I don’t feel like we’re the underdog, says Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid

Head coach Andy Reid says he can understand the Kansas City Chiefs being viewed as the underdog for this weekend’s Super Bowl but stressed he never approaches a game feeling like one.

Sunday’s NFL championship match in Las Vegas sees defending champions the Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers.

Reid’s side – who he has guided to three of the last four Super Bowls, triumphing against the 49ers in 2020 and the Philadelphia Eagles last year – suffered four defeats in six towards the end of the regular season before finding form in the play-offs.

And the 65-year-old told a press conference: “I understand why we’re the underdog, I get that – we had some ups and downs during the season.

“I never feel like an underdog going into a game. I understand why it’s been situated that way. It is what it is.”

Reid, whose experienced stars include quarter back Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, said his message to players tasting the showpiece for the first time to help calm nerves they might have was: “When you get through all of this, this stuff here, it’s a game.”

He added: “It’s faster than most games. It’s crazy how in the play-offs every game is a little faster the higher you go up. So it’s fast. But it’s still a game. You’re professionals, so you go play and do your job.”

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (Charlie Riedel/AP)
Reid has been in charge of the Chiefs since 2013 (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Reid was asked about the likelihood of him considering retirement if the Chiefs complete back-to-back successes this weekend.

And he said: “I haven’t gone there, I don’t think about that. I’m tied up in the game and trying to take care of that. I’m sure somewhere I’ll know when that time is. It’s not today or Sunday.”

Kelce described Super Bowl week as having been “chaos and a lot of fun” with “a lot of energy at practices”.

He said: “I’m not even going to lie, things got a little chippy – I’m not going to say between who, but the offensive and defensive lines are trying to get their work in, trying to make sure everybody’s ready for the game.

“It just got me fired up yesterday, seeing everybody locked in and wanting to get their work in, making sure that everybody’s ready for the task in hand on Sunday. I just love the focus and the energy of the team right now.”

There has been considerable attention in the build-up to the contest on the fact Kelce is in a relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.

Asked if the buzz over his personal life was a distraction for him, Kelce said: “I love this game and I love coming into work.

“I think everybody has things in their lives that can take away from their focus in their work life, and you’ve just got to be able to compartmentalise that.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift (Julio Cortez/AP)
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is in a relationship with Taylor Swift (Julio Cortez/AP)

“It might be on a national media scale so it seems like it’s a lot harder, but in the reality of things, when I step on that field I’m focused on championship football and being a Kansas City Chief.”

Kelce was also asked why he thought there was such fascination with him and Swift, and said: “I think the values we stand for, and just who we are as people.

“We love to shine light on others, shine light around the people who help and support us, and on top of that I feel like we both have just a love for life.”