Saints vs. Eagles: Why Michael Vick Is Not to Blame for Philadelphia's Woes

Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 6, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09:  Michael Vick #7 and head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles observe a moment of silence in memory of Reid's son Garrett before a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on August 9, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess and Michael Vick has been terrible this season, but the woes of the franchise can't be pinned on the embattled quarterback. 

There are other forces at work that have ruined any chance this franchise once had of turning its roster filled with elite talent into a championship contender. 

I blame Andy Reid.

Howie Roseman is the team's general manager, but all personnel moves are ultimately decided by Reid, who has an iron grip on who comes and who goes on the Eagles roster. 

Reid is also the man in charge of assembling his coaching staff, and the blunders he's responsible for over the past two seasons are inexcusable and directly responsible for this team's collapse in 2012. 

Remember, the Eagles were a team on the rise in 2010. Vick played in 12 games coming back from incarceration and had his finest season as a professional, throwing 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions while leading the team to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. 

Then the Eagles went out and loaded up the cupboards with elite talent for their roster, signing players like Nnamdi Asomugha and Cullen Jenkins and making a trade for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The level of talent was so impressive on both sides of the ball that Vince Young infamously called his team a "dream team."

Unfortunately, Reid then took Juan Castillo away from his 13-year tenure as the team's offensive line coach and put him in charge of the team's defense. It's important to note that Castillo had never once been a defensive coordinator (unless you count his stint at Kingsville High School). 

We all know how that story ended. Not only did the Eagles defense fail to live up to the "dream team" billing, but so did the offense, largely due to the fact that the team's offensive line failed to protect its quarterback. 

Imagine that? 

Here's the line of logic Reid failed to see: If you take away your team's offensive line coach and put him in charge of your defense, both groups are bound to fail. 

And so they have. 

Making matters worse is the fact that, according to one of the team's decision-makers, firing Castillo has been dubbed a "miscalculation," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane

When Reid fired Castillo, he replaced him with Todd Bowles—another coach with absolutely zero experience as a coordinator. Predictably, the team's defense has been atrocious since Castillo left, allowing the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints to move the ball at will through the air and on the ground to the tune of 736 yards and 58 points. 

Reid has gotten too comfortable with his powers. He has failed to provide his players with coaches who have the experience and leadership to make the most out of their opportunities.

As a result, Reid's team has become a laughingstock of the NFL.

Watching Vick get ragdolled every other play, it's clear that he's not the problem. He cannot be expected to thrive behind an offensive line that makes turnstiles look inefficient. 

It's time to place blame where it belongs. 

Reid's mismanagement of his team has brought ruin to a once-proud franchise that's now settling in uncomfortably in the cellar of the NFC East. 


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