Eagles Wake-Up Call: Lurie, Listen To the Linc

Much of the focus has been on the win/loss record.

Jeffrey Lurie said 8-8 would not be good enough for Andy Reid to keep his job. At 3-4, the head coach is not on a track towards “substantial improvement.” As the weeks peel off the calendar, we keep our eyes on the standings, and wonder what the owner thinks of it all.

We should be using our ears as well.

Listen to what Atlanta head coach Mike Smith said about the Lincoln Financial Field crowd at his Monday news conference:

“It was not nearly as loud. We anticipated it being very loud. We knew that if we could start fast we could potentially take the crowd out. You want to do that every time you go out on the road. I think this game more than any became very apparent that we had kind of negated their home field advantage in terms of the crowd. It got very quiet really after the first two series. I don’t think we had any issues with having to go to a silent count. We were able to communicate most of the day.”

It was one of the most depressing scenes in the nine-year history of the Linc. From clouds to winds to rain. From quiet to hushed to empty. The fans entered with their share of reservations about the home team. Their fears realized early, the atmosphere quickly deadened. Players waived their arms to try and generate some noise, but the response was half-hearted at best. Few stuck around for the closing moments; those that did booed if they made a sound at all.

You could chalk it up to circumstance if it was an isolated event. Blame it on the weather or the Falcons’ blazing start or the offense’s uninspiring performance. But the truth is that the juice has been gone for some time — this was just an exaggerated example.

I have sat in broadcast booths and listened to shocked color commentators go on and on about how lifeless the place is. I have lived in Philadelphia long enough to know that when an Eagles crowd is having a tough time getting vocal, something is wrong. It is not the acoustics in the stadium. It is not (solely) the pricing out of the 700-level. It is the lack of connection that this fan base feels with this team.

DeSean Jackson went on national radio Monday and talked about the boos the team is receiving at home, remarking how “sometimes our own fans can be against us.”

He’s right to a degree. Whether it’s the “Fire Andy!” chants that broke out last year or the extreme apathy on display Sunday, the fans are rejecting the current product. It is their right. And it should come as no surprise. This is a town that values having a connection with their players, their team, their coach more than any other in the country. They will take a bumpy ride as long as they’re invited to sit shotgun.

The plug and the socket aren’t compatible, so no electricity. This is a problem that goes deeper than a win/loss record. I’m sure Lurie agrees.

WHAT YOU MISSED

As of Tuesday afternoon, Nick Foles had not been informed of any quarterback switch. The most recent depth chart released by the Eagles still has Michael Vick as the starter.

Sheil’s review of the skill position players shows how a shaky offensive line is wiping away the big play. Meanwhile, a look at the D-line reveals a shrunken role for Jason Babin in Todd Bowles‘ debut as defensive coordinator.

Here’s more of Jackson’s thoughts on  the fans coming down hard on the team.

Kapadia does a nice job of highlighting the Eagles’ slow fall from stability.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Jason Whitlock, never afraid to go after Reid, is calling for the coach’s immediate firing.

Reid and Garrett, I’d can ‘em now. Garrett can’t manage game situations and he’s contributed to Romo’s inconsistencies. Reid is the pass-happy version of Marty Schottenheimer. Reid’s act in Philly is stale. He’s a good coach who has stayed in one spot too long. Schottenheimer did 10 years in Kansas City and bounced. Reid has been in Philly for 14 years.

Get Reid out of Philly before he subjects rookie QB Nick Foles to the kind of beating Michael Vick has endured the past two years.

Donovan McNabb is giving Vick some more advice. His comments from NFL AM:

“You have to focus on your job and if you focus on your job, you block everything out.”

“I think you get in a situation where once you start hearing the boos and hearing the radio stations talk and people on the outside begin to bring your name up of being benched, then you begin to lose focus and now your play begins to fall and you begin to focus on other things. … I think it’s important for him to feed off of what he did last week, not turning the ball over, protect the football, give his guys an opportunity to make plays for him and good things can happen.”

