SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, December 03, 2012

On Andy Reid

When I read this morning about the behavior of assistant coaches Jim Washburn (defensive line) and Howard Mudd (offensive line) on Andy Reid's coaching staff, I was aghast.  The former, fired today, was openly disrespectful of then-defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, apparently calling him Juanita in front of his player.  The latter, apparently, hung out only with the former.

What kind of nuthouse was Andy Reid running?   Washburn should have been held accountable the first time.  And then terminated.  And Mudd should have been talked to about meshing with the coaching staff.  I don't care if he came out of a retirement and was a legendary assistant in Indianapolis. If you decided to un-retire, you come back and help form part of a team.  If not, don't come back.

As for Washburn, and Reid's tolerance of him, well, the wheels started to fall off the defensive bus when coordinator Jim Johnson passed away.  Then coordinator Sean McDermott struggled, and then Reid waffled on who would succeed him, apparently striking out on his former linebackers coach, Steve Spagnuolo, who helped the Giants win a Super Bowl while serving as defensive coordinator before struggling as the head coach in St. Louis.  But Spagnuolo went to New Orleands, and Reid was without moves.  So, fearing, apparently, risking Castillo to Tennessee (to whom he was speaking about their offensive coordinator position, has he had been the Eagles' offensive line coach for about 15 years), he promoted him to defensive coordinator, prompting a memorable headline from the Philadelphia Daily News ("WFT?" exclaimed the headline).  And that prompted bringing in Washburn, providing veteran ballast for Castillo's defensive ship, and Mudd to replace Castillo.

Now, coaching positions turn over, but why did Reid tolerate Washburn for so long?  Was it because he was out of moves?  Because either Joe Banner or Jeffrey Lurie compelled him to do so?  Or because he thought that the dissension helped make the team better?  And how could a disrespectful coach make the team better?

If the Eagles only had completed as many passes as Jeffrey Lurie has given Andy Reid, they'd be playoff bound.

But the players shouldn't rest easy, either.  For while the Birds need a new head coach, they also need some players who are leaders.  That seems to have been a problem for the past couple of years, too.