There’s nothing really to say here. It’s mind-boggling. In two weeks, Andy Reid has fired his hand-picked defensive coordinator and demoted his hand-picked starting quarterback. The quarterback that he signed to a massive contract extension prior to last season. The one who, despite shaky play earlier in the season, has been much better recently and was the least of the Eagles’ concerns during the debacle that took place against the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday. And as boos and chants of “Fire Andy” poured down on his head along with the driving rain brought by Hurricane Sandy, Reid decided he would apparently make the only move he had left in a last-ditch attempt to save his job: start Nick Foles.
If the firing of Castillo was the beginning of the end for Reid in Philadelphia, this is another decisive, definitive step towards that endpoint. I wouldn’t be surprised if new QB Nick Foles does well on Monday night in New Orleans, since the Saints’ defense is one of the worst in the NFL. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he does extremely poorly in that game, since the SuperDome is a notoriously tough place for visitors to play and the Eagles’ offensive line is nothing more than 5 well-paid turnstiles dressed up in midnight green. The move isn’t about this season. The season is over. Andy Reid’s tenure as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles is (at most) 9 games from being over. Same goes for offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. The Philadelphia Eagles will not make the playoffs this year. Foles starting will allow GM Howie Roseman (if he keeps his job) to evaluate his play over the final 9 games of the season to see if the Eagles need to draft a quarterback in the first round next year. If Foles performs well, the team will head into next season with him entrenched as the starter alongside a new head coach and two new coordinators. If he doesn’t, the new coaching staff will bring a highly drafted QB prospect with them. Either way, things will look a lot different next season.
I’ll be watching the rest of the season not just because I love the Eagles, but because the time has come to start evaluating players. It’s the Philadelphia version of Judgement Day every Sunday (or, in two cases, Monday) for the next 9 weeks. Who stays, who goes. I’ll also be watching a lot more college football the rest of the year. It’s time to evaluate 1st-round prospects for this year’s draft. Matt Barkley. Geno Smith. Tyler Bray. Tyler Wilson. Manti Te’0. You’re up, Foles. Try not to die behind that offensive line. These next 9 games will go a long way in determining the future of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise. Not just who the quarterback is, but the franchise’s entire future. It’s imperative that owner Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman make the right decisions this offseason. After all, as Reid’s tenure has shown, the decision you make at head coach could impact your franchise for the next 14 years.