The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interesting story today, detailing the relationship between Eagles coach Andy Reid and team president Joe Banner.
The good parts of their relationship, as outlined by staff writers Ashley Fox and Mike Jensen:
For 11 years, Reid and Banner have worked together, making the crucial decisions that, for better or worse, have led the Eagles to 118 wins, including 10 in the playoffs. They have constructed teams that have won five NFC East titles and have been to the conference championship game five times and the Super Bowl once.
Neither man is overly generous in divulging the details of the inner workings of their complicated relationship. Both independently insist that they get along, and they point to the longevity of their relationship as proof. If they had internal conflict and strife, they say, they wouldn't still be together.
The more uncomfortable aspects of their relationship:
As the years have passed since the Eagles were in the Super Bowl, a team source said, the balance of power in the front office has shifted away from Reid and back to Banner.
The Eagles' main decision-makers – (owner Jeffrey) Lurie, Banner, Reid, and new general manager Howie Roseman - bend over backward to say that Reid is the one who has final say on all football decisions. It is a fact so frequently stated that it raises a simple question: Is he really?
Is it really Reid who decides who stays, who goes, and how much a player gets paid? He runs the football operations, but Banner negotiates the contracts and manages the salary cap. When a tough decision has to be made - such as trading Donovan McNabb, releasing Brian Westbrook, or not re-signing Brian Dawkins - is it really Reid who makes the decision?
"If you ask me who's running the show, I'd say Joe Banner, without question," said a team source who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. "All along, Joe's the boss. Jeffrey's the owner, Joe's the boss. Everybody knows that.
"When Andy first came here, he had the power. We were winning. It was like a shared type of thing. But guess what? Joe's got all the power again, and that's it."
The question is, though, what happens if the Eagles continue to not win the Super Bowl? Will Banner eventually have to fire Reid in order for Philadelphia to take that next step? I guess that's when we'll see who really has the power.
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