Eagles fans should consider the other 31 franchises before screaming “blow it up!”

(Note by Jimmy) – This is a guest piece by my boy Eric from the great Philadelphia Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey, but he is also wise in the ways of football.

There has obviously been a lot of talk lately about needing change in the Eagles leadership — six of the first ten links in a Google search for Andy Reid are about fans’ desire to see him go. Some have further suggested that the entire roster needs to be blown up.

I’m starting to think Eagles fans have been spoiled by success.

Andy Reid is in his 13th year, and over that span the team is 122-79-1 with 9 playoff appearances. I’m not saying that’s the best possible result; I certainly wish they had mixed a Super Bowl win or two in there somewhere, and it’s definitely true that the team was better over the first half of that span than over the second half.

But even over the last 5.5 years, the Eagles are 52-38 with four playoff appearances. When that’s their down period, I think you have to say the team is doing something right.

So here’s how I’d like to frame the question: how many organizations would you trade for right now?

I don’t think any rational Eagles fan would swap places with the Bills, Dolphins, Bengals, Browns, Texans, Titans, Jaguars, Raiders, Broncos, Chiefs, Redskins, Lions, Vikings, Bucs, Panthers, Seahawks, Cardinals, or Rams.

That’s more than half the league right there that is unequivocally worse off than the Eagles. If you think the Eagles need to blow things up, would you expect half the league to do the same?

Here are some more teams I wouldn’t take over the Eagles:

  • The 49ers’ 9-2 record is nice…and it’s their first 9-win season since 2002. I’m not trading a decade of success for that yet.
  • The Falcons have made the playoffs in just two of the last five years and came away without a single win both times.
  • The Bears also have just two playoff appearances and rely heavily on a core (Urlacher, Peppers, Briggs, and Tillman) that’s all over 30.
  • I like the Chargers, but it’s hard to see where they have an edge on the Eagles: they have the same number of playoff appearances over the last 5+ years, the same number of playoff wins, missed the playoffs last year, and are 4-7 this year. At best this is a lateral move, and I think Reid’s first six years give him a clear edge.

That puts the Eagles in the top ten, at worst.

  • The Cowboys have a similar recent record (over the last 5+ years, they have one more win, one fewer playoff appearance, and two fewer playoff wins). Their organization has achieved more success, but that success is farther in the past. This one will come down to whether you love or hate having an owner like Jerry Jones.
  • The Jets haven’t done as well in the regular season, but they’ve been to two straight conference championship games. Are you ready to roll with Mark Sanchez?

That leaves the teams that have won the last five Super Bowls (Packers, Saints, Steelers, Giants, and Colts), plus the Patriots and Ravens. I don’t think all of those are clear upgrades — I’d certainly be nervous about the future as a Colts fan right now — but I think most people would end up putting the Eagles somewhere in the 5-10 range.

This brings me back to the claim that Eagles fans are spoiled by success. They have a franchise that’s clearly in the top ten and arguably in the top five, and the fans are unhappy about it. If this organization needs to be blown up, then so does almost every team in the league.

Yes, this year has been frustrating for Eagles fans. There is no question that some small moves need to be made. But there’s no reason to think that dramatic change would improve things; there aren’t a lot of unemployed guys who would immediately elevate a franchise to top-5 status.

Remember that in 2008 the Packers were 6-10 and the Saints were suffering their second straight losing season. Sometimes staying the course with a good organization is the best way to turn things around.

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  41. Daryl says:

    When it comes to coaches who have won the Super Bowl, Cowher is the exception, not the rule. Someone posted a thread at the Eagles forum that showed that since 1980, the majority of coached who won the Super Bowl did so within their first 6 years. Only 5 of those 30 Super Bowls were won by coaches who had been tenured longer than 6 years. Of those 5 coaches, 4 won one or more Super Bowls in their first 6 years. They had a history of winning. Only one of those coaches won a Super Bowl after 6 years without having won one (or more than one) before the first 6 years of their career and that was Cowher.

