|Is Reid's future in Philly contingent on dumping his defensive coordinator? (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
Last Thursday, the Eagles were outclassed by the Seahawks. The loss dropped them to 4-8, and in the process raised more questions about head coach Andy Reid's future in Philadelphia.
It's an odd situation for Reid; he's in his 13th season as the Eagles' coach and he's won 60 percent of the time. Only twice previously has he had a losing record. Eight times the Eagles have won at least 10 games, and that includes seven division titles and one conference championship.
But now, after assembling the Dream Team only to watch Philly lose twice as often as it wins, Reid's job security is tenuous. He hired longtime Eagles offensive assistant Juan Castillo to be the defensive coordinator (that experiment has somehow gone worse than you could ever imagine) and according to a report over the weekend, the only way Reid keeps stays in Philly is if he cans Castillo.
On Wednesday, Reid was asked about the "It's you or Juan" report.
“Nobody has approached me on it,” he said, according to Philadelphia Sports Daily. “My mind is to continue to get better as coaches and players. My mind goes no further than that. That’s where I’m at. We’re right in the middle of this thing and we have to continue to get better; that’s what we have to do.”
Reid added that he is in frequent contact with owner Jeffrey Lurie and team president Joe Banner and while the season has been full of frustrations, everyone's on the same page.
On Monday, Reid said that he hadn't had time to think about his future, but did offer an explanation for the Eagles' struggles this season.
"If you stay in one place long enough, age catches all players no matter how great they are; they're going to outplay their career and you've got to rebuild it," he said on his radio show, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McClane. "We're going through that. You look down the middle of our defense and we are young, young.
"People perceive us to be an old football team, but we're really not an old football team. We're one of the youngest teams in the [NFL]. That takes time."
On the one hand, Reid's right: the Eagles are the sixth-youngest team in the league (average age: 25.8). On the other hand, if he's going with that defense, how does he explain this: the Eagles made the playoffs last season with the fourth-youngest roster, according to ESPN's Mike Sando. (Note: Sando's list is from July 2010 and includes undrafted free agents and unsigned draft choices. Given that most of those players are in their early 20s, it artificially lowers the average. But assuming that each NFL team, on average, cuts the same number of these players before the regular season means that the Eagles were still one of the NFL's youngest organizations.)
McClane writes that the Eagles players still support Reid, including quarterback Michael Vick.
"We've had our bad breaks, games that we should have won . . . and just couldn't pull it out - whether we did it on offense or defense," Vick said. "Honestly, I just don't think Coach Reid had anything to do with that.
"We all have watched the games, we've all seen it, we were all a part of it, we know the reasons why we didn't pull them out, and it wasn't coach's fault. To hear that, it kind of upsets me."
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