There’s a fair amount that binds Kyle Shanahan and Andy Reid.
They’re both savants when it comes to offensive football. They both played as kids and in college before quickly transitioning to coaching and rising the ranks. When the Eagles hired Reid as a head coach, he was 40 years old. Shanahan is 40 now, in his third year as head coach of the 49ers.
They both have the opportunity to avenge significant Super Bowl losses this week, too.
Shanahan’s story of Super Bowl disappointment has been told time and time again in these parts: As offensive coordinator, he and the Falcons took a 28-3 lead over the Patriots three years ago before eventually losing in overtime. Shanahan got his share of the blame for continuing an aggressive, passing-forward game plan rather than running out the clock.
Reid has won a Super Bowl, as an offensive assistant for the 1995 Green Bay Packers, but his only appearance as a head coach was after the 2004 season, when his Eagles lost to New England, which won its second consecutive title and third in four years.
At a glance, the two men appear to have divergent attitudes heading into Super Bowl week.
Andy Reid showed up wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
“I like dress codes — as long as it’s part Tommy Bahama, I’m good,” he said, with one caveat: “no Speedos.”
Reid also apparently spoke about eating a Cuban sandwich upon arrival at his Miami hotel.
“I like dress codes, as long as it’s Tommy Bahama … No speedos!”
Andy Reid, fashion icon. 😂 pic.twitter.com/0AOXkVbOkE
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 28, 2020
Shanahan had more of the look of a man on a business trip (albeit in a zip-up hoodie). But his message to his players was similar to Reid’s philosophy: Let it rip.
“I can speak first-hand that I’ve been a part of a Super Bowl and a lot of people blame me for a lot of stuff and you know what, I’m still alive and I was all right the next day,” Shanahan said. “You know what I’m happy for is, you go as hard as you can, you do as good as you can and you live with the consequences.”
The 49ers coach did seem a bit less comfortable in front of the cameras than his Kansas City counterpart, but that ease comes with time. He was able to mix his coach-speak and glowing reviews of the Chiefs with stories of wearing interviewer Deion Sanders’ 49ers jersey for a week straight, and losing $30,000 worth of tickets to that Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl.
“I remember walking around after this ended, I was panicked,” Shanahan said. “All the Patriots were in here and I was trying to keep my hat low so no one would notice me, but I was freaking out.”
One last cue he took from Reid: declining the “marshmallow-looking” outfits the players wore to Monday night’s outing.
“I go, ‘I promise you Andy Reid’s not wearing that,’” Shanahan said. “Once I heard he was wearing Tommy Bahama, I knew I was good to wear my own hoodie.”