Fire Reid? Philadelphia Eagles Should KEEP Andy Reid For Foreseeable Future

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2011

Andy Reid fired?  No way, no chance!
Andy Reid fired? No way, no chance!Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Let me start out by saying I enjoy my colleague Wes's work frequently, and I enjoyed his read on why the Eagles should fire Andy Reid.  It was well written, and Wes made some great points. 

He correctly pointed out Reid's coaching mistakes, his poor clock management, his terrible use of challenges, his stubbornness against running the ball, and of course, his lack of championships.

He pointed out his poor offseason moves, as well as some of his good ones.  It was a very well-written piece, you should read it if you haven't done so.  You can find it here.

Then you should come back here, and find out why Wes, and the people who agree with him, couldn't possibly be more wrong.  You should read this column because it is based on facts that most people don't even realize.

I will concede the points in Wes's article and that Reid has never won a Super Bowl.  Again, it's a valid point, but perhaps the Eagles have not won the Super Bowl because they never had the best team.  Perhaps they lost in the playoffs because teams were just better than they were. 

Take this year's team; this team overachieved. So did the team in 2008.  So did the team in 2000.  A lot of Reid's teams overachieved. 

So the goal is to win a Super Bowl, and Reid has never done that, and you are angry so you want Reid to go.  I'm an Eagles fan, I understand your frustration. 

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I'm a die-hard Philly fan of all four teams.  I also yell at the TV when Reid makes a mistake.  I get ticked off when he mismanages the clock.  I'm with you and I feel your pain.

However, firing Reid would be about as smart as getting into a brawl with Mike Tyson or trying to beat Michael Jordan in a game of H-O-R-S-E. 

It would be like challenging Ryan Howard to a Home Run Derby or trying to beat DeSean Jackson in a race.  Those would all be stupid, right?  Good, we agree.

Firing Andy Reid would be even dumber than all those things.

Here's the thing, we live in an era where John Fox just got another job after winning two games last year.  Marvin Lewis underachieved with a super talented team and is still employed.  

Norv Turner has been one of the worst coaches in the league for years, and yet, he is still gainfully employed.  Guys like Chan Gailey and Jack Del Rio are still working. 

Brad Childress, Wade Phillips, and Mike Singletary were all coaches in 2010 before getting canned.  Those guys all deserved to go.  Reid does not.

So my first reason of why the Eagles should keep Andy Reid is simple.  He is in the top echelon of coaches currently in the league.  He might not be the best, maybe not even top five.  I would say definitely top ten, and at worst, top half. 

Don't believe me, find me 15 current coaches who are better than Reid.  I'll save you the time, you won't be able to do it.  I doubt you'll even be able to find me 10.

So why would you get rid of someone who is better than most of the coaches in the league?  If you fire him, you have to replace him.  Who is out there that you want? 

Bill Cowher?  OK, maybe, but he has not shown any interest in coming here, or anywhere for that matter.  Who else?  Struggling to find names, right, exactly my point.

See, the funny thing about Andy Reid is people seem to forget how good he is.  Reid has been so good for so long, we are all spoiled. 

We all look at our team and say, we should win a Super Bowl.  We forget that a lot of these years, experts had this team winning seven or eight games. 

People kept waiting for the Eagles to fall down, yet they have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL over the last decade.

Let's hop in our time machine to 1999.  The Eagles hire little-known Andy Reid, who was a QB coach, and an offensive line coach, but never even a coordinator.  

Jeffrey Lurie was impressed that Reid talked for over a half hour about the importance of the long snapper in his interview, and Lurie hired him. 

Most of the people in Philadelphia hated the hiring.  Most people wanted someone else, anyone else.

So Reid took over in 1999 from Ray Rhodes.  The team was 3-13 in 1998 and was coming off one of the lowest points in Eagles history.  The Eagles went 5-11 in 1999, a two-game improvement.

From 2000-2004, the Eagles went 11-5 or better every year, and made the playoffs for five consecutive years, including four consecutive NFC Championship trips, with the one Super Bowl in 2004.  It took Reid exactly one year to turn the team around. 

