Andy Reid has spent his 22-year career as a head coach in the NFL becoming one of the sport’s most revered minds, and most beloved figures. He’s a happy-go-lucky, self-depricating sweetheart.
So why in the world is Le’Veon Bell suddenly feuding with the former Eagles and current Chiefs head coach? Bell fired off a strange Instagram comment earlier this week in which he said he’ll “never play for Andy Reid again”, and promising he would “retire first” before playing for Big Red.
Kind of odd to see such inflammatory comments about a guy who is basically universally loved by his own players, and people around the league. What’s going on here? Bell followed up with a five-tweet diatribe on Twitter, one part of which he made it sound like there was some sort of personal animus between he and Reid:
I said what I said & I don’t regret at all what I said…for those who have a PERSONAL PROBLEM with me because of what I SAID, that’s fine…you have your right! just understand I ALSO have MY RIGHT for how I feel about MY PERSONAL problem with dude because of what HE SAID to me
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) June 14, 2021
Then Reid chimed in on Thursday, taking the diplomatic route:
#Chiefs coach Andy Reid on the comments made by his former RB Le’Veon Bell: "I enjoyed my time with him. I'm pulling for him. That's how I roll."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 17, 2021
So… what’s up here? Bell joined the Chiefs last season after an unsuccessful couple years with the Jets. A former superstar clearly on the decline, Bell joining the Chiefs felt less like a midseason coup for the defending champs and more like a shot in the dark: bring in this guy who was once a monster, and see what he has left.
Bell carried the ball 63 times for 254 yards and two scores in nine regular season games with the Chiefs, and also caught 13 passes for 99 yards. But in the playoffs he ran just twice for six yards before being made inactive in the AFC Championship Game and then never seeing the field in the Super Bowl.
Former Eagles great LeSean McCoy had a similar situation with the Chiefs the year before, joining the team and running well enough in the regular season before being shelved in the playoffs. Unlike Bell, McCoy seemed to know his role in Kansas City and said he had a great time with Reid.
Perhaps Bell expected to come in to Kansas City and be the man? Maybe he was unhappy with his role in Reid’s offense? And maybe Reid promised him something more in terms of opportunity?
It’s hard to know without going behind those closed doors in Kansas City. But considering Bell’s past scuffles with organizations in Pittsburgh and then New York, it’s hard to imagine Reid was the instigator in this faux-beef and not Bell.