ATLANTA - Bill Belichick, Don Shula, Tom Landry.
Those are the three coaches not named Andy Reid who have won 100 games with one team in one decade.
That's the quickest, simplest answer to the question of why the Eagles are expected to announce soon that they have completed a contract extension for Reid, 51, which should extend his tenure several years beyond the 2010 expiration of his current deal.
You're allowed to be frustrated about the lack of a Lombardi Trophy, the playcalling, the timeouts, the pass-run balance, the press conferences, whatever. But those are not the primary concerns of Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner, except maybe the Lombardi part. And when the new deal is announced, expect to hear again their philosophy that if a team is a solid contender year in and year out, the championship will come, somehow, some way.
"The guy has done nothing but win," said Donovan McNabb, the quarterback Reid drafted second overall in 1999. "Obviously, everyone wants to win the Super Bowl, and I do, too . . . I think you strive for it every year. Sometimes, it doesn't happen. You just have to continue to keep punching. Having a coach like this, that continues to prepare his team well and have winning seasons, he deserves it. Hopefully we can be here together until we both decide to retire - it'll probably be me before he does. But not too many head coach-quarterback combinations stay together for a long period of time. Not too many have won as many as we've won, either."
The Eagles released a statement that read: "We're aware of the reports regarding Andy Reid's contract. The organization has acknowledged earlier that it expects to extend his contract at some point in the near future. Beyond that, the organization has no further comment."
Reid declined to comment on his contract status after yesterday's 34-7 victory at Atlanta, his 100th win of the decade, other than to pledge allegiance to the fans of Philadelphia and the Eagles organization.
"I'm not going to add to [the statement]. I've told you before, I love it here in Philadelphia, the fans," Reid said. "There's not any better organization. The statement was put out, and that's what it is."
Reid, 105-66-1 in the regular season, has the Eagles' highest win total and winning percentage. His 10 playoff victories also are a franchise record, though Reid has gotten to the NFC Championship Game five times and has won it only once, after the 2004 season. That victory ended in Super Bowl XXXIX disappointment.
The Daily News reported 2 months ago that talks to extend Reid's deal were under way. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported yesterday that those talks could bear fruit soon. It isn't clear how many more years Reid would get. He currently is believed to make between $4 million and $5 million a year.
Reid's agent, Bob LaMonte, did not respond to requests for comment yesterday from the Daily News.
"He deserves it," said strong safety Quintin Mikell, an Eagle since 2003. "He's done nothing but win since he's gotten here. Obviously, we still haven't gotten that Super Bowl yet, but he's done a great job so far, and I love playing for him. He's a guy that, he doesn't say a whole lot. He doesn't go all the way up and down, he doesn't get on you too much. He's just a good coach."
Mikell allowed that he thinks about the stability Reid affords Eagles players; they know they aren't going to suddenly be trying to fit into some new guy's systems.
"Obviously, it makes a big difference when you know your coach is going to be around," Mikell said. "You don't have to worry about who's coming in next year, if you're going to get cut, or whatever."
Sheldon Brown's five interceptions are a career high, as was yesterday's 83-yard touchdown return of a pick . . . Eldra Buckley forced the first-quarter kickoff return fumble that really got the Birds rolling toward a rout; Tracy White recovered . . . David Akers' field-goal streak ended at 17 when he was wide from 39 yards near the end of the first quarter . . . It was officially the Eagles' day when Jerious Norwood went right with a first-quarter handoff and was slammed down authoritatively for no gain by none other than Asante Samuel. "You know I get one of those a year," Samuel joked to reporters afterward.