By Zach Berman
Andy Reid used a conference call with reporters to praise Philadelphia fans and the 14 years he had coaching the Eagles, when he won more games than any coach in franchise history and reached the postseason nine times in 14 year, but never won a Super Bowl.
“I have nothing but good things to say about Philadelphia," Reid said. "I love my time there. Absolutely love my time there. Fourteen great years. The fan base there was great. They’re all in. They get it. They’ll let you know if you do, they’ll let you know if they do bad. I love that part. They care. What more can you ask for being a coach from an organization itself, from Jeffrey Lurie on down, to all the players who’ve played there.”
He has not spoken publicly before today because he wanted to take a step back. He made sure to think his players, his coaches, and the organizations last week when he was dismissed, meetings that he described as emotional. Reid emphasized that he still has his home in Philadelphia.
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He left the city without a ring, though, a glaring omission on an otherwise impressive resume.
“There was nothing more that I wanted to do than win a championship for the city of Philadelphia," Reid said. There’s nothing more that Jeff Lurie wanted to do than winning a championship. I understood that. ...But I’m not going sit here and tell you it wasn’t exciting, going to the championship games and the Super Bowl, I’m not going to tell you it wasn’t exciting. Did we get the championship? No. But I won’t forget those other games either.”
Reid declined to rehash some of the personnel moves he made during his 14 years. He wanted to look at the big picture instead. He also did not go into the details about the front office dynamics, instead ambiguously explaining how everyone in the organization must be pulling in the same direction. He remained praiseworthy of Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie.
"Change can be a good thing," Reid said. "Howie’s a young guy; he’s going to do a phenomenal job. Jeffrey’s a great owner. That part’s not going to change.”
Reid's message to Eagles fans was that the Eagles are "going to do the right thing." He said the Eagles can take a step and hire a new coach, who can rebuild the team and the organization.
"They’re a young football, they’re going to have a lot of guys back from the IR list, they got young guys in crucial positions, the next guy that comes in, he’s got a couple years to build it," Reid said. "I would hope the fans and everyobody would give him the opportunity to do that."
But it's a different organzation than the one Reid inherited in 1999. And he thinks it's a better one.
“I think they’re in the better place now than when I took over," Reid said. "I think good things are in the future for them.”