Sal Paolantonio has a column up that asks a very good question: "Why has the Philadelphia Eagles' front office -- general manager Howie Roseman, team president Joe Banner and team owner Jeff Lurie -- been silent in the face of such overwhelming public disenchantment with head coach Andy Reid?" Been wondering this a bit myself, and I agree with Sal's conclusion that it means one of two things:
1. Either they don't feel it's necessary to show Reid support because they've offered it privately and/or don't feel the need to legitimize the hysterical fan reaction to a season in which they're all surely at least as disappointed as the fans are.
2. They haven't decided yet what they're going to do.
All along, I have believed that it was the first thing. And it still may be. Reid has two years left on his contract, an outstanding record prior to this year and deserves a chance to come back in 2012 and try to right the 2011 wrongs. Look at the way a similar situation was handled last year a little further up I-95. Moments after the New York Giants' season ended last year, team owner John Mara told reporters that of course coach Tom Coughlin would be back. He'd told Coughlin the same thing weeks earlier, but nobody knew. Most times, these teams would rather we didn't know everything they're up to.
But as Sal writes, in Reid's case:
The level of public vitriol begs for response. Any business entity can't be happy when the public agenda is being dictated by outsiders with a constant drumbeat of anger and disapproval. It's PR 101: Don't let somebody else drive the message. Any politician will tell you that. Define yourself, or you will be defined.
Which is why option No. 2 can't be completely discounted. One-quarter of the season remains, and if the Eagles embarrass themselves four straight times the way they did in their most recent game, 10 days ago in Seattle, even a front office inclined to keep Reid might find itself re-thinking matters. Sal wonders what would happen if they did:
Would Reid find another head-coaching job elsewhere? Perhaps San Diego, if Norv Turner is dismissed as expected. Reid has a home in Los Angeles. His agent, Bob LaMonte, is based in the Bay Area and knows the California football market as well as anybody.
Would Reid move into the Eagles' front office and hire one of LaMonte's clients -- Jon Gruden -- to become the new head coach?
It's all speculation at this point, because the Eagles haven't told anybody anything. Either they think all of this anger directed at the winningest coach in their history is foolish and unworthy of a response, or they're listening and thinking about what to do. Either way, this is the dominant storyline of the remainder of this Eagles' season, which continues this afternoon in Miami.