A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Andy Reid: Pros and Cons

Andy Reid, for those of you who don't pay attention to professional football (and what the heck is up with you that you don't pay attention to professional football?), is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. From all accounts, he's a smart guy-- which is why the pros below make sense, and I can't quite figure out where the cons came from.

Pro: Suspending perenial pain-in-the-arse wide receiver Terrell Owens for the rest of the season. T.O. is a spoiled brat who need a time-out and big, major, gianormous kudos to Reid for finally giving him one. Oh, and as a side note, T.O. and Randy Moss are exhibits A and 2 in the case against Intelligent Design. 'Cause God giving those two cretins the incredible amount of physical ability they have with the defective workings of their brains and conscience is really hard to reconcile.

Con: Trading for T.O. in the first place. Reid wanted that final piece in the puzzle to get his team to the Super Bowl and was willing to compromise he's team's chemistry and work ethic to get it. The result got him to that Super Bowl, where they lost, and a virtually never ending series of headaches and team schisms that have contributed significantly to the team's 4-4 start this year.

Pro: Working around injuries and free agent defections to keep his team winning year in and year out. Four straigth trips to the NFC title game is no small accomplishment, especially in the free agency/salary cap era.

Con: Relying on a pass whacky offensive scheme that has gotten pass whackier over time. The old adage about running games and defenses is still pretty solid-- the Eagles have had solid Ds during Reid's tenure, but they seem to be drifting further and further away from having a solid running game. The Eagles are currently dead last in rushes per game and, not surprisingly, yards per game gained on the ground, with a pathetic 58.6. Conversely, the Eagles pass 5.5 times more often a game than any other team, and are averaging nearly 20 yards a game more than the second most prolific passing team. 1st passing, last running. Not a recipe for winning the Super Bowl, Andy.

Pro: He used to coach in Green Bay.

Con: He now coaches in Philadelphia which, according to the solid third and fourth hand accounts I've heard, have the worst fans in the country.

Overall, the kudos he gets for sitting T.O.'s sorry ass down outweigh all the other negatives, so bravo, Andy. Oh, and you might want to reconsider that nearly 3-1 pass/run ratio.
Since I live in Philadelphia (though not an Iggles fan), I am fairly well equipped to comment on Andy Reid. I do agree with you that I give the Eagles a lot of credit for dumping Crybaby Owens - the easy thing to do would have been to ignore it and hope to salvage the season. I think this decision will pay dividends in the long-run, even though it really jeapordizes their chance to salvage the season. I'm not sure if the decision to draft Owens and to suspend him can really be laid wholly at the feet of Reid. I'm sure other people higher up had something to say about it as well, even though Reid technically has GM responsibilities as well.

As for coaching, Reid is an excellent PR guy, and an excellent manipulator of his personnel. He's also fairly good at devising gameplans ahead of time. However, I think he is a very poor playcaller, very poor a time-management and very poor at adjusting his strategy to meet adjustments IN GAME by the other team: in short I think he's a poor game-day coach. He also has trouble with "the big game", and has a tendency to be "outcoached" when it really counts (remember the Philly/Caronina NFC championship game?).

In his four years here, Reid has been benefitted by (A) one of the best defensive coordinators in football (and hence one of the best defenses in football), which takes a lot of pressure off the offense and (B) a pathetically weak division, which has made their road a LOT easier than it otherwise has been. I think the Eagle's general cheapness with regards to resigning good players is finally catching up with them, as their defense is not quite as good this year, AND with the NFC east being much stronger than in the past, that is why the Eagles are stuggling so much and Andy Reid is being exposed a bit.

Think of it this way: in the past few years, the Eagles went virtually unchallenged in division games. Their total record this year is 4-4 and their division record is 0-2. If they had won those two division games, as they have traditionally done with no problem, they would be 6-2 and nobody would be worried.

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