- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kedric Golston got all too used to playing out the string on some bad Washington Redskins teams during his NFL career. He has the mentality down pat.

“It’s about being a professional. A coach told me a long time ago if somebody comes over your house to re-do your cabinets, you don’t care how they feel, you don’t care what’s going on,” the defensive lineman said. “You just want your cabinets done professionally.”

When the Philadelphia Eagles open the 2013 season, they’ll have football’s version of new cabinets and probably a brand new kitchen: They’ll most likely have a new coach and a new direction.

For now, the Eagles are a disappointing 4-10 and still have Andy Reid calling the shots. Sunday’s game against the Redskins could be the last at Lincoln Financial Field under Reid and the end of an era in Philadelphia.

“You know, I really don’t know what is going to happen. I just think the world of Andy and how he’s handled himself, how hard he’s worked, what he has done for our game. He is just a class act,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “He went through a difficult year this year with his family. I can’t think of anybody that has handled that better than he has and he is just a pro’s pro and I got a lot of respect for him.”

Reid’s son Garrett was found dead during training camp at Lehigh University in August, the result of an accidental heroin overdose. That tragedy makes anything football pale in comparison for the 14-year Eagles coach.

On the field, this season that began with high expectations sputtered thanks to an eight-game losing streak, including a 31-6 drubbing Nov. 18 at the hands of the Redskins.

“None of us want to lose football games. That’s for sure. The family situation, that’s separate, you don’t want that to happen, either,” Reid said on a conference call with Washington media this week. “I’m surrounded by a bunch of good people and that’s made it better, or as good as it could be.”

If Reid is indeed fired at the end of the regular season, a couple of more milestones await him and the Eagles. Dec. 30 at the New York Giants would be his final game on the sideline.

But Sunday is the home fans’ final chance to see Reid close-up. As coach, he has led the Eagles to seven NFC East titles, nine playoff appearances and one trip to the Super Bowl.

Like Shanahan, Reid isn’t sure what will happen Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t know what to expect. I’m so focused on the Redskins that I really haven’t gone there with that,” Reid said. “I know the fans have been great. As far as my situation goes with family and that, they’ve been phenomenal, but they want to win football games just like we all do. I understand that part, too.”

Philadelphia has won 130 regular-season games with Reid at the helm. This year hasn’t been anything special, but Redskins players remain wary.

“Going into Philly is always hard. They’re going to play you hard, they’re going to fight hard,” wide receiver Pierre Garcon said. “Those guys are NFL players, there’s a lot of jobs on the line so they’re going to give it everything they have if this their last home game [under Reid], they’re going to play as hard and do their best.”

Several Redskins veterans know how Eagles players feel right now with no playoff aspirations to play for.

“They’re going to come out and try and play spoiler. We’ve been in that position around here for a while, just playing for nothing and we spoiled a couple seasons,” linebacker Rob Jackson said. “Misery loves company. So if you’re not playing for anything or you’re not going to the playoffs, you want the other teams to be in the same position as you are.”

With the Redskins at 8-6 and in control of their playoff fate, it’s unlikely that this team will be in a similar position to the Eagles under Reid anytime soon. Shanahan’s long-term plan appears to be working, as Reid’s was in the early 2000s with Donovan McNabb.

Those glory days are gone, as are Michael Vick’s days as the starting quarterback. Since Vince Young called the Eagles a “dream team” before the 2011 season, the past two years have been a nightmare with no playoffs, a couple of assistant coach firings and plenty of embarrassment.

Even with a showdown with a Week 17 showdown against the Dallas Cowboys looming with the NFC East potentially at stake, Golston insisted the Redskins aren’t looking past the lowly Eagles.

“I got a lot of respect for that organization and Andy Reid and so I know he’ll have his team prepared,” he said. “I think if you allow yourself to get caught up in that they don’t have anything to play for then you won’t prepare the way you need to prepare to win a game.”

While the Redskins prepare, the Eagles brace for change. But left tackle Trent Williams cautioned that “no game will be a walk in the park.”

As a team with everything to play for, that’s something the Redskins cannot forget.

“The Eagles have a lot of talent on their team, man. By no way we can underestimate them,” defensive end Stephen Bowen said. “We’ve just got to keep taking care of business.”

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