Duvernay-Tardif already heads to the Super Bowl
The name of coach Andy Reid, or rather coach Reid as his players call him, came up very often during the half-hour conference call that Laurent Duvernay-Tardif granted to Quebec media late Tuesday afternoon. The Montreal native guard and his Kansas City Chiefs teammates would love to give a first Super Bowl championship as head coach to the one who has led the team since 2016.
“We often talk about it in the locker room and [the quarterback] Patrick Mahomes said it after the American Football Conference [AFC] championship: We did it for Coach Reid! He is so dedicated to his sport and the Chiefs didn’t really win before him. We owe it to him to go all the way this year, ”said the 28-year-old, who also recognizes the importance of Reid in his personal journey.
“For me, it’s more than a coach , it’s also a mentor. He believed in me and he believed in my plan to combine football with my medical studies. I could never have done it without him, ”said the man, who is currently the only active NFL player to have completed medical school, humbly.
If the Chiefs manage to beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl LIV on February 2 in Miami, it will not only be a first NFL championship as head coach for Reid, but a first championship just for Duvernay-Tardif.
“If we win, it will be my very first championship for life,” replied the man whom many call LDT to an English-speaking journalist who wondered if he had not already won the Bol d’Or with the Phoenix from Collège André- Grasset.
Nor had he won high honors in high school with the Pirates du Richelieu or at university with the McGill Redmen. “Since the start of my career, this is the first time I have had the opportunity to end my season by winning the last game.”
A little bit of luck
The one who will become the first Quebecer to participate in the Super Bowl since Jean-Philippe Darche in 2006 admits however that there is a part of luck in the fact that it is part of the most important and most prestigious football match in the world. almost six years after the start of his professional career.
“It is a privilege. You can do everything, keep yourself in the best shape possible, there is always a bit of luck in there. I was drafted by the Chiefs in 2014. Andy Reid had been named coach the previous season and Patrick Mahomes was drafted in 2017 and quickly took up the position of starting quarterback, “he said.
“My vision has always been to go for it. That’s why I delayed my medical studies and made all these sacrifices, why I slept in dorm beds. Because I had the vision to go all the way. I also discussed it with my sports psychologist: how intimidating, the Super Bowl, it has always been that my goal, “he continues, adding that the weekly meetings with his sports psychologist help him better approach the next two weeks.
Talking to the veterans
Duvernay-Tardif will also have the opportunity to discuss Super Bowl with Jean-Philippe Darche, who is now the doctor for the Kansas City Chiefs, where he ended his career in the NFL in 2008. “I haven’t talked about it yet with JP, but it’s something coming. It will be a priority over the next few days. ”
“We keep being told how big it is, all the media enthusiasm around the Super Bowl. It will be good to be able to talk about it with someone who has experienced it, who knows what are the sources of distraction and how to avoid them, ”continues number 76 of the Chiefs.
Duvernay-Tardif adds that he will also exchange a few words on the subject with his teammate Stefen Wisniewski, who won the Super Bowl in 2018 with the Philadelphia Eagles. “For me, everything is new in this adventure. I trust Coach Reid, who has put together an excellent game plan, ”he concludes.