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Bond with Lurie will keep Reid here until the end

reuben frank csnphilly

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#1 herbicide


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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:19 AM


Bond with Lurie will keep Reid here until the end

November 14, 2012, 7:00 am

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There are seven games left in the 2012 football season, and Andy Reid will coach every one.

To understand why, you have to understand the relationship between Reid and Eagles owner Jeff Lurie.

Lurie was 43 years old when he bought the Eagles from Norman Braman in 1994 and 47 years old when he hired Andy Reid in 1999. He’s 61 years old now.

So Lurie has spent more than a third of his adult life working with Reid, watching him lead his franchise year after year, meeting him with several times a day, observing his strengths and weaknesses, working together with him to try and win the Super Bowl they both desperately want to bring to Philly. And watching him come up short year after year.

Reid and Lurie over the years have developed a unique relationship between owner and coach. There is a bond there that a couple bad seasons in a row or a five-game losing streak can’t break. There’s a mutual respect and understanding there that will last long after Reid has coached his last game on the Eagles’ sideline.

Where fans see a team that seems to have fallen apart, Lurie sees a coach who’s reached the playoffs nine of the last 12 years. Where fans see botched moves and failed gambles, Lurie sees a coach thinking outside the box and looking for creative solutions. Where fans see a coach who keeps muttering the same cliches at his press conferences every day, Lurie sees a man whose outlook remains consistent, no matter how well or poorly his team is playing.

It’s all in your perspective. And the man who decides whether or not to fire Reid and when to do it has boundless trust in the embattled head coach, trust built up over 14 years of working side by side toward a common goal.

And where fans see a coach who needs to be fired immediately so the Eagles can start over, Lurie sees a coach who deserves every opportunity to turn this nightmarish season around.

Lurie won’t fire Reid during the season for a few reasons. First, he believes Reid’s resume has earned him the chance to dig his team out of this hole while the Eagles still haven’t been mathematically eliminated from anything. Second, it wouldn’t accomplish anything, other than leaving Marty Mornhinweg in charge and, well, yeah. And third and most importantly, he just has too much respect and too much belief in Reid to embarrass him by firing him in midseason.

Simply, as bad as everything looks from the outside, Lurie’s focus today is on turning the season around, not changing the coach.

It’s hard for people on the outside to understand all of this. When your football team is riding its longest losing streak in 14 years and has lost three straight games by 13 or more points for the first time in 36 years and the offensive line is a catastrophe and the quarterback is hurt and the All-Pro running back is being ignored and the linebackers can’t tackle and the defensive backs can’t cover and the defensive linemen can’t sack and it seems to be getting worse each week, heck, we want immediate action.

But it’s not going to happen. Lurie has never made decisions based on what will be popular among the fans, and in his defense, that’s the only way to truly be a successful owner. You’re not always going to be right, but you have to make moves that you believe deep down are the correct ones, not moves someone else wants because they’re frustrated, angry or fed up.

This is a franchise built on stability, and when Lurie examines the big picture, he sees more than twice as many trips to the NFC Championship Game under Reid (five) than losing seasons (two). So he owes it to himself and the fans and the team to avoid hasty, emotional decisions and take the best course of action for the franchise once the season is over.

Now, it sure seems like that course of action will be hiring a new head coach. But you know what? Even Reid’s dismissal will be handled with a level of respect that working together every minute of the day for 14 years warrants.

This won’t be a conventional firing.

Maybe Reid and Lurie will stand together at a podium in the NovaCare Complex auditorium, and Reid will tell the media that he gave it his best but this team needs a new voice, a new coach, a new direction, a new leader.

And Lurie will go out and hire Winston Moss or Dirk Koetter or Ray Horton or Mike Zimmer or Vic Fangio or some other highly regarded NFL coordinator that he, Howie Roseman, Don Smolenski -- and most likely Reid -- determine is the best choice to lead this team forward. Yep, don’t be shocked if Andy Reid is among those Lurie consults with to help find his own replacement.

So this all probably seems kind of bizarre, but it’s really not. Reid and Lurie want the same thing you want. What’s best for the franchise. What’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles. They just have a little different idea of how to do it.

And when to do it.

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

#2 time2rock


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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

And where fans see a coach who needs to be fired immediately so the Eagles can start over, Lurie sees a coach who deserves every opportunity to turn this nightmarish season around.

Not sure what advantage there is to firing Reid now versus waiting until the end of the season to do so. I don't think there is any turning this season around, with or without Reid in charge, so it only makes sense (if only out of respect) to let him finish the season.