Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie explains why he let Andy Reid go: ‘A change in venue was probably the best’

Jeffrey Lurie made the decision in early 2013 not to bring Andy Reid back as Eagles head coach. Ten years later, he will watch Reid’s Chiefs take on Philadelphia in Super Bowl 57.

Lurie told the Washington Post this week that the decision to let Reid go was “extremely difficult” because the owner was so close to the coach.

“Obviously we’ve been very, very successful together. He represented everything I believe in,” Lurie told the Post. “I just think the best thing for Andy at that time – and I think his family probably thought what was best for Andy at the time – was to have a different environment for his family at that point in time.

“I always thought he would be very successful anywhere. I appreciate that the Chiefs saw their opportunity right away.

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Reid was the Eagles’ head coach for 14 seasons, from 1999 to 2012. He guided them to a Super Bowl and three other NFC championship game appearances. With a record of 130-93-1, he is the franchise’s all-time winning coach. No other coach in team history has more than 63 wins.

Prior to the 2012 season, Reid’s son, Garrett, died of a heroin overdose in August. Garrett Reid had worked with the team and was found dead in a dormitory at the team’s training camp. Andy Reid decided to keep working through the 2012 season and the Eagles went 4-12. Lurie decided after the campaign not to renew Reid’s contract.

According to Pro Football Network, Lurie said at the time he knew what the Reid family was “going through” and had “enough respect for his resilience to be able to endure what he and his family have done.”

Lurie said that Reid wasn’t too pushy to come back to coach the Eagles, instead feeling that coaching elsewhere might be the right move.

“I think he realized that a change of location was probably for the best thing for his family,” Lurie said, according to Pro Football Network. “He’s certainly very confident that he can be a hugely successful coach again. I had that trust in him too. That made it so difficult.”

MORE: How Reid learned from Eagles mistakes and became a better coach with Chiefs

The Chiefs immediately hired him as their head coach, and in his freshman season, Kansas City won 11-5 and made the playoffs. Overall, the Chiefs are 117-45 under Reid, plus a postseason 11-7 record. He has led Kansas City to three Super Bowls with one title. He could add a second title if he beats his old team on Sunday.

Lurie told the Post that he was present when the Chiefs played the 49ers in Super Bowl 54 to watch Reid win his first ring. Lurie said he had a chance to catch Reid before the game.

“We had this look, like, ‘I know. We’ve been trying to do this together for so long. We were so close. We’ve been in all those league games. Now, Andy, get it called. “That was part of it. And he’s behind us. We definitely want to beat them on Sunday. But there’s a lot of camaraderie between the two organizations.”

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Now Reid is working to stop the Eagles from winning a second Super Bowl title. He believes the mutual good feelings between himself and the Philadelphia fans could pause until after Sunday.

“I’m not sure if they’re really feeling good about me this week,” Reid said, according to the Post. “But listen, I still have so many friends there. I still love them, although here they probably don’t love me for a day.”

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