Philadelphia Eagles: Is the Window Closing on the Andy Reid Era?

Brian JosephCorrespondent IMay 21, 2008

This week, Andy Reid did a one-on-one interview with Neil Hartman of Comcast SportsNet, and it brought up some interesting food for thought.

While it's strange to start questioning the future of a coach in May, if Andy Reid's Eagles fall short of the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, should they continue to be Andy Reid's Eagles?

In 2008, Andy Reid will enter his 10th season as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. When Reid took over in 1999, the Eagles were coming off of two consecutive losing seasons, including a 3-13 season in 1998, and he quickly helped turn the franchise around. By 2000, Reid coached the Eagles to the playoffs, and that started a run of five consecutive playoff seasons of at least 11 wins, and a Super Bowl appearance in 2004.

Since their 24-21 loss to the Patriots in 2004, Eagles news has been dominated by the TO scandal and Donovan McNabb. At some point, the question has to be asked: Is Reid the head coach that can get the Eagles their first Super Bowl championship?

During the interview, Hartman asked Reid what he has improved on the most during his nine years as Eagles head coach. While Reid complimented Hartman on asking a great question, the man who has developed an artful knack into never answering a question from the media once again dodged the question. 

While Reid refused to answer the question, I can't. And it's not because I'm not willing to. I simply can't think of an area where Reid has become better as a head coach. His flaws have been the same—poor clock management, unwillingness to run the ball more often, his stubbornness—since he stepped behind the clipboard in 1999.

It makes one ask the next logical question: Have the Eagles gone as far as they can with Reid at the helm?

Another questionable move the Eagles made was during the draft this season, where the most successful coach in the history of the Eagles decided to trade out of the first round, in order to pick up additional picks later and a first-round pick next season.

While Reid explained in his interview with Hartman that the Eagles didn't feel that there were any superstar players in this season's draft, their willingness to move out of the first round tells me that the Reid feels the way his team is built currently is good enough to win a championship. 

Finally, there were Reid's bizarre comments on the wide-receiver position, and the perception that the current wide-receiver group is not strong enough to meet championship-level expectations.

First, Reid stated that if he had a problem with them, he would have brought someone else in. Then, he talked about the team's failed attempt at luring Randy Moss away from New England in the offseason, which nullified his first statement. Subsequently, he followed by questioning the value of the wide-receiver position by pointing out that the New England Patriots failed to deliver a championship in 2007-2008, despite going out and spending a lot of money on wide receivers. Finally, he closed by saying that the Eagles have wide receivers that they can win a championship with.

Does anyone else's head hurt when following Reid's logic here? Even though he has the receivers capable of winning a championship, Reid thought it worthwhile to try to land Randy Moss, the guy who went to the Patriots, the team Reid was critical of for going out and signing Moss and falling short of winning a Super Bowl with. While I understand the team is pretty much set and you can't throw your current players under the bus heading into a season, it might have been a good idea to not question the team that went 18-1.

Especially when you went and signed their top defensive player in the offseason. A player who was on the field during the drive that cost them that Super Bowl that the Patriots failed to deliver.

In Philadelphia, many are thinking beyond the Donovan McNabb era, and some are even thinking past the Brian Westbrook era, both of which are coming to a close faster than the Eagles faithful want them to.

While Reid has had more success than any other head coach in Eagles history, and makes a strong argument for being the greatest coach in the history of Philadelphia football, very few coaches get as many years to deliver a championship as Reid has.

Based on Reid's comments this offseason, what you see is what you get. And so far, that hasn't been good enough.