Embrace It?

Posted: February 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 69 Comments »

I just started reading Next Man Up, the John Feinstein book about the Ravens back from the Brian Billick era.  In an early meeting with the team, Billick talked to them about the fact the team had been building to make a Super Bowl run and it was time for that to happen.  He told them that the team was configured to get to the Super Bowl that year, as well as the next couple.

That made me think (always a dangerous thing).  Should Andy Reid embrace Super Bowl talk?  I don’t mean go all Rex Ryan and start talking about how we’re the best and definitely will win the SB.  I’m talking more about openly using the phrase “Super Bowl” when discussing the season and goals.  Things like:

“Our goal is absolutely to win the Super Bowl.”

“We’re not playing like a Super Bowl team right now.”

“These are the kind of wins you expect to see from a Super Bowl team.”

“The reason we had Tommy and Megan make that hot tub video was to help us get to the Super Bowl.”

Normally I don’t think this would be smart, but since Reid is going to be under big pressure this year…could this actually be smart?  Rather than ignore the obvious, embrace it.  Reid isn’t on a Super Bowl or bust mandate, but he’s not far off from that if you read between the lines of Jeff Lurie’s PC.

Would this send the right message to the team?  Would this put the right kind of pressure on the players and coaches?

What do you guys think?

69 Comments on “Embrace It?”

  1. 1 Brian said at 10:13 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Internally, yes. I think he should be very explicit with the players and coaches that anything less than the super bowl is failure.

    Externally, I’m not as sure that it’s a good idea. Would just lead to another “Dream Team”/”Gold Standard”/”Anything Rex Ryan Says” bulletin-board quote that’s dragged out mockingly forever.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 8:15 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    Totally agree. And the worst part is most of the people using it against him are the weak, miserable Philly.com commenters

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 10:17 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    I don’t think you need to address the media that way – sets up too many expectations. Look what Vince Young’s innocuous comment led to… Rex Ryan’s comments are stupid and remind me of Patrick Ewing’s constant offseason refrain that ‘next year’ would be the Knicks year to win it all…, well, that never happened either. No, Reid’s focus on one game at a time is the way to play it in the media. What I mentioned in an earlier post and what I really like about what the Giants did this year was to develop the mantra of “finishing”, of finishing every game, not that they did this in the beginning of the year. I think that helps develop a mentality of toughness. That’s the kind of thing the Eagles need to do and I think it should be mainly a locker room kind-of-thing.

  4. 4 Sam Lynch said at 10:30 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    I want a Super Bowl badly. But not badly enough to want to see you in a hot tub. Deal breaker.

  5. 5 Matthew Butch said at 10:52 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    You have to take one for the team Sam!!

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 11:05 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Take one for the team, Sam. I need this.

  7. 7 Kristopher Cebula said at 12:03 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    but megan fox is also in the hot tub.

  8. 8 Alex Karklins said at 10:35 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Would the hot tub be filled with pudding or PBR? Both?

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 11:06 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Honey mustard. We’d dine on the PBR/pudding.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 1:25 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Pudding, Blue Moon, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan and Megan Fox….I would be in Heaven!!!

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 12:51 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    just as long as it’s not andy reid in the hot tub…

  12. 12 Joe Taylor said at 10:57 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Explicit though?

    No, he should tell the team that we’re bad. 8-8 for a star studded team is just horrendous.

    The team is bad…He needs to tell them to think about one game at a time and to not think about the Superbowl until we actually are preparing for it…Assuming we even to the playoffs and win the NFCCG.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 11:08 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Yeah I really like the idea of this team humbled and hungry. At least during the offseason. Maybe the Giants winning did it to them, like “[crap], there’s no reason why we can’t do that if we put the work in. We’re as good as that team if not better.”

    I mean if the Eagles play like a team, and to their capabilities, they shouldn’t lose to anyone but the Packers or Saints anyway … But I want them on some “us against the world” type crap this year. Mad. Focused. Either you’re with us or go sign a deal somewhere else we don’t effin need you.

    Forget the Super Bowl talk. Just each man needs to be getting the best out of himself. Each week is a Super Bowl, each day, each practice … YOU DON’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL IN FEBRUARY, YOU WIN IT IN AUGUST!!!

