Travis Kelce praises Chiefs coach Andy Reid for helping him ‘dial in’ on football after going out too much and being late to meetings early in his career: ‘One of the hardest things was juggling life off the field’

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Travis Kelce has opened up on the crucial impact Andy Reid had in his early days with the Chiefs, admitting the Kansas City head coach helped him ‘dial in’ on football after initially struggling to balance his life on and off the field.


Travis Kelce praises Chiefs coach Andy Reid for helping him 'dial in' on football after going out too much and being late to meetings early in his career: 'One of the hardest things was juggling life off the field'
Kelce has played under Reid in Kansas City for the last decade, with the pair getting their hands on two Super Bowls together in 2019 and 2022.

On an individual basis, Travis has also cemented a legacy as one of the greatest tight ends ever in that time, having smashed a host of records while moving to fourth in the all-time catching and receiving charts.

And if that wasn’t enough, back in September the 34-year-old’s fame skyrocketed when he began dating pop sensation Taylor Swift.

Over the past four months Kelce has managed to juggle being one half of the most popular celebrity couple on the planet with his NFL career, continuing to perform at his best for the Chiefs as they look to successfully defend their Super Bowl crown.

However, early in his career the Ohio-born star admits he went out too much and was late to team meetings as a result until intervention from Reid helped him find the right balance.

One of the hardest things for me was to juggle enjoying my life off the field and still being a professional and ready and at the top of my game week in and week out,’ Kelce told ESPN.

‘A lot of that was Coach Reid sitting me down, talking with me and guiding me through all of it. I was testing it with him.

‘I was late to meetings, hanging out too much throughout the week, not necessarily focusing and showing to my coaches that I was giving everything I could. I learned you can show your personality and have fun but you have to be accountable to the guy next to you and be able to handle the highs and the lows of the game.

But Chiefs general manager Brett Veach remembers the Travis Kelce that Reid first took under his wing in Kansas City, which he admits took a fair degree of ‘patience’ from the head coach.

‘When Travis came to us, he was a little bit of a party guy,’ Veach said. ‘Andy showed a lot of patience and tolerance.

Travis wanted attention. He wanted a lot of things. He did things differently than everyone else. Coming here, having to do things a certain way and really organizing and prioritizing his life was a challenge.

There were a lot of one-on-one meetings with Coach and a lot of, “This is how I want things done.” There were a ton of bumps early on, but Coach’s love and faith for Travis never wavered. He got him through a rough time early on.’

Despite his status as one of the best to ever do it, as well as being a reigning Super Bowl champion, Kelce was only the fourth highest-paid NFL tight end this season with an average annual salary of $14.3million.

Though while he admits he could have squeezed the Chiefs out of more money, the football legend has no desire to play anywhere else – and for anybody else.

‘I know what I have here is special and I can’t get that anywhere else,’ Kelce said. ‘Coach Reid is one of the biggest reasons for that. I can’t even fathom going anywhere else and having the same success.

‘I would hope I would have gained the same skill sets, but I’ve heard how things are in other buildings, with other organizations. So I’ve been more than blessed.

That goes for things off the field, too. Everybody knows I’m a fun-loving guy, that I like to get out of the house, but he puts in more work than anybody that I’ve ever met, and what that does is hold you to a standard that you have to match. Being prepared is his biggest thing.’