After a 7-42 beat down by the Giants, which pretty much exemplifies this Eagles team throughout the 2012 season, we all must ask, now what?
Andy Reid has been axed, I’m sure other coordinators will be gone by the end of this regime change. Now what?
Crazy stat time... Since the comeback win the Eagles had against the Giants in the 2010 season since dubbed “Miracle in the New Meadowlands” where the Eagles, down 10-31 on the road, scored 28 straight in the 4th quarter to win, their record including that postseason loss against the Packers has been 12-23. The next couple of stats come from the ESPN Stats & Info Twitter Account. The Eagles have blown nine 4th quarter leads over the last two seasons, the most in the NFL during that span. With Juan Castillo as the Eagles D Coordinator in 2012, Eagles allowed the 3rd-lowest QBR. Under Todd Bowles, they allowed the highest.
As a fan I find myself disappointed and in uncharted territory. I know I’m supposed to be as objective as possible since I cover the Eagles for this blog. But for this post I’m going to wear my emotions on my sleeve so to say. I didn’t think it was necessary but since it’s the end of the season for this miserable team I figured my history of becoming a fan would only enhance this post.
For the few of you that know this story, thanks for reading and supporting, but for those that don’t, here is how I became a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. As an Army kid I always associated home with wherever the Army stationed us. Having spent my childhood in various places such as Panama, Germany, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Georgia, etc. I never really found a local sports team to follow. I could have gone for the Falcons back when my family was briefly stationed in Georgia, but I was too young and didn’t really care for professional sports. The same can go for Virginia where I had a choice between the Ravens or the Redskins. However my fandom was not yet built until 2004. My family was stationed in North Carolina and I finally got into watching football. This was the year the Philadelphia Eagles made it to the Super Bowl. I fell in love with the Donovan McNabb to Terrell Owens connection with Andy Reid as Head Coach.
Yes, I was a bandwagon fan but I was in it for the long haul. I kept my fandom even through our final move to Germany in 2006. I stuck with the Eagles through the debacle that was T.O. and his infamous sit-ups. I stuck with the Eagles when McNabb went down and the Eagles had to go into the playoffs with Jeff Garcia. I woke up early in the morning overseas to watch the Eagles lose to the Saints in the playoffs in 2007, but stuck with them anyways. Then a couple mediocre seasons later I was on a low when the Eagles tied with the Bengals, but a high when the Eagles beat the Cowboys to go to the playoffs. After wins against the Vikings and Giants my heart was torn apart when the Eagles had to come back to beat the Cardinals but lost at the end, and thus failing to make it to the Super Bowl. I still stuck with them. Then the Eagles lost three times to the Cowboys, another heart break. Still stuck with them. The Vick era came along, another playoff loss, still stuck with the Eagles. Now the past two seasons resulted in a combined record of 12-20 record, and now what? Well it looks like I’m still sticking with this team both as a fan and as a contributor to this blog.
So after that long rant about my allegiance to this team, I ask, now what? Well it’s time for some change. Andy Reid has been fired and is now linked to the Cardinals and Chiefs job, though it’s most likely he’ll sign with Arizona. As for the Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie explained that he would do everything to find the perfect candidate to fill the head coach position. “While you're trying to decide what you're going to do with your coach, at least the way I operate, is doing a lot of research over the past month or so. That is done meticulously and in great detail. We do have a very, very defined list of candidates. We hope to be able to meet with some of them as soon as possible. I think it's better to find the right leader than it is to make the fastest decision." Lurie is essentially showing that there is no clear cut person the Eagles want but they will go through due process to find their new head coach.
As for talent evaluation, well that is all left up to the new coach. Will the new coach believe this team can win under Nick Foles over Michael Vick? Is Vick staying with the Eagles another year? What about the cornerback tandem Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha? What about changes in the coordinators? Is Marty Mornhinweg out as offensive coordinator? These are all questions that won’t be answered until the Eagles hired their new head coach.
If I wanted to take a quick guess, I believe Vick is out and so is Nnamdi if he doesn’t restructure his contract. OC Marty Morhinweg is gone too since new coaches would want to bring in their own staff to fill the positions underneath him.
As I’ve said before, I’ve been a fan since 2004. So I don’t recall how things went back in 1999 when Andy Reid first took over the job. From where I stand, it doesn’t look fun trying to figure out how this roster will look come training camp. There are too many question marks in the secondary, in the coaching staff, in the quarterback position, and in the offensive line depth to begin to wonder if this team can be a playoff contending team soon. There’s talent on this roster, but can the Eagles find a coach that can weed out the bad and tap into the potential on this team?
So for those that asks after two putrid seasons that ended in the firing of Coach Reid, “now what?” I say to you…we wait. That is all we can do until a new coach comes into town.