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NFL Unfiltered Week 10: An open letter to Eagles Coach Andy Reid

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This week’s unfiltered begins with an open letter to Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid: 

 

Coach, by almost any measure you are very good at your job. Your teams have won 129 games and you have a .597 winning percentage, easily the best in the history of the franchise.  You have made the playoffs nine times, won seven division titles and one conference championship, coming up just short in Super Bowl XXXIX. And for the record, I place a mental asterisk next to that game because I am convinced Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots cheated you and this city.  But I digress.   

 

Your work ethic is exemplary, but unfortunately, you seem to define yourself by your occupation. How else do you explain your return to coaching so soon after burying your first born?  Do you even know your children, coach?  More importantly, do they know you? 

 

I remember your troubling words to the media throng upon returning to work exactly one day after your son’s funeral.  You tried to put on a good face for the cameras with statements like, “I’m a football coach, man…that’s what I do!” and “life is going to throw you some curveballs, but you don’t bailout; you keep swinging!” 

 

With all due respect coach, life didn’t throw you a curveball; your family has been under siege for years. In fact, life threw you several batting practice fastballs right down the pipe. You just missed them and that’s tragic.   

 

Yet, here you are in the midst of the worst stretch of your tenure and the idea of walking away seems foreign to you. What is it going to take, coach?  Will you need to lose 10 in a row before you wake up?  This is an untenable and unhealthy situation. There is no need for you to wait until you’re unceremoniously fired after the season.   

 

Don’t you realize the disdain people have for your coaching abilities around here?  You are public enemy number one.  All the grace you had in the summer is gone because fans want answers. They want to know why you so arrogantly hired an offensive line coach to coordinate your defense. They struggle to reconcile the fact you allowed that same coach to return for another season only to fire him after week six?

 

They want to know why you defiantly refuse to exploit running back LeSean McCoy, who is a top five ball carrier in this league.  And finally, they want to know why you have such a hard time drafting and developing offensive linemen when you yourself were an offensive lineman? 

 

Personally, I’m curious about those things too because the football part of this intrigues me. But mainly, I find the fact that you’re still here under these circumstances disconcerting.  What can you possibly achieve by going to work the next seven weeks?   

 

Coach, I hope you don’t think I’m judging you or arbitrarily casting aspersions because honestly, that isn’t my intent.  I struggle with ego and self-awareness as much as anyone, probably more.  But you’ve been here for over half a generation and what has happened to you goes far beyond football.  

 

I see this as a rare opportunity for you, since coaches seldom get a chance to leave on their own volition.  And in my view, you’ve earned that privilege.  I implore you coach, please walk away from this misery.  Go home and reconnect with your family. 

 

I bet they’d love to have you back.     

 

WEEK TEN OBSERVATIONS

What the pundits can’t or won’t say

 

-If you don’t think quarterback Andrew Luck is a terrific athlete, you’re guilty of reverse racism.  

 

-Unless he kills someone, the Cowboys are going to give flanker Dez Bryant about six years to mature.

 

-Is it me, or is Cowboys’ wideout Miles Austin another guy who did his best work before he met Kim Kardashian?  Kim Kardashian at "The Pool After Dark" in Atlantic City. Photo: Tom Briglia / PhotoGraphics Photography

 

-Wide receiver DeSean Jackson has 12 touchdowns in his last 38 games.  He’s a good player, but his impact on the Eagles is often grossly overstated.  

 

-Some of you actually thought the insertion of backup quarterback Nick Foles would solve all of the Eagles’ offensive problems, didn’t you?

 

-It’s a “pitty-pat league,” according to Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders?  When a guy who played like he did complains about the rules you know the NFL has gone too far.

 

-“I like to think I’m super out there, that I can do things no one else can.”  That quote from Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III is precisely the mindset that will cripple his growth.  

 

-Bengals’ wide receiver A.J. Green torched cornerback Corey Webster on the game’s sixth play from scrimmage, but he wouldn’t have scored if Webster had hustled. It’s clear the Giants are uninterested in regular season football.  

 

-The Giants played a lot of the game with only two linebackers on the field. They’re very afraid of their secondary right now.  

 

-Another ordinary effort replete with boneheaded mistakes by quarterback Eli Manning.  He’s a winner and he’s clutch but is clearly not in the top five.  

 

-There won’t be much said about it, but there was some awful football played this week- and not just by quarterbacks.  Fear will prevent coaches from making significant changes, despite what they must see during games and on film.  

 

-Local scribes and national media enjoy poking fun at players because they don’t know the overtime rules.  But what difference would it make if they knew them?

 

Top 4 this week (rankings disclaimer: my top four will always feature two AFC teams and two NFC teams):

 

Houston Texans (7-1) – Knocking Cutler out actually kept the game close.

Atlanta Falcons (8-1) – A bad day for every NFC contender.

Baltimore Ravens (7-2) – A nice tune up before Steelers’ week.  

Chicago Bears (7-2) – They are playing much better defense than the 49ers.  


 Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area.  He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention.  His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

Contact Earl at emyersiii@hotmail.com

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Photos:

Reid photo: SI

Kim Kardashian- Tom Briglia / PhotoGraphics Photography