What a tease! Testament to our Modern Age of Instant Information. Twitter and Facebook and Blogtastic and Blog Grapevine and SmartPhones and BluTooth and CerebralLink and Cloud and NeuralNet and Telepathic Helpline or Psychic Friends Network or whatever else we come up with as methods of jamming and cramming voluminous amounts of information into our already over stimulated brains… you still have to get the story right!
Rumor had it that Jon Gruden was suddenly slated to replace Andy Reid. The culprit was a “story” (if you can call it that) Sunday night (Super Bowl night, conveniently) “reported” by former Eagles fullback Kyle Eckel. Seems Eckel blabbed on his Facebook page that Gruden (currently ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former Super Bowl winning head coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders as well as former Eagles offensive coordinator) would be replacing Andy Reid as Eagles head coach. Evidence? None. Proof? Non-existent. Basis in fact? Hardly. Despite that, a radio reporter in Missouri picked up the erroneous report and it was picked up by several bloggers as fact rather than fabrication.
The report was allegedly fueled by a report that Jon Gruden was in Philadelphia on Sunday. Various blogs had Reid either stepping down for unexplained personal reasons, moving into the front office while Gruden took over as coach, or being fired. The Eagles actually went to the trouble of releasing a statement in response to the rumor mongers.
Gruden has no intention of coaching in 2011 (committed to ESPN). Current Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid is under contract through 2013. Considering Reid returned from vacation and spent the last month reworking his coaching staff, it makes very little sense for Coach Reid to step down (or up) or be dismissed. An unnamed Eagles official was asked about the report overnight, responded, “C’mon now.”
The Eagles statement Monday denied that this was anything more than a rumor.
“Early this morning we received several inquiries about the rumors regarding Andy Reid and Jon Gruden,” read the statement. “This was simply a rumor and there is no basis to it at all. It is simply not true.” Gruden with Tampa but had a 45-51 record with no playoff wins in his last 6 seasons after winning the Super Bowl. Gruden’s all-time record was 95-81 (5-4 playoffs). His offenses were never ranked higher than 18th in his 7 seasons in Tampa. In 11 years as an NFL head coach, his teams posted 6 winning seasons (two 9-7 seasons, one 7-9 season, two 8-8 seasons), four double digit wins. Gruden was knocked for taking over the Tampa Bay job after Tony Dungy’s departure and winning Super Bowl after the 2002 season with “Dungy’s team.”
ZORDICH & CALDWELL PROMOTED
The Eagles did offer some coaching news by promoting assistant coaches Mike Caldwell and Michael Zordich. Caldwell was named linebackers coach, having been the assistant linebacker coach last season. Zordich is the secondary/safety coach after serving as a defensive quality control coach last season.
Andy Reid and the Eagles watched the Super Bowl on TV with the rest of us – witnessing the Green Bay Packers completing their playoff run. Green Bay entered the postseason as the 6th seed, then proceeded to dispense of the Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears en route to Super Bowl XLV. Now, we have an opportunity to learn something about Andy Reid. Is he the stubborn, pass-happy, pop gun offense Red Ranger that we’ve seen him to be or can he be taught that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results?
WHAT ANDY REID SHOULD HAVE LEARNED FROM THE SUPER BOWL
2. Run/Pass balance actually makes your passing offense better. Note that Green Bay ran the ball only 11 times (for 52 yards) but it was enough to neutralize Troy Polamalu and allow the passing offense to thrive. Aaron Rodgers (304 pass yds, 3 TD) barely left the pocket (unless he was being pummeled or kneeling down) and Starks still managed 11 first downs (4 rushing) and 6-13 Third Down Conversions. In fact, Pittsburgh had 64 total plays from scrimmage (Green Bay had 55) and 7-13 Third Down Efficiency and bested Green Bay in time of possession (33:25 to 26:35) but still lost the game because of turnovers (3 to Packers 0) and balanced offense.
3. Defense and running game win championships. It helps when you have the best passing offense in the NFL (Eagles in 2010) and turnover points are always nice but it is impossible to win when you have the Worst Red Zone Defense in the NFL in 22 years. Please Andy Reid, learn to use the running game and overhaul the defense. We can’t win every game 35-28 and Michael Vick doesn’t have to be your leading rusher every week!
4. It doesn’t take a Hall of Fame Coach or QB to win a Super Bowl. 45 teams have won the Super Bowl. 22 Coaches have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, many of them pre-dating the Super Bowl Era. 29 different NFL Head Coaches have won Super Bowls. Several excellent coaches never won Super Bowls (Marv Levy, Dan Reeves, Bud Grant, George Allen) or never got there. Football is the ultimate team game and it is not about
who has the best coach, the best QB, the best middle linebacker or the best placekicker. Do we need to review how many great QB have not won Super Bowls (Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, Jim Kelly to name just a few) or how many less-than-stellar QB have won the Super Bowl (Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, Eli Manning, Jim McMahon). The best team wins. Put a team together Big Red then come back and talk to us. Why has it taken you 12 years to realize this?
Related Article: Eagles Players Brace for Impending Lockout http://prosportsblogging.com/nfl-football/eagles-players-brace-for-impending-lockout/
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org