Eagles brass needs to cut Andy Reid’s cord
After 13 years of arrogance and pomposity, Andy Reid is getting what he deserves. His Dream Team is a nightmare, and his coaching is a national embarrassment. Tick, tick goes the clock as it runs out on his overrated career.
The 24-23 loss to San Francisco was much more than a bad afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. It was a harsh indictment of an offseason riddled with terrible decisions. Reid’s new defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, is a disaster. The kid kicker is unreliable. The recent draft record is catastrophic.
How far have the Eagles sunk? So far that they gave up 442 yards to the worst offense in the NFL, 289 in the second half. Study those numbers very carefully. They tell the whole story of this dreadful team. In the decade when Jim Johnson ran the defense, the Birds never lost three straight fourth-quarter leads. In fact, his defenses gave up more than 442 yards only five times.
The sheer audacity of rejecting all of the experienced candidates for defensive coordinator and choosing Castillo as the new guru may be — and should be — the fatal blow to Reid’s career here. While his unit was collapsing for a third straight week, Castillo was flailing his arms and jumping up and down like a cheerleader. He has no idea what he is doing. Absolutely no idea.
Reid’s humiliation didn’t stop there. The Eagles still would have won the game if not for the meltdown by Alex Henery, who missed from 39 and 33 yards in the fourth quarter. David Akers was standing on the opposite sideline, probably wondering what we all were: How could they dump their best kicker for a novice?
Reid has never explained that decision because he doesn’t care what you or I think. Heck, even after that brutal loss, he set aside a moment at his postgame news conference to chastise a member of the media who had the gall to ask if any changes were planned. Once a bully, always a bully.
The best thing that came out of the disaster Sunday is that the focus can finally move away from Reid and onto the people above him, owner Jeff Lurie and president Joe Banner, both of whom signed off on the biggest spending spree in their 17 years running the Eagles.
Reid said that he had done an “absolutely terrible job,” a rare moment of honesty that was unanimously endorsed by a city that has seen enough and heard enough of him.
The bad news Sunday was that the Eagles suffered a loss that could destroy their season. The good news was that no one can ignore any longer the hideous performance of Reid — not even Lurie and Banner.
Phillies fans ‘way too quiet’ right now
The atmosphere at the Phillies’ playoff game Sunday at Citizens Bank Park was different from that of any recent postseason game. It was so subdued toward the end, even shortstop Jimmy Rollins later Tweeted that the crowd was “waaaay too quiet.”
Is success spoiling Phillies fans? Have five straight division titles — and five straight playoff appearances — made the annual autumn drama less suspenseful? Are the Phillies too good?
It’s too early to answer those questions, but there are worrisome signs. The worst was the ovation for Cliff Lee after he was knocked out of the game, having squandered a four-run lead. Since when do Philadelphia fans reward failure? The man is making $25 million a year, and he gets cheered for blowing a big playoff game?
Also bizarre was the lack of venom directed at home-plate umpire Jerry Meals, who butchered the strike zone all night. If the umpires aren’t stirring our passions, who is? No city has ever been less forgiving of the men in blue than ours.
The strangest twist on a horrific Sunday happened across the street, at the Linc, where fans began a chant of “Let’s Go Phillies!” in the final seconds of a third straight Eagles loss. Fans who attended both said that chant was louder than any heard at Citizens Bank Park after the second inning.
Tale of two fates in South Philly
Hunter Pence and Nnamdi Asomugha landed in Philadelphia at almost the exact same time, joining the Phillies and Eagles, respectively, to provide the missing pieces to two championship puzzles.
Since then, however, their differing fates offer a fascinating insight into how their teams conduct business these days.
Pence has provided a shot of adrenaline on a Phils roster that needed it — a wide-eyed bundle of awkward energy who has made winning seem special again. Pence is a perfect fit, in temperament and style, on an extraordinary team. He’s batting third now, and quickly making people forget Jayson Werth.
Meanwhile, Asomugha is trying to adjust to an Eagles defense that has no idea how to use him. A lockdown corner in Oakland, Asomugha is playing in a zone most of the time now — with predictably mixed results.
Why would the Eagles pay one of the top three cover men $60 million and then change his role? Good question. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for an honest answer.
Pence and Asomugha are living proof that it takes more than talent to succeed in the sports world. It also takes a team that knows how to use that talent. The Phillies do. The Eagles don’t.
– Angelo Cataldi is the host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
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