    I’m sorry, I got, uh, a little carried away there.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 10:58 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Do you really think that Andy is on the hot seat this season? Lurie’s comments seem to say yes. But I can’t ignore the times in the past when he’s said that performance was unacceptable, only to see minimal changes.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 11:08 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Reid is absolutely on the hot seat. We had a losing season in 2005 due to TO debacle (not Andy’s fault). We had an 8-8 season in 2007, heavily affected by McNabb’s return from ACL injury (not Andy’s fault).

    2011 is the first time a team of his grossly underachieved. Andy burned through a lot of goodwill to survive such a disappointing season. He’s got no goodwill left to use if things go poorly this year. He would be fired.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 12:50 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Andy (and the entire FO) deserves some blame for 2005. They all misjudged just how insane TO could become.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 2:14 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    At that point we didn’t know just how volatile/insane TO could be. He’d had some issues in SF, but that was a bad organization at that point and we didn’t know how much of the blame was his. With hindsight we clearly know he was a live stick of dynamite 24/7.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 1:21 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Tommy What are your feelings on Larry Grant as a MLB for us? He may be at a bargin price, and is a low risk high reward type guy….

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 2:16 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Larry could be a target. I’d rather get a more sure thing, but he showed enough that some team will give him a chance to start. I think I’d be okay if the Eagles added him.

  20. 20 Matt Grisez said at 3:14 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Who would you prefer Dan Connor or David Hawthorne?

  21. 21 Vince Massey said at 10:59 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Tommy…I am on the anti-Andy and Juan bandwagon, but I do think one thing that could be encouraging for the Eagles in 2012 is that both the 2011 and 2010 draft class will have a full off season to prepare. Graham, Allen, Chaney, Clayton, Coleman, Cooper, Harbor and Kafta all missed that important year 2 off season program and you would think that hurt their progress. The 2011 draft class had limited preparation so Watkins, Jarret, Marsh, Matthews, Lewis, Kelce and Rolle could all see significant improvement in 2012. Plus Vick getting all the OTA’s in should help him improve. Maybe even Juan will get his act together.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 11:10 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Having a full offseason could make a huge difference to some players. Others it will help in a more minimal way. I think Vick needs it big time. Guys like Riley Cooper and Clay Harbor should benefit. Jaiquawn Jarrett and Jason Kelce need weight room time. Lots of guys need reps to master the scheme and their assignments.

  23. 23 Anders Jensen said at 12:05 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    It should also help Allen and Graham get all the way back from there injury, a guy like Laws might benefit aswell (if they keep him) as he now have had a full year to get down in weight and learn Washburns 1-gap system

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 1:23 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I really think the EAgles need to look at the Pats playbook and integrate some of the double tight end sets they use. Harbor and Celek could be a very dangerous combo. Harbor isn’t much slower than hernandez and celek, when he is just a beast. I hope they continued to feed him the ball like they did late last year. That TE Screen was magical!!!

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 12:41 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    i think harbor is way faster than celek. do you remember when he ran the sweep in the preseason? the guy can run. i wish they’d use him more in the backfield, at least as a fullback/H-back..

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 6:48 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I definitely think you are right that guys will benefit from a full offseason, but I think it is worth noting that so will a lot of guys on every team. The Eagles did deal with significant player turnover last season as well as a defensive coordinator change, so you might be able to make the argument that we as a team have more to gain from a full offseason than others, but I am curious what the net effect relative to other teams really will be.

  27. 27 Eric Weaver said at 11:27 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    I’m a little upset with Trent Cole for talking about how the team was “inches” away from doing what the Giants did. Are all the players catching Vince Young fever? I think these players are in a dreamland anymore and not living in reality.

  28. 28 Anders Jensen said at 12:02 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    If the Eagles can cut down on turnovers, missed catches, stupid 3rd down penalties and else play like we did, this team has 12+ wins in em

  29. 29 Kristopher Cebula said at 12:07 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    well he’s not entirely wrong. the giants edged the eagles by one game for the division(eagles even held the tiebreaker). granted, it’s hard to say that the eagles would have had the same success(luck) in the post-season, but if the eagles had blown one less lead, the giants would have not even made the playoffs

  30. 30 John Chaple said at 12:13 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    A couple of muffed punts by opposing teams would have helped, too

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 10:50 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Maybe Cole was referring to the inches they failed to get in the first Giants game, on fourth down in the fourth quarter … which might have altered the course of time.

    Right now I think we’re living in the dark alternate reality where the principal is on his porch wielding a shotgun at Marty McFly.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 12:43 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    plus, you know, the d-coordinator had no clue what he was doing the first 5 games in terms of second-half counter-adjustments. it’s their own fault, but had they done better earlier in the season, they’d probably be an 11+ win team..

