Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid Must Worry About Losing the Locker Room
Imagine for a second that you're an NFL player. I know you all do it. Hell, I do it at least a few times a day. But, for the purpose of this little exercise, do that for me right now.
Now, you see your starting quarterback struggle all offseason long. He's not hitting his passes in training camp or the preseason. Your team just traded away a guy who did a whole lot of winning in order to start this guy, and he's looking very shaky.
Then in the regular season, he looks awful. He completes half of his passes for a measly 24 yards, and your team is down 17 points. But once he's knocked out at halftime, his backup comes in and lights up the field.
That same backup gets a chance to play the next week and his presence alone wins the game for your team. You see him making every play he possibly can, including sacrificing his body just to make any throw he could—something the starter never even considered doing.
It's no secret who I'm talking about, but if you took the time to participate and took this little exercise seriously, it's also no secret how you would feel about the situation.
Players in the Eagles' locker room want to win. They're young and have a bright future, but they want to win now. They don't want to hear that they might be able to gel with Kevin Kolb three years down the road. They want the guy who will win games for them right now, and right now that guy is Michael Vick.
The fans know that, the team knows that, Andy Reid knows that, the media knows that, and despite saying all the right things, Vick knows that.
But when the Eagles head down to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars, Kolb will be the guy under center and not Vick. He will be on the sidelines watching Kolb run around like an idiot—whether or not there's any reason to do so—and get the team into trouble with his terrible play.
Kolb has never done a thing that would have any reasonable fan thinking otherwise. At his best, Kolb has been mediocre. At Vick's best, he's been the most electric player in the league.
As a guy in that locker room, who do you want to see running your team?
The answer is clear, and it's where Reid runs into a huge problem. If Kolb comes out and stinks up the field again, which he almost certainly will, and the team falls to 1-2, the locker room is going to start getting very edgy.
They're not going to give Kolb a pass and say "Oh well, it's his first year." They're going to see they're 1-2 and start clamoring for Vick. And if Reid denies them the guy they want, he will very quickly lose the locker room.
And if he loses the locker room, there is no taking it back. If those guys feel as though Reid's decision causes them to lose even one game, it could mean the end of Reid's tenure in Philadelphia.
Despite the love Jeff Lurie and the rest of the front office holds for Reid, they won't be able to keep him around if his players second-guess every move he makes. And if he keeps Kolb in and he keeps losing, that's exactly what will happen.
Now, if Kolb can turn things around and actually start looking like an NFL quarterback, it will be a moot point. But come on, what are the odds the "Houston Horror" actually makes that happen?
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