Andy Reid agrees that change needed to be made with Eagles

Posted: January 09, 2013

FINALLY, there was an opportunity Monday to ask Andy Reid about what Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said a week earlier, that Lurie didn't hold general manager Howie Roseman accountable for the Birds' anemic-looking 2010 and 2011 drafts because Roseman didn't have final say on draft decisions those years.

"I think everybody's got to be pulling in the same direction," Reid said, during a conference call with Philadelphia reporters, a few hours after he was introduced as the new coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. "When that gets out of whack, bad things happen. That's how this league works . . . Change can be a good thing. 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 . . . Good things for the Philadelphia Eagles."

Pressed on exactly how things got "out of whack," Reid said he was "not getting into all that. You learn from it, and you move on."

We were never sure, the last decade or so, how the power structure worked, first among then-team president Joe Banner, Reid and then-general manager Tom Heckert, then among Banner, Reid and Roseman, and finally, between Reid and Roseman this past year. Reid indicated Monday that he always had final say, in differentiating the Eagles' setup from the stated structure in Kansas City, where Reid and an as-yet-unhired general manager each will report to owner Clark Hunt.

But the Chiefs fired GM Scott Pioli during the Reid hiring process. It's hard not to believe the new GM will be an Andy guy, maybe Heckert, fired by the Browns and Joe Banner, maybe John Dorsey from Green Bay.

Reid acknowledged Monday that he will be bringing some coaches with him, though he didn't say which ones. A lot of people around the Eagles think quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson will be on Reid's Kansas City staff. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will not be. Juan Castillo's status is up in the air; rumor has it Reid would like Castillo to coach his offensive line, but Castillo wants to pursue the switch to defense that ended so poorly here. Head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder is close to the coach and could join him.

A lot of the questioning during the conference call centered on Reid's relationship with the Philadelphia fans, what he should have done or could have done last week, when his unprecedented 14-year tenure ended.

Reid said that he wanted to "have an opportunity to take a step back," and that he felt the day of his introduction in Kansas City was "the right time."

"I have nothing but good things to say about Philadelphia," Reid said. "I loved my time there."

Philadelphia fans, Reid said, "get it. They're going to let you know if you're doing good. They're going to let you know if you're doing bad. They care, they care about football . . . I didn't care if they were chanting my name in a negative way or chanting it in a good way, it didn't matter to me. It was that they cared. That's all you can ask for in football . . . They were real with me. I got it. I understood."

Reid said his message to fans here would be "that the Eagles are going to do the right thing . . . sometimes, change can be very good."

This was the point Reid kept coming back to, in his televised news conference and again on the conference call. It was hard not to infer he agreed with Lurie, who decided a week earlier it was time for both Reid and the Eagles to move on.

"There was nothing more that I wanted to do than win a championship for the city of Philadelphia," Reid said. "There was nothing more Jeffrey Lurie wanted to do during my tenure there than to win a championship. I understood that. The players and all the coaches, that's what they want. It didn't happen, but I'm not going to sit here and tell you it wasn't exciting going to the [NFC] championship game or the Super Bowl."

Reid agreed with Lurie's analysis, that in trying to break through to a title, the Eagles reached for some moves that didn't work.


On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: eagletarian.com

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