Eagles Wake-Up Call: The ‘Reid’s Coming Back’ Theories

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy ReidThe Eagles’ fan base is a confused group right now. And in many ways, it’s understandable.

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This week, I’ve heard a variety of theories, all suggesting the same thing: Andy Reid is coming back as the head coach in 2013.

I’m here to tell you it’s not happening.

Let’s tackle the arguments one at a time.

The Eagles have suffered so many injuries. Won’t Jeffrey Lurie see that and give Reid one more shot?

The answer is no. Right now, the injuries look bad: Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and four-fifths of the offensive line. But remember, the Eagles played eight full games with Vick, McCoy and Jackson healthy. They were 3-5, and the offense averaged 16.6 points per game.

The offensive line injuries have certainly played a role. But the Eagles had most of the offseason to figure out a plan for replacing Jason Peters. Todd Herremans was healthy for eight games. And while the loss of Jason Kelce has hurt, replacing Danny Watkins with Jake Scott has nothing to do with why this team is 3-9.

Defensively, the Eagles have been one of the healthiest units in the league. The entire secondary has missed one start (Nate Allen) combined. Yet they’ve allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete over 76 percent of their passes for 16 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last six games.

Injuries are not a good enough excuse.

Reid’s starting Nick Foles now. Won’t he try to convince Lurie that he should mold the new QB next season?

No. Starting Foles makes sense regardless of who the coach is going to be in 2013. If the rookie was a complete disaster, maybe you’d think about getting Michael Vick back out there. But Foles showed signs of improvement against Dallas. As a franchise, this is part of the information-gathering process so that in the offseason, you can make the best decision at quarterback.

But Reid just fired Jim Washburn. There are only four games left. That seems like a move for 2013.

Washburn was not coming back next season. Clearly, his firing had to do with much more than just the defensive line’s inability to pressure the passer. It’s true that Reid made the decision, even though it looks like he won’t be a part of the franchise a month from now, but the move has no bearing on the team’s future plans.

Couldn’t Reid move right into a front-office role and help find the next coach?

Take a step back and assess the state of this franchise. In a matter of weeks, Reid has fired his defensive coordinator, released a defensive end who had 18 sacks last year and fired his defensive line coach. They have lost eight straight games and are 3-9 on the season. Only two teams – the Chiefs and Jaguars – have fewer wins. If the season ended today, the Eagles would have the fourth pick in the draft.

In other words, this franchise is a mess. And every misstep has come with Reid’s stamp of approval. This has all occurred after a disappointing 8-8 campaign prompted Lurie to demand “substantial improvement.”

I’m sure Lurie wishes things would have worked out differently. I’m sure he had visions of standing on a float with Reid, going down Broad Street and holding up the Lombardi Trophy. But the Eagles have not won a playoff game since the 2008 season. We never knew what the end would look like, but this is it.

At some point in the next few weeks, most of the fan base will thank Reid, show their appreciation for a memorable 14 years, and the two sides will go their separate ways.

There’s really nothing to suggest it’s going to play out any differently.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Here’s my game review of how Foles performed vs. the Cowboys. Definitely saw some signs of improvement.

From Washburn to Reid to the draft, here’s what they’re saying about the Eagles.

The offensive line actually played pretty well vs. Dallas. And Scott’s still in for Watkins. Here’s the game review.

A look at Eagles draft positioning.

“A 63-year-old acting like a teenager.” T-Mac shares some thoughts on Washburn’s firing.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Bryce Brown beat out Adrian Peterson for the best performance by a running back last week, according to Football Outsiders’ numbers:

Say hello to perhaps the only good thing about the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2012 season. He does have some issues with ball security, with three fumbles in his last two games. Otherwise, though, there’s plenty to like here. Only four times in 24 carries was he hit for no gain or a loss against Dallas, but he showed enough consistency to pick ten total first downs (including those touchdowns) on the ground, along with the burst to reel off seven runs of 10 yards or more and three of 20 yards or more, capped off by a 39-yarder. He also caught four passes in five targets for 14 yards, though only one of those plays (a 7-yard gain on second-and-10) met FO’s standards of a successful play.

Adam Rank of NFL.com thinks the Eagles are the second-worst team in the league:

If you don’t think the Eagles are serious about being No. 1, they erased all doubt when they elevated Nick Foles to starter for the rest of the season. Though, this move could certainly backfire on them because Foles was impressive against the Cowboys. Bryce Brown could put a kink into the team’s plans, too. If it wasn’t for a clutch fumble by Brown at the end of the Cowboys game, the contest could have ended in disaster.

COMING UP

The Eagles are back at Novacare. We’ll get more player reaction on Washburn’s firing and hear from Reid.

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