COMING UP

Practice for the Saints begins on Thursday. Barring a QB change, we’re not expected to hear from Reid until then.

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  • EaglesMaddog

    The reason Philly fans don’t connect with the team is the lack of “Phillytude”. We want players with heart who show up to work – fight through tackles, drag the opposing players when you are being tackled, hit hard ala Keith Byars, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen. I drive 200 miles from DC/VA with all the hurricane warnings and all to support the team. What I saw was a bunch of wimps who folded like a deck of cards. Is there anyone on this team with fire-in-their-belly? They better show up with “Phillytude” for Monday night’s game else they will be the laughing stock of the league. Michael Vick, be leader, get mad, forget the past, we got your back if you show moxie

    • atlvickfan

      Michael Vick, more than any other player in the league, is not allowed to get mad. Any show of emotion from him and the media will jump on him, calling him an ungrateful sociopath who should be lucky he has a job. He knows this as well as anyone, and that’s why he says things in postgame press conferences like “I support the coach even if he benches me” even if that’s exactly the opposite of what he thinks.

      • The Guru

        Ah no. This is a contract year for Vick and he’s saying all the right things because he wants one final pay day.

        • http://www.facebook.com/randy.dowling.5 Randy Dowling

          Vick signed a six year deal in August of 2011. This is not a contract year.

          • The Guru

            Wanna bet? They can cut him after this year….

          • http://www.facebook.com/randy.dowling.5 Randy Dowling

            They can cut him now. NFL Contracts aren’t guaranteed from year to year. With your reasoning, every player in the NFL is in a contract year.

          • The Guru

            Idiot…they have an out after this year to get out without any financial penalty. It was a 2 year deal with an out for the Eagles AFTER this season. So this is a contract year. Do your homework next time moron

          • http://www.facebook.com/randy.dowling.5 Randy Dowling

            No need to call anyone names. You’re right about the option to cut Vick. The rest of his contract is year to year. The Eagles could take the option to cut him two days into the the 2013 waiver period with no loss. Regardless, this won’t be his last pay day.

      • saunhi

        Vick has always been liked by other players and coaches. In the last few weeks, Ray Lewis, Mike Ditka and many others have given kudos to Vick for at least surviving with this decimated O-line.

      • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

        Are you talking about the Michael Vick that put his middle fingers up at the fans in Atlanta?

        • atlvickfan

          At the fans who were yelling the N-word at Alge Crumpler? Yes

  • The Guru

    Eagles fans are a smart bunch. It’s just a wrong group of players assembled poorly. Doesn’t anyone remember the Redskins when they added huge free agents year after year? These players are out for themselves….plain and simple. Jason Babin might say the right things, but he cares about his sack total….not about winning. DeSean Jackson cares about getting paid….not about winning. Trent Cole cares about hunting…not about winning. Brent Celek cares about making first down signs after a 8 yard catch he SUPPOSED to make….not about blocking or winning. You lose with hollow players like this. It’s a team full of Bobby Abreau’s….

    The guys I feel bad for are the guys who truly want to win. McCoy, Ryans etc. I can only imagine what they both think looking at a guy like Jason Babin….

    • Loke2112

      You lost me when you picked on Celek as he is the last one on offense you should criticize.

      • The Guru

        Celek can’t block ANYONE. There’s more to the position than catching 12 yard passes and standing up like an idiot when you’re down 24-7. The fact people think he’s isn’t a problem is mind boggling.

    • FMWarner

      I don’t know how anyone watching on TV is privy to who “wants to win”.

      • The Guru

        There’s a lot you don’t know…

    • Brian

      Its funny that you go after Cole. Everyone loved the man for his entire career, then he has 7 bad games, and suddenly he doesn’t care about winning? Where the hell did that narrative come from? Did it ever occur to you that maybe he’s just (gasp) getting old?

