Unless Andy feels that he can't handle the pressure of this job and decides to step down, he's not going anywhere.
There is too much invested in the players, the coaches, the schemes for them to just blow it up just because the fans and media are calling for Andy's head after one horrible year. The realistic option is to just dump Juan Castillo and get a D-Coordinator with some knowledge and credibility and get the right players (LB's especially) to play in this defense.
Picking up somewhat on what RadioheadbeatlesEagles mentioned in his last post, I love the move by Andy Reid to get both Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn in the offseason. After Andy and Co. parted ways with McNabb, it started a new era for this team. And Andy is only in his 2nd year post-McNabb. He made a bold move by putting Vick in last year after he saw that Kolb might not survive behind that o-line last year and that Vick was the perfect antidote. They addressed the offensive line issues by changing their philosophies after so many years and trying a totally different approach with Mudd. And this is only the first year under Mudd. No offseason, mini camps, etc etc to really get the players acclimated to the new system. It's too short of a sample size to make an informed decision.
I think Mudd has done a good job under the conditions, the lack of time to install his system and not having enough time to get his type of players on the line. But with a rookie center and RG, a free agent at LG and a player in his first year at RT, I think the line had done an admirable job. We haven't heard much about the line having problems since the preseason, and that is a good thing. They are not perfect by any means, but not horrible for their first year in a new scheme with a lot of inexperienced players. If anything, Vick holds on to the ball too long and doesn't know how to throw the ball away when needed, giving way to sacks. After a full offseason of reps under Mudd and possibly even more offensive linemen brought to this team to fit the required mold, offensive line play should only be improved. So at this point, you would have to say that the Howard Mudd move has been successful in its first year and will only look better with time. A good and bold move by Andy, which he needs to be given credit for.
Although Andy has been looked at as a stubborn coach, he has really tried to change after McNabb, he's been a lot more flexible and willing to change as needed and trying to go with what works. Of course he has a long way to go in terms of being open minded, he's still stubborn when it comes to a lot of decisions but I think he is improving and working on that part of his coaching style. When he says that "I have to do a better job with that" or "It starts with me," on top of deflecting the question, I think that response does have a meaning for Andy. He's basically saying that he realizes that he's not perfect and is working on improving as a coach. Not sure how many people buy it, but that's one way of looking at it.
So whatever goodwill Andy build with the hiring of Mudd, he ruined it by hiring Juan Castillo. It's the perfect example of innovation gone wrong. He has a habit of trying to be too smart for his own good and it shows in this decision. You know he regrets the move now, but he couldn't possibly fire Castillo mid-stream and admit that he actually made a mistake. He's still too stubborn for that. In the offseason they'll make a subtle move and slip Castillo in another role or wait for him to get another job (like McDermott) and announce the hiring of a new DC (we can only hope). If Andy fails to get the right person for that job, then that will eventually lead to his downfall and firing. Not this year but definitely next year (or at least you would hope so). The trouble with getting rid of Andy is that he still has two years at $5 million/year left on his contract after this season, and if you know anything about the frugal duo of Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner is that they are not in the business of losing money. And they have not lost money so far with Andy being their Head Man. They've only quadrupled the value of their franchise (from $250 million to $1 billion) while Andy has been in charge of their business. So Andy has built up a lot of goodwill through the years and the dynamic duo of Lurie and Banner are very moved by financial gains and don't take that kind of profit lightly. So Andy does have a little room for error when it comes to his bosses, both because he's still owed $10 mill and for what he has meant to the value of this team upto now. So Andy is not going anywhere this year, Juan might be deported to Mexico after the season, but Andy, is still safe.
So you see my friends, all this talk of a new coach is useless, don't waste your energy on it, the Eagles ownership does not care about one losing season or how pissed off you are with the play-calling. Now if we can get the "Fire Andy" chant going for the whole game for a few games, then we might get the attention of the money counters for a few seconds, and then they'll go back to counting their money again. And guess what, Andy didn't even hear the chants calling for his demise, basically he's saying to the fans - Fuck you too, I could care less what you say, I'm not going anywhere ! Basically the whole team admits to hearing the chant and Andy Reid, who always appreciates and can hear how loud the fans get, somehow missed it ? Hmmm, sounds fishy, or a bit arrogant (you can chant as much as you want, I'm not going anywhere). But I have to say that I really enjoyed the chant and was overjoyed at the booing of Andy and that little punk from Cali. They both had it coming, and Philly fans are the realest of them all, they'll let you have it and embarrass you if you deserve it.
So will Andy be back next year ? Unfortunately, unless the team somehow gives up on him in these last 5 games and Washburn beats the shit out of Marty on the sidelines, he'll be back. Back to prove that his team is competitive and can get in the playoffs and maybe even go far in the playoffs. And there's nothing we can do about it. Love it or hate it, those are the facts. Eagles have too much invested in Andy and his group of coaches (schemes) and players to blow everything up after one horrible year. There is a lot of blame to go around and some of it goes to Banner and Roseman as well, they're all responsible for the team, and to fire Reid at this point, is not the right answer. The better answer is to get better personnel to fit their schemes (ahem, jarrad paging Roseman), pay their top players (all-in Banner) and stop making up stuff as you go along ("oh yeah, Jim Johnson used to go to Juan to get ideas on how to blitz and they used to talk for hours, so let's put Juan in as the defensive Coordinator" Andy). Suffering is part of being an Eagles fan, and we wear our suffering proudly. We boo Santa Claus and Desean Jackson, call for Andy's head in the middle of the game (btw Clay Harbor was wide open on that 4th and goal throw to Celek: Wake up Vince, this isn't Tennessee). This is what we do, and we must keep doing it. Until we either get what we want, or the people in charge wake up and stop smelling their gaseous emissions.
With all that said, let's go Birds, 5-0 the rest of the way and some faltering from our friends in the NFC East (Giants have already started) can put us in great position to redeem ourselves and not wait till next year to start this drama all over again. Please, please do it, win out or hang your head in shame for eternity. Ah, what a nightmare !
The Real Thing