Andy Reid is gone…so who’s next?

Monday marked the end of Andy Reid’s infamous 14-year tenure as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. I say infamous because more people probably complained about him more than cheered him. But considering he lasted 14 years with a team in general is remarkable considering most coaches last about three and then move on to somewhere else. The Eagles had some ups and downs as he was coach, but many people overlook the good and highlight his one major shortcoming: the lack of a Super Bowl ring. As a fan, this is very hard to swallow considering he brought the team to the NFC Championship game on 5 separate occasions and never won the big one. Well, sometimes it’s better to get there and lose then to never get there at all. And to say that over a third of the time, your team was one of the final four teams in the league is pretty impressive no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately, fans too often overlook this and point out all the negative things about his career.

In addition to the 5 NFC Championship game appearances, he did get them to one Super Bowl in which they lost in a very close game to the seemingly unbeatable Patriots. That was a heart-breaker, but I’d definitely prefer that over not making the playoffs. He brought the Eagles to the playoffs in 9/14 seasons as the coach, which is actually tremendous. Not many other coaches can say that. He also barely had losing seasons. But considering that this most recent season was a 4-12 finish, it was time that he left the team.

Despite all the good things I just said about him, I also agree that it was time for him to go. I was almost always on his side throughout his career and never chanted “fire Andy!” after one loss or one bad game. No, that would be stupid. I knew that the Eagles had a better shot with Andy than with many of the possible candidates out there. And they performed at a very high level for a very long time. But, everything eventually comes to an end and Reid’s coaching tenure as an Eagle met his end on Black Monday. While he was not alone in getting fired that day, he was clearly the most decorated coach on the list of new unemployed coaches and was already receiving offers to be the head coach of the Cardinals. In fact, he’s likely to sign with them by the end of the week and be reunited with Kevin Kolb. I have no idea what that’s going to bring, but that’s a different topic.

Now that the Eagles had made the most obvious move in their off-season, they need to continue it by firing virtually every coach on their coaching staff. Their offensive, defensive, and special teams coordinators do not know what they’re doing anymore (or in Todd Bowles case, ever) and need to be let loose. They need to clean house in the front office to show that they’re entering rebuilding mode, and it seems like a pretty obvious choice to take. One thing that has been questioned is whether the GM will also be fired. Current GM Howie Roseman never made any of the player personnel decisions because that was always Reid’s job. Well, now that Reid is gone, will Roseman take over that position? Or will he stay and give the new head coach that job? That remains a big question as of now and will become clearer as the new year progresses.

I was never really a fan of Reid’s draft picks over the years, especially his first round selections. With some disasters such as Jerome McDougle, Freddie Mitchell, and Shawn Andrews among Reid’s top picks, it’s not too hard to see one of the reasons why the Eagles were never getting over the hump and into the Super Bowl. They just weren’t building a long-term team through the draft. While they did pick some excellent players in the later rounds, the first round is meant to get those “great” players that can come in immediately and make a difference. Reid really can’t say he did that throughout his entire career minus Donovan McNabb, Jeremy Maclin, and Fletcher Cox. Whoever has the draft duties this April will make it very interesting for Eagles fans considering the strategy will be different.

As for possible head coaching candidates for next year, there are a few that have already been thrown out there. The first name to come up was Oregon’s head coach Chip Kelly, but I personally feel that would be a terrible decision. He is a college coach with no NFL experience who runs a spread option offense…does that sound like the type of coach the Eagles need? Here, I’ll answer that for you: no. The other three choices are all from the Falcons’ coaching staff with the Eagles asking to interview their Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Coordinators. Getting one of these guys would not be terrible, but who knows if they’ll actually decide to stick with one of those guys. All I have to say is I hope it’s not a college coach who’s never had success in the NFL.

In conclusion, I think it’s clear that this will be a very different time for Eagles fans. Throughout my fanhood, I’ve never seen a different coach other than Andy Reid, so it’s going to be very different. Whoever they get though will shape their future and hopefully allow them to bounce back to success.

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