Was Andy Reid Treated Fairly in Philadelphia?


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Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is somewhat unbelievable to hear this being the topic on local Philadelphia radio stations this week. Of course, the Kansas City Chiefs are arriving in Philly to play the Eagles at the Linc on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. This means the return of Andy Reid to Philly as his new team already has two wins on the young season—eclipsing their entire season total from 2012-2013.

It is somewhat astonishing to have this be the topic among local sports outlets in Philadelphia considering that many Eagles fans begged and pleaded for several years for Jeffrey Lurie to jettison Reid. This is despite the fact that Reid coached the Eagles to multiple NFC Championship Games as well as to one Super Bowl.

Of course, Donovan McNabb had a little something to do with the Eagles’ success circa the early 2000s as well.

Now, of course, the Eagles have Chip Kelly at the helm with an explosive new offense that has already scored 63 points in the first two games of play this year. Even though, we must remember, Kelly’s first intentions were to stay in Oregon before the NCAA began lowering the boom on the powers that be in Eugene.

No coach can be safe from criticism and some coaches, because they’ve won championships previously, are almost immune to criticism. Tom Coughlin with the New York Giants is the textbook example of this. He’s won two Super Bowls in his tenure with the Giants despite having only average teams and dealt with a litany of fans in the Tri-State area calling for his job.

Before he won that second Super Bowl, that is.

Reid came under intense scrutiny by Eagles fans during the last few years of his tenure in Philadelphia. One of the primary criticisms of his had to do with his play calling. Eagles fans, justifiably, felt that LeSean McCoy was being underutilized in the Eagles’ offense and that too much pressure was being placed on the shoulders (and left arm) of Michael Vick.

Not only that, but he’s also had to deal with off field issues as well. The notable problems are more personal as he dealt with the difficulties involving his son and family tragedies.

Of course, no one’s criticizing him for the way he went about his family business. Andy Reid’s family business is that of his and his family’s. His coaching of the Eagles, though, is another matter.

Were the various criticisms of Andy Reid legitimate? Yes, they were. Was Andy Reid treated fairly during his tenure as Eagles head coach? One can probably say both yes and no. After all, he was the Eagles’ head coach when Donovan McNabb was regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. And he did coach in a Super Bowl. There’s also the internal family issues.

But, the NFL as we know, is a “what have you done for me lately” sort of sports organization. When Andy Reid began struggling “lately”, we totally forgot about what he once did…when he had McNabb at quarterback.

Now, as Chiefs head coach, he’s leading an entirely new team in a completely different conference. His new quarterback in Kansas City, Alex Smith, can relate since he was, for all intents and purposes, forced out of San Francisco when “Kaepernicking” became the hottest thing to hit the Bay Area since the cable cars and Rice-A-Roni. Only time will tell how if his Kansas City years are as productive as his McNabb-era Eagles days were.

Let’s just hope, for the sake of Eagles fans across the Delaware Valley and elsewhere that the Chip Kelly era doesn’t turn into a “be careful what you wished for” situation. Meaning that his tenure as Eagles coach becomes so bad that some of the same fans who called into WIP and The Fanatic to tubthump for his firing start wishing he was back.

Because missing coach syndrome is something that, as we know, happens all the time in the NFL. Just ask the Jon Gruden-loving fans of one of Reid’s new division rivals—the Raiders.