Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made his annual state of the team address Thursday afternoon, prior to the team’s exhibition finale against the New York Jets, and said that another 8-8 season would not be enough to save 14-year head coach Andy Reid.
“No, it would not,” Lurie said.
Asked later about a spate of injuries or something like that, Lurie later said, “I’m not going to make blanket statements...I guess if two-thirds of the team is not playing, there’s always exceptions.”
But, he added -- several times -- that a repeat of the team’s 8-8 finish from 2011 would not be acceptable.
Lurie said that he would not even be considering a contract extension -- Reid’s current deal expires after the 2013 season -- until after the season is over. “I live to evaluate everything,” he said. “...I reflect and analyze afterward.”
The owner was asked about how the team’s personal feelings for Reid -- especially given the recent death of his son, Garrett -- might complicate that post-season evaluation. Lurie replied that it would not.
“He will always have our sympathy and support,” Lurie said. “But this is a business. You’re there to win and win big. You have to separate the two.”
Lurie reiterated that the breakup of his marriage would result in no changes for the franchise and that Christina Weiss Lurie would remain one of the team’s limited partners. He said that the organizational structure leaves him with 100 percent of the key decision-making power, including the decision on Reid’s future.
In 2012, Lurie said he expects a “substantially improved team,” and that the franchise’s failure to win a Super Bowl under his ownership remains a gaping hole in his resume.
“It’s a big emptiness because I feel like we’ve accomplished everything else,” he said. “...It’s almost all I think about...It’s kind of the one remaining goal. I think we’ve got the means to do it. Hopefully, we can make it happen.”
Lurie said that there are always caveats in the NFL -- that he believed Green Bay was the best team in the league last year but the Packers didn’t win a playoff game. He did not say the Eagles were as good as the Packers, but he does believe they are in the Super Bowl hunt.
“I do think this team has all the ingredients to get there,” he said.