Andy Reid, Eagles Wrong About Linebackers, Part I: The Dawn of the Super Bowl

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Andy Reid, Eagles Wrong About Linebackers, Part I: The Dawn of the Super Bowl
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Not even Mike Tomlin's ring can convince Reid that linebackers are important.

Anyone paying attention to the Philadelphia Eagles during Andy Reid's reign knows that the 13-year coach has an aggressive disinterest in the linebacker position. In his entire tenure, he has only had two quality players at the position, Jeremiah Trotter and Carlos Emmons.

Trotter was a big, physical, charismatic middle linebacker with a relentless motor. He was a leader, and he made plays all over the field. Reid didn't draft Trotter, mind you. He was already here when Reid came.

Andy Reid did acquire Carlos Emmons, who was a 6'5", 250 strong side linebacker who was best known for making tight ends disappear. He was also stout against the run. Although he was signed as a free agent under Reid, it also happened that general manager Tom Modrak was the one in charge of player personnel at the time. Modrak came from the Steelers organization and so did Emmons.

Since 2000 when Emmons was signed, the Eagles have no drafter or signed a single impact player at linebacker. The philosophy seems to be that all that matters on defense is rushing the passer. It's important for sure, but you would think a team that blitzed as much over the past decade as the Eagles have, you would want some athletic linebackers to help the cause.

So Reid seems to think linebackers are unnecessary to win. Why don't we take a look and see if linebacking has played a significant role in teams winning the Super Bowl?

There are 45 years worth of champions to look at, which is a pretty strong sample size.

Let's start with the 1960s and 1970s.

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