The Case For Keeping Andy Reid

Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 123 Comments »

This isn’t my definitive opinion.  Rather, this is a logical case for why Reid should be kept as coach.   No matter which side you agree with, I don’t think this is an easy decision.  

32 NFL teams would all love a perfect coach. That man doesn’t exist. Bill Belichick is flawed. So were legends like Bill Walsh, Vince Lombardi, and even Tom Landry. Head coaches, being somewhat human, make mistakes. They call the wrong play, cut the wrong player, or hire the wrong assistant. They screw up.

Successful head coaches get more right than wrong when it comes to making decisions. You don’t win by accident. You might for a year or even two, but not for long. Over time you see a pattern emerge and find out which coaches make too many mistakes and which coaches are more right than wrong. They keep winning.

At the end of 2007 Romeo Crennel looked like a smart guy. His Cleveland Browns had just had a breakout season. Life was good. 6 games into the 2009 season Josh McDaniels had the Broncos sitting at 6-0. Life was good. Both coaches fell apart after that and were fired. Cleveland remains irrelevant. The Broncos were 6-20 the rest of the way under McDaniels, but are playing well this year under new coach John Fox.

Both Crennel and McDaniels had a taste of success, but neither could stand the test of time. Life in the NFL is hard. Too many injuries? Tough. Couple bad calls? Tough. Other teams in your division having fluke years? So what. In the NFL, you win or you hit the bricks. Coaches are hired to be fired. You deliver or else.

Andy Reid has delivered, over and over. 2011 is an obvious exception. This season has been a disaster. Expectations by most were sky high. Struggling a bit is one thing, but 4-8 is mind blowing. That said, firing Reid for having a bad year would be short sighted and a mistake. The second he became available, all but a handful of teams would be interested. Would you really want Reid taking over the Skins, ‘Boys, or Gmen? Um, no. Hell no. Reid is a winner. Hate his faults all you want, but look at his record. The man wins.

But what about 2011? You can’t give him a pass for this year, right? No. I don’t give him a pass. Andy Reid built up a lot of goodwill from 1999-2010. He burned through that this year. His savings account went from huge to empty. A bad season in 2012 would be a whole other story. You’d then have a pattern of losing and that would make it reasonable to fire Reid. History tells you he won’t lose in 2012. Reid has never had consecutive losing seasons with the Eagles.

Having a bad year doesn’t make you incompetent or bad at what you do. In 1989 Jerome Brown had 10.5 sacks. In 1991 he had 9. Sandwiched in there was the 1990 season when Brown had just one sack. Should the Eagles have cut him? Of course not. His track record dictated that the bad year was an anomaly. Study the track record. 2011 is bad, but the Eagles were in the playoffs the previous 3 years.    

Check out this list of names:

Chan Gailey
Dave Campo
Bill Parcells
Wade Phillips
Jason Garrett
Norv Turner
Marty Schottenheimer
Steve Spurrier
Joe Gibbs
Jim Zorn
Mike Shanahan
Jim Fassel
Tom Coughlin

Those are the other NFC East coaches during Reid’s tenure (minus the Cardinals). All of those coaches combined have a record of 9-13 in the playoffs in that span. Andy Reid is 10-9. Coughlin did lead the Giants to a Super Bowl. That sets him apart and Reid is accountable for not bringing a Lombardi Trophy to the NovaCare Complex.

Take another look at that list of names. Those guys have great resumes. There is a mixture of college coaches, NFL winners, former SB winners, and hotshot assistants. Out of that group, Coughlin delivered one Super Bowl and a lot of luck was involved in that win. Hiring a good coach is hard. Hiring a SB winner is very hard. Finding a great coach is next to impossible.

Point is that a lot of coaches have been hired in Reid’s tenure. Most have been failures. Coughlin won a Super Bowl, but his team has been mediocre ever since. He’s on the hot seat more than Reid right now, despite having the better record in 2011.

If I thought firing Reid would definitely push the Eagles toward the Super Bowl, I’d be all for it. Unfortunately, there is no such certainty. Firing Reid guarantees you nothing but change. Fans want that change because of the nightmare season. That’s emotion talking and not logic.

The only reason to replace Reid is if you can upgrade. That is a major challenge. How many coaches better than Reid are available right now? I know…Gruden, Cowher, and Jeff Fisher. Those are big names, but aren’t necessarily better coaches. If you judge strictly by SB wins, yes, but that also puts Barry Switzer above Bud Grant and I’m not buying that for a second.

Would I take Gruden over Reid for just 1 game? Yes. Absolutely. The problem is you’re hiring a guy for 5 years. Gruden has shown that he’s all over the place. He cannot build a wining program because he tinkers too much. Cowher and Fisher would be fine if trying to build a team from the ground up. Those guys are good coaches. I think both would be lost with the Eagles built as they are. And the Eagles have too much talent in place to go on a rebuilding mission. Also…think about time. Gruden won the SB in 2002. Cowher in 2005. The NFL is different now. Reid went to the SB in 2004 and think how much things have changed since then. Those guys have great reputations, but don’t fall into the trap of hiring names. The Skins did that with Mike Shanahan. Wonder how much they regret that move?

Is there a great assistant to be had? There are some names of interest, but there is no one I find so compelling that it makes me think he would be likely to improve on Reid.

The NFL is all about offense these days. You must have a QB. Reid has proven to be a QB guru. He drafted and developed Donovan McNabb. Ditto with AJ Feeley. Ditto with Kevin Kolb. Then he signed Mike Vick off the street and has him throwing the ball much better than Vick ever dreamed of in Atlanta.

Ask a Skins fan how nice it would be to have good QB play. It has been a while since they had a really good QB down there. Heck, ask an Eagles fan who sat through the wasteland of the 1991-1998 period. The Eagles had good QB play in spurts, but never for an entire season. The team won a pair of Wildcard games in that period, but didn’t come close to anything more than that. Having a franchise QB is critical. Having a coach who can find and develop QBs is hugely important.

A lot of people think Reid has simply been here too long and it is time for a change. I understand that notion and it does make sense, but Reid isn’t your typical coach. Reid became fascinated with the personnel side of things while in Green Bay. He talked to Ron Wolf a lot and learned that part of the NFL. Most coaches obsess on keeping veteran players. They want to grow old with the guys they know. Reid is the exact opposite. He understands roster turnover and even embraces it.

Reid has let a lot of good veterans go in his time here. It killed me to see Troy Vincent and Hugh Douglas leave. That was really heartbreaking. It was the right thing to do, though. Reid had the strength to let them walk and the Eagles were better off for it. Reid had one set of players in his 2004 Super Bowl run. There were a lot of new faces in 2008 when the team again came close. The 2011 Eagles are different than them and the 2012 team will be different than this bunch.

Think about this. Reid clinched division titles with McNabb (2001, 2003-2004), Feeley (2002), Garcia (2006), and Vick (2010) at quarterback. That should tell you that Reid can handle change. That should show you that he’s able to adapt better than people think.

Speaking of which…one of the accusations against Reid is that he isn’t self-aware, won’t self-scout, and won’t change. Not true. Put on an Eagles game from 1999. Then 2002. Then 2003. Then 2006. Then 2008. Then 2011. You’ll see different offenses. The changes aren’t dramatic, but they are there. Reid began here with a simple attack out of the I-formation. By 2002 he was using a 3-WR set. He began mixing in a lot of shotgun after that. 2003 was a real fun offense. Lots of Ace Formation for the first time (2 TE, 2 WR, 1 RB). The offense was efficient. By 2006 the Eagles were vertical and explosive. Reggie Brown and Donte Stallworth were vertical threats. When McNabb got hurt, the offense really featured Brian Westbrook. He became a workhorse RB. The 2008 offense became really vertical with the explosive speed of DeSean Jackson. The FB was phased out. This year, with Vick as the starter and Howard Mudd’s new blocking scheme, there are new running plays and some different passing plays. Middle screens, WR screens, and even TE screens are now featured plays.

Reid had the infamous 2007 game with the Giants where McNabb was sacked 237 times (at least it seemed that way). Since then, gameplans against good pass rushing teams have focused on protection. Reid does this by alignment, by using extra blockers, and by calling certain plays. I don’t think there has been a game quite like that one since then.

No one (except Andy/Marty) like the Eagles pass-run ratio. That said, things have gotten a bit better. After 12 games, LeSean McCoy leads the NFC in rushing (2nd in NFL). He has 215 carries. Brian Westbrook had 277, 240, and 233 in his best seasons. Keep in mind that Shady still has 4 games left. He’s on pace for 286 carries this year. Only Duce Staley with 325 back in 1999 would have had more in a season. And that year Reid had to run because the passing offense was such a mess.

Back in 2005 Reid had a veteran team. He was dealing with the TO situation in the summer and that meant trying to get Reggie Brown and Greg Lewis a lot of reps with McNabb at Lehigh. There was a lot of passing. That Eagles team completely fell apart and went 6-10. The next year at Lehigh Reid had a totally different mindset. He thought the 2005 team hadn’t been tough enough so Reid ran run play after run play. That was a tough, physical camp. Reid was punishing his team for the sloppy 2005 season. Reid was more passive in 2005, letting his assistants run drills and handle things. In 2006 he was more active, and not just on offense. Reid was all over the practice fields. He felt the team needed his presence and he changed his methods.

Reid also made another change at that training camp. He had a play clock on the field. To that point, the Eagles had a really bad problem of getting to the line late. That led to penalties and/or wasted timeouts. Reid used the clock to get the offense in the habit of moving quicker and that issue has gone down quite a bit. Reid also had been calling his own plays from the time he got here. That changed in the middle of the 2006 season. Since then, Marty Mornhinweg has called the plays.