  • saunhi

    Vick’s challenges this year are BECAUSE OF the O-line injuries. He tried to compensate and save the day with forced throws and runs. (Based on the Detroit game, he seems tougher than ever).

    Ditka (ESPN) weighed-in last week while reviewing ATL game clips – He said with this O-line they have no choice but to run 40-times each game, FORWARD not sideways:)

    • The Guru

      And his struggles last year were????

      • digits

        The result of no offseason, number 1 WR didn’t want to play, number 2 WR was sick with an unidentified ailment . Go back to the RnR boards

        • The Guru

          Keep making excuses for him. Last year was the receivers, this year the o-line. Learn this game son….

  • chad

    I no longer enjoy going to the Eagles games. It feels more of a chore than the fun event it used to be. The ushers/security walk around telling people who are standing up and cheering to sit down. People in suits come around with fan behavior guidelines. The eagles seem now more than ever to be milking as much money from the fans as possible. They don’t even have anything at halftime anymore. Very lame gameday experience

    • philliesfan136

      @chad, Don’t you mean LAME DAY, experience ?

      • chad

        Perfect

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    I think “stale” is a great word to describe the Eagles. The reason the Linc went quiet is because, after a couple of series, we knew what the outcome was going to be. Good teams will play bad every once in a while, and bad teams will play good every once in a while. The Eagles are bad.

  • philliesfan136

    Message to Mr. Jeffery Lurie……Your team has not won a super Bowl in 19 years. “We want to win multiple championships.” Your team has been on decline for the last 3 years ( 2009: 10-6, 2010: 9-7, 2011: 8-8 ), and will probably go 7 and 9 this year, at best.

    “Our franchise will be the GOLD STANDARD of the NFL.” Your current coach, has not won you or your teams fans, a championship in 14 years ! “The definition of INSANITY, is doing the same things, over and over. ”

    After 2 of the worst drafts this franchise has ever had, ( 2010 draft picks that have been busts, below average, or can’t get on the field and are only special teamers, at best : 13 draft picks – Brandon Graham, Daniel Te’o Nesheim, Trevard Lindley, Keenan Clayton, Mike kafka, Ricky Sapp, Charles Scott, Jamar Chaney, Jeffs Owens and Kurt ” pump fake ” Coleman ) – ( 2011 draft – 11 draft picks: Danny Watkins, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Curtis Marsh, Casey Matthews, Dion Lewis, Julian Vandervelde, Brian Rolle, Greg Lloyd ) Nobody really mentions the 2009 draft, because they got Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy….. but don’t forget they drafted 8 players in that draft and they cut 6 of them. That’s 2 out of 8! Here is a absolutely ridiculous quote from Jeffery Lurie, about Howie Roseman, prior to the 2011 season. “He’s one of the brightest guys in the league, and i’m very excited about what ‘Howie’ brings to the draft. Between 2009 and 2011, the Eagles drafted 32 players. Out of those 32 players, they have retained 12 players. Out of the 12 players that they have kept on their 53 man roster – 9 of them currently are starters – out of those starters, only 1 has gone to the Pro Bowl ( LeSean McCoy ), and 3 of those starters are only starting by necessity ( i.e. – Danny Watkins, Brandon Graham, and Kurt Coleman ) The summation is this : 3 drafts – 32 players …… 1 pro bowler ( McCoy ) 3 very good players ( Kelce, Henrey, Maclin ) 4 just o.k. players ( Allen, Harbor, Havili, Graham ) 2 players who currently only play by necessity ( Watkins , Coleman ). Jeffery, this is not drafting by one of the BRIGHTEST guys in the NFL ! There are 9 games left in the season, Mr. Lurie, …….. then the time will be yours !

    • Dave

      Mate you hit the nail on the head, not good enough. Can’t win with those stats, our drafting in the last few years hasn’t been up to par. Terrible.