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.

We hear from you in the comments section, via e-mail, on Twitter and during Birds 24/7 Radio on 97.5 The Fanatic (podcast links here).

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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  • HowieDon’tKnow

    The big question is whether HR will also hit the road. If not, we’re doomed to repeats of this season. His talent selections are as big a part of this mess as AR’s moves. We just don’t have good talent and that is on HR.

    • ohitsdom

      I’d like to see how Roseman does without Reid. He had a great draft this year, but certainly some mistakes (JaiJar) last year. I’d rather keep him to see how he does.

      • 1972

        1 out of two drafts aint bad.If the coach had a different philosophy we would have more wins this year. so ill wait and see what howie does this draft and see what coach is hired before i make a full assessment of the guy. We dont know for sure who decided on watkins jarett or nate allen.But we do know graham is his guy so we’ll see

      • morgan c

        JJ was pure Reid. He confirmed that when he was cut. And I feel like banging my head against the wall here / broke record, but Reid generally made the personnel decisions. So, no, HowieDon’tKnow, the not having good talent thing is more on Reid, not HR.
        It says here HR deserves a chance without Reid, where he can actually make the calls. If he screws up, get rid of him at the end of the 2013 season.

        • ohitsdom

          Agree 100%. Then again, Reid always takes the blame and ownership, so we really don’t know how much Roseman’s input was involved in the decisions.

      • HowieDon’tKnow

        Sorry, but I don’t give this draft to HR. After the ’11 fiasco with free agency and iditiotic picks, Reid ran this one. You look at 10 and 11 and those drafts were markedly different than prior ones. I remember Roseman talking about the need for speed and quickness at the time. I put those drafts and the ’11 FA fiasco largely on Roseman. AR may own part of this, but so does HR. Anyone who believes that someone who never played the game and never worked his way up scouting can watch tape and pick players should go and buy a copy of the Stockholm Syndrome book because you’re stuck in one.

        • morgan c

          So you’re of the view then that you have to have played to be a good GM and assessor of talent? That’s fair, some people believe that. Personally, I think limiting your GM choice to only men who have played is totally backward and will lead to middling old school stubborn talent evaluators who can’t think outside the box. The trend in the league, if you’ve noticed, is to hire non-ex players to management positions. Think Atlanta Falcons and Thomas Dimitroff. Do you think he has put together a poor roster and has a poor eye for talent, too? And Howie did start out as cap guy and in personnel department, albeit he moved up quickly. GM is all about hiring a good scouting department, and having big picture in your mind. I think Howie deserves the chance to do that, without being overruled by arrogant Andy.

          Also, while free agency hasn’t worked out for the Eagles, most were praising those moves at the time. Howie was held up as some sort of wunderkid by the national media at least, for getting NA when no one thought we’d be able to sign him. It’s easy to look back in hindsight, but those moves indicated a certain getting-things-done and shrewdness quality to HR that is necessary. Also, the team friendly contract extensions for McCoy and Jackson were well done.

          • HowieDon’tKnow

            Dimitroff supports my theory, not yours. Guy was a scout, played and his Dad was a coach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Dimitroff Support from media (no offense, Sheil and Tim) for a team’s moves is nothing to get excited about. While we were doing all of those splashy deals, Ozzie signed Bernard Pollard who is a tough, talented safety and Emmanuel Cook, another good safety. We have terrible talent and HR has “some ownership” of this.

  • http://twitter.com/THEKID_ Mike Jehle

    Great article…although i’m sure there will still be Reid Apologists out there. Not sure how, but there will be. It’s time.

    I don’t know if we know how good or bad Roseman is. Reid is such an egomaniac that I find it hard to believe (despite what is said) that he didn’t have final say on everything regardless if someone holds the title of GM.

    That being said…I want a clean slate for 2013.

  • TheGhostofNormVanBrocklin

    Sheil, you are 100% correct on every point and I hope you are right. I’m thankful for the good years we had under Reid but we haven’t won a playoff game since McNabb was here and that seems like a million years ago. With that said, I just don’t trust Lurie to pull the trigger. I can totally see him standing up there in January, making excuses for why it makes sense to keep AR on for the final year of his contract. I hope I’m wrong…

  • The Guru

    This is just a lame story someone out there is floating to keep the fans angry and involved….and more importantly, keep them from apathy. Lurie is a smart guy and he knows bringing Reid back in any capacity would alienate an entire fan base. Course, by not letting Roseman go, he may just do that anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.jones.3998 Chris Jones

