— Andy Reid on Sunday emerged from the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field the same way he always has, with security personnel at his side, a slow, purposeful stride toward the sideline and little fanfare.
He departed about three hours later the same way he always has — a winner that no amount of failure over the last two seasons can erase.
In what likely was his last home appearance as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, the longest-tenured coach in the NFL walked off disappointed by his team's latest setback — a 27-20 loss the Washington Redskins that came down to the final play. He was as stoic as ever — unfazed on the surface but almost certainly heartbroken about the end of a very exciting yet ultimately heartbreaking era of Eagles football.
Ironically, Sunday's game might have represented a microcosm of his time in Philadelphia, which has fallen just short of being extremely special.
If you had to boil down Reid's career to one word, it would be "almost."
Almost a Super Bowl champion.
Almost the most beloved coach in franchise history.
Maybe even almost one of the greatest coaches in league history.
Add a Super Bowl title or two — which could have been achieved with a couple of more breaks here and there — to Reid's resume, and you're looking at a coach who's done it all and done it better than just about anyone else in the salary cap era (or even before).
As it is, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg believes that his boss will be enshrined in Canton.
"Andy's got Hall-of-Fame numbers, and really the only thing we haven't done here and he hasn't done here is win a Super Bowl," Mornhinweg said. "He's been to one [Super Bowl] and five NFC championships, so he's had a heck of a run."
Those five conference championship game appearances came in a span of eight seasons.
Reid has won 130 regular-season games and 10 postseason games in his 14 seasons. Only four of his active peers have won more career games and only two have more playoff wins.
All of this means that Reid, who with a loss next week against Coughlin's New York Giants will finish with his worst career record (4-12) and will be gone soon but not forgotten.
Since taking over in 1999, Reid is 130-92-1 in the regular season and 10-9 in the postseason. Solid, but not great without a Super Bowl win, especially considering what some of his peers such as Coughlin, New England's Bill Belichick, Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, Indianapolis' Tony Dungy, New Orleans' Sean Payton and Green Bay's Mike McCarthy have been able to accomplish in the same span.
With a ring, Reid definitely belongs in that company. Without one, he belongs at the very top of the next tier.
Still, he's been good enough to win more regular-season and postseason games than any coach in franchise history.