Trust his agent: Andy Reid is staying put

Mike Singletary
Mike Singletary
Posted: January 03, 2009

Stop the speculation now.

Andy Reid isn't going anywhere other than Tony Luke's for a chicken cutlet sandwich.

A week ago at this time, it was fair to wonder if the Eagles' Reid-Donovan McNabb era was about to end. The fans wanted change, and it seemed as though the tide had turned more against the coach than the quarterback.

That was before the planet spun off its axis, setting into motion the chain of events that allowed Oakland's Michael Bush to run the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the playoff picture before the Eagles' ferocious defense set loose the Dallas attack dogs - Tony and T.O. - on offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

And here we go to Minneapolis for tomorrow's NFC wildcard playoff game between Reid's Eagles and the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings.

Even this unexpected trip to the postseason didn't stop the speculation that the end could be near for Reid. A story by Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times earlier this week suggested that Reid might walk away from the Eagles should the team lose to the Vikings.

Bob LaMonte, Reid's agent, was asked yesterday if he thought that could happen.

"I really don't," LaMonte said.

If you're looking to get inside the head of the Eagles' head coach, you probably have a better chance of getting there through a conversation with his agent than you do by talking to the coach himself.

LaMonte speaks to Reid at least once a week, and he said he never felt this season that his client was feeling the substantial weight of disgruntled Eagles fans or that owner Jeffrey Lurie and team president Joe Banner were looking to make a coaching change.

"In the entire time Andy has been there, I have never in any conversation with Jeffrey and Joe felt anything but universal support for Andy Reid," LaMonte said. "The relationship between Jeffrey, Joe and Andy is a very good one."

LaMonte said he believed some NFL head coaches might have been combative if they made the playoffs after being battered by the fan base for most of the season. But he said Reid doesn't feel that way about Philadelphia or its fans.

"I think Andy understands and embraces the fans of Philadelphia and, for that matter, the Philadelphia media," LaMonte said. "Andy Reid likes knowledgeable people, and he knows they expect the best. He truly believes he's coaching in one of the greatest cities in America to be a head coach."

That doesn't mean Reid is going to listen to the fans when they scream for him to change his passing ways.

"Andy is going to do it his way," LaMonte said. "At no time this year during our conversations did he ever become dissuaded from that notion. The one thing Philadelphia should have learned about Andy Reid by now is that he's going to do it his way. He may listen and understand some of the negative stuff, but it has absolutely no impact on how he will coach the Philadelphia Eagles."

Asked if Reid would balk should Lurie or Banner ever want him to take a reduced role in personnel decisions, LaMonte said he believed the Eagles' current system of making football decisions was far from a dictatorship run by the head coach.

"Andy has a phenomenal support system," LaMonte said. "He listens to the people who work with him, from Tom Heckert to Joe Banner to Howie Roseman, and all the scouts that work with Tom. If you look at the Eagles' offensive and defensive ratings, that tells you what kind of talent they have there."

So, in summation: Reid likes his talent, the town, the people who work with him, and the people he works for.

In other words, he's staying.

King Singletary

Much was made earlier this season about Reid's being one of only three head coaches in the NFL who also have final say on personnel decisions. That number appeared to dwindle to two when Denver fired Mike Shanahan last week. But now, according to a column by Ray Ratto in the San Francisco Chronicle, it appears as if 49ers coach Mike Singletary also has the personnel power in that organization.

Where will they land?

While there is speculation that Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Eagles general manager Tom Heckert could end up together as a head coach-GM tandem in Denver, a league source said it was more likely that Spagnuolo would remain in the Meadowlands as the New York Jets' next head coach.

Spagnuolo is scheduled to interview with the Jets today. Cleveland and Detroit have also shown interest in the former Eagles linebackers coach, but the Jets seem to be the most attractive landing spot for Spagnuolo.

As for Heckert, even though he's a Michigan native, he apparently is not interested in joining the Lions and sharing personnel duties with Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew. It still seems possible that Heckert could end up with another team - possibly Kansas City - after the season. His cause could be helped by the fact that New England personnel director Scott Pioli may have narrowed his field to Cleveland or rejoining the Patriots, according to the Boston Herald.

Is it the economy, stupid?

Doesn't it seem unfathomable that teams that haven't been to the playoffs in a long, long time would easily be able to sell out a playoff game?

Here we are a day before the Eagles' game with the Vikings, who have not been home for a playoff game since 2000, and they're still trying to fill the Metrodome. Disgraceful.

Even more disgraceful was that the Cardinals needed to twice extend television blackout deadlines before filling their home spaceship, a.k.a. University of Phoenix Stadium, for today's game against Atlanta.

The last time the Cardinals played a home playoff game was 1947, when they beat the Eagles, 28-21, at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Miami, meanwhile, is solidly behind its Dolphins after failing to sell out its last home playoff game in 2002, a 20-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Dolphins are expecting a record crowd for their game tomorrow against the Ravens.

The picks

You'll have to wait for tomorrow's Talkin' segment on Page Two's SportsWit' to get my Eagles pick. But here's what I think will happen in the other games: Falcons 31, Cardinals 21; Colts 27, Chargers 24; Ravens 23, Dolphins 20.

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover

at 215-854-2577 or

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