Eagles Notes: 'Being successful takes time,' Reid says of young Eagles team

Posted: December 06, 2011

Asked about the Donovan McNabb-era team that he built during the first part of his Eagles tenure, Andy Reid pointed out that his current group is one of the youngest in the NFL and that being successful "takes time."

Reid, of course, has come under fire from fans and the media with an Eagles team that is a disappointing 4-8 and nearly out of playoff contention. Many have even called for owner Jeffrey Lurie to cut the coach loose.

Reid said Monday during his radio show that he hasn't had time to focus on his future, although the following statement could be interpreted as the coach lobbying for an opportunity to see the job through. He has two years remaining on his contract.

"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," Reid said. "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."

The average age of the Eagles' 53-man roster is 25.8. Just before the start of the season, it was the sixth-youngest team in the NFL.

Eagles players, to a man, continue to say that they support Reid. Quarterback Michael Vick hasn't spoken much to the media during his three-week injury-induced absence. In that span, the Eagles' fortunes have fallen to their lowest depths.

Some believe that Reid's survival is tied to Vick, whose career he rejuvenated and who is guaranteed to be back at least for next season.

"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."

Maclin on DeSean

Jeremy Maclin, who watched Thursday's game from home, defended DeSean Jackson and said that he didn't think the Eagles wide receiver was ignoring quarterback Vince Young, as reported by the NFL Network, during one televised sideline conversation.

The NFL Network also reported that Jackson was not talking to most of his teammates on the sideline during the game. Reid, on Friday, ripped the NFL Network's coverage of Jackson.

"I don't think they understood what exactly was going on," Maclin said. "I think everybody was kind of assuming things because of whatever's going on with him."

Jackson, who wants a contract extension, has been increasingly at the center of controversy since Reid benched him last month.

"Obviously, they're going to try to find anything that they can to nitpick, so it's unfortunate that that happened like that," Maclin said. "I highly doubt that [Young's] talking to DeSean right there."

Safety signed

The Eagles signed safety Tom Nelson to a two-year deal and placed safety Colt Anderson on the injured-reserve list. Anderson suffered a torn ACL in Thursday's game in Seattle and will have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Nelson last played for Cincinnati from 2009-10, appearing in 21 games and starting three. He notched 34 tackles, two pass deflections, and an interception. Nelson, 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, spent the 2011 preseason with the Bengals but was released before the start of the regular season.

Quotable

Reid on neglecting running back LeSean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, in the Seahawks game: "I could have done a better job getting LeSean active sooner and more productive early."


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com,

or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.

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