There isn’t a better coaching tree in the NFL than Andy Reid’s. And yet, the Super Bowl champion thinks more about the leaves he could’ve grown rather than the ones he currently has.
Reid has developed coaches like Todd Bowles, Brad Childress, John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott, Doug Pederson, Ron Rivera and Steve Spagnuolo. It turns out Reid had the chance to add Matt Rhule to his coaching tree, but he missed out on that opportunity.
Back in 2012, Reid had the chance to hire Rhule, who received a glowing reviews from his son Britt.
“My son just kept saying, ‘This guy is an unbelievable football coach,'” Reid told ESPN. “‘He’s just so smart. He knows both sides of the ball. He can coach anything. I’m just telling you, he’s a star down the road.’
There wasn’t any space on Reid’s staff in Philadelphia, but there was room on Tom Coughlin’s staff in New York. As a result, Rhule joined the Giants as an assistant offensive line coach. Reid still regrets not hiring Rhule to this day.
“Which was a dumb thing,” Reid said. “I should have found a spot. The next thing I know, he’s with the Giants. I was, ‘My god, that was not where I wanted him to go.'”
After a brief stint with the Giants, Rhule returned to Temple to become the school’s next head coach. He led the program to 28 wins in a four-year span, earning a contract offer from Baylor.
It didn’t take Rhule very long to build Baylor into a powerhouse, as he won 11 games in his third year at the helm. In January, the Carolina Panthers gave Rhule a lucrative contract to be their head coach.
Rhule has looked sharp through the first half of the season, leading an inexperienced Panthers squad to three wins. This weekend he’ll have his hands full coaching against Reid, who will definitely be thinking about the assistant coach that got away.