Front Office Commentary

What Did the Eagles See in Andy Reid?

This week’s 33rd Team Call featured a wide-ranging discussion about coach hiring in the NFL, and that provided an opportunity for former Philadelphia Eagles team president Joe Banner to share what he learned during the hiring of Andy Reid in 1999.

“It starts with really identifying and knowing, ‘What is it you’re looking for?’” said Banner, who explained the research that went into the coaching search. Banner and the Eagles decided to define a successful head coach as a coach that made it to two Super Bowls. They went back 20 years to study what, if anything, they all had in common.

“And we were really shocked to find that, as it came to football, we couldn’t find anything they had in common,” said Banner. “There was no easy answer there. But we accidentally stumbled on realizing they actually had a lot of qualities and characteristics that were the same. They were all obsessed with detail. They were all very good at evaluating other coaches, putting together staffs, managing people. They all had a very, very clear, definitive vision. It wasn’t all the same vision, but they had really thought through what they believed in.

“So we decided to base our search on really those qualities. And that led us to Andy Reid, who had never been a coordinator. And at that time, no NFL coach had ever been hired as a head coach who hadn’t either been a coordinator or head coach at some level.”

Reid won 140 games in Philadelphia and coached the Eagles to five NFC title games, so you’d have to say it was a good hire.

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