One of the problems Reid had to deal with was his own success. He lost the great coaching staff he initially built when he came to the Eagles. Guys left to go become head coaches and coordinators for other teams. Reid stumbled with many of his replacement hires. This caught up to the Eagles over time. Reid realized this and made a lot of coaching changes after the 2010 season. Reid is fiercely loyal so firing guys wasn’t something that came easy to him. Reid also realized that he’d lost his feel for the coaching community that he had back when he was an assistant. This time when he went to hire coaches he decided to focus on people he knew rather than guys that were suggested to him. The staff now has a lot of former Eagles and/or veteran coaches that Reid had a relationship with. Reid identified a problem and tried to correct it.

Reid did make one mistake in his hires. The Juan Castillo as DC experiment is a major failure and Reid will have to rectify that in the offseason. If Reid is willing to admit the mistake and make a change, he can be forgiven. If Reid tries to fight for Castillo to keep his job, then we’ve got a whole other discussion. I don’t think that will happen. Reid showed with last year’s firings that he’s willing to make hard decisions when they must be made.

Reid is slow to change. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. His stubborn streak is about the size of his gut and that’s not a good thing. The notion that he won’t adjust or change is false. He just doesn’t do it quickly.

Although Reid no longer calls plays, he still has a strong hand in the offense. The playbook is his. He helps design the gameplan each week. Reid is one of the best offensive minds in the NFL. He’s able to keep the Eagles among the top offenses in football by adjusting the scheme to take advantage of the personnel. The early offense was built around McNabb. The 2004 attack fed the ball to a big, physical workhorse WR. The 2006 team was built around a dynamic runner/receiver. Now the offense is a mixture because of Maclin, McCoy, DeSean, Celek, Avant, and of course…Vick. I think a strong case can be made for Reid as the greatest screen coach in NFL history. If you go back over the years you will see the Eagles coming up with different ways to run the screen pass every year or two. It is brilliant the way Reid is able to tweak such a simple play.

Reid’s biggest strength might be his people skills. That sounds crazy to anyone who has listened to a Reid press conference, but it is true. There is a reason that guys like Hugh Douglas, Shawn Barber, Feeley, Dorsey Levens, and Jeremiah Trotter returned to the Eagles after leaving. They loved Big Red and wanted to play for him again. Even disgruntled players like John Welbourn and Terrell Owens hinted that they regretted leaving the Eagles. I’d love to give Donovan McNabb some truth serum and hear his thoughts on Reid vs the situations in WAS and MIN. That would be interesting.

Fans hate to hear “This is on me. I’ve got to do a better job.” They hate it with a passion. Players appreciate it. The thing that I wish more people understood is that Andy isn’t calm and quiet with the team. He gets them in a meeting room and rips them up and down. The thing is that it stays in the room. You don’t have the kind of success Reid has without knowing how to get after players. Wade Phillips is a coach who prefers the nice guy approach. He has success for a few years, but eventually the players take advantage of him and Wade is out. Reid seems harmless to those on the outside, but he runs that locker room. Andy rules the roost.

Notice that in a year where not much has gone right, there isn’t an issue with players going to the media to rip on Reid. DeSean Jackson is in the middle of a highly volatile situation. Reid continues to protect his player and DeSean hasn’t gone off. He isn’t playing like he should, but he could make that situation a lot worse if he started running his mouth to the media. Hasn’t happened.

Some people love to throw the “Reid’s lost the locker room” accusation out there. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. It is a cliched thing to say about a veteran coach in a down year, but there’s nothing to back it up. The team is struggling, but this isn’t a case of players turning their back on Reid or not caring. Did you see Vince Young throw his body into a defender to lay out a block last week? Have you watched Trent Cole play? Jason Avant? Brent Celek? And so on. This team doesn’t lack effort. The guys are playing hard. Problem is that effort can’t make up for mistakes.

Go back to the previous Eagles coaches. Rich Kotite didn’t lose the locker room. He just never had it. Defensive players openly hated Rich. His 1994 team lost their final 7 games and it was clear that he had to go. Ray Rhodes was very popular, but was a bit like Wade Phillips. Ray didn’t control the team and by his final year the players were doing as they pleased. Dave Spadaro has told stories of players being on cell phones while sitting at practice. Can you imagine such a thing under Reid?

Reid is respected by other coaches and players. In his time here, Philly became a place players wanted to go. Vince Young signed here because he wanted to play for Reid. Terrell Owens wanted no part of Baltimore, but did everything he could to get to Philly. Nnamdi Asomugha wanted to be an Eagle. And so on. Go back to the Rhodes era. We landed 2 big time free agents, Ricky Watters and Troy Vincent. Ricky knew Ray from their time together in SF and it helped we paid him a lot when other teams weren’t so keen on him. Troy got a huge deal from us and also wanted to play near his hometown. The other stars we talked to had no interest in coming here. They used us to get better deals elsewhere. Guys like Deion Sanders, Dana Stubblefield, John Randle, and even Nate Newton used our name for leverage. They didn’t want any part of the Eagles. Reid has made Philly an NFL hot spot.

Reid’s most interesting relationship might be the one with Michael Vick. Reid took a flyer on Vick at a time when only a couple of teams had interest. The Eagles had a stable environment that would make life easier for Vick. The Eagles also had Reid, someone that Vick would respect and answer to. Vick didn’t need a buddy-buddy coach. He had that in Atlanta with Jim Mora (jr or whatever he is). That didn’t work too well. Vick needed someone that would enforce rules and hold him accountable. Reid did this and continues to do this. To Vick’s credit, he’s been basically a model citizen since leaving prison (except in the Red Zone).

Reid didn’t plan on the Vick era ever happening. We’re supposed to be in Year 2 of the Kolb era, but he got hurt and Vick stepped in. Mike came alive once in the lineup and Reid rolled the dice. He stuck with Vick and dealt Kolb away in the offseason. This team is now financially married to Vick for a year or two. The question heading into the future is how to get Vick back to his 2010 playing level. I don’t think firing Reid and bringing in a new coach would help that situation.

Vick has looked terrific at times this season, but then makes a crucial mistake here and there and the Eagles end up losing. He doesn’t need major changes. Switching systems would be a setback for him. The best thing is for Reid and his staff to have a full offseason to work with Vick and get him back to the 2010 form.

One of the things I like most about Reid is that he’s faced with tough circumstances, but hasn’t sold his soul to the devil. Reid did add a lot of veterans this year, but has 2 rookies starting on the O-line. He cut veteran DTs to keep Cedric Thornton on the initial roster. Reid knows there is increasing pressure on him as he gets closer to the end of his Eagles career, but he’s still got one eye on the present (coach side of him) and one eye on the future (personnel side of him). Reid was willing to bench DeSean before a game with Arizona a few weeks back. The Eagles lost that and it might cost the team dearly. Reid felt enforcing rules and doing things the right way was more important than cutting corners and letting the players do as they wanted. Reid remains committed to doing things his way. I think that is a very good sign.

Finally, let’s look at a couple of recent Super Bowl winners. Green Bay won the 2010 SB. Back in 2008 they were 6-10. The defense stunk. Mike McCarthy went out and hired veteran DC Dom Capers. The defense was good in 2009 and the team made the playoffs. The defense was outstanding in 2010 and the team won the SB.

In 2008 the Saints were 8-8. The defense stunk. Sean Payton hired veteran DC Gregg Williams to come in and run the defense. That unit improved immediately and the won the SB in 2009.

Both coaches had the right QB. They had the skill players and the OL. They had some pieces on defense, but not the right coach. The Juan Castillo experiment has failed in 2011. Expect to see a new DC in January or February of 2012. If the Eagles make the right hire, there is no reason to think the team can’t be a Super Bowl contender next season.

123 Comments on “The Case For Keeping Andy Reid”

  1. 1 the guy said at 12:01 AM on December 6th, 2011:


  2. 2 Anonymous said at 12:08 AM on December 6th, 2011:


  3. 3 Steve H said at 12:20 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Hah, whether or not Spags gets fired in St. Louis could determine whether Reid keeps his job. Imo if you pair Spags up with Reid next year things could be looking good.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 4:35 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    This would make me happy.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 6:21 PM on December 6th, 2011:


  6. 6 Anonymous said at 12:31 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    Me three.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 10:09 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    I could be wrong, but I thought I heard the guys last night on MNF say that Jacksonville has the 2nd ranked defense in the NFL? I know a lot of that resides with the DC, but you would think since Del Rio was a defensive guy that he had a hand in this. His first year as DC for the Panthers he had the 2nd ranked defense in the NFL. If Spags isn’t an option, I wouldn’t mind bringing in Del Rio. I think the main thing I want to see next year is a veteran DC who’s been proven, if Andy stays. If Reid stays, it would be foolish to bring in an up and coming DC. Save all the up and comers for when we get a whole new regime… IMO

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 6:23 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Indeed. With all of the pieces that are there (still some upgrades to be had obviously), you would think that if there was a Veteran DC here this season, then the team would have been in a much better situation at this point. Could have been the difference in 2-3 game outcomes, maybe more.

  9. 9 Joe Malone said at 1:17 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Ugh, just when I thought Reid was as good as gone. Great post as always Tommy. Great point about the screen plays. The Maclin bubble screen and Celek screen have been two of my favorite plays this year.

  10. 10 Richard Siddle said at 1:37 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    A good read as always Tommy, it takes a real skill to put both sides of the argument as well as you have. I’m very much in the ‘Keep Andy’ camp, there’s no doubt in my mind that he has earned another (full) off season to put right the things that have gone wrong this year. The DC position is obviously key, as is DeSean’s situation and the draft. Call it a hunch but I think he’ll do the right thing with all three and we’ll eventually look back on this season as being worth the pain for the fact that it made Andy take a longer, closer look at himself than another one and out in the playoffs would have.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 1:58 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    OMG – finally an article I can stand behind! I havE made many of these points myself – thank you so much laying this out this way. Its a shame people allow the negativE media to shape their opinion instead of thinking logically and wholistically on their own. Reid is a great coach and like Shady said, one of the reasons this season Is freaking people out is because they aren’t used to a losing record. That proves what a great coach Andy is and the fans have a little spoiled with a consistently winning coach. We need to ride this year out, give reid the benefit of a little patience and give him the offseason and another year to straighten everything out. Thank you for writing this tommy

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 2:06 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Welp, you convinced me. I need to go back and read your previous article on why we should fire him.

