1948 Rose Bowl? Chiefs coach Andy Reid pulls a play from 72 years ago

MIAMI -- When Brad Childress saw the Kansas City Chiefs using a play in Super Bowl LIV they had seen on film from a Rose Bowl game from more than 70 years ago, the former Andy Reid assistant couldn't help but chuckle.

It wasn't because Childress knew the origins of the play or that the Chiefs had worked on it or had it in their voluminous playbook. It was because the move was so Andy Reid.

"I don't know anything about that one," said Childress, an offensive assistant coach to Reid for many years with the Philadelphia Eagles and later the Chiefs. "That was a new one for me. But I wasn't surprised when I heard where Andy and [offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy] got the idea. Andy will do anything: brush a play off, clean it up and put in in the game plan.

"When we were looking at college tape before the draft, we would see a bunch of stuff that we liked and thought we might be able to make work ourselves.''

That's what the Chiefs did on a fourth-down play in the first quarter of their 31-20 Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The play featured four players in the backfield, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes, doing spins before the snap, which went directly to running back Damien Williams. He gained 4 yards for a first down and set up the Chiefs' first touchdown.

Michigan used the play in its 1948 Rose Bowl game against USC, which the Wolverines won 49-0. The Chiefs noticed the play, Reid said, when he watched an old film of the game that had been provided to him by his brother's high school coach, who played that day for USC.

That might not be a usual place for an important Super Bowl play to come from. But Childress said it's not necessarily unusual for Reid.

"Nothing was really out of bounds," Childress said. "That's the great thing about Andy. If it's good and it fits us and we can do it and it's got merit, we put it in. If it's got a chance for success, to make some yards or score a touchdown, it might be used in a game. He's never closed-minded and says, 'That's not our system.'

"They didn't just bust it out. They obviously knew where the bones were buried on it or they wouldn't have run it. It had to have a probability of success."

Bieniemy first revealed the origins of the play on Sunday night, but admitted that he "probably shouldn't be giving this away." Mahomes said the Chiefs had been working on the play for some time.

"We kept working on it every single week and kept executing it and doing it the right way waiting for the perfect time to call it," Mahomes said. "When we were there and coach said it, I was like, 'It's time so let's do it.' "

Reid was probably joking when he suggested the Chiefs had pulled more plays from that long ago Rose Bowl and would use them next season. Then again, given his penchant for finding plays anywhere and making them work in a game, maybe he isn't.

"There's some good stuff in there," Reid said.