There has, for some time now, been a school of thought that the Philadelphia Eagles might not completely part ways with Andy Reid once his time as their head coach was done. The idea would be to replace him as coach but move him into a front-office role where he'd retain the personnel decision-making responsibilities he's had for the past decade while handing over the day-to-day on-field responsibilities to someone else. With Reid's time as head coach likely to end by this time next week, this idea has resurfaced in a few places, and Tim McManus examines it here:
This would be an unwise move on several fronts.
First and foremost, it would not play well. What the fans are craving more than anything else is something fresh. New blood, new hope, new life. If Reid still has his fingers on the controls, the base will still feel caged in.
The second point, which Brian Westbrook brought up in the discussion, is this: How comfortable would the new coach be with having the old coach hovering over his shoulder? How many candidates would that scare off?
The second point likely carries more weight than the first, though you can't completely discount the public-relations aspect of any move the Eagles make at this point. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie wants his fans to like his team, and he will consider how any Reid-related move plays with the fan base.
But for me, the issue here is merit. If you're removing Reid as coach because of the way the past two years have gone, you have to remove him as a personnel guy as well. He built this roster, and its failures and imperfections are the result of his own poor choices and mistakes. If Reid the coach hasn't been able to make things work in Philadelphia with the group he has in his locker room, the main reason is that the group isn't as good as Reid the talent evaluator and personnel man believed it to be.
Reid's tenure in Philadelphia has been very successful and worthy of the praise it will receive in league circles in the coming weeks, months and years. But his time there is up, and a clean break is the way to go.