PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles went after Mike Holmgren seven years ago and ended up with Andy Reid.
Fans, of course, were disappointed and Reid was greeted on the day he was hired by a headline on the front page of a local newspaper that said "Andy Who?"
That was 1999. The perception is much different now.
Reid has led the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game four straight years and the Super Bowl last season. His mentor, Holmgren, hasn't won a playoff game in Seattle.
This season, however, the teacher is having more success than the student. Holmgren's Seahawks lead the NFC at 9-2 going into tonight's game against Reid and the 5-6 Eagles.
Reid learned a lot from Holmgren as his assistant for seven years in Green Bay during the 1990s. The coaches still talk often, though not necessarily to discuss strategy.
"When I worked for him, I had a hard time believing that anybody did it better than he did as a head coach in the NFL," Reid said. "Even when he was going through the tough times, he didn't change. He kept doing what he did in Green Bay up there, and he has that thing turned around and heading in the right direction."
Holmgren led the Packers to consecutive Super Bowls after the 1996-97 seasons, including a victory over New England in their first trip. He spurned the Eagles and other offers to take over as the coach and executive vice president in Seattle in 1999.