It had been a topic of conversation since the season started but today rumor became reality as the Philadelphia Eagles signed head coach & executive vice president of football operations Andy Reid to a three year contract extension, a deal that will keep Reid in Philadelphia through 2013.
The news brought mixed reaction among the Philadelphia fan base as evidence by some of the responses left on my face book page. For example, one fan called the signing “A Joke”. Another made light of the situation asking, “Is that long enough to see his kids get paroled”, Ouch! Then there was Mike who tendered the question, “Aren't you tired of the same old blather week after week (I have to get my team in a better position to win, gotta get it fixed, hmm, hmm), not to mention his inability to challenge plays, clock management, run/pass balance, etc. My biggest problem with him is that he doesn't respect the fans. "
Ironically these comments come with the team poised to win another NFC East title, their 6th during Reid’s 11 year tenure. Oh and did I mention the 8-4 Eagles have won three consecutive games and are currently tied for the third best record in the Conference behind the 12-0 Saints and 10-2 Vikings. That can’t be a bad thing can it? I guarantee football fans in Cleveland and Detroit would switch places in a heat beat.
Look, I have lived in Philadelphia for almost 20 years and the best word I can use to describe the sports fans in this town, Passionate. They live, eat and breathe sports. Fortunately their hunger for a championship parade was temporarily satiated in 2008 with the Phillies World Series win; however, I can’t help but think a Super Bowl title would mean just a little bit more. Perhaps it’s the fact that the Eagles are the only team in their division not to win the Super Bowl-Cowboys 5 times, Giants and Redskins 3 each. Let’s face it, that’s frustrating.
For those fans unhappy with the Reid extension, let me throw a couple of names at you. Ray Rhodes, Rich Kotite, Buddy Ryan. During the 13 year period prior to Reid, those three coaches combined for a regular season record of 98-98-2 and a playoff mark of 2-6.
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. He has captured five division titles and five trips to the NFC Championship game, while earning playoff berths in seven of his first 10 seasons. In that time span, no team has earned more divisional round playoff appearances (7) or championship game appearances (5) than Reid’s Eagles.
Reid is one of just four active coaches (Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, and Fisher) with 100 regular season victories. In addition, his winning percentage ranks 14th in NFL history among all coaches with at least 100 games under their belt, while his 115 overall wins rank 31st in NFL history,
Word of advice for those Eagles fans who want to run Reid out of town. Be Careful what you wish for. Andy’s replacement could be the next John McKay who guided the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an 0-26 start.