Yes, Andy Reid and Cullen Jenkins are back on speaking terms. They are speaking quite a lot, actually.
Since their sideline spat, which was captured by television crews on Monday Night Football, player and coach have talked on three separate occasions. The first was in-game. Next was on the plane ride back from New England, then again on Wednesday morning right after Reid’s press conference.
“I apologized to him on the plane and we talked a little bit. He talked about how he needs me, this team needs me to step up and be there,” said Jenkins. “Then we came in today and I saw him, I actually think it was coming off the press conference with you guys, and I apologized to him again about it. He joked with me, ‘Yeah they’re coming to get you now.’”
Jenkins was remorseful and his answers well thought out, but he also offered some levity as he took on the media at his locker. The first question was whether he thought Reid came at him because he’s a leader.
“Nah, I think it’s more because I’m black,” Jenkins joked.
The veteran defensive tackle didn’t get into specifics about the heated conversation, but offer this interpretation:
“He was just trying to control things on the side. Just trying to make sure everything was going the right way. It was getting a little emotional earlier and he was just trying to control things,” he said.
Apparently this is not the first time Jenkins has flown off the handle. Normally an even-keeled guy, he can let his emotions get the better of him on game day.
“I’ve been talked to in the past about trying to calm down and not expend too much unnecessary energy, whether it be at the refs or things on the sidelines,” he said.
Jenkins woke up the next morning and gave an, “Oh, Sh…” His family had been watching the game the night before and the TV was still on ESPN. The incident was being splashed on his screen and all across the free world.
“In the end it turns out to be a distraction,” said Jenkins. “In the end it doesn’t prove anything. It turns out to be something that now they’re talking about it on TV and it proves to be a distraction towards the team, or more rumors about what is or isn’t going on here. That’s not what you strive to do or what you want.”
Reid doesn’t necessarily see the heated interaction as a negative.
“I like a little fire. That’s OK, that’s alright,” said Reid. “It means something to him. He’s one of the leaders of that group. I get it. I understand.”