Andy Reid: Eagles Shouldn't Fire Long-Time Head Coach During Season

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 18: Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles watches as his team warms up before the start of their game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on November 18, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Another loss for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, this time to the division rival Washington Redskins, has led to more speculation about Andy Reid's future. Firing him before the end of the regular season would be a mistake, though.

At the very least, it sounds like he will survive another week. Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports Reid isn't likely to receive a pink slip following the Redskins' loss despite six straight defeats and a restless fanbase.

The Eagles currently stand at 3-7. With three tough road games left on the schedule, it's hard to imagine a scenario where they rebound to earn a postseason berth. So a promising start has quickly turned into a recurring nightmare in Philadelphia.

Reid has become the center of attention in the blame game, which began weeks ago and has only continued to pick up steam with each passing week. Most of the fingers have been pointed toward the longtime head coach and injured quarterback Michael Vick.

This is a widespread problem, however. Getting rid of Reid right now wouldn't lead to some type of sudden resurgence like some fans seem to believe. There are holes to fill in the offseason, which is the earliest the Eagles should make a decision about the head coaching spot.

It's important to remember how much Reid has accomplished since taking over the job in 1999. He's won nearly 60 percent of regular-season games, more than half of the team's postseason games and has reached the playoffs nine times.

There are plenty of organizations that would love those type of results. Teams like the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders are in the midst of extended playoff droughts dating back a decade and Reid has taken the Eagles there almost every year.

The team can't afford to lose that long-term perspective. Kicking an accomplished coach like him out the door in the middle of the season doesn't help anybody except the front office folks who are tired about answering questions about the future.

Reid didn't suddenly forget how to coach. He's dealt with a combination of injuries and underperforming players, which have more to do with the team's struggles than him.

Take a look at some of the main things he's been blamed for recently.

There has been a constant call for LeSean McCoy, who got injured in Sunday's loss, to get more touches. But it becomes more obvious with each game that the offensive line isn't good enough to support a running back getting a heavy workload.

Then there's the Eagles' defense, which has allowed at least 26 points in five straight games. Juan Castillo wasn't the main problem, and neither is Reid. It comes down to players like Nnamdi Asomugha, once viewed as an elite corner, getting torched on a weekly basis.

That being said, it's always easier to blame the head coach than five offensive linemen whose names most people don't know, or defenders who aren't living up to the hype.

When the season ends, the best move for everybody involved might be for Reid to move on. He can get away from an environment where he's clearly fallen out of favor with the fans and the team can bring in another coach to see if it has any effect.

But Reid should get to coach the remaining six games. If it's clear the team has quit on him, then the time will come at season's end to let him go. Making that decision now isn't the answer to any of Philadelphia's problems as a team, however.

He's done too much for the organization to receive that type of treatment on the way out.