Former Andy Reid Disciple Turning Into ‘Hot Candidate’ for Head Coaching Job

Andy Reid

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid continues to produce some of the league's most qualified coaching candidates.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has done it again, as he seems to produce hot commodity coaching candidates every offseason.

The latest — outside of current staff members Eric Bieniemy and Matt Nagy — is 2021 quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, who’s currently serving as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants.

Kafka had already received two head coaching interview requests heading into Super Wild Card Weekend after just one season as an OC. Then on January 16, a third request came in from the Indianapolis Colts according to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero.

“The Colts put in a request to interview Giants OC Mike Kafka for their head coaching job, per source,” Pelissero tweeted. “This was already in the works. But pretty good timing after Kafka’s offense put on a show in Minnesota. The [Carolina] Panthers and [Houston] Texans want to speak with him, too. A hot candidate [this cycle].”

Mike Kafka & Giants Knock Off Vikings in Minnesota

We’ve mentioned it before, but Reid’s coaching tree might be one of the most impressive in the NFL. Kafka is the latest Big Red product — a former Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback under the Chiefs HC when he was still in Philly.

He later joined Reid in Kansas City as an offensive quality control coach after beginning his coaching career with Northwestern as a graduate assistant in 2016. After four seasons as the Chiefs quarterbacks coach, Kafka landed the Giants job at the young age of 35 years old.

It’s really been a meteoric rise for the journeyman signal-caller than never quite made it as a player. The latest accomplishment was a playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings on the road in which his new QB (Daniel Jones) threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns while scrambling for another 78 yards on the ground.

With the help of head coach Brian Daboll, Kafka has seemingly transformed Jones from a potential first-round bust to an up-and-coming dual-threat quarterback, and he’s done that with very little talent at wide receiver and tight end in 2022. Now you can see why he’s such a “hot candidate” this winter.

Chiefs Will Face Andy Reid Mentee Doug Pederson in Divisional Round

Speaking of former Reid disciples, the Chiefs will be up against one in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs this weekend — facing off against Doug Pederson’s Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium for the second time this year.

The first meeting resulted in a 27-17 victory for KC over the Jags.

Another ex-NFL backup QB, Pederson’s path was a lot like Kafka’s, and the professional portion of it began in 2009. After starting out with some lower-level experience, he joined Reid in Philadelphia as, you guessed it, an offensive quality control coach. He then made the similar move to quarterbacks coach and eventually, offensive coordinator with the Chiefs when Big Red first made the jump to Kansas City.

Pederson moved up the ladder a little slower than Kafka with three campaigns as an OC before taking on the Eagles head coaching position in 2016, but he obviously made it big once landing the gig with the massive Super Bowl win in Philadelphia that eluded Reid for many years.

Despite that, the Eagles parted ways with Pederson after five seasons and following a one-year hiatus, here he is back in the playoffs with a Jaguars team that had the number one selection in back-to-back drafts. There’s no doubt about it, Coach Reid grooms them well.