Preps Talk

And the first NFL coach to be fired is...

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And the first NFL coach to be fired is...

From Comcast SportsNetEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Andy Reid is out after 14 years coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, three people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press following Sunday's 42-7 season-ending loss to the New York Giants.Reid is scheduled to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie on Monday to discuss his future and an official announcement will come afterward, according to one person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a final agreement hasn't been reached. That person says there's a chance Reid might remain with the team in some capacity.Reid is due to make 6 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract. He said he wants to coach next year, but it's possible Lurie could persuade him to take a season off and perhaps help out in the front office in an "advisory" role.Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko denied several reports that Lurie has already fired Reid, saying it's "absolutely, 100 percent" untrue.The Eagles (4-12) finished their worst season under Reid by losing 11 of their last 12 games. They missed the playoffs two straight years for the first time under Reid.After the ugly loss to the Giants (9-7), Reid sounded like a man who knew he was going to lose his job."We weren't very good," Reid said. "That's my responsibility and I take complete blame for it."Asked if he wants to return in 2013, Reid said: "I'm all in."Lurie said after the Eagles went 8-8 in 2011 that he considered firing Reid. He gave him another chance, but said before this season that 8-8 would be "unacceptable.""I go in eyes wide open," Reid said of his meeting with Lurie. "Either way, I understand. Whatever he chooses will be the right thing. He always does things for the best interests of the Eagles."Reid won more games (140) than any coach in franchise history. He led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl loss.But he couldn't win the big one and that's how he's measured in a city that hasn't celebrated an NFL title since 1960.The Eagles haven't won a playoff game since 2008 and took significant steps backward the last two years. They entered both seasons with high expectations only to fail miserably."We had quite a run," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said.Players said they expect changes, but continued to support Reid."He's a great man and I love him to death," said quarterback Michael Vick, who could've played his last game with the Eagles. "I wish I could've done more. A lot of players wish they could've done more. Coaches can't play the games."The Eagles talked all week about wanting to win one for Reid. Instead, they suffered another embarrassing loss to cap a dismal season."We came, we stunk it up and we lost. It was terrible. No heart," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said.Like Jenkins, Vick also questioned his teammates' desire before trying to clarify his comment."It's frustrating," Vick said. "It's difficult because, me, I leave it all out on the field and I give everything I got. Sometimes, I wish I could play other positions, but I can't."Vick was 19 of 35 for 197 yards, one TD and one interception in his first game since Nov. 11. He missed the previous six games, sitting out the first five with a concussion and then being inactive last week. Vick only got the start because rookie Nick Foles broke his hand.Vick is due to earn about 16 million next year, but the Eagles can release him without taking a financial hit. He wants to be a starter and is unsure whether he even wants to come back."I don't know. I have to take time to think about everything that's happened," Vick said.This already was a difficult year for Reid. He endured a devastating loss weeks before the season opener when his oldest son, Garrett Reid, died at training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.In October, Reid fired close friend and longtime assistant Juan Castillo, who was in his second season as defensive coordinator after coaching the offensive line for 13 years. He later fired defensive-line coach Jim Washburn.After beating the defending Super Bowl champion Giants on Sept. 30, the Eagles lost eight straight games -- their worst losing streak in 42 years.Before coming to Philadelphia, Reid was an offensive assistant for six seasons under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay and was instrumental in Brett Favre's growth. Reid inherited a team that went 3-13 under Ray Rhodes in 1998 and was a laughingstock in the NFL. He was an unpopular choice among fans in Philadelphia. But Reid won them over quickly by turning the Eagles into a playoff team in just his second season.Reid drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft and developed him into a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Reid and McNabb guided the Eagles to five straight playoff appearances from 2000-04. They went to the NFC title game four consecutive years, finally winning one in January 2005 over the Atlanta Falcons. But the Eagles lost to the New England Patriots 24-21 in the Super Bowl, and have missed the playoffs in four of the last eight years.Reid's tenure in Philadelphia included several controversial decisions. He brought in star wide receiver Terrell Owens here in 2004, finally giving McNabb a legitimate target. T.O. had an outstanding year, overcame a late-season injury and returned to have an excellent game in the Super Bowl. But Owens feuded with management and McNabb the next season and Reid kicked him off the team in November 2005.In 2009, Reid and Lurie gave Vick a second chance in the NFL after the former star quarterback had spent 18 months in federal prison for dogfighting charges. Vick took over as the starter in 2010, had a remarkable season and led the Eagles to the NFC East title.The decision to switch Castillo from offense to defense may have been Reid's worst mistake. The unusual move was heavily criticized and contributed to the defense's collapse."I'll always put it on the players," Jenkins said. "Coaches can only do so much. Players have to step up and make plays."Reid's stoic personality and bland news conferences annoyed fans and even some members of the media. He refused to call out players and always took the blame after each loss, saying he had to "do a better job" and "put players in better position to perform."While that didn't make him popular outside the locker room, Reid was respected by his players. They supported him to the end."He's a great coach, a great person. I love the guy," safety Kurt Coleman said.

