The wild rumor started to gain traction late Sunday evening. The rumor that Andy Reid would be replaced by Jon Gruden was apparently ripped from a former Eagles fullback's Facebook page.
It didn't make any sense, but the fact that folks across the country, mainstream media and the independents, were chasing it speaks to Reid's standing in Philadelphia. There's a feeling that Reid's under more pressure than ever, and it doesn't help that he's taken some curious steps in the past few weeks.
Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan, a man who fought the elements in North Texas valiantly last week, compared Reid to men such as Mike Tomlin, Mike McCarthy and Sean Payton in a column this week.
"More troubling, McCarthy and Payton are from similar coaching backgrounds as Reid," writes Sheridan. "Like Gruden, they are offensive coaches with reputations for staring at tape until their eyes burn, looking for an edge. Like Gruden (and Reid, at first), they balanced their staffs by hiring experienced defensive coordinators and turning that side of the ball over to them.
"There is a pattern here. Reid fit that pattern up until 2005. Now, 12 years into his tenure, he does not."
It's hard to say what pattern Reid fits these days, although you can certainly say he's become more entertaining in his decision-making. A man who promotes his longtime offensive line coach to defensive coordinator is either bold or clueless. And right now, I think a lot of Eagles fans would choose the latter option. The Steelers stuck with Bill Cowher all those years before finally winning a Super Bowl. But I can't recall a lot of folks openly questioning whether it would ever happen for Cowher. There was a belief in that organization that he was always moving forward.
As Sheridan points out, it doesn't feel like Reid's any closer to pulling this off than he was several years ago. And that's why wild rumors about him being replaced in February didn't feel quite as wild Sunday night. If Bud Adams can run Jeff Fisher out of town, I guess Jeff Lurie could eventually do the same to Reid.
After all, Fisher and Reid have won the same number of Super Bowls.