Philly’s Reid may not be on way out

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - Byrob maaddi

PHILADEL­PHIA — 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 level of success 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 88 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 as­sump­tion was that Reid had to take the Ea­gles deep in the play­offs to keep his job. Be­cause the Ea­gles are out of the play­offs, it seems in­evitable that Reid’s days are num­bered.

But Lurie said, “There are al­ways ex­cep­tions.”

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