Jul 182010

July 18 Philadelphia Inquirer

 “They are as different as where they chose to vacation this month. Andy Reid, the Eagles’ coach, went west, to his hometown of Los Angeles. Joe Banner, the team president, went north, to Martha’s Vineyard, a stone’s throw from his native Boston.

A mountain of a man, Reid likes the Dodgers and Lakers. He grew up in California playing football and was an offensive lineman in high school, junior college, and at Brigham Young University. He became a Mormon for the woman he loved and dragged her across the country as he climbed his way up the coaching ladder the old-fashioned way – one small, deliberate step at a time – until in 1999 he became head coach of the Eagles.

Bespectacled and slight in stature, Banner likes the Red Sox and the Bruins. He grew up the only son of Jewish parents, in love with sports but always the smallest kid in his class. In a fact he doesn’t advertise, Banner spent a year as a goalie on the lacrosse team at Denison, a small private college in the Midwest, and the only job he has ever had in the NFL is basically the one that he has now, helping run the Eagles.

On the surface, they are so different. Despite his public persona, Reid is outgoing and social, while Banner admits he is reserved to the point of being shy. It is impossible to envision them working in concert without issue. But both men insist they get along, and get along well, because of the overriding thing they do have in common.

Both men are hyper-competitive workaholics who keep endless and odd hours and are driven to win.

One former Eagles veteran player, who still on occasion filters through the team’s practice facility, said the relationship between Reid and Banner is not always so collegial. Someone else within the organization with access to both men said, “They get along good, but they’ve had some good beefs.””

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