KANSAS, CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s Andy Reid was honored as the AFC Coach of the Year on Saturday at the NFL 101 Awards, and Carolina’s Ron Rivera — Reid’s former protege — took the NFC award.
One of Reid’s former players, Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy was selected the NFC Offensive Player of the Year, and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning took the AFC award for the eighth time.
Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year winner, and Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis took the AFC honor. Mathis was the only player of the four present at the awards dinner.
Reid led Kansas City to nine-win turnaround in in his first season with the team. Fired after going 4-12 in Philadelphia, Reid directed the Chiefs to a 9-0 start, 11-5 finish and a wild-card playoff berth.
"I feel very blessed to be in the city of Kansas City and having the opportunity to work in this community and for a great organization, a phenomenal organization," Reid said. "I’m humbled that you’d even think of me to be the AFC Coach of the Year."
Rivera was an assistant under Reid in Philadelphia.
"The one thing about Andy that stands out about him is his presence," Rivera said. "With him walking into a room, especially a new room like Kansas City last year, I promise you there was probably instant credibility because of the success he had had and people could see that."
Len Dawson, the former Chiefs quarterback and current radio analyst, received the Lamar Hunt Award, a national award given to someone who helped shape pro football.
"I told (Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt) I’ve been in broadcasting for 50 years and I’m speechless," Dawson said. "I wonder what the National Football League, professional football, would be like if there was not a Lamar Hunt."