Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie held a "state of the team" press conference this afternoon to express his disappointment with the teams' poor 8-8 finish this season. Despite that, he did say that both coach Andy Reid would return for 2012.
"I want to see our team coached by Andy Reid next year, and I can't wait to see that team play. I wish it was next week, I wish the season started in May or April and that we can do that, but there is no doubt in my mind that if our focus is to win a championship next year, the best coach for that is Andy. We owe as a franchise to Philadelphia the singular pursuit of winning a championship and that's why I want Andy back. Amidst all the anger and frustration, I'm really excited about this team. I've been around the players every year and this is a special group. It's a talented group and it's a group where we brought in a lot of good, talented players. The pay off wasn't this year, but the pay off has a chance to come soon and be really great."
Lurie was not as forthcoming on the status of embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, saying only that staffing decisions were Andy Reid's exclusive responsibility.
The Eagles owner made no excuses for the way the things finished this season.
"There's no legitimate excuse," Lurie said. "This team was too talented. This team was poised to succeed in a big way. and there's no legitimate excuses to be 8-8 when you're starting out with a team that is theoretically better than the one last year that was 10-6 ans won the NFC East"
He also said that to take any hope in the teams' four game winning streak against non playoff teams at the end of the year would be "fool's gold."
"There's a lot of things you have to like and I like about the last month of the season, but in reality and it's the way the NFL schedule was, we weren't playing Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and some of the best teams in the league. There was no opportunity to prove - we proved we could dominate against teams the last half of the year who weren't that competitive. There's a lot to be said for the players coming together and the coaching staff holding this group together in a way that was impressive.
To hold onto that as the reason to be completely optimistic is, I think, fool's gold."