Posted on: March 31, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2010 4:47 pm
The logic seem flawed. Let's face it, in 1999, when Andy Reid joined the Eagles, it seemed you and me were closer to getting Andy's job with the Packers (QB coach) than Reid was in becoming not just a coach but the Eagles Grand Poobah. Who hires an assistant with no coaching experience at ANY LEVEL (high school, college, pro), NO COORINDATOR experience and no scouting experience and makes him Offensive Cooridantor, Coach, GM, bottle washer - GRAND POOBAH of everything footbal related. It made NO SENSE.
Now with Andy (and former cap-genius Tom Heckert) the Eagles made a LOT OF CENTS and even more DOLLARS. The Linc has become a giant cash cow as the team smartly managed its cap number (and money paid out) often ending up $20 million under the cap.
Meanwhile Andy's teams have been very competitive, 5 NFC East titles so far and 1 Super Bowl appearance but there's still many lessons to be learned for Andy and watching it as an Eagles fan is often painful. He was so green behind the ears and while his record is impressive if not overwhelming, so let's not assume he's a grandmaster at anything yet.
1. Andy's Brain - Don't need no stinkin' wide receivers to win in this league.
Listen the West Coast offence is all about spreading the ball around - to wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, I don't need no stinkin' wide receivers to win a championship.
Uh, yes Andy you do. James Thrash?! Listen, your not smarter than everyone else, getting guys who can catch the ball and score is kinda important. It took you many years, one Terrell Owens-mess and a couple great draft picks to figure it out (Jackson, Maclin) but we're glad you did. Lesson Learned.
Lesson Learned: YES!
2. Andy's Brain - I can handle the diva players like Terrell Owens.
We'll keep him in line, its not like he's gonna go off the deep end and start doing sit-ups in his driveway.
Andy has issues handling his personal family matters let alone the likes of Terrell Owens. Now cut from his 4th team, TO was never meant to last in Philly and people seem to forget the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl WITHOUT HIM. TO was hurt for the playoff run but did play admirably while hurt in a losing cause in the big game. There's a fine line between some players who are high-maintenance and others who are divas. Divas are exhausting and destroy a team - lesson learned.
Lesson Learned: YES!
3. Andy's Brain - I don't need to run the ball. Every other coach has it wrong.
I've run the ball less than ANYONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE, yet I've won a ton of games. You don't need it and the problem with running the ball is that it wastes precious time you could use to be THROWING the ball.
Sadly, Andy will continue throwing the ball until his heart's content. He used to rationalize it that his little shuffle passes and screens were the same as running the ball and you could see why. Those days (and those plays) aren't used in the playbook very much any more. Its throw, throw, throw your boat on every play. We watched him throw a ball on the 2 yard line against the Ravens with a rookie QB in his first game. Talk about committed to the pass!
Lesson Learned: NOOOOOOOOO!
4. Andy's Brain - We won't miss older players, and that includes Brian Dawkins . He ain't worth it.
We can get younger and better and their leadership is not that essential. So Dawk was a trooper and didn't complain about being underpaid - so what? We wants a bit more money now and since we have it doesn't mean we should give it. We'll make do without him.
What the heck were you thinking? It wasn't bad enough the Eagles lost the late Jim Johnson, defensive coordinator extraordinaire and the heart of the defence. So you send the soul of the defense, Dawkins, packing over some loose change. Not only the Eagles lose his Pro Bowl talents (he set a career high in tackles with the Broncos and ANOTHER Pro Bowl appearance) but they lost their way especially late in the season. If you really wanted to make a run in the postseason wouldn't you keep Dawk? Yes, yes you would. You need to win BIG GAMES to win a championship and you win big games with players like Dawk.
Lesson Learned: YES! (we think)
5. Andy's Brain - Special teams? Its not like I don't think about them, I just think about them last.
There were seasons the Eagles would literally start a season without a proper kick or punt returner (sometimes both). Plus there was a fantastic amount of stubborness when it came to Saverio Giovanni Rocca, the NFL's oldest rookie ever and *BY FAR* the best Italian Australian-born football player of all time. Problem is - he's not a very good punter. But let's not that or a nice helping of stubborness stand in the way of bringing him back ONE MORE YEAR! (Thank the football gods we have David Akers for 10+ years.)
Eagles actually think about little things like field position and special teams. The phenomenon that is Sav Rocca continues though.
Lesson Learned: Yes, but not a great grade.
6. Andy's Brain - McNabb ain't that good. We can easily replace him.
The time to trade McNabb is now, we can't seem to win the big one with him anyway.