    Can it happen? Certainly. But the odds are very, very small and history is strongly against it.

    Here is the post if anyone wants to read it.

    http://boards.philadelphiaeagles.com/topic/624840-do-you-guys-understand-that-if-we-fire-reid/page__st__140__p__15913312__hl__bill+cowher__fromsearch__1#entry15913312

    1. Eric T. says:

      This is a skewed way of looking at things.

      Not many coaches stay with one team for a long time without winning a Super Bowl, so it’s not surprising that not many coaches have won their first Super Bowl after a long time with one team. That doesn’t prove that it’s a mistake to keep a guy for a long time, only that it’s unusual.

      Moreover, I don’t see any compelling evidence that the teams that had a guy for a long time and then changed coaches got better, or won a Super Bowl soon thereafter.

      Did the Bills get better when Marv Levy left? Did the Bengals after Sam Wyche? Did the Lions after Wayne Fontes? The Jaguars after Tom Coughlin? The Vikings after Dennis Green? The Saints after Jim Mora? The Chargers after Don Coryell? The Seahawks after Chuck Knox?

      The Giants replacing Fassel with Coughlin is the best example of a team improving with the new coach replacing someone who had been there more than six years, and that’s a coach who had previously been on the other side of the swap.

      Oh, and why the “since 1980” cutoff? Not because it suddenly became a lot harder for a long-tenured guy to break through then, but because if you include the whole Super Bowl era then you have to acknowledge that Tom Landry, Hank Stram, and John Madden all also won championships for the first time after they had been with their team for more than six years.

      I’m sorry, when an argument relies on a cherrypicked endpoint and plays up how few counterexamples there are while not actually having very many examples in its favor either, it’s just not a strong argument.

    2. Brian says:

      Similar to Eric’s point above…

      This trend is likely to continue this year too. Wanna know why?

      Because, by my count at least, there’s only 4 coaches in the NFL that don’t fit the conditions of 5 years or less with the same and current team OR won a SB within their first 5 years with their current team. These four are Andy, Lovie Smith, Gary Kubiak, and Marvin Lewis.

      So the chance that this trend continues is 28/32 (or 87.5%). Basically, its really not saying much.

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  43. Smitty2K3 says:

    This situation (Eagles being 4-7) is beyond complicated and has so many factors that go into it. But I think you can dial it up to 3 major problems:

    1. Juan Castillo is not an NFL-caliber DC.
    2. Eagles LB’s are wayyyy below average and they don’t fit into the scheme. I’ve been saying it all year, but if you have the wide-9 you need bigger LB’s who are elite tacklers.
    3. Nate Allen has regressed big-time when we expected him to take a step forward. And Kurt Coleman/Jarrett/Page are just not good enough.

    I really don’t see any major problems with the offense. The o-line is good. Vick is a top 10-14 QB. McCoy, Maclin, Jackson are as good a young trio as there is in the league. So having said that, with an eye toward next year, how do we fix those three main problems?

    1. You hire Steve Spagnuolo or another experienced DC and allow him to implement his system. If you have to scrap Washburn and the wide-9, so be it.

    2. Draft an elite LB high or focus on the LB position in free agency. Upgrading 1 or 2 LB’s should do the job. Then you let Matthews, Chaney, Rolle, compete to complete the trio.

    3. Do the same at safety. Even with Nate Allen’s Pats debacle being fresh in my mind, I still think he could bounce back next year after having a year to recover from his knee injury. Then you have Jarrett and Coleman there to compete and hopefully take a step up. But that’s not enough. You use a draft pick on a S or sign a FA to be a starter.

    None of those three remedies require you to fire Andy Reid or “blow up” the team. With an eye towards next year, we will still have one of the more talented rosters in the league. Just with some minor changes to personnel and major changes to the defensive coaching staff, we will be a contender once again.

