Reid, Mornhinweg, and Johnson...The Three Blind Mice?

dennis bovellContributor IMay 17, 2009

If you observed an Eagles post-game news conference, you would be led to believe that Andy Reid constitutes the entire coaching staff. 

Despite the repetitious phrase “It’s my responsibility to put guys in a better position to be successful,” which almost always follows one of the most annoying throat-clears ever heard, it is not entirely Andy Reid’s responsibility.

Surprisingly, the franchise does employ assistants

Jim Johnson, hired by Reid in January of 1999, serves as the franchises defensive coordinator.  Johnson is held in high regard around the NFL, considered one of the best coordinators in many league circles.  He is well-known for his attacking style defensive schemes.

Johnson began his coaching career in 1967, serving as the head coach of Missouri Southern.  He didn’t break into the NFL until he was hired as the defensive line coach of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986.  He came to Andy Reid after a couple stops in Indianapolis and Seattle.

Johnson is currently battling cancer, but intends to keep coaching.  The loss of Johnson would serve as a huge blow to the players, who seem to love playing for him. 

The Eagles assistant head coach, Marty Mornhinweg, also serves as the offensive coordinator.  He was given the coordinator tag after Brad Childress departed for the Minnesota Vikings. 

Although it is debatable as to the amount of control Mornhinweg  technically has over the offense, the Eagles have set team records in both yards and points during his tenure.  

Mornhinweg came to the Eagles after a failed two year stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions (5-27).  Prior to that, he served as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in San Francisco.  Mornhinweg landed his first NFL position in 1995 with the Green Bay Packers as offensive assistant/quality control, which is where he first worked with Reid.

Reid and Mornhinweg work as a tandem while directing the offense from the sideline.  Reid’s love for the passing game is widely publicized, which makes it difficult to decipher who is running the show when the Birds get pass happy.  Despite that, it is undeniable that Mornhinweg has played a key role in the team’s offensive success.

Andy Reid was hired on January 11, 1999, as Head Coach and Executive VP of Football Operations.  Little did owner Jeff Lurie know, he was hiring the future winning-est coach in team history.  Despite his success, Reid, much like his quarterback, has come to be both loved and loathed and by the fans of Philadelphia.

Reid spent seven season’s in Green Bay before Lurie tagged him as his head coach.  There, he worked with Brett Favre and shadowed Mike Holmgren.  Unlike most former offensive lineman, Reid developed an affinity for the passing game.

That affinity has been the topic of great debate during his tenure in Philadelphia.

Reid’s play-calling has been constantly scrutinized.  Many fans and analysts find it appalling how little attention he pays to the running game.  Reid’s argument has always been that you throw to get the lead, and you run to maintain it. 

After four championship game losses and one Super Bowl defeat, Reid and his argument have become a major source of frustration.