Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says Andy Reid will return

January 3, 2012 3:59:40 PM PST
Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie said on Tuesday that he was angry about the way the season went for the Birds, but also said he wants to see what head coach Andy Reid can do next season.

In other words: Andy Reid will be back.

"If I didn't think next year would be substantially better, I would be up here announcing a coaching change."

Lurie said he couldn't just look at this past season, but Reid's whole track record.

"I had to look at the history of the coach as well as other intangibles," said Lurie.

He continued "This coach and his staff have a superb track record of getting to the tournament."

Reid has the "fire in his belly" to take the team to the playoffs, said Lurie. "The players want to come here and play for Andy."

Continuing his support of Reid, Lurie said "This is a man open to change. There is very little rigidity." Lurie also said Reid is "completely non-arrogant" and blames himself for team mistakes.

Eagles fans had their varying views on this decision.

"I'm upset I think Andy Reid should've been fired. A very poor season, as Jeffrey Lurie said, the last four games were against bad teams," Michael Aruffo of South Philadelphia said.

"I can't believe it, I mean, I like Andy Reid, he's got a good record, but if you can't get a team to jell as much talent as they had, something's wrong," Sean Storey of Pine Hill, New Jersey said.

"Everyone hates Andy Reid, but I like him; I blame Juan Castillo, he shouldn't have been in that spot," Jared DiFilippo of Oreland, Pa. said.

The owner of the Philadelphia Eagles did not mince words when he took the podium for a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, a few days after his team ended the season without making the playoffs.

Lurie started off by saying it was a "very unusual season," then went on to say it was "without question the most disappointing season since I've owned the team."

Lurie also said he wanted to speak at times by "held myself back."

The Eagles owner also said that, in the pre-season, he did not view the teams as others did, predicting a playoff run and possible Super Bowl win. Instead, Lurie said, he thought that Green Bay and New Orleans were the most formidable teams in the NFC.

The Eagles struggled early this season and never recovered. A four-game winning streak at the end came too late and they finished 8-8, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and just the fourth time in coach Andy Reid's 13 seasons.

After an offseason spending spree brought several accomplished players to Philadelphia and added to a roster that already featured Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles were the talk of the NFL. They were defending NFC East champions and seemingly on the rise.

Various factors contributed to a four-game losing streak that dropped the Eagles to 1-4 and doomed them from the beginning. Vick couldn't finish two games in September because of injuries, the offense made critical turnovers and the defense struggled mightily as new players tried to adjust to new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's system.

Finishing games was a problem, too. The Eagles lost five games in which they led in the fourth quarter. One play could've made the difference in a season where the division was mediocre. The Eagles weren't eliminated from playoff contention until right before their next-to-last game kicked off and they ended up second behind the New York Giants (9-7).


The Associated Press contributed to this report.