Jeffrey Lurie: Andy Reid will return

Updated: January 4, 2012, 10:43 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

PHILADELPHIA -- Big Red isn't going anywhere yet.

Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said coach Andy Reid will return for his 14th season in Philadelphia, though he left open the possibility for changes on the coaching staff.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday for the first time since training camp, Lurie expressed his displeasure with the team's 8-8 record and explained in detail why he chose to retain Reid after weeks of serious deliberation.

"This was, without question, the most disappointing season since I've owned the team," Lurie said. "It's completely unacceptable."

The Eagles were strong favorites to reach the Super Bowl after winning the NFC East title last year and adding several accomplished players in the offseason. Backup quarterback Vince Young, one of those additions, even referred to the 2011 Eagles as the "Dream Team."

But they started 1-4 and were 4-8 before closing out the year with four consecutive wins against non-playoff teams.

Lurie called the poor start "dismal" and "unfathomable" and also described some of the losses as "ludicrous" and "terrible." The Eagles blew fourth-quarter leads five times.

After all the moves we made in the offseason and with our roster, it's extremely disappointing and unacceptable to have the season over.

-- Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie

"After all the moves we made in the offseason and with our roster, it's extremely disappointing and unacceptable to have the season over," Lurie said.

Reid is the longest-tenured coach in the NFL. He's led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl loss in 13 seasons. Lurie said he considered Reid's track record, both long-term and short-term, and his intangibles when deciding to keep him.

"Andy Reid not only has the love of his players and their respect, but he also has the fire in his belly to be the best," Lurie said. "You've got to have the anger. You've got to have the motivation, the dedication, and the focus and the talent. My answer to those questions is yes. That's why I want to see our team coached by Andy Reid next year, and I can't wait to see that team play. There's no doubt in my mind, if our focus is on trying to win a championship next year, the best coach for that is Andy."

Team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman also will return. Lurie said Reid has final say on all moves, and will decide whether to make changes on his staff.

Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's job could be in jeopardy, especially with former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo available. Castillo struggled after making the unusual transition from coaching offense to defense.

"There was a miscalculation in implementing big scheme changes," Lurie said, referring to several new defensive players having to learn a new system in a short period due to the lockout.

Castillo seemed completely overmatched in his first season coaching defense after 13 years teaching the offensive linemen. Reid's decision to promote Castillo defied logic and was intensely scrutinized throughout the year. Castillo's defense played well during the final four games, but it came against lesser competition. The quarterbacks the Eagles beat were Matt Moore, Mark Sanchez, Stephen McGee and Rex Grossman.

Rumors already are swirling that the Eagles will hire Steve Spagnuolo to replace Castillo. Spagnuolo was fired Monday after going 10-38 as the head coach in St. Louis. He was an assistant under longtime Eagles coordinator Jim Johnson and was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants when they beat Tom Brady and the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

Reid has two years remaining on his contract, and Lurie said he doesn't plan to extend it at this point. He also declined to give Reid a win-or-else directive.

"Every year the goal is to win the Super Bowl," he said. "We'll let the process play out. There's no ultimatum."

Reid has a career record of 136-90-1 and his 10 playoff wins are the 11th most in NFL history. But the Eagles haven't won a playoff game since beating Minnesota and the New York Giants in consecutive road games in 2008. They were eliminated in the wild-card round the next two seasons before failing to advance this year.

"You've got to be in the tournament to be able to win the Super Bowl, that's the singular goal," Lurie said. "This coach and his staff have a superb track record of getting to the tournament."

Information from ESPN's Sal Paolantonio and The Associated Press was used in this report.