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Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

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Downward spiral: Philadelphia's Trent Cole (right) tackles Carolina's DeAngelo Williams on Monday night. AP

Reid defiant in face of slump

AP

PHILADELPHIA — A seven-game losing streak won't get Andy Reid to change his ways.

As usual, Reid accepted blame and pointed the finger directly at himself following the Philadelphia Eagles' latest loss, 30-22 to the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

"I take full responsibility. There's a way to get through and I'm not doing it right now," Reid said Tuesday. "Coaches have told you they gotta do a better job. Players have told you they gotta do a better job. End result is you have to do a better job."

That's about as far as Reid will go in his criticism of his players or coaching staff. Anyone who wants to see Reid call players out for missing assignments, making mistakes or underperforming will have to wait for a coaching change. That's just not part of Reid's philosophy.

"I'm the head football coach of this team," he said. "It's my responsibility these guys do their job. Bottom line. It's my responsibility to deal with those players and coaches man to man. I'm not going to change that now."

Translation: Reid isn't going to throw anyone under the bus.

Still, the clock is ticking on Reid's tenure in Philadelphia after 14 seasons. Disgusted fans who've been calling for his ouster for years almost certainly will get their wish. Owner Jeffrey Lurie already made it clear the Eagles needed to make "substantial improvement" after going 8-8 in 2011.

They'll need to finish 5-0 just to be 8-8 again. That's "unacceptable" to Lurie, and to fans who haven't celebrated an NFL championship since 1960.

"I'm coaching to get ready to get after the Cowboys," Reid said. "I don't go beyond that. I'm not going to let anything distract that."

The Eagles (3-8) visit Dallas (5-6) Sunday night, and will again play in front of a national television audience. At least it won't be at the Linc.

There were thousands of empty seats Monday night and those who showed up lacked their typical luster. The frustrated crowd didn't even boo as heartily as expected. In sports, apathy is worse than anger.

"This is mentally exhausting," tight end Brent Celek said. "I am sick about it. I hate losing and it doesn't get any easier. We just have to turn it around. Everyone has to step up and turn it around."

Players continue to defend Reid, saying they hear his message. They're just not making plays at important points in games.

"I feel like the guys respond," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "There's just a lot of misfortune out there. We turn the ball over and not getting turnovers again. Leaving guys open deep is unacceptable. We can't win like that."

Changes already have started. The Eagles released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin hours after Reid spoke to reporters. Babin had 5.5 sacks, down from 18 last year. He signed a $28 million, five-year contract with Philadelphia after going to his first Pro Bowl for Tennessee in 2010.

Goodell unsure over Suh

AP

DETROIT — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league officials looked at Ndamukong Suh's latest infamous act on the field from several angles, trying to understand why the Detroit Lions defensive tackle kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area.

"Intent is something that is very difficult for us to ever try to make a judgment on," Goodell told reporters before speaking at a Lions charity event Tuesday night.

Goodell said he hasn't spoken to Suh about what he did in last Thursday's game, adding that the league's football operations staff is in the process of speaking to him about it. Suh was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman and extended his left foot to hit Schaub below the belt, dropping the QB to his knees doubled over in pain in the first quarter of Houston's 34-31 overtime win.

"They're still going through the process of whether it should be a fine," Goodell said. "They'll probably make that decision in the next couple days."



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