The NFL offseason turmoil for the Philadelphia Eagles continues. It looks like a war of words is beginning to escalate between Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Eagles CB Asante Samuel. Hey, at least Philly fans can take a break from the Donovan McNabb trade talk right?
In my 20+ years as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I can’t recall an offseason with this much turmoil since the birds let Reggie White leave to the Green Bay Packers. I don’t know if it is Andy Reid’s new job security or fear of the unknown, but Andy Reid’s house of cards is falling apart. In the midst of an offseason that has consisted of trading the franchise quarterback within the division, releasing Brian Westbrook, trading away their Pro Bowl cornerback, releasing his Pro Bowl offensive lineman, and oh yeah his inability to trade Michael Vick, Andy Reid now finds himself at odds with his highest paid defensive player, Asante Samuel.
[adinserter block=”1″]Andy Reid took a different tact with his defense. Reid called out Asante Samuel in a recent interview. Coach Reid who rarely publicly critiques his players said the following about the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback.
“I think Asante knows he needs to have a better year than what he had, even though he was a Pro Bowler,” “As good a player as he is, he can be even better,” Reid said. “And I think that’s the way he’s handling the offseason.” Andy Reid said an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Surprisingly, Andy Reid brought this on himself. Reid has always been a player’s coach in a sense that he rarely hangs his players out to dry. Even after two embarrassing back-to-back season ending losses to the Dallas Cowboys, Reid still proclaimed Donovan McNabb, “his guy.” I don’t think Asante Samuel is his guy and I definitely don’t think Andy Reid is Asante Samuel’s guy. Asante Samuel responded to Derrick Gunn by saying the following.
“The whole team needs to improve from the front office, to the head coach to the players,” Samuel told Derrick Gunn of CSNPhilly.com.
Guess what? He is right! I would personally like to thank Asante Samuel for having the courage to say what the entire city of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Eagles’ fans have been saying for the last two years. The Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason has been a complete and utter mess this year. Between the instability at quarterback and their inability to fill holes in free agency, this team has taken three steps backwards. Considering the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles’ last game was a 34-14 loss, that says a lot about the future of the team.
Speaking of that loss, Keith Brooking of the Dallas Cowboys recently made some very interesting remarks about that game. One of the biggest complaints I have had with the Philadelphia Eagles offense over the last few years is the predictability. Dallas Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking agrees. Keith Brooking said the following in a recent interview about the Eagles offense.
“The way we dominated them, obviously [Donovan] McNabb didn’t play his best, but they were very predictable,” Brooking said. “We knew exactly what was coming on every play. A lot of that didn’t have to do with Donovan McNabb.” We’ll see now won’t we?
[adinserter block=”2″]Thank you! Keep in mind Brooking is not the first opposing player to call the Eagles offense predictable. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Andy Reid’s playbook. This is a huge issue for the team and something that Andy Reid is 100% responsible for. Again, this isn’t just a one-game situation. In the 2008-09 season, you could hear opposing players screaming, “screen” right before the Eagles called a screen pass. How Andy Reid earned a new contract in the offseason may be the biggest mystery since Jimmy Hoffa.
The bottom line here is that for Andy Reid to criticize Asante Samuel publicly, he is criticizing himself. Reid is the one who signed Asante Samuel to a six-year, $56 million deal. Reid did this at a time when he had both Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard under contract. Corner was not an immediate need for the Philadelphia Eagles. If Andy Reid has a problem with a player not performing up to his contract, Andy Reid should question Andy Reid for making that deal with a player who was known to have issues like this in New England.
In the last few seasons, Andy Reid’s acquisitions have been practically atrocious. Yes, Leonard Weaver was a great addition but does he makeup for the money wasted on Stacy Andrews, Jason Peters, Michael Vick, and a CB who can’t tackle? I don’t think so. As of now, it looks like 2010 could be the year that Andy Reid finally lost his team. Depending upon whether Kevin Kolb works out, this could be a permanent problem. In the words of Asante Samuel, it really is time for the Philadelphia Eagles to step up their game off of the field.
Personally, I would prefer to sacrifice a season or two as a fan if it meant seeing the end of Andy Reid. It’s enough and it is really time for him, his predictable offense, his offseason mismanagement, and his usual press conference charade to go. In the meantime it looks as if the Philadelphia Eagles may be losing some key Pro Bowl players in the process.
Finally, Philadelphia Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie said the following ironically at the press conference to announce the Eagles signing Asante Samuel two years ago.
“I never want to be the type of organization or owner that doesn’t keep reloading or going for it,” he said. “You’re always going to have a chance to make mistakes by taking risks. Keep going for it.”
If this is going for it, the Philadelphia Eagles are in more trouble than I thought.
Thanks to ProFootballTalk.com for the tip!
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