Is Andy Reid Neglecting Another Need of the Philadelphia Eagles?

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Is Andy Reid Neglecting Another Need of the Philadelphia Eagles?
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If it ain't broke don’t fix it. Well, guess what? It’s broke.

The Philadelphia Eagles played 17 games last year, and 12 of those were against teams that did not make the playoffs. That’s over 70 percent, for you number crunchers out there.

In the five games played against playoff teams, the Eagles went a smooth 0-5. Math geniuses beware, that equates to a winning percentage of .ooo. And in those games they were outscored 150-75. That breaks down to an average score of 30-15.

Hopefully this is all sinking in.

Among those five games, three were against the Dallas Cowboys. Our biggest rival managed to beat the Eagles by a combined score of 78-30. Yes, the defense lowered the average score to a mere 26 points per game, but the vaunted offense dropped down to 10 points per game.

How much more evidence does head coach Andy Reid, team president Joe Banner, and general manager Howie Roseman need?

It is absolutely embarrassing to watch this team sit by the wayside and add nothing to this roster.

So far this offseason, the Eagles have cut Brian Westbrook and Will Witherspoon. They allowed Jason Babin, Jeremiah Trotter, Tracy White, and Alex Smith to declare for free agency.

No one is going to cry bloody murder about the names released, or the players they allowed to test the free agent market.

The kicking, screaming, and crying stems from the Eagles adding no one through free agency. Yeah, they extended the contract of Jason Avant and Leonard Weaver, but they were here last year.

They were a part of the team that failed to beat a single playoff opponent. The Eagles can trot out the same slop as last year and, if the chips fall in their favor, maybe they get back to the playoffs.

And then what?

Are the fans supposed to believe this team is better?

What improved? Stewart Bradley and Shawn Andrews may be back. Great, now the fans should feel at ease.

Bradley is coming back from a major knee injury, so there is no guarantee he will return to form, and Andrews may or may not be back on the roster after a back injury that sidelined him for nearly two seasons.

And don’t forget about Jamal Jackson, who is also coming back off a major knee injury as well.

Where is the improvement coming from? The draft?

Oh, maybe Eagles fans should sit back and be patient. They’ve been waiting since 1960; why not wait another 50 years? Sit back and watch teams like St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans win a Super Bowl before the Eagles do.

Maybe Detroit and Cleveland can parade around with the Vince Lombardi Trophy until blindly-loyal Reid supporters realize this guy is messing up.

All of the Reid supporters will say, “Yeah, but the Eagles always find a way to win, and they always find a way to address the needs of the team every year.”

Not really.

Yes, the Eagles win, but they continuously fail to address team needs, and it is getting old for the fans.

Following the 2001 season Eagles fans began to think there was something special going in South Philly, but there were a couple things that needed to be addressed. One was linebacker and the other was wide receiver.

Reid thought it would be a great idea to go into the 2002 season with Shawn Barber, Levon Kirkland, and Carlos Emmons at linebacker. Okay, Emmons was solid, but what did the other two stiffs do?

Well they were actually off the hook on the biggest play of the season. That proud moment went to backup Barry Gardner.

In the NFC Championship, the Eagles had the Bucs facing third-and-two. Joe Jurevicius caught a pass on a slant and went 71 yards down-field to set up a Mike Alstott one-yard touchdown.

The Bucs never looked back as they went on to win the game and close down the Vet.

At receiver that year, Reid gave us Todd Pinkston, James Thrash, and Antonio Freeman.

No, really. That’s how we rolled that year. And once we got behind the Bucs in the NFC Championship there was nothing that could be done.

You can only run so many screen passes before the defense catches on, and I don’t think Freeman had much left in the tank to stretch the Bucs' cover-two defense enough to open up spaces between the safeties and corners.

Reid did nothing the following year, and once again the Eagles were exposed at both positions in the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers.

The light finally went off in Reid’s head in 2004, and he addressed team needs by acquiring players like Jevon Kearse, Jeremiah Trotter, and Terrell Owens.

Bang, Super Bowl. Gee, thanks Andy; where was that when we needed it last year?

Reid finally went back to his old ways in 2007, and the results were spectacular.

Ah, that was the year Reid thought he didn’t need to address a completely different position: punt returner.

In the first game of the season, Greg Lewis muffed the first punt and Green Bay recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. But that crafty Reid had the perfect solution in JR Reed. With less than two minutes in the game, and the score tied, Reed got the nod to return the punt.

A muffed punt and a Mason Crosby 42-yard punt later, the Eagles lose 16-13.

In the next game, Reno Mahe was back on the field returning kicks. Brilliant solution Andy, brilliant.

The next season Reid drafted DeSean Jackson as a receiver and return man. Thanks Andy, but it was a year too late.

And then in 2008 Reid had the audacity to ignore the fullback position. The fans knew it was a bad move, but all of the Reid loyalists had the coach’s back. Well, that was until Tony Hunt and Correll Buckhalter got stacked up on three straight plays from the one yard line against the Bears.

The solution was nothing short of genius. Dan Klecko and Mark Eckel became the “fullbacks” used in short yardage situations.

Once again, Reid finally learned his lesson as Weaver was brought in to fill the void in 2009.

Is anyone sensing a theme here?

Reid notices the weakness, but he doesn’t actually do anything about it until a year later.

It is impossible to fill every team need year in and year out. Stuff like that is not going to happen. But to completely ignore certain positions is uncalled for. To have the gall to tell the fans that the defensive line is fine right now is nothing short of a slap in the face.

Maybe Reid is on a new kick. This may be the year Reid neglects the defensive end position and we get burned. But in true Reid fashion he will address the need the following year, only to find out he neglected another position, and the vicious cycle will continue until Reid is finally run out of town.

At least the fans know the Eagles are broke. Too bad Reid ain't gonna fix it.

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