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Fat and sassy: Eagles' Reid jovial after signing three-year extension

  • By Associated Press
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PHILADELPHIA -- On the day that he signed a new contract, Andy Reid joked about his weight.

The usually stoic coach has plenty of reasons to be happy, and it's not because he can afford his own cheesesteak joint. Despite failing to win a Super Bowl in his first 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid received a three-year contract extension through 2013.

"He has all the ingredients: leadership, football knowledge, the ability to gain the respect of everybody that he works with, especially the players, assembling the staff," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said Wednesday. "Every ingredient you could possibly look for, including a phenomenal track record of getting very far, and if you don't get very far, you have no chance. I am extremely confident that we have a great opportunity going forward."

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Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Reid reportedly will earn between $5 and $6 million per season.

"I'm a piece of the puzzle here, and by my waist size, I'm a big piece, but in reality, I'm just a piece of the puzzle," Reid said. "I love Philadelphia. The fans, there is nothing like them. They have just been unbelievable. They're fair. If we stink, they let us know we stink. If we're doing OK, they let us know we're doing OK, but they're always there. That support is phenomenal -- absolutely phenomenal."

Reid is the winningest coach in team history, leading the Eagles to the playoffs seven times with five trips to the NFC Championship Game and one Super Bowl appearance in 10 seasons. The Eagles are 8-4 heading into Sunday's game against the NFC East rival New York Giants and in solid position to make another playoff run.

Since joining the team in 1999, Reid has won 115 games and compiled a .611 winning percentage, both best in Eagles history.

Reid took over a franchise that once was considered a laughingstock in the NFL. He inherited a team that was 3-13 a season earlier and quickly turned it into a perennial contender. Reid selected quarterback Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft, a crucial piece in the rebuilding process.

The Eagles improved to 5-11 in their first season under Reid, then went 11-5 one year later and made the playoffs in five consecutive seasons.




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"It's well-deserved for him," McNabb said. "I'm happy for him. It was a great move for them. He's a great coach."

Though he's one of the most successful coaches in the NFL, Reid has drawn criticism from fans because the team hasn't won a Super Bowl. The closest the Eagles came was a 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

"Our No. 1 priority by far is to win a Super Bowl," Lurie said. "One of the reasons for the contract is the obsession and prioritization of that.

"Does he have that burning desire to take it one more step to win a Super Bowl? This man here has a tremendous burning desire and obsession and will do nothing short of every attempt possible."

The Eagles have reached the NFC championship game four other times, including three consecutive losses before their Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles also reached the conference title game last season, losing 32-25 to the Arizona Cardinals.

"I would say very simply that that's where all of my energy goes and the players' and the coaches' energy goes," Reid said of winning a Super Bowl

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Reid took a leave of absence during the offseason in 2007 after two of his sons were arrested on drug charges. One son is out of prison after completing a drug treatment program, and the other is serving a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to smuggling prescription pills into a county jail.

Asked how he avoids being burned out from coaching, Reid made another joke about his sizable waist line.

"I have a lot to burn off, so I have a lot of energy stored in this body," he said. "I still love what I'm doing. I can't say I love press conferences, but I love everything else about it, and so I don't feel I'm at that point. If I ever get to that point, I'll be the first to raise my hand and stop coaching football."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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