Cover Image Source: Getty Images | (L) Photo by Ric Tapia ; (R) Photo by Ryan Kang
NFL superstar Travis Kelce owes most of his career to Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid.
Even now, Reid fondly remembers seeing Kelce for the first time at a game when he was still a student at University of Cincinnati. He recalls believing that if he were to ever coach this player, it would require a great deal of patience, ESPN reported. “He was being Travis, being cocky,” Reid said. “Jiminy, he was cocky.”
Their relationship began with arguments between the exuberant tight end Kelce and the traditional coach Reid, whom Kelce called “big fella.” Reid shaped the young, impatient, rash Kelce into one of the best tight ends of all time, now ranked fourth all-time in catches and receptions.
Many others agree with the significant role played by Reid in shaping Kelce. “When Travis came to us, he was a little bit of a party guy,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “Andy showed a lot of patience and tolerance. Having to do things a certain way and organizing and prioritizing his life was a challenge. There were a lot of one-on-one meetings with Coach and a lot of, ‘This is how I want things done.’ There were a ton of bumps early on, but Coach’s love and faith for Travis never wavered. He got him through a rough time early on.”
Now the best tight end in the NFL, Kelce is appreciative of the opportunity to play for Coach Reid. This week, Kelce and his brother Jason celebrated Reid’s ten years with the Chiefs and the influence Reid has had on Kelce’s career on their podcast, New Heights. “I mentioned it before how he’s changed the tight end position for a guy like me,” Kelce said, per The Kansas City Star.
The tight-end positioning was very different before Reid came along, and Kelce feels he owes his career to the steadfast coach. “Coach Reid nonstop evolved this tight-end position for me, and I can’t say how much I love him for that,” the tight end gushed about the illustrious coach.
“It’s just like the evolution and coach Reid being the creative genius behind it. Coach Reid was a tight-end coach in Green Bay, he understands that position. He was an O-line coach in college. So he gets the grand scheme of things for sure. And he understands the type of mismatches a tight end could have. So I owe a lot of my career, if not all my career to that big guy. So cheers. Cheers to 10 more.”
Despite receiving less money, Kelce claimed he stayed with the Chiefs for a variety of reasons. Among the highlights are two Super Bowl victories and the opportunity to play beside a player of Mahomes’ caliber—and of course, Coach Reid. “I know what I have here is special and I can’t get that anywhere else,” Kelce said. “Coach Reid is one of the biggest reasons for that. I can’t even fathom going anywhere else and having the same success.”