We have learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to the Eagles over recent years. From Michael Vick to Nnamdi Asomugha; Juan Castillo to Danny Watkins, just when we think we have them pegged, boom, they hit you with a left cross.
Perhaps that is why the city still has its collective guard up when it comes to the widespread sentiment that Andy Reid is on his way out. It is the anticipated move, the logic goes, so obviously the Eagles will do the opposite.
I can say with as much certainty as the Philadelphian in me allows that Reid’s last game as head coach of the Eagles will be this Sunday in New York. As early as Monday, Jeffrey Lurie will step to the podium and announce that after 14 years, it is time for a change.
Ah, but will there be a twist?
“I think [Reid] still has a future as a potential president/general manager, where he can go upstairs and keep the organization together, look at hiring a new coach. I think that’s a distinct possibility right now,” said Brian Baldinger on Comcast SportsNet.
“I’ve heard the same talk, too,” added Ray Didinger.
That notion has been floated this way as well. There has been enough chatter that you wonder if it isn’t at least being kicked around inside the NovaCare walls.
This would be an unwise move on several fronts.
First and foremost, it would not play well. What the fans are craving more than anything else is something fresh. New blood, new hope, new life. If Reid still has his fingers on the controls, the base will still feel caged in.
“I don’t just think it would be a hard sell to the fans, I think it would be an impossible sell to the fans,” said Didinger. “I just don’t know how you can justify moving him up to the front office.
“When you think about it, OK you’re getting him off the sidelines but you’re putting him in a position where he is going to make personnel decisions, he is going to make coaching staff decisions, and look at where this team is at right now and what’s brought them to this point: it’s been bad drafts, it’s been bad personnel decisions, and it’s been bad handling of the coaching staff. Those are things he is still going to be responsible for. I don’t see how that makes you better.”
The second point, which Brian Westbrook brought up in the discussion, is this: How comfortable would the new coach be with having the old coach hovering over his shoulder? How many candidates would that scare off?
All things considered, this is an idea that you would anticipate being left on the editing room floor. The Eagles desperately want to improve the relationship between team and city. How can they establish a new brand with Reid still in the picture?
But these are the Eagles we’re talking about, and indeed crazier things have happened.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
In his mailbag, John Clayton explores the possibility of Vick landing with either the Browns or Cardinals.
First, let’s start with the Browns. Joe Banner is very meticulous and will study various options. He is still determining if Brandon Weeden is the right quarterback. There was a report this week that he might go for Ryan Mallett if Josh McDaniels is a consideration to come to Cleveland. Because Vick is probably going to be released within five days after the season, Banner and the Browns have more than a month to look at him.
As for the Cardinals, they must do something. If they don’t go for West Virginia’s Geno Smith in the draft, they will have to look at Vick, Alex Smith and anyone else who is available. I still think they should keep Ken Whisenhunt as head coach. They have a good defense. Getting a quarterback could put them back at the eight- or nine-win level at the very least.
Westbrook gave an interesting take on Reid’s legacy in a recent appearance on DNL:
“I don’t think the Super Bowl win changes his legacy. You look at the wins and losses, where [Reid] brought this team from. This team was not very good when Andy got here. He brought this team and put it into a position where they could compete every single year – 10, 12 wins every single year.”
“Winning a Super Bowl is important, it’s paramount in this sport, for players as well as a coach. But to say Andy Reid is any less of a good coach because he didn’t win a Super Bowl …
“You know, ‘[Dan] Marino’s not a very good quarterback because he didn’t win a Super Bowl,” Westbrook continued, sarcastically. “He’s still one heck of a quarterback.”
Former Eagle Mardy Gilyard was released by the Jets.
Practice begins for the regular-season finale against the Giants. Reid will address the media at 11:40.