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 1:10 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    But don’t you get that feeling? The Giants really weren’t that much better than us. If the Jets could’ve pulled it together for us…

  34. 34 Eric Weaver said at 2:23 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Well, I don’t have faith in Vick. Not that I think Eli is anything special either, but at least his receivers can go up and catch his ducks.

  35. 35 Mac said at 7:02 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Are you suggesting someone buy Riley Cooper an old NES and a copy of Duckhunter?

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 11:35 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Oh how I wanted to punch that dog in the face!

  37. 37 Mac said at 11:24 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    Haha, I am 100% on board with this comment!

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 11:57 AM on February 8th, 2012:

    Well, having Tommy and Megan in a video, and showing it to the players might curtail practice due to spasms from laughter or projectile vomiting.

    Reid is not the type to push it, rather, I think he’s more likely to install a sense of urgency into his coaches and they’ll transmit that to the players.

    I felt last year that they really didn’t see 2011 as “their year,” otherwise they would have brought in a veteran MLB and S and let the cap chips fall where they may. Aso was a total accident, and when he fell into their laps, I think they had already passed on opportunities to upgrade LB and safety. And they knew there were going to be growing pains with Vick.

    That doesn’t mean they wrote off 2011, I think they felt the offense could carry them early, the defense would jell later as the kids learned on the job, and they might make a playoff run. 8-8 was a disappointment, especially since they know they should have been at least 10-6 (win one of the early games they blew in the 4th Q, beat Arizona which they missed literally by inches, Hanson and Jarrett both had a chance to make plays that would have sealed the game despite maybe the worst game of Vick’s career due to playing with broken ribs).

    This season is different, the safeties are 2nd and 3rd year players, they’re almost certain to bring in a veteran LB and probably a high draft pick, the OL and DL are set, when DRC replaces Asante the CBs are a better match. Vick should be far better prepared with a full offseason, and they have a lot of young players they’ve stockpiled the last two drafts who should be poised to take a step up with a full offseason. Because most of the team is set, there will only be a couple new starters on defense (LBs) and maybe one on offense (WR). That will help in terms of continuity, and running the same schemes two years in a row will also help.

    My suspicion is that AR expects this team to win 11-12 games or more, and he’s going to quietly relay that expectation throughout the organization. It’s not so much we have to win now, so blow the cap and go all out, rather, we’re good enough to win now so there are no excuses. In fact, I expect modest offseason moves because the talent is already here and major changes can cause the kind of disruption and confusion we saw in 2011.

  39. 39 Eric Weaver said at 2:26 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Honestly, if the offense would just put up 25 a game like it should, no one would care much of what Juan’s experience and/or abilities are as a defensive coach. I know I sure wouldn’t because if you’re scoring 25 a game, the defense can afford some lapses.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 11:02 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    So true.

    The defense, as maligned as it was, kept the Eagles in a lot of games that the offense should have put to bed.

    The weird thing is Reid tried being aggressive against NYG and conservative against SF and neither time they protected the lead.

  41. 41 Anders Jensen said at 12:09 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I also think AR should go out and declare that there only goal is to win the Super Bowl.
    I can remember a few years back when the head coach of the Danish handball team (big sport in Denmark and most of europe) said that they were going to win gold and because of that the players actually played more loose and they did end up winning gold.

  42. 42 Sjampen said at 12:18 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Twice baby!

  43. 43 Anders Jensen said at 12:21 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    True and we are going to win gold medal in the OL aswell 🙂

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 12:40 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    A Danish handball team reference? Interesting. Since I have no other handball team to pull for, consider me a fan of the Danish team.

  45. 45 Anders Jensen said at 2:59 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Can I call you a bandwagon fan consider the team just won gold medal in the European championship? 🙂

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 4:32 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    After winning the gold medal, did the team have to come in from recess?

    I’m just teasing… handball (or I’m sure an insulting cousin of it) was a playground activity at my elementary school.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 6:06 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    We played kickball and it was the greatest game of all time.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 11:34 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I remember watching the other fifth grade homeroom go out to play kickball every day in front of our window. Not fair. Though I guess it worked out in the end since everyone in that class is in jail now.

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 12:46 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    suicide and renegade…

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 8:56 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I KICKED ASS in nationball!

  51. 51 Steve H said at 1:21 PM on February 9th, 2012:

    Wall ball is the greatest game ever invented.

