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Another Year With Andy Reid- Unfathomable

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V for Victory with Billy VargusBilly V

When you talk to him in person, away from the media and the news conferences, Andy Reid is a very nice guy. That's why Jeffrey Lurie, at his recent news conference, objected to the use of the term "arrogant" in a question that was posed to him. (I believe it was by Joe DeCamara of 97.5 The Fanatic.)

"To describe him as arrogant is completely wrong," Lurie responded.  "I don't think you're ever going to meet a coach who's any less arrogant than Andy Reid."

Which makes me think that the "charming" version of Andy Reid has completely schmoozed Lurie.  Lurie likes Andy too much on a personal level to be able to make an intelligent decision about his performance as a football coach. How else to explain a news conference in which Lurie used all of the following words to describe this past season--"disappointing, unacceptable, incredibly, incredibly disappointing, unfathomable, terrible"--and then announced that he's bringing back the coach next season?

Even though it was called a news conference, Lurie's whole argument consisted of old news, mainly the idea that Andy's players love him and play hard for him.  Even if that's true (and the behaviour of DeSean Jackson and Dominique Rogers-Cromartie tend to work against that theory), it doesn't explain why the franchise has watched its win total dwindle from 11 in 2009 to 10 in 2010 to 8 this season.

Lurie is apparently unaware of the huge blind spots that his coach possesses, and gladly ponied up the money during the off-season when Reid did what he always does: he worried about the passing game, and ignored the importance of the run, with regard to defense as well as offense.   He added more pass rushers and more cornerbacks than he could possibly use, and he did nothing to upgrade a corps of linebackers that was small and inexperienced.  Andy Reid photo: gcobb.com

The front office went along with it, with President Joe Banner saying "We're all in."  And you wonder if at any point Lurie watched what was going on and realized what a mistake had been made: maybe in the season opener, on the very first play from scrimmage when the Rams' Steven Jackson took the ball 47 yards up the middle --untouched-- for a touchdown?  

Maybe in the next game, when Atlanta's Michael Turner plowed through the Eagles’ D for 114 yards on 21 carries, or two weeks later when Frank Gore ripped them for 127 yards on only 15 carries, or perhaps the week after that when Buffalo's Fred Jackson totalled 111 yards on 26 attempts?

At that point the Eagles were 1-4. But maybe Lurie still didn't figure it out until later, like when Seattle's Marshawn Lynch had his second best day ever as a pro, rampaging through the Eagles marshmallow defense for 148 yards on 22 carries?  At that point, the Eagles were pretty much cooked with a record of 4-8.

Or maybe Lurie never did figure it out, which is why he still believes in Reid as his coach, and still has no intention of bringing in a true general manager (not a yes-man like the current guy) to at least present another point of view to Reid's myopic mentality?

Of course, we all (except maybe for Lurie) know that Reid's disdain for the running game applies to the offense as well. This year, when the Eagles lost two games in which McCoy carried just 9 times, then 11 times, the whole town was screaming at Reid (and his offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg)  to run the ball. So the next game McCoy carried 28 times and they won, then 30 times and they won again.  So did Reid/Mornhinweg finally "get it?"  Nope,  they reverted to 16 carries-- and lost. The following week, just 14 carries, as they lost again.  

The worst part is, we all knew Reid would backslide.  It seems like he would rather lose than change.

Yet, Lurie stated "There's very little rigidity in the Andy Reid that we all work with. If I felt there was too much rigidity, arrogance and a sense of separateness, I'd be changing coaches."

But he's not changing coaches, which, to use his own words, is "disappointing" and "unfathomable."   

Billy Vargus is an Emmy Award Winner for Best Sports Anchor for 2008 and 2009. (Mid-Atlantic region, covering all of Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware.) Bill has been a TV sports anchor in the Philadelphia area for 18 years with the last 12 coming at Fox 29. He’s also had stops at Channel 10, Channel 12, plus at other television markets around the country.He has also served as the pre-game host for all Seventy-Sixers games in the past and also has acted in films, TV shows and commercials.

Billy V can be contacted at billv@philly2philly.com

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