Lurie: Reid is best coach to win championship

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Andy Reid will return to coach the Eagles next season, owner Jeffrey Lurie announced. (Staff and AP Photo)

Andy Reid will be back to coach the Eagles for a 14th season, team owner Jeffrey Lurie said Tuesday afternoon. He said decisions about defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will come from Reid.

"Andy Reid to me not only has the love of the players and respect, he also has the fire in his belly to be the best," Lurie said, though he expressed anger about this season's results.

But he said if the Eagles want to win a championship next season Reid is the best coach for the job.

"if I didn't think next year would be substantially better I'd be standing up here announcing a coaching change," Lurie said.

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After an 8-8 season that began with big aspirations, Lurie said this year was "without question the most disappointing" since he has owned the team. He called the results after a 10-6 finish last year "unacceptable."

Reid's team started 4-8 as his hand-picked choice for defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, struggled. The defense lost five fourth quarter leads to dig that hole that was too deep for the Eagles to make the playoffs. Lurie called the start of the season "dismal."

The team finished with a four-game winning streak to avoid a losing season, but Lurie said it was against poor competition.

Reid has led the Eagles to the playoffs nine times in 13 seasons and has won the most games in franchise history. But the team has slid in recent seasons. This will be their third straight year without a playoff win and the Eagles have failed to get a postseason victory in five of the past seven seasons.

Reid has two years left on his contract, which makes the 2012 season critical. Teams rarely let coaches enter the final year of their contract without the security of additional seasons, so after 2012 the Eagles will likely have to decide whether to extend Reid or cut ties with their long time coach.

This is a developing story. We'll have more soon.

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