Philadelphia Eagles News

Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie And Head Coach Andy Reid

Jeffrey Lurie

Opening Remarks: "Welcome everybody. I'm extremely pleased to announce a contract extension for Andy Reid. It's hard to come up with the words to look at the body of work over the last decade. Outstanding, with complete integrity, the record really speaks for itself, a great leader, somebody that everybody in this building has tremendous, tremendous respect for both as a person to work with and as a person, in every way the epitome of what you're looking for, and with a tremendous desire to have the next decade to begin on an even better front because he has the passion, all the qualities you look for in a leader and today, I couldn't be happier to announce this contract extension."

Andy Reid

Opening Remarks: "Obviously I am very happy to be a Philadelphia Eagle. I'm very thankful for Jeffrey and Christina and the organization that they've put together and letting me be a part of that and now, having the opportunity to be a part of it for a few more years. I'd like to thank (President) Joe (Banner) and all of the support that he's given me throughout the time that I've been here. Obviously none of this is possible without the coaches and the players, and a good family, a strong wife. My hat is off to all of them. I am a piece of the puzzle here, and by my waist size I'm a big piece, but in reality I'm just a piece of the puzzle. We have a big challenge ahead of us this week with the Giants and throughout the rest of the season. After we're done with this that's where the focus goes back to. I love Philadelphia, I mentioned before, the fans, there is nothing like them. I was on the other side of that when I was at Green Bay coming in as an opponent. I always said, 'boy you'd love to play for that crew there.' The fans have just been unbelievable. They're fair. If we stink they let us know we stink, if we're doing okay they let us know we're doing okay, but they're always there. My hat is off to them and that support is phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal."

Jeffrey Lurie

On why he decided to extend Reid's contract now: "Why now? It was inevitable. We talked before the season. Andy had said how much he loved it here and would love to remain here. We felt the same way about him and we just sort of put it off and said 'you know, at some point during the season let's visit this and try to get something done.' There was no point waiting when the inevitable was happening."

On why they did this now rather than at the end of the season: "There were some obvious considerations, one of which is it sends a great message to the players right in the middle of the season. Stability, I've always valued stability when you have the right people. In professional sports there tends to be sort of a knee jerk reaction to some ups and downs and when you can find the right people you want to achieve great stability, the player sees stability when they have the right coach, and this is a great message to both Andy Reid, everyone in the organization, and particularly the players that this man's accomplishments and the team's accomplishments are being reinforced, rewarded and we look for great things coming up."

Andy Reid

On why they did this now rather than at the end of the season: "I would probably ditto that. First of all, there's a time and a place for everything and this was the time whether people perceive it as a right or wrong time, I'm not going to go there, we felt that this was the right time. As a head coach, you sit here and you have a staff and you have players that you're responsible for. I think it does send a phenomenal message to them. I think our players and I think our coaches and myself, we all feel very fortunate to be Philadelphia Eagles. This is a good place to be. Are we done with business? No, we have something else that we need to get done. We're all pulling in that same direction and we're going to do that. This is just another statement by Jeffrey and Joe to say listen, we have the top organization in the National Football League. We want to keep it together and then we want to go get a championship."

On whether when he first arrived in Philadelphia he could have ever imagined being here for potentially 15 years: "I didn't. It's hard in this business to think ahead, I always tell you that. I'm about today and get it right and make sure that we can win a game. If you do that long enough and get enough of those then you're going to be okay. I didn't dream of it, but if I did dream of it I would have dreamed of being right here. I love Philadelphia."

Jeffrey Lurie

On whether he would consider this partnership a success if they do not win a Super Bowl: "I think our number one priority by far is to win a Super Bowl. That really goes without saying. One of the reasons for this contract extension is the obsession and the prioritization of that. There's been so much accomplished over the last decade with multiple division titles and an incredibly unusually successful decade in every measure. The one remaining priority is to win a Super Bowl championship and go from there. That's what this organization is obsessed with."

On whether he and Banner ever look back at their first interview with Reid and think about the success they've had since then: "You hope that. I said recently, you have the vision sometimes when you're interviewing someone and you have a hope and that's what you really have is a hope. In sports today it's very difficult to maintain that edge and that winning ability. You look at some of the people that have sustained themselves over the years, one of whom was Andy's mentor Mike Holmgren, there is that possibility. I know when we interviewed Andy we had tremendous hopes, great vision for what could be and it's all played itself out obviously where you can't predict that it's going to be that great. But it has and we're still in the middle of it."

On whether there was ever a point that he doubted Reid's abilities: "No. There's never been one seed of doubt. In the NFL you are going to have some seasons that are not going to go as well as planned. It's a contact sport. It's a sport built on tremendous internal motivation and you are going to have those. You see with other franchises time to time, and when you have somebody excellent at what they do, you don't ride it up and down in terms of a kneejerk reaction to those. You have to look at the body of work. When I try to look back on where the franchise was 11 years ago there has been some success, but the popularity of this franchise, the fans we have had on the road this year, up to 20 thousand in San Diego, Atlanta loud and boisterous, five thousand in Chicago, enormous TV ratings, every measure possible, it's hard to do in a large market the kind of market share of TV ratings that we get. By every measure there's tremendous support, on the other hand, as an owner you make very few franchise changing decisions and one is the selection of that coach. The vision was there to try to hire the best possible person, but it was just a vision. You are guessing at that point."

