Jeff Lurie made it clear early in 2012 that 8-8 was unacceptable. He wanted to see improvement. The Eagles currently sit at 3-6. The Eagles need to go 6-1 to get to 9-7. And just getting to that record won’t be enough. Lurie wanted to see the Eagles get back to being a good team. Sometimes the final record will be misleading about the quality of a team. This isn’t a bad luck 3-6 team. Oh, there is some of that involved, but mostly this is a team that shoots itself in the foot. Repeatedly.
The Eagles going 6-1 or 7-0 would be a miracle. Seeing this team play at a high level would be a major miracle.
I can’t imagine Lurie has enjoyed 2012 at all. Even the 3-1 start had to be concerning. Mike Vick was a turnover machine back then. The team needed comebacks to win all 3 games. The team played well vs Baltimore, if you take away the turnovers, but there wasn’t one game where the Eagles looked like the team Lurie, Reid, or we expected.
The drama of this year also has likely worn on Lurie. ReidWatch is no fun, except for those who flat out hate Reid. Even some people that want him gone don’t like really talking about it all that much. Reid has been such a good coach for such a long time that it feels weird to address the situation, which is likely to happen.
Reid can save his job, but you would find that scenario stored in the same file cabinet as GQ hiring me as a model and that leading to my marriage to Olivia Wilde. Hey…if the scenarios play out, maybe I’ll get Big Red to be my best man. Something tells me I won’t have to worry about that situation coming up.
Some have asked about firing Reid now. Makes no sense. There is no benefit to it. Let the man coach out the season. He’s earned the right to go out after the season is over. This also ties into the question about Mike Vick and the rest of the season. Should Vick sit so we can watch Foles?
Sounds like Nick will play this week vs the Skins. Reid has to see how he played and if the team won and take those factors into consideration. If the team wins and gets to 4-6, Reid has to go with the player he thinks gives him the best chance of winning. That could be Vick. If the team loses and Foles struggles, Reid could again turn back to Vick.
Because Reid is coaching to save his job, I think he has the right to stick with veteran players and focus on each game. When the Eagles do get the 9th loss (seems pretty inevitable at this point), I do think it would be fair for Lurie and Roseman to push for Reid to play Foles and other young players.
Guys like Vick, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Demetress Bell are goners. Jason Babin, Mike Patterson, and Cullen Jenkins will be more complicated. I know Babin is struggling right now, but he had 30 sacks the previous 2 years. You need to be careful about cutting that guy too quickly. Make sure he’s done before sending him on his way.
The Eagles have young players behind these guys that it would be good to see in action. That said, don’t expect Reid to ever empty the bench for the heck of it. He still believes in coaching to win. He’d need pressure from Lurie to play all the guys, especially at once. There is logic to Reid’s thinking. If you sit a bunch of older starters, players get the sense that games don’t mean as much and they change the way they practice, prepare, and play. Things become more individual and less about team. Even in a crappy season, you want the players to stay focused. Last year’s Tampa team checked out mentally in November. They lost their last 5 games by an average of 23 points. That’s bad.
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Some of you want to know who the Eagles should hire to replace Reid. I still prefer to wait until December to fully get into that discussion.
Some have asked about the draft. If the Eagles do make changes, we’ll need to see who the new coaches are to figure out what systems they run and where the holes are on this team.
A lot could change this year.
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NFL Gimpy posted his new MAQB column. He’s got good stuff on the SF/STL tie, rookie QBs, and much more.