Is Andy Reid making moves in order to remain head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013? I’m sure nobody really wants to hear this, or even think about it, but there is a scenario brewing that could ultimately keep Reid in Philly…
Let’s take into consideration the following things:
- Reid’s son passes away during training camp
- Injuries have decimated the offensive line to a point where any offense would struggle
- DeSean Jackson out for the year
- Michael Vick knocked out and probably won’t return
- Juan Castillo was fired
- Jason Babin released
- Now Jim Washburn has been fired
- Nick Foles has progressed each week and is coming off of a good performance in Dallas
- Bryce Brown looks exciting (sans the fumbles)
There are a few ways to look at the recent moves Reid has made. Reid has either finally admitted to himself the mistakes he made and is correcting them, is under pressure from Jeff Lurie to make changes, is making these moves in a desperation attempt to save his job, or is doing these people a favor by sparing them the carnage at the end of the season.
Out of those possibilities, I think the most likely are that Reid is correcting his mistakes while getting some pressure from Lurie behind the scenes. My question is whether or not Reid and Lurie are forming some sort of “compromise” or agreement.
Lurie painted himself in a corner by telling the world that 8-8 would be “unacceptable”, which insinuated that Reid would be fired unless the team was “substantially improved.” The key word there is “insinuated.”
He never said that Reid would be fired and only said that he’d evaluate Reid’s contract after the 2012 season. He also left himself a little loophole by saying that a “rash of injuries could excuse” another 8-8 season (or presumably worse).
Well, when you start counting up the injuries, the Eagles have had enough, especially along the offensive line. A bad OL can derail the best of offenses. Just look at Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers has looked like a mere mortal behind that line.
Then, Lurie could factor in the death of Reid’s son and determine it was a likely distraction for Reid all season. I mean, how could it not be?
Furthermore, Reid has a reputation for being a quarterback guru. While that could actually be debated these days, Lurie likely still sees it that way. Nick Foles has shown some progress each week so far, even if it’s only minor progress.
Foles is coming off his best performance yet against Dallas. If he continues to show this kind of improvement over the last four games, it’s quite possible that Lurie could feel as though it would be better for Reid to stay and develop him.
It’s also possible that Lurie could be telling Reid that he needs to start making some dramatic changes if he wants to stay around. It could be something along the lines of:
“Hey Andy, I know you’re a good coach and have had some real problems this season, but I’m under tremendous pressure to fire you. I don’t want to do that but something needs to give, serious changes need to be made.”
Reid has to admit that hiring Washburn before he hired a DC was a bad move, and then putting his OL coach in charge of the defense was an even worse move. Those were the two biggest mistakes Reid has ever made in his coaching career and both have been corrected now, to a point.
There is one little caveat to the Washburn firing, and that is a report by Jeff McLane saying he had become a “cancer” since the team released Babin. So, if that’s true, Washburn was fired because of that and nothing else (though it’s possible that Washburn’s attitude was the “last straw”).
In any event, this all might be a real stretch at this point and these moves are along the lines of too little, too late. I still think the most likely thing that will happen is that Reid will be fired at the end of the season.
However, considering the things I’ve listed above, I’m just not as sure as I was a few weeks ago.