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Reid May Be Eagles Choice for Coach

January 10, 1999

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Green Bay quarterbacks coach Andy Reid had a second interview with the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday and has emerged as the top candidate to succeed Ray Rhodes as head coach.

Reid arrived in Philadelphia late Saturday and toured the city and met a second time with team executives Sunday, a source close to the negotiations told The Associated Press.

Fox reported on its NFL pregame show that Reid had accepted the job, but Eagles executive vice president Joe Banner denied that it was a done deal.

Reid is considered the team’s top choice in a field that includes Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, fired Carolina coach Dom Capers and Oakland defensive coordinator Willie Shaw.

``There’s an inference there that we brought him in for a second interview,″ the source said.

Reid, 40, would become the second-youngest head coach in the NFL after Oakland’s Jon Gruden, 35. Reid’s agent, Bob LaMonte, was out of the office and could not immediately be reached for comment on the status of contract negotiations.

Reid’s jump to the Eagles could coincide with Rhodes getting the Packers head coaching job that became available when Mike Holmgren signed a $32 million, four-year contract to be coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks.

Rhodes has been regarded as a top candidate to succeed Holmgren, and The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday that the former Eagles coach was headed to Green Bay for an interview. Packers spokesman Lee Remmel said Sunday that Rhodes was not in Green Bay, and that the team would make no announcements until a coach was hired.

Rhodes’ agent, Jim Solano, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Reid is one of Rhodes’ best friends. The two worked together on Holmgren’s staff at Green Bay during Rhodes’ two seasons as the Packers’ defensive coordinator in 1992-93.

Rhodes blamed the Eagles’ front office for the team’s fall from 20-12 in his first two seasons to 6-9-1 and 3-13 in the final two.

Still, Reid said last week that he made it a point not to contact Rhodes about the Eagles situation.

``I don’t want any influence like that,″ Reid said Thursday after his first interview. ``I purposely did not call Ray and ask him about the operations of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to coming here. I wanted to approach this as Andy Reid, not Ray Rhodes. That’s what I’m doing.″

Although he never has held the title of offensive coordinator, Reid played a major role in designing the Packers’ offensive game plans and is considered very knowledgeable about Holmgren’s successful offensive system. Reid was on Holmgren’s staff in Green Bay for seven years.

While it is rare for a position coach to jump right to a head coaching job, Holmgren’s assistants have an impressive track record. Reid would join Rhodes, Gruden and San Francisco’s Steve Mariucci as former Holmgren assistants to land head coaching jobs.

``They’ve all done it, and I haven’t done it,″ Reid said. ``Do I think I can do it? Sure. I have a lot of confidence in myself.″

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