Owner Jeffrey Lurie put a number on it during his preseason address, confirming that another 8-8 year would not be enough for the head coach to stay.
That means the Eagles need to go at least 6-4 (possibly 7-3) for Reid to stay put.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Reid is overly concerned with his job security. If Lurie does let him go, he’ll find a job elsewhere. But yesterday’s comments made Reid sound very much like a guy who is willing to do something drastic during the bye week to get his team on track.
The ever-even Reid rarely takes his criticisms to that level. This loss is clearly causing the head coach some extra irritation. Now starts a bye week where he will go back and evaluate and “tear things apart.” What changes will come of it? Reid left his options open.
Noticeably absent, though, are the big plays. Jackson just hasn’t landed many haymakers this season.
Given that the Eagles’ offense is averaging just 16 points per game (second-worst in the NFL), you get the sense that Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg are willing to try just about anything to get Michael Vick and company on the right track.
Since Week 2, the offense has been using some form of the no-huddle throughout games – not just at the end of halves. What’s the reasoning behind the move? Well, not all no-huddles are created equal.
A couple weeks ago, the coaches approached the Cardinals game assuming the offense would be just fine operating as it usually does. They tried little things to help Demetress Bell and Dallas Reynolds, who were making their first starts of the season. But overall, Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg believed this offense could still score points by hitting on big plays down the field in the passing game.
After a 27-6 loss, though, it appears they’ve made some significant changes the past two weeks.
Marty Mornhinweg conceded Monday that the coaching staff, after evaluating the first three games, recognized that they needed to adjust their offensive approach to try and get Michael Vick into a greater comfort zone. Some of it was as simplistic as running the ball more and dialing up shorter passes. And some of it is more complex.
“There’s a lot of things that go into that, certainly,” said Mornhinweg. “There’s all different ways to do it. And you have to design it against the particular defensive structure and talent that you’re playing against as well.”
The design was effective against New York, and undoubtedly helped Vick turn in an efficient, turnover-free performance in the 19-17 win. There is more to it than that, though.
The offensive coordinator’s decision-making has come under heavy fire following a 27-6 loss in Arizona, in which he called 25 passes to five runs in the first half. Mornhinweg conceded that he would have approached the game a little differently if he could do it over again. But he also took up for himself, and believes the heavy imbalance in the run-pass ratio was somewhat justified.
Here’s what I saw from the Eagles’ offense after reviewing the All-22 footage from this week.
Before we get started, some overall themes. Number one, the coaches have to take a hit for the game-plan, which was built around the following ideas:
* That DeSean Jackson could get behind the Cardinals’ secondary for big plays.
* That an offensive line with two new guys (Dallas Reynolds and Demetress Bell) would be able to protect Michael Vick well enough to give him time to find receivers way downfield.
* That Vick would hit on the big plays when they were available.
Obviously, not all of those things happened, and hopefully below, you can see why.
You are considered by many to be a top three back in this league. Only five running plays were called in the first half. What gives?
“Um,” said McCoy, getting his politically-correct response in order. “Sometimes it goes like that. Who knows? If we got more carries or…I don’t live like that. I just go with the plays that are drawn up for us. We just got to do better, man. Simple as that.”
All week, reporters had questioned Juan Castillo and the team’s defensive players about the challenge of going up against Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ no-huddle offense. But Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg decided it was something they could try with Vick.
“The number one thing is I know Mike is very good at that,” Mornhinweg said. “He’s good at a fast tempo. I do think that some of our other players are excellent at it. So, just simply playing to their strengths, that’s all. That’s all it was. Now, there was a game plan. There were certain things that we certainly wanted to do and that enabled us to do some of those things well.”