PHILADELPHIA—Eagles head coach Andy Reid addressed his recent family turmoil in a press conference today, responding to allegations that he had neglected his paternal duties in order to focus on football with the simple statement "Red Right 32 Trap."
"This is a crisis we can all get through together," said Reid, whose two oldest sons were recently sentenced to nearly two years in jail for multiple drug-related offenses and who was chastised by the sentencing judge for not providing a structured, healthy home environment for his children. "But only by making defenses fear our running game again. Donovan McNabb has had his problems, but I take full responsibility for that. I should have been paying more attention to Brian Westbrook's need for the ball."
"Red right 32 trap is not the answer to all our problems," Reid added. "But it's a step in the right direction. One day at a time."
Reid became the focus of controversy recently when his sons Britt, 22, and Garrett, 24, were found to be addicted to and even dealing prescription and illegal drugs, prompting Montgomery County court judge Steven O'Neill to liken the coach's home to "a drug emporium" and even say the Reids were "a family in crisis."
"The last few days have been an eye-opener for us all around," Reid said. "To lose to the Cowboys by 21 just shows how deep the problems go. And I can't tell you how much worse it is when a disaster like this happens to you at home. Obviously, it's time to reevaluate our approach, starting with our running game."
"Don't worry, though, I read the papers," Reid added. "I'll be taking a long hard look at the defense as well. I'll be doing my best to address all our problems, not just the ground game."
Although Eagles owner Jeff Lurie has repeatedly said he will stand by his coach, stating that he would use any of the Eagles' considerable legal and therapeutic resources to help the Reid family through the through the current crisis, Reid has responded by saying that he will handle his predicament in his own fashion.
"I truly appreciate the support I've received from Eagles team officials, but this is really something I have to handle on my own," Reid said. "I believe the old saying that a football team is like a family, and in any family, you solve your problems yourself through hard work and honesty. Right now, I can't ignore the real problem: The Eagles family is 3-5, we're going through a crisis where it's becoming hard to trust each other, and while I might not want to admit it, people are unhappy and communications have begun to break down."
"It's going to take all my energy to make this right," a visibly moved Reid said, brushing at his eyes. "I certainly didn't do anybody any favors when I took that five-week leave of absence in the offseason. But this football team has my full attention from now until I get us into the playoffs."
Reactions to Reid's statements met with mixed reactions in the press, particularly from those Philadelphia-area journalists most familiar with the ongoing story of Britt and Garrett Reid.
"It's unconscionable for a coach to prioritize his team over his family to this degree, especially in the supposedly family-oriented National Football League," said A.J. Daulerio of the Philadelphia Daily Examiner. "Andy Reid needs to be a father to his sons right now, not fiddling with running trap and misdirection plays with that patchwork Eagles offensive line, which is frankly just asking for trouble. If anything, he should fix the defensive secondary first—Sean Considine couldn't cover my grandma."