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Eagles fire Andy Reid after 14 seasons

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Eagles fire Andy Reid after 14 seasons

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Andy Reid stuck around after he was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, meeting with players, encouraging staff and shaking hands with the man who let him go.

After 14 years, Reid found it hard to walk away.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie understood. ``He had the love and respect of every individual in this organization,'' he said at his news conference Monday. ``This man is amazing to work with, smart and dedicated, and the record will speak for itself.''

Not this season's 4-12 record nor the humiliating score of the season-ending loss to the New York Giants, 42-7, on Sunday.

It was the worst finish by the team since Lurie fired Ray Rhodes following a 3-13 finish in 1998.

``When you have a season like that, it's embarrassing. It's personally crushing to me and it's terrible,'' Lurie said. ``Our fans deserve the very best. This year, they got a team that was not very good at all. I feel terrible about that.''

Lurie informed Reid of his decision shortly before 9 a.m. Reid addressed the team an hour later and received a standing ovation.

``It was emotional,'' running back LeSean McCoy said. ``We felt his pain. It hurts a lot.''

Many players blamed themselves for his ouster and a few held back tears while talking about their former coach.

``It's unfortunate. I feel we personally let him down,'' wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. ``It's a sad day.''

Reid took over a 3-13 team in 1999, drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick and quickly turned the franchise into a title contender.

He is the winningest coach in club history and led them to a run of four straight NFC championship games, a streak that ended with a Super Bowl trip after the 2004 season - and a loss, 24-21, to the New England Patriots. The Eagles are still seeking their first NFL title since 1960.

Reid cemented Philadelphia as a destination football town and led the team to an unmatched level of success. But the team hasn't won a playoff game since 2008 and after last season's 8-8 finish, Lurie said he was looking for improvement this year.

Instead, it was worse.

``I look forward to the day when everyone welcomes him back into the Eagles Hall of Fame because that's inevitable,'' Lurie said.

Reid grew up in Southern California and may welcome a return home. He already has said he wants to coach next season.

``I think Andy is an outstanding football coach,'' Lurie said. ``That's what Andy wants to do. He doesn't want to transition to other aspects of football operations. He's a football coach. He wants to coach right now. He was very excited about the future of this team and this franchise. He wanted to stay.''

Reid is due to make $6 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract. He is the franchise leader in wins (140), losses (102) and winning percentage (.578) and led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles and five NFC championship games.

Aside from team troubles, the year was a painful one for Reid. He endured a devastating loss weeks before the season opener when his oldest son, Garrett, died at training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

In October, Reid fired close friend and longtime assistant Juan Castillo, who was in his second season as defensive coordinator after coaching the offensive line for 13 years. He later fired defensive-line coach Jim Washburn.

Still to be determined is whether Michael Vick stays with the team. He's under contract for $16 million next season, but the Eagles can release him within a few days after the Super Bowl and avoid a salary-cap hit.

In 2009, Reid and Lurie gave Vick a second chance in the NFL after the former star quarterback spent 18 months in federal prison related to a dogfighting operation. Vick took over as the starter in 2010, had a remarkable season and led the Eagles to the NFC East title. But like rest of the team, Vick regressed the last two seasons.

``There is nobody who wants to win more than I do,'' Lurie said. ``Once you've experienced the success we've had, it makes you just realize that there's nothing more that you want than a Super Bowl, and to deliver that to our fans.''

After beating the defending Super Bowl champion Giants on Sept. 30, the Eagles lost eight straight games - their worst losing streak in 42 years.

Lurie said he has a ``defined'' list of candidates to replace Reid, but hasn't spoken to any coaches or set up interviews yet. General manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski will assist him in the process.

``It's better to find the right leader than to make a fast decision,'' Lurie said. ``There's no guarantee I'll make a great decision, but I'm confident I will.''

A person familiar with the team's plan said the Eagles will interview Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan this week. Atlanta's offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter and special teams coach Keith Armstrong also will be interviewed. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced its interview plans.

Earlier, PhiladelphiaEagles.com posted video of Lurie and Reid addressing employees, who gave Reid a big ovation. Lurie handed him a game ball.

``I have a hard time standing before people without a few boos involved. But I'm taking it, I'm taking it all in,'' Reid said. ``These have been the greatest 14 years of my life.''

He added: ``Sometimes change is good. ... I know the next guy that comes in will be phenomenal. The ultimate goal is a Super Bowl. Everybody in this room, I wish you a big ring on the finger in the near future.

``Hail to the Eagles, baby.''

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AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston contributed to this report.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two guys have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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