I’m not going to pretend to be a football expert or even someone who knows anything about football aside from what was learned at J.P. McCaskey High School in the late 1980s. So with that in mind please excuse me if the next question is… well, dumb.
Anyway, here it comes:
Why is Andy Reid still the coach of the Eagles? Or, at the very least why isn’t he at least sitting on the ol’ hot seat?
Is this not a fair question?
Perhaps Joe Torre’s “firing” means any coach or manager – no matter how successful – is fair game. In that regard maybe Andy Reid’s biggest crime is the same as Torre’s in that they were too successful. Torre, of course, managed the New York Yankees for 12 seasons and took them to the playoffs for an unprecedented 12 straight years. He won the World Series four times, lost it twice and racked up 1,173 regular-season victories.
But, Torre did not win the World Series since 2000 and was not able to take the Yankees back to the Series since losing to the Marlins in 2003. Clearly, such a long drought was unacceptable to the Yankees’ new bumbling and egomaniacal bosses.
Never mind the fact that the egomania was built on the back of Torre’s success.
Football, of course, is a different animal than baseball. There are many more players and coaches and much more specialization. They have meetings about having meetings in football and truth be told, almost all meetings are a waste of time. Worse, they have meetings on the field before every single play. Baseball, it sometimes seems, is also becoming far too specialized, which makes for a less-interesting game to watch. Even worse, the coach actually walks onto the field to discuss strategy, which seems really odd.
Is there another sport that allows the coach to go onto the field during the middle of the game? Hell, tennis doesn’t even allow coaches to sit on the sidelines.
Anyway, the only reason I ask about Reid and his future with the Eagles is more because of Charlie Manuel than Joe Torre. After all, for three seasons Charlie Manuel was scrutinized over the tiniest bit of minutia regarding his job performance and his personality. Fans and media called for Manuel’s head because, as they pointed out, he wasn’t smart enough. They based this on the notion that he couldn’t pull off a double-switch and because he was from Virginia and talked funny.
You know, because the double-switch is the most important move a baseball manager ever makes and because that Philly accent sounds so intelligent. And yes, I was using the sarcasm font.
So if Charlie Manuel can win more games in his first three seasons than any other manager in franchise history save for the guy who had Grover Cleveland Alexander pitching for him, and get the team to the playoffs for the first time in a decade-and-a-half while some folks are genuinely upset over his two-year contract extension, why isn’t Andy Reid feeling the heat?
Look, I know the Eagles just passed through the most successful era in franchise history and that they got to the NFC Championship for four seasons in a row. But it’s over. According to people that know better, the Eagles do not have the players needed to fit into their schemes. Even with the pass-happy offense, Reid’s Eagles don’t seem to have the receivers they need to make now immobile quarterback Donovan McNabb more effective. Actually, the Eagles did have the receiver they needed to make the rather pedantic offense good, but they ran that guy out of town because he was a diva.
Seriously, how does a coach help run the best player on the team out of town and still keep his job? Lawyers are always looking for a precedent when contemplating trying a case – is there a previous instance of a coach “firing” the best and most effective player on the team and staying on the job?
Again, I’m no expert on the NFL or the Eagles so excuse my ignorance. But as an outsider looking in from a cursory view I don’t understand why Reid isn’t feeling more pressure. Or maybe he is and I just don’t know enough to make a more intelligent point. But how come it’s OK for him to continuously take the “responsibility” for a bad game, or to tell the press that he/we “must do a better job?” He did it again after the loss to the Bears yesterday when quarterback Brian Griese marched his team 97 yards with less than two minutes to go for the winning touchdown.
He does this ad nauseam to the point that it should make one nauseous.
It seems that he has used the “responsibility” and “better job” edict so much that there ought to be consequences by now. Worse, the mistakes that necessitate such excuses are chronic and have been for a long time.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to argue with the track record no matter how angry fans seem to be after watching the games on Sunday. The Inquirer notes these facts in the Oct. 14, 2007 issues:
Since Reid took over as the Eagles’ coach in 1999, the 31 other teams have combined to fire and hire a total of 91 coaches. Discounting rookie head coaches, 36 of the 91 never made a playoff appearance with the team they coached. Nine others failed to win a playoff game.
Under Reid the Eagles have been really good. But it doesn’t seem as if the Eagles are going to win their first title since 1960 any time in the near future. This idea would remain unchanged even if the Eagles were 3-3 instead of 2-4.
Anyway, I’m not one of those guys who profess to know everything. That’s why I ask… maybe I just don’t get Andy Reid.
Am I the only one?
- There was no way that Manny Ramirez would have thrown out Kenny Lofton at the plate during the seventh inning of last night’s ALCS Game 7. But Lofton not scoring the run that would have tied the game at 3 is not why the Indians lost the game… but it didn’t help.
- It’s official: The Red Sox and Yankees have traded places. The Red Sox are the big-monied team that is maniacally organized and always seems to have the means to get the right player to step in at the perfect time, while the Yankees are the team that replaces the manager despite going to the playoffs year after year.
- Is there a more entertaining/maddening player than Manny Ramirez?
- Terry Francona is heading to his second World Series in four seasons with Boston… how come the Phillies can’t get a guy like that?
Oh yeah… never mind.
- Finally, the Phillies released their schedule for 2008. They open the season against the Nationals on March 31 after another one of those exhibition two-game series on March 28 and 29 against Toronto.
Other highlights include a two-game series in Colorado on April 21 and 22 before the return matchup at the Bank on May 26, 27 and 28. Interleague-wise the Phillies host the Red Sox and Angels starting June 16.
For the rest of the schedule, click here.