The signs are pointing to And Reid being back next year as head coach of the Eagles.
If, that is, Big Red wants to come back. With a dearth of qualified head coaches in the NFL, Reid is in a position to leverage the Eagles - possibly for more years on a contract that expires in 2013 or for more autonomy over personnel.
NFL sources say Reid would be hired almost immediately if he leaves the Eagles despite going 13 years without a Super Bowl title.
Reid now has final say over his coaching staff, including the fate of embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan says he doesn't know what Reid will do. But knowing his counterpart, Shanahan offered insight into the hot-button issue around here.
"I don't know how Andy feels," Shanahan said. "Andy may say 'Hey, I think it's best for me to go. You guys can have this job. I'm going some place else.' Or maybe he would say 'Hey, let me finish my job.' You just don't know what goes on beyond closed doors with any head coach or any organization."
If DeSean Jackson is out of Philly after the Eagles' final game, as some believe, it's news to Michael Vick.
At his locker Wednesday, Vick playfully cautioned the media not to put "thoughts in anybody's head around here.
"I expect DeSean to be back next year," Vick said. "I expect him to continue to grow and excel as a player. So don't you guys go talking the talk and put any thoughts in anybody's head around here because it's not going to work."
Jackson's contract is up after this season. The Eagles can sign him to a new contract, put the franchise tag on him for $9.4 million and try to trade him or let him walk.
If Andy Reid is serious about playing a sub-100 percent LeSean McCoy against the Redskins, team president Joe Banner ought to step in and stop it.
It's absurd to put your best player and his twisted ankle on the field for anything more than a cameo in a ridiculously meaningless season finale.
All the Eagles need in this totally lost and regrettable season is to subject a player who can't do all of the things he previously could do (like protect himself) to a potentially serious injury. Eagles Nation will understand. This isn't a playoff game. Other than a less desirabie draft position there is nothing to be gained and the future to lose.
I'm hoping Reid just wants to string everyone along for the week, that he can't bear having anyone else preempt his injury reporting power and that his judgement in these matters is better than the clock management.
If he's serious about putting McCoy out there for four quarters, someone in that Eagles front office needs to do a Jerry Jones and end it.
McCoy is too valuable to play games with.
With no chance for a winning record and the futures of Pro Bowl talents DeSean Jackson and Asante Samuel uncertain, the Eagles could undergo significant change over the offseason.
Then there's the coaching staff. To save his job as head coach Andy Reid might have to relieve Juan Castillo, the defensive coordinator, of his duties.
Quarterback Michael Vick wants to keep it all together. If ownership is listening, that's coaches and players - keep it all together.
“You look at all
the teams that are winning Super Bowls in the last couple of years,” Vick said.
“Those teams have been together for a long time. That’s how leaders are born
and that’s how guys learn to step up and accept the challenge of their role in
the offense and the defense. There’s got to be a balance. You’ve got to have veteran
guys and leaders who have been together for a long time, who learn to become a
voice in the locker room. And these guys are doing it now.”
Just because a player is asked a ridiculous question doesn't mean he has to answer.
And so it was Tuesday for rookie linebacker Casey Matthews.
The Eagles need to win two games and pray for two other favorable outcomes to get into the playoffs. Their longest winning streak - two games. When Matthews was asked if the Eagles would be a dangerous team in the playoffs, he should have acknowledged how presumptuous the question was. After all, he's a rookie.
Instead he took it on and realizing how ridiculous it was, mentioned that at the end of his answer. Some film editor will cut that off and Matthews will come off as arrogant. Follow Bob Grotz on Twitter.
The Fighter came out in Juan Castillo a couple of weeks ago.
To see where the heads of his players were, the workaholic defensive coordinator cued up footage of the bouts between Micky Ward and the late Arturo Gatti, who went toe-to-toe without giving up an inch in a series of epic fights.
Ward's story ultimately was told in The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg (Vince Papale in Invincible).
