I hate to see the Eagles’ 2011 season end abruptly… no winning record this year… so I will savor the final game this year against the Redskins at the Linc.
The Linc will be empty and the U-Haul’s will be on the highway soon enough… so one last hurrah in the attempt to finish at 8-8. Andy Reid says he is approaching Sunday’s finale against Washington as an opportunity to avoid the Eagles’ first losing season since 2005 and to close the season with a four-game winning streak that he hopes will build some confidence going into the offseason.
“We’re obviously disappointed about the outcome as far as the playoffs go,” Reid said Monday during his news conference at the NovaCare Complex. “But I’m looking at this as a ‘glass half full’ type of deal. I think you’ve seen the camaraderie, the football team jelling over the last few weeks. I think you can carry that part over through the offseason and let that drive you into the workouts and also give you a slight picture of what you can possibly be with good, hard work the following year.”
It makes sense for Reid to spin things this way. As JB pointed out in a comment yesterday, it’s very much how the Detroit Lions spun it at the end of 2010… and looks like things “carried over” pretty well for the Lions this year.
The Eagles (7-8) can actually finish in second place in the NFC East by beating the Redskins – the loser of Sunday’s Dallas-New York Giants game would drop to third – but will not be in the playoffs for the fourth time since Reid took over as coach in 1999.
Reid likely will be back for a 14th season. He is the winningest coach in franchise history with a 135-90-1 record and is 23rd on the NFL’s all-time career victories list.
He also has demonstrated a knack for bouncing back. The last three seasons in which the Eagles failed to reach the postseason –
1999 (5-11), 2005 (6-10), 2007 (8-8) – the team rallied to win at least nine games the following year and got to the playoffs each time.
“I’ll never sit out here and make excuses,” said Reid.”That’s not how I operate, so I’m not going to start now. I’ll take full responsibility for all that. I think we all expected – players and coaches – to have a better record (this season) than we have today.”
At least three Eagles had a chance to earn spots on the NFC Pro Bowl roster when the teams are announced today. Defensive end Jason Babin is tied for the league lead with 18 sacks, running back LeSean McCoy tops the NFC in rushing with 1,307 yards and has a league-best 20 touchdowns, and left tackle Jason Peters is considered the league’s top offensive lineman.
McCoy has a slight ankle sprain but will play against the Redskins, Reid said. Safety Kurt Coleman (strained biceps) will have an MRI today. Linebacker Brian Rolle (sprained ankle) also is expected to play Sunday.
We’ll follow up on those Pro Bowl announcements later tonight…