Have Coach Reid, Owner Found Redemption?

Can you feel the heat? Maybe not as much now that Andy Reid and the Eagles are on a playoff run that has cooled the fire.

The Eagles organization and their head coach have taken a lot of heat this season.

Despite going 8-8 in 2007 the Birds brass stated they would be Super Bowl contenders in 2008.  After 11 games, the team was only 5-5-1 -- they looked mediocre at best. 

Making the postseason was looking like a stretch and talks circulated in Philadelphia to fire Andy Reid and replace Donovan McNabb at quarterback.

Now heading into the second week of the playoffs, those same Philadelphia Eagles are still playing football. They ended the season 4-1 and backed into the final playoff spot with a little help from lady luck the final week of the season.
Do fans and the media criticizing Andy Reid and the organization need to eat their words?  Was the team's philosophy spot on all along? 

Let’s start the examination at the top with owner Jeffrey Laurie. 

No one hears from Lurie most of the season -- he rarely speaks to the media in Philadelphia. But, when asked by the Boston Globe to do an interview, he talked. 

Lurie's silence doesn't look good to the Philly fans. The fans get little information from the organization about the team, but the owner is fine with speaking to the media in Boston?

The Philly media works hard to give the fans information on the Birds yet everything coming from the team is always hush hush. 

Now lets go back to the off-season.

The Eagles decided to trade away their first round draft pick for the second year in a row.  With deficiencies at Tight end, fullback, safety and an aging offensive line, the Eagles decided to pass up on their first round draft pick. 

The Eagles went into the season without a starting fullback. They tried converting running back Tony Hunt into a fullback, but it didn't work out.
The biggest punching bag for fans has been Reid. His stubbornness to predominately pass the football the first 11 games may have cost the team some more victories. 

Too many games came down to one yard that the Eagles couldn't gain. 

It's hard to forget the four downs without a QB sneak in the Chicago game when Reid's staff decided to simply hand the ball off with no success.

The first Giants game was a mess. Reid decided to pass the ball three out of every four plays and then on the final drive, fourth and short, they call a run but feel short, again.

After throwing the ball throughout the game, it's hard for the offensive line to get any kind of consistent push for the running game. Why call a running play than? 

The Cincinnati game seems to be the watermark of discontent -- a 13-13 tie.

Reid decided to pass the ball 58 times compared to 16 running plays! This despite the Bengals defense ranking 21st against the rush.

Enough with the past let's look at now. Reid deserves credit for keeping the team together and changing his philosophy to running the ball for a higher percentage to finish the regular season and in the Wild Card game.

The changes don't excuse his awful play calling in previous games, but it's no coincidence that the team has become more successful with a balanced offense.
The fans and media should not feel the need to admit wrongdoing in criticizing Coach Reid.  He made a lot of mistakes this year that have been overcome by the team and some luck from the Oakland Raiders the final week of the season. 

Reid deserved every bit of criticism that he got even if he proved he didn't lose his team.

He is running more -- now let's see if he has learned from past mistakes. 

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