    Andy Reid has one more year left on his contract. I’m willing to give him one year of immunity to this terrible and somewhat-unlucky-at-times kind of year. Let him “play” out his contract and give him one more chance.

    1. Joe says:

      1. You hire Steve Spagnuolo or another experienced DC and allow him to implement his system. If you have to scrap Washburn and the wide-9, so be it.

      Man I hope that does NOT happen, with the talent on that D, it would be scary with him running it

      1. Smitty2K3 says:

        Agreed. If Spags could come back and implement that blitz-heavy scheme that gave the Eagles so much success, then this defense could be dangerous.

        The offense does have its flaws, but they’re super-talented and there’s no reason they couldn’t be a top 5ish offense next year with no changes.

        1. Brian says:

          If that were to happen though, it probably means the Wide 9 goes out the window (not that that’s a bad thing). Blitzing with the wide 9 kinda defeats its purpose.

          NA in JJ’s system would have been a perfect match…

  44. Smitty2K3 says:

    I have nothing to add. Amen.

    1. Smitty2K3 says:

      Ok, maybe I do have something add. But it’s more in agreement with you. (See below)

  45. Eric T. says:

    I feel compelled to point out that every Eagles fan who commented except for one has argued that Reid needs to go, while every Giants/Redskins/Cowboys fan who has commented has said “yes, please fire him.”

    That seems like pretty strong evidence to support my argument that Eagles fans are spoiled by success and don’t realize how good they have it.

    As a cowboy fan, I certainly hope the impossible happens and Reid is fired, it’d certainly make things easier for the boys

    Hahaha, believe me I think it’ll be the best thing for the division if Reid was fired, and bad for the Eagles.

    As a Redskin fan I can agree with this premise. Sometimes it’s a little hard to cope the fans of franchises like the Eagles and the Patriots complaining about how the last couple of drafts have gone, when they haven’t had to survive through a decade of Vinny Cerrato.

    As a Cowboys fan, fire Andy, I would rather he coach someplace else….. 🙂

    1. Imp says:

      Didn’t they say the same thing about McNabb, though? “Yeah, trade McNabb! Get him out of the division! Eagles fans are so spoiled with having good QB play for 10 years!” How did that work out?

      1. Joe says:

        Actually, I was sad to see McNab go, dallas owned him that last year…..he was bounce passing balls like a point guard

  46. Macc says:

    13 years. It’s over.

  47. Joe says:

    As a Cowboys fan, fire Andy, I would rather he coach someplace else….. 🙂

    I actually think you need a new D Cord, the eagles have tons of talent, it has just not come together this year. If you were to have had a full off season to get all the new pieces to gel together, then maybe i could see getting rid of him, but as an outsider looking in, after all his great years in Philly, calling for Andy’s head seems a little like a knee jerk reaction.

    For whatever that is worth

    1. Jeff H says:

      This is like my 4th down theory…if the other team wants you to punt, shouldn’t you go for it? Andy has kicked the NFCE’s ass for 12 years, they’d all love to see him go. As Eric says, tons of other teams should/would try to get him.

      Look back at how many games we’ve been blown out, it’s like less than 1 a year. Literally every game we go into we have a chance to win (ok so last week was that 1). That’s saying something though.

      Furthermore, by all accounts he runs things the “right” way. Players love him, ownership loves him, he plays by the rules, doesn’t make excuses or throw people under the bus, etc. Plus, how awesome will it be when he finally breaks through.

  48. WeNeedLinemen42 says:

    As a Redskin fan I can agree with this premise. Sometimes it’s a little hard to cope the fans of franchises like the Eagles and the Patriots complaining about how the last couple of drafts have gone, when they haven’t had to survive through a decade of Vinny Cerrato.

    But, I can also understand the torture that being good for the best part of two decades and stll not winning that championship must be. It’s a case of so tantilisingly near and yet so far away. Also, for all Reid’s strong points, he has some maddening failings. Why wont he use his running backs? In McCoy and Westbrook he has had two of the best backs in the league, yet time and time again he would look to other players in crucial situations. Cute playcalling but I’m pretty sure the rest of the league has sussed it out by now.