I don't think it was a coincidence the Eagles shutdown the Dolphins' vaunted short-yardage running attack after they watched those fighters pound each other yet refuse to give in. Or that the Eagles dropped the Jets with a torrent of shots unleashed largely by the defense Sunday.
Castillo made his point and so did his players. More on that later.
After a rough start Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has hit his stride over the past two games.
His players appreciate it, starting with Jason Babin. With 18 sacks, he's just three away from tying the immortal Reggie White's club record set in just 12 games during the 1987 strike-shortened season.
Comedian Larry The Cable Guy stopped in Sunday to pitch the Prilosec OTC tailgate challenge (tailgateFan.com/challenge).
The Nebraska-born Cable Guy is quite the football fan. He's pals with Clete Blakeman, the referee for the Eagles-Jets contest.
"If you see him tell him I'm outside here working," the Cable Guy said of Blakeman, who played quarterback at Nebraska from 1983-87.
In addition to promoting a healthier tailgate and the Prilosec OTC contest with a door prize of Super Bowl tickets, The Cable Guy dropped a couple of good jokes on his fans. Follow Bob Grotz on Twitter.
Got to appreciate the creative effort the Eagles' website people used to illustrate the key to victory over the Jets.
The 'Angry Birds' pass rush in this cartoon getting after Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is essential to disrupting the timing of the offense. In it the Birds launch defensive linemen Jason Babin, Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins and Trent Cole at Sanchez (piloting the plane).
But the Eagles must stop the run to make this plan viable. They can expect to see a lot of running back Shonn Greene Sunday at the Linc. Follow Bob Grotz on Twitter.
The good news: quarterback Michael Vick attended the Wednesday practice where the Eagles put in their game plan.
Actually it's 3 cracked ribs.
It also indicates round-the-clock rehab isn't necessary for the cracked ribs on his throwing side. The bad news: Vick's ribs are too sore for him to practice. Remember, he's played just one game in four weeks because of the rib issue. This could go down to the wire.
The Eagles can be 86ed from the division pennant hunt right around the time they hit the field for their 4:15 p.m. kickoff Sunday with the New York Jets.
But they will be alive for a wild card berth when their game with the Jets begins.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, if the Cowboys, Giants, Falcons and Bears all win before the kickoff, the possibility would exist that the Eagles, Lions and Bears all could finish 8-8 and in a tie for the final wild card berth.
The Lions would beat the Bears in a division tiebreaker and Eagles-Lions would come down to strength of victory. That would depend on how the teams the Eagles and the Lions beat this year do in their final three games.
If Brent Celek, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and McCoy keep up the pace, the Eagles would become the third NFL team with five players catching 50 or more passes in the same season.
They also would have the worst record of all those teams. But who's counting?
The Patriots had five receivers with 50-plus receptions in 1994. Among the group - Michael Timpson (74) and Kevin Turner (52), who would become Eagles. Drew Bledsoe quarterbacked the Bill Parcells team that went 10-6.
The 1980 Browns went 11-5 with league MVP Brian Sipe at quarterback,
Sam Rutigliano the head coach.
By the way Celek's five drops trail only team leader Jackson (nine drops).
The Eagles signed wide receiver Steve Smith to a one-year $4 million contract near the end of training camp.
Didn't work out.
On Monday they put Smith on injured reserve, ending
the season of the veteran who caught 107 passes for the Giants in 2009 but just 11 in nine games with his new team. Smith also bagged a touchdown - against the Giants.
knee injury that reduced Smith’s 2010 season to nine games flared up. He
practiced fully last week but made the trip to Miami. He was scratched for the game against the Dolphins.
When the Eagles signed Smith, they said they weren't concerned about Jeremy Maclin, who was awaiting tests to see if he had cancer. Those tests were negative.
Despite their best efforts the Eagles couldn't find a role for Smith. They needed the roster space due to injuries on the defensive line.
The Eagles gave
Smith's roster spot to undrafted rookie defensive tackle Cedric Thornton, signed
off the practice squad.