Well just in time for Groundhog Day, The Walrus finally poked his head out from his Playoff-long hibernation. And you know what that means… 12 more months of championship-less Eagles football!
Oh to be an Eagles’ fan…
Andy discussed a plethora of topics — Lurie’s comments, Stevie Spags rumors, Desean Jackson’s future, why Juan wasn’t “Juan and done” — most of which we’ll cover today, but others, Desean especially, we’ll save for their own dedicated posts. But let’s get down to the juicy stuff.
In lieu of making you listen to The Walrus “uh” and “hmrph” and struggle to breath through a press conference(*) where he disclosed absolutely nothing(**), let’s try something a little different. Below, we’ve taken the “highlights” from the presser — courtesy of CBSPhilly.com — where you can read the clips in your own, much less infuriating inner-monologue (trust us, you’ll be thankful you didn’t actually listen to Reid), and we’ll fill in the blanks of what The Walrus actually meant. Because, as you know, The Walrus is king of the double-speak.
(*)And to spare you, we won’t even link to the disgrace that was Andy Reid fielding questions.
(**)Did you really expect anything less?
On why it took so long after the season for him to speak to the media:
The press conference directly after the season, you have had no time to really put everything together. You guys were eager. You’re doing a job. You’re under pressure yourselves to make sure you’re doing your job. So you’re going to throw fastballs at me. And there’s just a time where you’re going to have to buy time and step back to give you the right answer. So I tried to do it a little bit different this year than I did it in the past years. I just didn’t think that was a smooth transition into the offseason. I felt like if I step back, I could kind of analyze things and then present it to you in a better way.
What Reid really meant: I didn’t want to have to blow off question after question about whether or not I’d be fired or resign. Did I think about resigning? Of course not! Why would I walk away from a job where I can come up short on my goals year-in, year-out and not face any consequences. Do you know how much Lurie pays me? Did I fear he would kick me to the curb? Sure, why do you think I went on vacation rather than hire an actual staff to replace the ineptitude of this past season? Honestly, I’m shocked I’m still here! I figured that if I waited for all other coaching vacancies in the NFL to fill up I’d be safe — because Jeffrey and I are good friends, and he would never do me like that. So here I am. Now I’m ready to blow off question after question. Time’s yours.
On Jeff Lurie’s assessment of the season:
I do know 8 and 8′s not good enough. What he said I agree with. There’s no different feeling on this end. As coaches and players, we’re sitting here watching, and we don’t like to watch. It’s that simple. Even though we finished strong and hot and all that stuff it’s not good enough. And every season as I’ve told you in the National Football League is different, and it wasn’t good enough.
What Reid really meant: Seriously, guys… I can’t believe I’m still here. It’s like I’m stealing money! Who wants to go to Sizzler?! Time’s yours.
On the Steve Spagnuolo rumors:
Steve Spagnuolo I know was another topic, and I understand, he’s a fine football coach. Steve and I are good friends. And we talked throughout the season, as we do every year. When Steve was released from the Rams I did offer him a spot here to coach, if he needed one. A place to land, with open arms. My feeling was if you can have two great coaches on defense, That’s even better than just having Juan himself. That’s about how far as it went there. We didn’t talk about titles or anything else.
What Reid really meant: Did I want Steve to come in? Of course I did! Did I want to cut my vacation short to accomplish the move? Hell no! Look, Juan’s my best friend — he’s the Pagoda to my Royal Tenenbaum — I couldn’t ask him to take a step back, or worse, fire him. Steve knew he’d have to come in and answer to Juan. Plus, he and Jim [Washburn] hate each other. Literally hate each other. Like me and green, leafy vegetables. So Steve took a look at the situation and realized he’d be able to win multiple Super Bowls in New Orleans than even one here. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Mmmmm… cookies. Time’s yours.
On whether he was ever going to move on from Juan Castillo:
I never really was at that point. I just stepped back and kind of evaluated that whole situation. It never really came down to that. That didn’t even work into the equation. Juan was going to be there. As you know in this league titles are thrown all over the place. My feeling with Spags was that both those two together could be dynamite.
What Reid really meant: He saved my life, you know? Thirteen years ago. I was choking on a piece of day-old rump roast at a Howard Johnson’s in Orlando, and he carried me to the hospital on his back. Of course, he served me the day-old rump roast, but there was a price on moving the almost spoiled meat. He shoved it right down my throat. But he saved me and I owe him my life. Juan’s not going anywhere. Time’s yours.
On how the defense developed:
I saw progress. I liked the schemed we were teaching them. I liked the way we were executing the schemes. You could tell the players were all in. There’s some ex-players out here and they can vouch for this. If there’s an issue and the coach doesn’t know what he’s talking about, the players will voice that opinion. The players were all in and they believed in Juan and the scheme he was doing. I think it ended up working the way we hoped it would work a little earlier and it didn’t.
What Reid really meant: The players were convinced Juan and I would both be gone after the season, and they really rallied around that. They’re good guys, they saved my job and Juan’s. Also, I promised them I’d stop washing my mustache in the locker room. Time’s yours.
On the changes to the coaching staff:
We were able to finalize the spot that was vacant on our staff by bringing Todd Bowles. I had a chance to evaluate the coaches and what we did as a team. Coming out of that I felt like both sides of the football and special teams we’ve got room to imrpove, a tremendous amount of room to improve. Starting with the defensive side, I know the obvious question among you was Juan Castillo and his situation. Juan will reman as the defensive coordinator. Todd will coach the secondary.
What Reid really meant: I got Juan some help. Between Todd Bowles, Jim Washburn, Mike Zordich and the kid who carries the balls onto the field, I think there’s enough experience now to help Juan succeed, no matter his shortcomings. And they are numerous. The guy doesn’t even know the difference between Cornerbacks and Safeties! It’s cute really. I get quite a kick out of it. Plus, with Washburn coaching the Line and Todd and Mike handling the Secondary, Juan can really shine by showing the Linebackers how to miss tackles. And when all else fails, I can always promote Bowles to Defensive Coordinator and Juan to G.M. Expect that during the bye week next season. Time’s yours.
On the turnover problem last season:
On the offensive side, we need to make sure we take care of business with the turnovers. We had five games that we lost in the 4th quarter which is something that I wanted to focus on in the last few weeks. We’re better than that. We need to make sure we dig in on that. I thought we made progress as the season went on.
What Reid really meant: Again, I still can’t believe I still have a job! This is crazier than the story of Joseph Smith and Mormonism! With the turnovers though, I really need to do a better job… Clearly it wasn’t bad enough to make Lurie even consider making a Head Coaching change. Time’s yours.
Instead of “time’s yours”:
With that I’m going to leave the time to you.
What Reid really meant: Ha, psych! Time’s yours.