Andy Reid has never been one to pour out his emotions publicly. And he predictably deflected questions about his return to Philadelphia this week by turning the conversation to the game at hand.
But as time began ticking off the clock Thursday night and victory was in hand, the generally stoic Reid looked downright giddy. His players topped the night by giving their new head coach a Gatorade bath and carried the celebration in the locker room. Reporters waiting for Reid in the press conference room could hear the festivities loud and clear.
“It was a big roar, a big cheer, we were cheering Andy on,” said running back Jamaal Charles. “He wanted to get this win. He may not tell anyone but at the end of the day, he had the biggest smile on his face.”
Donovan McNabb said that 65 friends, family members and former teammates will be in attendance Thursday to watch his No.5 go into the rafters. His parents, Sam and Wilma, will be there. Brian Dawkins will emcee the ceremony. Chad Lewis, Correll Buckhalter, Jon Runyan, Bobby Taylor, Jamaal Jackson and more are expected to show.
And, by no coincidence whatsoever, his former head coach will be in the building as well.
“That was part of the decision-making,” said McNabb to a small group of reporters Wednesday evening at Lincoln Financial Field. “I wanted him to be a part of it. I think it it’s rightfully so, for me to go into the ring of honor and have my number retired, I want the person who was more than responsible for it, took a chance on me, stuck with me for 11 years and had success with me [to be there.]”
Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid are back in town, you may have heard. The Eagles are hosting Reid’s Chiefs on Thursday night, of course, and decided to hold a retirement ceremony for their former quarterback while their old head coach is in the building.
What should you expect?
Hours after the Eagles decided to release 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins, Roseman sat at the head of a conference room table at the NovaCare Complex and was asked to set the record straight on what his role was in selecting the offensive lineman.
“As you’ve seen here, a lot of the leadership positions and the responsibilities have changed in our organization,” Roseman said. “So when you have changes that are so drastic in an organization, there’s also going to be drastic changes on the field and the way you do things. We’ve obviously changed a lot of people in our personnel department. We’ve changed the way that we look at things because we have new people in place. I think that’s gonna be different just because the nature of personalities and people trying to do their own things and whether that’s me and our personnel staff or Chip [Kelly] and his coaching staff or Don [Smolenski] as the president of the team, it’s gonna be different.”
The message was clear: No trip down memory lane, but we’re not going to make the same mistakes again.
Today, we take a trip down memory lane and remember a team that will either bring a smile to your face or elicit tears from your eyes: the 2004 Eagles.
ESPN.com is doing a series on the five most compelling NFL teams since 2000, and the 2004 Birds, led by Brian Dawkins, Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, Brian Westbrook and company came in at No.3, behind only the 2010 Brett Favre-led Vikings and the 16-0 New England Patriots (2007).
“With Andy — especially with me coming in later in his career after he had built up such a reputation in Philly among the players in the locker room — there was an aura around him where you never wanted to be yourself around him. You always had to have this front up,” Jason Kelce told 97.5 The Fanatic Tuesday. “You always had to be, ‘Yes sir.’ You had to be on your P’s and Q’s. He was a hard man to kind of talk to and be loose around.
“It was always an uptight conversation whenever I had one with him. Whereas Chip is a lot more — at least at this point — one of the guys. He’s still the head coach and you still have great respect for him, but he converses with everybody, he strikes up conversations. He’s much more of a loose guy to be around than Andy was, that’s for sure.”
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When the Eagles moved up in the fourth round to take Matt Barkley with the No. 98 pick, some wondered whether they were trying to jump ahead of Andy Reid and the Chiefs.
The Eagles originally had the 101st pick, while Kansas City had No. 99.
Reid was asked about the Chiefs potentially targeting Barkley and seemed to take a little jab at his former team.
Andy Reid opened it back up on Tuesday at the AFC coaches breakfast.
“That doesn’t mean Geno is out of the water,” said Reid, surrounded by a group of Philadelphia reporters during the second day of the owners meetings. “I’m going to keep my eyes open on everybody. I think Geno is a good quarterback. We’ll just see how it all goes, get this workout thing going.”