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News » Eagles - Big surprise: Andy Reid takes blame for Eagles poor starts


Eagles - Big surprise: Andy Reid takes blame for Eagles poor starts


Eagles - Big surprise: Andy Reid takes blame for Eagles poor starts
OK, STOP ME if you've heard this one before - because you probably have. A coach walks into a news conference to try to explain his team's disappointing performance . . .


"I can go down each position and find fault," the coach says, before stopping himself. "Right now, I'm not in a rational state of mind. It starts with me, and I'm negligent there."

Since this is appearing in a special section devoted to this week's Eagles game, you can probably guess the coach in question. The game in context, though, is not Sunday's disappointing tie against the Bengals, but rather a 44-17 loss to the Colts in Andy Reid's first season . . . 10 years ago.

How about this one?

"This loss is on me. I need to do a better job of preparing my Football team. It starts with me."

That would be Reid after the Buccaneers undressed the Eagles, 17-0, in the 2003 opening of Lincoln Financial Field. The following week, the Patriots came to the Linc and unleashed a 31-10 drubbing that dropped the Eagles to 0-2.

"We have to go back and analyze ourselves, and I have to start with me," he said after the New England game. "We have to get this thing turned around and get ready to go. We'll do that in the next couple of weeks."

Remember last season's last-second loss to the Bears when the Eagles' defense made Brian Griese look like Joe Montana?

"I would say this - that we can get better everywhere." (Remember, this is Year No. 9.) "It starts with me, all the way down. Everybody can step up their game."

Reid made similar remarks following losses in NFC Championship Games and in Super Bowl XXXIX. But what started as a valiant attempt to deflect the blame for his players' inadequacies has evolved into a pattern in which maybe the coach is right; maybe he is the problem.

That Reid also carries the title of executive vice president of Football operations and has such a heavy hand in determining the players on his roster only reinforces the notion.

Optimism - misguided, feigned or otherwise - is one statistic the Eagles will always lead the league in. They are 5-4-1 heading into Sunday and will tell anyone listening that they are mathematically still alive for the playoffs.

The Eagles probably need to win five of the final six to have a realistic chance, not that they've done anything lately to suggest they could make such a surge: can't stop the run against the Giants, can't score against the Bengals, can't make third-and-shorts, can't win close games.

While closing the season with a run to the playoffs is a lot to ask, a little urgency the rest of the way is not.

It starts at the top.

Back to mediocritySince the Phillies won the World Series on Oct. 29, the combined record for the Eagles, Flyers and Sixers is 10-10-1-1. That would be 10 wins, 10 losses, one loss in a shootout and one tie in the only major pro sport that still has ties.

Don't forget JameelStarting quarterback Joe Flacco (Audubon High) isn't the only Ravens player with deep ties to Philadelphia.

Jameel McClain, a George Washington High product, was the only rookie free agent to make the Ravens out of training camp. McClain, who went to Syracuse, is third on the team with 13 special-teams tackles. In his first snap at linebacker, McClain dropped Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell for a safety in Week 8. *



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 21, 2008

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