I find it immensely frustrating when a player draws the ire of his he..."/>

I find it immensely frustrating when a player draws the ire of his he..."/>

Andy Reid and Reggie Brown Need to Kiss and Make Up


I find it immensely frustrating when a player draws the ire of his head coach and ends up permanently stuffed in the doghouse. As a fan, I’m left scratching my head trying to figure out what went wrong. Why can’t both parties just set aside their differences? Does everything in professional sports have to come down to a pissing contest? Alas, it would seem so.

The case of Reggie Brown and Andy Reid has reached new heights of confusion during the last two weeks. Brown finally expressed to the media his dismay over the situation. By now we are all familiar with his “rose growing out of BS” comment. Obviously, his words were meant to stir the pot. At this point, he’s done toeing the company line. He wants the powers that be to know that he’s not a happy camper. Meanwhile, Reid continues to employ his customary speak no evil tactics.

Personally, I don’t blame Brown. The front office is doing the team and Reggie a disservice by forcing him to grin and bear it. Unfortunately, he has become this year’s version of Lito Sheppard. The difference being that Brown has never once bitched and moaned about his contract, or hinted that he felt disrespected by the organization. He’s always been a relatively quiet guy on and off the field. On the surface, he seems like the perfect “don’t rock the boat” personality that Reid covets.

So, what went wrong? How did a promising second-round pick go from starter to team outcast in a year’s time? Is Brown entirely at fault, or is Reid culpable as well? More importantly, can fences be mended at some point during the 2009 season? Or will we have to wait – like we did with Lito – until the season is over for this whole farce to reach closure?

I realize Brown hasn’t lived up to expectations and appears to have regressed since his arrival in Philly. Hey, I’ve bashed the guy on the site plenty, but I still think he can contribute. When healthy, he has proven capable of making plays. He doesn’t have the most reliable set of hands, but his route running and downfield abilities are better than average.

You can’t tell me that he couldn’t have helped this past Sunday, with a quarterback making his first career start, and a “starting” wide receiver battling knee and groin ailments. Instead of providing young Kolb with another veteran pass catcher, Reid elected to dress only four receivers against a team known for piling up points on the scoreboard. One of those receivers being a rookie who is still easing his way into a complex offensive scheme. Am I the only one bothered by this decision?

Basically, Reid went into Sunday’s game with DeSean and Avant as his only two experienced and healthy wideouts. That’s a helluva way to show support for the quarterback he earmarked in the 2007 draft as the next great Eagle signal caller. I know Reid is stubborn and at times a risk taker, but this strikes me as foolish and irresponsible behavior. If you truly give a crap about winning, shouldn’t you field the best team possible? I may be in the minority, but I’m convinced Brown could have helped on Sunday.

Which brings me to the million dollar question: why is Reggie Brown still on this team? In a word — money. His cap figure is too high. If they trade him or cut him, they are on the hook for millions. With the possibility of an uncapped 2010 looming, Banner and Lurie are not prepared to eat that amount of cash. It makes perfect sense, but it’s still complete and utter bullshit.

The front office’s position has already cost the team one good player: Hank Baskett. A roster stretched thin because of the comedy of errors at quarterback has absolutely no wiggle room. Hank was cheaper, so Hank is gone. Meanwhile, Reggie and his bloated cap figure stands on the sidelines dressed in jeans and a t-shirt every Sunday. He’s not helping the team and he’s not helping himself. Hell, at least Lito was allowed to play; he might have sucked when he did, but he was out there.

As it stands now, Reggie Brown is frozen in limbo. Management won’t send him packing and Reid won’t let him participate. Does he really have nothing left to offer? Or is his demotion due to personal, rather than professional reasons. Maybe he got caught imitating Big Red downing a giant sub. Or perhaps he was overheard telling Garrett and Britt jokes. There has to be another explanation besides “he sucks.”

I have my own theory. It has to do with Reid’s shifting philosophy when it comes to evaluating the wide receiver position.

Prior to the 2004 season, Reid was adamant that a group of solid, not spectacular, pass catchers was all that was needed to design and execute an effective NFL offense. Three crushing NFC Championship game losses and a bevy of unproductive wideouts later, caused Reid to scrap his plan and roll the dice. Enter Terrell Owens. The on the field impact was significant. The difference between Owens and the impostors from previous years was night and day.

Despite the disintegration of the Owens marriage, Reid saw firsthand what unique talent on the outside can do for an offense. After three more years of disappointment, he rolled the dice again and drafted a cocky, undersized speed merchant with a flare for the dramatic.

DeSean immediately became Andy’ new toy. Deep threat/punt returner/Wildcat trigger man — you name it, DJax did it. Reid dusted off his mad scientist kit and hasn’t put it away since. In fact, he’s done nothing but add new potions and formulas to his laboratory. Maclin, McCoy, Ingram and Vick were all brought aboard because they each possess a particular skill set that allows Reid to further experiment. Words like dynamic, explosive and versatile are constantly dropped in their presence.

The days of inking safe, serviceable players like Charles Johnson, James Thrash and Greg Lewis are over. Reid, for the first time in his tenure, is stockpiling legit talent. Reggie Brown does not fit that definition. He’s a nice player, but lacks that “wow” factor. Reid wants “wow” athletes at the X and Z spots. He wants “wow” players in the backfield.

That being said, I still believe Brown should be allowed to play. Curtis is hurt and Maclin is green. Brown knows the offense and would provide excellent depth on gamedays. Will Andy alter his stance? Probably not. Which means we’re stuck with 14 more games of Brown wasting away on the bench. Love him or hate him, he deserves better than that, and so do the Eagles.

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