  13. 13 the guy said at 2:25 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Why am I craving Pabst Blue Ribbon?

    Oh my god. Tommy can control minds.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 4:44 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    “I’m white trash and I’m in trouble” *waves PBR can*

    My image of Tommy has totally changed since that episode of South Park.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 3:25 AM on December 6th, 2011:


    I know everyone wants Spagnuolo and I’d like to have him as the Eagles DC, too, but there are no guarantees that he’ll be available. Most of the analysts say that the Eagles would want someone experienced and proven, which is logical, so other than Spagnuolo who are the potential DC candidates that fit the mold?

  16. 16 the guy said at 4:53 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    There’s a very real possibility Sean McDermott will be available.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 4:42 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great article Tommy, your real opinion seeps through in this one! 😀

    I think this and your “The Case Against Reid” articles have been the best things I’ve ever read of yours (and along with some of Dereks stuff the best article I’ve read about the Eagles).

    I agree, firing Reid after this season would absolutely be a mistake. He needs another chance, especially as he was faced with such a short offseason. Reid’s coaching style absolutely requires minicamps and hey, if we’d had a different DC (which I know is a decision totally on him) I think we’d never be having this conversation. 8-1 up to the third quarter after 9 games could have easily been our overall record with a D that could make a stop.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 4:57 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Re: not having sold his soul to the devil, I think to some extent he has – as this year proves.

    The Eagles went out and signed a plethora FAs, whom among them is a locker room leader – I would think that Nnamdi is the only one. Yet, it is his first year in a new system, so his effect is limited, somewhat.

    Ronnie Brown, could have been, but he is another wasted no.2 RB.

    In previous years we had a number of locker room leaders, but since allowing Dawk to walk, trading Sheldon, and then not re-signing Q, the Eagles have lost 3 locker room leaders – all on D.

    Looking at the current defense; the Eagles have a number of respected players on the D-Line (Cole, Patt, Jenkins), but can you say the same for the LBs? The CBs? The Safeties?

    I think the answer is a resounding NO. AR would never have allowed this in years past.

    It’s the same on the Offense, we have lost a number of old and wise heads through losing Runyan Tra, Westy, McNabb, Buck. Have they truly been replaced? I think opinions would differ.

    I also think that AR is being given a free pass in regards to play calling. We had the same ‘pass, pass, pass and…..pass some more!’ play-calling before MM took over play-calling (2004-2006) – remember how McNabb had that hernia problem 2005 and how AR still wouldn’t run the ball?!

    Considering how balanced Chilly’s Offense in Minny was, I don’t think he was the problem.

    I like AR and hope he is given another year, but the Eagles need TWO new coordinators.

    AR very rarely has a losing season, heck, he very rarely misses out on the play-offs, yet amazingly, people are clamoring for names such as Fisher, Gruden and Fox (at least before he signed with the Broncos), off the top of my head I would say that AR has the same amount of seasons where he has reached the play-offs as all three, if not more.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 5:12 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Two great minds think alike. 😉

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 11:40 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    The Eagles did sign many FAs, but they’re all high character guys. It isn’t as if the team went after a bunch of TO types with quirky personalities. I don’t think Reid sold his soul to the devil in signing this group of FAs. Had he gone for Ocho, Marion Barber, and Big Al…then you’d have a good point.

    Reid isn’t given a “free pass on playcalling” by anyone. Critics slam him on that point all the time. In the above piece, I mentioned that the offense is more balanced this year. That’s true. It isn’t where you and I want it, but it is improved.

    As for Marty…real mixed feelings on him, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 9:55 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    Yes Tommy, you are correct, they are high character guys, but I’m asking how many of them are leaders? I’m not saying that we signed a bunch of bad characters.

    Re play-calling: I mean that the ‘pass, pass, pass’ philosophy began a couple of years before MM came in as OC, so we can’t blame MM for the poor play-calling, completely. I feel that in recent posts everyone seems to have forgot this fact.

    If I remember correctly, when MM was hired as OC (after chilly left) some people were mentioning how as the San Fran OC he had such a balanced offense – does he not have some sort of record for total yards by Offense, as well?

    Regardless, MM and AR are not a good combination, but I agree, MM will not be fired, we can only hope that some team wants to hire him as HC (I just don’t see it happening).

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 6:44 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I question some of the points you are making and the logic behind it:

    The Eagle signed a number of free agents, but they did not mortgage the future to do so. I think this is more an effect of the CBA process over the last two years than a sign that Andy has sold his soul.

    RE: Dawk, Sheldon and Mikell vs. Cole, Patt, and Jenkins
    You are saying that Andy and Co. allowed their three past leaders to leave and now the leaders are all on one level of the defense and Andy would not have allowed this to happen in the past? Huh?

    RE: Marty
    Sold, I’ll take a new OC.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 10:06 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    My point is that AR preferred leadership over the flash superstar, he didn’t find the balance with this years acquisitions.

    Re the Defense: There is a lack of maturity in the back 7, the only player that I would think that any of the young players would trust in learning from is Nnamdi. do you think that our young DBs taking advice off Asante on being professional, and that being an Eagle is special, etc? The problem is, they probably do see him as a leader.

    Sheldon, Dawk, Trotter, Mikell, et al, were team first guys, in the most part.

    AR has left a bunch of kids in the back seven to learn off players like Asante and back-ups like Akeem Jordan. Where are the experienced, established and mature veterans? So, I am saying that AR has not replaced any of Dawk, Mikell or Sheldon.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 4:58 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    I agree with Davesbeard that your latest two articles re AR have been some of the best in a long long time!

    I still cannot make my mind up, wheter to fire AR or not. However I tend to keeping him for another year, but only if he gets rid or demote his long time friend Juan in the off-season. If he isn’t willing to admit that it was a mistake to promote an Offensive Line coach to DC, then he must leave as well.

    I also think that finding an OC or a HC assistant with better in-game playcalling and time management will be crucial for the future success. The Eagles redzone O has been terrible in the last two years along with blown time outs being a real pain in the bum.

    Holding on Andy Reid – paired with a new and proven DC (Spags, Spags, Spags!!!) – might be enough to forget about this disastrous 2011 season.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 6:04 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    My problem is there are some of you out there who just dont understand what it feels like to have the Giants Redskins and Cowboys all with muliple Super Bowl Trophies and the Eagles to have none. To give Reid another chance after this debacle especially when “our good will and patience” did go out to him this season when he hired an offensive line coach to be the DC. And when he told us Matthews would be good and the linebacker core will be ok. And when he continues to prop up players that shouldnt be playing right now. We gave him our trust. I personally dont want to sit through another season of mediocrity and wishing again that he be fired. I want someone who can at least draft one type of position well whether it be linebacker corner back wide receiver or something. It doesnt help having all these draft picks especially high picks and not having any idea how to draft and what kind of player you want.

    As I have been saying, a change would be nice and a different prespective. All coaches have their end day.. its NFL history. Its time to move on.

  26. 26 F. Tanguy said at 7:59 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Huh… About drafting, I think we can say WR were well drafted in the last years. We’re talking about Jackson and Maclin here. And more generally, about offense, we can think about Celek and McCoy as key players, as well as Kelce and Watkins that seem to be great OL players. We have a great young offense, thanks to the last drafts.
    There is more discussion about defensive drafting, I agree. But it’s the same with Belichick and the Pats, and do you think Belichick should be fired because he drafted badly on the defensive side?

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 8:20 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Reid got lucky when he drafted Maclin and Jackson and of course the situation with Jackson has gotten so out of hand we will again lose another skilled WR. The difference between Belichick and Reid is his defense is shaky and hes in first place at 9-3 and of course hes won numerous Super Bowls. Until we win AS A TEAM and WHEN IT COUNTS, yes Reid doesnt draft well. In my estimation he gets lucky. When you talk about good drafting, you can look at Pittsburgh when they draft or sign a lineman most of them go pro bowl; same with their WRs they pick. They lose players and draft well for the most part.

  28. 28 F. Tanguy said at 8:56 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    I think it’s a bit easy to say Reid is lucky when he chooses good picks and all is on him when he makes mistakes. And that doesn’t say something about Kelce, Watkins, Celek and McCoy. He’s a very lucky man then.
    About Belichick, he drafted good defenses before, but lost his best scout and GM and it’s not the same for personnel. And his last SB is from 2004, with Brady as a QB. I don’t say he’s a bad coach, but I don’t know if he’s a better drafting coach than AR.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 9:39 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    I like Coach Reid. He gave us many good years of competive football. My problem with Reid is the same problem I had with McNabb: they dont sense the urgency to win the Super Bowl. The offensive line draft picks were probably recommended by Mudd. Celek I dont think too much of as he is average at best. I would like an all pro tight end before we start giving Coach Reid praises. Reid drafted alott of bad running backs with the exceptions being Mccoy and Westbrook. Alott of teams can draft at least one all pro player. Every team has at least one star player. I want a well drafted team that wins. If this team came out and was competitive this year despite all its issues I would have given Reid a free pass. But the decisions he and the organization have made at crucial positions on this team: safeties, linebacker and DC position shows a coach thats now clueless and on offense (Vick looks so one dimensional again/when hes not hurt) I really hope you and Coach Reid proves me wrong. But we got to look at this team and coach realistically or we are going to be mediocre forevrer.

