Andy Reid confirmed what Ronnie Brown told reporters a day earlier after the Eagles' 24-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers: The play on which the running back fumbled at the goal line was a called run-pass option.
"I probably should have done a different play right there," the Eagles coach said Monday at the NovaCare Complex. "And he did have a run-pass option."
The play, which came on a second-quarter third-and-goal situation about a foot short of the goal line, was botched essentially from the start.
After Brown received the handoff, tight end Clay Harbor was supposed to chip-block 49ers linebacker Parys Haralson before he ran a pattern, but did not. Guard Kyle DeVan was supposed to pull and seal off Haralson, but he never got there because he tripped over center Jason Kelce.
Brown was met immediately in the backfield by Haralson, but before he went down threw what he said he hoped would be ruled an incomplete pass. It was ruled a fumble, and San Francisco recovered. Reid challenged the ruling, but it was upheld by a replay.
Brown took responsibility for the blunder after the game, but Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg received the brunt of the criticism on Monday for calling an unorthodox play in that situation.
The Eagles have struggled in the red zone this season. Inside the 20, they have converted into touchdowns only 8 of 21 (38.1) possessions - 2 of 7 Sunday. But they have had particular trouble getting in from inside the 5.
Reid was asked whether the trickery was a sign of desperation.
"No, I don't see it that way," he said.
Reid was more expansive about the call during his WIP (610-AM, 94.1-FM) radio show later in the afternoon.
"As opposed to what some people thought, we practiced that play for three-something odd weeks plus," Reid said. "If that play's successful like you trust it's going to be . . . then it's a beautiful thing. But all those things didn't come together."
Sticking with Henery
Reid said he still had confidence in Alex Henery after the rookie was wide right on 39- and 33-yard field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
Henery was the first kicker since the NFL merger in 1970 to miss two field goals of less than 40 yards in the fourth quarter of a one-point loss, according to ESPN.
The Eagles' fourth-round draft pick connected on his first three tries - from 32, 32, and 33 yards out - but missed the kicks that likely would have given the Eagles the victory.
"F" for effort
Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel appeared to give less than a full effort on a few plays Sunday, especially during 49ers receiver Joshua Morgan's 30-yard catch-and-run TD in the third quarter.
On the play, the Eagles blitzed three extra pass rushers, and quarterback Alex Smith hit Morgan alone in the middle. Linebacker Brian Rolle was late picking up Morgan, and as the receiver neared the goal line it appeared that Samuel let up.
Asked generally about the effort of the defense, Reid said he "didn't think guys weren't giving the effort."
Michael Vick canceled his appearance on his WIP radio show Monday night at Chickie's and Pete's in South Philadelphia and no longer will do the show. The Eagles quarterback appeared for only one show and missed the two after he suffered injuries the previous days.