    Sure, he has also made some personnel decisions that have cost you. Waiting until McNabb was starting to decline before bringing in a top class receiver. Allowing the Owens situation to get out of hand. Surrounding McNabb with young receivers, then undermining his position by bringing in a QB of the future in Kolb and further competition in the form of Vick. Also, whilst you’ve got to love all that cap room that they manage to maintain, there is a point when you need to use it in free agency to fill holes in your roster.

    Still, it’s hard to hate what they did during this pre-season. Yet again they had a huge number of draft picks to play with and acquired more picks for this year. The Kolb trade was a massive win for the Eagles. Moreover, the Dream Team free agency splurge seemed more like a happy accident than intention. They didn’t overpay anyone, even Asomugha asked for less than expected. The Eagles became the hot team to play for and, as the momentum built, more and more players chose Philly over money.

    Did all those free agents break the team, I don’t think so. I think a lack of free agent linebackers is a major part of the problem. Switching to Castillo hasn’t worked well, but given another year he could turn things around. He is a former defensive player. From his time as a coach he has an intimate knowledge of offensive line player. He is the ultimate poacher turned gamekeeper turned poacher again. He had success as an O-line coach, give him some linebackers and a year of experience and he could have success as a defensive co-ordinator.

    The big problem for the Eagles has been the early issues with pass protection and Vick regressing to the mean. The problems with pass pro led to Vick getting beaten up, and eventually broken. A process helped by opposing defensive co-ordinators piling on the blitzs. For all Vick’s improvements under Reid, he is still a slow decision maker with a tendancy to rely on his legs when he gets pressure.

    1. Smitty2K3 says:

      ^ Most knowledgeable Redskins fan ever. And I don’t mean that in a “Redskins fans are dumb kind of way” but most divisional fans come at Eagles fans with the old tired arguments like “the Eagles overpaid too many players.” When in reality at the time they didn’t overpay any of them. Nnamdi being the only one with a long-term deal with repercussions if he were to be cut.

      And your analysis on the problems with the Eagles this year is spot on. It’s mostly the weakness at LB and the regression of Nate Allen and terrible play of the safeties. And it’s Juan Castillo and Vick having trouble staying upright and regressing to the mean.

      Well-written, objective analysis. (Hypothetically) REC’D.

      1. Wow, didn’t read it initially because it was long, haha, but yeah, very well done.

  49. Imp says:

    One question – will Reid ever win a Super Bowl?

    1. WeNeedLinemen42 says:

      Cowher did, eventually.

    2. Brian says:

      He CAN, but that doesn’t mean he WILL. There’s no guarantees.

  50. Mr.Electric10 says:

    I understand all of your points here and although we may be in the top 10 I believe that it is without a doubt a time for change. One thing you left out above is that none of those teams came up and publicly said we are going all in this year. Its not like some fans felt that way Eagles Team Officials came out and said that. If you are gonna be vocal about something like that, then if you go 4-7 and look like you gave up and have no heart then clearly something is wrong. Andy Reid was a terrific coach no doubt and have us fans not always appreciated that, yes but to go 4-7 and win just 1 game at home since December of last year is a utter disgrace.
    Their is too much talent on both sides of the ball for this team to not make the playoffs. And its not like they have been destroyed in games (minus the Pats embarrassment) instead they choke in the fourth quarter and show a complete lack of heart and determination when it matters most. Both the Cowboys and the Giants have successful in the fourth quarter this year and IMHO we have much more talent than both those teams and our QB is as good if not better. The main reasons I think we lose in the fourth quarter are twofold. The first is Andy’s unwillingness to run the ball even when you have a top 3 back in the NFL. The second is the awful defense we have. Both of those two issues I put mostly on Andy Reid. He thought he was smarter than everyone else by putting a OL coach as DC however it is clear to any football fan that it was been a complete failure. Instead of letting a top 2 CB in the NFL do what he did well for a decade Oakland instead he wants him to play zone. Instead of realizing we have top CBs but lack good LBs how can I hide that issue he allows them to be exposed constantly. Defenses with much less talent are performing much better because they understand their players. Take a look at the Denver Broncos. No one would argue that they have more football talent than the Eagles but those Coaches know their players and find a way to hide their flaws and use their strengths. I apologize for the rant but Im tired of people making excuses for Reid by talking about his past success. I understand and appreciate all of that but I’m tired of Eagles fan talking about their regular season success and NFC championship appearances I want the whole thing and with this talent their is no doubt in my mind with the right coach that will happen.

