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Eagles give coach Reid four-year extension; OT Sciullo signs
Sept. 8, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports
PHILADELPHIA -- Andy Reid received a four-year contract extension from the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday that will take him through the 2010 season. Also Wednesday, offensive lineman Steve Sciullo signed with the Eagles after being waived by Indianapolis.
Reid, entering his sixth season in Philadelphia, has led the Eagles to three consecutive losses in the NFC championship game. He is in the third year of a $15 million, six-year contract signed in June 2001. His extension reportedly is worth more than $4.2 million per season.
"Andy Reid is an excellent leader of our football team," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "I think he is outstanding in every capacity: as a coach, as a person, as a leader, as somebody who makes cool decisions and who is willing to make the unpopular decision, which to me is absolutely crucial if you want to win big."
Reid's .638 winning percentage in the regular season (51-29) and his five playoff victories are the best in team history. He's just the third coach in franchise history to last more than five seasons, joining Greasy Neale (1941-50) and Dick Vermeil (1976-82).
"I'm humbled," Reid said.
Reid, 46, joined the Eagles in 1999 as a little-known assistant who worked under Mike Holmgren for seven seasons in Green Bay. He took over a team coming off a 3-13 season that was considered a laughingstock in the NFL.
One of Reid's first and most important decisions was unpopular at the time, but turned out to be a brilliant move. He selected quarterback Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick of the '99 draft -- Eagles fans wanted recently retired running back Ricky Williams.
McNabb quickly developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and has been to the Pro Bowl four consecutive years.
"It's exciting to know he will be here," McNabb said. "Now we can put this behind us and move forward."
The Eagles finished 5-11 in Reid's first season. They went 11-5 and won a playoff game in 2000, before winning three consecutive NFC East titles.
"Nobody could be more deserving," Lurie said. "It was tough even getting him to attend this news conference. He doesn't like talking about himself. This man has led this franchise in a spectacular way over the last several years."
Reid earned the NFL Coach of the Year award in 2002 after leading the Eagles to a 12-4 record, despite losing McNabb for the regular season after the 10th game and backup quarterback Koy Detmer the following week.
But the Eagles lost the NFC title game 27-10 to Tampa Bay in the final football game at Veterans Stadium.
Reid again led the Eagles to a 12-4 record last season, despite numerous injuries, including ones that forced three Pro Bowl members of the secondary to miss a total of 21 games. But the Eagles again couldn't take advantage of playing the NFC title game at home, losing 14-3 to the Carolina Panthers.
Asked if he could be considered a great coach if he doesn't win a Super Bowl, Reid said: "I'll let you guys decide. Go easy on me."
Reid and team president Joe Banner said there was no urgency to sign an extension. They wouldn't have discussed it once the season started.
"From a negotiation standpoint, it was a 24-hour process," Banner said. "It was either do it now or next winter. We all knew we'd do it sooner or later."
Sciullo, a fourth-round pick by the Colts last year, started the first 12 games at right guard before going down with a neck injury. He was part of an offensive line that allowed just 19 sacks and helped running back Edgerrin James run for 100 yards six times.
To make room on the roster, the Eagles placed rookie offensive lineman Adrien Clarke on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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