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 12:36 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Players aren’t dumb either, they know “new coaches = new players”. You’ll see guys busting their butts.

    I hope Reid goes crazy on them in TC. The camp in 2006 was beyond intense.

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 12:41 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Andy does know how to use TC to toughen teams up. Only problem is that with new rules he can’t work them as hard as he’d like to.

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 1:05 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I thought the only limitation was the length and number of practices, not what Reid could do within them.
    I’m not expecting Oklahoma drills, but still.

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 5:40 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Ok guys here’s this brick wall. Now I want you to take your helmets off and see who can break the wall with their heads first. This is what happens when you all play like pussies.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 6:05 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Back in HS I told a story to a buddy who was a couple of years younger about this killer drill the coach had us doing. I told him the coach had half the team line up at midfield and get on our knees. The other half would line up at the goal line and charge from behind, delivering full speed, vicious hits. This was done to toughen us up.

    My buddy told the junior high football coach, who looked on in confusion and horror. Of course the whole thing was made up. I never figured Mark would believe such a tale, but I guess I sold the story with such detail that he did. Always wondered if the Jr High coach ever called the HS coach to ask about the drill. I’d say no way, but the Jr High coach once told a story to his PE class about the toughness of the Junction Boys so his mind worked a bit differently.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 7:18 PM on February 8th, 2012:


  58. 58 Anonymous said at 12:48 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    he gave the guys a lot of lee-way last camp… like extra days off when they seemed confused..

  59. 59 Kammich said at 3:55 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    I started reading that book when it came out(I’m a sucker for non-fiction stories about football). The author definitely had a great deal of access, and there’s some good bits about how they handled the draft(I believe it was the year they drafted Dwan Edwards in the 2nd), as well as dealing with a headstrong owner in Bisciotti.

    Unfortunately, I never got to finish it, because my puppy ate the book. Little jerk.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 4:26 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Thanks for the Max heads up a few posts ago, really enjoyed it.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 4:25 PM on February 8th, 2012:


    Tommy, who on earth should replace Fabio Capello as England Manager? Does Marty have any experience, after all soccer is all about passing!!!

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 5:13 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Hire June Jones from SMU. He’s the passing guru of them all.

    Or get David Akers. After watching the long-snapping video of him I’m not sure there is anything he can’t do.

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 6:33 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    The first thought that came to my mind is that this might work on a veteran team, but I’m not sure how the young guys would respond to this…

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 6:35 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    And for the record I was at work when I read the hot tub quote and almost fell off my chair laughing.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 8:19 PM on February 8th, 2012:

    Well the goal is to win the Superbowl and the team is constructed to win it, otherwise whats the point. So why can’t the coach use that as motivation. However, other things might be more important like getting the linebackers to play well.

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 12:37 AM on February 9th, 2012:


    heh no seriously. i think he should stop making it sound ok to lose. he did that 2 of the last 3 years (including when they got blown out by dallas twice in a row). actually didnt he do that last year too? i dont want it to be ok to lose in the first round (or not make the playoffs).

    it shouldnt be the owner setting the tone, that it’s not ok to lose, before andy echos that statement. actually i am really happy lurie took that stance… i didnt know he had it in him. andy had been so content in his job security that he’d do and say whatever, without any real desire to win the big game… hopefully we’ll see a new fiery coach this year. hopefully..

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 8:13 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    Interesting thought. Just doesn’t seem like he would be being himself if he did it and AR seems like the always be himself type to me.

    I keep hearing the LB thing like the eagles are morons (not on this site) for not drafting an LB in the first round in the last 10 years. If we ran a 34 could understand that but there are never many stud 43 LBs in the draft. There are a few 34 pass rushers but not many 43 guys.

    Now that we run the w9 I am buying into the fact that we need a really good LB

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 10:14 AM on February 9th, 2012:

    First we need 3 NFL starting caliber LBs, a starting caliber SS, and to stop throwing the ball 75% of the time with a 58% passer. Do those things and he can talk anyway he wants.

    p.s. I want you in that hot tub, I need you in that hot tub. If Andy doesn’t do this he’s just making his SB chances weaker!

  69. 69 Steve H said at 1:24 PM on February 9th, 2012:

    IMO This is a team that needs to be humbled, a lot of our problem last year I think was that we put ourselves in the super bowl before we ever played a snap, and I’m still not sure the team quite grasps how far short we fell of our goal, based on some of the quotes I’ve read.

    I think it would be a mistake to talk super bowl, I think we need this team to be grounded and working hard.