Nov 27, 2012, 3:41 PM EDT
From 2000 to 2010, Andy Reid’s gambles mostly paid off. In the past two years, well, I guess he hasn’t been so lucky. At all. As the offensive line crumbled and fell, Michael Vick produced turnover after turnover and the defense couldn’t stop Jason Peters on a malfunctioning motor scooter, most of it has been heaped on Andy Reid’s shoulders. Before, he could combat the Reid haters with an excellent resume. Now, not so much. His time in Philadelphia is ticking very close to zero. They are out of scapegoats. He’s next.
Add that to Andy’s recent family troubles and you have a man in a time of crisis. The man has been through enough. For the betterment of almost everyone involved, Andy Reid needs to pack it in and head for home.
Not just for football reasons. Mostly for his own personal health and safety, Andy shouldn’t even be thinking about his next occupation. He needs to go home and focus on one thing until he feels right again: His family.
He has sacrificed so much to be the head coach of the Eagles for the past decade and a half and it’s about time he take a step back from his football life and focus on being a great father to his children and a great husband to his wife. NFL head coaches work incredible hours and it is absolutely astonishing that Andy has avoided any signs of coaching burnout until recently. His batteries are severely depleted. He needs some peace and solitude.
We all know how crazy an NFL head coaching job is. If I had to deal with that much media scrutiny I’d probably hide under my desk and pull a blanket over my head. And it’s no secret Andy Reid has never been the most popular man in Philadelphia. Yeah, these past two years have been extremely hard to watch. And sometimes, in crucial situations, he seemed to look at his play card as if it bore an impossible Sudoku puzzle. And he never really did get over burning all of those timeouts. But the good times, the good times we had together!
How about when Donovan McNabb was scrambling out of sacks so he could reset and throw a heatseaker to, uh, James Thrash and Todd Pinkston? Or the time a young Brian Westbrook returned a punt for a touchdown to beat the Giants at the Meadowlands? The impeccable cornerback tandem of Troy Vincent and Bobby “The Blanket” Taylor, shutting things down on the outside? DeSean pulling off another Giants beating punt return touchdown, almost a decade later? Or everything Brian Dawkins did?
When Jim Johnson was calling nasty blitzes and the offense was clicking, Andy had a gleam in his eye that any man could stand behind. He was a leader of men who were certain great things were soon to happen. That time has passed and that dream is long gone. Nothing lasts forever.
When I see Andy on the television, I see a broken man, his eyes exuding pain and loss. He’s been through a lot. And Philadelphia should do its best to support him in his time of crisis. I know I do.
Because like it or not Philadelphia, if a man gives you over a decade of his life to coaching your favorite teams to seven division championships and nine playoff appearances in fourteen years, to go with a Super Bowl appearance, you can’t hate him, right?
Thinking back, Reid has been one of the most consistent human beings in my life up to this point. An old friend who wanted to win football games as much as I did.
Yes, Andy’s very much to blame for the mess that is the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles, but we already put our athletes and coaches on shaky pedestals and then wait for them to fall off so we can cackle and laugh.
I’d love it if we all took a break from that and let Andy be. God knows he’s been through enough.
Josiah Schlatter is a lifelong Eagles fan and Philadelphia-area resident, and is currently studying at Temple University.
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