Marcus Hayes, Daily News Sports Columnist
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012, 12:54 AM
THE THING about common sentiment is that it usually is right.
He has been the best Eagles coach, but the third losing season of the Andy Reid era seems unavoidable. As such, Reid appears unlikely to return for the final season of his contract. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said as much before this season began.
The Andy Reid Experience carried the team to unmatched heights, but Reid's teams are 3-4 in their four playoff runs in the past seven seasons, 0-2 in his last two trips, and would need divine intervention to reach the postseason after a 3-6 start.
The problem with the common sentiment is, it sometimes is wrong.
Lurie has hidden himself as his team lost its last five games, the worst skid in the Reid era. Certainly, Lurie would not endorse Reid at this point, but neither will he bury him.
Because he might then have to exhume him . . . and that always is a messy job.
With seven games to play, Andy Reid indeed might call on his God, or on his own genius, or sell his tattered soul to survive another season.
The team starts to win
None of the remaining games is especially daunting. A win in each of the next 3 weeks, especially at Dallas, could make meaningful a trip to the Meadowlands for the rematch finale.
The issue with winning is, the team's chief deficiency - its poor offensive-line play - probably will not be remedied. Tackles King Dunlap and Demetress Bell have played laughably poor football.
Hoping that Danny Watkins' bad ankle heals enough for a second-half run is a chilling indictment of the caliber of this line.
The Charlie Manuel defense
The Phillies played without regular contributions from their most valuable player, Ryan Howard, for 3 1/2 months.
They played without their most complete hitter, Chase Utley, for 3 months.
Their best pitcher, Roy Halladay, missed about eight of a likely 33 starts - about 25 percent of his season - and was injured most of the season.
The lineup's sole All-Star, Carlos Ruiz, missed a month.
Manuel went 81-81, the fourth straight season his team achieved less than it had the previous season.
Does that equate to Reid's losses?
Left tackle Jason Peters was the team's best player, and, behind quarterback Michael Vick, he was the team's most valuable player. Peters has missed the entire season.
Second-year center Jason Kelce tore up a knee in Game 2. The team is 1-6 since and Watkins' play turned abysmal.
Right tackle Todd Herremans' season ended in Game 8 with a foot injury; Game 9 saw the worst tackle play by an Eagles tandem in perhaps 30 years.
The devastated line affects every facet of offensive play, of course, but it also means the defense inevitably will face more pressure.
Now, concussed Vick will be replaced indefinitely with third-round rookie Nick Foles.
David Montgomery let Uncle Chuck slide in 2012.
Maybe Lurie gives Big Red an injury mulligan.
Divorce costs too much
Lurie simply might not be willing to eat the $5.5 million he will owe Reid, or any significant portion of it, assuming Reid works in the NFL next season.
Also, the assumption that Reid will be snapped up by a team is anything but guaranteed. Nobody is hired until he's is hired.
Finally, the assumption that Reid will want to work next season is flawed. The man lost a son in August. He has another playing football in college, being coached by a third.
He has never had a chance to fully enjoy his family. Super Bowl winners Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden have enjoyed not coaching so much that they are perfecting the art.
Maybe Reid could join their Wednesday night poker game.
The kids aren't all right
Lurie has so much invested in Reid, in Reid's offensive system and in Reid's players, switching things up could, in a sense, forfeit a season.
Remember, this was supposed to be a spectacularly good offense.
Consider this: A healthy Peters might mean at least three more wins thus far. He is that good. You lose Reid, you lose offensive-line coach Howard Mudd, who likely will resume retirement. You lose Mudd, you have to re-educate Kelce and Watkins and you must rewire Peters, Herremans and left guard Evan Mathis, who never experienced success except with Mudd.
The Eagles signed receiver DeSean Jackson and back LeSean McCoy to extensions with the expectation that they would continue to play well in Reid's offense, for which they were drafted, in which they were groomed.
Neither is an especially committed or astute student of the game. Neither is an especially easy person to handle. Each is in his prime.
Is it worth the risk of losing an entire season?
Bob Lamonte was right
Lamonte, Reid's agent, visited training camp fishing for a contract extension on the heels of the death of Garrett Reid. In the process, Lamonte asserted that Lurie has said that he never would fire Reid.
Lurie contested that assertion, and Reid tried to spin Lamonte's comments, but who knows? Lurie has been blindly loyal to his lieutenants before. That blindness might be a permanent affliction.
Marcus Hayes Daily News Sports Columnist Email