Redskins

Maybe Andy Reid isn't going anywhere

201212231541564854636-p2.jpeg

Maybe Andy Reid isn't going anywhere

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Andy Reid has been fired by nearly everyone except the man in charge.

It's a foregone conclusion in Philadelphia and around the NFL that Reid will coach his last game with the Eagles on Sunday at the New York Giants. Fans already have a wish list for a new coach and the media has speculated for months about Reid's successor.

But owner Jeffrey Lurie has said nothing. Lurie hasn't spoken to reporters since Aug. 30, which is when he said another 8-8 season would be ``unacceptable.''

A careful look at the questions Lurie faced and his exact answers during that news conference leaves open the possibility that maybe Reid may not get fired.

It doesn't seem likely that he'll step down.

``I want to coach. That's what I want to do,'' Reid said Friday.

Reid has one year left on his contract, so Lurie made it clear the last time he spoke publicly that he wouldn't discuss a contract extension with Reid's agent, Bob LaMonte, until after the season.

After that statement, Lurie was asked six straight questions about Reid's future. Here's the questions and responses:

-Does there need to be a certain level of success on the field for Reid to receive a contract extension?

``It goes beyond that but there's no question what I said was we need substantial improvement,'' Lurie said.

- Did you set a level of what qualifies as a successful season?

``I don't have a level or anything like that,'' Lurie said. ``I just want to be clear about that. You just try to make the best judgment you can after the season.''

-Would another 8-8 season be considered satisfactory?

``No, it would not,'' Lurie said.

-Will you know after the season whether it was successful?

``I do. I think it will be very clear,'' Lurie said.

-Does your statement on an 8-8 season have qualifiers, including potential injuries?

``Listen, you just have to make the best decisions you can after the season,'' Lurie said. ``As I said, 8-8 was unacceptable.''

-Regardless of injuries, is an 8-8 season unacceptable?

``Again, I am not going to make blanket statements,'' Lurie said. ``I really wanted to try to explain to you that 8-8 was unacceptable. Yeah, I guess if two-thirds of the team is not playing, there are always exceptions. That was a really unacceptable outcome. I just want to reiterate that.''

At no point did Lurie say he would fire Reid if the team didn't make the playoffs. However, the widespread assumption after that news conference was that Reid had to take the Eagles deep in the playoffs to keep his job. Because the Eagles are 4-11 and out of the playoffs for the second straight year, it seems inevitable that Reid's days are numbered.

But Lurie left himself an out when he said ``there are always exceptions.''

Here are five reasons why Lurie could keep Reid for one more year:

1. Reid is due to make $6 million in 2013. That's a lot of money to pay a guy to go away. Sure, the Eagles have missed the playoffs two years in a row. But Reid is the winningest coach in franchise history. Nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five conference championship games and one Super Bowl loss is quite a resume.

2. A slew of injuries never allowed the Eagles to get in a rhythm on offense. The four best players - quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and left tackle Jason Peters - missed a combined 31 games. Center Jason Kelce missed the last 14 games, and Evan Mathis was the only lineman not to miss any. Though some players were hurt after the team started its slide, losing these key players didn't give Philadelphia much of a chance to bounce back.

3. The Eagles had too much turmoil on defense. Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo after six games. The decision to move Castillo from offensive-line coach to defense in 2011 was Reid's biggest mistake. But the defense struggled terribly after Castillo was dismissed. It wasn't until defensive-line coach Jim Washburn was fired with four games remaining that the defense started making progress under new coordinator Todd Bowles.

4. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles and rookie running back Bryce Brown were bright spots on offense in a dismal season. Reid made his mark in the NFL by helping develop Brett Favre in Green Bay. He drafted and turned Donovan McNabb into a six-time Pro Bowl QB. So, he certainly knows quarterbacks. Foles would have to start fresh in a new system if Reid and his coaching staff are let go.

5. Reid has complete support in the locker room. No one on the roster has said a negative word about the coach and any player asked says he wants him back.

This already was a tough year for Reid before the Eagles even started playing games that count. Reid endured a devastating loss just weeks before the season opener when his oldest son, Garrett Reid, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

Lurie said that wouldn't factor into his decision.

``You are there to win and win big and you have to separate the two. All of the analysis will be on Andy Reid the coach,'' Lurie said.

Still, it's difficult to imagine a personal tragedy of that magnitude didn't even affect Reid's coaching. Lurie and Reid have had a close working relationship throughout their 14 seasons together.

Maybe Lurie lets Reid finish out his contract. It may cause a riot among the fans, but the city loves its Eagles and the stadium is always full.

---

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter:https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Don't expect the Patriots' early-season slip up to come against the Redskins

Don't expect the Patriots' early-season slip up to come against the Redskins

When the weather outside becomes cold and the calendar turns to November or December, there's probably no team NFL opponents would rather avoid than the New England Patriots. The dominant franchise and defending champions always seem to get stronger as the season goes on. However, in the opening weeks, they sometimes show a vulnerability we're not used to seeing.

In recent years, New England has been prone to dropping an early-season contest that makes you go "Really? They lost to that team?" or "You just don't usually seem the Patriots play like that." In 2018 it was a Sunday night loss to the Lions that dropped them to 1-2. They followed that up with six consecutive wins. The year prior, a surprise last-second loss to the Panthers in Week 4 put the Patriots at 2-2. The team then won 11 of 12 games to close out the regular season.

Keep going back, the trend remains the same. In the end, New England always figures it out and rights the ship, but it shows that the formula to taking down the power of the NFL could just be getting a lucky draw on the schedule.

