Ten Days the Eagles Would Like to Forget


The last week to ten days has been rough on the Eagles. The initial excitement for Training Camp 2009 was overshadowed by the following stress-inducing headlines:

1) The promotion of Sean McDermott.

2) The death of Jim Johnson.

3) Jeremy Maclin‘s contract status.

4) Shawn Andrews‘ nagging back.

5) The torn ACL (we think) of Stewart Bradley.

Geesh. Can we turn back the clock, please? Unfortunately, we can’t. These things happen in life and more to the point, in the NFL. I get why Andy Reid went off on the press, not to mention his own personnel. The guy has had a veritable @#$% storm blow through Lehigh in recent days. Safe to say, I think it’s all catching up to Big Red.

I personally disagree with Reid’s handling of the Stew situation, but I can certainly understand his frustration with the story being “leaked.” The Flight Night! on Sunday was a rousing success. The fans showed up in earnest, the team seemed to enjoy themselves and money was raised for an important cause. The sky was blue as blue can be.

Then Reid learned about Bradley’s injury. Twelve hours later the story was all over the local airwaves and zipping across the Interwebs: “Torn ACL. Bradley out for season.” Whoa, what the hell just happened? Reid barely had time to let the news register before the media onslaught invaded the halls at NovaCare and the fields at Lehigh. By the time yesterday’s practice was underway, nearly every major blog and a few mainstream sites had run the story that Bradley was done in 2009.

Then Reid pitched a low-grade hissy fit at his post practice sit-down. He chided the media as if they were his own kids. Well, maybe not his kids, but somebody’s kids. Apparently, he made some super-secret pact with the beat writers back in 1999. The writers are at a loss as to what this pact entailed, but in Andy’s mind, the wolves overstepped their bounds by pursuing sources not named Andy Reid. Huh?

He’s upset at the media for doing their jobs and uncovering the details about a potential season-ending injury to one of the defense’s key players/leaders; a player being counted on to help fill the deepening chasm left by the absences of Brian Dawkins and Jim Johnson. They were in the wrong for providing the public with important information. Information that the team decided to keep to themselves. I feel for Reid, but on this issue, he is way out of touch and even further out of line.

The fans who pay a hefty amount of cash to see this team play on Sundays and Mondays deserve to know if one of the guys they cheer for won’t be donning a helmet and shoulder pads in 2009. Hey, we’re not asking you to open up your encyclopedia-sized playbook and breakdown your most effective offensive sets. All we want is for you to keep us informed about things like major injuries to starting players. Is that really too much to ask?

All Reid had to do was say Bradley suffered a knee injury and the team doctors are still evaluating its severity. Case closed. No need to reveal the gory bits. Instead, Reid threw down a gauntlet one week into training camp and wagged his accusatory finger at the misbehaving media. Not good.

Andy needs to take some time in private and reflect on all that’s happened in the last ten days. Maybe once JJ’s memorial service is over on Friday, he’ll be able to breathe easier. Right now, he’s only making matters worse for himself. Displaying frustration and acting irrationally will do nothing to instill confidence in the media, fans or the team that everything will be okay. Now, more than ever, Reid needs to take on a leadership role to help steer the sinking ship to shore.

It’s only August 4th. They haven’t even played a game yet. Coming unglued this early does not bode well for an upcoming season filled with lofty expectations. Let’s not panic, people. Every season has its share of ups and downs. It just so happens that the downs are kicking major ass as of late. Look on the bright side. JMac is finally signed. Jason Peters is back to work. Reggie Brown hasn’t pulled his customary August hamstring. And by all accounts, Shady McCoy is the real deal. See… it’s not all doom and gloom. Right?

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