A reunion of successful Philadelphia Eagles head coaches could fill a phone booth, that’s how barren the history of the team from south Philadelphia has been.
In fact, team owner Bert Bell coached the team in the late 1930s to an abysmal 10-44-2 record (.185 winning percentage), although a big part of the reason Bell didn’t fire himself was because he was trying to save money by not having to pay a coach.
In exchange for his five years in purgatory, Bell eventually became the NFL commissioner from 1945 until he passed away in 1959.
More recently, local area icon, Dick Vermeil, is considered the standard to which most of the Eagle coaches are measured. But Vermeil won his only Super Bowl title with the St. Louis Rams after the 1999 season, ironically the same year that Andy Reid was hired as Eagles head coach.
But Vermeil and Buddy Ryan, another favorite of Eagles’ fans, both had sub-par playoff records. In fact, Ryan, father of current Jets’ head coach, Rex Ryan, was winless (0-3) in three playoff appearances with the birds and fired in 1991.
And not to be forgotten is the only man to coach Philadelphia to an NFL title, Buck Shaw, who promptly retired after beating Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers in the 1960 NFL title game. It was the only time in Lombardi’s career that he lost a championship game.
Because of Shaw’s limited tenure in the City of Brotherly Love, there is no question that Andy Reid can lay claim to being the greatest head coach in Philadelphia Eagles’ history. A list of his accomplishments is lengthy, as he has lead his team to six NFC East titles and five NFC title games in his fourteen seasons as coach.
His record as the Eagles’ head coach is 126-81-1 (.608 winning percentage), which makes him the 16th all-time winningest head coach in NFL history. To give you an idea of some of the names below his on this list, consider these coaching greats: Tom Landry, Hank Stram, Chuck Noll and Bud Grant.
If given the choice, Eagle fans would hire any of these four names on that list to coach the team in a heartbeat.
Most media outlets are convinced that Reid will coach his last game for the Eagles tomorrow against the New York Giants, but the Associated Press (AP) ran a story yesterday that outlined five reason why the birds should keep Reid around for at least another season.
Primary on the AP list, which was posted on the Fox Sports’ website, is the $6 million that the franchise would owe Reid, if he were fired. But this reason may be the most inconsequential of all because Reid has already said he would like to coach next year.
That being the case, chances are that the Eagles may not owe anything to Reid if he is picked up by another team, or in a worst case scenario, they may have to pick up a fraction of his 2013 salary, if his new team pays him less than $6 million.
AP also blamed injuries, something that all NFL teams must encounter during the regular season, so that excuse would appear to be a non-starter as well.
Another AP point centered around the “turmoil” on defense that was caused by Reid’s hiring of Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator. But as the man-in-charge, Reid must claim responsibility for his hiring decisions as well as what is done between the lines.
Associated Press’ final point was, “Reid has complete support in the locker room. No one on the roster has said a negative word about the coach and any player asked says he wants him back.”
Although this consideration might seem to be an important reason to keep the coach around, owner Jeffery Lurie couldn’t possibly be concerned about the mindset of a group of underachievers, could he?
The fact of the matter is that Andy Reid, the coach, has been let down by Andy Reid, the executive vice president of football operations. Reid, the EVP, has continually brought in high-priced, but mediocre talent like Michael Vick, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin and Vince Young, that quite simply, hasn’t panned out.
In addition, Reid’s drafts haven’t been anything to write home about either, as Bruce Buratti of the Express-Times points out, “When your first- and second-rounders are playing at the same level of your lower-round picks, you’re in trouble. Which is where the Eagles are now.”
Buratti astutely points out, what appears to be the biggest drawback in the current operation of the Eagles franchise, when he states, “In any event, Reid isn’t going to be fired because he was a poor coach; but because the Eagles drafts, which he had a hand in, came up short in the upper rounds where future Hall of Famers and impact players are found.”
But therein may lie the answer, perhaps Lurie should fire Reid as EVP of football operations and keep Andy Reid as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
We’ll certainly know more on Monday.