  30. 30 Kristopher Cebula said at 10:37 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    westy and mccoy are both pro bowl caliber players who were drafted by reid and they have manned the backfield for the majority of reid’s tenure. yet you want to know why they can’t seem to draft an all pro at rb? your points make no sense. they definitely have been lacking when it comes to drafting defensive players but the offense has loads of talent and most of them were drafted by Andy Reid

  31. 31 F. Tanguy said at 12:22 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    McCoy will be All-Pro. I don’t care about All-pros, I care about a team that plays well. Westbrook, Dawkins and others could have been all-pros, among others. And most of the All-pro players have been drafted with early picks, which we don’t have because, well, we go to the PO nearly every year.

    As you, I’d like to have a team that would be good at every position. A few years ago, we were great in the secondary, and had an horrible WR corps. Now it’s the contrary. I don’t know what’s the best, but even the Pats or the Packers have positions with big failures (let’s speak about the secondary of the Pats for example).

    We have had a great success under Reid. We lack of a SB, I agree, but so many factors enter. The question is: do we have a better chance to win a SB by firing Reid? I don’t think so. Not today, maybe in one year, but I’m ready to take this year at risk.

  32. 32 Matthew Butch said at 10:13 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    We don’t understand about the rest of the division? Are you kidding me? That’s an insult to Eagles fans. We are very well aware of our lack of SBs.

    The draft has been less than acceptable, I agree. But its one down year. You don’t change a great coach after one year. Its a crapshoot on QBs and Coaches, and changing now is a HUGE risk.

    I like Tommy’s examples of the Packers and Saints. Those teams had many pieces, but they couldn’t quite put it together. They needed one more piece, and once they got it- Super Bowl. That’s what the Eagles need. One more piece. Not a wholesale change.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 10:44 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    What are we going to do about no Super Bowls? Keep waiting and wishing ?
    I respect all of our suffering. When the Giants won their last Super Bowl it was like a knife cutting through me …. The Giants won that year solely on a great draft — their first year players contributed and they won the big game. I dont think we have a Bree or a Rodgers. Our Qb cant stay healthy and has reverted back to his Atlanta days. There are good head coach changes look at San Fran and Denver. A new head coach is not going to be the end of the world for this team it might just be a new beginning.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 7:05 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Yeah, look at Denver. They brought in a bright new face who proceeded to dismantle the talent base they had accumulated with the misguided vision of creating “his” team.

    They appear to be back on track now, but McDaniels is a good counter-argument for getting rid of Reid.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 12:42 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    GREAT example.

    It’s not a matter of waiting and wishing. It’s a matter of making changes that get you closer to winning a Super Bowl, not farther away.

    Firing people just to fire might satisfy your bloodlust, but it doesn’t mean the new guy you hire will do a better job. Move deliberately, but carefully.

  36. 36 Brian said at 2:33 PM on December 8th, 2011:

    Same goes for the 9ers.

    Remember Singletary?

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 9:49 PM on December 8th, 2011:

    Barely… and exactly.

  38. 38 Brian said at 2:32 PM on December 8th, 2011:

    The Giants won that game solely on luck.

    Come on dude, you think the draft is what kept that ball glued to Tyree’s head?

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 12:11 AM on December 9th, 2011:

    Doesnt matter. The Giants won AGAIN! With a new group of players. They won it again. They were a poor team the year before especially in areas of their defense and they went out and drafted well made a surge at the end of the season and won it all. They beat the Patriots in their great season. It was no luck. Its time to move on from Coach Reid.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 6:57 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Your musing on Andy’s draft skills seems to have been pretty well discussed, so let me respond to some of your other points.

    First, how do some of us not understand what it feels like? Do we not understand the history of whom has won the trophies, or do we not understand our own feelings?

    And a change would not always be nice. The popular view seems to be that it is time to go find the next young, upcoming coach to establish our next period of success and stability, just like we did after the 1998 season. Unfortunately, it is not quite that easy and there is at least even money that that young up-and-comer turns out to be a failure and we lose 5 years to undoing the damage.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 11:20 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    First let me say again I am a big time Eagles fan and appreciate Coach Reid for what he has done for this franchise for the last 10 years. What I cant accept is a lack of a Super Bowl win. We havc ZERO trophies. I dont understand why everyone wants to hold on to a coach and a team that has never won a Super Bowl. My goal for this franchise is for them to win a Super Bowl. First to get there and then to win it. Reid got us to alott of NFC championship games and won one of those. Maybe everyone worries that this organization which has a hard time drafting will “do it to us again” and pick the wrong new head coach and will will be losers for the next 5-10 years. Wasnt Reid the guy who stood in front of us and said with a straight face Castillo can do this he can be this team’s DC? that this linebacker core led by Matthews can do this? that this year they can turn it around when they lose at home more than any Eagle team in the last few decades, set the NFL record or got close to setting the record for most blown 4 quarter leads and again a horrible red zone defense? And (i know hes always running) but a great offensive line that our starting QB cannot stay healthy behind? We are the laughing stock of football. Seatlle beat us! like they were the Patriots. Can we as fans honestly analyze this team and coach without rose colored glasses? Im starting to think no we cant.

  42. 42 Brian said at 2:53 PM on December 8th, 2011:

    Odds of winning a SB in a given year = 3.1%

    I can’t stand the “zOMG guuuyzz, Andy neverr wonz us a SB wez gotsta fira hiz azz!!!”

    Do you realize how much luck goes into winning it all?

    We could have easily won the SB in 04 had LJ not fumbled the ball on the NE 38 yard line. Do you think that was Andy’s fault?

    And yes, Andy hasn’t had a great year, but do you really want to make the team, in all likelihood, much worse off because of it?

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 12:05 AM on December 9th, 2011:

    Well the Giants the Cowboys Packers Steelers 49ers (in the past and maybe the future) Redskins (past) and I think the list can go on and on and on of all “luck” these franchises have had to go to the Super Bowl and win it over and over and over and over again. Of couse not always with the same team, they rebuild or retool and then they win again. While the Eagles, dont win a Superbowl. How many times do we have to watch the same franchises with different players each time when a Super Bowl without us winning one.

    As for Reid, I love the coach. I just know when its time to move on and yes we are all worried that the Eagles will “mess it up again” and give us a lame coach but thats no reason to not see the time with Reid is done.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 6:55 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    I normally like Reuben Frank, but his latest article seems to be a bit over the top:

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 7:54 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Wow, what a bunch of hyperbolic traffic fishing.

    I feel dirty for having visited the page.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 12:43 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    Because of you guys, I am not going to click the link.

    Roob has done that a few times this year. He’s better than that. Either that or I’m confusing him with Didinger.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 7:40 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    I agree that Reid should stay, at least for one more year. Do this again next year, and he’s gone. I think with a full offseason and another draft this team could be special. I also agree that Castillo will be demoted, but not fired. Reid is VERY stubborn and demoting is saying, yes I made a mistake, but no I didn’t make a mistake. he saves face and doesn’t have to fire his good buddy. Bring in Spags, (hopefully fired) and this team could roll.

    As far as the draft…if we get high enough, we have to go for RGIII…Vick can’t make it through a season and that kid looks special. He also is the perfect QB for Reids big play offense. I would say, if we can get him in the first, use our two high seconds on the best OLB and DT on the board. I still think we should try to send something (Asante, Trevor Laws) to the texans for DeMeco Ryans. He is the perfect MLB for our D. Pair him with Rolle, and said Draft pick and our LB’s would be leaps and bounds better than this year. DRC and Nmandi pressing on the outside, Hughes/Marsh working in and Joselio in the slot. I give Nate Allen one more year…if he plays poorly next year, then we are shopping for a new FS No more excuses…his knee, short offseason, second year is a big jump.

    OL is set, just draft some depth. Need to draft a big RB to compliment Lesean and Dion. Also, would like to get another big WR, to push Riley Cooper…he has shown flashes, but tends to disappear too for stretches.

    Of course if we win some of these last games and end up in the middle of the draft, then get the best LB/DT on the board. Devon Stills, Keluchy, Teo, Zack Brown.

    Biggest FA this year has to be a DC…Juan just isnt ready.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 12:45 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    I like your post in general, and I’m not one for keeping Trevor Laws, but why are you drafting a DT? Jenkins, Patterson, Dixon (if healthy), Landri is a fine rotation with perhaps two impact guys.

    They’ll never do it, but I’d be fine with two linebackers. And the QB, only because we should never be drafting this high again.

  49. 49 Brian said at 2:55 PM on December 8th, 2011:

    I would be ok with Castillo sticking around in some other role. I know everyone’s hating on him now, but before this year he was a pretty good coach.

  50. 50 F. Tanguy said at 8:06 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Ok, in the comments we talk a lot about Spaguolo. But if he’s not fired, do you think of any other name as a good DC?

    I think Reid should stay after having demoted Castillo. My real question is “who can we bring as a real good DC?”.

    By the way, big thanks for your pair of posts Tommy. Great work here on being neutral and take all the parameters in the discussion. Really love your work.

  51. 51 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 8:24 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    One of the strongest points (if it were true) would be that Reid has never lost the locker room, and you give, as evidence: “The team is struggling, but this isn’t a case of players turning their back on Reid or not caring. Did you see Vince Young throw his body into a defender to lay out a block last week? Have you watched Trent Cole play? Jason Avant? Brent Celek? And so on. This team doesn’t lack effort.”

    For every one of those VY plays (and, actually, there is just one), you get the idiotic picks he throws which scream a complete lack of effort or concentration. For every Jason Avant, there’s a DeSean Jackson. For every Trent Cole, a Jason Babin. For every Shady, Asante. Sure, the players aren’t going out and complaining about Andy to the media. But they’re talking about “business decisions,” or “my job is to get to the QB [and not defend the run],” or not showing up to meetings, or making the same mental mistakes over and over.

    A coach losing his players isn’t just about having them trash him in the media. It’s about accountability. How comfortable are they slacking off? Are they mentally checking in every week? Are they playing for the team or for themselves? With every one of those three categories, the Eagles score negatively.

