The hole in the resume always overshadows the full body of work. That's the business Andy Reid has chosen and unless he wins a Super Bowl he will always be stuck with the title of being a really good coach who could not achieve greatness.
Doug Pederson said Reid never mentions the one thing he has not accomplished and he does not think it consumes the Kansas City Chiefs head coach.
"If it does, he doesn't show it," the Eagles rookie head coach said. "He wraps himself up in his work so much that he doesn't really let that affect him. That's part of him being consistent and just kind of staying the course. I'm sure when he's in his office by himself or at home that he might think about those things, but he never lets on. He's very poker faced."
That's coming from someone who spent a dozen seasons with Reid and owes him a great deal for the position he's currently in. The two men remain close.
"We talk quite a bit," Pederson said. "We spoke again on Monday, just kind of congratulated each other on two wins over the weekend. He has been very encouraging to me when we kind of went through our struggles here the last month of the season. He just says thing like, 'Keep grinding, keep doing it your way, stay true and stay consistent.' Those are the words he throws out to me."
Stay consistent seems to be the most important message Reid has given to Pederson. Reid's inability to heed his own words might have led to the end of his 14-year run with the Eagles. He seemed to be chasing that elusive Super Bowl title by veering from the things that made him so successful, especially during his first decade in Philadelphia.
Since moving to Kansas City, however, he has been brilliant again. Pederson believes it helped that Reid relinquished his duties as personnel chief that he held in Philadelphia.
"That has freed him up to do what he loves to do, which is teach and coach football," Pederson said. "He loves to study the tape and put game plans together. I think there was some relief when he was able to go back to just doing that. I think his last couple of years here wore on him a little bit and it was probably time to change venues. But when he went to Kansas City, it was chest up and shoulders back. He had a new lease on life."
The Chiefs are 7-2 and have won five in a row. Dating back to last season, when they overcame a 1-5 start to make the playoffs, they have won 18 of their last 21 games. Pederson said Reid is at his best when things look the worst.
"I think that's what you get from him as far as an internal perspective," Pederson said. "It is never as good as you think and it's never as bad as you think. Sometimes the outside perception is that the sky is falling, but for us in the building we still believe and come to work every day. That's always his messaging."
That's a lesson Pederson brought with him to Philadelphia and implemented when the team lost four out of five following a 3-0 start.
Reid, meanwhile, has another team in the conversation about contending for a Super Bowl title.
Should he win one - just one - he would qualify as a lock for the Hall of Fame. If you don't think so, consider these facts:
A playoff appearance this season would be the 12th of his career, tying him with Chuck Noll, Mike Holmgren and Bud Grant - for sixth on the all-time list. Only Don Shula, Tom Landry, Paul Brown, Bill Belichick and Marty Schottenheimer have more.
His 11 playoff wins are tied with Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves and Levy for ninth all-time.
His 168 wins are the most by any NFL coach with 18 years or fewer seasons on their resume.
His .600 winning percentage ranks 24th all-time among coaches with at least 100 games and 13th among coaches with 200.
All those numbers, which figure to improve, and one Super Bowl title would be enough to get Big Red a bronze bust in Canton.
Tony Romo handled losing his job to Dak Prescott with the kind of class he has shown throughout his career with the Dallas Cowboys, but I'm not buying owner Jerry Jones' stance that Romo could remain in Dallas for the long term. That should be good news to teams that think they are only a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender. Some possibilities: Denver, Buffalo, Arizona, Houston and the New York Jets.
Former Eagles defensive back Kurt Coleman raised a valid issue after his Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints Thursday night. The Panthers had four players leave the game with injuries and Coleman wondered if playing on a short week had anything to do with it. At the very least, he said, the fans are not getting to see players at 100 percent.
"I know how I feel going into a Thursday," he told the Charlotte Observer. "It's not the same way as I feel on a Sunday. But both teams are feeling the same way and it's a fair, competitive match."
Perhaps, but it's not the best possible product.
Baltimore at Dallas
Defense is again the cornerstone of the Ravens' success. They have allowed 17.8 points per game, which is tied for third in the NFL with the Eagles and Arizona. The Ravens have been in the top five in scoring defense seven times in this century and in the top 10 a total of 11 times in the last 15 seasons. Dallas' defense is not getting enough credit for the team's 8-1 record. The Cowboys are 12th in yards allowed, eighth in points allowed and third against the run.
Top late afternoon game
Eagles at Seattle
The Seahawks are 91-35 all-time at CenturyLink Field, including 9-1 in playoff games. The Eagles are 66-49 at Lincoln Financial Field, which opened a year after CenturyLink. Washington (3-2), the Eagles (2-1) and Tennessee (1-0) are the only teams with a winning record at Seattle's home field. Darren Sproles' 602 yards from scrimmage leads the Eagles, but ranks 45th in the NFL. Washington, Jacksonville and San Francisco are the only teams without a player that surpasses Sproles' team-leading mark.
Green Bay at Washington
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is 8-11 with an 87.7 passer rating and a 60.1 completion percentage in his last 19 games. Washington's Kirk Cousins is 12-6-1 with a 106.2 passer rating and a 69.5 completion percentage over his last 19. Rodgers has thrown 38 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in that 19-game span for 4,740 yards. Cousins, in the same time frame, has thrown for 5,462 yards and 37 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions.
Houston at Oakland
The Raiders' running back trio of Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard has combined for 974 yards and nine touchdowns on 194 carries, which compares nicely with the 1,008 yards and nine TDs on 198 carries Dallas has received from Ezekiel Elliott this season. The Texans are 6-3 despite being a minus-27 in point differential. Houston's three losses have been by a combined 63 points and they have not won a game by more than nine.