IT ISN'T JUST Andy Reid who presumably will have to pack up his office next week at NovaCare. The Eagles' media guide lists 14 assistants, from Bobby April to Mike Zordich, who serve on Reid's staff; there are a few others in entry-level spots who don't rate mention, and a building full of trainers, equipment managers, strength coaches, secretaries and the like who could be affected by the ripples from what everyone expects to be the first Eagles head-coaching change in 14 years, within a day or 2 after this Sunday's season finale at the Giants.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, the staffer closest to Reid, has been here since 2003. This is by far Mornhinweg's longest stop in a coaching career that began fulltime in 1988, when Mornhinweg's bad knee wouldn't let him be an Arena League quarterback anymore. Like Reid, Mornhinweg officially is only thinking about the Giants, not about what comes next. Unofficially, that would be ridiculous.
While the Giants game "is a great responsibility - this is important to many of our players," Mornhinweg, 50, said Thursday, and that is his priority, he also thinks about the fact that "three of my [four] children will have graduated from high school right here in Philadelphia - one at Friends Select, right in the city, my oldest daughter [Madison], who's at Penn. My oldest son [Skyler], St. Joe's Prep, he's down there [on the football team] at Florida. My third [Molly Lynn] will graduate from Penn Charter this year. We all think we're West Coast people - heck, my kids are from Philadelphia. In fact, I was talking about that at Christmas with Molly. She's going off to college next year. I said, 'When people ask you where you're from, what will you say?' She said, 'Oh, I'm from Philadelphia.' "
Mornhinweg doesn't have much planned for next week, except maybe going down to New Orleans to watch his son's Gators play Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
"Sometimes, the end is the beginning of something new," said Mornhinweg, who also reflected that coaching is the only job he has ever held, other than playing, since "working at the gas station in South San Jose in high school."
Four of those 14 coaches were on Reid's original staff in 1999. (I'm including defensive-line coach Tommy Brasher, who retired in 2005 and returned when Jim Washburn was fired Dec. 3). Running-backs coach Ted Williams, 69, actually predates Reid, having come aboard in 1995. It isn't clear that all the position coaches will be jettisoned by a new coach; typically, one or two are retained, but there's no way of predicting who might survive.
"Very important, oh my gosh!" running back LeSean McCoy said, when asked about the importance of Williams and his assistant, Duce Staley, to McCoy's development. "Hopefully, those guys are still there."
Tight end Brent Celek arrived as a fifth-round draft pick in 2007. Six years in the NFL, Celek's only position coach has been Tom Melvin, now 51, who arrived with Reid in 1999 (as did wide-receivers coach David Culley, 57).
"You hope it doesn't happen," Celek said Thursday, when asked about the possibility of a new tight-ends coach. "We'll see what the end of the season brings us. It's not our decision . . . Not only do you get to know the person [when a staff and players are together a long time], you get to know their families, their kids, wives. We as players, a lot of us don't have that; something happens to us, it's easy to transplant. For them, it's more drastic. You feel for 'em."
For several Reid assistants, this has been the only NFL coaching job. That's true for Melvin, for linebackers coach Mike Caldwell, who arrived in 2008, for defensive quality control coach Bobby April III, hired in 2011, for offensive quality control coach Matt Nagy (2010), for quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson (2009), special-teams quality control and assistant running-backs coach Staley (2010), and Zordich (2009), who coaches the safeties.
Even if you've moved before, the prospect of being dismissed and having to look for a job again is gut-wrenching. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has worked for five teams and came here just last winter, after finishing the 2011 season as interim head coach in Miami. Before that, Bowles, 49, said he always got to choose when he was leaving a team.
"It's different," said Bowles, who said he supposes he'll be able to take his kids to and from school for a change next week. "It's tough, as a competitor . . . You don't get used to it, but you can't control it, so you don't try to kill yourself over it."
Special-teams coordinator Bobby April said Thursday he doesn't think coming into the year knowing Reid was on the hot seat affected the staff. "You always walk the plank as a coach," he said. "No one's infallible."
April told a story about how he was recruiting the Dallas area for USC when the Cowboys fired Tom Landry in February 1989. April was supposed to be reading newspaper stories about high school stars, but his attention wandered to the adjacent stories and columns about the demise of the man who built the Cowboys into America's Team. "I couldn't believe it," he recalled.
"I've said it before, you never want too much security," April said. "Too much security, you get too complacent."
April, 59, was widely regarded as the best special-teams coach in the NFL when the Eagles hired him in 2010. That reputation has not been burnished here. What does his future hold?
"I have no idea," April said. "I hope it's good. I like living in the neighborhood over here on 20th Street. It's a good place, plus the city's a great place, and the organization's great.
"But I don't know. I have no idea. I couldn't tell you."