By Mark Wright
Andy Reid Now More Than Just Eagles Coach
BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA -- Once mentioned as a possible successor to
the legendary BYU football
coach LaVell Edwards, the Philadelphia Eagles organization has done
just about everything possible to make Andy Reid happy to stay in
Philadelphia. A pay raise. Tremendous deference in personnel
decisions. Even additional authority in the organization that extends
far beyond most head coaching jobs. No longer just the coach, Reid
has been granted enormous authority and enormous responsibility.
In just three short years, Reid has gone from coaching in relative
obscurity to his current position as the "top dog." Andy Reid is the
king of his domain. He rules over all he surveys. That leads us to
the proverbial "good news/bad news" scenarios. Good news because he
gets to make the decisions that will ultimately dictate the success
or failure of the Eagles on the field. Bad news because he gets to
take the fall if the Eagles are anything short of successful. Success
for the Eagles, in the final analysis, means making the very
demanding fans in Philadelphia happy with the outcome of the upcoming
NFL season. "I haven't hidden it from the players or the coaches,
what's expected," he says. "I tell them they've put themselves in
this position. They deserve it. Better to be in this position than
trying to sneak up on people. But we still have a ways to go."
After improving from 5-11 in his first year to 11-5 in his second
year, it's doubtful that the fans in Philadelphia would be happy with
anything less than a trip to the Super Bowl next January. A tall
order? Perhaps for a lesser man, but Reid relishes the opportunity to
lay it all on the line. A hulking former offensive lineman, Reid's
shoulders certainly appear broad enough for the load he now carries.
This upcoming NFL season will go a long way toward determining
whether the Eagle's owner and the president, Joe Banner, knew what
they were doing when they promoted Reid to his current position and
entrusted him with almost unquestioned authority. If Reid fails, it
certainly won't be for lack of trying. Reid is known as a
micro-managing overachieving, incredibly demanding,
obsessive-compulsive person. He doesn't think those are necessarily
bad things because more than anything else, Reid is driven to
succeed, a quality that he says, he comes by naturally. "Both my
parents were driven," Reid says.
While Reid is the one bears the burden and calls the shots, he also
believes in his players and they believe in Reid. They believe in his
system and style and those who have been around the Eagles franchise
for a long time will tell you that his team is loaded with
"character." "I'll be as good as the guys I've hired," Reid says,
"but I've got guys I don't need to prod. I don't stand behind them
with a whip." And none of Reid's players have any misconceptions
about the consequences letting coach Reid down. Donovan McNabb, the
Eagle's quarterback says of Reid, "What he wants is what he wants.
And if he doesn't get what he wants, well, you know, then there's a
pretty good chance that you might have, uh, a change of address."
So there it is. No matter what happens, Reid is the man. Get behind
him or get out of the way, because Reid's leading the charge and will
take whatever comes, good or bad, head on. Win or lose, Reid wouldn't
have it any other way.
'Emperor Andy' can handle heat
Philadelphia PA Inquirer 5Aug01 S2
By Bill Lyon
Andy Reid, not just a coach now, appears comfortable on the spot
where he has put himself.