For the players in the Eagles' locker room, Andy Reid was more than a football coach. He was a mentor, a father figure; a counselor. He brought each player to Philadelphia, and for many, helped make their dream of playing in the NFL come true. As the team said its goodbyes to Reid and began to disperse for the offseason, we spoke with players in the locker room about their reaction to the news, what they learned from their time with Reid and where the team goes from here ...
What was your reaction to the news that Andy Reid would no longer be the head coach?
RB LeSean McCoy: "It hurts a lot. I just know what kind of potential we have as a team under Coach Reid. I feel like he's a good coach, he's a winning coach."
LS Jon Dorenbos: "The guy's a legend. I'm honored to have played for him. He's the greatest coach I've ever been around."
S Colt Anderson: "It was emotional. He's been here a long time. It was tough. He just thanked us and we thanked him."
QB Nick Foles: "It's sad. We're losing our head coach, a guy who's meant so much for us. He's been our leader; been our rock. It's tough on the players. It's just one of those days. It's a tough day. Today will be a day to think about our experiences with Coach Reid but I know he's a very positive guy and that he'll land on his feet."
DT Cullen Jenkins: "It's kind of emotional. For the coach to be here for so long, 14 years, then for us to be the team that it went bad with, it's rough. It's frustrating. It makes you feel badly."
S Nate Allen: "I was sad, upset. But that's the way it is sometimes in this business world, and we understand that. He understands that. It's tough. It's a tough situation, to see a coach you love go."
DE Darryl Tapp: "It was a little breathtaking. You knew they were going to make changes. You didn't know what the changes were, but Coach Reid is a legend. He's a great offensive mind and a great head coach, in my opinion. It's definitely a tough pill to swallow, despite the season we had this year."
QB Michael Vick: "It was tough, man. It was tough to see coach go. Coach was emotional. We all were emotional. We have a personal connection with him and unfortunately it happens in our business. Everything doesn't last forever."
LB Casey Matthews: "It's tough. Obviously you never want to see your coach go, especially when you're a part of the team that only won four games. It's tough, but what we should do is reflect on what he has done here in his 14 years, the winningest coach here, what he brought this franchise - or what it was and what he brought it to, I think it just shows how good of a coach he was."
WR Jeremy Maclin: "It's a sad day. Coach Reid wasn't just a coach, he was a friend of mine."
DT Mike Patterson: "Most definitely not excited about it. It's kind of hard to say. He's a good coach and you never want to see your coach leave, but you understand how the game goes. Not only that, but I'm sure he'll be still in the game ... He was just an awesome coach and I loved every bit of it."
What will you remember about your time with Reid?
Vick: "He's meant a lot to my career. He's definitely meant a lot to my life as far as making a lot of decisions that were positive, rethinking situations through, just somebody that I could always talk to and walk into his office at any time. We had a very close connection and I'm going to miss him."
WR Jason Avant: "I was probably the last guy to leave the meeting room. When you think about it, he definitely meant a lot to me, me being a fourth-round draft pick. (People said), 'He can't run, he can't do this, can't do that, can't create separation,' and you have a coach like Coach Reid, who didn't care about that. He saw through that. So he'll always have a special place in my heart because he and (wide receivers coach David) Culley were two of the guys who thought I could do it the whole time."
Jenkins: "The consistency with him. Regardless of what was going on, he's going to stay consistent, he's going to stay focused. He's going to try to get you motivated; get you going."
McCoy: "When you first get here, his work speaks for itself, just the way he conducts himself each day ... I feel like you don't meet a coach like that, who will be honest with you, all the time, through the good and the bad."
Dorenbos: "He's impacted me professionally and personally, as far as how to treat people, how to be accountable. I got to see him and I got to thank him for the opportunities he's given me and the opportunities he's given my family to be a part of this city and to play here for seven years. It's been an honor."
DE Trent Cole: "I think he's a great leader and a great coach. He gave me the opportunity to play for the Eagles and it's sad to see him go. Wherever his adventures take him, he's going to do well for anyone who picks him up."
DE Phillip Hunt: "That he's a great guy, first of all. He looks to get the best out of you and he gave me the opportunity like no one else would. I wish him the best. He's a great guy; a great coach and I wish him the best."
Allen: "Probably the one where we were playing the Giants and he and DeSean (Jackson) jumped in the air and bumped each other. That was pretty funny."
Tapp: "Him bringing me here. He got me here from Seattle three years ago and definitely helped develop me more as a player, a student of the game and as a person in general. I have the utmost respect for that man. My best wishes to him wherever he lands next."
Foles: "Just think that he believed in all of us. He gave an opportunity, he pushed me; his attention to detail every day. He pushed me to become a better player. It's something I'll always remember and I'll always push forward every day and I'll always remember his attention to detail. I'll take that in, too, when I'm working myself out. I'll think, 'Alright, how did Coach Reid think? What would he be saying?' That'll be my mindset."
Patterson: "He was a good coach. I enjoyed all my years here with him. I have nothing but respect for him. He did a lot of good things and he believed in me. So I give him credit. He was just a wonderful coach for me. It wasn't good to see coach leave, but he's still going to be around. It's not going to be the end of it. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to play with him."
S Kurt Coleman: "I'm not going to think about these losing games. I'm going to think about the man that I got to know, his family, Tammy (Reid) all the way through his children and obviously, rest in peace, Garrett. Those are the types of memories that I'm going to remember about everything, and the things that he's taught me.
"I think one of the greatest assets that I've kind of gained from him is being consistent with your emotions, not letting outside people determine how you kind of approach your daily work ethic and approach your job. That's something that's going to be big. This is a tough business and especially when you're not doing well people really want to point fingers and try to get at you. But if you understand yourself, if you're confident in yourself and you have a strong faith, you can get through any situation."
What can you take away from this news?
Foles: "I think the big thing you take away from all of this is sometimes things happen in life. I'll remember the great things about Coach Reid; the great things he's done for me and how he was always positive throughout this whole process and came in every day with the same intensity; the same positive attitude that we're going to go out there and work hard and achieve a goal. That's something I'll always respect about him, how he handled everything that went on."
Avant: "We're all on borrowed time. It's something he always says: "The day is always coming, whether you get out before they can get you or not." He's done a great job here. Yes, it does hurt me, because you never want to be a part of something that gets someone fired. And I believe that players have the opportunity to change decisions like that with the way they play."
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