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Sportsnaut exclusive: Andy Reid talks NFL and COVID in lead-up to Super Bowl LV

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Respected NFL head coach Andy Reid is looking to lead his Kansas City Chiefs to back-to-back titles this coming Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

Already seen as one of the best head coaches of the modern era, Reid was able to earn his first title in this role last season as his Chiefs pulled a fourth quarter comeback against the San Francisco 49ers.

Now the targeted, Reid took time off his preparation for the big game to talk to Sportsnaut’s Big Daddy & Friends. The conversation included Reid’s stance on what the biggest challenges were for his Chiefs in their attempt to repeat as champs. Interestingly enough, the future Hall of Fame head coach didn’t necessarily focus too much on the COVID-19 pandemic — at least, through that lens.

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Andy Reid on the biggest challenges to defending the Chiefs’ Super Bowl title

“Look. We’ve had a few obstacles. Just with the COVID part of it. But if you asked what the biggest challenge is, I think it’s the other teams in the NFL. I mean, they’re so good,” Reid told Sportsnaut’s Rich Salgado. “There’s so much parity in this league. And it was all neutral for all of us, starting out with no training camp or anything.”

Reid specifically talked at length about a narrow Week 9 win over rookie head coach Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers. While every team had their issues dealing with an offseason of COVID-19 and no workouts, that was especially true for rookie head coaches.

Carolina put up a tremendous fight in a 33-31 loss to the defending champs. It was Rhule’s ninth game in the NFL after making the transition from college ball at Baylor. For Reid, this led to even more respect in the young head coach’s direction.

Read More: Take 5: Super Bowl LV players, coaches with most to lose in Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Andy Reid talks NFL season amid COVID-19 pandemic

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks to players during the first half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

“My hat goes off to the effort that went into continuing to make this game great, even during these times,” Reid told Sportsnaut. “And the discipline by the players to stay safe and keep themselves COVID-free. You’re fighting the invisible man when you’re trying to do this thing. So, it’s a tough fight when you can’t see it.”

Sure there were some issues with the NFL COVID-19 protocols. There were also some issues as it relates to competitive imbalance and certain teams not following said protocols.

With that said, it’s pretty stunning that we’re going full-bore ahead with Super Bowl LV in front of 25,000 fans in Tampa Bay this coming Sunday. Reid’s comments point to that in a big way. It was not easy for the players and teams to do their part. A vast majority of them risked a lot to make sure this happened.