To say that L.J. Smith ripped into Andy Reid during a radio interview today would be unfair.
But to say he was critical of the way his former coach handled things last season would be accurate.
Smith appeared on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio today and suggested that communication isn't exactly one of Reid's strengths. I haven't been able to get my hands on a podcast of the interview, so the quotes you see are courtesy of NFL.com.
“There were a lot of things that I felt like should have been handled differently,” Smith said. “You know, there were a couple of times where Coach (Andy Reid) should have came up to me and told me what what going on and how he was looking at things and how he was handling situations and what direction he wanted to go, but it didn’t happen like that.
“As a player, you never want to hear things through the media. Everyone’s wrong, and everyone obviously had to do the right thing to get to this point in the NFL, and you just want to be treated like that. You want to be treated like a man before an athlete. I think a lot of times in the NFL, coaches forget that. They're so involved with the numbers and schemes, and they forget how to approach a player, and I just felt like a couple of times throughout the season last year, there were a couple of coaches who forgot that.”
Per the report, Smith said he was "treated like a number" and added that he has not spoken with Reid.
“I don’t want to come across bitter or anything like that because as long as I’m in the NFL, that’s a blessing in itself,” Smith said. “I’m definitely grateful for my experience there -- good or bad. However, it’s one of those things where the coach knows. He knows how he should have handled the situation, and I don’t have to tell him. But if I see him, there’s no hard feelings.”
Eagles fans will look at this in one of two ways.
On the one hand, it would appear Reid and his coaching staff have a communication problem. You can go back to last season when Reid didn't tell Donovan McNabb he was being benched. Then there was the confusion with Brian Dawkins' departure. Joe Banner said he had no idea Dawkins felt the way he did after they met to talk about a new contract. Later in the offseason, Tra Thomas criticized the Eagles for being too business-like. And now there's Smith.
On the other hand, you could argue that the situations above involve players who are bitter and didn't criticize Reid until they left town. In each instance, the Eagles did not offer the players what they wanted, and that could create the sore feelings.
Where does the MTC readership stand on the issue? Do Reid and the Eagles' management have a communication problem? Or are the former players just bitter?