The Eagles lost because of a tired, wrong-headed philosophy created by coach Andy Reid. According to a man who has failed 12 times to win the Super Bowl, offensive linemen are interchangeable, linebackers are not essential personnel and safeties are an extravagance. In Reid’s world, quarterbacks are supreme, followed by cornerbacks, running backs and then wide receivers and pass rushers. The rest of the positions don’t matter.
It is a story so often told, there’s almost no reason to repeat it now. Reid is convinced he knows best, even though all of the evidence says otherwise. When he was collecting great cornerbacks and running backs in the post-lockout free-agent frenzy, the coach never considered the idea of balancing the team.
So when Vick got pancaked between a collapsing pocket and his own overmatched right tackle, Todd Herremans, no one should have been surprised. If anything, the Eagles should have been relieved that their $100 million quarterback was not pronounced dead — at least not yet.
If you’d like to see a textbook case of a middle linebacker getting swallowed whole, watch the run by Turner. Casey Matthews looks like he’s auditioning for “Dancing with the Stars” as he foxtrots down the field with tackle Tyson Clabo before flopping on his stomach. This just in: Matthews can’t play.
The most infuriating part of Sunday’s collapse was the spectacular performance by Gonzalez. Three years ago, the Eagles were close to a trade with Kansas City, but pulled out when the Chiefs insisted on a second-round draft pick instead of the No. 3 being offered. For the record, the Eagles’ second-round pick this year was Jaiquawn Jarrett, who did not dress for the game.
Even worse is the memory of Brain Dawkins, who was so devalued by Reid that he ended up in Denver. Dawkins made one big mistake: He chose a position that bores Reid.
After the game Sunday, Reid said he had to do a better job. What he didn’t say — and didn’t have to say — was that he has no intention of following through on that hollow promise. So, stay tuned for an exciting season filled with bone-crunching hits on Vick and touchdowns galore by just about any tight end facing the Eagles.
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Andy Reid just doesn’t get it. And that’s why he will never win a Super Bowl.
Contrary to popular belief, the Eagles didn’t lose Sunday night because Mike Vick got hurt, or because Michael Turner broke a big run for 61 yards, or because Tony Gonzalez caught two touchdown passes.
Phillies manager is simply on a roll
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel just completed his finest week of the 2011 season, and one of the best in his seven-year tenure here. Not only did his team clinch its fifth straight division title, but he led the way with some dynamic decisions.
First, he shut (slammed?) the clubhouse door in Houston last Wednesday after a rare third straight loss, and reminded his players that playing the game the right way is essential. Now, this would seem to be an obvious insight, but not so in this era of jogging to first and posing at the plate.
And especially not so for Manuel, who has nurtured his relationship with players with a jovial style. For him to dress down the troops with some harsh words in the final weeks of a historic season was both surprising and encouraging.
Then Manuel got angry after being asked again about resting his veterans. “When you give somebody between $5 million and $25 million, ... you don’t give it to him to sit on the bench.” Amen.
The manager capped his great week by blowing me off. That’s right, he bumped into me before a speaking engagement in Atlantic City. I yelled out to him. He grimaced back. We haven’t spoken for years, and his expression said it will be decades. Some people would be insulted by a snub like that. I was impressed. Charlie Manuel really is on a roll.
Old men leaders killing baseball
Major League Baseball is getting crushed by the NFL, creating new buzz that America’s Pastime truly is past its time. And there’s a very good reason for the gap in popularity: The people who run baseball are both clueless and out of touch.
The latest blow came last week when Joe Torre, the executive VP of baseball operations, stupidly informed the Mets that they should not wear hats honoring the fire and police departments of New York City on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Why? Because it was very important that all 30 teams follow the exact same rules.
That Torre wore the caps himself a decade ago made no difference. In fact, several Mets players said they were threatened with historic fines if they violated the edict — an allegation both Torre and equally brainless commissioner Bud Selig denied.
Some players wanted to honor the many heroes of 9/11. MLB preferred that players wear special caps with an American flag embossed on the side — caps that were immediately put on sale.
Two predictions: First, because of the fan reaction, MLB will allow the hats to be worn on Sept. 11, 2012. And second, MLB will only fall further behind the NFL as long as senile old men are in charge.
– 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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