Andy Reid Must Go

Posted: November 16, 2011 by hofworthy in NFL

Flashback: Last season (2010), the Philadelphia Eagles, were 10-4 through 15 weeks. The tenth win came after a miraculous comeback capped by a stunning DeSean Jackson punt return for a touchdown as time expired against conference rivals the New York Giants. All seemed well in Philadelphia. The Eagles had swept the Giants for the season when they had been battling back and forth with the G-men for the conference lead. It seemed as if the Eagles would easily finish up the season with victories at home against the lowly Vikings and Cowboys. Alas, that wasn’t to be. The Joe Webb (who?) led Minnesota Vikings came into Philly and handed the thought-to-be high flying Eagles a 10 point loss. The following Sunday, the hated Cowboys, and yet another backup QB, Stephen McGee (yep, THAT Stephen McGee), handed the Eagles their sixth loss on the season. In week one of the playoffs the Eagles played from behind the entire game succumbing to the eventual Super Bowl Champs, the Green Bay Packers.

With three straight losses and another early dismissal from the playoffs, Andy Reid’s future in Philly was about as clear as the Schuylkill River. I can recall a conversation with my brother discussing why Andy Reid should/should not be fired. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that Andy needed to stay in Philly because he was supposedly in a “re-building year.” No one expected Michael Vick to blow up the way he did, the Eagles suffered major injury setbacks, and after all he had been the most successful regular season coach in Eagles history. I like consistency and Andy, if nothing else had been consistent over the course of his career in Philly. Or had he?

This year after watching the “Dream Team” meekly limp to an unimpressive 3-6 start in which they have given up 5 fourth quarter leads, the question should be, what more can Andy Reid do?

    I simply cannot convince myself that he should remain as head coach. Yes, Reid is the most successful coach in Philadelphia Eagles history, yes he does have an eye for drafting gems in later rounds. However, Philadelphia is a city that longs for a championship. Andy Reid has proven that he is not capable of delivering this.

Here are the Top 4 Reasons that Andy Reid must go:

1. Andy Reid is a terrible game-time manager.
2. Andy Reid under-utilizes his most valuable assets.
3. Andy Reid does not correct the problems that have plagued his teams for years.
4. Andy Reid lost control of this team after the 2004 Superbowl debacle.

#1: Terrible Game-Time Management:

Reid’s inability to coach the two minute drill is well known. For years Eagles fans have watched with decreasing hope each time as their team tries to score in the final two minutes of the half or to make a comeback with less than two minutes in the game. It just doesn’t happen.

Not only is his clock management bad but he also exhibits poor overall game management. Sure Andy has had some explosive offenses over the years and he’s got some blowout wins, but if the Eagles are playing from behind, forget about it. Don’t expect a Reid-led team to come back and get the victory. He readily gives up on the run game-even if he never gave it a chance to get it going. Reid coaches his team as if he were playing the Madden version and not the NFL reality version. Gimmicky plays and offenses that rely heavily on big gain plays just are not consistently successful and that’s what he counts on from his offense.

#2. Under-utilization his most explosive offensive threats.

This fact was obvious in this Week 10’s loss to the lowly Cardinals (11/13/11). LeSean McCoy, who is second in the league in rushing yards and first in touchdowns, only ran the ball twice in the fourth quarter. In the loss to the Bears in Week 9 (11/6/11), McCoy only rushed 16 times. It seems that McCoy is used extensively in Eagles’ victories however. McCoy has run the ball 73 times in wins, 92 times in losses. And while that may seem to refute my point, keep in mind the birds have won just 3 times and lost 6 times. In the 3 wins on the season, McCoy averaged just over 24 carries. In the Eagles 6 losses he averaged just 15 carries. See a correlation? And remember, the Eagles weren’t playing from behind most of those 6 losses with a need to hurry up the offense-recall they’ve lost 5 games after having a 4th quarter lead.

#3. Mistake, rinse, repeat: Andy Reid does not correct the problems that have plagued his teams for years.

I’m not in the press room when Andy has his post game press conferences but I imagine there are those who are who have gone bald over the years listening to Reid always reply to specific questions related to the game with this phrase: “We’ve gotta get better at ____________ (fill in the blank).” Really? Is that what the problem is? We’ve got to get better at _______?! He insults the intelligence of the sports writers and the Eagles fans that have supported him for the last decade.

But his lack of accountability in the press conference is nothing compared to what happens on the field. Why is it that you can expect an Andy Reid team to have trouble in the red zone? Why is it that as a fan you have more hope when it’s 3rd and 7 from about anywhere than 1st and inches on the goal line? Why is it that you can expect an Andy Reid team to give up a lot of rushing yards? Why is it that you can expect an Andy Reid team to mismanage the clock? And yes, every year there seems to be lofty expectations of what can happen because for all of his faults, Reid has proven to be an effective talent scout of both players. And yet with a wealth of talent, every season has been riddled with laughable game and clock management mistakes.

