After recognizing the two honorees Lurie handed the floor over to Vincent, who was promptly steered into talking about the ails of the 2012 club.
“I just see a lack of leadership,” Vincent began, the owner just a few paces to his left. Not even in a celebration of the past could the woes of the present be avoided. Lurie stood there and absorbed it all before heading back underground.
That was how the night started. It ended with a 30-22 loss to the Panthers, pushing the losing streak to seven games and the Eagles into basement of the NFC. Most significantly, it put the Eagles’ loss total on the year at eight games. Lurie stated that 8-8 would not be good enough for Andy Reid to earn a 15th season. Reid can now do no better.
“Listen, we’re going to keep battling. I’m going to control what I can control, and that’s getting better as a team, and I have to do a better job with that,” said Reid, when reminded of the Lurie edict. “I’m not worried about all the other things. I’m worried about winning football games and making sure I get my players coached up where we do a better job with that.”
Has he been assured by Lurie that he will be able to finish the season?
“We really haven’t talked about that,” said Reid. “He’s been supportive. He’s competitive as anybody and wants to win games. That’s what he’s in this business for. But we really haven’t gone there.”
A request to speak to Lurie after the game was turned down by the Eagles.
History suggests that Lurie will allow Reid to coach the remaining five games. He let Rich Kotite and Ray Rhodes cross the finish line; there is plenty of reason to believe that he will give Reid the same opportunity.
Then there will be change, so long as Lurie is true to his words.
While the 8-8 remark has been perhaps the driving story line of the season, at least one prominent player in the Eagles locker room had no idea what Lurie had said.
“Ooh, he said that? Damn,” said Trent Cole. “Jesus Christ. Hey, that’s for the administrator. I’ve got nothing to do with that. I’m a player. I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do. Whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do it.”
Jeremy Maclin was asked if there was going to be a “red alert” with Reid now that the team can do no better than their 2011 record.
“I have no idea. I have no idea,,” said Maclin. “I have always been a Coach Reid guy. I am never, ever going to quit on my team, my coach or this city.
“Can’t worry about that. Like I said, I’m a Coach Reid guy and I love the guy to death, but we can’t get caught up in all that.”
As the outcome of Monday’s game became apparent the signs began being pulled out in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field. One fan wore a ski mask and held a sign that said, “Hey Andy, We’ve Been Robbed!” There were others requesting Jon Gruden be the next coach, and so on.
But the biggest sign was rolled out towards the very end, stretching across almost an entire section. In bold letters it read:
“JEFF, THIS IS ON YOU.”
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