The Super Bowl was a three-point loss and our best WR was playing on one leg.  A healthy Owens and maybe Reid wins the big one, then people would be saying he is a great coach.  It didn't happen, but you can hardly blame Reid in the Super Bowl. 

After a down year in 2005 where the Eagles went 6-10, and where they were ravaged by a multitude of injuries, the Eagles were picked by everyone to be a non-factor in 2006.

The Eagles made the playoffs again, finishing 10-6 and got to the second round of the postseason.  After another 8-8 year in 2007, people were again saying the window was closed on the Eagles.

Reid has made the playoffs every year since then 2008-2010, and got us to a fifth NFC Championship Game in 2008.  Oh yeah, I also want to say, he has won several NFC East titles, actually, the most of any Eagles coach.

So for those math majors out there, that's nine playoff appearance in 12 years, with five NFC Championship Games, several division titles, and one Super Bowl berth. 

I know, he didn't win the big one, and that's what everyone says.  I agree, he hasn't won the big one, but you can't tell me that a guy like that should be fired.

Reid is by far the most successful coach in Eagles history, compiling a 118-73-1 record over the last 12 seasons, plus taking the Eagles to a Super Bowl and 5 NFC Championship games.

Reid's winning percentage of .618 is only .15 lower than Bill Belichick's career percentage, it's only .05 lower than Bill Cowher, oh yeah, and it's almost 100 points higher than Dick Vermeil, who many people say is the best Eagles coach ever.

See, the problem with Reid is people act like the Eagles are the NY Yankees.  Last time I checked, the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl and actually have a losing record all-time. 

Before Andy Reid got here, the Eagles never had a decade where they made the playoffs more than five times.  They never won more than 11 games in three consecutive years, let alone five.

Reid is fifth among active coaches in total wins with 118 and of the four ahead of him, Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan, Tom Coughlin, and Jeff Fisher, Reid has a better winning percentage than all of them except Belichick.

Most people would tell you Fisher is a great coach, myself included.  However, Reid has had way more success than Fisher, it's not even close.   

Reid is also third among active coaches in winning percentage, behind only Mike Tomlin and Bill Belichick.  He is also ahead of a couple guys you may have heard of, Bill Walsh and Tom Landry.  Last time I checked, those guys were pretty good coaches.

Again , I am not saying Reid is one of the all-time great coaches.  I understand he has to win a championship and he has not done that yet. 

However, he has rebuilt this team, he turned this team from one of the oldest teams in the league to the youngest, and still made the playoffs almost every year.  Find me other coaches who have done that.  There aren't many who have.

Other teams who have rebuilt all had down years, like San Fran, Dallas, Buffalo. Teams that were all great when I was younger stink now.  They had to rebuild. 

The other great teams in the league, New England, Indy, Pittsburgh are all veteran, older teams.  They will have to rebuild soon, we will see if they can rebuild and remain a playoff team.  I doubt they will be able to do so.

So Reid has rebuilt this team and has the Eagles in position to contend for the next five years again.  Will they win a Super Bowl?  Who knows? 

What I do know is that Reid deserves the chance to try.

Bad play calling, poor clock management, and lack of championships are things that define Reid.  So are winning seasons.

He's had nine in 12 years, and only two losing seasons, one of which was the first year.  He has also never had two consecutive losing seasons.  Not many coaches can say that. 

Also, in an age where egos are always talked about, Reid swallowed his pride and played Michael Vick, even though he had anointed Kevin Kolb already. 

Not many coaches would have had the guts to bench a guy they made the starter after one half, the guy they traded the franchise QB away to acquire.

Most coaches would have stuck with Kolb until it was too late.  Reid had the guts to make a change because he knew it was the best thing for this football team.

So before you tell your buddy that Andy has to go, stop, and jump in that time machine.  Go back through Eagles history and find a better 12-year stretch than the one Reid has given us. 

Then maybe you will do what I did.  You will say without a doubt:

Andy Reid should be the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.  At least for the next few years.

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