Is This the End of the Line for Andy Reid?
Eagles president Joe Banner convened a rare meeting with the Philadelphia media this week and of course the major inquiry was about the status of his head coach Andy Reid. Birds fans would like to know whether the head coach, after 12 years at the helm with no championships, is on firm or tenuous ground.
Banner talked for about 10 paragraphs on the subject and when he was done, I had no better idea whether Reid is going to go after this year if the Eagles don’t win, or if he’s going to be coach for life.
Here is the text of what Banner had to say on the subject, and you can decide for yourself what the hell he’s saying:[SIGNUP]
“I think you guys all know that we have a very high opinion of Andy as a person and as a coach. That doesn’t mean to imply that he’s perfect. He would tell you that himself, there’s a criticism that’s fair.
“But we attracted a group of coaches here that would never have come if wasn’t for somebody like Andy being the head coach…We attract players that want to play here because Andy’s the head coach. There’s only three teams in the league that have made the playoffs the last three years. We’re not satisfied that we only got to the first round. At the same time, we’re not willing to pretend that isn’t an accomplishment.
“The future will be determined when we get there. But whatever criticism it leads to, there’s nobody in any decision-making position in this organization that isn’t going to tell you we have a very, very high opinion of Andy Reid.
“We think that the quality of leadership is a crucial, crucial part of evaluating head coaches, and if you look at the ones that have been really successful, they’re all tremendous leaders. So you can sit there and critique: did we take the right timeout, or this or that? Andy’s leadership skills and his ability, year after year, to rally players to play hard, play together, play selfishly — which is such a difficult challenge of leadership in any professional sport — we put a lot of value on those skills.
“And at the same time, we’re here to win a championship. That needs to be part of the equation.”
A couple of years ago, Banner gave an interview minutes after the Eagles were upset in the NFC championship games by the Arizona Cardinals and said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again. Nothing really changed then, except that a year later, the team decided to part ways with Donovan McNabb. So I’m hopeful that if the Birds don’t at least reach the NFC title game this year, or play in the Super Bowl, that there is a chance Banner and company will turn a similar page on Reid. But by Banner’s statement, I still have no idea whether this coach is on the hot seat.
Here’s what I know: coaches and players don’t come here because of Andy Reid. Jim Washburn, the newly hired defensive line coach, knew he was on his way out while the Tennessee Titans cut ties with Jeff Fisher. Howard Mudd, the new offensive line coach, probably wanted back in from retirement, because, well, retirement is boring. And you mean to tell me that free agents come to Philadelphia because of Andy Reid? Please. Asante Samuel was made the highest paid cornerback in the league by the Eagles. Donna Reed could have been the coach of the Eagles and Samuel would have come. Same for Jason Peters and Jon Runyan and so on and so on.
Here’s my answer to Banner’s chirping that the Eagles are only one of three teams to make the playoffs each of the last three years: so bleepin what!
I hate to break it to Joe, but that stat is countered by much more important stats like 21 of the last 26 Super Bowl winning coaches have won the big game before their FOURTH year with their particular team; or that Andy Reid is only one of three coaches in the history of the league to have coached that long without winning a championship (Fisher, recently fired, was one, Bill Cowher the other); or that Reid has a sub-.500 record against teams who finish the season with a winning record.
Joe Banner talks a good game. But after 12 seasons of Andy Reid, Banner’s words to me are just mumbo-jumbo.
1. David Akers agent is miffed that the team made the kicker the transition player, meaning that the Eagles would have the right to match any offer Akers gets. Is the agent kidding me? With the transition tag, Akers will make $3 million for one season, his highest payday to date. Kickers don’t get hurt. So what’s the beef for a one-year contract? He has a good year, he can get a multi-year deal from any team in the league.
2. Would you trade Ryan Howard for Albert Puhols if part of the deal was that you had to meet Puhols demands of a 10-year contract and you’d probably have to pay Puhols about $100 million over the last 3 years of the deal? I would.
3. John duPont, the eccentric millionaire, put in his will that he wanted to be placed in his coffin and buried wearing a wrestling tight. Would it be a violation for an undertaker to ignore a request like that in order to preserve a nutty person’s dignity? I knew the lawyer who represented duPont’s wife in a divorce proceeding. In the complaint, she alleged that duPont threw her out of a moving car, would wake her up in the middle of the night, place a butter knife to her throat and accuse her of being a member of the KGB, and at times, would take his pistol out to the long hallway and shoot it at a portrait of his mother. Yikes. Yeah, what the hell, put him in that wrestling outfit.
4. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has arrived on newsstands. Its cover is of stunning model Irina Shayk, who’s married to a Brazilian soccer star. She’s wearing a push-up bikini. It may be one of the best SI swimsuit covers ever. A cool part of the issue is the series of photos of the models who had their swimsuits painted on. But one of the painted models is 18-year-old Kate Upton. Eighteen years old and having her privates painted? Bothers me a little. Now listen to the words of the guy who painted her (for 17 hours, by the way): “She’s so young — just 18 — so it’s all perfectly there; her lovely alabaster skin and that curvaceous body…” Yo big boy, you need a cold shower.
5. I went away for a couple of days last week, a trip to Las Vegas. I came back to read that six more priests were arrested for sexual abuse, making me wonder if I ever went away at all.