At a time when no one is questioning the job security of Eagles head coach Andy Reid, the man Reid has hired to represent the Eagles head coach has decided to grandstand about Reid’s job security.
Agent Bob LaMonte reiterated on Saturday that owner Jeffrey Lurie has given Reid a verbal guarantee of indefinite employment.
“[Lurie] has stated again and again, any time that I’ve been with him, that was as long as he’s the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid would be his coach,” LaMonte told a group of reporters at training camp on Saturday, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “And I’d say the proof of the pie is in the pudding. He’s been here 14 years.”
While LaMonte reportedly has shared this story on multiple past occasions, this time Lurie opted to respond.
“Bob is a great agent who we have an outstanding relationship with,” Lurie said in a statement. “As much respect as all of us have for Andy Reid, it is the nature of the profession that all coaches, executives and players are evaluated each year. That’s the way we have always operated. But our focus right now, and I know Andy feels the same way, is solely on the upcoming 2012 season.”
In other words, Lurie is saying that Reid — like any other employee — can be gone after any given year. Including this year.
The timing of the back-and-forth is odd, to say the least. Reid’s eldest son, Garrett, died less than a week ago, prompting notoriously fickle Philly fans to unconditionally embrace Reid in the wake of his personal tragedy.
In our view, LaMonte shouldn’t have said what he said, and Lurie shouldn’t have responded.
Yeah, LaMonte was asked whether Reid is on the hot seat in 2012, a fair question given that Lurie hinted strongly in January that Reid needs to have a big season in his 14th year in order to get a 15th one. But given recent events, LaMonte should have said something like, “Andy has bigger concerns right now than whether he’ll keep his job with the Eagles after the 2012 season.”
Since LaMonte didn’t say that, Reid would be wise to say that. Otherwise, it fairly will be presumed that he has ratified the comments of the man who is paid to speak for the coach.
Reid also would be justified to pay a visit to Lurie’s office and ask why the owner deemed it prudent and necessary to publicly disagree with LaMonte’s comments, in light of the events of the past week.
Chances are that the parties will find a way to smooth things over. However, there’s also a small chance, given the emotions that surely have been stirred during the toughest week of Reid’s life, that the LaMonte-Lurie tit-for-tat could cause the relationship between coach and owner (or coach and agent) to spiral out of control, quickly.