Lurie: 8-8 isn't good enough for Reid to return
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Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie issued an ultimatum Thursday to his head coach: Another 8-8 season won’t cut it.
Lurie, holding his annual state-of-the-franchise press conference before kickoff of the Eagles-Jets preseason game, said he expected to see “substantial improvement” this season and suggested that Reid wouldn’t see the final year of his contract if the Eagles disappointed.
After saying that he doesn’t “have a level or anything like that” to determine whether Reid returns in 2013 for his final year, Lurie was asked if another 8-8 season could save Reid’s job.
“No, it would not,” he said.
Asked later to clarify that remark, given that injuries and other factors could threaten the success of any single season, Lurie backpedaled just slightly on his decree.
“Listen, you’ve just got to make the best decisions you can after the season,” he said. “But as I said, 8-8 was unacceptable.”
Pressed once more on the topic, Lurie again spoke directly.
“Again, I’m not going to make blanket statements, but I really wanted to try to explain to you that 8-8 was unacceptable,” he said. “I guess if two-thirds of the team is not playing, there’s always exceptions. But that was a really unacceptable outcome. I just really wanted to reiterate that.”
Reid, entering his 14th season as head coach, is signed through 2013 and has never entered the final year of his contract (see Reid's response)
. But Lurie said the longtime coach’s contract wouldn’t be addressed until after this season is over.
Reid’s agent, Bob LaMonte, showed up at Lehigh a few weeks ago and caused a stir in the middle of training camp when he spoke with reporters and reminded them that Lurie has told him that Reid will be the only one who determines whether or not he coaches the Eagles.
Lurie quickly issued a statement combating the agent’s statements (see story)
Asked about the mid-August exchange, Lurie said he and LaMonte maintain a great relationship and that he didn’t interpret LaMonte’s remarks as a power-play from Reid. Nonetheless, Lurie was disappointed that LaMonte went public with contract discussion.
“Just because it’s not the way I operate,” Lurie said. “We have a very set philosophy. We don’t talk publicly about contracts with coaches. We don’t talk publicly about the performance of the key executives and coaches. We don’t do that.
“There would never have been a situation where I would make a commitment that wasn’t philosophically consistent with what I’ve always done -- which is just be very analytical and try to stand back and make judgements.”
Lurie also said the death of Reid’s son, Garrett, during training camp wouldn’t impact his decision on Reid’s fate.
“Andy will always have our sympathy and support, but this is a business and you’re there to win and win big,” he said. “You have to separate the two. All the analysis will be on Andy Reid, the coach.”
As for his recent divorce from Christina Weiss Lurie, an ownership partner, Lurie insisted that day-to-day operations of the Eagles would remain unchanged.
“I’ve always structured this franchise around having complete control, 100 percent voting and total final decision-making,” he said. “That continues.”E-mail Geoff Mosher at email@example.com.