    There’s just no accountability in the locker room. Part of it is the leadership void (can you imagine what Dawkins would do to a guy who openly and self-righteously said to the media that he wouldn’t make tackles as a “business decision”?), which, by the way, is also on Reid. Part of it is that the players have no faith in the defense this season, given the apparently hard-working, but completely outmatched coordinator they’ve been given….this, by the way, is also on Reid. And the other part is just the way we’ve brought in players / dealt with contracts. Asante – free agent. Babin – free agent. DeSean – contract situation and then how we paid Steve Smith. Also on Reid, at least to a very large extent.

    Just as people want to spread the blame for drafting and contracts across the FO, I think people should spread the credit for our winning early across Jim Johnson and Brad Childress. Reid’s been lucky, but he’s also shown an incredible inability to change at a non-glacial pace. Your points about his gameplan changes are pretty nuanced and helpful, Tommy, but they’re season-to-season changes. He doesn’t do a ton of this on a game-to-game basis and definitely not in games themselves (like when Winston Justice was a turnstile for Osi Umeniora and Reid still refused to give Justice help in that very game you brought up; end result, 6 sacks for Osi and 237 sacks for the Giants).

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 10:31 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Superbly put Anirudh…..Reid is too stubborn in his ways – and to add to that he thinks he is the smartest guy around and more often than not gets cute and gimmicky with his plays…why is it that when everyone knows what the opposition is gonna run and we still come out unprepared for it…why is that if the games does not follow AR’s script we just cannot make the adjustments on the fly? why is that we are always getting to the line of scrimmage with less than 10 secs on the clock? why do we always blow timeouts at inopportune times….I would think after 12-13 years we would have overcome all these huge glaring errors….but we keep doing that time after time…just look at AR’s press conferences – if a media member asks him a pertinent question especially pointing out his goof ups – he gets annoyed getting called out for it….does anyone think Reid will change in his ways….can he get the Eagles over the hump and ever win a SB?? I for one do not think so…yes he may turn it around next season and we may go back to the playoffs – but I strongly believe AR will not bring home the big prize that we as fans have been starving for!

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 11:47 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Dawk was on the team in 2005 and 2007 when plenty of mistakes were made.

    Losing the locker room isn’t about sloppy play on the field. You’re trying to equate an actual problem with something you want to be the cause. Doesn’t work. Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh had losing seasons. You think those guys lost the locker room in those years?

    There are seasons when coaches and players simply don’t get the job done. It isn’t a lack of heart or effort. It isn’t the players not caring or listening. Heck, sometimes players try to do too much. Some of the mistakes this year have been guys trying to make big plays instead of just doing their jobs.

    This team has problems, but tuning out Big Red isn’t one of them.

  54. 54 Brendan Gephart said at 10:36 PM on December 6th, 2011:


    Let me preface this by saying that I respect your opinion on the Birds more than anyone covering/following the team.

    I feel like you have blinders on with regards to whether or not Andy has lost the locker room. Sloppy play may not be directly related to the players tuning him out, but it is a symptom of it. Hearing many of our players define their roles as “I get paid to _______” is also a symptom of it. Desean Jackson not showing up to meetings and then bitching about getting benched for it is a symptom of it as well. You’re absolutely correct to say that he hasn’t lost them in a Brad Childress kind of way, but to definitively say that “tuning out Big Red” isn’t one of this teams problems seems to be ignoring some glaring examples.

    Just to add to Anirudh’s examples, I don’t see how a team could possibly be “all-in” with a coach who decides that his long-time friend who has almost no (professional) experience coaching defense, is going to be the teams defensive coordinator. Maybe initially they were on board due to built up good-will (like most of us), but that has to turn anger and frustration (like all of us) when it doesn’t even sort-of work. They actually have to work with this guy, we just have to watch it. The FA class from this year came here to win a championship, not to play for a coach learning on the job. Once they realized Juan was in way over his head, you can’t tell me the cronyism talk didn’t start in the locker room behind his (and Reid’s) back.

    I’ve been in the “Keep Reid” camp as long as it has existed, but I can’t do it any longer. I see a stubborn coach who has a tired philosophy and at the very least has players questioning his judgement.

    As a side note and partially contradictory point to the above post, Reid seems to have created an “us” vs. “them” culture within the team towards the fan-base, press and organization. From Asante’s, “couple of people upstairs” to Casey Matthew’s, “they think they know me,” I keep hearing quotes that reflect a coach who doesn’t feel like he has full support from anyone. It’s something I’ve been meaning to bring up and I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 12:19 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I like the points made in this last paragraph about Reid’s ability or inability to adjust within games (versus after a game or season). That’s something that Jim Johnson was always great at on the defensive side of the ball. Too often it seems like we don’t make those in-game changes on the offensive side of the ball (or defense anymore)… and maybe that’s most directly a coordinator issue, but it seems like that’s an area where Andy – as the head coach – could do a better job of putting his players in a position to succeed.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 12:25 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Reid isn’t good at adjusting within games. That’s a weakness for him.

    JJ was good at halftime adjustments. Juan has made some good adjustments this year, but few and far between. Having a veteran DC would make a difference.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 7:22 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    In Juan’s defense (and there are not many opportunities to make a case for that), I am sure halftime adjustments are easier when you have a system in place for a number of years and with many of the same players.

    Juan does not have the history to say “We are going to use the coverage that worked against _____ back in ______.”

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 12:19 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I like the points made in this last paragraph about Reid’s ability or inability to adjust within games (versus after a game or season). That’s something that Jim Johnson was always great at on the defensive side of the ball. Too often it seems like we don’t make those in-game changes on the offensive side of the ball (or defense anymore)… and maybe that’s most directly a coordinator issue, but it seems like that’s an area where Andy – as the head coach – could do a better job of putting his players in a position to succeed.

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 10:15 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    My biggest concern with this piece, and in general, is that it does not address how Reid can improve the team going forward. You seem to think that “hiring a good DC” is the cure-all. While I agree in theory that he deserves the benefit of the doubt, his ability to change in previous years does not necessarily mean he has to ability to properly adapt in future years.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 11:57 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Hiring the right DC will make a big difference on defense.

    Reid and the offensive coaches have work to do on their side of the ball. No doubt about that. The RZ turnovers have been a huge part of this nightmare season. That is something that must be solved.

    The offense is pretty good right now. The focus needs to be on eliminating turnovers and being better in the RZ. Those are issues that Reid can work on .

    The problems on defense are somewhat on coaching and somewhat on players. A veteran DC would eliminate some of the blown coverages and confusion. Missed tackles are on the players. We’ve got some young guys at fault, but also some guys that maybe just aren’t good enough. We do need better talent at LB. I think Graham and Allen getting healthier next year will make a big difference for them.

    Reid needs to hire a new DC, ASAP. Have him go to the Senior Bowl and study the prospects. Find out which players he likes. Then have the full offseason to make plans for the camps and practices. The Eagles will need all spring and summer to work on fundamentals and the scheme. A long offseason is the best friend of Reid, the staff, and the players.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 10:23 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Something else you might find interesting is that no coach has ever won a Super Bowl with two different teams.

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 10:26 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    What about Reid’s gamble on Jason Peters that ended up netting us the best LT in the NFL? A good gamble. Being able to net a 2nd round pick for a cooked McNabb? Even when he didn’t want to trade him, he budged. I can’t handle firing Reid. He is the best QB coach in the league and a great planner. I want him in the FO after he’s done as a HC. I started following the Eagles when he became coach and it feels like he is my football father. People talking about titles, yes, it would be nice to have one right now. The SB loss is as much on McNabb as Reid. That Pats team was scary too. I really think that Reid is the best option to keep us in the playoffs. With the weapons we have now, we are dangerous if we can add 2 tackling LB’s and a true FB. The loss of Leonard Weaver is truly understated.

  63. 63 Some random thoughts from around the NFC East – Blogging the bEast said at 10:33 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    […] The Case for Keeping Andy Reid […]

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 10:41 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Actually, Del Rio wouldn’t be a bad choice if he can work with Washburn. A lot of people slobber over Trgovac, but Del Rio left him a top five defense in Carolina. Though Spags would be my first choice, he can work with a one gap with the current personnel and would be easier for Castillo to swallow a demotion and become LB coach or something like that.

    AR has to scout himself and realize the big play offense is great against bad defenses, but will never get him back to, much less win, the Superbowl. And just like 2005, it creates a passive mentalite, let’s wait around for the quick strike instead of focusing on executing every play.

    As far as defense, people have to get their stories right, the defense is in the middle of the pack (22nd in points, 16 in yards, 24th in ypp), so if Juan is the problem, we must have top ten talent, if talent is the problem, then we should keep Juan because he must be a pretty good DC!

    The problem is Juan, the mixmatch of talent, and youth.
    DL: the core is solid but old, you want to mix in more youth, if they like Thorton why haven’t they activated him to protect him? Play or cut Hunt. Put Graham on IR if he’s not ready and raid a PS. Next year they need to draft a DE and DT. You can get another year or two out of the starters if you limit them to 600 snaps or less (see Howard in 2008). You can adjust the wide 9 (which is used to some extent by a lot of 4-3 teams) to be more LB friendly (shifting before the snap so QBs and blockers don’t know which gaps DL are lined over before the play call).

    LB: Rolle is fine, he may be short, but he’s not small and he’s certainly physical, making rookie mistakes, but more mistakes of aggression which is acceptable. Chaney got his shot at MLB and blew it, Jordan lacks instincts, Fokou lacks period. Time for another look at Matthews, see if he’s learned anything. Veteran SLB, rookie MLB, rookie depth. Jax shows you can quickly fix a LB unit.

    CB: DRC is under contract, but I want DBs who actually tackle people. Bye bye Asante, got his best years, but he’s a bad fit, can’t cover man without help, can’t tackle in zone, and has lost a step, still reacts quick but not the playmaker of a couple years ago. Aso should be better, doing more than just man press at RCB was a big learning experience. Want to see more of Marsh (high ceiling) and Hughes (think he’s best suited to zone). Sign a veteran, draft a rookie.

