It's remarkable how one big victory can wash away so much controversy.
In the days following the Eagles' 10-3 loss at Washington, which seemed to doom their playoff chances, wolves were howling at
door, calling for him to be tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. A very sturdy rail.
Now that the Eagles are in the playoffs following a day when the stars aligned in their favor and they destroyed the Cowboys, 44-6, the critics have backed off.
But unlike quarterback
Reid, stoic as always, expressed no sense of vindication yesterday at his news conference.
"Listen, that's not how I operate," Reid said. "You know what, I know it sounds crazy, but we're all in this thing together trying to make a living at doing what we are doing, and I know it's not an easy job day in and day out.
"We're blessed to be here in Philadelphia with a great fan base that is knowledgeable about the game. I mentioned to somebody that in a lot of cities, it's game to game. In Philadelphia, it's play to play, and you have to love that as a coach and a player. From play to play, you're criticized for the bad and praised for the good. It's a great atmosphere for football."
Two of Reid's former assistants who have become head coaches -
- are in the playoffs.
Childress and Reid will match wits Sunday when the Eagles play the Vikings in a wild-card game in Minneapolis. Harbaugh is in his first season as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who routed the Eagles this season.
"I'm proud of those two and the job they have done," Reid said. "They have taken the system and the general philosophy of the system and incorporated it into their new places."
The offenses Childress and Harbaugh preside over are based on power running. Reid has been criticized for not running the ball enough.
"You know what, that's what they have chosen to do," Reid said. "That's their little wrinkle to the thing."
Reid was uncharacteristically animated during Sunday's game, exhorting the crow by waving his arms.
"It was a great atmosphere for a football game," Reid said. "Everybody was into it. Someone told me there was a 17 percent chance of us being in the position we're in today, and that's not very good odds. It all just came together, and that doesn't happen very often."
Here and there
96-yard touchdown run with a fumble was the second-longest in Eagles history, behind
98-yarder in 2006. . . . Reid said linebacker
(fractured rib) and tackle
(sprained knee) made it through the game without further damage. . . . It seemed unlikely that defensive tackle
(sprained foot), who sat out Sunday's game, would return for the Vikings game. "I wish we had him back this week," defensive coordinator
said. "I don't think we'll get him back. That was a tough one because he was doing a good job inside with our nickel."
Among the ornaments decorating the Christmas tree in the Eagles' public-relations office are greeting cards from the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans, whose wins Sunday helped make it possible for the Eagles to make the playoffs.