The end of an era: Andy Reid must go

Andy Reid is the best coach in Philadelphia Eagles history.

At this point in time, that isn’t exactly the thought at the front of Eagles fans’ minds, but nonetheless, it’s the truth. Over 14 years, Reid is the only Eagle coach with double-digit playoff wins, six NFC East titles, five NFC Championship Game appearances, and a regular season winning percentage greater than .600. He has served an unprecedentedly long term at the helm of the organization, has always done his best behind the scenes to improve the product on the field, and, according to Freddie Mitchell (not the most reliable of sources), was maybe only a Donovan McNabb puking incident away from the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship.

But all good things, and even some not so good things, must at some point in time come to an end. And that time is now. On Monday night, the city of Philadelphia had its eyes glued to the TV as it does every time the Eagles play, and it saw a team — for that matter a regime — falling apart. Everything about it was disgraceful — the playcalling, the confusion, the lack of heart and passion, and the glaring absence of talent on the current roster. And this Sunday’s game against Dallas was a continuation of many of those themes.

The most common misconception about this team is that they are underachieving. In reality, they’re just not that good. And before you acquit Reid, remember one thing: not only is he the boss on the field, but also off of it. Andy is the one who assembled this underwhelming roster, he is the one who made the draft day decisions, signed the free agents, led the trade talks, and he must be the one to suffer the consequences.

In fairness to Big Red, this season alone has been in part derailed by some bad luck. A very good offensive line has become a dreadful one due to injuries, a once prolific quarterback has decided to start putting the ball on the ground and in the other team’s hands all too often, and the defensive coordinators haven’t exactly aided the cause.

It’s about time that we admit that this organization is snakebitten. It has reached the point where nothing it does can go right, and any momentum it gets going in its favor is nipped in the bud by bad fortune or just bad football. Every time the fan base senses hope, it is crushed. Every time the team appears to have talent, it disappoints. Every time they put themselves in a good position to take strides in the right direction, they fall back. And I, along with the rest of the city, am sick of it.

I am sick of the underuse of the run game. I am sick of the flawed talent evaluation. I am sick of the emotionless face. I am sick of hearing the same mumbled answers at press conferences. I am sick of the disregard for the importance of linebackers. I am sick of the stubbornness. I am sick of the lack of in-game adjustments. And Andy, I know you’re growing it for personal reasons, but the ‘stache has really got to go.

The ultimate goal of any NFL franchise is to win a Lombardi trophy, and today, on the Thursday following what used to be a huge game against the Cowboys, the Eagles are further away from accomplishing that goal than they have been at any point over the last 14 years. And since it has become clear that Reid will never achieve that objective in Philadelphia, no matter how many winning seasons he could produce, he should be out the door tomorrow.

It’s fine by me if, out of respect for his long time coach and friend, owner Jeff Lurie wants to wait until season’s end to dismiss Reid, as long as the change eventually comes. Whoever takes over the job will have some big shoes to fill — both literally and metaphorically — but at this point, regardless of who it is, it will be a step in the right direction. Some want John Gruden or Bill Cowher, and some want an up-and-coming coordinator or college coach like Mike McCoy or Chip Kelly, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Before we can appoint our new leader, we must overthrow the one currently in power. And luckily for Lurie, he doesn’t need to fight a revolutionary war to do that. All it takes is a quick meeting at the office, a ‘thank you’, and a ‘goodbye.’ And a new era of Eagles football will begin.