  51. lombardi says:

    Agree with most of your points…

    However, there are two important characteristics that separate the five recent Super Bowl winners from the Eagles. (You can add the Patriots in this comparison, as well as pretty much every team that has ever won more than one SB within a five year period.)

    1. The SB winners have Super Bowl caliber QB’s – guys with great arm strength and accuracy and a high IQ who always get better as the game progresses. (More data on how to exploit the defense, as well as more pressure on everyone on the field always increases the advantage of those with skills, intelligence and confidence.)

    2. Most of the SB winners also have an SB caliber defensive coordinator (eg. Lebeau & Capers).

    The Eagles have NEVER had an SB caliber QB.

    Think that Bellichick’s overall record would be better than Reid’s with Drew Bledsoe rather than Brady? That Dungy or Tomlin would have won SB’s without Manning or Roethlisberger? Really??

    Is this Reid’s fault? The organization’s fault? Pretty good questions to start with.

    The Eagles in the first half of Reid’s tenure DID have an SB caliber defensive coordinator. However, since JJ’s passing, we haven’t even had an NFL caliber DC. Clearly that is Reid’s fault, as well as problem that needs to be resolved NOW, if not sooner.

    So what is to be done?

    How about:

    (1) Hire an SB caliber DC (eg. Spagnuolo when St. Louis fires him at the end of the season).

    (2) Use the Front Office’s vaunted ingenuity to find a way to snag Andrew Luck – whatever the cost. (Move Vick and re-sign V. Young as a place holder for a year or two? Who ultimately cares, as even with a placeholder QB while Luck matures, the Eagles will be a playoff contender with a SB future on the horizon.)

    The real question(s) is (are) how (and how soon) can the Eagles get an SB caliber QB, and can they get an SB caliber DC even sooner.

    If Reid is an obstacle to doing that, then he should go.

    However, he IS a pretty good coach with a very good rapport with his players and a proven record of fielding playoff teams.

    So… if he doesn’t stand in the way of resolving the real problem(s), then firing him will not solve those problem(s).

    There IS a worse alternative to a playoff team that doesn’t get to the SB.

    It is a team that doesn’t even make the playoffs.

    Anyone remember Joe Kuharich? Jerry Williams? Marion Campbell? Rick Kotite?

    Does it feel good when you do?

  52. Is it just me, or does Reid kinda look like the Gerber baby there?

  53. DerfDiggy says:

    Eric…..

    I understand…those stats are fine…but Reid is approaching or surpassed all of those coaching timeframes. Still no SB, and probably a losing record with the best team(on paper) he’s ever had, that doesn’t exactly instill more confidence in Eagles fans. Hahaha, believe me I think it’ll be the best thing for the division if Reid was fired, and bad for the Eagles. Add that to his clock management and lack of running the ball…and Fans have a valid case for wanting him gone. Although fans calling into question coaches playcalling is ridiculous, IMO…I hate it most of the time.

    I’m a fan of Garrett, and ultimately think he’ll be a successful coach for a long time in the NFL. With that said, I’d pick Reid over him right now.

    1. Brian says:

      I don’t think this is the best team he’s ever had, that 04 team was pretty loaded too.

