Winning teams in the NFL have two essential ingredients: a coach that can lead and a GM with tried and true football knowledge.
Right now the Eagles have neither.
After almost 14 years as the most successful head coach of the Eagles and one of the most successful head coaches in the NFL, Andy Reid’s leadership ability seems to have disappeared.
Andy Has Lost His Touch
This is not the same head coach we saw on the sidelines for years leading the Eagles.
Watching players’ reactions to Andy Reid on game day, it is obvious that the effort, respect and love for Coach Reid have evaporated. Reid’s high-priced roster of talented football players—touted as the NFL’s “dream team”—has been a nightmare!
This year, the Eagles will finish last in the NFC East and, with one game remaining, they are the fifth-worst team in the NFL.
Eventually, Losing Changes Everything
At the end of last season Philly fans began calling for Reid’s departure. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie gave the head coach a reprieve after a disappointing 8-8 season. Now that rallying cry has reached a crescendo—even the media assumes that Coach Reid's termination is imminent.
Firing Head Coach Andy Reid Is Not Enough!
To field a winning team in 2013, first and foremost the Eagles need to hire a really qualified GM. The Eagles' current GM, Howie Roseman, is a 37-year-old novice without any prior NFL football
experience or track record.
Howie was hired in 2000 as the Eagles staff attorney—with salary cap responsibility as well. Over the course of 10 years with the Eagles he held various jobs in the category of football administration and served one year as VP of player personnel. The following year, 2010, he was promoted to GM.
Successful GMs Excel as Talent Evaluators
Most GMs of winning teams have years of football personnel experience. When you compare the success of 49ers GM Trent Baalke during his rookie year with that of Howie Roseman, the difference is striking.
Baalke spent a dozen years in the NFL holding various player personnel positions before being chosen as GM of the 49ers. It’s that kind of hard core experience that prepared Trent Baalke to
take on the job as GM. Baalke was responsible for selecting coach Jim Harbaugh as the 49ers head coach.
Bad Decisions by Inexperienced General Managers Can Kill Team Morale
Although general managers are not nearly as visible as the head coach, their ability to balance financial decisions with personal considerations and take into account intangibles such as team morale and fairness can make or break a team’s success.
The way a GM handles player contract negotiations and pay cuts directly impacts what other players think about the team owner and management. If a player is treated unfairly in the eyes of his teammates, that negative feeling permeates throughout the locker room.
GM Howie Roseman Made Two Cuts to an Ill Player's Salary
Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson’s salary was cut this August by almost $1 million while Mike was recovering from brain surgery. Mike played five games this season but after he contracted viral pneumonia, Roseman cut Mike’s pay again by placing him on the non-football illness reserve list.
Mike’s agent questioned Roseman about the further pay reduction and was told, “Well, what did we get out of him this year?”
That decision saved the Eagles $150,000 but undoubtedly sent a chilling message to every player on the team. Although Roseman subsequently rescinded Mike’s additional pay cuts, the damage was already done.
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie needs to hear from passionate fans that his first move must be to hire an experienced and well-qualified GM.
Without tried and true talent, the Eagles will look like they did this year: losers!