#4. Andy Reid lost control of this team – 7 years ago.

Andy Reid’s first year as head coach of the Eagles ended in a dismal 5-11 record. In Reid’s defense he did have Doug Pedersen as his starting QB through 9 games, Koy Detmer in 1, and finally brought in a rookie named Donovan McNabb to start the final 6 games of the season. After that first year blunder the Eagles won no fewer than 11 games over the next 5 seasons. Twice winning 12 games, and in the year they finally won the NFC Championship they won 13 games! For his first 6 seasons Andy Reid was an astonishing 64-32.

And then Terrell Owens happened.

Before Terrell Owens, the Eagles did not have a legitimate wide receiver to compliment McNabb’s deep ball. When they got T.O. they finally had the piece of the puzzle they needed to get them over that NFC Championship Game hurdle that had been so hard to get over the 3 previous seasons.

The Eagles 21-24 loss in Superbowl XXXIX to the New England Patriots goes to show both how talented this team was and how mismanaged the game was.

    The Eagles defense held Corey Dillon to only 75 yards rushing

, but the Birds managed just 45 rushing yards all game long. While the Eagles and Patriots fought closely throughout the game, and even held an early lead, Reid’s play calling led to a pass play 75% of the time. That allowed the Patriots to pin their ears back and tee off on McNabb, forcing him into 3 interceptions. The Eagles dominated the first half, though the score was 7-7 when time expired in the second quarter. The Eagles could have had at least a 17-3 lead, but too many mistakes cost the Eagles 10 points.
In the 4th quarter after scoring a touchdown to cut the lead down to 3, Reid called for an onside kick attempt. Meanwhile there was still 1:48 left and the Eagles still had 2 timeouts, and the vaunted Eagles defense was coming alive. Still, Reid called for an onside kick, which failed. Amazingly, the Eagles defense held New England to 3-and-out giving McNabb one last chance to either tie or win the game outright. Three plays later, McNabb was intercepted for the third time and the game was over. Eagles fans all over lamented yet again, poor clock management, game planning, and the gross imbalance between the run and pass attack.

Back to the T.O. fiasco. After losing in the Super Bowl with impressive stats in his first game back from a broken leg, Terrell Owens started the 2005 season voicing his dissatisfaction with his contract, the team, Donovan, Andy, the neighbor’s dog, you name it. Needless to say, Terrell Owens never suited up in the green and white again. The Eagles finished that season 6-10.

It seemed like a blip on the radar screen but the Eagles teams have not been the same since. Just a closer look at Reid’s record will tell you. Remember that 64-32 record through his first six seasons? In his last seven seasons he is 57-47. And the locker room murmuring of disgruntled players just keeps getting louder. And even when players are not complaining, there is an air of “self before team” that abounds in the locker room.

This season has seen Asante Samuel go public with his anger toward the notion of being “unwanted.” DeSean Jackson is busy pouting about his contract right now (although he might be busy muffing punts on the 5 yard line with less than a minute to go in the half and skipping meetings because he “didn’t hear his alarm clock”). Michael Vick who was lauded as the Comeback Player of the Year last year and heralded as a changed man has been vocal in his complaints over his treatment by the officials and the media. And the talented, but inconsistent team leader Jason Avant, has snapped at fans for being “bandwagon jumpers.”

This year’s Reid-led, Reid-molded, Reid-selected team, has been lost. This team is no longer Andy’s. The fans know it. The players are in denial but they don’t act like a team. Rarely has such a talent-laden team with such high expectations fallen so incredibly short. This season by all counts is a disaster.

There is only one thing that can be done. Eagle’s owner, Jeffrey Lurie needs to start fresh and go in a new direction. That new direction for the team will never happen with Andy Reid as head coach.

  1. Brad says:

    Amen, brother!

  2. hofworthy says:

    Thanks Brad.

    Here’s the concern I have that Andy stays until the end of the season. The Eagles make a late season run and and go 5-2 or even 6-1. Missing the playoffs, but coming together as the “Dream Team” everyone thought they would be.

    They become the team that “no one wants to face” near the end of the season. And while playing the playoff spoiler for other teams is fun for teams like the Bengals, Dolphins, Chiefs, et al. I don’t want that for us.

    Enough is enough. Get rid of him now before the team eventually shows it’s potential and ruins a perfectly good bomb of a season.

    Andy must go now.

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