I'd like to start off by saying I am a long time eagles fan. I am 40 years old and grew up with the gang green defense. I have yet to go down to the linc by choice. I still watch the birds almost every week. I usually DVR them to avoid the mass amounts of commercials during the game and with 3 kids and a busy work schedule i can cut the game down to a bout 2 hours. I used to got to the vet 2 or 3 times a year and never missed a Dallas game cause my hatred for those cockroaches was so strong. I would get great pleasure in seeing them lose even before Jerry Jones owned the team. I own a Reggie White and Wes Hopkins jersey and still wear them proudly. However, after witnessing the first few seasons of Andy Reid's tenure I realized that Eagle Football was no longer the tough hard nosed eagle football I had loved so much . What was I watching now? A coach that seemed over matched? A offense that was called a west coast offense that didn't resemble the great Bill Walsh's to any degree. The only similarities to the eagles i knew and Reid's were Dawk, Trott and the great blitzing scheme of the late great Jim Johnson. I always thought if Reid could improve and balance the offense that we could win a super bowl cause the division had gotten weak. Parcells left the division (2 super bowls '86 & '90). Gibbs and his hogs were long gone ( 3 SB's '82, '87 & '91). The Cowboys domination of the division had finally come to an end (SB's '92, '93 & '95.) A huge big bay window had opened when Reid took over and the great NFC east that Vermeil, Ryan and Rhodes had to deal with was over.
Reid, I quickly realized was not gonna change. He was not gonna take running the ball serious. His drafts weren't gonna get better and I told all my friends 11 years ago that, "Reid will never win a super bowl", and I took allot of slack for that statement. Which was a pretty bold statement given the fact that the NFC east was becoming so weak. I mean honestly would Reid have lasted more than a couple of years as Eagles coach back in the 80's and 90's? Please, I think not. I remember watching the Super bowl against the pats and saying to my brother-in-law that he will throw the ball 50 times and they will turn it over a bunch and lose. Westbrook had 15 carries! Sound familiar? However, deep down I wanted them to win. The Eagles winning a super bowl was more important than me being right.
After the super bowl lose (24 -21). I blamed Reid rightfully so. I mean his style is what cost them the game in my opinion. So I started to say to myself why wont he change? I mean what makes a great coach great? The answer is that no coach is perfect but what makes a great coach is recognizing your weaknesses and correcting them. Great coaches aren't born great they become great. They admit their faults to themselves and improve on them. Bill Walsh for example. He became coach of the 49Er's in 1979. He had Reid type numbers his first two years. What I mean by that is he threw the ball allot. In 79 he threw it 602 times and rushed 480 times. Again in 1980 he threw the ball 597 times and ran it 415. They finished 2-14 in '79 and 6-10 in '80, which was Montana's first full season as a starter. Then in 1981 Walsh won his first ot three Super bowls. I asked myself what changed? Well I am sure he improved personnel but if you look at the the numbers he passed the ball 517 times and ran it 560. HE CHANGED! Never again did he have lopsided numbers in fact from 1981 to 1988 he averaged 525 pass attempts to 521 rush attempts. ( I didn't included the '82 season cause of the strike.) Here is a coach who saw a weakness a love for passing the football and corrected it. In fact , in the 3 seasons he won the super bowl he ran the ball more times than passed it. I'm not saying you have to run the ball more than pass it to win the big one but for crying out loud you gotta have balance. I mean why make it easier for the opposing defense and why wear your defense out by keeping them on the field. Reid over 13 seasons as Eagles head coach averages 557 pass attempts to 416 rush attempts and over those years has had a QB in place that has rushed for 60 to 100 of those 416 attempts per season. Much more than Montana who accounted for 30 to 50 rush attempts per season. I now the rules in the NFL now favor passing the football but you win super bowls with balance and a very good defense which can be great if you have a balanced offensive attack. Don't you find it ironic how we once had a coach in Buddy Ryan who later became Houston's Defensive coordinator. He took a swing at Kevin Gilbride who was the offensive coordinator for not running the football and wearing his defense out. Now we have a offensive coordinator in Mornhinweg that defensive line coach Washburn got in a shouting match with over the same thing. Boy o boy how things have changed in eagle land. I think if Buddy and Andy were paired up you'd have to pull Ryan off of him every game.
Talent evaluation is key to being a successful coach. Reid may not pick every player drafted or signed but he has the final decision over a player for sure. With this I could write all day and tomorrow about the bad drafts and free agent singes but I'll just touch on one. Again back to Walsh who invented the West coast offense. He is quoted on ESPN films as saying why he drafted Joe Montana. "We drafted Joe cause he throws the most accurate and catch-able ball I have ever seen". Walsh felt this was key for the west coast offense to work. Reid drafts McNabb! Anyone who watched him at Syracuse knows he wasn't a very accurate passer and didn't throw a catch-able ball at all. I mean common on. This was a huge mistake on Reids part. For crying out loud this is his system he should have known that. The worst part is now he has Vick who despite throwing a more catch-able ball than McNabb isn't very accurate. So here we have Reid making the same mistakes ten years later. The crazy part is the bay window is still open, but in 13 years Reid has yet to capitalize on it!
My fellow eagles fans. I could go on and on about Reid his arrogance and how stubborn he is. He will not change. But until we stop financially supporting this franchise their will be know change at coach. I'm not asking you to stop being a Eagles fan. We all bleed green but we gotta hit em where it hurts. In the wallet. Let Lurie know the Eagles belong to us. Don't buy their merchandise and watch them from home. Cause if you don't Andy will stay. Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner are not football men they are financial wizards. Next year the Eagles probably will go 12-4, and Andy will get a new contract. But I'll bet the house Andy Reid won't win the Super Bowl and that's whats most important to me.