While Travis Kelce received plenty of scrutiny for his sideline incident with Andy Reid in the Kansas City Chiefs’ overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII, an NFL icon who’s been in that line of fire plenty of times has come to the defense of both parties.
Tom Brady said he didn’t “mind seeing” Kelce’s heated interaction with his head coach during Sunday’s game, when the star tight end aggressively yelled at Reid before bumping him.
“There’s always little family issues,” Brady said on his “Let’s Go!” podcast. “Of course, I don’t mind seeing it. I was a part of a lot of those things. You’re thinking, emotions are so high. You’re definitely not centered and balanced. You’re not in a meditative state at that point.
“You are fully determined to go after it and to win, so I think a lot of things that are said during the games, people should just let them fly off their back.”
Kelce’s heated interaction with Reid occurred amid things spiraling for the Chiefs on Sunday. He approached his head coach shortly after Isiah Pacheco’s red zone fumble, the four-time All-Pro upset that he wasn’t on the field during the miscue.
Travis Kelce yells and bumps into Andy Reid on sidelines after Chiefs fumble
Both Reid and Kelce laughed off the incident afterward. Reid joked that Kelce “caught me off-balance” while praising his competitive desire to stay in the game, adding that the tight end later apologized to him.
Though Reid brushed aside the incident and didn’t discipline Kelce during the game, similar actions have caused players to be benched in the past. Philadelphia Eagles star receiver A.J. Brown suggested on social media (before later deleting the post) that he “would’ve been kicked out of the league” if he was Kelce.
Brady, however, liked how Reid took care of the situation, believing the incident was blown a bit out of proportion given the lack of context.
“I actually think Coach Reid handled it just awesome like he always does,” Brady said. “He just said, ‘I was a little off-balance and Travis is such a competitor and I just love that because it speaks to his leadership ability.’ Some coaches would get so sensitive and all: ‘You embarrassed me that you did that.’ You’re a competitor, you’re an athlete. You get out there and you have the credibility that Travis has, you’ve had that All-Pro experience and you’ve won Super Bowls, I know certain players that would die [if they] came off the field in those moments.
“It speaks to the self-confidence that Coach Reid has in himself, too. He doesn’t take that personally at all. He doesn’t look at that and feel like someone offended him. He takes it for what it is and doesn’t make it more than it is and doesn’t see it like someone’s trying to belittle him. Travis is not trying to do any of those things. He’s just trying to be fired up and stay in the moment.”
A heated Travis Kelce loses it on head coach Andy Reid
As Kelce and Reid treated their sideline incident as just a blip in a Super Bowl win, it didn’t necessarily serve as a spark for the Chiefs, either. The Chiefs still trailed at halftime, heading into the locker room down 10-3. Their struggles continued early in the second half, as well, with Patrick Mahomes throwing an interception on the first drive of the half before going three-and-out on the ensuing possession.
But the Chiefs’ offense was seemingly activated by the 49ers muffing a punt deep in their own territory, as Mahomes led scoring drives on five of the club’s final six possessions in a 25-22 win. Kelce was a big part of that, recording five receptions for 67 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime en route to posting game highs of nine and 93, respectively.
Brady said he didn’t have a rooting interest in Sunday’s game but noted the 49ers’ decision not to draft him in 2000 is something he’s taken personally for years. On the flip side, the Chiefs’ win has sparked further debate on where Mahomes stands compared to Brady all time.
“What I did feel when I saw the game end was, ‘I’m happy for the Chiefs because they deserved it,'” Brady said. “If the Niners had won, I would’ve said the same thing.”
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