This is what Lurie had to say last January when asked essentially if he would influence Reid’s decision when it came to defensive coordinator. It had yet to be announced that Juan Castillo was coming back for another year.
“You know it’s a constant discussion, but I think one of the important things — and it’s important in our locker room — is for Andy to have the final say,” said Lurie. “I want our players to understand that he’s responsible for selecting his staff. If I had to tell Andy Reid what to do for offensive or defensive coordinator or something like that I have the wrong coach. I just have the wrong coach if I didn’t trust his judgment.”
We know how the story has played out. Castillo was retained and later fired. The Eagles are 3-5. The trust has to have taken a hit. The genuine optimism that Reid would restore order and get this team on a track towards the Lombardi Trophy has given way to the reality that the era is nearing its completion.
With that reality comes a shift in dynamics. Lurie has granted Reid final say on football matters in the name of stability, but stability is already 30 miles down the road. This baby is about to get shaken up. Reid and the players’ peace-of-mind is secondary to the viability of this franchise moving forward.
Which brings us to the quarterback situation.
After much hemming and hawing, Reid tied himself to Vick for the remainder of this season. The purpose was to give the QB confidence and the team direction. After a fourth straight loss the direction is pretty well established and Vick’s mindset — much like Reid’s peace-of-mind — is no longer the priority. The priority is to establish a plan at quarterback moving forward.
When it comes to Vick, the Eagles could pay him $16.5 million next season and continue to carry his hefty contract, or they can slip out of it for a sum of $3 million at the end of this season. Seems pretty obvious what they’ll do until you consider that they don’t have a real Plan B. Fans and coaches alike have been encouraged by what they have seen out of Nick Foles, but no one can say with certainty that he is the solution. This is the fate of your franchise you’re talking about; a couple preseason games should not be the basis for a decision this big.
It would be nice to know what you have in No. 9. And there is only one way to figure that out.
Because of Reid’s tenuous position, he is not able to look past the next eight games. He has to coach for the here and now, and it makes sense to choose the veteran over the rookie. But is it in the best interest of the organization?
Lurie’s edict hangs over his head; Reid is no longer able to look big picture. Lurie has to, and therefore might have to break one of his own rules. If he wants to see the kid, he will have to reach beyond his self-imposed confines and order the move.
There is a lot to weigh. Would you be setting a bad precedent — one that could turn off a future head-coaching candidate? Would you be able to win Vick back psychologically if you conclude that you would like to keep him? Would playing Foles do more harm than good considering the state of the offensive line?
It is a tough decision. But as the team slips further out of playoff contention and with a new era on the horizon, it is a decision that falls to Lurie to make.
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