Andy Reid won't say it. It's not his style. He is a process guy. Next day next practice next game.

But the Kansas City Chiefs' next game means something a little bit more even if Reid won't admit it. It is Reid's homecoming. On Thursday night in Philadelphia he will be the Eagles' opponent instead of their leader which he had been the previous 14 seasons. He will prepare in the sparse confines of the visitors' locker room at Lincoln Financial Field instead of inside the Eagles' plush spacious quarters.

Reid will be cheered. He will be booed. He will be appreciated by some and vilified by others. That's just how it is. Reid knows it. It was 14 mostly good years -- 130 regular-season wins six NFC East titles nine playoff appearances five NFC Championship Games one glorious Super Bowl run -- but ultimately Reid did not bring home the Lombardi Trophy. In Philadelphia a city with a rich sports history and a passionate fan base winning a Super Bowl is all that matters.

"I would expect them to give me a nice Philadelphia welcome" Reid told me before the regular season started. "So that's OK."

A nice Philadelphia welcome for Donovan McNabb when he returned as Washington's quarterback meant polite cheers as a greeting then hardy boos when he took the field. Asked if he expected to get booed by Eagles fans Reid said: "Listen I have no idea but you never know."

What those close to Reid know is that the 55-year-old coach will burn to beat Philadelphia even if he won't show it. Reid said he has no hard feelings about how his run in Philly ended but it was ugly at the end. After the 2011 season when the so-called Dream Team finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs owner Jeffrey Lurie made the cryptic pronouncement that 8-8 wouldn't be good enough in 2012. What Lurie never specified was what would be good enough.

That uncertainty hung over every move Reid and the Eagles made. Reid started reaching. After Reid's eldest son Garrett died of a drug overdose at training camp the Eagles' players pledged to win for Reid but it didn't work out that way. The Eagles started 3-1 and then the season unraveled. Injuries and losses piled up. At some point during the team's eight-game losing streak it became apparent that Reid would be fired. On Dec. 31 the day after the regular-season finale he was.

"What happened to us at the end was it wasn't about the process anymore" said Rick Burkholder who spent all 14 seasons with Reid in Philadelphia as the Eagles' trainer and joined Reid in Kansas City. "It wasn't about Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. It was about the Dream Team. It was about 'You have to win 12 or you're a failure.' 'If he doesn't win the Super Bowl he should be fired.'