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Eagles: 'No basis' to rumors of Gruden taking over for Reid

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Philadelphia Eagles denied rumors Monday that coach Andy Reid is leaving the team and will be replaced by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, currently an analyst for ESPN.

The team released a statement on its official website Monday morning denying the reports that caught fire online Sunday night and Monday, especially on Twitter.

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"Early (Monday) morning we have received several inquiries regarding the rumors regarding Andy Reid and Jon Gruden," the statement read. "This was simply a rumor and there is no basis to it at all. It is simply not true."

The Philadelphia Daily News reported Monday that the rumor started when former Eagles fullback Kyle Eckel posted a message on his Facebook page stating that Reid was set to leave the team and that Gruden would become coach. Eckel labeled the report a "rumor," but he said a Tuesday announcement by the Eagles was in the works, according to the newspaper.

Eckel attempted to clarify matters in subsequent Facebook posts: "Growing up in Philly I get to hear the gossip around town. And that's just what this Andy Reid stuff is all about. Gossip. Hence my original comment stating 'Rumor'. I'm surprised I was one of the first to mention the new gossip! In any way, shape, or form sports are fun and a great way to link a community.

"Lets find out soon of the validity to this Gruden rumor. I hope none of you got the wrong impression with my previous status. Bottom line, my family and I are forever indebted to Andy Reid for giving me the opportunity Ive always dreamed of. Playing for my hometown Eagles ... If Reids problems are personal lets hope they can be resolved safely and with peace."

Reid, the Eagles' coach since 1999, is under contract through 2013. He continues to assemble his defensive staff for next season, promoting offensive line coach Juan Castillo to take over as coordinator Feb. 2, a move that generated controversy but illustrated Reid's grasp on the team.

Castillo, who spent 13 seasons as the Eagles' offensive line coach and has been with the organization for 16 years, will switch to the defensive side of the ball and replace Sean McDermott, who was fired Jan. 15. The team lured Howard Mudd out of retirement to replace Castillo as offensive line coach.

On Monday, the Eagles announced that Mike Caldwell will be linebackers coach and Mike Zordich will be secondary/safeties coach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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