Reid says contract is last thing on his mind
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Andy Reid on Sunday morning distanced himself from comments made Saturday by his agent, Bob LaMonte, but said there’s no issues between him and LaMonte, who’s considered one of the most powerful men in professional sports, or between him and Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, who outright rejected LaMonte’s contract posturing.
“I don’t get into any of that,” Reid said of LaMonte’s public contract
blitz. “I’m a one-day-at-a-time kind of guy, one year, one play, the
whole deal. So that’s not how I operate. I don’t worry about all that."
LaMonte told reporters at Lehigh on Saturday evening that Lurie had assured him Reid could remain head coach of the Eagles as long as he wanted to.
“Jeffrey Lurie has told me on any occasion I’ve ever been with him, as long as he’s the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy will be his coach,” LaMonte said.
He added, “This man has earned the right to decide what he wants to do.”
Just two hours later, Lurie shot down LaMonte’s remarks in a statement, which read in part: “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.”
Reid, whose 10 career playoff wins rank 12th in NFL history, is the winningest coach in franchise history. But the Eagles haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, and Lurie said after last year’s 8-8 season he had to think long and hard before deciding to bring Reid back in 2012 for his 14th year.
Reid’s contract runs only through 2013. He has never gone into a season with just one year remaining on his contract, but he’s just a few months away from that possibly being the case.
That’s why LaMonte, who never talks to the media, began his public campaign Saturday to pressure Lurie to sign Reid to a new long-term deal.
A campaign that Lurie quickly shot to pieces with his eye-opening statement.
After Sunday morning walk-through on the Lehigh University practice fields, Reid told three writers he’s not concerned about his contract status, said that he doesn’t feel he’s entitled to decide what he wants to do and stated repeatedly that the only thing on his mind right now is preparing his team for the upcoming 2012 season.
“Listen, we’re here to play, that’s what we’re here to do," Reid said. "And I’m here to coach, that’s my job, and I understand the demands of the National Football League. I got it. I know the picture. So I’m not worried about all that.”
Reid said there’s no tension or awkwardness between him and either LaMonte, who’s been his agent for nearly 20 years, or Lurie, who he’s worked for since 1999.
“Not at all. Not at all. Not at all,” he insisted.
Reid wouldn't say whether he knew LaMonte would be making such comments and wouldn't say whether he authorized his specific comments.
“You guys are so attractive, that he just gravitated to you," he joked, avoiding the question.
Reid said the one thing LaMonte said that he agrees with is that when the time is right, he and Lurie will meet privately to discuss his future and -- if the Eagles have a successful 2012 season -- presumably a contract extension.
“I think the best thing that Bob said was if and when it ever came down to that, it’s between Jeff and I, so I’m lucky, lucky to have him as an owner, and I respect that every day, but I don’t even go there,” he said.
“That’s not what this is about. This is about right now and getting this football team ready, and that’s all I care about.”
Reid said his contract is the last thing on his mind.
“I don’t think about it,” he said. “I can sit here and tell you that.”E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com