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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Why did Andy Reid leave the Eagles? Revisiting ‘Big Red’s’ lengthy stay in Philadelphia

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Fly, Andy, fly.

Before Andy Reid’s name became synonymous with Kansas City, it was as recognizable in Philadelphia as the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks and the Rocky statue. 

That was due largely to Reid’s success in the city. Reid posted a .583 winning percentage while the boss in Philly, with just three losing seasons in 14 years. Needless to say, Reid cemented his status as one of the league’s best coaches while with the Eagles, while the Chiefs eventually reaped the ultimate benefit.

As the saying goes, though, all good things must come to an end. Few head coaches get to spend their entire career with a single team. Reid and the Eagles parted ways following the 2012 season.

MORE: Andy Reid’s coaching tree — Where Sean McDermott, Doug Pederson rank

Things worked out for Philadelphia and Reid after the split. The Eagles would hire Doug Pederson — a Reid protege — after the failed Chip Kelly experiment. Pederson would then lead them to a Super Bowl win. After Pederson’s eventual ouster, the Eagles turned to Nick Sirianni, who has them in the NFC championship game this weekend.

But before all that, here’s why “Big Red” traded green for Chiefs red a decade ago:

Why did Andy Reid leave the Eagles?

There comes a time in NFL head coach-franchise marriages when a new voice is welcomed. That’s essentially what happened with Andy Reid and the Eagles. That said, it wasn’t as much Reid leaving as it was him being removed.

Reid was fired after a 4-12 season, the Eagles’ second consecutive season missing the playoffs. It was just the third time that a Reid-coached team finished under .500 during his 14-year tenure.

MORE: Reid’s fingerprints were still all over Philadelphia in ’21

Toward the end, the partnership faced issues that most long coach-franchise partnerships do: questions about losing the locker room, a bad losing streak and a general feeling of staleness. The split was amicable, though: team owner Jeffrey Lurie praised Reid following his ouster, and Reid had an opportunity to address players, who gave him a standing ovation.

Philadelphia tasted more than a fair amount of success under Reid, including a Super Bowl appearance and five NFC championship games. That said, the team never captured the Lombardi Trophy while on his watch.

In fact, it would take an Andy Reid apprentice to get them to the promised land.

MORE: Why did the Eagles fire Doug Pederson?

How long was Andy Reid with the Eagles?

Reid was in Philadelphia for 14 seasons. He accrued a 130-93-1 record. The Eagles won the NFC East six times, visited the NFC championship game five times and went to Super Bowl 39.

Reid’s Eagles finished under .500 just three times and had eight seasons with double-digit victories.

Year W-L-T Division finish Playoffs? Playoff finish
1999 5-11 Fifth No
2000 11-5 Second Yes Lost in divisional round
2001 11-5 First Yes Lost NFC championship game
2002 12-4 First Yes Lost NFC championship game
2003 12-4 First Yes Lost NFC championship game
2004 13-3 First Yes Lost Super Bowl 39
2005 6-10 Fourth No
2006 10-6 First Yes Lost in divisional round
2007 8-8 Fourth No
2008 9-6-1 Second Yes Lost NFC championship game
2009 11-5 Second Yes Lost in wild-card round
2010 10-6 First Yes Lost in wild-card round
2011 8-8 Second No
2012 4-12 Fourth No

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