    S: Allen should have been on PUP and Whitner signed. PCL is as serious as ACL, I want to fire the team doctors, too many mistakes the last few years (Jack I, Ingram, rushing guys back). Won’t know if he’s a starter until next year, was working into shape when he had the concussion, hasn’t been the same since. Coleman, as I told Tommy a year ago, is a solid #3, but not a good enough athlete to start. Jarrett needs to get on the field. I’d like a real veteran in the mix, not a loser like Page.

    Two to three veteran starters, and CB, S, SLB can be patches, though I’d want to add 2 FAs in the prime years (26-27) and build a nucleus, then draft to replace older starters. Lots of draft picks this year. It can be done with the right DC in one offseason.

    They should have about $20M+ available if they ditch Young, Brown, Smith, JJ (trade), Justice, Laws, Parker, Jordan, Fokou, Asante, Hanson (and get younger to boot). Extend Maclin and McCoy, but spend DeSean’s money on defense. Sign a veteran WR and draft a rookie or two.

    Kapadia had an interesting point about DeSean, his drop rate went way up after each concussion, tells me contract isn’t the issue, but the fact each time he gets a bad hit, it lingers mentally for months – he’s 25, the age at which players lose their first step (most players also add 10-15 lbs of muscle by then to compensate, it ain’t happening with DeSean). A DeSean running 4.4 instead of 4.35, with very good but not elite acceleration, is soon out of the league because he can’t adjust to being just another fast WR, lacks strength, height, hands, vertical jumps. His game is totally predicated on being both the fastest and quickest player on the field – he can only survive long-term in a Harold Jackson role, go deep, be primarily a decoy – but I can’t imagine DeSean being happy with the role or the financial compensation associated with that role.

    This team can turn it around in one season, Ravens, Steelers have done so, it requires biting the bullet on Juan and some players, making the right decisions, but not making drastic changes – there have been too many changes the last four years, right now they need stability in schemes and fit the players to those schemes.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 11:59 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    You and I would both like the offense to be more of a true WCO, but I’m not counting on that any time soon. Unless…

    If DeSean leaves, that could be the kind of trigger that would force the coaches to adjust the offense. I still don’t see us going all the way back to 2002 / 2003, but we’d at least be less vertical than we are now.

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 1:26 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    That’s one reason I want to get rid of DeSean, along with money, longevity and attitude. Too often MM dials up DeSean and Maclin go long, McCoy pass block then slide out and stand still, everyone else play blocking dummy.

    You can have a pass oriented ball control offense, but the key is efficiency in the 10-20 yard area, getting guys open in 3 seconds, having receivers who are good route runners with good hands, not necessarily HR hitters.

    Stretch the field horizontally (that’s where stretch runs and screens come into play), and vertically out to 20 yards allows you to limit the slow developing plays that take 4-5 seconds and leave you few options if you max protect.

    Patriots showed us how it works, their big plays came off those “little plays,” run those 10-15 yard routes all game, and every few plays, one of your receivers runs a double move, but he’s not your only option, if the CB doesn’t bite, go elsewhere. Those plays keep the LBs off the LOS (to take away underneath throws) and the safeties honest without 3 WRs running go routes.

    I’d love to find a veteran WR who can run a good slant. You know, someone 6’2 210 lbs who can work off a jam and has the quickness to get a step on a CB, and snatches the ball with his hands, even if he can’t run a 4.4 40.

  67. 67 Christopher Eckman said at 5:58 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    The WR you are describing sounds like Rueben Randle to me. If LSU had a decent passing QB I don’t doubt he could put up stats equal or better than Michael Floyd or Justin Blackmon. He’d probably be available in the 2nd round too.

  68. 68 Jay Ernst said at 10:40 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I agree. I think the ball control passing attack that can get 10-15 yards when it needs it is far superior to the big play vertical attack that seems so hit and miss and always falters when you absolutely need a go to play like on 3rd down and in the red zone.

    I just feel that to run such an offense you need a tall, lethally accurate QB like Brady…or just insanely accurate like Brees. I think for Vick to be at his best, though, he needs a burner like Jackson on the outside. He’s too short to consistently hit 10 yard slants over the middle. He needs to move the pocket and hit plays down field. He’s plenty accurate enough, he’s just too short and not good enough yet at pre snap reads.

    McNabb was plenty tall, but not accurate enough for the short game either. He too needed to move the pocket and hit down field throws. The offense can work either way, even though I prefer the Brady offense. It’s just, if we are married to Vick for 2-3 more years we might as well pay jackson and give ourselves the best chance to win. going with big WRs and mismatching them with Vick would be a disservice.

    That being said, the next offense we set up should definitely be mirrored after the NO/NE offenses.

  69. 69 Jay Ernst said at 10:32 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great run down of roster moves…but one point that needs to be made: Nate Allen DID NOT tear his PCL. This has been stated a bunch of times online and is patently false! Tearing the PCL is devastating; that’s true. But, Nate ruptured his patella tendon. Totally different injury. PCL is a ligament like the ACL which provides stability to the knee. The Patella tendon is a tendon as the name suggests. It attaches the quad to the tibia (the shin bone and transfers strength from the muscle to the bone. Ligaments have little to no blood flow and therefore take nearly a full year to heal. Tendons have much more blood flow. They heal faster. Nate is not limited physically this year. He simply just does not look like a good football player. There’s a difference.

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 11:43 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    He was certainly not 100% to start the season and should have been on PUP and a real veteran safety brought in. After a couple months he was close to being in football shape, then suffered a concussion and hasn’t been the same player.

  71. 71 Trevor Turner said at 11:59 AM on December 6th, 2011:

    Tommy, these last two posts have been exceptional. You can really tell that you’ve been thinking about these for a while now.

    Fantastic stuff

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 12:27 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Thanks Trevor.

    Yes, I did a lot of note taking and brainstorming to try and present the best case for both sides. Reid has always been a hot button topic. Too often we let our emotions get the best of us when talking about him. After a big win, I’m ready to give him an extension. After a bad loss, I’m ready to have him deported to Siberia.

    I wanted this to be more logical than emotional.

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 12:46 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great pieces, Tommy. For me, it comes down to acknowledging Reid as having been an extremely successful coach, and then asking what is best for the future. Andy’s success has been on an overall downward spiral for the past couple seasons, with no playoff victory since 2008. I once believed he could bring the Eagles a Super Bowl victory. No more. I am convinced that Reid does not understand his own weaknesses enough to outcoach a Belichik, McCarthy, or Peyton. If he is kept, the team might turn around next year and be 8-4 at this point. Maybe even make the playoffs. Maybe even win a game or two in the post-season. But I have a hard time imagining an Andy Reid coached team winning a Lombardi for all the reasons we’ve discussed on this board again and again.

    There’s a basis beyond mere emotions that this topic continues to arise. It’s because Reid’s strengths are no longer outweighing his weaknesses. I say he is shown the door after this season. Give the guy a gold watch for all he’s done, we should all applaud his body of work, but he has to go. Otherwise, I will be very surprised if we’re not back on Eagles Blitz next year having this same discussion.

  74. 74 Anonymous said at 1:42 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    It’s not quite the drought Shanahan went through after his two SB years. 1-4 in the playoffs over a decade.

    2006: Young false start away from a possible NFCCG
    2008: NFCCG, and a McNabb meltdown away from the SB
    2010: Played GB tougher than any other team in the post season

    So it would be hard to dismiss the last six years as an abject failure.
    What have the Ravens done the last six year?

    2005: 6-10
    2006: 13-3 lost div playoff
    2007: 5-11
    #18 Flacco, #55 Rice, #71 Gooden, #86 Zbikowski, #99 Cousins, #206 Nakamura
    added Willie Anderson (age 33) at RT, Fabian Washington (trade for low draft pick), Jim Leonhard
    Grubbs and Yanda were the only starters from the 2007 draft
    2008: 11-5, lost AFCCG
    2009: 9-7, lost 2nd rd playoff game
    2010: 12-4, lost 2nd rd playoff game
    2011: 9-3

    Who have consistently performed the last six years?
    NE, Pittsburgh.
    2005: 4-12
    2006: 8-8 (McCarthy takes over)
    2007: 13-3
    2008: 6-10
    2009: 11-5 (Capers DC)
    2010: 10-6
    2011: 12-0

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 2:18 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    If we want a successful coach, with plenty of stregnths, who will likely field a competitive team with a good chance to play over .500 ball and make it into the playoffs, then Reid is one of the best. But I still maintain that his weaknesses — so glaring to the rest of the world, so seemingly blind to him and the the organization — will keep the Eagles from getting over the hump and landing the Lombardi.

    Having said that, I know my arguement is kind of weak because so few teams, so few coaches, ever land a Super Bowl championship. It takes all the right ingredients, a great deal of skill, and a helping of luck. But I believe Reid has had the ingredients for a decade, so the only thing missing is skill or luck. If you play poker, you know the longer guys sit at a table the more apparent it becomes who has the skill and who is hoping to get lucky. He’s been at the table a long time now and hasn’t been able to win the big hand. There’s a reason, or several, why.

    If I thought Andy has honestly come to terms with what he needs to change and what he needs to learn, then I’d say he is increasing his skill set and I’d back him for a longer stay. I think his weaknesses are too deep within him and the team problems too entrenched for him to be the guy to right the ship. He is consistent, but a foolish consitency is the hobgoblin of little minds, said Emerson. He’s had averything a coach needs for many years and he hasn’t gotten the job done. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather get out of a mess a day early rather than a day late.

  76. 76 Anonymous said at 1:19 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great post as always Tommy. Between this, your last article, and Sam’s piece we’ve got a ton of poignant information to chew on.

