Now that I have had a full week to really “digest” the Dallas loss, and believe me, living where I do, I have been reminded of it on a daily basis, I have had some time to think on the direction of this team. All of the pundits and talking heads will all say that this is Andy Reid’s final season in Philadelphia. And, yes, I remember the owner coming out before the season and saying that an 8-8 record would not cut it, and that changes would be made. As the owner, certainly, he can say what he wants. It’s his team, after all. But, is Coach Reid really the problem for this season?
We can all point to a certain time of the season where we think the whole thing went sideways. Some would say it was the hit on Vick in Arizona, where the Cardinals turned a first and goal for the Eagles into a touchdown. Some would even say it was the loss at Pittsburgh. In any event, the season has gotten sideways. That is a fact I’m sure we can all agree on. And, the easiest thing to do would be to blame the head coach. I mean, after all, he’s the one calling the shots, right? But, look at it, as a whole, a little deeper.
Four of the five starting offensive linemen are out. That’s 80 percent of the guys that were at the top of your depth chart that protect the passer, and open lanes for the running back. Is it Coach Reid’s fault that guys got hurt? The guys behind those starters are called back-ups for a reason, and I don’t have to tell anyone what that reason is. Once again, 4 of the 5 starters on the O-line are out. Let that sink in. In basketball terms, if 4 of your 5 starters were out (see also: Bynum, Andrew), your team would be in dire straits. Next, I can give Coach Reid a pass on this season, strictly for coaching under the enormous stress of losing his son just prior to the season. For anyone that has had to bury their own child, trust me, it takes a tremendous toll on you. Your focus is not the same. You straddle the fence of being with family and doing your job. In that light, once again, I can certainly forgive Coach Reid for the way this season has unfolded.
Now, as far as the defense goes, well, I don’t have an answer. I had said long ago that I thought an O-line coach was the wrong way to go for a DC, and, like everyone else that said it, we were all proven right. That is something we can lay at the feet of Coach Reid. But, watching this defense play troubles me. Again, nobody is wanting to get the ball carrier to the ground. Everyone wants to strip the ball, or arm tackle someone, and the hard hitting style is just not there. There are days when it seems that Nnamdi Asomghua is completely lost out there. But, the flip side is that Mychal Kendricks and Fletcher Cox look great out there. Nick Foles, being pressed into duty last week, didn’t do as poorly of a job as many would think. Sure, he made some rookie mistakes. I get that. But, he showed some poise, and this week, will get to show what he can do with all the reps in practice and going into the game knowing that he is the starter. Bryce Brown has been a great change of pace back, giving LeSean McCoy some much needed rest.
So, before we all just rush to the Linc, with torches and pitchforks in hand, and demand that Coach Reid be fired. let’s see how the rest of the season goes. As you can probably tell, I’m not jumping off the bandwagon. I want to see how this team responds. Remember, they did make a run last season, and were in the playoff discussion right up to the last weekend of the season. In this season’s case, patience may be the biggest virtue.