Monday, November 24, 2008

Fire Reid

Yesterday, Andy himself constructed a far more eloquent case for his firing than I ever could. The following is a statement of fact. Can you find all the problems with the coaching?
Down by 15 with 9 minutes to play, the Eagles face second-and-goal from inside the one yard line. The inexperienced back-up QB fakes a handoff, which the defense fails to react to, then drops back for a pass. The lone WR on the play, who has six catches for the year, allows the defender to undercut his route. The ball is intercepted and returned for a score.

Look, I suffered through the Ray Rhodes years and the name Rich Kotite still invokes shudders. So when I say this, I mean it sincerely: Thank you, Andy. You turned around a dismal franchise and molded it into a perennial mediocrity. You deserve a lot of credit for that, and you have my appreciation.

But one thing this season has proved beyond doubt is that Reid is incapable or unwilling to learn from his mistakes. The Eagles still pass 78% of the time against a terrible run defense, when the QB is struggling. They still pass on second-and-goal from the one, even with a back-up QB in the game. The Eagles continue to experiment with key positions well into the season (FB, anyone?) They struggle to find any consistency on offense. They can't convert third-and-one. They can't get the plays in soon enough, leading to wasted timeouts and delay penalties. After a decade of practice, there's no improvement in these areas.

The Eagles have been successful, mostly, under Reid, and his coaching tree has three successful saplings. Gruden, Harbaugh, and Childress were all Eagles coordinators who are currently coaching winning teams in the NFL. That says a lot for Reid. But they all run the ball considerably more than their mentor, even as he falls farther down the passing spiral.

It's a joke. I'm tired of it. I would rather watch my team try to do the right thing and fail, than suffer through any more years of pass-wacky mediocrity.

I have no ill will toward Andy Reid. It's just time to retire. If you're going to be successful over a long period of time, you need to change and adapt, and Andy has shown decisively that he hasn't changed one bit. So take some time off, take a vacation with your drug-addled kids, reacquaint yourself with your wife, maybe even visit a gym occasionally. After a few years away, you'll be correctly remembered as the winningest coach in franchise history.

In the meantime, we need to do everything in our power to coax former Eagle Bill Cowher out of retirement. A tough, gritty team who runs the ball and grinds out victories is exactly what Philadelphia deserves.

As far as McNabb goes - I can't argue with the benching, he's sucked. He's been outplayed by Matt Ryan, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Joe Flacco in recent weeks. But it's tough on any QB when your offense is intentionally one-dimensional, and so predictable that the defense calls out your play as you line up. Perhaps he's just on the downside of his career, declining as age and injury catch up to him. But maybe he'd be a solid QB again with a running game that the defense respects.

Andy, it's time to go. Walk out the door or get thrown out, it's all the same to me.


At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet Tea I agree that Reid's schemes are tired and hacky. His lack of mixing it up and experimentation on offense is deplorable. One ESPN analyst went so far as to say that "You can prep for a game against the Eagles by watching any of their game film from the previous 5 years. Reid hasn't made any changes."

So I tend to agree, it would be ideal if Reid and management went their separate ways at this point. I say that not because I think Reid is beyond hope, but because Bill Cowher is the only coach out there worth his salt, and if the Eagles want to land him, they better get him signed on the dotted line THIS YEAR before Cleveland does. All signs point to Crenell getting the boot in Cleveland, and talk has been the that the Browns are already courting Cowher.

In my opinion, the Eagles have the inside track on Cowher if management decided to pursue him. From a personnel standpoint the Eagles franchise is in good shape compared to Cleveland: decent players AND a very respectable D-coord in Jim Johnson. Johnson is every bit as good as Dick Lebeau, so on those bases alone Philly has an edge in the hunt for Cowher.

But in football as in life, he who hesitates is lost. I'd love to see Cowher in Philly rather than Cleveland, but in order for Lurie et. al. to toss Andy this year and gun for Cowher I think the Eagles have to finish 0 for their last 5 games where they blow 21+ point leads in all of them. I just don't see Jeffrey giving Andy the boot this year, which will put them out of contention for Cowher.

I really fear a "Cowher to Cleveland" scenario that would sully his legacy with my dear Steelers. Perhaps the Lions or 49ers would surpass Cleveland in a bidding war if the Eagles decided not to pursue him?

I dunno, only that great end of season math quiz will tell.....


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