Apparently being fired after 14 seasons as head coach did little to sour Andy Reid's relationship with his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. During an introductory press conference, Chip Kelly, the man hired to replace Reid, revealed that the two had been in contact during the interview process and that Reid had given him a lot of positive information about the Eagles organization.
"I had an opportunity to talk to him here just a couple times within the process that he was going through and I want what's best for the Philadelphia Eagles," Reid told PFT's Mike Tirico. "That part hasn't changed. I want those kids there and the management to have the best possible coach that they can win and they can have success. With that, Chip was one of the people that interviewed for the job. We had an opportunity to talk and I shared just what I'm sharing with you I shared with him. If they offer that job, take it."
Reid, who was the winningest coach in Eagles franchise history, was hired by the Kansas City Chiefs days after being let go by Philadelphia. Despite the seeming conflict of interest, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said he still maintains a strong relationship with Reid.
"We have such a close relationship over the years that the trust is all there," Lurie said. "It's a very special rapport we have with Andy. He reached out to most of the top candidates to tell them what it's like to work with myself, with (general manager) Howie (Roseman), with (president) Don (Smolenski), what the organization is all about, how obsessed with winning and doing it the right way."
Kelly had interviewed with the Eagles just after the new year and reports began to surface that he had decided to return to the University of Oregon. Then, in a surprise move a week and a half later, the Eagles announced they had hired Kelly. What changed Kelly's mind is anyone's guess, but no doubt Reid played a key role in his decision to join the NFL.
"One person that I really want to thank, in terms of advice in this whole thing, was Andy Reid and the fact that Andy reached out to me and told me about his experience here just told me what this organization's all about. There's not a classier guy," Kelly said.
"When Andy texted me (Wednesday) when I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill. And in typical Andy fashion he said, 'Just be yourself and you'll be fine.' So I publicly just want to thank Andy, because that really spoke to me about what this organization is all about."