Tag:Andy Reid
Posted on: January 12, 2010 10:51 am

The Eagles Can't Push The Panic Button

And neither can their fans. If I hear one more dim-witted, irrational Philadelphia fan call for Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb's head, my head probably will explode. I love Philadelphia. I love the Eagles. I can never be considered a true Philadelphia fan due to my humble, eclectic upbringing. And I thank myself for that everyday so that I can be avoided being lumped into the true Philadelphia fans.

I get it. The city as a sports fan wears its heart on its sleeve. You express yourselves in colorful manners and voice your opinions without thinking. If Eagles fans had their way, Reid and McNabb would have been left behind years ago and our franchise would have been mired in mediocrity by now. But the fans don't see it that way. They're emotional right now. The Cowboys just beat them for the second and third times this season and ousted the Eagles from the playoffs. We're a little pissed right now, even myself. The difference is, I can still think with a clear head.

Case and point, Donovan McNabb is a Top 10 NFL QB in my opinion. Mike Vick or Kevin Kolb will probably not step in and be a Top 10 QB in the NFL. They can be good, efficient, maybe even win a game or two on their own, but they won't be a Top 10 QB. Not next year. The Eagles have no QB controversy unless you believe the stuff that ESPN pumps at you. Andy Reid should have never needed to address this issue unless the media brought it up (and they did this to drive the city of Philadelphia and Eagles fans crazy. On purpose. I can't prove it, but they've been doing it for years.) and he ended the matter quickly. In the words of the infamous Lovie Smith, "Donovan is our quarterback."

McNabb said something after the Week 17 loss to Dallas. He said "We showed our youth today." He did not take a shot at his young playmakers, but rather merely expressed that young teams will have bad games. Every skill position player for the Eagles (counting McCoy at RB) is 25 or younger. Think about that for a second, most of the Eagles core offensive skill players are entering their prime. This is a good thing. The Eagles are getting younger at O-line as well. Losing C Jamal Jackson really hurt this team during those last two games against Dallas and put McNabb into a survival mode in the pocket. Again, not the end of the world and I hope that Jackson is back for the start of next year because he is a fantastic player.

Secondly, the Eagles defense is also young for the most part. MLB Stewart Bradley was lost for the season in training camp and the Eagles as a unit never had any real cohesion for the entire season with all of the injuries and different lineups. Losing DC Jim Johnson didn't help either. Macho Harris replaced Sean Considine as the Eagles safety I open wonder aloud "WTF is he doing?" on a regular basis. The Eagles also seemed to be lacking a defensive leader. Why Brian Dawkins played this year in Denver is beyond me, he would solve my FS problem and leadership at the same time, and that hurt this team on the field and in the locker room, terrible decision by the Eagles front office (first time I've said that in years and we knew this at the beginning of the season).

Eagles fans, this young team is only going to get better. If you want to call for Ried and Donovan's head again, be my guest. You're entiled to do that. But think for a second of who is going to replace those two and if it's really an upgrade. Sure, Andy Reid doesn't run the ball consistently. I know, I wrote him a whole letter before the Chicago and he didn't do it in either of the two Dallas games. Maybe I should have wrote him again. Probably would not have changed the fact that the Eagles makeshift O-line couldn't stop Dallas' 3-4 scheme even with Jackson calling audibles for the O-line.

The last thing the Eagles should do right now is can McNabb. If you want to debate Westbrook, which would also be another dumb idea, fine. I'll hear that with an open mind. I'll take the debates of which back-up to have next year, Kolb or Vick or both. But I will not listen to the dumbfounded idea that Donovan McNabb should be sent packing.

Because he's going to get us to another Super Bowl. Andy Reid is going to coach it. And they're going to win it. Might be three or four years down the road with two more heartbreaking NFC Championship Game losses, but they're going to do it.

And if you give up on them now, you're throwing it all away because an 11-5 team lost a road playoff game.

And that would be a shame.
Posted on: November 24, 2008 2:50 pm

The "Last" of the Rational Eagles Fans Surrenders

As a displaced Eagles fan from Connecticut (read my first blog entry for more details), I have defended Andy Reid from rabid, full-blooded, Philadelphia Eagles fans for what seems like a few years now. I thought my insight and rationale could help Philly fans step back from the "Fire Andy Reid Bridge."

But no more. I'm done with you Andy Reid. Because you violated my first rule of coaching.

Don't coach for your job.

That's what Reid did yesterday at halftime of the Eagles-Ravens game yesterday. By benching Donovan McNabb for youngster Kevin Kolb, Andy Reid succumbed to the fans complaints. He's read too many articles and seen to many ESPN clips about how he and McNabb might be done in Philly if the Eagles don't turn it around this year. He gave in to the outside pressure of the fans and the media and changed his coaching habits because of it. I hear that there is a report somewhere that Reid discussed benching McNabb with the Ealges coaching staff as early as last week. I wish Reid had pulled McNabb in the Bungles Bengals game, because I would feel more comfortable with Kolb at the helm against a competitive, fiery Cincy squad, than a lights-out defense in Baltimore.

