Reid won't be back as Eagles' coach

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Reid won't be back as Eagles' coach

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Andy Reid's time is up as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Reid is out after 14 years in charge, three people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press following Sunday's 42-7 season-ending loss to the New York Giants.

Reid is scheduled to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie on Monday to discuss his future and an official announcement will come afterward, according to one person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a final agreement hasn't been reached. That person says there's a chance Reid might remain with the team in some capacity.

Reid is due to make $6 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract. He said he wants to coach next year, but it's possible Lurie could persuade him to take a season off and perhaps help out in the front office in an ``advisory'' role.

Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko denied several reports that Lurie has already fired Reid, saying it's ``absolutely, 100 percent'' untrue.

The Eagles (4-12) finished their worst season under Reid by losing 11 of their last 12 games. They missed the playoffs two straight years for the first time in Reid's tenure.

After the ugly loss to the Giants (9-7), Reid sounded like a man who knew he was going to lose his job.

As usual, he began his opening statement by listing injuries and finished with the same line: ``Time is yours.''

His time has run out in Philadelphia.

``We weren't very good,'' Reid said. ``That's my responsibility and I take complete blame for it.''

Asked if he wants to return in 2013, Reid said: ``I'm all in.''

Lurie said after the Eagles went 8-8 in 2011 that he considered firing Reid. He gave him another chance, but said before this season that 8-8 would be ``unacceptable.''

``I go in eyes wide open,'' Reid said of his meeting with Lurie. ``Either way, I understand. Whatever he chooses will be the right thing. He always does things for the best interests of the Eagles.''

Reid won more games (140) than any coach in franchise history. He led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl loss.

But he couldn't win the big one and that's how he's measured in a city that hasn't celebrated an NFL title since 1960.

The Eagles haven't won a playoff game since 2008 and took significant steps backward the last two years. They entered both seasons with high expectations only to fail miserably.

``We had quite a run,'' offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said.

Players said they expect changes, but continued to support Reid.

``He's a great man and I love him to death,'' said quarterback Michael Vick, who could've played his last game with the Eagles. ``I wish I could've done more. A lot of players wish they could've done more. Coaches can't play the games.''

The Eagles talked all week about wanting to win one for Reid. Instead, they suffered another embarrassing loss to cap a dismal season.

``We came, we stunk it up and we lost. It was terrible. No heart,'' defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said.

Like Jenkins, Vick also questioned his teammates' desire before trying to clarify his comment.

``It's frustrating,'' Vick said. ``It's difficult because, me, I leave it all out on the field and I give everything I got. Sometimes, I wish I could play other positions, but I can't.''

Vick missed the previous six games, sitting out the first five with a concussion and then being inactive last week. Vick only got the start because rookie Nick Foles broke his hand.

Vick is due to earn about $16 million next year, but the Eagles can release him without taking a financial hit. He wants to be a starter and is unsure whether he even wants to come back.

``I don't know. I have to take time to think about everything that's happened,'' Vick said.

This already was a difficult year for Reid. He endured a devastating loss weeks before the season opener when his oldest son, Garrett Reid, died at training camp after a long battle with drug addiction.

In October, Reid fired close friend and longtime assistant Juan Castillo, who was in his second season as defensive coordinator after coaching the offensive line for 13 years. He later fired defensive-line coach Jim Washburn.

After beating the defending Super Bowl champion Giants on Sept. 30, the Eagles lost eight straight games - their worst losing streak in 42 years.

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Orioles return home from rough road trip looking to improve on stellar home record

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Orioles return home from rough road trip looking to improve on stellar home record

The Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins open a three-game series Monday at Camden Yards with both teams sitting at or near the top of their divisions.

The Orioles put a 1-6 road trip behind them by taking two of three games against the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. The Twins beat the Royals on Friday before splitting a doubleheader on Sunday, which has created some challenges with their starting pitching.

Minnesota will have another tough test against the Orioles, who are 15-4 at Camden Yards this season -- the best home mark in the majors.

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Baltimore, however, had a setback Sunday when third baseman Manny Machado was hit on the hand by a pitch from Toronto reliever Joe Smith in the eighth inning. Machado is expected to have X-rays as a precaution.

"It's always scary for any player," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "There's no fake drama after that like you get sometimes and some places. It was what it was. You're not trying to hit him."

Baltimore also placed utility infielder Ryan Flaherty on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation Sunday. To fill the void, the Orioles recalled infielder Paul Janish from Triple-A Norfolk.

Baltimore right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (1-2, 6.52 ERA) takes the hill in the opener against Minnesota. Jimenez is having another uneven season that has jeopardized his spot in the rotation. He has 29 walks and 23 strikeouts in eight appearances, including seven starts.

