins at Buffalo and Baltimore.
Mahomes marveled at how Reid was "able to navigate every single team he has" and "continue to have success no matter where he's at."
Sunday was a coronation for Reid, even if he'd never want the spotlight to be on him over his team. For years, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick and Reid were the elder statesmen of the league and three of the most accomplished in this generation or any. But with Belichick not employed and Carroll out of his head-coaching role, Reid stands alone atop that venerable hill -- assuming he returns to try to lead the Chiefs to a third straight Super Bowl title.
"My pitch to (Reid) is Patrick's under contract for another eight years," Hunt said, laughing before turning serious. "No, I know Andy loves what he's doing. We certainly appreciate him as a family. Our organization is what it is because of Andy, and he's got a special relationship with everybody in it."
If Reid is back, Mahomes would be thankful.
"I don't think I'd be the quarterback that I am if I didn't have Coach Reid being my head coach," Mahomes said, "and other than that, he wants you to be the best person that you can be, and I think that's truly special."