Andy Reid was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles following an 4-12 season that included an eight-game losing streak, ending a coaching tenure that produced nine postseason berths yet never a Super Bowl title.
The dismissal capped a five-month stretch that began with the death of Reid’s oldest son, Garrett, in his room at the Eagles’ training camp from what was later declared a heroin overdose.
Lurie, speaking in front of Eagles’ staff today, said Reid’s discipline, obsession with being great and ability to relate to players and other organization members wouldn’t be forgotten.
“I can’t tell you the long-lasting and sustainable qualities that Andy brought to this team, and we will have that forever,” Lurie said at the meeting, which was broadcast on the team’s website. “It’s time for a change, for Andy, for us.”
Lurie then gave Reid a game ball to commemorate his role as the coach with the most victories in team history. After applause, Reid said his tenure was “the greatest 14 years of my life.”
“Sometimes change is good and I know Jeffrey does nothing that isn’t best for the organization, so I know that the next guy that comes in will be phenomenal,” Reid said. “The ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. Everybody in this room, I wish you a big ring on that finger in the near the future.”
The 54-year-old Reid led the Eagles to successive National Football Conference championships from the 2001 to 2004 seasons, and again after the 2008 campaign. Philadelphia beat the Atlanta Falcons to reach the February 2005 Super Bowl, falling 24-21 to the New England Patriots.
Reid replaced the fired Ray Rhodes in 1999, leading the team to a 5-11 record after taking quarterback Donovan McNabb with the first pick of that year’s draft, a selection that drew boos from Eagles fans attending the event. The team went 59-21 the following five years, reaching the playoffs each season.
Reid’s teams won seven division titles, earned nine playoff berths and had only two losing seasons through his first 13 years. After an 8-8 record in 2011, Lurie said it was the “most disappointing season since I’ve owned the team,” and that the franchise needed to improve in 2012 for Reid to keep his job.
After opening this season at 3-1, with wins over the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, the Eagles dropped their next eight, including a 31-6 loss to the Washington Redskins and a 30-22 defeat to the Carolina Panthers on “Monday Night Football.” The finished the season yesterday with a 42-7 loss to the Giants.
They played the entire campaign without All-Pro defensive tackle Jason Peters, who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon. Quarterback Michael Vick sat out six games after suffering a concussion in a Nov. 11 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Juan Castillo, who was moved to defensive coordinator in 2011 after serving as the team’s offensive line coach from 1998 to 2010, was fired and replaced by secondary coach Todd Bowles in October after the Eagles blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the Detroit Lions, falling to 3-3. In early December, defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired following the team’s eighth straight defeat, a 38-33 loss to the Cowboys.
Reid took a six-week leave from the team in 2007 after the arrests of his sons, Garrett and Britt. Garrett Reid, who had been working as a strength and conditioning coach for the Eagles since his release from prison in 2009, was found dead in his room at the team’s camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in August.
Bill Belichick, who joined the New England Patriots in 2000, has now led the same team longer than any active NFL head coach.
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