The man who created an environment of extreme stress in Philly has commented on the first tangible consequence of the unprecedented pressure he placed on his team.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie tells Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News that the man who writes the checks had reservations last year about bumping up the man who’ll now get a buyout.
“Yes I did,” Lurie said of the decision to make Juan Castillo defensive coordinator in 2011. “But I let Andy make that call. I respected his decision. He felt it was the best thing to do at the time, and I don’t interfere in that area.”
Lurie also said that the decision to dump Castillo also was Reid’s and Reid’s alone.
“The way I operate, a coach is responsible for his staff,” Lurie said. “[He needs to] succeed or fail based on who he chooses and his own performance. I don’t trigger that.”
But Lurie did everything but pull the trigger in August, making it clear with chilling nonchalance that Reid will be fired if the Eagles have another .500 season. And while Lurie likely knows Reid well enough to know that he can bear the pressure of coaching for his job, Lurie likely underestimated the impact of his words on everyone else, from Castillo to Mike Vick (who has 15.5 million reasons for Reid to return) to anyone and everyone else with a vested interest in Reid staying put.
It could be that this was Lurie’s way of countering agent Bob LaMonte, who tried to make a clumsy power play on Reid’s behalf not long before Lurie made clear that, contrary to LaMonte’s contentions, Reid is in trouble. Still, Lurie’s reaction went too far, making it too hard for Reid to get the team pointed in the right direction.
It’s unclear why Lurie hasn’t gotten more criticism for putting a dark cloud over the franchise, but he should. And whoever takes that job after Reid needs to do so with a clear understanding that this owner, unlike most others, is willing to tell the world before a season even starts that the coach could be coaching for his job.