Andy Reid has been one of the most successful coaches in the NFL during his 11-year tenure as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was rewarded for that success with a three-year contract extension through 2013. Reid and Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie discussed the extension and the long-term goals of the franchise.
"We're extremely pleased to announce a contract extension for Andy Reid," Lurie said. "The record really speaks for itself. A great leader, somebody that everybody in this building has tremendous respect for as a person to work with and as a person. (He is) in every way the epitome of what you're looking for, with a tremendous desire to have the next decade begin on an even better front because he's got the passion (and) all the qualities you look for in a leader. Today, I just couldn't be happier to announce this contract extension."
"Obviously, I'm very happy to be a Philadelphia Eagle," Reid said. "I'm very thankful to Jeffrey and Christina (Lurie) for 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 love Philadelphia. I mentioned before, I was on the other end of that when I was at Green Bay coming in as an opponent and I always said, 'Boy, you'd love to play for that crew right there.' And 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 hats off to them, that support is phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal."
Since being named head coach on January 11, 1999, Reid has compiled the best win total (115), winning percentage (.611) and playoffs victory total (10) in team history. The Eagles have made playoff appearances in seven of Reid's ten full seasons, and no other NFL team during that span has earned more divisional round playoff appearances (7) or championship game appearances (5) than the Eagles.
There's only one thing left on Reid and Lurie's list of goals to accomplish.
"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," Lurie said. "That's what this organization is obsessed with.
"You want a coach that is obsessed with winning. 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. (Reid's) 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 question, he'd rather take that on then make winning less of a priority. That's rare in sports. That's just incredibly unselfish and rare. I don't get a chance to say that very often, but there's a method to the approach."
"Are we done with business? No," said Reid, "We've got something else we need to get done. We're all pulling in that same direction and we're going to do that. I think this is just another statement by Jeffrey and Joe to say listen, we've got the top organization in the National Football League. We want to keep it together, and then we want to go get a championship."
There's no doubt that Reid has earned a long-term future with the organization, but why extend the contract during the season?
"It sends a great message to the players right in the middle of the season," Lurie said. "I've always valued stability ... In professional sports there tends to be sort of a knee-jerk reactions to the ups and downs. When you can find the right people, you want to achieve great stability. The players seek stability when they have the right coach. This 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."
"As a head coach, you've got players and coaches that you're responsible for and I think it does send a phenomenal message to them," Reid said. "I think our players, our coaches, and myself all feel very fortunate to be Philadelphia Eagles. This is a good place to be."
Timing-wise, the extension also puts a stamp of approval on a successful 2000's decade for the Eagles. In fact, the Eagles became just the fourth team in NFL history to amass 100-or-more wins in a decade with just one head coach, joining Bill Belichick's Patriots (2000s), Tom Landry's Cowboys (1970s), and Don Shula's Dolphins (1970s).
"I love coming to work everyday," Reid said. "There's not a day that goes by that I'm not fired up to come in here and get busy, and there's not a lot of people who can say that. Every day man, it's a new experience, it's a great experience. I've got great kids that I'm working here with. I've got great coaches. I've got full support of Jeffrey and Joe and that just doesn't happen everywhere."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:11 p.m., December 9