Reeves pays price for Vick injury

Dan Reeves was fired after a season that started with so much promise snowballed into a disastrous campaign.

Updated: December 10, 2003, 3:19 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
Dan Reeves has been an NFL head coach for 23 years -- six years longer than any other current coach -- but that run may end after this season. Not because the 59-year-old Reeves has finally decided that he wants to hang up his play chart, but because the Atlanta Falcons have released the veteran skipper.

The news was announced at a press conference at the team's training camp at Flowery Branch. Owner Arthur Blank informed Reeves that this season would be his last in Atlanta, and Reeves requested that he be relieved of his duties immediately. Blank complied and named defensive coordinator Wade Phillips the interim head coach.

It's no surprise that Reeves would be on his way out after a season that started with so much promise snowballed into a disastrous campaign in which Michael Vick broke his leg, the defense fell apart and no consensus could be reached on a starting tailback. But despite all those factors, Reeves did get his squad to improve as the year progressed.

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