  54. DerfDiggy says:

    Sometimes a change of scenery is needed though JimmyK. As a cowboy fan, I certainly hope the impossible happens and Reid is fired, it’d certainly make things easier for the boys, at least in the short term. The article is only putting into perspective winning percentages. Ultimately, the goal is a Superbowl win, Reid hasn’t done that…and like the writer said, the front end of Reid’s tenure is the most successful. How many chances will Eagles fans give to Reid and Co. to build a winner and come up short. I have the displeasure of having numerous friends that are Eagles fans, and it’s not easy for them to put into perspective how great the franchise has been since him….When they have no defining moment to hang their hats on. Sometimes there’s a premium on the unknown. You guys..for the most part, know what you’ll get from Reid.He’s consistently good, It just seems more and more like the team will never achieve “great” under him.

    Basically….I’m hearing from Eagles’ fans….The grass is greener on the other side.

    1. DerfDiggy says:

      And also…this may be blasphemy to some…but I think JJ had more to do with Reid’s early success than not. Dude was one hell of a DC. Gave the division fits…..damn I hated those blitzes.

      1. Eric T. says:

        There’s no question that the defense was better than the offense on those teams. But the offense was consistently in the top ten with James Thrash and Todd Pinkston at wideout on a pass-first team, so I have to imagine Reid’s schemes deserve some credit.

        And as someone else pointed out, every QB Reid has had — McNabb, Feeley, Garcia, Kolb, Vick — has looked better in Philly than he did elsewhere, so you have to start wondering if Reid deserves some of the credit for that.

      2. Anders says:

        Thats not blasphemy, the first many years (and the reason I started love em), was the very good defense, it wasnt untill 2004 the offense became a larger part, but that defense was still very very good. The last time we went to the NFCCG was also by a large part of Westbrook and the defense there played very well down the stretch.

    2. Sometimes a change of scenery is needed though JimmyK Eric T.

    3. Eric T. says:

      Ultimately, the goal is a Superbowl win, Reid hasn’t done that

      How many current coaches have though? Five?

      He’s consistently good, It just seems more and more like the team will never achieve “great” under him.

      Tom Coughlin didn’t win a Super Bowl until his 12th season. Tony Dungy didn’t win until his 11th. Bill Cowher didn’t win until his 14th. Don’t confuse “hasn’t won the Super Bowl yet” with “will never win a Super Bowl” (a mistake also often made with QBs, think of Elway or Peyton). It’s not easy to win it all, but having a consistently strong team is a great way to go about it.

      1. Justin F. says:

        Six current head coaches have won a Super Bowl. McCarthy, Payton, Tomlin, Coughlin, Belichick, and Shanahan. And of those coaches, how many of these guys would really be considered an obvious improvement over Reid? Certainly not Shanahan and Coughlin. McCarthy and Tomlin? Those are probably lateral movements at best, though I guess reasonable people could disagree on that one. The only two of those six that really stand out as obvious improvements are Belichick and Payton, and newsflash, barring some shocking unforeseen development, none of those two guys are leaving their current team anytime soon.

        And as a footnote on Cowher, as already mentioned, Bill Cowher needed a 14th season to win a Super Bowl. This is currently Andy Reid’s 13th season.

    4. Brian says:

      The way I look at it is, just because Reid HASN’T won the SB, doesn’t mean he CAN’T. Far from it in fact.

      I still believe that we could have definitely have beaten the Pats in 04 and the Cards in 08.

  55. Dave King says:

    This is true. I’ve been more moderate on this issue all along, though I did get a little swept up in the “Fire Andy” hysteria in recent weeks. I do, however, still think we need some big changes in other places. I would like to get another executive, one who is better at scouting and evaluating players. Some control needs to be taken away from Andy after all this; he can’t escape this disaster of a season unscathed.

