PHILADELPHIA ‚?? Andy Reid has been fired by nearly everyone except the man in charge.
It‚??s a foregone conclusion in Philadelphia and around the NFL that Reid will coach his last game with the Eagles on Sunday at the New York Giants. Fans already have a wish list for a new coach and the media has speculated for months about Reid‚??s successor.
But owner Jeffrey Lurie has said nothing. Lurie hasn‚??t spoken to reporters since Aug. 30, which is when he said another 8-8 season would be ‚??unacceptable.‚?Ě
A careful look at the questions Lurie faced and his exact answers during that news conference leaves open the possibility that maybe Reid may not get fired.
It doesn‚??t seem likely that he‚??ll step down.
‚??I want to coach. That‚??s what I want to do,‚?Ě Reid said Friday.
Reid has one year left on his contract, so Lurie made it clear the last time he spoke publicly that he wouldn‚??t discuss a contract extension with Reid‚??s agent, Bob LaMonte, until after the season.
‚??Again, I am not going to make blanket statements,‚?Ě Lurie said. ‚??I really wanted to try to explain to you that 8-8 was unacceptable. Yeah, I guess if two-thirds of the team is not playing, there are always exceptions. That was a really unacceptable outcome. I just want to reiterate that.‚?Ě
At no point did Lurie say he would fire Reid if the team didn‚??t make the playoffs. However, the widespread assumption after that news conference was that Reid had to take the Eagles deep in the playoffs to keep his job.
But Lurie left himself an out when he said ‚??there are always exceptions.‚?Ě
Here are five reasons why Lurie could keep Reid for one more year:
1. Reid is due to make $6 million in 2013. That‚??s a lot of money to pay a guy to go away.
2. A slew of injuries never allowed the Eagles to get in a rhythm on offense. 3. The Eagles had too much turmoil on defense. 4. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles and rookie running back Bryce Brown were bright spots on offense in a dismal season. Reid made his mark in the NFL by helping develop Brett Favre in Green Bay.
5. Reid has complete support in the locker room.
This already was a tough year for Reid before the Eagles even started playing games that count. Reid endured a devastating loss just weeks before the season opener when his oldest son, Garrett Reid, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.
Lurie said that wouldn‚??t factor into his decision.
Still, it‚??s difficult to imagine a personal tragedy of that magnitude didn‚??t even affect Reid‚??s coaching. Lurie and Reid have had a close working relationship throughout their 14 seasons together.
Maybe Lurie lets Reid finish out his contract. It may cause a riot among the fans, but the city loves its Eagles and the stadium is always full.
1 p.m. Sunday