Commanders

Andy Reid has lots of respect for Ron Rivera, Alex Smith

Commanders

Following a regular season that saw Ron Rivera lead the Washington Football Team to its first playoff berth in five years and Alex Smith complete his comeback from a horrific leg injury, there are plenty of reasons to look back on the 2020 NFL season as a success for Washington. Among those who came away impressed: Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

Prior to leading the Chiefs into the Super Bowl this weekend, the veteran head coach spoke to the media about how both Rivera and Smith impressed him in 2020.

“This first year in Washington with a name change, without an offseason and just the whole COVID [situation], what he did was phenomenal,” Reid said. “Then [he] takes in a team where Alex is hurt and then he works through the quarterback situation and ends up with a kid that nobody knows and they dang-near win [a playoff] game. They put on a great performance.

“There’s nobody better than Alex Smith, man, I’ll tell you. Just one of my favorite guys and the story, all you have to do is watch that special on him and you just fall in love with the guy. I had a chance to coach him so I kinda knew the man behind all that and if I had to predict how he would attack an injury, that would be how he would do it. That’s just his core right there.”

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Reid knows both Rivera and Smith well. Rivera worked under him as a linebackers coach with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2003 before moving onto become defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. Reid coached Smith in Kansas City from 2013 to 2017, making four playoff appearances and ranking among the top 10 in scoring three times together.