Five Reasons Why Andy Reid is the NFL's Most Underrated Coach
Andy Reid, also known as "Big Red" to his players, has yet to win a Super Bowl championship for the Philadelphia Eagles organization in 11 years as head coach.
Every year that the team comes up short, he puts the blame on himself. Something to the effect of, "We have to go back and look at the tape and learn from our mistakes" or "I have to put the players in a better position".
Philadelphia fans have heard it all before, but his job remains as secure as it ever was. How is this possible? A closer examination reveals that he is one of the leagues best and I'll give you five reasons why.
1 - No one in the NFC had more wins in the 2000's
From 2000 to 2009, no team in the NFC had a better record. The Philadelphia Eagles went 103-56-1 (.648) in the regular season with Reid winning coach of the year honors twice in that time.
The only other teams with a better record were the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots.
Most pundits and fans will say the only important statistic is Super Bowl wins, but as a coach you must be able to consistently put your team in a position to win.
In the age of parity, all a fan can hope for at the beginning year is a chance. In this category, Reid is among the best.
2 - Playoff appearances
Over the last 11 years, the Eagles have a 10-9 playoff record under coach Reid. This may not sound like a very good record, but consider how many games that is. Some players go an entire career without ever playing in one (hello Tony Gonzalez).
The only team with more playoff appearances in the last 11 years is the Colts with 10--and they only have one Super Bowl to show for it.
Reaching the NFC championship game five times in ten years is a testament to the stability of the coach. He may have only reached the Super Bowl once, but he had his team knocking on the door year after year despite the constant player turnover.
3 - Longevity
The only other coach with a longer NFL tenure is Tennessee's Jeff Fisher. Over the last 21 years, only four other coaches have been with the same team for a decade or longer.
It is nothing short of remarkable to maintain that level of continuity with so many changes both on the roster and within the organization. He has the trust of Jeffrie Lurie who recently extended his contract that will secure Reid until the 2013 season.
The owner of the Eagles had this to say to NFL.com about Reid, "He's like a CEO on the field. He understands the big picture and the short-term picture. You have to always balance the two. Disciplined. Prepared. Smart. It's an awfully good combination."
Usually when a team falters or comes up short as many times as the Eagles have, the head coach is the fall guy.
In Philadelphia, they ship out the franchise quarterback and start over with a new one.
4 - Reid's Coaching Tree
Three assistant coaches who have served under Reid have gone on to head coaching jobs. Brad Childress, John Harbaugh, and Steve Spagnuolo. All are still currently coaching for their respective teams.
Ron Rivera and Leslie Frazier have gone on to coordinating jobs.
The late great Jim Johnson turned down head coaching interviews multiple times.
The tree continues to grow as Reid follows in the footsteps of his prior mentor--Mike Holmgren.
5 - His Story Remains Unfinished
What comes to mind when I say the name Bill Cowher? Hall of fame coach? Super Bowl winner?
Last season Peter King of Sports Illustrated compared Reid and Cowher's coaching records after 165 games.
In 11 years, Cowher had 101-64 regular season record, a 6-7 playoff record in 7 appearances, 4 home losses, and a Super Bowl loss.
In contrast, Reid had 100-64-1 regular season record, 10-7 playoff record in 7 appearances, 2 home losses, and a Super Bowl loss.
Cowher is considered a Pittsburgh legend because that is what happens when you finish your career with a championship. Suddenly your entire body of work is framed differently. Just ask John Elway.
For Andy Reid, he's hoping there is one more chapter left to write.