Winners & Losers as Philadelphia Eagles Fire Andy Reid
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie announced the decision Monday morning, a day after Philadelphia's 42-7 loss to the New York Giants that ended the Eagles' season at 4-12.
Lurie's announcement, via ESPN:
Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come. 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.
While not unexpected, the decision to fire Reid does not go without the creation of ripple effects for several members of the Eagles' organization.
In the following slides, we'll break down the winners and losers of Reid's firing in Philadelphia.
Winner: LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown
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For all the great things Reid brought to Philadelphia over the years, a consistent commitment to the running game—despite some extraordinary talents at running back—never materialized.
Now that Reid is looking for a job elsewhere, the Eagles running game has a chance to take a major step forward in 2013.
LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown make up a dynamic pair of backs that complement each other well, and protecting a young quarterback and rebuilding defense is likely to be a priority next season. Given the right coaching hire, Philadelphia's offense could finish 2013 ranked in the top five in rushing.
Loser: Michael Vick
Vick and the money left on his monster deal were probably out in Philadelphia regardless of the Eagles' head-coaching decision, but Reid's firing all but guarantees that Vick is playing elsewhere in 2013.
Soon-to-be 33 years old, Vick is owed almost $16 million next season—money he's almost certain not to see, at least not in Philadelphia.
If Reid had another year, maybe Vick would get one last chance to be the guy in Philadelphia (and still collect on the monster pay check). Now, Vick will have to find a new deal (for less money) on a team that is desperate for quarterback help.
Winner: Chip Kelly
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Quite possibly the best job available this offseason—and the one that can pay the necessary money to get Kelly out of Oregon—just opened up in Philadelphia.
With Reid out of the picture, Lurie and the Eagles can now do their best pitch job to get Kelly to Philadelphia. While the two sides have been linked since Reid's potential firing surfaced this season, Kelly may want more personnel power than the Eagles are willing to give any head coach.
However, the money could be very good for Kelly in Philadelphia, and the Eagles' talent base isn't far off from being a true contender. It's a very attractive job for any coach, Kelly or otherwise.
But if able to lure Kelly from the collegiate ranks, Lurie would likely be getting the hire of the offseason—one with the necessary star power to erase the dull pain from Reid's departure.
Loser: Eagles Fans
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While the Eagles finished just 12-20 over the last two seasons—clearly an unacceptable record regardless of name or franchise—Philadelphia fans have to appreciate the stability and winning culture that Reid handed the Eagles over the last 14 years.
Year after year, the Eagles watched as teams axed head coaches and struggled to find the right fit. Meanwhile, Reid won the most games in franchise history, keeping the Eagles relevant among the best teams in the NFL for the better part of the last two decades.
The time for change was clearly now, but that reality doesn't mean wins and the culture of winning is going to immediately return in Philadelphia. Reid established a framework for the Eagles that lasted a length that is almost unheard of in the NFL these days. The next coach has his work cut out for him to replicate that stability.
Winner: Eagles Fans
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The reason NFL teams make decisions at head coach in cycles—and not 14-year cycles, mind you—is that the message coming from the front of the room often gets stale, old and replayed. Maybe that was a reason why the Eagles fell on their faces the last two season, maybe not.
But for better or worse, the Eagles are getting a new voice, a new face and a new leader in 2013 and beyond.
That prospect should be an exciting one for Eagles fans, who have been treated to all the luxuries of being an elite NFL team over the last 14 seasons without any of the fruits that come with being a Super Bowl champion.
The Eagles aren't guaranteed anything with a new head coach, but with the turning of a page comes new possibilities. Reid couldn't deliver a championship, but maybe the next guy (Chip Kelly? Jay Gruden? Bruce Arians?) can.
And while a Super Bowl might not come in 2013, the idea of building under someone new is something that should be as fresh to Eagles fans as the message coming from the front of the room is to the players next season.