Reid says he hasn't thought about offseason yet

With one game remaining , Eagles coach Andy Reid said he is thinking only of beating the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
With one game remaining , Eagles coach Andy Reid said he is thinking only of beating the Washington Redskins on Sunday. (RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 27, 2011

While almost everyone else is ready to put an utterly forgetful season in the past and look to the future where promise springs eternal, Eagles coach Andy Reid did not allow himself to glance beyond Sunday's otherwise meaningless season finale against Washington.

The ability to live in the present, after all, is often a prerequisite for coaching.

But now that the Eagles' faint playoff hopes have vanished, the questions that have been asked since October were asked with the knowledge that this season of disappointment is almost over and serious decisions will have to be made soon.

Will Reid return next season?

Does he even want to come back?

If Reid is back, will he retain Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator?

And what about DeSean Jackson? Are his days as an Eagle over?

Reid's answers to those questions Monday can best be summed up in one phrase: "I haven't gone there."

Fans and pundits have gone there, and, to some extent, Reid probably has formulated thoughts on the subjects. Jeffrey Lurie also has likely formed opinions, but Reid said the Eagles owner had yet to assure him that he wants him back for a 14th season as head coach.

Not that they would have had that conversation yet. The coach was asked whether he had any doubts that he would return.

"Listen, I haven't even thought about that," said Reid, who has two years remaining on his contract. "My mind doesn't go in those directions."

Well, what about in the direction of whether he even wants to continue?

"I wouldn't know what to do without having these press conferences," Reid joked.

The general perception emanating from the NovaCare Complex is that Reid will be back, although neither Lurie nor team president Joe Banner has publicly given him a vote of confidence.

In February, when he was asked about Reid, Banner highlighted the coach's accomplishments before saying that the inability to win a Super Bowl would have to factor into his future with the organization. But is that moment now?

Reid has reached the playoffs in nine of his 13 seasons, but has failed in three of the last seven after reaching the postseason in five of his first six seasons. He hasn't won a playoff game since 2008 and is 3-4 in the postseason since his lone Super Bowl appearance in 2004.

Reid was asked whether he sensed that the clock for his opportunities to win a title in Philadelphia may be ticking away.

"When you're striving to win every game and to win a Super Bowl every year, I don't look at all of that stuff," Reid said.

The Eagles believed they had built a title contender before the season, but it became clear after a 1-4 start that the team had serious flaws. Castillo's defense, overall, helped cough up five fourth-quarter leads. The unit has saved some face during the team's current three-game winning streak, some say enough to save Castillo's job.

"You guys know what I think of Juan," Reid said when asked whether Castillo would return. "I know you have to ask that question, but we are focused completely on the Washington Redskins."

Jackson, too, has made a bit of a late charge after being benched twice in November.

"The last - how many - games he's done a heck of a job," Reid said, stopping short of an endorsement for next season. "He's playing very good football right now. I'm proud of him for that."

Not extending Jackson's contract, which is set to expire, could have been one of the Eagles' mistakes heading into the season. The NFL lockout certainly didn't help in light of the major overhauls on the coaching staff and roster, but Reid did not make excuses Monday.

"I'll take full responsibility for" not making the playoffs, he said. "I think we all expected - players and coaches - to have a better record than we have today."

Even though the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs when the Giants beat the Jets on Saturday, Reid focused on the positives after his team's 20-7 win at Dallas. He said Monday he preferred that his players look at the winning streak as momentum heading into next season.

"I would take it as a glass half full," Reid said.

The glass will be more than half empty, however, if the 7-8 Eagles can't close out the season with a win over the 5-10 Redskins. With that goal remaining, Reid said that he will play his starters Sunday at 1 p.m.


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

 

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