I loved Randall Cunningham as a kid, and because of him I became an Eagles fan. Cunningham had a somewhat tumultuous time with the Eagles that ended with him retiring from football feeling unappreciated and, well, dumped upon.
That’s because Donovan McNabb left the Eagles feeling the same way. And if things continue as they are, Michael Vick will too.
The Eagles are stuck in an ugly rut. A rut of close but no cigar seasons. Of cobbled together pieces. Of dissed loyal players. Of putting number crunching over success. Of doing just enough to keep fans hanging on but never enough to take it all.
If you’re an Eagles fan–especially a die hard one–this year feels like every other year. Only, maybe, this year is the year everyone takes notice that something needs to change. My recommendation? Start with the Coach.
Since 1999 Reid has been at the helm of not only the coaching staff but he is the decider as it pertains to personnel. That means the lack of emphasis on pass protection falls on his shoulders. The fact that 2 or 3 awesome defensive players have always anchored the defense with the rest of the secondary being some no-name roster fillers is all his fault. Can you name one defensive player for the Eagles while McNabb was there that isn’t named Samuel, Vincent, or Douglas? Probably not.
As I like to say, the Eagles don’t have a depth chart–they have a substitution list.
McNabb may be worn, but he’s a guy that took the Eagles far without the kind of pieces other quarter backs of his caliber had access to. You know, like multiple reliable receivers. McNabb gives you division titles, you give him Freddie Mitchell. That’s not equal.
Equal? You want to get paid equally to other players in your position? You think rushing for more than 600 yards every season for 6 years in a row or having back to back 1000 yards rushing is worth more than a pack of skittles and a mustard-cover pretzel? Okay fine Mr. Westbrook. Take your ass to San Francisco, you career is done anyway.
Only it isn’t. Yeah yeah injuries and concussions blah…Westbrook continues to play at a high level and the Eagles currently have no run game. But! We saved 7.5 million. THIS JUST IN: Washington Redskins Dan Snyder dropped 7.5 million on the floor at Ruth’s Chris and didn’t even bother to have one of his assistants pick it up.
If injury is the reason for Westbrook’s departure, why was Jeremiah Trotter’s let go the first time? Rumor has it Reid forced him out the door because he asked for two muffins instead of one as an incentive in his contract. But you didn’t hear that from me. I mean why would a linebacker expect 361 tackles, 9 sacks, 5 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 Pro Bowls in a span of four years to earn him a new contract? Sidenote: Eagles later brought Trotter back for a successful 2nd and a pointless 3rd round.
Speaking of contracts, DeSean Jackson–the best wide receiver the Eagles have seen since Andy Reid has been coach (Please don’t speak to me about Terrell Owens. Don’t.ever.speak.of.him) is walking around expressing his confidence that he’ll be offered a new deal. It’s shameful that the Eagles have yet to publicly assure this dynamic player that they want him to return and they’re willing to pay for it.
Instead, they hide behind the potential lockout as a reason they won’t discuss it. This, as though an assurance has to be accompanied by concrete terms of a deal. The fact that Jackson survived the concussion that laid him out earlier in the season and came back to do this was enough to get a public vote of confidence.
But we don’t do that in Philly. We let players squirm until the clock runs out.
Clocks…clocks…Andy Reid doesn’t like clocks…or perhaps he doesn’t know what clocks do…or how much they mean during crucial moments of games. Like the time he essentially cost us the Super Bowl by mismanaging the clock, by my count, on three different occasions during the game.
All of this feels like a terrible terrible nightmare. Andy Reid has more job security than a tenured professor. He’s got me sitting in the back of the class silenced like I’m in timeout.
Timeouts…timeouts…we never have any timeouts left. WHY DON’T WE EVER HAVE ANY FUCKING TIMEOUTS LEFT?!?!?
Timeouts. Time up. The time has come for Andy Reid to go.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s not the only problem. Eagles owner Joe Banner prides himself on being the best salary cap manager in the league read: the cheapest guy on the block. Well the cap is off on my patience and is currently covering my wallet. I’m not investing another dime in this team until Eagles leadership shows me they care about winning as much as the fans and players do.