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There Is No Rift In The Eagles Organization

By: Michael J. Cheal

When Dave Spadaro sat one-on-one with Andy Reid on March 19th, Spadaro stated, “It has been painted in some circles that there is a rift between Andy Reid and Joe Banner. Could you comment on that?”

Reid’s response: “No, that’s not true. This is part of the business, and Joe and I understand that.”

There are occurrences over the last several years that have led me to believe things aren’t what they seem. The organization keeps whatever happens behind the scenes closed from the fans anyway, which leads me to believe there are rifts.

The most recent was the way the benching of Donovan McNabb was handled. Donovan has stated that he was and still is upset about it to an extent. Let me be honest, what Andy Reid did that day was wrong. Granted, Donovan had played poorly against Cincinnati and the first half of the game at Baltimore, but my gripe isn’t that he was benched. It was that Andy Reid didn’t tell Donovan himself. Reid had someone else do it for him. That’s like a guy deciding to break up a long-term relationship with his girlfriend and having one of his friends tell her it’s over between them.

I have to give McNabb credit. A lot of quarterbacks would have folded the season or their careers after being benched like that, but he played the best he had probably played in his career in the final four of five regular season games. The only exception was the game at Washington. He didn’t have a good game throwing, but I thought the receivers’ dropped passes and Andy Reid’s play calling blew that game more than he did.

In last year’s off-season, Lito Sheppard was given a hard time and basically said that the front office wants you to be happy with what you’re given, but when you feel you deserve more, they ignore you. That’s not an exact quote, but I’m paraphrasing.

Of course there was the whole T.O. situation a few years ago. He thought that he was worth more than he was paid. I’m still filled with mixed emotions over his departure four years later. He was a distraction, but he was also the best receiver the team had in a long time.

Two years ago, they released Jeremiah Trotter. He wasn’t given any explanation at all as to why he was cut.

These examples prove to me that there have been rifts in the past.

One of the smart decisions they made in the last few years was to keep Brian Westbrook locked up. He wasn’t as productive last year because he was hampered by injuries, but when he’s healthy, he’s one of the most dangerous players in the NFL.

Lurie, Banner, and Reid don’t realize that they keep the fans happy by letting them know what’s going on, why they do this, why they do that, et cetera. Instead, they just keep painting a rosy picture hoping to appease the fans. They should be held accountable by what they do and not what they say. I guess Andy Reid was right. There aren't any rifts in the Eagles organization.

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