At What Point is Andy Reid's Exit from Eagles a Certainty?

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystNovember 12, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles watches from the sidelines as his team plays the Dallas Cowboys during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

As the 2012 season continues to spiral out of control for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Andy Reid era in Philly appears to be nearing its end, as fans and media alike speculate as to the future of the longest-tenured head coach in the National Football League.

That speculation actually began before the season even did, as all the way back in August, team owner Jeffrey Lurie made it clear that a repeat of last year's 8-8 finish would get Reid his walking papers, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

“I expect a substantially improved team,” Lurie said.  “We all thought we were a lot better than 8-8 and we weren’t. We need substantial improvement. We have a very good team on paper, and paper doesn’t get you that far if you don’t maximize it.”

Unfortunately for Reid, this year's Eagles' team, which has been beset by injuries to the offensive line and prone to turning the ball over in bunches, will be hard pressed to even get to eight wins after falling to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to drop to 3-6.

Lurie did state before the season that a "rash of injuries" that led to another disappointing season could be a mitigating factor, and the Eagles have certainly had those, with the latest being quarterback Michael Vick's concussion against the Cowboys.

However, those injuries are far from the only problems facing the Eagles right now, and using former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo as a scapegoat isn't going to cut it this time.

So now, with a rookie quarterback under center and a 6-10 or 7-9 season a very real possibility, it appears inevitable that this is the end for Andy Reid in Philadelphia, that the 2012 season will be his last as head coach for the Eagles.

To be completely frank, that's probably what's best for all concerned. Granted, with six division titles, five NFC title-game appearances and one trip to the Super Bowl to his credit, Andy Reid enjoyed a great deal of success in Philadelphia, but those successes have come fewer and farther between of late.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, it seems that long-tenured coaches, and the franchises they lead, grow stagnant in the NFL. Much like with Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, that appears to have happened in the City of Brotherly Love.

That's not necessarily a knock on Reid, who will all but certainly be afforded another chance to coach in the NFL if he so chooses.

However, he was already given a "last chance" in Philadelphia, and if Lurie meant what he said in August, then the clock is ticking.