Monday, October 31, 2005

Getting a Bad Read on Reid

It seems as if Eagles fans are becoming slightly impatient with coach Andy Reid. The process of Reid's play calling hasn't endeared him to many of the Birds' faithful. In fact if e-mails are any barometer, there seems to be a growing faction that is calling for Reid's ouster.
That is getting a little carried away.
For those who complain about Reid, just remember what this franchise was like before he got here. There was the 6-9-1 team in 1997 followed by the 3-13 team in 98, the final year of the Ray Rhodes era.
Reid, for all his play-calling quirks, has transformed the Eagles from a laughingstock to a perennial Super Bowl contender.
While many won't give Reid or the Eagles any slack for not finishing off the deal, the fact that the team has been to four straigth NFC title games and last year's Super Bowl, can't be dismissed. If Reid were given his walking papers, there would be no fewer than 10 NFL teams the next day lining up for the chance to talk to him.
Reid isn't the best press conference speaker, but he wasn't hired to tell one-liners or keep the media amused. The best part about Reid is that he never panics, even now when the wolves appear to be howling for his skin.
Some suggest that he is stubborn, and when he continues to pass upwards of 50 times a game, there is validity to that suggestion. Still, his way has been a winning one, with five playoff appearances in his first six years.
People have short memories and forget what a sad-sack organization this was before his arrival. And Reid was ripped for picking Donovan McNabb instead of Ricky Williams. Who would you rather have on your team now?
Reid has kept his cool during numerous flaps concerning the Birds, including this summer with the entire T.O. fiasco. He has maintained his calm demeanor despite the Eagles' dreadful performance against Dallas and Denver in the last three weeks.
He is loyal to his players, won't rip them in public and still has the utmost confidence from the Eagles players. That is the impression that one gets while touring the lockerroom each week.
Reid has certainly made his share of mistakes, but the positives outweigh the negatives by a wide margin.
So fans should stop the ridiculous talk about canning Reid. Somebody who has arguably been the most successful coach in team history, deserves much better than that.

Slow Motion

It's a toss up as to whether the Eagles offense or defense is in more dire straits after yesterday's loss to the Denver Broncos. In his day-after press conference at the NovaCare Complex, head coach Andy Reid didn't seem to know which area was more pathetic, as well.

No argument can be made that his belated play-calling has taken on new heights of incompetence. Reid agreed.

"I've got to do a better job," he said. "I've got to get them in sooner for him so he has enough time to get the play to the players in the huddle and at the same time have the time at the line of scrimmage to do what he needs to do there."

As far as Donovan McNabb's incompetence, Reid still insists that there's nothing wrong with McNabb besides his assortment of injuries. His performance in the last three games says otherwise.

Coming off a bravura performance the previous week by holding Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson to seven yards, the Eagles defense allowed 564 total yards to the Broncos.

Almost half of those yards came from running backs Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell, both who rushed for more than 100 yards. With Anderson and Bell gobbling up chunks on the ground, the Broncos were able to sell the play-action as quarterback Jake Plummer toasted the Eagles secondary for 309 yards.

It's probably unfair to focus on one area, but the lack of a pass rush has been a consistently below average, as Reid noted.

"We can do a better job there," he said. "It's a matter of defeating the man over you."

It didn't help matters that the Eagles lost end Jevon Kearse in the first quarter with an AC contusion. He underwent an MRI yesterday.