    For sure we need a new defensive coordinator, one who has experience with linebackers, is smart and innovative, and knows how to use his players. If he’s able to work with the wide-9, that’s only a plus. And most importantly, he must have something that Andy doesn’t – the ability to adapt during a game. I don’t know if he’d be able to handle the transition to the NFL, or be willing to do so, but Penn State’s Tom Bradley should be strongly considered here. Someone like the Bengals’ Mike Zimmer would also be a good hire, though he’s unlikely to leave Cincinnati.

    And, although this won’t likely happen, we need to seriously consider getting a new offensive coordinator. Though a lot of blame is put on Andy, Marty does go along with the all-pass strategy. Andy should have a little less control over the gameday playcalling, and we should really think about a coordinator who is also willing to create a more balanced offensive identity. There needs to be more of an emphasis on the run, and a smarter passing game.

    I think the best way to describe Andy is that he is a good coach (and extremely well-respected by his players and peers), but he isn’t what I’d call an efficient coach, one who is dependable on gamedays and open to new ideas (he may have been in the early years, but I feel he’s gotten a little complacent recently). For the sake of organizational stability, and simply because the team is still loyal to him, he has to be retained. But there’s no way the status quo on offense and defense can.

  56. Tracer Bullet says:

    And a new coach turned the Buccaneers from a good team to a Super Bowl winner.

    1. Eric T. says:

      How much credit are you giving Gruden?

      In the five years before Gruden got there, Dungy made the playoffs four times and never finished below .500. In the next five years, Gruden went 39-41 — while Dungy was going 60-20 in Indianapolis and winning a Super Bowl of his own.

      Did Gruden really elevate the Bucs? Or were they just a good team?

      1. holeplug says:

        Gruden pretty much won them the game against the raiders by knowing all the plays the raiders ran since they were too stupid to change them from the year before when he was head coach. Tampa also gave up two 1st and two 2nd round picks to get him so it was gonna be hard to keep up the level of success they had with Dungy.

        1. Eric T. says:

          I agree about the game against the Raiders, but there’s a difference between a new face elevating the team and a specific matchup being a dream scenario.

          I don’t think Tracer Bullet was saying the Eagles should try to figure out who will make the Super Bowl from the AFC next year and try to hire their head coach to give them a matchup advantage. He was saying that Gruden elevated the team above what Dungy was able to do, and I just don’t see evidence that Gruden was any better at coaching than Dungy was against any team except the Raiders.

          1. Tracer Bullet says:

            It’s possible Gruden just happened to be there when the wheel turned in Tampa’s favor. But the larger point is that it’s ridiculous to keep Reid just because the next guy might be worse — we could still have Rich Kotite smearing his play charts if you’re going to let fear make the decision. The next guy could be better.

            1. Eric T. says:

              The point isn’t “hey, the next guy could be worse, so never change”. It’s “if your current coach is already really good, don’t change.”

              Kotite took a very strong roster and made the playoffs once in four years; he legitimately seemed like a bottom 25% guy. Reid appears to be a top 25% guy.

              It’s the difference between hitting on 13 knowing you might bust but improve your chances a lot and hitting on 18, hoping to spike a 3.

              1. Tracer Bullet says:

                Fine, but Reid doesn’t coach in a vacuum, or at a blackjack table where the situation is radically rearranged every five minutes. And the Eagles have been good in the same ways over the past five years — explosive offense, lots of yards, lots of sacks — and at same time, bad in same ways too — poor in the red zone on offense and defense, pass-heavy beyond reason, predictable play calling, mediocre in short yardage, at least one position ignored every season, questionable ability to make gameday adjustments. And that’s on top of the difficulties Reid has always had with managing the clock and timeouts. His faults and his failure to address those faults have to be weighed against his ability to keep the team in contention year after year. At some point, you have to conclude that his inability to fix those weak spots (or inability to recognize them as weaknesses) is what’s kept Reid and his team from taking the next step. Moreover, I’d argue that his complete failure to find a credible defensive coordinator since Jim Johnson died is a firing offense. Last year’s defense was historically bad and this year’s squad is somehow worse.

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