Friday, November 10, 2006

Chucky or Big Red?

A few interesting discussions lately about the Eagles future coaching situation, what with Andy Reid looking to turn things around after a disappointing first half of the season and the Buccaneers season already a disaster. Someone asked on a board if we'd take Bucs coach Jon "Chucky" Gruden (an Eagles alum) if he got the boot in TB. Let me say this first: the tea leaves as I read them all point to continued tenure by Coach Reid, but the question is an interesting one. Gruden has a pedigree AR lacks (winning the Superbowl as the Head Coach) and to be honest, I think he's probably a better gameday coach than Big Red. I think AR is better at a lot of the rest, but his sometimes perplexing decisions on the sidelines have a lot of fans pulling our hair out as we watch three predictable plays, shoddy execution and a three-and-out.

Forget examining his record, the NFL is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of place. Should Eagles fans even concern themselves with a coaching change scenario. For this seasons' sake we better hope not, because AR is pretty secure in his position here (though no coach can long withstand the pressure built up by multiple lackluster seasons). I say he's secure because I believe Jeff Lurie, the owner, has shown no inclination to be a destabilizing force. He wants to be the gold standard for the NFL, and that usually means one thing: stability. Will he step-in should the Eagles fall flat (yeah but probably wouldn't be to axe AR, he'd sit down with AR the general manager and decide what they should tell AR the coach, and there would be some staff shake-ups first).

Another reason I think a coaching change in not on Lurie's radar scope: the Eagles continued long-term building plan, epitomized by the continued signing of young potential stars to long-term deals...Even if AR we s-canned today, his impact on the team would be felt for the next decade. Any new coach would have to accept the idea that a lot of the players on this team signed up for the AR/Tom Heckert/Joe Banner/ Lurie plan. Its not that they couldn't find a coach, mind you...just that as Eagles fans, we must acknowledge that Big Red claw-prints are going to be on our team for a long, long time; and for the most part, I have no problem with that.

Bottom Line folks: get used to see Andy Reid with the Birds....

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