Professional sports operate like no other business, or industry, in the world. Athletes are paid wads of money, in advance, to perform. It doesn’t always work out, still, the check is cut and the player is paid. Coaches, on the other hand, get paid to win championships. A few do – win, that is – most don’t, and often within a few short years they are fired.
Then, there’s Andy Reid; the exception to the rule.
Reid is six games into his 14th season as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. His Eagles won an NFC title in 2004 before losing in the Super Bowl. He’s won seven NFC East titles and has a career record of 129-84 (.606). Reid’s Eagles sit at 3-3, tied for second in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins. They are red hot; then, ice cold. The inconsistency happens from game-to-game, sometimes quarter-to-quarter or first-half to second-half within a single game.
The team decided today, after the Eagles collapse against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, to fire defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. In a statement to the media, Reid said:
“I want to make it clear that I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Juan Castillo as a coach and as a person. He’s one of the finest football coaches that I have ever worked with. He has served this organization extremely well for 18 years and letting him go was a difficult decision. I know he will continue to be a successful coach in this league and wish he and his family nothing but the best.”
Puh-leeze. How many people in your organization have 18 years on the job? How many who’ve been let go have the “ultimate respect” of their supervisor? How many are told they are one the “finest” employees on the team? That doesn’t sound like personnel you’re firing, unless you’re working for Andy Reid. You can understand why Reid will push his coach under the bus, right? He has the best job in the NFL. He can coach … and coach … and coach, but never win a championship and keep his job. Who doesn’t want that gig?
“Sometimes you have to blame yourself,” wrote former Eagles CB Asante Samuel on Twitter. “You can’t try and always point the (finger) at someone else.”
When will Eagles ownership stop dismissing coaches and coordinators, shuffling and changing player personnel and fire Reid? He swung and missed on Castillo (and before him Sean McDermott) as defensive coordinator. Reid is widely known as being loyal to a fault with his players (see Donovan McNabb and DeSean Jackson). Now he’s shoveling his coaches under the bus to keep his own job.
Reid said he’s still evaluating his players and coaching situation. And, I’m just curious, who’s evaluating Reid?