LANDOVER, Md. – It isn’t just the rest of the NFL world that is talking about the end of the Andy Reid era with the Eagles.
The players are now starting to see the writing on the wall.
Three veteran Eagles said that Sunday’s 31-6 loss to the Redskins was likely the final nail in the coffin for their head coach.
“I know it. I know it,” said one defensive player that requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject. “And the only reason I’m here is because of Andy. Some vets have been talking about how the next [coach] may want his own guy.”
Of the many players sampled, all said that they remained fiercely loyal to Reid. Several, like tackle King Dunlap, said that they believed they still had a chance to turn the season around and save Reid’s job.
“In my opinion, he’s the best coach in the NFL,” Dunlap said. “I can’t imagine them getting anyone better to replace him.”
Reid was asked if he expected to be able to finish out the season as head coach.
“We need to get ready for the Monday night game,” was all he answered.
Jeffrey Lurie was not available for comment. A team spokesman said that the Eagles owner would not answer questions. Lurie said before the season that he would not talk about Reid or his team’s performance until after the season.
Still, with the Eagles 3-7 and Lurie’s preseason ultimatum that Reid needed to deliver a “substantial improvement” upon last season’s 8-8 finish hanging over the Eagles, it is clear that Reid is as close to be fired as he’s ever been.
Lurie has never fired a coach mid-season. During his first season as owner, the Eagles lost their final seven games of the season and finished 7-9, at which point Rich Kotite was fired. The Eagles went 3-13 in 1998 under Ray Rhodes, but Lurie waited again until after the season to dismiss his coach.
Tight end Brent Celek was asked what he thought the Eagles’ front office’s reaction was to the team’s six-game losing streak.
“I wouldn’t be happy if I was them,” Celek said. “I’m sure they’re not. This is a talented team and us players, we’re not making plays. I don’t get it.”
If Reid goes he won’t be the only one.