After a great deal of speculation, the Philadelphia Eagles have made it official and fired head coach Andy Reid. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported over the weekend, that move may have pre-determined at a Friday meeting between Reid and team owner Jeff Lurie, two days before the regular-season finale against the New York Giants. The Eagles lost that game, 42-7, closing out a 4-12 season that could only be seen as a bitter disappointment to all involved.
"Either way, I understand," Reid said after the Giants game. "If I'm here again, I'll love every minute of it. If I'm not, I'll understand that too."
"Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come,” Lurie said in a team statement released Monday morning. "But, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. Coach Reid leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon. And we are very excited about the future.”
It's been speculated for weeks that Reid, who has been the team's head coach since 1999, would not survive to see 2013 as the team's head man, and the pressure was on before the season even started. The Eagles went 8-8 in 2011, and at the end of the 2012 preseason, Lurie said that significant improvement would be needed for Reid to retain his position.
"There's no question what I said — we need substantial improvement," he said at that time. "We have a very good team, I think, on paper. Paper doesn't get you that far if you can't maximize it."
The Eagles weren't able to maximize much. Michael Vick alternated between injury and ineffectiveness, the team's run game was invisible at times, and the defense was an unmitigated disaster. It was so when Reid's old friend Juan Castillo was in charge, and it was even more so when former secondary coach Todd Bowles took over for the fired Castillo in mid-October. The team started with a 3-1 record, but lost 11 of their last 12 games, including an eight-game losing streak that went from October 7 through December 2.
While there are those who believe that Reid should have taken time off following the death of his son, Garrett, in early August, Reid coached through the season. There is some speculation that he's already putting together a staff for a new location as a head coach elsewhere.
Reid leaves the Eagles with a 130-93-1 regular-season record, and a 10-9 mark in the postseason.
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