At this point, it doesn't look like Andy Reid will be back for a 15th season.
They were listless, lethargic, uninspired and just down right pathetic at times. And all of that falls back on their coach.
There is no other way of saying it, but to just say it: Andy Reid has lost this football team.
They don't respond to him. There is something that he just isn't doing enough of—or at all—to get through to these players. In press conferences and interviews, they say the right things—they tell us what we want to hear, but when the shoulder pads are strapped on and the ball is kicked off, its an entirely different story—an entirely different team. The disparity between their words and how they play is an indictment of the coaching staff and culture that they instill.
The Eagles have only put together one full game so far this season. The rest of them have been plagued by either turnovers, penalties, bad play-calling, poor defense or a combination of the four—a sign of poor coaching.
During the bye week, Reid fired defensive coordinator and long-time confidant, Juan Castillo, in hopes of shoring up the defense. But then they turn around and allow the Falcons to score three touchdowns on their first three possessions—giving up 30 points altogether. Now Reid looks foolish for making that decision.
It's obvious that Reid is feeling the pressure. He's running out of time and options and he knows it.
But in his 14 years, Reid has pulled a rabbit of two out of his hat, and with nine games remaining to save his job, it’s feasible that he could do it again.
He just needs to do these three things.
Feature LeSean McCoy More
It's not often that teams are privileged to have an All-Pro running back in their backfield. But it's even less often that you find a coach that refuses to utilize him.
LeSean McCoy is coming off a career season in which he scored 20 touchdowns, ran for nearly 1,400 yards and did so despite missing one game. But for some reason, he still isn't the focal point of the Eagles offense.
Instead, Andy Reid continues to keep the ball in the hands of the league leader in turnovers, Michael Vick. Baffling, right?
The key to helping this offense score more points is by getting LeSean McCoy more touches—the same way they used to for Brian Westbrook. Fine, if you don’t run the ball, at least give it to him in open space through the screen game. The Eagles were the best screen team in the league for years, but as of late, that element of their game has been diminished.
Andy Reid is no longer in the position to make rash decisions and be stubborn. He can't afford to stick to that same old west coast offense that he's run for years. That 60/40 pass-to-run ratio isn't working anymore, especially with a patchwork offensive line.
Bottom line, get the ball out of Michael Vick's hands and into LeSean McCoy's.
Put Michael Vick and the Offense in Better Positions
The play-calling this season has been dreadful. It really has.
Either the run-to-pass ratio is lopsided or the play called isn’t appropriate for the specific game situation.
Too many times, Michael Vick has held onto the ball for too long and been sacked, forced out of the pocket or taken a big hit. A lot of the plays called take longer to develop, consequently giving defenders more time to pursue the quarterback.
It's no secret that Michael Vick has always had a habit of holding the ball longer than advised, but perhaps if he were put in better situations he wouldn't have to. Perhaps if Andy Reid ran the ball early and often he wouldn't have to.
The game vs. Atlanta was a perfect example of how Reid should run his offense—quick, short passes to the skill-position players in open space. It leads to a more efficient, fluid offense and longer drives. It’s those types of plays that Reid should be highlighting on his play sheet.
Andy Reid's offense is built for the big play and so far, teams have done everything they can to prevent it. In order to open in up, Andy Reid must commit to the run and allow Michael Vick to make short, quick passes.
Embody the City's Emotion
Andy Reid has never been a "rah-rah" type off guy. Instead, he uses a stern, short-of-breath voice and an intense stair to get his point across.
Well with nine games left, a 3-4 record, and an ultimatum to satisfy, now is as good a time as ever to make a slight tweak.
The man has nothing to lose and his locker room is in serious need of a jump-start.
For what could be the final nine games of Reid's tenure with the Eagles, the gloves need to come off. It's time for Andy Reid to get into some players' faces. It’s time for Reid to start calling people out in practice. It's time for Reid to get animated on the sideline. It's time for Andy Reid to grip some rookie up by the arm and get in his ear.
Its time for Andy Reid to show that he gives a damn.
Philadelphia is one of the most, if not the most, passionate sports town in America and one thing they hate is a player or coach who shows no emotion or too casually brushes off the hard times. Just ask Donovan McNabb.
For 14 years, Reid has sat at podiums during postgame press conferences and given vague, dry, passionless answers about how his team "needs to get better" and how they're going to fix the problems.
No more. Enough is enough.
If you're going to out, go out like a man. Go out guns blazing. Let the team and the fans no you care.
If Andy Reid can do those three things, then just maybe, he can inspire his players, get his offense rolling and salvage what’s left of the season.