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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Era Ender

In case anyone had any doubt, the successful portion of the Andy Reid era as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles has ended.

No, he hasn’t actually been fired after his team tied the second-worst team in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals, 13-13. I have no idea what it will take for the Eagles to fire Andy Reid. But it’s clear to me that this team is not going to win under him any time soon. Reid is one of, if not the, most successful coaches in franchise history and it simply doesn’t matter any more.

The era of success, if there really ever was one, under Reid has ended and today proved it’s never coming back.

The Bengals are now 1-8-1, and there’s no reason to believe they are worse than the Eagles. In fact, there’s reasons to believe they are better than the Eagles.

The Bengals started a quarterback that went to Harvard today. The Eagles started a former All-Pro. Which team would you rather rebuild?

I’m just guessing here, but before answering another factor to consider is that the Bengals likely have at least one person within their organization with an inkling that their team is horrific. The Eagles have shown no such indications of intelligence.

No doubt Reid still thinks they are just a “hair off” from being a Super Bowl team. No doubt he thinks the fact that all of their losses have been by 6 points or less is evidence of this. Instead, it proves that he is consistently incapable of winning close games.

I can’t even get furious any more as Reid and Donovan McNabb show absolutely no signs of urgency at the end of a half, a game, or overtime. It’s just who they are. They’ve convinced themselves that they know what needs to be done, and they just need to trust themselves and calmly do what they need to do. No need to get all riled up, rush around, and waste energy on emotion. They cherish that aura of being above the fray. It’s kind of like Jeff Lurie talking about Super Bowls as if his organization has multiple Lombardi trophies in the lobby.

Of course, the Eagles own exactly zero Lombardi trophies, and the actual results by Reid and McNabb in tight game situations shows that far from being about the fray they simply can’t handle pressure. No one buys Reid’s calm exterior in tight situations as anything but stubbornness at best or complete ineptitude at worst, and at this point I would question whether or not McNabb even has the ability to play with urgency. He’s rarely shown it in his career, and he certainly hasn’t done so recently.

I’ll admit, my biggest fear was that they would win today, get hot, and make the playoffs, allowing Lurie and Joe Banner to continue business as usual. Now the biggest fear has to be that it will be business as usual regardless.

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