Eagles Wake-Up Call: Foles Can’t Save Reid

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidAll year, the number eight has hung over the Eagles’ season.

With every loss that moves this team’s final record to 8-8 or worse, the end of the Andy Reid era seems to draw closer.

But recently, some have questioned whether that’s truly the case. The theory goes like this: Perhaps Reid will try to groom Nick Foles the rest of the way and convince Jeffrey Lurie that he deserves more time as the head coach. Time to help Foles (and a young roster) along, ushering in the next era of Eagles football.

That’s not happening.

Back in August, Lurie was asked if he’d know after the season whether it was a successful one.

“I do. I think it will be very clear,” he said.

And he was right. The Eagles are 3-6. Only four teams in the entire NFL – the Panthers, Browns, Jaguars and Chiefs – have fewer wins. No team in the NFC has been outscored by more points (-65). This comes after a disappointing 8-8 campaign in 2011. After a free-agent spending spree that summer. After Lurie allowed Reid to promote (and then fire) Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator, even though the owner has admitted he had doubts in the first place.

Lurie has to be embarrassed and disappointed at how the season has unraveled. The Eagles host a couple of prime-time games in front of the entire country – one vs. the Panthers on Monday night in Week 12, and the other against the Bengals on Thursday night in Week 15. Chances are, the scene at the Linc on those nights will not be pretty.

Lurie considered making a move last offseason, but ultimately decided to give Reid one more shot. That decision has not worked out. In fact, it has failed miserably. I’m sure Lurie still likes and respects Reid. I’m sure he wishes Reid was the man to bring the city its first Lombardi Trophy.

But I’m also sure he realizes the time has come to make a change. And that’s what’s going to happen.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles signed offensive lineman Jake Scott and released Julian Vandervelde. But why was Scott not on a roster already?

Reid labeled Michael Vick’s concussion as “pretty significant.” Tim’s got all the details.

It was a rough day for King Dunlap and the rest of the offensive linemen. Here is my game review.

I re-watched every throw Nick Foles made. Here are some thoughts on how he played overall.

Tim writes that the first thing the Eagles need to change is their self-perception. Strong piece here.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox on the end of the Reid era:

It has become almost painful to watch the end of the Andy Reid era. It is crashing so spectacularly that it is impossible to avert the eyes, but the vision is no less gruesome. Before the first frost, before the trees have even become bare, the Eagles’ season is over, lost because of a thousand mistakes that have slowly, effectively poked a gaping hole in a team that was built to contend for a title.

Vince Verhei of Football Outsiders suggests the chances of Foles becoming an effective long-term starter are low:

The fact is, it’s hard to find many successful NFL quarterbacks who were drafted in the third round or later. Tom Brady is always hailed as the ultimate diamond in the rough, but it has been 12 years since New England took him in the sixth round in 2000. In the ensuing decade-plus, 97 quarterbacks were drafted in Rounds 3-7. Only five of them — Matt Schaub, David Garrard, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton — were NFL starters for more than three seasons, and only one of those is likely to be starting next year. This does not guarantee failure for Foles (or Wilson, who was also a third-rounder), but it shows that when teams let quarterbacks slip past the first or second round, it’s usually for good reason.

COMING UP

The Eagles are off, but we are not. Plenty to sift through today on Birds 24/7.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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