"Kick 'em when they're up, Kick 'em when they're down…" That old song "Dirty Laundry" could easily apply to the media blast the Eagles organization is currently getting. Suddenly every radio show host and female sideline reporter is a football expert. They know what's wrong with the Eagles…and they know how to fix it—"fire the Reid regime"…
Maybe it will come down to the end of the Reid era if there is not an immediate turnaround of play results, not to mention the stacking of a bunch of wins beginning with Dallas at home on Sunday.
But right now, there are so many problems, beginning with a lack of personnel depth at key offensive line positions, inconsistency of containment on defense, and a bunch of other issues which our readers have documented in their commentary for weeks now—that it's hard to pinpoint Andy Reid for either the logical cause of the problems, or to be completely sure that his firing would solve anything.
All we can say for sure is through Week 9 of the 2012 season, the Eagles are a mess. They're not a team that is getting better at 3-5, they seem to be getting worse. Maybe the harshest thing you can say about a team is that they are painful to watch…and that's what the Birds are right now for me.
Witnessing Mike Vick get rag-dolled and slammed to the turf about 20 times a game is not entertainment unless you're a fan of the opposing team.
I think that's the most depressing part of the Eagles so far in 2012… offensively they're good enough to move the ball with the best of them, but their QB and his protection design are so out of sync with each other, it's like watching a demolition derby —you know you're going to witness your car crash sooner or later, and you aren't surprised when after multiple crashes, your car can't drive anymore.
You can fire Andy Reid and Marty and let Howie Roseman call the plays on the field for all I care, nothing is going to magically heal the problems of the currently devastated offensive line or the inevitable pressure from opposing defenses who have us completely figured out.
It's not all on Vick by any stretch. The guy is barely getting a half-second in his drop before some unblocked goon is already on him. Seriously, guys are coming through untouched. And he's in empty-back sets a lot, which makes it worse.
I've never seen such a complete collapse of pass protection in many years of watching the Eagles and the NFL. It's become predictable, and it's become unbearable to watch..and it's been getting worse, not better.
But if Reid is worried about his future, he's not showing it. He sincerely seems to be more concerned with finding ways to correct the many mistakes that have caused the Eagles' four-game losing streak – tying the longest in Reid's tenure – than about his job status.
"Well, listen, Jeffrey's a competitive guy," Reid said Tuesday in quotes provided by the team. "He feels like the rest of us. He likes to win football games and that's why he's in this business. That's why he owns this business. That's his expectations."
"But I just focus on the job at hand. You don't get past that. You don't start thinking about records, futures and all those things. When you're in this thing, you are in it to get yourself better. There is no time to think about those other things. That's number one. That's where I sit."
"All and all, we have to sharpen up our game, which is obvious," Reid said. "And we have to make sure that we coach better and play better."
Reid won't admit it publicly, but he's got to be wondering himself by now if the offensive line problems are beyond the fixing point. The lack of depth and executable experience right now on the line is shocking. Maybe the only hope is to keep two tight ends on the line to help out. But that is a move which limits other things you need to do on offense in this league.
"Allowing seven sacks [and 12 other hurries and/or knockdowns], you can't function in this league," Reid said. "The offensive line has to protect and give (Vick) the opportunity to get the ball out."
The biggest concern, however, is whether the players are still supporting and playing hard for their coach.
"I saw guys playing hard," Reid said. "This isn't over, and we're all in this thing together. Is there a sense that things aren't going well? Absolutely. These guys want to do well. They are battling to get that done and working to get that done. It's important that you continue to battle."
"You're going to run into some tough times, whether it's playing football or in life. You're going to run into some tough times. You keep battling, keep swinging. I don't see (players quitting). That isn't the problem right now. The problem is that you have to get a couple of things bouncing your way and creating things going your way. You make a couple plays here and there. Then, you can get this thing turned around."
Okay, I'm game…I won't give up. Maybe it does turn around this Sunday against Dallas. I'm just having a hard time right now imagining the current offensive system of the Eagles surviving another physical beating or embarrassment and coming out of it with a win. In order to continue to believe in Reid, I need to see something dramatically different and sustainable come out of his offense, even if it means working things out differently with a patchwork line.
All Dallas cares about is the game tape and film they just saw from the Saints game…and the Cardinals game…and every other game where Vick and his linemen got blasted multiple times by various alignments, techniques and gap pressures. If ever there were a time for Reid to prove he can still coach 'em up, this is it…he may not get another chance to "improve" this team unless they respond this Sunday.