Thursday, December 25, 2014

Players feel sad and guilty

Eagles players react to Reid's firing

Players feel sad and guilty

LeSean McCoy. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
LeSean McCoy. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Cullen Jenkins could just shake his head and say, "He took all of the heat for all of our failures on the field."

And so it went, on the day Eagles fired coach Andy Reid.

The press was allowed into the NovaCare Complex at 11 am, an hour after Reid addressed the team following his firing. Several players said the team gave Reid a standing ovation when he was finished talking. Then, the ritual collection of belongings in trash bags began. Most of the players were gone by the time reporters entered the locker room.

For those who were there, several feelings were common and pervasive: regret, disappointment, sadness for Reid, guilt at the part that they played in his demise. But, as safety Kurt Coleman said, "I can't say I feel guilty because I gave everything I had on every play. But, as a player, do I feel I had a hand in it? Absolutely."

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"He's meant so much to us," said rookie quarterback Nick Foles. "He's been our leader. He's been our rock. It's tough on the players. It's just one of those days, a tough day."

When asked about the final team meeting, running back LeSean McCoy said, "He had a lot of relationships with a lot of different players. It was definitely emotional, for me as well. The whole meeting was...We just felt his pain. Being in a place for so long, and being so successful..."

This firing was hardly unexpected. As the weeks rolled on, and the losses mounted, it was impossible for the players not to contemplate this day. Still, well..

I was hoping for the best," wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said, on a day that was the worst for the people in the Eagles' locker room.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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