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Sent on Mormon-News: 27Sep01

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 better team.


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
Associated Press

Coaches Holmgren and Reid happily reunited
Everett WA Herald 20Sep01 S2
By Scott M. Johnson: Herald Writer


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