Lurie: Reid must improve communication skills

Andy Reid
Tim Umphrey

Andy Reid is fond of saying that he needs to do a better job after losing football games.

It’s become a frustrating catch phrase to Eagles fans.

So, it was pretty comical to hear owner Jeffrey Lurie throw it back in Reid’s face yesterday when discussing his stormy relationship with the media.

Lurie defended his coach by saying that Reid is just trying to protect his players in press conferences, where his responses often come off as smug and arrogant. Later, Lurie added that he understands the frustration with that part of Reid’s act.

“That’s what I face as the owner. I have a coach that handles press conferences and communicates with the media in a way that’s incredibly protective of his team and that creates a tremendous unselfishness on his part because he’s going to suffer in popularity, that’s the dynamic here,” Lurie said yesterday. “We all have to realize it. I think it’s one of the reasons why he’s been so successful, but it’s sometimes frustrating, and you know I can use a line of Andy’s and say Andy’s got to do a better job of that.”

When pressed as to why he allows Reid to act that way, Lurie described the coach as a completely non-arrogant man who is just trying to shield blame from his players.

“It’s protective and there’s a difference how you interpret protectiveness,” Lurie said. “You can convert it to arrogance if you misjudge it. There’s no arrogance in this man. One of the analysis I do when I meet with Andy for multiple times in the last month, and I do it every year, is how humble he is and how self-critical he is, and that goes into my analysis.”

Lurie said that both team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman would return in 2012. As far as changes with the rest of the coaching staff or personnel decisions, Lurie wouldn’t speculate. He’ll provide limited input, but those decisions are ultimately up to Reid.

“You know it’s a constant discussion, but I think one of the important things, and it’s important in our locker room, is for Andy to have the final say,” Lurie said. “I want our players to understand that he’s responsible for selecting his staff. If I had to tell Andy Reid what to do for offensive or defensive coordinator or something like that, then I have the wrong coach.”

This upcoming season could provide the final insight into whether Lurie and the Eagles do indeed have the right coach.



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