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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time for Lurie to come out of hiding

The Eagles' season had been over for about two minutes. That's when owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman raced toward their locker room in a golf cart, jumped out, entered and began something even more significant Sunday: The offseason.

Lurie has been shielded from questioning all season, but is expected to be available Monday to discuss the firing of Andy Reid ... and where the Eagles will go from there. The decision was first reported Sunday by Bob Grotz on

After a 42-7 loss to the Giants, Reid sounded ready to accept his professional fate.

“Whatever he chooses will be right,” Reid said. “He has always done what is in the best interests of the Eagles.”
Reid would like to be back. “I'm all in,” he said. But he knew he was to meet sometime before Monday morning with the owner --- and that his Tuesday schedule would not be so cluttered.
Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday, along with a look at what might have been the final Eagles game of Michael Vick. And, as always, check out for complete Eagles coverage, including several videos from the locker room.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

List of Delco Sports Figures, 1996 through 2012

Chester High basketball coach Larry Yarbray, the 2012 Daily Times Sports Figure of the year, joins this list:

1996: Kate Fonshell … Penncrest High, Villanova … track
1997: John Mobley … Chichester High … football
1998: Bo Ryan … Chester High … basketball
1999: Pat Croce … Lansdowne-Aldan High … basketball
1999: Leroy Burrell … Penn Wood High … track, Delco Sports Figure of the Millennium
2000: Emily deRiel … Haverford High … pentathlon
2001: Brendan Hansen … Haverford High … swimming
2002: Mike Scioscia … Springfield High … baseball
2003: Harry Perretta … Monsignor Bonner High, Villanova … basketball
2004: Brendan Hansen … Haverford High … swimming
2005: Kevin Clancy … Strath Haven High … football
2006: Vince Papale … Interboro High … football
2007: Dan Connor … Strath Haven High … football
2008: Fred Pickett … Chester High … basketball
2009: Andy Talley … Haverford High, Villanova … football
2010: Matt Szczur … Villanova … football, baseball
2011: Philadelphia Union … Chester … soccer
2012: Larry Yarbray … Chester High … basketball

And the Delco Sports Figure of the Year is ...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fans' silence was appropriate sendoff for Reid

There were some boos ... but not too many, considering that the Eagles' 27-20 loss had just dropped them to 4-11.

There were some "Andy Reid, Andy Reid" cheers ... but they were mostly near the Eagles' locker room, and hardly resonated.

Mostly, then, there was this at the end of what almost certainly was Reid's final home game as the Eagles' coach: Nothing.

And that said plenty.

“Listen, we have great fans,” Reid said afterward. “I've always said that we're kind of on the same page. When you stink, they let you know you stink. And when you're doing good. They're going to let you know you're doing good. I got it. I understand. I understand the situation. I appreciate everything.”
He will coach the Eagles one more time, Sunday in the Meadowlands against the Giants. Then, according to Jeffrey Lurie's preseason demands if not his promise, Reid will be gone.
“Those are good stories,” Reid said. “But when you are in the process of getting ready for a game, your mind doesn't go there --- especially a game like that, where it comes down to the last second. So that's not really where I am at.”
Not yet, anyway.
Check out my column on the situation, along with a story on the continuing mystery of Nick Foles and complete Eagles coverage (videos included)  in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on

Monday, December 17, 2012

Andy Reid's statement

Here is the statement from Andy Reid, via the Eagles, after a prosecutor in Easton said that anabolic steroids were found in the Lehigh University dorm room where Reid's son, Garrett, was found dead last August:

“As you all know, my son Garrett battled addiction for many years. While there were some victories along the way, it ultimately was a battle that he lost and that cost him his life. Our family feels the pain of that loss every day.

“Today’s report saddens me greatly, but only confirms the troubles Garrett encountered in the final years of his life. As parents, we were encouraged by his apparent progress but, like many addicts, he was able to conceal the signs of relapse.

“Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles organization and the people of Philadelphia have been remarkably supportive of my family throughout our ordeal. I am confident that my son’s decisions did not affect our football team in any way. I cannot apologize enough for any adverse appearances that my son's actions may have for an organization and a community that has been nothing but supportive of our family.”

Lurie's statement on Garrett Reid findings

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie released this statement after a prosecutor in Easton said that an investigation found anabolic steroids in the Lehigh University dorm room of Garrett Reid at the time of Reid's death last August.

