With apologies to the few card-carrying members of the Andy Reid Fan Club who remain and those of the thin-skinned ilk, we present the following open letter to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie:
Blow it up … now.
Tear it all down. Fire the head coach and his staff of yes-men minions. Dump the unproductive players. Dropkick the unproductive ones who actually have the gall to place blame on anyone else (hello, Jason Babin), including the fans or classic fall-guy Juan Castillo.
Just do it. All of it. As soon as possible.
This has been a long time coming. Ever since the Super Bowl appearance following the 2004 campaign, Philly’s NFL franchise has been an ever-changing potpourri of stop-gap solutions, using one overpaid, underperforming veteran as a Band-Aid to cover for another.
Your Eagles, really, have never been the same operation ever since losing to New England back on Feb. 6, 2005 in Jacksonville, with Donovan McNabb upchucking his lunch during crunchtime and Reid shutting down his brain with failing to implement a hurry-up attack early enough.
They imploded a year later, with Terrell Owens’ sit-up drills in his driveway during a contract holdout as training camp unfolded proving to the highlight – yes, that’s right, the highlight – to a 6-10 season.
Playoff runs returned under your boy Big Red, but they lacked … legitimacy. It always was a matter of fluky timing or pure luck or someone other good fortune that somehow landed the Birds in postseason … only to see them get their wings clipped in short order.
Last season was an abomination. For a squad predicted to challenge for a Super Bowl berth, Reid “coached up” his players to an 8-8 mark. He deserved to be fired then. Not just for the mediocre record, but because of how it, and past failings to get over the hump, came about: poor decisions, poor game-day management, horrible clock management, mind-boggling wastes of timeouts, bad drafts (especially in the first round), bad personnel decisions (hello, Brian Dawkins), an inability to relate to Philly fans (hello, B-Dawk, again), an inability to adapt, and a refusal to stray from a pass-oriented offense when the exact opposite style’s success seemed to be smacking him in the face.
Reid, your chosen one ever since he wowed you during a job interview with his fascinating detail of – what was it now? – longsnapping back in the winter before the 1999 season, was in, well, Reid fashion in Monday Night Football’s most recent edition.
Before a national-TV audience and a rabid crowd in New Orleans, Andy unveiled his entire playbook of … well, it’s kinda like a car lacking a spark plug. It seems to have a little juice, but it’s always missing. It never turns over.
Well, we kid there. It usually turns over, as Michael Vick and a bevy of unsure-handed receivers have only been too happy to oblige opposing defenses. It just never quite turns on.
Vick, the athletic wunderkind who appears doomed to never translate all his talents into something truly tangible, most certainly will take the brunt of the blame – if not from Reid or his teammates, then without question the fans and talk-show hosts who have clamored for backup Nick Foles to start behind center ever since preseason.
But the starstruck veteran, now in his third campaign as the Birds’ QB, is hardly the only one to blame for this latest loss, or display of multi-millionaires playing a game lethargy. He just happens to be the one with the most cachet. Well, him and Reid … and, really, at this point, he’s probably the one most deserving to stay out of the two if you had to make a choice.
Even now, even at his advanced football age of 32, Vick brings an element of surprise and excitement to the table. You, honestly, don’t know what you’re going to get. He could play lousy for 55 minutes, and then win a game single-handedly in the final five with a handful of other-worldly efforts that you may never have seen before, and may never in the future.
With Andy, after 14 years, you really kind know what you got. It’s the same flaws, the same never-quite-good-enough-to-win-it-all, and never-quick-bad-enough-to-completely-fall-apart. In short, the man has cooked up a healthy plate of mediocrity for years now, and you’ve ate it and fed it to your team’s followers for far too long.
While showing Reid the door, have him take all of his assistants, whiny elitist/defensive end Babin and Nmamdi Asomugha’s contract, too.
It’s time for a change now. Middle of the season, who cares? This mass exodus has been long overdue, and this season is over anyway. The only difference between doing things now or after the season is, you’ll only be further delaying any decision on Foles, whether he is your QB of the future or not. Because Reid will ride Vick as long as he can.
After all, it’s the most mediocre, unimaginative thing to do.