By Kent Larsen
LDS Coach Reid Meets his Mentor
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- It was student vs. mentor, employee vs. boss and
friend vs. friend Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles, coached by LDS Church
member Andy Reid, met Mike Holmgren's Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. While
Reid and Holmgren are now rivals, they have a history of working together,
both at BYU and on the Green Bay Packers. But now they meet as rivals.
Ahead of Sunday's game, newspaper accounts made much of the history betwee
Reid and Holmgren, who first met when Reid became a graduate assistant under
Holmgren at BYU in 1982. They became good friends as BYU was poised to reach
number one in the polls. But Holmgren soon left BYU for the NFL, landing
several years later as coach of the Green Bay Packers. He hadn't forgotten
Reid, and in 1992 hired him as tight ends/offensive line coach, and in 1997
added the responsibility for quarterbacks.
But the pair split up in 1998, when Holmgren decided to leave the Packers.
At first he was reportedly considering an offer from the Philadelphia
Eagles, but decided to move to Seattle. The Eagles then surprised everyone
and asked Reid, then still an assistant at Green Bay, to be their coach,
instead of another NFL coach. Their Reid has had great success, building the
Eagles into a playoff contender last year, while Holmgren's Seahawks slipped
out of the playoffs last year.
Reid and Holmgren are similar in some ways. Physically they are similar, and
the Seattle Times' Percy Allen says they could be mistaken for brothers.
They are both fair-headed, tall and of ample girth. Some players even think
that the two men have similar coaching styles. Tight end Jeff Thomason, who
played under Holmgren with the Packers and is now with the Eagles says,
"Both are motivational, both will get you ready. When I first came here and
listened to Coach Reid, I thought it was Coach Holmgren."
The two men remain friends, talking to each other regularly and even going
out to dinner when the occasion permits. Holmgren isn't surprised at Reid's
success, "He had a lot of energy on the field," Holmgren remembered about
their BYU days. "He asked great questions. We hit it off right away as far
as our personalities. I think we're very similar in a lot of ways. . . .
He's very curious, very bright." "Andy and I were together a long time. I
really watched him develop and grow into his position. I'm really proud of
the job he's done."
And, ahead of Sunday's game, Holmgren had no illusions ahead of the game
about Reid's abilities, "I always contend that the mentor has the edge,"
Holmgren said jokingly. "(Reid) is probably thinking the student has the
edge. We know each other pretty well. We might think we know what (the other
person) might do in a particular situation, and we might do that. There
might be some pattern there, but then we both know that so we'll probably
coach against it."
And Holmgren says that the game is more fun because of it, "It's like a
pickup game with your brother in the backyard, and you're going at it tooth
and nail." But he also admits that the Eagles probably have a better chance
at the playoffs than the Seahawks, "We're up and coming, but they're almost
there, in my opinion."
Reid recognizes this too, but downplayed the significance of Sunday's game,
"I get fired up for all of them," he said. "I don't have a problem with that
part, whether it's Mike or somebody else. I think you mess with yourself if
you go about it a different way. That's the discipline of this business, you
better prepare yourself every week, whether you're playing against your best
friend, or whether I'm coaching against a good friend. If you let that come
in, it poses a distraction and a problem."
In the end, Reid won Sunday's game 27-3, most likely because he has the
Holmgren, Reid go back a long way
Philadelphia PA Daily News 23Sep01 S2
By Dick Jerardi
Mike the Mentor to test ex-pupil
Seattle WA Times 21Sep01 S2
By Percy Allen: Seattle Times staff reporter
Reid set to go against his mentor
CNNSI 20Sep01 S2
Coaches Holmgren and Reid happily reunited
Everett WA Herald 20Sep01 S2
By Scott M. Johnson: Herald Writer