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Monday, January 31, 2011

Reid’s Criticism of Akers was Classless

I didn’t really need another reason to dislike the fact that Andy Reid was the head football coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. But this weekend may have given fans who dislike the coach one of the most unexpected reasons to do so.

Ashley Fox of the Inquirer revealed the heart ache that David Akers was going through during the end of the Eagles season. Like many Eagles fans, something I feel less and less comfortable calling myself, I almost immediately remembered Andy Reid calling out Akers after the playoff loss against Green Bay.

Reid, typically one of the dullest coaches in the league precisely because he never calls players out after the game, made a point to criticize his kicker.

I don’t even know how to follow-up that sentence. I’m just some guy with a blog, and I went back to read what I said about Akers after the game. I feel iffy about having written, “David Akers missed two very makeable field goals. (Sal Paolantonio is reporting that Akers had personal and contract issues, but he has to do a better job than that.)” If I had known the severity of the situation, I don’t think I even would have gone that far. That said, I don’t think I went over or even approached breaching any line of decency. If you’re going to play, as heartless as it is, you have to perform.

But Reid didn’t have to make a point to criticize Akers after the loss. Again, he typically goes out of his way to take the blame for losses instead of criticizing his players. For him to do it in this situation is inexplicable. According to the article, Reid knew the severity of the situation – Akers was excused from practice to deal with it one day.

The Eagles organization is also known for jettisoning players who turn down offers to extend their contract. Akers reportedly committed the sin of doing just that this season. Sadly, the question of whether or not Reid went ahead with the company line of being critical of such players even under these circumstances is fair to ask.

I don’t see how Reid comes off as anything but classless.

This is almost certainly a minor issue in the world of football, and it can be argued that it was an uncharacteristic moment for Reid. Although I would need to be convinced of that argument.

Yet, it’s also one more reason to laugh when Eagles owner Jeff Lurie lauds himself for the way his organization does things. He clearly doesn’t see winning as important. Maybe treating people with class isn’t part of the gold standard either.

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