Andy Reid's reign in Philadelphia ended with an embarrassing loss to the Giants on Sunday.
(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Andy Reid will be fired after 14 seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, with the official announcement coming Monday, according to a person informed of the team's plans for releasing Reid.
The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven't made any announcement yet, was unsure if it will be spun as Reid resigning or if he'll be fired, but said it's clear he will not coach the Eagles after Sunday's 42-7 loss to the New York Giants.
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The person said Reid will not resign.
"Either way, I understand," Reid said in his postgame press conference. "If I'm here again, I'll love every minute of it. If I'm not, I'll understand that, too."
The Eagles, whose 4-12 record was the worst since they went 3-13 in Ray Rhodes' final season in 1998, denied that Reid had been told that his stint with the team is over.
Reid and owner Jeffrey Lurie met on Friday, though there are conflicting reports as to whether Lurie told Reid in that meeting he's going to be fired Monday. CSNPhilly.com, citing two people, said Reid was told he will be fired.
The Eagles' radio broadcast stated Lurie did not tell Reid he's out.
Reid said Sunday he hasn't spoken to Lurie about his future.
"I've been doing this a long time. I have a lot of respect for Jeff Lurie, so I go in eyes wide open," Reid said. "This is the business that I've chosen. I've been very fortunate to have been here as long as I have."
Three of Reid's four children were at Sunday's game. Sons Britt and Spencer were on the sideline. His wife, Tammy, and his daughter, Crosby, sat on a folding table waiting for him after the locker room. They got into a golf cart with him as he drove off. Another daughter did not attend.
Reid's son, Garrett, died of a drug overdose while working with the team in the strength and conditioning program during the preseason.
"By record it's obviously the toughest. You know, we weren't very good," Reid said when asked if this was the toughest year of his life. "Coaching, that's my responsibility, and playing, which is my responsibility, so I take complete blame for the year. That's what I get paid to do and we weren't good enough."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin gave Reid a warm greeting before the game. Coughlin, who barely kept his job after the 2006 season, shook Reid's hand and put his arm on his shoulder. The two spoke for about 30 seconds.
"You know what I want to say, I have tremendous respect for Andy Reid for what he's accomplished over the years," Coughlin said. "Regardless of what happens there, he's been an exceptional football coach in this league and I'm sure if he wants to coach again, if that's what happens there, he'll be right back at it."
Reid, who has one year remaining on his contract, has said repeatedly he wants to coach next season and is expected to garner interest as jobs begin to open Monday. The San Diego Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals are at the top of his list of desired landing spots, though ESPN reported Sunday the Chargers plan to go elsewhere to replace Norv Turner and the Cardinals are likely to keep Ken Whisenhunt.
"This was the last game of the season; it's tough to send him out like this. I don't think like that," running back LeSean McCoy said. "Coach Reid is the coach right now. That's what I'm riding with. He's our guy. I can't really see him not there. I would hate to play against him."
In his tenure with the Eagles, Reid was 130-93-1 in the regular season, good for most wins in franchise history. But he was 10-9 in the postseason, with the 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX obviously the most painful of the defeats. Reid's Eagles also dropped a pair of NFC Championship games at home (to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January 2003 and the Carolina Panthers in 2004) as well as two on the road (to the St. Louis Rams in 2002 and the Arizona Cardinals in 2009).
But the clock was ticking on Reid when Lurie said last offseason the team's 8-8 mark in 2011 wasn't good enough.
"Our bar was higher than 8-8 for all of us, Jeffery included, so we didn't reach the goal we wanted to," Reid said. "When it drops down into the area that we're at, that's not good enough so we've got to be a better team than that."