Philadelphia Eagles: Why 2010 Will Make or Break Andy Reid

Dan ParzychSenior Writer IApril 7, 2010

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

It's been over 48 hours since the news first broke regarding the Philadelphia Eagles trading quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins after spending 11 years in the City of Brotherly Love.

At first, the rumors appeared to be nothing but small talk considering this wasn't the first offseason McNabb's name had been thrown around in trade talks. Over the last few weeks, Eagles fans were beginning to realize a deal may actually happen.

First, there was the number of teams drawing interest in acquiring No. 5. Once Philadelphia released a statement claiming they wanted at least a top 42 pick in the upcoming draft for him, most of the doubters who never thought McNabb would be traded in a million years—including this writer—started believing a deal could actually take place.

However, even Washington fans will admit the recent trade was more shocking than an episode of 24. Of all the teams to acquire McNabb, the Redskins seemed to be one of the last destinations where he would end up.

Of all the teams to ship him to, why trade him to another team within the NFC East so he could face the Eagles twice each season?

If this trade backfires with McNabb and the Redskins not only defeat the Eagles next season, but win the division as well, all the blame will be placed on one person.

Andy Reid.

During his first press conference following the announcement of the deal, Reid explained the reasoning behind the trade and why they chose the Redskins over other teams.

Sure, obtaining the 37th overall pick in this year's draft was a key factor in the final decision, but it was the part about McNabb's preference to play in D.C. that stuck out the most.

Reid expressed how of all the teams showing interest in acquiring the six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, McNabb preferred to play for Washington next season. As great as it is that these two have such a strong relationship from the last 11 years together, Reid's decision to grant McNabb's wish has drawn questions among the Philadelphia fan base.

The Eagles organization already made a mistake last season by letting Brian Dawkins walk so easily simply because they felt he was too old. Reid is confident enough that the decision to trade McNabb to allow the Kevin Kolb era to begin in Philadelphia was the right one.

Kolb may have potential for developing into an elite quarterback for the Eagles, but the 2010 season will most likely be a learning experience for the former Conference USA Player of the Year.

However, just because there's potential doesn't mean he's going to be successful on a team that has reached the playoffs eight of the last 11 years. 

Instead of bringing back a player with a canon of an arm who holds just about every franchise record for a quarterback for at least one more season, Reid has decided to allow a less experienced quarterback lead an offense that's shown great potential in their young receiving core.

Now that McNabb has officially taken over the starting job in Washington, some analysts are now claiming the Redskins have a chance of recovering from a disappointing 4-12 season to contend for the NFC East title.

If this does indeed happen, there's no telling how the fans of Philadelphia will react considering the organization let this happen.

There may be an enormous amount of pressure on Kolb next season, but nothing will compare to the amount felt by Reid if this McNabb deal backfires. Philadelphia fans have a reputation for being brutal and will hold nothing back if they are unsatisfied with the way 2010 plays out.

He may be the winningest coach in franchise history, but what happens next season may define how Reid's legacy plays out in Philadelphia since he has yet to bring the city their first Super Bowl.

If Kolb comes through and leads the Eagles to their ninth playoff appearance in 12 seasons, Reid will look like a genius as the coach who found a diamond in the rough from the 2006 draft.

If Kolb struggles and the Redskins find success with McNabb as their starting quarterback, Reid may be criticized for making one of the biggest mistakes of his head coaching career.

Either way, this topic is guaranteed to be one of the most popular stories to follow for the upcoming 2010 season. And the best part is, Reid gets to square off against his beloved friend and former quarterback not just once, but twice next season.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.