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Are Andy Reid’s Days as Head Coach Numbered? (Spoiler Alert: Probably)

The NFL is going to be a more boring and certainly less dramatic league without Andy Reid’s portly frame patrolling the Philadelphia Eagles’ sideline, but it appears that’s the direction we’re headed in. Like when Jeff Fisher left Tennessee and Mike Shanahan left Denver, it’s almost impossible to think about the Eagles without thinking about Andy Reid. It’s also impossible not to think about unfulfilled promise and wasted talent.

Reid’s Eagles teams have been a lot of things, but “bad” has never been one of them. Indeed, Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia is one of the most accomplished ever, except for one thing, and It’s an important one: a Super Bowl victory. Reid was never the best clock manager (to put it generously), nor was he a defensive whiz. But his offenses set the NFL on fire with a heavy dose of exotic passing attacks before passing became the en vogue offense around the league. He was an innovator. However, his time in Philly is nearly up.

The frustrations have mounted with this team for several seasons, and it’s easy to see why. They have all the promise in the world, but haven’t amounted to much. Since 2010, when the Eagles lost to the Packers in the playoffs on a terrible Michael Vick interception, the team has been spiraling downward. In 2011, the team added Nnamdi Asomugha to shore up their defense, and added Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie on the other side of the field to create what immediately became one of the best cornerback tandems in the league. They also signed a bunch of big name offensive players whose best days were behind them, like Vince Young, Steve Smith from the Giants, and Ronnie Brown. However, the team struggled right out of the gate, with Vick turning the ball over at a disappointing clip while the Birds dropped winnable games left and right. However, they ended the season on a four game winning streak that promised a brighter future. So far in 2012, that future has not arrived.

After improbably starting the season 3-1 despite turning the ball over nine times through the first four games, the Eagles have regressed to the mean, and hard, losing their last three games, the worst being a 30-17 thumping at the hands of Michael Vick’s former team, the Atlanta Falcons, last weekend.

“That was an embarrassing performance,” Reid said after the game. “I’m stating the obvious. We need to get better. I need to do a better job. This is fixable. We have the talent.”

The week before, the Eagles had a ten point lead over the Detroit Lions with ten minutes left in the game, and eventually lost 26-23 in OT. After that game, the Eagles players sounded like they had already given up on their season.

“This is pretty bad because this was a big game for us,” said Asomugha, the two-time All-Pro cornerback. “We lost last week and going into a bye this hurts a lot because it would have helped us. If we can’t win a game like that, we have to go back to the drawing board. We have to close out a game like that.”

After the Falcons game, Vick himself said he would support Reid if he benched Vick in favor of rookie Nick Fowles. But that is only the tip of the iceberg with the problems that plague the Eagles. They have an injury-ravaged offensive line, a defensive line that has ceased to pressure opposing quarterbacks, and then when you add in Vick’s turnover problems and Reid’s downfield throw-first playcalling, it’s a recipe for disaster. Reid has done a lot of good things in Philly over his career, but as the Eagles sit at 3-4 with no end in sight and no solution for their myriad problems, his time as head coach is severely numbered.

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