    OK so here’s my 2 cents. With a great draft pick for once,
    let’s not screw it up. We need to get
    these high picks right for once. Too
    many busts in the top 3 rounds in recent years. I.E. T’eo, Watkins, Nate(yes I
    think he was a bust), Marsh (Who knows guy doesn’t get on the field),
    Jarrett, I mean in the last 3 years to
    have this many duds in top rounds in inexcusable!!! I can start throwing in
    other names form 4th and 5th rounds like macho Harris,
    Cornelius Ingram, Lindley, but whatever those are mid rounds and are hit or
    miss. So this year how about we get in
    some fresh eyes while we are cleaning house.
    Maybe someone from the 49ers or Houston, or St, Louis even.
    There are many needs for this 2013 team.
    Some may be sorted out in the next 4 weeks as we play younger players to
    generate more tape of these guys to evaluate during the offseason. The biggest question marks are QB, Secondary,
    and O-line in that order. I have O-line
    3rd because most of that was due to injuries and the only real
    question is Watkins. My idea there is move Herremans to guard and grab a OT via
    Free agency. There are plenty of good
    tackles in FA this yr. Guys like Andre
    Smith, Ryan Clady, Branden Albert, Sebastian Vollmer and even Jerrod Bushrod
    has come on as of late. Definitely think
    we need to draft a OT, and a Guard, but lets save that for mid rounds. As for Qb, most pundits domn’t believe this
    year to be good for drafting one. Many people
    are saying we go for Geno Smith and I am not sold on this idea and hope that
    Foles really improves each week from here on out, and shows enough that he
    deserves to be the Qb here. We will
    definitely need some CB’s, and safeties this draft no matter what we do via
    free agency. I wish we would give Marsh more
    time to see what he has learned.
    Although with this coaching not sure what learning if any is taking
    place. There are some quality FA and I
    personally would go for 2 and then leave the rest for the draft. Guys like Goldson, and Rhodes should be
    pursued so we are not starting 2 rookie safeties next year. Although could it really be any worse than
    this year? I really like Coleman, but he
    is not a starter. I think at corner DRC
    walks? And Nnamdi restructures contract and takes a pay cut unless new coaches
    think they can turn their play around??
    Maybe take a chance on a injured FA corner such as Grimes or Revis? But think best option at corner is through
    the draft. With these scenarios we can
    actually trade back in rd 1 for more picks, and grab best available player like
    Geno if we need a QB or stay put and get an impact player!! Hopefully
    get a tall legit #1 WR in 2nd or 3rd round. I like DeSean as a #2 to stretch the field and
    make big plays, but I think Maclin is garbage.

  • limodriver2750

    Have we lost sight of HR just having his contract extended? That tells me that Lurie wanted a familiar face in his corner when time came to restructure and evaluate coaching and draft needs. Im still not convinced that he knows football like other GMs in the league and the most recent draft didn’t help his cause to think otherwise.

    • morgan c

      So you’re saying selecting Cox, Kendricks, Curry, Foles, Boykin et al substantiates the view that HR knows little about football? I completely disagree with that. Say what you want about the drafts before that (where Reid admitted Watkins and Jarrett were both his calls, now Howie’s), but this last draft is looking very competent. Who else would you have preferred HR pick to show he “knows football”?

      • morgan c

        *not Howie’s

      • Bob A

        Remember that HR hired Tom Donohoe as a consultant last winter before the draft. Donohoe helped build those Cowher led Steelers teams. That’s a great hire, so I’ll give HR credit for that, but I’d be interested in how much help he got from Donohoe on that 2012 class that looks much better than the other 2; or whether HR made the calls on those players.

  • Bob A

    Sheil, you are absolutely right on every point. And if you were the owner of the Eagles, I would have complete trust that the reasons above would be reason enough not to bring back Reid. But this is Jeff Lurie we’re talking about. A guy that has thumbed his nose at the fans since he got here over everything from credit cards to hoagies to midnight green jerseys. This is a guy that opened his presser last January with 10 minutes of why he should fire Reid, then turned around and kept him. I flat out don’t trust the guy. There is only one reason why he would go ahead and fire him , that is, he would suffer such a backlash that it would affect the team’s bottom line. I think that WOULD happen if he tried to retain him, so ultimately I agree that he’s probably gone. But all of those logical football reasons above probably never entered Lurie’s thinking.

  • Bob A

    BTW, although I posted below that I don’t trust Lurie to make the right call , it’s kind of disingenuous for any writer to start the post with “the Eagles fan base is a confused group right now”, as though the media has some magic insight that a mere fan can’t possibly grasp. I would guess that any fan who has watched each game become more and more a theater of the absurd has assumed that Reid would be gone. It’s various members of the media, including respected national reporters like Sal Pal who have suggested that Reid might stay in some capacity. National reporters have been singing his praises all year , as though Philly fans have seen a completely different set of games than those seen by the media; especially those in the coaching frat who have ended up on the air. If fans are confused, it’s because the media continues to deliver a mixed message regarding a decision that should be as easy to make as any in recent pro sports history.

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      “respected national reporters like Sal Pal”
      LOL

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    Unless Reid is the second coming of Rasputin, he won’t be back in any capacity.
    Having said that, however, AR does seem to have more than a bit of Rasputin in him and certainly Lurie does seem like a weak-kneed Czar susceptible to being put under a magical spell.