I think I need to pass along a quick note in relation to my hesitance to scream “Fire Andy!!!” from the rooftops.
Before I started writing at Eagles Blitz, Iggles Blog, and now Iggles Blitz (see that evolution?)…I was a very active member of the Eagles Message Board (EMB). I joined there in 2003 and that was my first introduction to Eagles fans en masse.
I had been going to sports bars since 1992, but the Eagles fans I met were in small groups and we all got along. Even when Dan and I argued about Gruden running the ball on the first series of the game too much (he wanted passes), it was done in a fun, friendly way.
I got onto the EMB in March 2003. We began that season 0-2 with losses to TB, NE. We scored 10 points in those games combined and Eagles Nation wasn’t happy with McNabb or Andy Reid. I got plenty of lectures about how Reid needed to be fired at that point. A few weeks later he began a game at Dallas with an onside kick that Dallas recovered and ran back 37 yards for a TD. We lost that day, 23-21. Again, fans lectured me on the fact that Reid had to go since he lost that game.
2004 was a happy year, although the loss in the SB had some fans calling for Reid’s head for the slow pace late in the game.
2005 was another year when I was lectured on Reid needing to be fired.
I think 2009 was pretty quiet. The team went 11-5, which felt right for the talent on hand. Things remained pretty calm in 2010.
2011…back to the old days. Reid had to be fired.
And we all know how 2012 has gone.
I get tweets, emails, and comments telling me that I need to wake up and smell the coffee. Reid must go. This finally might be the season when you guys are right, but I do have to point out that I’ve been hearing that for parts of the past 9 years.
While Reid never did win us the Super Bowl we wanted, firing him in most of those years would have been a knee-jerk mistake. This time things may be different. He’s burned through his goodwill. 2012 speaks for itself.
I’ll jump on the bandwagon when I’m convinced that is 100 percent the way to go. Could be Monday. Or the week after. Or might happen in December.
The race to be first and say “I told you so!” doesn’t interest me. I think firing a successful coach is something that requires careful consideration. Had we listened to the masses in 2003, we would not have had the magical 2004 season. I can’t pretend to know how the last 8 years would have gone, but chances are they would not have been as successful.
I have no problem with being the last person on the Fire Andy Bandwagon. I’d much rather be last than first, that’s for sure.
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I did want Rich Kotite gone after 1994. He lost 7 straight games that year. He lost 6 straight games to Dallas. The team didn’t like him. Randall Cunningham didn’t like him and that greatly affected his play. Rich hadn’t done anything to earn the support of the fans or media. He didn’t have a strong league reputation.
I also wanted Ray Rhodes fired after 1998. That was the worst Eagles season of my life. Team went 3-13. The franchise QB we thought we had in Hoying became unbelievably awful in record time. We were shutout 3 times that year. Free agents didn’t take the Eagles seriously. Ray had no long term plan.
I don’t think coaches deserve some lifetime pass. They must be held accountable. At the same time, you can’t fire a guy for one bad season or one bad move. You need to see a pattern of problems or a lack of leadership. Dave Spadaro has talked about Eagles players talking on cellphones during practice at the end of the Rhodes era. That is when there is no question that change is needed. The players tuned him out.
With Rhodes and Kotite it was obvious to everybody.
With Reid, the situation isn’t anywhere close to that. Sunday was a very bad day for him. Can he right the ship? Does it start to sink?
I’ll jump on the bandwagon when I think the answer is clear. Until then, you can go on lecturing me. My response will be the same. Save me a spot at the back of the bandwagon and I’ll jump in when I think it’s time.
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Jimmy Bama, enemy to Jake and Elwood Blues, has a good blog post up on the opening drive of the Falcons game and what went wrong. Make sure you check that out.