Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Clock ticking, but Reid isn't pointing fingers

Eagles boss won't toss anyone under the bus

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PHILADELPHIA -- A seven-game losing streak won't get Andy Reid to change his ways.

As usual, Reid accepted blame and pointed the finger directly at himself following the Philadelphia Eagles' latest loss, 30-22 to the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

"I take full responsibility. There's a way to get through and I'm not doing it right now," Reid said Tuesday. "Coaches have told you they gotta do a better job. Players have told you they gotta do a better job. End result is you have to do a better job."

That's about as far as Reid will go in his criticism of his players or coaching staff. Anyone who wants to see Reid call players out for missing assignments, making mistakes or underperforming will have to wait for a coaching change. That's just not part of Reid's philosophy.

"I'm the head football coach of this team," he said. "It's my responsibility these guys do their job. Bottom line. It's my responsibility to deal with those players and coaches man to man. I'm not going to change that now."

Translation: Reid isn't going to throw anyone under the bus.

Still, the clock is ticking on Reid's tenure in Philadelphia after 14 seasons. Disgusted fans who've been calling for his ouster for years almost certainly will get their wish. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already made it clear the Eagles needed to make "substantial improvement" after going 8-8 in 2011.

They must finish 5-0 just to be 8-8 again. That's "unacceptable" to Lurie, and to fans who haven't celebrated an NFL championship since 1960.

"I'm coaching to get ready to get after the Cowboys," Reid said. "I don't go beyond that. I'm not going to let anything distract that."

The Eagles (3-8) visit Dallas (5-6) Sunday night.

There were thousands of empty seats Monday night and those who showed up lacked their typical lustre. The frustrated crowd didn't even boo as heartily as expected. In sports, apathy is worse than anger.

"This is mentally exhausting," tight end Brent Celek said. "I am sick about it. I hate losing and it doesn't get any easier. We just have to turn it around. Everyone has to step up and turn it around."

Changes already have started. The Eagles released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin hours after Reid spoke to reporters. Babin had 5.5 sacks, down from 18 last year. He signed a $28 million, five-year contract with Philadelphia after going to his first Pro Bowl for Tennessee in 2010.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 28, 2012 C6

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