For the record, neither McNabb or Kolb looked good yesterday. AJ Feeley might have been a better option for all I know. What I do know is that the Eagles "franchise QB" and the Eagles "QB of the Future" put up a combined QB rating of 12.5. I have a better passer rating for my flag football team. But that's not the point. The point is the Eagles offense is not what it was 5 years ago. The Eagles had McNabb, Westbrook, a solid offensive line, and an over-achieving group of wideouts. Now, it's the same team, a few years older yes, but essentially the same team. The Eagles simply do not run the ball anymore. They don't even do screens (which in Andy Reid's mind, could be running plays) successfully anymore, in my opinion. The Eagles offense has become stale. It's predictable. And when a predictable offense goes up against a solid defense, Cincinnati's included and Baltimore's especially, it's not going to produce. The Eagles just a few months ago lost to Dallas in a 47-41 shootout. The Eagles last three games (including the Giants game) were offensive offensive performances.

But back to the real culprit here, Head Coach Andy Reid.

Again, I've defended Reid for what seems like forever to my friends. Reid's dealt with injuries for the past few season, the whole thing with a certain-receiver-whom-I-will-not-na
me-for-sanity-reasons, and Reid always seems to catch lightning in a bottle with back up QB's (see A.J. Feeley and Jeff Garcia).

But this year, everyone was supposed to be healthy. McNabb and Westbrook were going to lead the Eagles back to the playoffs and many "experts" had tabbed them to make the playoffs, maybe even the Super Bowl. I don't consider myself an expert, but I put the Eagles at a year away for basically one reason: The NFC East. In the pre-season, it was very possible that all four teams from the NFC East were going to be fighting for a playoff spot. But the Eagles lost starting WR's Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, vaulting hot-shot rookie DeSean Jackson into the starting role, giving him the lone bright spot in the Eagles offense this year. The Eagles defense has been solid all year. The biggest problem the Eagles have is running the football. Reid just doesn't do it, which is fine with me, as long as the screen game is working. But, the real reason the 5-5-1 Eagles are most likely out of the playoff race. When the pass-heavy Eagles offense struggles in the beginning of games and falls behind, that leaves Reid and McNabb behind the 8-ball and forces them to throw.

Yesterday however, there was no 8-ball. Down 10-7 at the half to a stingy Baltimore team, Reid benches McNabb for Kolb. For the record, the Eagles also trailed the Giants by three points at the half (20-17) just a few weeks ago. Both games the Eagles were lucky to only be down three points after being out-played for the first half. In the Giants game, Reid stuck with McNabb and the Eagles gutted out a tough loss, failing to convert a 3rd and 4th and short on the ground. Against the Ravens, an inferior offensive team to the Giants (that's not a knock on Joe Flacco and the Ravens' O, that's a compliment for the Eli Manning and Giants), Reid benches his starter for an untested back-up.

I believe that once a coach has started coaching for his job rather than coach to win or rebuild or what ever the team's goal is, he is no longer looking out for the best interests of the team and the organization. Coaches usually preach a "put-yourself-before-the-team" mentality (the reason why said receiver is no longer with the team) and once they break that mentality themselves, there is no going back. You've lost a certain trust that you had with that coach and it's very difficult to gain that trust back in my opinion.

If Andy Reid needed to make a change, it was with his offensive game plan, not at QB. Reid refuses to stick with anything that looks like a running game, instead opting to have McNabb throw it for up to 50 times a game. The Eagles also failed to utilize RB Correll Buckhalter all season, with the exception of Buckhalter's start against the 49ers for an injured Westbrook. The Giants and Dallas Cowboys both use multiple running backs in their offensive game plan, why not Andy Reid and the Eagles? Where are the days where Westbrook lines up in the slot? Why are the Eagles using gadget plays on their first offensive play? (DeSean Jackson and the Wildcat Formation TD vs. the Giants)

Basically, all of this has led me to believe that Andy Reid believes his job is in jeopardy and he needs to do something to save it. I don't believe that's the case, but maybe the media has made him paranoid. All I know is that when I mention the Andy Reid-Lovie Smith comparison to my friend later ("Donovan McNabb is our quarterback"), he might die laughing. But that's about the only thing I can do to cheer him up right now. Because after more than a year of listening to this same friend complain about Reid, I finally realized he was right. This moment of enlightenment happened right after my same friend sent me this text message:

"The man didn't even tell Donovan he was benched. The coaches did."

Your telling me, that Andy Reid didn't have the guts (pun intended) to tell the franchise QB he drafted out of Syracuse, that he wasn't playing in the 2nd half in what might be a make or break game for the Eagles' season? And now you want McNabb to start again for you this Thursday against the Cardinals?

I'm done with you Andy Reid. I've tried to be a loyal fan. I've tried to believe that your going to turn around my football team. But, I've defended you for far too long. There are times when a team struggles despite their coach making game plans and watching film. And there are times where a team struggles, because of it's coach. I sadly feel that the Philadelphia Eagles might fall under the latter of the two categories.

Who knows, maybe 10-5-1 might be good enough to make the NFC playoffs, seeing how winning out would hand the Cowboys and Redskins both a loss (the Giants are winning the division folks, unless they have a collapse comparable to the New York Mets). Maybe benching Donovan was the wake-up call the whole Eagles team needed to turn this season around. Maybe in January I'll be writing a blog entry saying how I should have stuck up for Andy Reid and defended him for the remainder of the season.

Maybe the city of Philadelphia will forget the Phillies won the World Series last month too.

- Eagle
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