Andy Reid’s seat gets hotter, Eagles fall to Falcons
Those Frankenstorm winds might as well have been howling, “Fire Andy.” The words were on the tips of everyone’s tongues after another embarrassing loss from the hometown Eagles, this time courtesy of a 30-17 drubbing by the Atlanta Falcons.
Reid was out-coached and his team out-played in every phase of the game. Offense, special teams and especially defense. Things were so bad that some in the press box openly pondered writing columns about Atlanta punter Matt Bosher, who didn’t see any action until the 5:35 mark of the fourth quarter. That was the first time the Falcons needed to punt all afternoon.
Matt Ryan orchestrated touchdown-scoring drives on his first three possessions as the Falcons controlled the clock (13 minutes, 2 seconds) and scoreboard (14-0) in the first quarter. They churned out 185 yards of offense to just five for the Birds in the opening frame.
“It’s a long season, it’s an up and down business, we got to keep swinging,” said new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. “You can go from the outhouse to the penthouse in one week. Right now we’re in the damn outhouse.”
Especially Reid. His squad could never recover from that early hole. In fact, it never seemed like they wanted to. The Eagles looked lifeless and disinterested.
“That was an embarrassing performance,” Reid said. “We obviously didn’t start fast enough. We didn’t get off the field on third downs early. We started slow again, at least through the first few series there. I’m stating the obvious [that] we need to get better. I need to do a better job.”
Reid’s favorite catch phrase took on a whole new meaning this past week after the coach admitted he made a mistake by turning his offensive line coach into a defensive coordinator. His decision to fire Juan Castillo and promote Bowles was a move made by a desperate coach, one fighting to keep the only job he’s known for the past 14 seasons. Unfortunately for Reid, the move didn’t pay immediate dividends. Bowles looked worse than the man he replaced.
“We didn’t coach it good, we didn’t play it good, and they beat us. We couldn’t get off the field,” Bowles said.
“I know we need to get better there,” Reid said.
There seemed to be signs of life when LeSean McCoy ran two yards for a score in the second quarter, a touchdown that made it 14-7. Less than two minutes later, Matt Ryan hit a streaking Julio Jones for one of the easier scoring plays in NFL history.
“For us to go out there and play like that, that’s not acceptable,” said cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. “All you can do is look at yourself.”
But the masses will be looking at Reid. Two weeks ago, he told his team to look at themselves in the mirror. It was a straight challenge from the head coach to the locker room. Reid wanted to see how they would respond. Well, they responded with a 13-point loss that had everyone scratching their heads.
Brent Celek looked bewildered as he tried to explain what the problem is. The tight end paused several times while trying to formulate an answer.
“We’re going through a rough patch right now and we have to get out of it,” Celek said.
Celek tried to elaborate, but he couldn’t find the right words.
“I don’t know. I don’t know why,” Celek said, his voice trailing off. “There are some things I can’t answer … I wish I could. If I had answers for them I’d be doing something different … we just have to execute better.”
Reid said he will go back, watch the film and evaluate again.
“This is fixable,” he said.
Did Vick bench himself?
Andy Reid hasn’t exactly given his quarterback a ringing endorsement or vote of confidence at any point during this disappointing season. He’s talked about evaluating everything, from coaches to players to schemes.
So when the coach was asked about a major shakeup at the quarterback position after Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, Reid gave the standard line, “I’ll go back and look at everything. I’m not going to sit here and make decisions right now.”
Moments later, Mike Vick was asked about Reid’s evaluation process and he seemed to spark a quarterback controversy — one that might not have been there already.
“Obviously, he’s thinking about making a change at the quarterback position,” Vick said. “The thing I do know, and I’ll go and watch the film and I’ll evaluate myself, is that I’m giving us every opportunity to win. I’m trying my hardest. Some things don’t go right when I want them to. Some things do. So if that’s a decision that coach wants to make, then I support it.’
Did Vick just bench himself? Because that’s kind of how that reads.
Samuel snubbed by Reid?
Asante Samuel is never one to mince words. The feisty cornerback held court at his locker stall Sunday. He danced for the cameras, recognized some of his former friends in the media and joked that the Eagles would have won if he was still on the team.
Then, he told everyone that Andy Reid refused to speak with him after the game. It’s probably a case of Asante being Asante, but here’s the video ….
Mychal Kendricks wasn’t on the field for the opening defensive series. The rookie linebacker was replaced by Casey Matthews. Kendricks, who is enjoying a productive freshman campaign, was being punished for an off-the-field issue, according to the coaching staff. He entered the game after the Falcons’ initial, 16-play scoring drive.
“Disciplinary reasons,” Andy Reid said.
Kendricks told reporters that he missed a team meeting.
“It won’t happen again,” he said.