That's where the Redskins come into play. Slated to face the Patriots at home in Week 5 following four tough games to open up the season, Washington could most definitely use an upset no matter their record. 

Being that it is a relatively early-season game, and adding in the fact that New England does have a lot of questions to answer despite coming off yet another Super Bowl, there is reason to think the Redskins could be this year's "slip-up" game for the Patriots. Yet according to NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry, they may be one week too late.

"Unfortunately for Redskins fans I would say almost 100 percent of the time by Week 5 they have it figured out," Perry said on the Redskins Talk Podcast. "It's the first four weeks that have at times been a disaster."

Based on past showings, that does seem to be the case for the Patriots. New England hasn't lost a Week 5 matchup since 2013, and they entered that contest already sitting at 4-0. Perry also used the "We're on to Cincinnati" moment in 2014 to show how much of a swing their season takes once they hit Week 5. In that season, the Patriots rebounded from a rough showing against the Chiefs on Monday night to beatdown the Bengals and then rattle off six more wins. 

So, as much as Redskins fans want to believe that their team is in prime position to pull off the shocking win against the Patriots, the timing doesn't seem to be quite right. As Perry put it, there's always a point in the season where the switch is flipped. More often than not, "it's usually by Week 5."

While the Redskins may not catch the Patriots on their worst day in 2019, that isn't to say there is no chance Washington can come out on top. New England is entering the season with some things that still need to be ironed out, especially on the offensive side. Even if it is the daunted Week 5, Perry thinks that some of these problems may still be around.

"I think there are legitimate issues offensively for the Patriots this year both at receiver and tight end," Perry said. "I don't know if they're necessarily past those questions being answered by the time that Redskins game rolls around."

With Rob Gronkowski in retirement and Josh Gordon indefinitely suspended, some big weapons will be missing. That hasn't stopped the Patriots from getting production before, but Brady may not have as much to work with as he had in year's past. N'Keal Harry could emerge at the position, but he'll only have four games with Brady under his belt at that point.

When the teams meet in Week 5, Brady may just be working with one reliable target, and Perry believes that is an advantage for Washington.

"Outside of Julian Edleman, that receiver group is pretty weak," Perry said. "That would be the path to success for the Redskins I would say would be to really limit the passing game and keep it close that way."

Part of shutting down the passing game relies on getting pressure on Brady and giving him less time to sit in the pocket and pick apart the defense. With a strong front unit on their defense, the Redskins have a chance to do just that. But, it won't come easy against New England's offensive line.

"The offensive line up the middle is really good. It's been about as strong as it's been," Perry said. "That's one of the strongest parts of their team in all honesty."

Perry feels that if the Redskins are going to get to Brady, their best bet is to put a powerful and athletic body across from the smaller-sized center David Andrews and win that matchup.

If Washington can do that, there's a chance the passing game takes a hit, as Brady had some struggles last season when being pressured.

"He was bailing out of throws on pressure up the middle and that was forcing him into a lot of mistakes," Perry said of Brady during stretches of last season. "A lot of throwaways, some interception-worthy types of throws. So that's the kind of thing that the Redskins should be trying to do to make life difficult for them."

Week 5 promises to be an important one for Washington, and an upset win over New England could change the direction of the season. But, they can't bank on getting the Patriots off-game. Like always, a win against New England will be tough.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Wimbledon phenom Coco Gauff coming to D.C.'s Citi Open

gauff.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wimbledon phenom Coco Gauff coming to D.C.'s Citi Open

Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis sensation that stole hearts around the world at Wimbledon, will make an appearance at the 2019 Citi Open in Washington D.C. 

She awaits entrance into the event’s qualifying draw, where she will have the opportunity to win her way into the Citi Open’s main draw. Gauff does not earn direct entry into the main draw due to her No. 313 ranking that she held prior to Wimbledon when the event’s original field was announced. To become a qualifier for the main draw, the young American must win two matches in the qualifying tournament on July 27 and 28. 

The qualifying draw, and Gauff’s potential entrance will be announced at 4:00 p.m. ET on July 26. 

Whether selected for qualifying or not, Gauff will host the Citi Open Kids’ Day on Sunday, July 28. If she does not earn a spot into the qualifying field she will be on-site with a fan meet-and-greet on July 27 as well. 

Gauff is ineligible to receive one of the Citi Open’s wild cards into the main WTA draw as she has already used her maximum allotment of three as a 15-year-old. This will be only her third WTA event of 2019. 

“Coco’s story is a perfect fit with the history and mission of our tournament and, as potentially the next great American star, she also embodies our future and our re-imagination of this storied tennis event,” said Mark Ein, who owns management rights for the Citi Open, in a press release.  “Coco’s fairytale run at Wimbledon captured the hearts of fans worldwide and Washington D.C. cannot wait to host her first post-Wimbledon tennis appearance back in the United States at the Citi Open.  We hope she gets into the qualifying but if not, we will provide our community and her fans a great opportunity to meet her and watch her play and practice as she prepares for the US Open.”

At Wimbledon, Gauff rolled through the qualifying tournament and then upset seven-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams in the First Round. She continued her magical run to the Round of 16 where she would fall to eventual champion Simona Halep. 

Her world rankings have catapulted her to No. 141 in the world and put her in position to qualify for the U.S. Open over the next month. This will be her first action on the court since playing on the lawns in London. A run in Washington D.C. could help push the young American even closer to a main draw spot in New York. 

The Citi Open will be held from July 27 to August 4 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. The main ATP and WTA draws will begin play on Monday, July 29.

RELATED TENNIS NEWS: