In the wake of yesterday’s 38-20 drubbing at the hands of the New England Patriots, fans flocked to the airwaves to call for Andy Reid’s head. Columnists and scribes wrote their usual pieces, wondering aloud if this newest low point for Andy Reid’s 4-7 team will be the final embarrassing blow that will lead to his departure. Same old, same old.
But wait. About 2,000 fans began chanting “Fire Andy” from the stands after the Eagles missed on a fourth and goal opportunity in the third quarter. For whatever reason, those chants have reignited speculation over Reid’s future in Philadelphia. For whatever reason, people believe that yesterday’s loss at home, the Eagles’ eighth loss in their last nine games at Lincoln Financial Field, will finally bring to an end an era of football under Reid that has been both wildly successful and bitterly disappointing.
But guess what? Reid isn’t going anywhere. And there are several reasons why.
The Eagles have Reid signed through 2013. There’s no way this front office is going to pay a coach they think so highly of five million dollars to sit at home for the next two seasons. When the Eagles have to weigh a decision between a guy who is owed that much money, one that they trust and respect, against an unknown, there’s no way they are going to get rid of their guy.
The Eagles have a built-in alibi. The Eagles can hedge their “all in” talk by explaining away the difficulties of assembling so much new talent in such a shortened offseason. Is that Reid’s fault? Sure, at least to some extent. But will it matter when it comes time to make a decision? While it should, it won’t.
With what is becoming an increasingly ideal draft position and another year to scheme what should be a ton of offensive potential, the Eagles can justify that Reid should get another year. Whether some of his assistants will be afforded the same opportunity, well, that’s a different story.
“But he’s been here too long! The fans won’t put up with this anymore. We’ll stop showing! He’s this, he’s that. He’s gotta go!”
That’s all fine and good. But anyone who says this is also full of shit. Regardless if Reid is back or not next season, Lincoln Financial Field will be packed full of faithful supporters wearing midnight green from head to foot. Everyone will huddle around the television, hopelessy devoted to this team–just like they do every single season. Andy Reid’s coaching status isn’t going to effect the level of interest, or the franchise’s bottom line next season. These aren’t the 1998 Eagles–a team filled with no-name players and seemingly no hope. They can sell hope and it doesn’t matter if they make good on it.
So go ahead. Yell, kick and scream all you want because you should. This season has been beyond frustrating. And over the past 13 seasons, crushing defeats when the stakes have been at their highest have left scars upon us all. But when the Eagles’ braintrust sits down after this season and the immediate anger over this disastrous season has dissipated, the Eagles are going to bring back Andy Reid for another season.
Whether you like it or not.