After 14 years, nine playoff appearances, seven division titles, and one Super Bowl appearance, Andy Reid was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The move was made on the heels of a dismal 4-12 season, the worst in Reid’s 14 year tenure. Nobody was surprised by the move, and team owner Jeffrey Lurie admitted to heavily leaning this direction for the past month or so. Lurie also noted that he looks forward “to the day that we welcome him (Reid) back and introduce him as a member of the Eagles’ Hall of Fame, because that’s inevitable.
Earlier today, Reid addressed the team about his dismissal. This meeting was described as brief and emotional. Many players admitted to having “lumps in their throats” while Reid talked to them. Later that morning, Jeffrey Lurie presented Andy Reid with an honorary game ball with his name and record on it in front of the players and staff. Reid was sent off with a standing ovation and wished the team luck in the future.
So what’s next for the Eagles? Jeffrey Lurie was asked during the press conference if he had already made a list of candidates to replace Reid, which he replied yes. He explained that the search would be done by himself, GM Howie Roseman, and team president Don Smolenski. Early reports indicate that candidates for the job include University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly, former Buccaneers coach John Gruden, Penn State University coach Bill O’Brien, and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The list is probably 10-15 people long, but these are some of the early candidates being tossed around.
Whoever the new coach is, the expectations will be very high. Andy Reid set a precedent of winning throughout his time as the Eagles head coach, with a record of 139-97-1. Much will be debated about his legacy, but there is no doubt that Andy Reid is the best coach in Eagles history. It’s unfortunate that he could never put the Eagles of the top, but he did take a sputtering franchise and make them consistent winners through most of his 14 year career. Once the dust from this past season settles, that is how he will be remembered around Philadelphia.