Philadelphia Eagles: Is Andy Reid on the Hot Seat?

WesAnalyst IJune 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 15:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks at a press conference regarding Michael Vick at the NovaCare Complex on August 15, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

Show me a coach who holds a 45-31 record against Dallas, New York and Washington, the owner of seven division titles, a winner of one conference championship and the mastermind behind nine playoff appearances in 12 years, and I'll show you one of the most beloved coaches in Philadelphia Eagles history.

Show me a coach who is 1-5 in the NFC championship game and Super Bowl, routinely mismanages the game clock and timeouts, refuses to run a balanced offense and fails to address key deficiencies on the roster, and I'll show you a coach labeled as one of the biggest choke artists associated with the franchise.

Ultimately, we'll be looking at one man: Andy Reid.

And because his highs and lows are unparalleled by any other coach in franchise history, he has completely divided the fan base.

His supporters never want him to leave and his detractors want him fired immediately.

The debate is ongoing and will reach its height when the Eagles rattle off a couple wins or losses in a row even though everyone should realize Reid is clearly not on the hot seat due to two factors: his relationship with owner Jeffrey Lurie and the NFL lockout.

In 2009, Reid signed a contract extension through the 2013 season and received a ringing endorsement from Lurie.

It may not seem like a big deal to get support from the owner, considering how often those compliments end up being hollow.

The difference in this case is how much Lurie actually respects Reid. To understand the dynamic of the relationship, you need to look at when Lurie bought the team and what he's been through with Reid.

Lurie bought the Eagles in 1994 and endured five painful seasons with Rich Kotite and Ray Rhodes. During that span, the Eagles made the playoffs twice, won once and called Veterans Stadium home.

Since bringing Reid on board, his franchise has been to the postseason nine times and won 10 games and gathered enough support to land him his palace known as Lincoln Financial Field.

Reid is Lurie's boy, and he's not going anywhere unless he somehow reminds Lurie of the dreck that was Kotite and Rhodes.

The second thing Reid has going for him is a new coaching staff working through a lockout.

In the offseason, Reid fired defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and replaced him with former offensive line coach Juan Castillo. To fill the void created by Castillo's promotion, Reid brought in Howard Mudd to guide the offensive line.

For a run through of other changes check out this article.

If the team struggles in 2011, Reid will publicly take the hit.

Internally, though, he can go to Lurie and tell him the coaching staff is going through growing pains because they were not able to work with the team enough in the offseason due to the lockout.

The excuse, regardless of its validity, gives Reid a free pass for 2011 and takes him off the hot seat.

The last advantage Reid has at his disposal by way of the lockout is free agency.

Again, Reid will take the blame for his players not playing well, but he still has the built in excuse of his new additions not having enough time to work out the kinks.

Yes, other teams will have the same amount of time as the Eagles, but if Reid signs free agents who are starters such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Albert Haynesworth or makes a trade for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he can always fall back on his excuse.

With support from the owner and unique circumstances provided by the lockout, Eagles fans will only waste their time wondering if Reid will be back in 2012.