    Nice suggestion about Del Rio, not sure who first commented about it but kudos for picking a good defensive mind who could realistically be available and avoiding lazy analysis (Jaguars stink so Del Rio stinks).

    I think that you don’t go far enough in suggesting administrative changes. Sam’s article really made me think about how deep the rot is on this team. Everyone wants a new defensive coordinator since it’s an obvious problem, but why stop there? Ideally, I’d add another strong minded offensive personality and a good personel guy.

    The points you brought up regarding Andy’s poor hirings are spot on. I’d go even further to say he’s insulated himself to a certain point because he’s afraid the snake oil salesmen, and this has led to seriously flawed group polarization. Essentially, we’ve become too extreme in our play-calling and personel moves because there aren’t enough strong football minds with differing views to temper Reid’s flaws.

    So my questions are:

    1. Do you think a veteran offensive mind, like a Brad Childress, could (or really, “would”) be added to help rein in Marty and Andy?

    2. How can we fix our GM/Personel problems?

    I’d like to add a young guy from Ted Thompson’s staff and adopt a best player available and value philosophy (in which we’ve had the most success – Maclin, McCoy, Nate Allen) vs the Polian/Belicheck “I know who I like and I’ll take him I want” theory.

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 3:30 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    The personnel side of things deserves its own post. Complicated subject.

    I’d love to see Childress brought back as running game consultant or something like that. One factor would be Reid’s friendship w/ Brad. Would Andy feel he was helping his buddy out or would he fear offering a “lesser” position would insult his friend of 25 years?

    Andy might be open to adding someone else to the staff, but it would need to be someone he knew and trusted. Not sure who else is out there.

  78. 78 Eric Weaver said at 1:26 PM on December 6th, 2011:


    Off-topic draft talk: I would think if the Eagles pick in the top 10 then their primary targets would either be Blackmon or Clairborne.

    I would think we’d all like them to trade into the 1st round to get Kuechly. Someone else would have to comment, but I would think giving up this year’s 2nd and next year’s 1st would be the only way. Maybe you sacrifice the two seconds and a 4th this year?

  79. 79 Anonymous said at 2:44 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Claiborne should go Top 5. Don’t see us having that pick. Could be wrong. If available, I’m fine with him.

    Blackmon could be target if we let DJax go. Justin is a terrific WR prospect.

    Kuechly? We’ll see. I love him. Not worth Top 10 pick, though. We’ll find out if the Eagles love him. If they do, they can get creative with trades. Team has plenty of picks.

  80. 80 Eric Weaver said at 2:57 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I’d like the idea of Claiborne or Blackmon in the front end and then Kuechly in the back end of the 2nd. Preferably jumping ahead of the Giants. 🙂 It would truly be a dagger on draft day if the Giants took him.

  81. 81 Anonymous said at 4:54 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Your aware that unless he times a 4.9 while doing eightballs off of dead hookers, there is no way in hell Kuechly is going in the late second?

  82. 82 Anonymous said at 9:26 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great idea!!!

    I’m on the way out to get some eightballs and hookers.

  83. 83 Eric Weaver said at 9:16 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    I meant backend of the 1st. Sorry.

  84. 84 Matthew Leighty said at 1:31 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Tommy quick question. Your other article complained a bit about drafting and Im fine with that but why is it we have gotten good grades the past 3 years from experts and even yourself and have not had the on field success with these players??

  85. 85 Anonymous said at 2:35 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    hmm. good question right there. i’m in the same boat. on paper the day after the draft was over, i thought we did really well.
    looking back, not so sure….just bad luck, maybe?

  86. 86 Brian said at 6:12 PM on December 8th, 2011:

    First of all, we got Shady and Maclin 3 years ago. I don’t think you could have possibly hoped for better on field production than that.

    Also, don’t forget that our top 2 picks in 2010 both had serious knee injuries. That’s a pretty huge contributing factor too.

  87. 87 Anonymous said at 2:11 PM on December 6th, 2011: my thoughts on next seasons offense on my new blog. yell at me if this isn’t the right place to put this Tommy.

  88. 88 Anonymous said at 2:47 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Always feel free to put up links to blog posts of your own. Having a variety of opinions is a good thing. I don’t consider this spamming, as long as you are one of us. Eagles fans need to support other Eagles fans.

  89. 89 Anonymous said at 3:06 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Thanks for the support. might have been editing for grammar when you clicked the first time. glad it worked and thanks for the eugene chung input. i’m going to go add that in.

  90. 90 Dan Klausner said at 3:40 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    Well, since you said so… here’s the recap of the Eagles’ 2011 draft picks that I wrote back in April:

  91. 91 Anonymous said at 9:40 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    Really in depth and well written. Good job dude.

  92. 92 Dan Klausner said at 5:57 PM on December 7th, 2011:

    Appreciate the kind words, thanks. You can check out my other work on the blog I linked or on SB Nation Philly and Bleeding Green Nation, where I’m a regular contributor/columnist.

  93. 93 Anonymous said at 3:02 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Some interesting thoughts.

    One note…Eugene Chung is the OL assistant and is in line to replace Mudd when he’s done.

  94. 94 Anonymous said at 2:31 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    question for you tommy.
    assuming reid sticks around for next year (i think he will)….what are the expectations for next season? would it be superbowl or you’re fired? playoffs or your’re fired? improvement over terrible season or you’re fired?

    personally, i think it would be interesting to see an andy reid team on the field when the coach knows his job is on the line.

  95. 95 Anonymous said at 2:51 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great question.

    I never think SB or bust is fair. What if QB tears ACL in September? Or Shady? And so on.

    You need some kind of a loose, sliding scale. If team is healthy, then winning 11 or 12 games and the division is legit standard.

    If there’s a bunch of injuries and we win 9 or 10 and get Wildcard spot, that would be a good coaching job. No reason to fire him for that.

    If we miss the playoffs (and there aren’t extreme extenuating circumstances), bye bye Big Red.

  96. 96 Anonymous said at 5:00 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    i think thats fair. personally, i think we should expect something like what the jags did to del rio – he’s here until he gets that 8th loss next season.

  97. 97 Jay Ernst said at 10:47 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I also don’t like the Super Bowl or Bust … or The Super Bowl is the ONLY thing that matters mentality … for another reason:

    I’ve been an Eagles fan for over 20 years. We’ve never won the Super Bowl. And, yet…I’ve had an amazing time watching and routing for the team in that time. I have so many great memories of moments, games and great players. Are all those memories meaningless because we haven’t won it all? I don’t think so.

    I’d love a Super Bowl more than anything in the world, but I also realize that there’s a lot more to routing for a team than winning a Super Bowl.

  98. 98 Anonymous said at 11:48 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Unless you build a dominant team, SB is a matter of luck, if Vick throws that pass three feet higher to Cooper last year, Packers are one and out, should they then have canned McCarthy?

    The key is consistently fielding a team with the potential to get to the SB, then cross your fingers, hope no one gets hurt and no lucky bounces go against you.

    Shanahan inherited Elway, and ran TD until his knees gave out = genius. Rest of his career, mediocre.

  99. 99 Anonymous said at 2:41 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Great QB play conceals holes everywhere in an organization — no matter who the coach is.

    If the Eagles had great QB play from Vick this year, and decent work from Young, we’d not be having this conversation.

    I’m not arguing that Vick’s the problem.

    I’m arguing that Reid’s skill at coaching up his QBs may have concealed longstanding or developing issues.

    That is, all the things Sam covered so thoughtfully.

  100. 100 Anonymous said at 2:54 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Fair point.

    However…that’s true for many teams. Brady has covered up lots of Bill B. issues in New England.

    Packers defense can’t stop anyone, but Rodgers wins shootouts so no one talks about that.

    Saints defense has issues, but Brees covers that up with his production.

    Is there one complete team in the NFL right now?

  101. 101 Anonymous said at 3:11 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Totally agree w/ you Tommy.

    I think we’re saying the same thing. (I’d made a longer comment touching on similar points in your “Fire Reid” post.)

    Bottom line . . . we’re leaning how crucial *great* QB play is. Along w/ a D.C. who can scheme the red zone.

    Also that, in his time, D-Mac was darn good.

    PS: Tommy . . . You’re becoming a Philadelphia Institution!!!

  102. 102 Anonymous said at 3:41 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    The Steelers are as close as you get to a complete team. They have a franchise QB who can move the ball on any defense. They have a defense that has the potential to stop anyone.
    Unfortunately, the Steelers o-line is a sieve and the Steelers D is old so they can also lose to very good teams that spread them out and can rush the passer.

  103. 103 Anonymous said at 4:10 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Prime example like your Brady reference: Peyton Manning.

  104. 104 Thorin McGee said at 5:32 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Personally, I think you’re undervaluing the Pack. They may not be the 85 Bears, but defenses with high-powered offenses often give up a misleadingly high stats.

  105. 105 Anonymous said at 9:24 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Not really. Last year GB shut people down. This year they can’t stop anyone. Last year GB never trailed by more than 7 points. They played great D.

    For some reason, their DBs aren’t covering well. Tramon Williams was a monster in the playoffs last year, but now is up and down. Charles Woodson is having coverage issues. And so on. Plus, they miss Cullen Jenkins inside pressure.

    If not for turnovers, they’d be in real trouble. So far, they’ve gotten key turnovers or just outscored teams. We’ll see if that keeps up in Jan.

  106. 106 Gary said at 3:28 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I was about ready to #OccupyNovaCare after your last article. Now a big part of me really wants Reid to stay. I’m completely torn on him. I think how this season finishes will say a lot.

