No head coach in Philadelphia Eagles history has enjoyed more success than Andy Reid.
But it was Reid’s failure to win a Super Bowl and a 4-12 record in 2012 that led to Monday morning’s ouster.
Reid’s firing after 14 seasons as head coach was announced on the team’s web site. The dismissal was expected many weeks ago as the Eagles spiraled following a 3-1 start.
“Andy is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come,” Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in a team-released statement. “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.”
Reid entered the season under pressure after Lurie told Eagles media that a second straight 8-8 season would be unacceptable. Player injuries, especially along the offensive line, and Reid’s regrettable staff and personnel decisions proceeded to derail playoff aspirations.
Michael Vick was unable to rebound from a disappointing 2011 campaign as the Eagles ranked among the NFL leaders in negative turnover differential throughout the season. A concussion Vick suffered in Week 10 knocked him from the starting lineup and forced the Eagles to play rookie Nick Foles, who was sidelined himself for the season-finale by a broken hand sustained the previous week against Washington.
Defensively, Reid fired two top coaches during the season – Juan Castillo (coordinator) and Jim Washburn (defensive line) – as the “Wide-Nine” scheme Philadelphia employed was exploited by opposing offenses.
Reid, though, will still leave Philadelphia as the franchise coaching leader in victories (130-93-1) and playoff appearances (nine). His greatest season came in 2004 when the Eagles reached Super Bowl XXXIX behind quarterback Donovan McNabb.
The Eagles lost to New England, 24-21, and never made a return trip.
Reid’s 2012 season began under tragic circumstances when his 29-year-old son Garrett was found dead in a Lehigh University dorm room at training camp in August. An autopsy determined that Garrett Reid, who had long battled drug addition, died of a heroin overdose.
Police also found anabolic steroids in Garrett Reid’s room. The Eagles have denied any connection between the performance-enhancing drug and players on their roster.
Because of his Eagles accomplishments and offensive acumen, the 54-year-old Reid is expected to draw interest from other teams with head coaching vacancies. University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is believed among the potential replacements that the Eagles will be targeting.