Hoffmann: We'll see if Reid's confidence is well-founded

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Angus, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    Rich Hofmann: We'll see if Reid's confidence is well-founded

    IT ISN'T HARD to argue that Eagles coach Andy Reid now faces the first significant crisis of his stewardship. It isn't hard at all to make the case that after finishing 6-10 in 2005, Reid is faced with the need to rebuild franchise momentum - to reinvigorate the talent, and the culture - in a way that he hasn't experienced since the summer he took over in 1999.

    Looking at what he did back then, looking at what he is doing now, you search for some quick shorthand and you inevitably come up with this: confidence. It is what has always defined Reid, from the beginning, and it is what defines him now.

    Confidence. He does not bow, or even acknowledge, the widespread opinion of his fan base. In 1999, it meant not drafting running back Ricky Williams. This spring, it meant not signing either a premier wide receiver or a big running back.

    Confidence. He does not make wholesale changes just for the sake of making changes. In 1999, it meant keeping the core of former coach Ray Rhodes' defense intact. This year, it meant pretty much the same thing, not making nearly the number of lineup changes that some people expected.

    It is a long time ago, 1999 is. So much has changed in that time - most of all the expectations for a franchise that dominates the attention of this market in a way that no team has, maybe ever or maybe since the Philadelphia Athletics of 1929 to '31. You remember.

    So much has changed, but Reid's dogged insistence on doing it his way - despite all the outside shouting - remains the cornerstone here.

    Just think back to 1999. Remember the first press conference, on the day he was hired, when Reid took a bunch of what he perceived as impertinent questions and, right there, both declined to answer and almost insisted that this kind of impertinence was not going to continue.

    So there was that, and there were the stories of the notebooks that contained all the details about running a team that Reid had assembled over the years - some of them rescued from the trash can after Packers coach Mike Holmgren had tossed them. For all Philadelphia knew, what the Eagles were getting was a star clerk - but a coach? No one, other than Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner, was sure.

    Then came the Draft Ricky movement - and, yes, there is a membership card yellowing somewhere in a desk drawer here. Reid ignored it and drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb instead. It was a time when retread quarterbacks were in vogue, and it remains one of the hardest coaching jobs in the NFL - developing a young quarterback - but Reid went that way anyway.

    Confidence, then. But it showed up even more on the other side of the ball. Rhodes' last team had been abysmal, a 3-13, total rollover job. Any new coach in that situation arrives with a stack of dynamite and a can of oil to keep the plunger functioning - yet Reid left the defense alone, for the most part. Everybody of significance stayed and made the transition. Ten of the 11 defensive starters had been on Rhodes' 1998 roster - only safety Tim Hauck was a newcomer, replacing Mike Zordich.

    Nobody has ever looked this up, but for a new coach taking over a lousy team - a new coach with total carte blanche - to keep his roster so intact on one side of the ball might just have been unprecedented in NFL history. (On offense, two other key holdovers were running back Duce Staley and left tackle Tra Thomas.) But that's Reid. He was personally confident enough that he didn't mind rebuilding with the other guy's guys.

    Then as now...

    One would have thought, coming off the disappointment of 6-10, that there might have been massive changes in this Eagles roster, just for the sake of creating a changes-as-reinvigoration vibe. One might have thought, too, that Reid would have gone out and really given the offense a different look, what with the exile of Terrell Owens and the crisis that McNabb was forced to endure - playing through both injury and T.O.'s systematic insubordination.

    Yet, no. Reid did not go out and get the big running back who might have shouldered some of the load in a more balanced offense. Reid did not go out and get the game-breaking wideout that the city craved, settling for Jabar Gaffney and declining to go all-out in an attempt to trade for Green Bay's Javon Walker (who ended up in Denver in exchange for a high second-round draft choice).

    Instead, Reid worked on fixing the pass rush and got rid of a guard. The town essentially yawned. Reid essentially didn't care that the town essentially yawned. And so it goes.

    It is comforting, in some ways, that the guy does not change. No matter the volume of the background music, Reid just slogs along. Good times, crisis times, 12-4, 6-10, first year, eighth year, it doesn't seem to matter.

    There is rarely an overreaction. There is never a move just to make a move.

    There is never a hint that Reid is not confident in both his evaluation of the situation and the solution he has put together.

    And, then as now, we'll see.

  2. DCBoysfan

    DCBoysfan Hardwork and Dedication

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    All good things come to an end, and philly's rein on the division is over.
  3. MONT17

    MONT17 New Member

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    Reids success was a product of coaches like CAMPO, SPURRIER and FASSELs failures!!!
  4. TobiasEagle77

    TobiasEagle77 Member

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