Jimenez, however, has been solid against the Twins over his career, going 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 11 appearances. The key for Jimenez is to find some consistency and go deeper into the games to take some of the pressure off the bullpen.

"Quite frankly, it seems like it's that way in all of baseball, all around the league," Showalter said. "Getting to the seventh inning is at an all-time low in Major League Baseball history right now. It's tough. (Jimenez) is capable of better."

Twins manager Paul Molitor had held off naming a starter for the series opener against the Orioles until after the second game Sunday against the Royals. Minnesota played two doubleheaders in four days, putting a strain on the pitching staff.

After the nightcap vs. Kansas City, the Twins announced that Phil Hughes, the Game 1 starter and loser, would be placed on 10-day disabled list due to shoulder discomfort. Hughes allowed five runs in four innings and served up three home runs.

Hughes' injury created a roster spot, so the Twins plan to recall Kyle Gibson (0-4, 8.20 ERA) from Triple-A Rochester to start the opener in Baltimore.

"It's very frustrating," Hughes said. "I thought, hopefully, that a lot of this was behind me. So, to have this sprout up again is frustrating. Hopefully, it's a somewhat easy answer and something I can bounce back from."

Hughes was 0-2 despite a 2.92 ERA in two starts for Rochester the past 10 days. He is 1-1 with a 3.58 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles.

Rain is expected in Baltimore on Monday. If there is a postponement, the teams share a mutual off day Thursday.

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Caps players acknowledge there is a mental block holding them back

Caps players acknowledge there is a mental block holding them back

Barry Trotz does not think the Capitals’ history of playoff struggles has created a mental hurdle for the team to overcome.

“I think they’re all past that now,” Trotz said to reporters at the team’s breakdown day. “I think it’s so overworked by [the media] and everybody else that it’s actually becoming a joke to the guys.”

Well, the Caps weren’t laughing after their Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In some ways, Trotz is correct. Losing to Jaroslav Halak in 2010 is not why Washington lost to Pittsburgh this year. Giving up a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers in 2015 is not why the Caps were shutout in Game 7 by the Penguins.

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But there does seem to be a mental hurdle the team has not been able to overcome and the players feel it.

“I just think mentally we have to just get over it and stop crumbling in certain situations,” John Carlson said.

“I think that a lot of it's mental,” Matt Niskanen said. “It's pretty clear that we could play really well in the regular season. It's either a mental thing or how we're built or how we play the game or something. We can't play well enough to advance as is.”

Even a player like Kevin Shattenkirk, who does not share the team’s history and was new to the Caps as a trade deadline acquisition talked about the cloud that seems to hang over the organization.

“You can feel it,” Shattenkirk said. “Of course you can feel it. It’s everywhere surrounding this team. It’s media. It’s the fans. It’s the players.”

Even before the players spoke, given how the Penguins series played out, it was clear the Caps were struggling with the mental pressure of the playoffs.

Washington lost its first two games against the Penguins, their archrivals and the defending Stanley Cup champions. Facing a must-win situation in Game 4 to avoid a 3-1 series deficit and with no Sidney Crosby, the Caps laid an egg and lost 3-2 in a game in which they never led.

Things changed when Washington went down 3-1. At that point, everyone assumed they were going to lose. With no pressure on them, the Caps looked like a completely different team winning Game 5 and blowing the Penguins out in Game 6. Suddenly with the series back within their grasp in Game 7, with all the pressure back on their shoulders, Washington collapsed again and failed to even score in a 2-0 shutout loss.

“I think once we got down 1-0, you almost felt it,” T.J. Oshie said of Game 7. “The building kind of got quiet, we kind of got quiet, and we didn't find a way to regroup and respond in time to win the game.”

Even Trotz, who was adamant this team’s history is not what is holding the Caps back, acknowledged that the Penguins clearly have a “mental edge.”

“They just believe that they can beat the Washington Capitals so that's the barrier, that's their advantage right now just because they've done it,” Trotz said. “… When everything's on the line, they believe they're going to get maybe that break where a team like us who haven't broke through, maybe we don't believe we're going to get that break.”

But here’s the problem: If the past has created a mental block, how can you overcome that? That’s the issue this team is now grappling with as it tries to determine what direction to go in and how much change is needed to finally get over that mental hurdle.

“There's really nothing we can do to change the past unless we do it in the future,” Carlson said. “I think maybe we've got to get over the fact that we haven't had that much success and that's all we talk about.”

“We can't play well enough to advance as is,” Niskanen said. “Something's got to change. I don't know what it is, but as is we didn't play well enough. That's the way it is.”

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