Barring some momentary lapse of reason by Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid will take Lincoln Financial Field today as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for the final time. It will be a situation that will be emotion filled for the fans of Philadelphia. The question is: what emotion will it be filled with?
Andy Reid is the winningest coach in Philadelphia Eagles history. He led this team back relevancy, to division titles, 5 Conference Championship game appearances and to one Super Bowl loss. His record of success is hard to dispute to the outside world. Media members, players, coaches and the like all heap high praise on Andy Reid. And he deserves it. The problem is that in Philadelphia, where his welcome was worn out a few years ago, Reid has one fatal flaw in the realm of public perception. He never won a Super Bowl.
Whether it is right to judge a coach by that standard is something that has been debated for a long time around here. In Philly, it’s the only way to judge anyone. But that is largely due to the fact that the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl. If Reid had gotten that done, he would have been adored forever.
But he didn’t.
Andy Reid doesn’t deserve anger or vitriol today. He deserves the respect that any person would that has long served his organization well. He gave this city 14 years of his best. You can never underestimate how hard Andy Reid worked. You don’t have to agree with his decisions to at least appreciate his contributions.
When the inevitable happens in two weeks, and Jeffrey Lurie relieves Andy Reid of his duties as coach of the Eagles, there will be plenty of time to debate Reid’s pros and cons. Today should be about appreciation. After all, Reid did produce some of the best Eagles football anyone has ever seen. There were incredible moments during his tenure and extraordinary highs. Somehow that fell apart over the last several years, but that shouldn’t take away from his achievements.
The time will come for Andy Reid. Today isn’t the time, though.