Inheriting a team that previously struggled is nothing new to Andy Reid. When he began his 14-year tenure, the NFL’s longest-active streak until his release this week, in 1999, the Eagles were 3-13 the season before, good enough for a three-way tie for the league’s worst record. Reid led the team to a two-game improvement in his rookie season under the headset. The Eagles reached the playoffs the following season, after earning an 11-5 regular-season record.
Reid’s successful coaching campaign in the City of Brotherly Love was just getting started. In 2001, the Eagles won their first of four-consecutive NFC East titles, the longest streak in franchise history, advancing to the conference title game in each of those years. Despite losses in his first three NFC Championship Games, the now 54-year-old head coach led the Eagles on an incredible journey in 2004.
Philadelphia’s 13-3 record in ’04 was exemplified by six wins earned against its NFC East division rivals, topping the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins twice each, en route to Super Bowl XXXIX, before falling to the New England Patriots, 24-21.