Andy Reid's Contract Extension Proves Good Enough Is Good Enough

Lou DiPietroAnalyst IDecember 10, 2009

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles coaches against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 22, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So Bleacher Report’s bi-weekly newsletter had an article that asked “Where do you stand on Andy Reid’s contract extension?”

My answer? I think the headline says it all, because at this point, it’s whatever.

As a journalist, or a pundit, or whatever, I can’t argue with numbers.

The Andy Reid era has been the most successful era of Eagles football. Since 1999, they’ve won 105 games—nine fewer than the Carolina Panthers have in franchise history, mind you—that have led to five division titles, seven playoff appearances (including five trips to the NFC Championship Game), and one Super Bowl appearance.

The Birds’ 100 wins this decade ranks third behind Indianapolis and New England. Reid is, by far, the winningest coach in team history, his quarterback is the most prolific passer in team history, and he’s got the team on pace for another playoff berth (and possibly a division title).

If they weren’t to win another game this season, the Eagles would still be averaging more than nine wins a season under Reid.

So yeah, he’s done a lot, says the record book.


Because while journalists can spout numbers, the fans will spout the biggest one of all: zero.

The greatest era in team history, and the Eagles haven’t won the big one. Hell, they’ve only been there once. Out of five tries, mind you, which isn’t saying a lot considering those Panthers made the conference championship game in their second year of existence. So did the Jaguars, just for the record.

To use an analogy from another sport, the Philadelphia Eagles have just made Andy Reid the Bobby Cox of the NFL.

If you don’t follow baseball, Cox is the longtime manager of the Atlanta Braves who is retiring after the 2010 season. Since taking over for his second stint as Braves manager midway through the 1990 season, Cox has been one of the best managers in baseball.

The Braves won 14 consecutive division titles and five NL pennants between 1991 and 2005. Six times in that span the Braves won 100 or more games, and their total under Cox is just under 1800.

Yet, despite being in the playoffs every year, and quite often going deep in those playoffs, the Braves only climbed the mountain once. In five tries, only once (1995) did Chief Nokahoma’s tribe hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Sound familiar?

Exactly. It’s Andy Reid—well, minus actually winning it all.

He, too, has won about 60 percent of his games and made the playoffs almost every year, yet only won one championship in five tries—except that title was only the NFC crown, not the NFL’s.

In baseball, the Braves were the National League’s Team of the 1990s. In the NFL, the Eagles are the NFC’s team of the decade.

Difference: Cox is a legend, while Reid is a much-maligned whipping boy for the media no matter what he does.

While there’s really no way to change that because he is in Philly, there is, metaphorically, only one way to change that.

But until Donovan McNabb, Brent Celek, or someone in a green jersey with a bird on it carries the Lombardi Trophy off the field, it won’t.

Reid’s had 11 years, seven tries, and five really good cracks. Relatively speaking, that’s amazing. Overall, that’s settling for being good, but not great.

By extending him for three more years, Jeffrey Lurie basically told his fanbase that he’s OK with that, which means that we simply have three more years of having to accept it.

Until he wins it all. Then, it will be worth it.

Maybe Reggie Brown will even be there.

Vindicated, indeed.


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