Andy Reid and the trick play that didn’t save the Eagles

November 6, 2012

Trick plays are great … when they work. (Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Perhaps no NFL coach is on a hotter seat than Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles did little to cool things down Monday night, losing to a struggling, defensively-hobbled New Orleans Saints team.

Reid reiterated today that Michael Vick will remain his starting quarterback Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, but the bigger issue may be the rest of the team and whether Reid can get these guys to give a tolerable effort. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan has seen this before and not that long ago, either. Still, he favors making Reid stick around to watch this team until the bitter end of the season.

The argument for doing it right away is a sound one. Clearly, Reid is unable to prepare this team to behave like an NFL team. It is hard to explain how that came to be. He used to be a very good head coach. A man doesn’t just forget how. But this situation has gone completely sour. It’s over.

By pulling the trigger immediately, [owner Jeff] Lurie would send the ultimate message to this collection of soft, disinterested mercenaries that their halfhearted attempts at blocking and tackling just won’t cut it. Make Marty Mornhinweg the interim head coach, get through the second half of the year, and then find a new coach.

But changing coaches now isn’t going to fix this team. There are just too many problems, most of them products of flawed decisions by Reid and general manager Howie Roseman.

Instead of feasting on the Saints, the Eagles are teetering at 3-5. Marcus Vick, the quarterback’s younger brother, couldn’t contain his outrage, which spilled out on Twitter as Michael Vick was sacked seven times in the 28-13 loss.

It was a dismal night, all right. It might have turned, though, so very easily with a trick play on a third-quarter kickoff. With the Eagles down by 15, Brandon Boykin fielded the kickoff and, with Riley Cooper lying in the end zone, brought it out. Suddenly, Cooper popped up and Boykin hit him with a lateral that Cooper returned for a touchdown that would have put the Eagles back in the game and maybe even back in the season.  Of course, the throw was ruled a forward pass, not a lateral and another game was lost. 



Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Matt Brooks · November 6, 2012

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