Andy Reid has received a fair amount of credit as a head coach in the NFL. Somewhat surprisingly, he has received minimal criticism from the national media frequently getting a pass for his significant lack of discipline.
Whatever happened to the theory that a team often takes on the characteristics of the head coach?
Look at Reid.
Does this man look like he practices conscious control over lifestyle? So you say that is an easy shot. Maybe it is. Can you really say with confidence that you never thought it is conceivable that the Eagles have a tough time taking direction from someone who clearly does not take care of himself?
This is not personal. It is business. Big business.
Ok. Now it is time for the “but they are professional athletes” defense.
Let’s roll with that. As a professional athlete is it not possible to become frustrated when Reid continually (key word) mismanages the clock, struggles when to leverage replays, poorly uses timeouts, and has had suspect at best play calling in critical moments (last 5 minutes of Super Bowl XXXIX anyone)?
In fact, when looking back on Reid’s success you can make a very good case that many of the biggest moments in Reid’s tenure have been off broken plays. The Freddie Mitchell 3rd and forever catch against the Packers, the incredible McNabb scramble that lead to a 63 yard completion against the Cowboys, most DeSean Jackson bombs and Mike Vick scrambles. Go back and look at early McNabb highlights. Most of them are due to McNabb making plays with his feet, not a dialed up play call from Reid.
The week 3 Eagles game against the Giants gave clear examples of Reid’s lack of discipline and poor judgment.
The Eagles had 7 penalties, 1 of which that gave the Giants a key first down on a FG attempt that concluded in a Giants TD giving the Giants a 2 score lead later in the 4th quarter.
The Eagles were tackled for a loss 6 times
The Eagles were 1-5 in the Red Zone.
With 11:43 to go in 4th quarter Eagles leading 16-14, Reid chooses to go for the first down on 4th and 1, rather than punting & pinning the Giants. Reid calls for a run and loses 3 yards. The Giants scored and never looked back. Reid’s unnecessary risk created a huge momentum swing after the Giants had struggled to score for 2 quarters.
Reid called for a deep pass off a double move on back-up QB Mike Kafka’s first snap of the game. Kafka, with far less mobility than Vick, gets hit as he releases for an easy interception.
Many also suggested that Reid should have never played Vick after the concussion he suffered last week.
You could also make the argument that planning (another key component of a head coach) has also become a deficiency of Reid’s. Forget about the Giants game for a minute. If you have a $100M (ok make that potentially $80M) quarterback that is somewhat slight by NFL standards, should you consider protecting him with better offensive lineman? Could you make an argument that this is how McNabb got so old and slow so fast? The current strategy clearly is not working.
If you, as a head coach, truly believed that this was a Super Bowl contender, why would you promote your offensive line coach (who had mediocre at best success) to defensive coordinator? As if that does not sound bad enough, would it potentially trouble you more knowing that this offensive line coach had not coached defense since coaching at the high school level?
Would you consider going after a few veteran linebackers and safeties to assist your new defense?
People that lack of discipline also rarely have the ability to recognize that they make mistakes. Many of these people do not like criticism of any kind and are condescending when responding to these “non-experts” that inquire about mistakes or lack of perceived order.
How many people that you suspect lack discipline raise their hands and admit weakness and then do something different about it? After all how many times in your life have you said “my fault” or in Reid’s case “I have to do a better job” and then made the exact same mistakes over and over again? Sounds like a lack of discipline to me.
Meanwhile on grantland.com, Bill Simmons and crew explore the end of REM and pontificate on the problems of the NBA for the millionth time. A Chaz Bono article is minutes away. It has to be.
One more thing. My earlier comments on Tony Romo remain on point. Romo played a gutty game versus the Washington Redskins last night. Only he truly knows the magnitude of the pain he played through. Romo's courage has not been questioned. His ability to make solid decisions with all of his playmakers has been debated. Credit Romo for a good comeback versus the Redskins. The jury remains out until Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten & Felix Jones are healthy and on the field at the same time. That is when Romo must also remember to throw the ball away.
Oktoberfest has officially began. Year after year this fools me since it starts in September. Go figure. A classic that should be had at least once during this celebration is the Spaten Oktoberfest 5.9%ABV. Personally, I am not a huge fan of Marzen beer. That noted, you can really taste the caramel flavor of the malts in Spaten's offering.