It’s actually pretty clear when you think about it - overall, Andy owes the bulk of his success to having three things any other HC would die for:
1) A HOF-caliber DC in Jim Johnson - which meant that Andy only had to worry about the offense until JJ passed (and look at it since then).
2) A QB in McNabb who was both borderline HOF-quality (especially considering the litany of absolutely worthless WRs he had to work with outside of one year of TO) AND who also served (right from the start) as a convenient punching bag for both the media and the fans whenever things went wrong (thus shielding Andy from the bulk of criticism).
3) A set of 3 great, versatile RBs (appearing back-to-back-to-back) in Staley, Westbrook and now McCoy.
Without those first two advantages (and with Vick having come back down to earth), Andy is now being exposed as “The Emperor with No Clothes” (yea, try to get THAT image out of your mind).
Now, we all know that Andy is a terrible game-day coach. In a game that is all about adjustments and quick decisions, he comes up woefully short. Bad clock management, wasted timeouts (and not taken timeouts), bull-headed game plans (why run when we can pass, pass, pass?), the relative lack of come-from-behind victories – it’s all there and it all shouts “turrible” (as Sir Charles would say).
But there’s also all those WTF-type decisions that we’ve seen over the years, like:
-- The insistence that we could win it all with a pass-first attack using sub-par WRs.
-- All the low scoring games that have cried out for a sustained and committed rushing attack (see TB and Carolina NFC Championship games, for instance), but instead were answered with “pass, pass, pass…and pass some more” play-calling.
-- The utter lack of a short-yardage running game, resulting in “trickeration” plays like whatever the hell that Ronnie Brown goal line play was supposed to be – and resulting in many more David Akers FGs than there ever should have been.
-- The McNabb benching (not so much the benching itself, as the way it was mishandled – with the QB coach telling him - and also the fact that KK was then thrown out against the Ravens D).
-- The Winston Justice debacle versus the Giants on MNF (for the record: 12 sacks overall, Osi had 6, Winston only officially gave up 4).
-- The use of the “Wide 9” – a setup predicated on good LB play – when we have no legitimate NFL starting caliber LBs on the roster.
-- Calling two QB sneaks for our new $100 million QB who’s coming off a concussion (as happened in the Giants game this year).
-- Letting go of Dawkins at a time when we desperately needed leadership in the wake of JJ’s passing (and yes, Dawk was on the downside, but last time I checked, he’s still out there giving his all for Denver – and do you think Dawk would have let DRC and Asante get away with the sh*t they’ve been getting away with on the field this year?).
-- Letting go of an experienced Pro Bowl kicker (one if the best ever) the year that we're supposedly "all-in" to win a SB (BTW, Akers is 19 of 21, including 4 of 4 from 50+).
But, of course, the biggest WTF – and the one that will be Andy’s ultimate downfall – is the naming of Juan Castillo – a questionable OL coach – to be DC. Now I understand the real reasoning behind it – the FO wanted McD fired, while Andy wanted to keep some continuity – but it has (quite predictably) blown up in Andy’s face. It was an utterly stupid move on his part and it will be his lasting legacy (“Hey, remember that Eagles coach who actually put the OL guy in as DC – ha, ha, what an idiot!”).
And so, my fellow Eagles fans, that is why Andy Reid is a fraud and will ultimately be held in lower regard than either Dick Vermeil or Buddy Ryan (and yes, although not a winner in the playoffs, Buddy was most certainly not a fraud and, as we just witnessed, still quite well beloved in Philly - Andy, not so much).
OK, now it’s your turn - in particular, I’d like to hear more “WTF Andy?” moments – I’m sure I’ve left many out.