On what he says to fans who don't agree with extending Reid's contract because he has not won a Super Bowl in the last ten years: "I think that he has a tremendous support base in this region. The fans are very smart here and they know how rare it is to be able to get to the playoffs almost every year and get to all of those championship games. You can't win a Super Bowl unless you're in line to get the playoffs and be in that championship game, that's the only path there is. If you're going to try and calculate the odds, I think our fans do that and that's why from every indication that we get his support is enormous. It's not on a day-to-day media base necessarily; it's tremendous fan base support. As an owner again, we don't base our decisions on trying to make popular decisions. It's not because Andy Reid has such great support that his contract is being extended. It's the man, the coach, the body of work, and the prognostication for the future. There'd be plenty of times that you'd have to make decisions that were very unpopular and move on with a player or with a coach. In this case, you have the benefit of both which is great."

Andy Reid

On whether he would say that deciding to draft QB Donovan McNabb was the single biggest decision he made to jump-start his career in Philadelphia: "I would say that was a big part of it, yes. I don't want to slight any of the other players but Donovan has been a great player and a future Hall of Fame player here. He's had a big part of that."

On his response to not having a Super Bowl ring and the fans reaction regarding that: "I would say very simply that that's where all of my energy goes and the players' and the coaches' energy goes. Right now we're looking at playing the Giants, but at the beginning of the year and as the year goes on we know that our energy is put into winning a Super Bowl. That's, I think, probably every coach's and every player's dream in this league. That's what we're striving to do. But right now this comes before the Giants game, so our energy is, right now, going toward the Giants."

On how he keeps his enthusiasm and avoids getting burnt out after so many years of coaching: "I have a lot to burn off so I have a lot of energy stored in this body. I still love what I'm doing. I can't say I love press conferences, but I love everything else about it, and so I don't feel I'm at that point. If I ever get to that point I'll be the first to raise my hand and stop coaching football."

Jeffrey Lurie

On whether the organization approached any players for feedback when deciding whether or not to extend Reid: "We know quite definitely that the players have extraordinary respect for Andy and what he's accomplished and what they can accomplish with him. It's so obvious, so in that sense, yes. On the other indices or ways to evaluate a coach, is does he have that burning desire to take it one more step to win a Super Bowl? And this is the most obvious answer one can come up with, this man here has a tremendous burning desire and obsession and will do nothing short of every attempt possible. It sometimes goes without saying, but sometimes he has to do press conferences that he may not want to do like the one today or some other ones, you want a coach that is obsessed with winning, not trying to charm the press or work the press or do the things that you see happen in a lot of other teams and cities. His bottom line is he's there to win for the organization, the players, the coaches and the fans, and if it's going to sacrifice at times his ability to respond to questions, he'd rather take that on than make winning less of a priority and that's rare in sports. That's just incredibly unselfish and rare and I don't get a chance to say that very often but there is a method to the approach."

On why they are giving him a three-year extension: "It just made sense."

On why they did not extend him longer: "This just will continue. It'll just continue. There are no signs that it won't."

Andy Reid

On the uniqueness of a head coach coaching at the same organization for so long: "I realize it's unique. Listen, I respect the game, I respect the organization, and I know I am very fortunate, very, very fortunate. That might be, going back to the question on being burnt out, I love coming to work every day. There is not a day that goes by that man, I'm not fired up coming in here and getting busy, and there are not a lot of people in this world that can say that. Every day, man, it's a new experience. It's a great experience. I have great kids that I'm working here with. I have great coaches. I have full support of Jeffrey and (president) Joe (Banner) and that just doesn't happen everywhere."

On why a three-year extension was right for him: "You have to have a number, so I like the number three."

Jeffrey Lurie

On why he is so confident that Reid will be able to win a Super Bowl: "He has all the ingredients: leadership, football knowledge, the ability to gain the respect of everybody that he works with, especially the players, assembling the staff. Every ingredient you could possibly look for, including a phenomenal track record of getting very far and if you don't get very far you have no chance. I am extremely confident that we have a great opportunity going forward."

On whether he has critiqued Reid in the offseason in the past: "It's just when you operate a business I think you evaluate every single aspect of every area of the business and there is nobody that is perfect. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses including myself. You always try to bolster the weaknesses and maximize the strengths and show trust and loyalty and give the person an opportunity to succeed and that's been the nature of this relationship. It's been very honest, direct communication, open, and Andy has such genuineness and comfort ability with himself that he is able to address very openly and honestly, weaknesses. He's the biggest critic possible of himself and the team at times, so it's a very, very fluid and healthy environment."

Andy Reid

On whether there's ever been a time when he didn't enjoy coming to work: "I mentioned on my radio show that I needed that time when the boys had their problems, and I was very fortunate to have an owner that allowed me to have that time. But there wasn't a time when I haven't enjoyed coming to work, no. That was an important time at that particular moment."

On whether the heat from the fans ever bothers him: "That's what the head coach does and that's all part of it, so I don't mind that. You probably get too much praise when you're doing well and you might get beat up a little bit when you're not doing good. That's how the thing works and you have to trust your instincts and kind of play in the middle there somewhere."

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