Lesson Learned: TBD.
Most Eagles fans are willing to hang the choke noose on McNabb for why there has been no Eagles Super Bowl parades in Philly. Yet, most fans would also acknowledge that Andy could have difficulty winning with Manning, Brady or Brees as well. No running game and some bizarrely-tight playcalling in the playoffs could handcuff any QB. In the playoffs, Andy has never met a risk he wouldn't avoid.
The McNabb-haters have their ammunition, but when you look at the career stats of McNabb, Manning and Brady - do your really see a big difference? For all of his inaccuracy complaints, when McNabb misses his targets, its always low. Sometimes WAY low, but always low which is not necessarily a bad trait. He will likely end up as one of the best ball protectors to ever play QB. McNabb throws a pick every 47.5 passes. Brady 1 in 42. Peyton? 1 in 36. If the defense hadn't coughed up a late 4th quarter lead to the Cardinals , would we even be discussing whether McNabb is clutch or not?
Will McNabb like Cunningham before him, not be appreciated until after he leaves? As the saying goes, you need to WIN lots of big games to lose the big game. And McNabb was won plenty. If you put McNabb's stats on a playoff contender with defense, a running game and a balanced playbook and you may see McNabb hoist the trophy yet.
Just not in Philadelphia.
Posted on: March 26, 2010 2:42 am
Edited on: March 26, 2010 2:47 am
Rumors abound that one of the Eagles QBs (McNabb, Kolb, Vick) will be traded and the smart money is on Donovan McNabb being the one to be shipped out.
Now I'm not going to say this isn't a good time to trade McNabb. Its a fabulous time to trade him - with no QB in the draft that is a sure bet (are 1st round QBs ever sure bets?) and several teams needing a solid QB, this could be the type of trade that can help both franchises. With one year left in his contract - now is the ideal time to trade Number 5.
What gets my goat is that everyone states that McNabb is to blame for the zero titles and that he'll never win the Big One. His career passing stats are eerily similar to Tom Brady's. The difference - Brady is a winner. Ok, sure. But how about the coaching and playcalling?! Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl, I'm pretty sure a 60% passer that protects the ball and is +116 TDs to INTs will do.
Meanwhile coach and grand poobah Andy Reid receives zero slings and no arrows. No coach in the HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE has a more imbalanced pass/run ratio than Dandy Andy. He throws and throw and throws. How in the name of Dan Marino is that going to work. Even the record-setting Patriots and Brady's 50 Touchdowns couldn't close the deal, and their passing game was historic and a decent running game to boot.
In the NFL, you need to run the ball. There is no mystery shortcut that Reid has discovered. He is NOT smarter than the legendary coaches who have or currently man the sideline. Reid used to say, his shovel passes, (usually to Westbrook) were *EXACTLY* the same as a run, since its just semantics, a forward pitch vs. a backwards lateral. And I agreed with him. But we haven't seen that play run with any regularity in many years.
It was also Andy's call to not pay Brian Dawkins the extra couple million he was looking for in his last free agency season. He concluded the Eagles needed to get younger and better and hopefully wouldn't miss the leadership and intangibles someone like Dawk brings to a team.
It backfired huge but Reid really didn't take a hit for it. Philadelphia had safety issues ALL SEASON and the leadership quite obviously did indeed suffer. Not to mention it sent a clear signal to the rest of the team, even if you perform at a high, Pro Bowl level, we will get rid of you to save a buck. Let's not forget Dawk made only $2 million in his final year and didn't say a word - expecting the team would take care of him, if he was a good soldier. Imagine his surprise the Eagles wouldn't budge even there were no cap issues to deal with. A lot of people may say Dawkins didn't have a Pro Bowl year, that he got there on reputation. Fair enough but he did record 116 Tackles - the most in his career! Those tackles would've looked awfully good in Eagles green instead of Denver orange.
And despite his inability to take risks in the playoffs, his ridiculous pass/run ratio, his off-field distractions and his smug "I know better than you attitude" - he receives no arrows while McNabb takes them in the chest and the back. All McNabb did during an "off year" was throw 3500+ yards yet again with just 10 picks.
McNabb throws a pick every 47.5 passes. That is exceptional! Brady? 1 every 42. Manning?! 1 every 36.
So please don't tell me its the QB's fault. Run the ball to setup the pass Andy. Pass the ball to setup the run.
Everyone does it but you.
Kevin Kolb good luck winning the big one. You may need a new coach before it'll happen.