What to make of the Philadelphia Eagles?
Is Reid's fate already determined? / Photo courtesy of USA Today
Where to start with this team! On offense we have a top RB in McCoy, a top WR in Jackson and a solid WR2 in Maclin (not to mention an underrated and under-utilized Avant) and a solid TE in Celek. As for QB, we have an extremely athletic Michael Vick, but athleticism doesn’t make one a great pocket passer; it actually makes him another running threat along with passing however Andy Reid strongly believes that he can change the qualities that have made Michael Vick, Michael Vick and force him to be a pocket passer. Speaking of a pocket passer, this would require an offensive line that is able to actually create and hold a pocket – of course it would also require healthy starters! Ironic that Reid was an offensive lineman! I think we can all agree that this offense is under performing at the expense of the O-line and the QB. However, I am not willing (despite my dislike of M. Vick as a QB for the Eagles) to blame this all on the QB when the failure to perform is in the strategy and coaching.
Now for the defense…I realize that we all miss the classic Jim Johnson defense. Last year was a disaster to put it politely but the beginning of this season the D finally seemed to be coming together with a few additions, including Ryans. To avoid getting too detailed with whole Juan Castillo debate my comments on this move are simple – we should question the original decision to move him into the role more than the decision to move him out. I was not a fan of the original move but I do not think the mid-season firing was justified given the turnover issues with the offense. Moving forward and on, I believe in our cornerbacks, defensive line, and even the linebackers this season. I think we have some concerns in the secondary which has limited our blitz package due to the potential of being beat deep, however, none of these issues should force the defense to take the fall for this season.
So who should? Andy Reid. His original decision to move Juan Castillo into the Defensive Coordinator position should be scrutinized and his untimely release as well. Then we have the offense in which he is determined to force a multiple threat QB to become a pocket passer; the lack of offensive line support (considering he was an O-lineman); and the extreme under-utilization of one of the top backs in the league. Oh and did I mention that he is responsible for the play calls? And what about the inability to figure out time management skills after 14 seasons as head coach? The criticism that Andy is receiving is justified, for the most part. Reid has almost built his own demise in Philly through multiple winning seasons without a Super Bowl and now a painful mediocre (aka losing for not making the playoffs) season last year which it is starting to appear likely will continue.
He has lost his edge and after 14 years, the “seven year itch” is now seven years more severe.