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

CLASS 1A

Revealing the Class 1A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 1A Bracket

CLASS 2A

Revealing the Class 2A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 2A Bracket

CLASS 3A

Revealing the Class 3A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 3A Bracket

CLASS 4A

Revealing the Class 4A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 4A Bracket

Predicting Class 1A-4A

CLASS 5A

Revealing the Class 5A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 5A Bracket

CLASS 6A

Revealing the Class 6A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 6A Bracket

CLASS 7A

Revealing the Class 7A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 7A Bracket

CLASS 8A

Revealing the Class 8A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 8A Bracket

Class 7A and Class 8A Predictions

 

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

Keeping the game simple is often a tough task for rookies entering the NBA, but it seems Lauri Markkanen has been a quick learner in that aspect.

Through two games he’s probably the lone bright spot, especially after the Bulls’ cringe-inducing 87-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their home opener at the United Center.

Jumper not falling? Okay, go to the basket.

“It wasn’t falling so I tried to get to the rim a couple times,” Markkanen said. “At the end, I was like let’s do it and I connected on a 3-pointer, I felt more open just because I was at the rim. I think that helped.”

He was asked what the difference was in the second game of his career compared to the first.

“I mean the crowd was chanting for us (tonight),” Markkanen said, referring to Thursday in Toronto.

He wasn’t attempting to display any dry wit but applying common sense seems to work for him, even though he’s been thrust into a situation after an incident that doesn’t make any sense.

With Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the foreseeable future, playing a game-high 37 minutes will be more common than anomaly.

“Whatever your minutes are, you gotta play them to the best of your ability,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s being allowed to play through some mistakes right now. He’s gonna play heavy minutes every night.”

He only shot five of 14 but achieved his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds after a 17-point, eight-rebound debut against the Raptors Thursday.

No, someone didn’t open a door for a draft to come into the United Center on that three-pointer that went wide left, but it didn’t stop him from being assertive and continuing to look for his shot.

There was plenty of muck, easy to see on the stat sheet. The 38 percent shooting overall, the lack of penetration, the 29 percent shooting from 3-point range and 20 turnovers.

It’s not hard to imagine what Markkanen will look like with competent and effective NBA players around him, along with a true facilitating point guard that will find him in this offense.

“Markkanen is a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.”

He received a crash course, facing the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay Saturday night. On one instance, Gay drove baseline and made Markkanen buckle with a 3-point play.

Aldridge had 24 shots in 32 minutes as a new focal point with Kawhi Leonard out with injury.

So he’s not getting treated with kid gloves, nor is he backing down from the assignments.

“He didn’t shoot the ball well but he battled,” Hoiberg said. “He had a tough assignment with Pau, who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame one day. Good experience. He guarded Aldridge, Rudy Gay some. He battled, he fought them.”

Even with the airball, had the moment that gives the Bulls fans hope, when he drove on Gasol, spun and hooked a lefty layup while being fouled by the veteran in the first half—giving the United Center faithful something to have faith in for a moment.

“Sometimes you get labeled as a shooter. That’s the label Lauri had,” Hoiberg said. “But he really is a complete basketball player. He’s versatile, he can put in on the deck. He slides his feet very well for a guy that’s seven feet tall, someone his age. Yeah, he’s learning on the fly. He’s gonna have ups and downs, as young as he is. He’s gonna have some struggles at times. But he’s played pretty darn well for everything he’s been through, understanding two days ago he’s gonna be in the starting lineup.”

And for all the bad air around the Bulls right now, from the on-court product to the off-court drama that seems to follow them around like Pigpen, it would be even worse if Markkanen’s first two games had him looking like a corpse, or someone who would be a couple years away from reasonably contributing to an NBA team.

“He’s good, he’s very good,” Gasol said. “I like him. I like his game.”