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Remmel: Reid Has Proven Most Successful In Holmgren Tree


With the Philadelphia Eagles once again at hand, there inevitably are disconcerting reminders of the Mike Holmgren coaching "tree" for the Packers.

At least one massive limb thereof.

More specifically, of the unflappable Andy Reid, who as the most successful branch of said tree, has worked wonders with the "Iggles" over the past decade - particularly against the Green and Gold.

Looking back, as the Packers ready themselves for a challenging Monday Night Football assignment at Philly's Lincoln Financial Field, the 'Reid Run' began innocently enough.

In his first game against his former team, in fact, he found himself losing a 6-3 decision to the Packers and first-year head coach Mike Sherman in September of 2000 - courtesy of placekicker Ryan Longwell, who delivered a pair of field goals, the second a 38-yarder deciding the issue with only three seconds remaining in the game and providing Sherman with his first head coaching.victory.

Reid has been literally unbeatable ever least from the Packers' perspective. He has led the Eagles to four straight wins at Green Bay's expense, including a Divisional playoff victory following the 2003 season.

He, of course, is one of five members of Holmgren's Green Bay staff in the'90s to go on to head coaching jobs elsewhere in the NFL - including the man himself.

As a result of Reid's recent successes, which improved his record to 4-1 against the Green and Gold, he has become the only member of the Holmgren tree to hold a winning record against the Packers since leaving Green Bay.

One other, the elfin Jon Gruden of Tampa Bay's Buccaneers, is even against Green Bay at 2-2 but the others - Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron and Marty Mornhinweg, all find themselves below the .500 mark, along with Holmgren himself.

Holmgren is the possessor of a modest 1-3 record against Green Bay, his three losing ventures including a Wild Card playoff defeat in overtime at Lambeau Field following the 2003 season - one which Al Harris terminated with a master stroke, intercepting a Matt Hasselbeck pass and returning it 52 yards for a touchdown and a 33-27 victory.

Harris' heroic, incidentally, was historic. In the electrifying process, he scored the first defensive touchdown to win an overtime game in NFL history.

Mariucci, who had been Brett Favre's first quarterback coach after No. 4 arrived in Green Bay, has seen a considerable amount of the Packers since leaving Titletown - more, probably, than he cared to - considering that his record for a dozen matchups with Green Bay, as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions, is 3-9.

Jauron, who coached the Chicago Bears for five years (1999-2003) before taking over the Buffalo Bills this season, and Mornhinweg, who had a two-year stint as head coach of the Lions prior to Mariucci's arrival in Detroit, were even less fortunate when called upon to face the Packers.

Although he became the first Bears coach to defeat the Packers on his first two trips to Lambeau Field, Jauron currently owns a 2-9 record against Green Bay, and Mornhinweg, who came up short against the Green and Gold, consistently, is winless at 0-4.

Tom Coughlin, although not a Holmgren "disciple,".is another former Green Bay aide of recent vintage who has tried his hand as a head coach since leaving Titletown, first with Jacksonville (1995-2002) and the New York Giants (2004-present). He is 1-2 against the Packers at the moment.

Thus, despite Reid's personal advantage over Titletown, the seven former Green Bay assistants listed have had to be content with a collective 13-30 mark against Green Bay and a .309 winning percentage.

Reid, of course, has had more than his share of coaching success against the NFL at large since taking over the Eagles in '99, having compiled the highest victory total (79) and winning percentage (.622) in Philadelphia's history and twice been named as the league's coach of the year (2000 and 2002).

Meanwhile, Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie has been so pleased with Reid's results as head coach that he rewarded him with the additional title of executive vice president of football operations in '01.

Although the Packers have not had good fortune against the Eagles of late, such has not always been the case. In fact, the Green and Gold were consistently successful against the Birds in the early days of the series, launched in 1933 under Bert Bell, later to become commissioner of the NFL.

For the record, the Packers won the first nine games in the series, two of them by shutouts, before losing to the Eagles for the first time (28-14) at 1947.

Green Bay then won an additional four straight from the Eagles, one of these successes being their only victory of the 1958 season (38-35) before losing to the Birds for a second time.

The latter loss also was a game of historical significance, Philadelphia prevailing in the 1960 NFL championship game, 17-13, in Philly's Franklin Field.

It was a defeat that prompted second-year head coach Vince Lombardi to vow, "We will never lose another one (playoff game)."

And the Packers made sure Lombardi kept his word. They went on to win nine consecutive postseason games, including three NFL championship contests and the first two Super Bowls before Vince left Green Bay to take over the Washington Redskins.

*Continuing an association with the team that is more than 55 years old, Lee Remmel was named the first official Team Historian of the Green Bay Packers in February 2004. The former Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter and Packers public relations director, Remmel will write regular columns for as part of his new assignment.

In addition to those articles, Remmel will answer fan questions in a monthly Q&A column. To submit a question to Remmel, click here.*


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