Reid, the son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was assisting the Eagles at training camp.


“The news today on Garrett Reid’s possession of steroids is disappointing. It’s clear the conduct in which he apparently engaged runs counter to the values and principles mandated for everyone associated with our organization. We have spoken with the league office and have pledged our full cooperation with their requests should there be any. While we remained saddened by the tragic end of a young man’s life and know how hard this must be for the entire Reid family, we are extremely confident that Garrett’s actions were unknown to those around him and did not involve our football team.

“The NFL has a rigorous drug testing program for its players. It is a matter of record that none of our players has tested positive for any of the steroids mentioned in the district attorney’s report.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Empty feeling should test Lurie's patience

The defense? Improving.

The quarterback? Still intriguing.

The result? Bengals 34, Eagles 13.

The quick analysis: Too many turnovers.

The real story: The Linc Thursday was quiet, dull and empty in too many spots. And as the Eagles fell to 4-10 with a loss on national TV, that's what had to bother Jeffrey Lurie the most.

Though the Eagles played well for a half, they unraveled in the third quarter. And with each Cincinnati success, there were as many in-house chuckles as there were boos. At the end, there wasn't even much of either.

So when Lurie makes the decision that he must make at the end of the season --- to change coaches --- that is likely to be his No. 1 reason: His franchise is running a significance deficit, and his fans will demand nothing less.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Friday, along with a story about the improving defense of coordinator Todd Bowles ---- who has acknowledged his interest in becoming the next head coach at Temple.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Soon, Sixers can have stage to themselves

The Eagles will play their last home game next weekend. The Phillies will play their next one in April. The Flyers may never play one again.

That leaves ....

“I don't want to talk about it,” said Adam Aaron, their CEO. “I wouldn't have wanted the Flyers talking about us during their lockout.”

Either way, the Sixers are about to enjoy a rare chance to command the sports attention in Philadelphia. Either way, their basketball is going to have to do the talking, eventually.

The Sixers were entertaining in a  96-89 loss to the Bulls Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center --- entertaining, then sloppy at the end, when it mattered.

“It was disappointing, to say the least,” Doug Collins said. “But we have to keep growing.”
If they do, they could take advantage of the opportunity.
If not ...
Check out my column on the subject in the Daily Times Thursday and, as always, on

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good Tom had by Eagles

TAMPA --- In a season where Andy Reid made few correct decisions, one went staggeringly well Sunday in Tampa.
Reid's replacement of Jim Washburn with Tommy Brasher as the Eagles' defensive line coach was critical to a 23-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While the popular spin on the end of the eight-game losing streak naturally and properly will go toward rookie quarterback Nick Foles and his game-winning drive, it would not have been possible without a less-wide-nine defense, a late-game stop and a scoreless Tampa Bay first half.
In that, Brasher was key.
“I don't really want to go there,” Brandon Graham said. “You know, it is more about technique with the new coach. Even though Coach 'Wash' was, too, he was more about getting up field. The new coach is more about stopping the run. That's what we did. That opened up the pass and everybody was hungry to get after them.”
The Eagles were strong on the defensive line, regularly forced Tampa Bay into passing situations, and benefited from the wild arm of quarterback Josh Freeman.
Save a season? Hardly.
Give the Birds one late blast of satisfaction? Yes.
Check out my column on Brasher and the Eagles, my story on Foles and plenty of video from the Eagles' victory in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Younger Eagles showing some promise

ARLINGTON, Texas --- The Eagles lost, as usual, 38-33, in Dallas Sunday. That's eight in a row. They might not win again. Changes are coming, though, for the record, Andy Reid is still refusing to quit.

So, what's the best that can come out of the final four weeks of the season? A little more of what was on display in Cowboys Stadium Sunday --- enough intriguing efforts from young players to bring maximum appeal to the the coaching opening that Jeffrey Lurie is about to have.

Though the Birds lost, Bryce Brown rushed for 169 yards. And Nick Foles seemed comfortable in the pocket. And Brandon Graham attacked Tony Romo with authority. And Damaris Johnson had a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown.

And .... and there was a glimpse of something better, that's what.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on Also, look for a story on Brown, some videos and the usual complete Eagles coverage direct from Texas.