Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hot seat in Philly now an inferno

Eagles' coach Reid will be out of work soon if slump continues

  • Print

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeffrey Lurie put Andy Reid on the clock with a preseason decree that mediocrity was no longer acceptable.

With each grim defeat, the harsh reality becomes clear. If Lurie, the Eagles owner, remains true to his word, Reid will out of a job if Philadelphia continues to trudge through this season without a winning record or much hope for the future.

After an 8-8 season in 2011, Lurie called the results from this star-studded team unacceptable and said, "we need substantial improvement."

So, needless to say, this is not what he expected.

The Eagles (3-5) again were sloppy, battered, and inefficient inside the red zone in a 28-13 loss to New Orleans on Monday night, their fourth consecutive loss. And the struggles are on both sides of the ball.

Reid fired defensive co-ordinator Juan Castillo last month and the unit has only gotten worse. While Reid reaffirmed his commitment to Michael Vick on Tuesday, the former dynamic quarterback is no longer the scrambling standout he once was behind a depleted offensive line.

Either way, Lurie's edict hangs over the organization with each depressing loss. Reid said he can't worry about Lurie's win-or-else ultimatum, only about winning the next game, Sunday against Dallas (3-5).

"There is no time to think about those things," Reid said. "The guys are worrying about getting themselves better to win football games. That's number one. That's where I sit."

Reid, in his 14th season, sits on hot seat that is blazing into an inferno. Fans want him out. Players are grumbling louder than ever. The respect and command Big Red once held over his team, the franchise and city's fan base with a grip larger than his waistline, has crashed. The questions come at him faster than the blitz on a confused Vick: Has he lost the respect of the team? Have the Eagles quit? Does he like the character of his team?

Read the transcript, and it indeed looks as if he's focused on the cause, no matter what. In fact, it appears -- on paper, at least -- as if Reid is as optimistic as he's ever been.

"I saw guys playing hard. I do like the character of this team."

"I would expect them to continue to battle through and good things will happen."

But standing at the podium inside the Eagles practice facility, Reid sounded defeated. Never a bombastic personality, a glum Reid mumbled his way through his answers, and repeated many of the same refrains he's used since the skid started, namely blaming himself, and the need to put his team in better position to win. He said the Eagles were "just off a little bit," and an Eagles' turnaround hinged on "getting a few things tightened up."

The Eagles need more than a tuneup. They might need another coach to go under the hood and totally rebuild what had been one of the proudest, and most successful, franchises in the NFL for most of the last 15 years. The enigmatic Eagles won the final four games of last season to finish off a disappointing year at 8-8, and gave Lurie a reason to grant Reid another season. At this rate of losing, though, Reid may not return for Year 15.

The Eagles play five of their final eight games against NFC East teams, and the fact they play well against their divisional opponents is one glimmer of optimism that they can get salvage a post-season berth. They won their final five games of last season against NFC East teams, including a late-November win over the eventual Super Bowl-champion New York Giants. And, they've already defeated the Giants once this season.

Counting on another streaky run out of these Eagles is a long shot, though. For starters, the offensive line has been decimated, the latest casualty on Monday night when right tackle Todd Herremans suffered foot and ankle injuries. He had an MRI on Tuesday and was on crutches. Herremans, Vick's blindside protector, and left guard Evan Mathis were about the only two reliable lineman left standing of late. Left tackle Jason Peters, centre Jason Kelce and right guard Danny Watkins have all missed significant chunks of the season.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 7, 2012 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Reimagining Winnipeg as the big city of the future

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose gobbles up grass at Fort Whyte Alive Monday morning- Young goslings are starting to show the markings of a adult geese-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 20– June 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which Jets prospect has the best chance of making NHL team this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google