  107. 107 ChowderFACE said at 3:36 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Yet another great post Tommy. One can always tell you put a lot of time and thought into your posts and always a great read. I agree that Reid should be kept on for at least another year. His bank account as you put it has been used up and if he struggles for another year then a change should be made. I agree that Vick needs Andy and a full offseason to work with him for what would be the first time as a starter could get Vick back to his 2010 form. The crucial step is the DC position. Reid can only be kept on if he makes a move there. Juan has shown the ability to get a D to play well but a better move would have been like what they did with Harbough and make him a positional coach first. I think we all agree here that SPAGS would be the best possible option to take over the reins of the D. I dont know so much about Del Rio as I think it would be better that he got some time away from coaching would do him some good. I am not really sure who else is out there like a Dom Capers was for GB. Part of the problem is that with the personnel that we have a 4-3 guy must be brought in which might be a bit harder to find. It also be great if we could pry Mike Zimmer away from Cinci. I think he has done a great job and could be in line that if AR fails next year to step in and be the HC moving forward

  108. 108 Anonymous said at 5:00 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    The only problem is Zimmer is pretty old already

  109. 109 ChowderFACE said at 9:30 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    True. He might be just a D guy like JJ was…

  110. 110 Anonymous said at 3:43 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Disgruntled by the lack of Marty bashing. D minus, must do better. 😉

  111. 111 Anonymous said at 5:29 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Noted for future posts.

  112. 112 Anonymous said at 4:20 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I have a friend who played high school football with Jesse scroggins, USC’s backup quarterback. Apparently Matt Barkley has stated he’s coming back to USC for another year. Presumably this will guarantee RG3 as the 2nd QB taken pending his workouts and combine. Unless we have a top 7 pick or trade up to get him, that scenario is looking doubtful.

  113. 113 I ♥ BDawk said at 5:26 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I really like the Del Rio suggestion. I firmly believe that we need to bring in a new mindset on defense. Tougher, more physical, appreciation for linebackers..

    My only concern is whether someone like Del Rio would actually want to play with the wide-9. I have a strong feeling that contributed to us being “stuck” with JC to begin with. It seems a bit like Zorn getting the nod in DC. No one wanted to take the reigns of the organization when their OC had already been picked for them.

  114. 114 Anonymous said at 6:03 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Lots of good commentary in here. One thing I keep seeing brought up are comparisons to other teams. In terms of comparing the Eagles to NO, NE, Pitt, GB, Balt for consistency, 4 of those 5 have won SBs fairly recently. Not one of them is currently worse than 9-3. They are all legit contenders. The eagles aren’t, and aren’t close.

    Sure no one team is perfect, but what separates GB from everyone else is that while their D gives up yards in droves, they always make stop in the 4th quarter. Plus, they’ve forced 27 turnovers. Once they get up, they stay up. The yards they’ve given up are largely irrelevant.

    Red zone problems have plagued Reid for years now. Why do should we all of the sudden believe that it will be fixed? The defense has progressively gotten worse, why should be believe just bringing in a new DC will fix those problems? The “brains” of the defense–MIKE for the front 7 and FS for the back 4 — are pretty bad. There is no one currently on the field who can take charge. That was never the case before. I don’t think just hiring a new DC will be a silver bullet. I think they must get better at MIKE and FS.

    Laslty, Vick isn’t the QB that he was the first 8 games of last season. He’s just not. His awareness and presence have never been great. I know alot of his turnovers were fluky, but many weren’t and many of his other errant throws could easily have been picked off. Now that tape is out on him, he has to be a more cerebral QB, and that’s not his game. I don’t think Vick is going to be the QB to lead the eagles to a SB.

    The turnover margin is the true reason the eagles are in such shambles right now, imo. I don’t see how that get greatly reduced with Vick running the show. He’s capable of playing great games, but I think he’s still going to have gaffs that ultimately cost the team too many games. Just my opinion.

  115. 115 Anonymous said at 6:09 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Wow, I’ve extremely anti-Reid but reading this I have been swayed slightly. I think the key to Reid staying is simple: if he admits he was wrong and fired Juan he will Stay (Lurie doesnt seem to be the firing type) or if he is stubborn and wont fire him then I think he needs to be let go. Great post Tommy.

    BTW: I know the season isnt even over yet but Im looking forward to the Eagles superbowl in April (The NFL Draft). I love the Draft and havent started to look at propsect yet but from watching some NCAA Football I think Manti Te’o from ND is the perfect fit for the eagles. What do you think of him and do you have any early LB ranks?

  116. 116 Anonymous said at 6:10 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Wow, I’ve extremely anti-Reid but reading this I have been swayed slightly. I think the key to Reid staying is simple: if he admits he was wrong and fired Juan he will Stay (Lurie doesnt seem to be the firing type) or if he is stubborn and wont fire him then I think he needs to be let go. Great post Tommy.

    BTW: I know the season isnt even over yet but Im looking forward to the Eagles superbowl in April (The NFL Draft). I love the Draft and havent started to look at propsect yet but from watching some NCAA Football I think Manti Te’o from ND is the perfect fit for the eagles. What do you think of him and do you have any early LB ranks?

  117. 117 Christopher Miller said at 8:26 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    I know it would never happen but I would love to see our offense with Norv Turner as OC (and we dump DJax for a big legit receiver). Juan must step aside….I know it would be a major demotion for him, but I would rather see Juan as Washburn’s understudy where he could really benefit/build upon his oline experience and where his high energy mentality would be the biggest asset.

  118. 118 James Wann said at 9:46 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Interesting that for the case against keeping Reid you said this:

    “In the middle of the 1999 season Reid wasn’t happy that DT Bill Johnson was laughing in the locker room after a miserable 33-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Johnson was cut the next day. Reid had control of the locker room. He had control of the team. He knew what buttons to push to scare or encourage the team. I don’t think you see any of that anymore.

    Andy has good relationships with his players. Guys love to come here. They want to play for Reid. He has a terrific reputation around the league. Maybe that is part of the problem. Football teams aren’t supposed to be full of love.”

    and in the case for keeping Reid you said this:

    “The thing that I wish more people understood is that Andy isn’t calm and quiet with the team. He gets them in a meeting room and rips them up and down. The thing is that it stays in the room. You don’t have the kind of success Reid has without knowing how to get after players. Wade Phillips is a coach who prefers the nice guy approach. He has success for a few years, but eventually the players take advantage of him and Wade is out. Reid seems harmless to those on the outside, but he runs that locker room. Andy rules the roost.

    Some people love to throw the ‘Reid’s lost the locker room’ accusation out there. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. It is a cliched thing to say about a veteran coach in a down year, but there’s nothing to back it up.”

    These statements perfectly capture my own inner conflict regarding the question whether Andy Reid has lost the locker room. On the one hand, it seems like the players are not responding to Reid anymore. On the other, there is insufficient evidence for supporting that claim. And yet, to my mind this question is decisive in answering the question whether Reid should be retained as head coach.

    I think that the problem is that there are some players who seem to be phoning it in on the field and there are others who are still driven to play hard. Interesting that most of the latter are on offence. Perhaps the problem really lies at the feet of the DC after all?

  119. 119 Jay Ernst said at 10:15 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    “Vick has looked terrific at times this season, but then makes a crucial mistake here and there and the Eagles end up losing. He doesn’t need major changes. Switching systems would be a setback for him. The best thing is for Reid and his staff to have a full offseason to work with Vick and get him back to the 2010 form.”

    That right there is the most compelling reason to keep Reid…

  120. 120 Anonymous said at 11:17 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    The problem that I have with this that Reid’s system isn’t for Vick either. It was before anyone had tape on what they could expect from them. Vick has been below avg. since the second half of last year. Multiple turnovers in games, still doesn’t make the correct pre-snap reads, and isn’t nearly accurate enough to run an offense that passes as much as Reid requires.

    The quicker people realize that Vick isn’t the QB that we saw to start last year, the quicker people will realize that changes have to be made. Vick isn’t getting back to 2010 form. He isnt’ going to have a 10-1 td to turnover ratio, 5-1, or even 3-1. He isn’t all of the sudden going to get it if he hasn’t already. What separates the elite QBs from the not is their ability to dissect a defense pre-snap and make the quick post snap delivery. Does anyone truly believe that Vick will do this? Does anyone think Vick can put together at least 3 consecutive, elite performances in the playoffs against the leagues best teams? That’s what it’s going to take with this defense.

    Andy Reid would be unstoppable with Rodgers, Brees, Brady etc., but the problem is that he’s chosen McNabb, Kolb, and Vick. Just not anywhere near the same class of player.

  121. 121 Anonymous said at 10:55 PM on December 6th, 2011:

    Keep Reid. This year was an anomaly. Fire/Demote Juan. A full offseason will work wonders. Players need to step up and LEAD. I want the next DC to turn these softies into a bunch of mean, hard hitting SOBs.

  122. 122 Anonymous said at 3:42 AM on December 7th, 2011:


    I know it’s still premature to talk about the off-season, but letting Desean walk may not be the best way of going forward. Why?!

    Because Jeremy Maclin’s history of injuries worries me. Just like Desean, he seems not be able to last for 16 games. However I hope that most of his injuries this season stem from a non-existent offseason that has been marked by his mysterious illness that tuned out to be ‘just’ a mono.


  123. 123 Anonymous said at 11:23 AM on December 7th, 2011:

    Andy won in his early years for several reasons: a great staff headed by JJ as DC and Harbaugh as STC, McNabb in his prime, his pick of FA’s because Banner was years ahead of his contemporaries in handling the salary cap, a free hand from ownership, weak NFCE. Despite all his advantages, Reid’s teams always had some positions which were ignored, his players didn’t step up in the championship games or the SB and he was out coached in those games. Against good teams with good coaches, Reid is consistently out coached. When his teams have talent far superior to the opposition, they can win despite Andy. Over the last few years, his record is no better than average. Nobody has mentioned that in JJs last few years, many, including me, thought it was time to replace him. The heavy reliance on the blitz against a top QB didn’t work any longer. I have believed for years that Andy wouldn’t win here. I have no confidence that the FO will hire a coach who is better than Andy but the time to try is years overdue.