If you are of the belief that Andy Reid needs to have a standout year in order to secure his future in Philadelphia, you might not want to hear what Reid’s agent had to say on the subject.
Speaking to a small group of reporters at Lehigh Saturday, Bob LaMonte said that owner Jeffrey Lurie has given him every indication that Reid is the Eagles coach for as long as he wants the gig. Or at least as long as Lurie is calling the shots.
“He has stated again and again any time that I’ve been with him, that as long as he was the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid would be his head coach,” said LaMonte. “I would say the proof is in the pudding; he’s been here for 14 years.”
Lurie addressed LaMonte’s comments by issuing the following statement:
“Bob is a great agent who we have an outstanding relationship with. As much respect as all of us have for Andy Reid, it is the nature of the profession that all coaches, executives and players are evaluated each year. That’s the way we have always operated. But our focus right now, and I know Andy feels the same way, is solely on the upcoming 2012 season.”
Reid is coming off a disappointing 8-8 campaign and has two years remaining on his deal. If he is not re-upped this season, he would go into 2013 as a lame duck. LaMonte is not worried.
“I believe contractually when you get to the stage where Andy is…I think you reach a point where contracts and talks about contracts, you have such a relationship with ownership, you have such a relationship organizationally that those things just kind of happen,” he said. “I would say that’s of no concern because at that stage, it’s not like you are seeking re-election, you’re kind of a Professor Emeritus at some point, where you’ve done this so long. And unless there was an event unforeseeable that I don’t know about, I don’t know how that would ever happen. I don’t think the contract will ever be an issue nor have we ever talked about it.”
Lurie delivered a passionate press conference at the end of the season that gave the impression that he had to seriously think about whether to move forward with Reid. Many thought it at least pushed Lurie to the brink and that excellence must be realized this season.
“I don’t think anyone has sat down with Andy and said, ‘If you don’t win X number of games, you’re in trouble.’ That conversation I guarantee, in my humble opinion, never took place,” said LaMonte. “They have to be productive and they should be a good team, and if they are that takes care of itself.”
LaMonte accurately noted that Reid is the longest-tenured head coach in football, and that there are organizations around the NFL dying for that kind of stability and success level that this head coach has offered. It was pointed out to him that this situation is unique: the Eagles have never won the Super Bowl, and it will frustrate this fan base to think that Reid is untouchable even if that goal is not realized.
“There is no one more frustrated about that than Andy Reid,” said LaMonte of the lack of Super Bowls. “But I will tell you this: Whenever Andy Reid leaves Philadelphia, I want to come and have a drink with you guys the following year and have you all tell me, ‘Wow. We never knew how good we had it.’”
LaMonte hinted that Reid may go into administration down the road, but said he sees no signs that the coach is slowing down.
“I think right now he is so content in what he’s doing and so excited about this team,” said LaMonte. “I don’t see any less energy…When you’re going up and slapping guys in the ass and running around and yelling, that’s the sign of a young guy…He looks to me like a young coach.”
And one, if you believe LaMonte, that will be here for a while.