The Eagles head into their final game of what has been their most dismal season since Ray Rhodes stalked the sidelines as the Eagles' head coach. They head on the road to face the Giants this Sunday as a team with far more question marks than answers.
It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that this will be Andy Reid's last game as the Birds' current head coach after spending his last 14 years in that role. He is currently the longest tenured head coach in the NFL with the same team, but as the saying goes 'all good things must come to an end'. Reid's last two seasons have been tumultuous to say the least but that is what losing brings to the table in this position in this city.
Once the tide of popular opinion turns against you, it rarely turns itself around. Tom Coughlin has been able to survive a couple of close calls in New York but it is amazing what a few Super Bowl titles can do for your job security. Many of the other knuckle-head, die-hard fans I talked to this season actually gave-up on Andy a few years back, giving much of his credit as a head coach to former defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Nobody was a bigger Johnson fan than myself as I would much rather have a smash-mouth defense than a flashy, big-play offense. However, I was never one to throw Reid under the bus and I am not about start now.
His biggest mistake was hanging around about two or three seasons too long. I believe I read somewhere that former San Francisco head coach Bill Walsh stated that no head coach should stay with the same team for longer than 10 years. Reid was an in-direct disciple of the Godfather of the West Coast offense through his direct mentor Mike Holmgren. Walsh coached the 49ers from 1979 to 1988 (10 years) and won three Super Bowls. Holmgren coached the Packers from 1992 to 1998 (7 years) and went to two Super Bowls and won one in 1996. Reid took over the reins in Philadelphia in 1999 and led the team to four-straight NFC Championship games from 2001 to 2004 and to the Super Bowl in 2004. That is when things started to become unglued with Donovan McNabb and the whole T.O. fiasco.
He steered the team back to the NFC title game in 2008 in his 10th season at the helm. Even though the Eagles made it back to playoffs the following two seasons, he probably should have quit while he was ahead. Unfortunately, without a Super Bowl ring on his finger, he pressed-on and now his legacy in Philadelphia will be forever tarnished with the memory of this past season.
Do not cry for Andy, although I doubt that too many Philly fans would, as he will be back on the sidelines somewhere in the NFL next season. Coaching is the only life he knows and he is far too young to hang up his clipboard and head set for good. I personally wish him the best and only hope he ends up somewhere in the AFC. This way the Eagles would only have to face his team every four years, unless they meet in the Super Bowl, where he would probably end-up getting that ring he was looking for along.