There’s little doubt that Monday was a difficult day for Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie as he stood before the media at the NovaCare Complex and discussed the dismissal of his good friend and former coach Andy Reid.
there is little doubt that Lurie and Reid have a deep concern and mutual respect for one another. Surely, the decision to move on from Reid had to be a difficult one for an owner who watched his franchise blossom into one of the NFL’s top organizations under Reid’s watch. And with that, the articulate owner announced that he would be hiring just his third coach since purchasing the team in May of 1994.
Lurie praised Reid as both a coach and human being, calling him a “gem of a person” and noting that Reid in a surefire bet to one day be welcomed back into the Eagles Hall of Fame.
Lurie explained his decision to retain Reid for the 2012 season and why now was the time to finally move on.
“Every time our team under Andy Reid was 8-8 or less, the next season we were a double digit win playoff team advancing to the NFC Championship. That was the history. I really believed that this year with our talent we would be a double digit win playoff team. So no one was more disappointed than me in how we finished.”
That disappointment led to Reid’s firing after posting a 140-102-1 record over 14 seasons as Eagles head coach.
Lurie pointed the Eagles’ altered philosophy in making quick and aggressive fixes via free agency as opposed to staying the course and building through a more conservative approach as they did at the turn of the century.
“With any organization that’s had a lot of success, you’ll start to reach thinking that’s the player, that’s the mechanism, that’s the coach, that’s the thing that’s going to put us over the top,” he said.
Moving forward, Lurie stated his belief that Philadelphia is an ideal landing spot for any prospective head coach, citing the team’s facilities, market, and owner/coach relationship.
“I’m very confident that we will attract a very good coach and he’ll attract a great staff,” he said.