Apparently it’s difficult to get all our work onto the philly.com web site, so here’s something that didn’t make it. There’s also a story on Donovan McNabb in today’s paper, but Sherlock Holmes would have trouble finding it on the web site.
TEN YEARS TOGETHER
The season begins a week from today and if expectations are high again for the Eagles, the quarterback and the head coach have no one to blame but themselves. Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb have had enough success in their first nine seasons together that nothing short of a Super Bowl title can satisfy the hunger of their championship-starved fans. With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 interesting facts about the coach and quarterback whose 10 seasons together are longer than any other active pair in the NFL.
ANDY AT 50
Reid turned 50 in March and the average age of the coaches who have won the first 42 Super Bowls is 48.9. Only 16 of the 42 winners have been 50 or older with the oldest being Dick Vermeil at 63. Reid was the second youngest coach in the NFL when the Eagles hired him in 1999. Now, there are 16 coaches younger and 15 older than him.
A DECADE WITH THE COACH
Only three head coaches in league history have won their first Super Bowl after spending 10 years with the same team. The first to do it was Hank Stram, who won Super Bowl IV as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs in his 10th season. Stram, however, had previously won AFL titles as the head coach of the Dallas Texans, who eventually became the Chiefs.
The second to do it was Tom Landry, who won Super Bowl VI in his 12th season as the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach. That was Landry’s first NFL title. It didn’t happen again until Bill Cowher led the Pittsburgh Steelers to victory in Super Bowl XL in his 14th season with the team.
LOMBARDI AND WALSH
The Green Bay Packers’ Vince Lombardi and the
49ers’ Bill Walsh are considered by many to be the best two coaches in NFL history. Interestingly, each of them only coached 10 seasons in the league, winning a combined eight league championships. Only 55 other men have coached in the league at least 10 years and 35 of them (63.6 percent) won an AFL, an NFL or a Super Bowl title. Only 24 coaches in league history have spent 10 years with the same team and 17 of them (71 percent) have won one of those titles.
34 OVER .500
Counting his 8-6 playoff record, Reid is 34 games over .500 with a 96-62 record. Only 25 of the 55 coaches who have spent at least 10 seasons in the NFL are more games over .500 than Reid.
GREASY AND ANDY
Reid is only the second of the 20 head coaches in franchise history to make it to a 10th season. The other was Hall of Famer Greasy Neale, who led the team to consecutive NFL titles in 1948 and 1949. In addition to Neale, three other Eagles coaches have spent at least 10 seasons coaching in the league. Two of them – Buck Shaw in 1960 with the Eagles and Vermeil in 1999-2000 with the St. Louis Rams – won league titles.
JOE, NORM AND BERT
To understand how good things have been under Reid, you need to understand how bad things have been in the Eagles’ past.
Joe Kuharich, who spent 11 seasons as an NFL coach, including six mostly infamous ones in
, finished his coaching career 23 games below .500. Only nine of the 55 coaches who spent at least 10 years as a head coach in the NFL have done so despite a losing record. Norm Van Brocklin, the quarterback of the last Eagles team to win an NFL title, wanted to become the head coach after leading the team to the 1960 title. They didn’t hire him and he went on to a 13-year career with the Vikings and Falcons, finishing 34 games under .500, the worst mark among any NFL head coach with at least 10 years experience.
The Eagles still managed to hire some of the worst coaches in NFL history and that doesn’t even count Rich Kotite and Ed Khyat. Marion Campbell, who won a career-high six games with the Eagles twice, finished his nine-year head coaching career 46 games under .500, which is the highest number in league history. Third on the list is Eagles founder Bert Bell, who was 36 games below .500 in six seasons.
McNabb has started 112 games for the Eagles and Reid has been the head coach for all of them. That total number of games ranks 11th all-time in NFL-AFL history for a quarterback-coach combination.
Here’s the top 11
COACH QB GAMES RECORD ACHIEVEMENTS
Don Shula Dan Marino 184 116-68 1 AFC title
Chuck Noll Terry Bradshaw 158 107-51 4 SB titles
Hank Stram Len
157 93-56-8 1 SB, 2 AFL titles
Marv Levy Jim Kelly 153 99-54 4 AFC titles
Don Shula Bob Griese 151 92-56-3 1 SB title
Dan Reeves John Elway 142 89-52-1 3 AFC titles
Jeff Fisher Steve McNair 131 76-55 1 AFC title
Tom Landry Roger Staubach 114 85-29 2 SB titles
Tom Coughlin Mark Brunell 114 63-51 No titles
Chuck Knox Dave Krieg 114 68-46 No titles
Andy Reid Donovan McNabb 112 73-39 1 NFC title
AND JUST BENEATH
Bill Walsh Joe
111 75-36 3 SB titles
Bill Belichick Tom Brady 110 86-24 3 SB titles
THE OVER 30 CLUB
McNabb will turn 32 in November. A total of 16 of the 42 quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl were 32 or older. The average age of the winning quarterback in the Super Bowl has been 30.
Only three quarterbacks in NFL history have won the Super Bowl at exactly 32 years old and they did in three consecutive years. The New York Giants’ Phil Simms won Super Bowl XXI in 1987, the Washington Redskins’ Doug Williams won Super Bowl XXII in 1988 and the 49ers’ Joe Montana won Super Bowl XXIII.in 1989.