Jeffrey Lurie put Andy Reid on the clock with a preseason decree that mediocrity was no longer acceptable.
With each grim defeat, the harsh reality becomes clear. If Lurie, the Eagles owner, remains true to his word, Reid will out of a job if Philadelphia continues to trudge through this season without a winning record or much hope for the future.
After an 8-8 season in 2011, Lurie called the results from this star-studded team unacceptable and said, “We need substantial improvement.”
So, needless to say, this is not what he expected.
The Eagles (3-5) again were sloppy, battered, and inefficient inside the red zone in a 28-13 loss to New Orleans on Monday night, their fourth consecutive loss. And the struggles are on both sides of the ball.
Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo last month and the unit has only gotten worse. While Reid reaffirmed his commitment to Michael Vick on Tuesday, the former dynamic quarterback is no longer the scrambling standout he once was behind a depleted offensive line.
Either way, Lurie’s edict hangs over the organization with each depressing loss. Reid said he can’t worry about Lurie’s win-or-else ultimatum, only about winning the next game, Sunday against Dallas (3-5).
“There is no time to think about those things,” Reid said. “The guys are worrying about getting themselves better to win football games. That’s number one. That’s where I sit.”
Having served his eight-game suspension in connection with the NFL’s bounty probe of the New Orleans Saints, general manager Mickey Loomis has returned to work at team headquarters in time to deal with a variety of unsettled personnel issues and off-the-field distractions.
His immediate tasks include clearing up the status of coach Sean Payton’s five-year contract extension, which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has so far refused to approve since the coach signed it in 2011.
Loomis also will have to oversee contingency plans in the event defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma have to serve their own bounty suspensions.
Around the league
The Arizona Cardinals lost starting outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield for the season with an injured left ankle. Schofield was injured in Sunday’s 31-17 loss at Green Bay. Quintin Groves replaced Schofield in the game and is expected to do so when the team resumes play Nov. 21 at Atlanta. … Veteran cornerback Terrence McGee has been placed on season-ending injured reserve and receiver Marcus Easley promoted to the active roster in a series of moves made by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills also placed right tackle Erik Pears (hip/groin) on injured reserve and released rookie kicker John Potter. … The Oakland Raiders added linebacker Aaron Curry to the team’s active roster. Curry was taken off the physically unable to perform list. … The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely be without leading receiver Antonio Brown on Monday night when they host the Kansas City Chiefs. Brown sprained his right ankle in last Sunday’s win over the New York Giants.