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By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — The whispers at the start of this season have now grown into more audible shouts from every place possible Eagles’ fans can scream “Fire Andy!”
The Eagles’ impotent 30-17 setback to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday marked the first closing note in Reid’s requiem. After a 14-year tenure as Eagles’ head coach—the longest ever in franchise history, which probably will never be challenged—is coming to an end.
And though a majority of the fanbase here has castigated Reid as a loser, everyone else throughout the National Football League still thinks very highly of the beleaguered Eagles’ head coach.
He’s not going to have to look very hard finding a job elsewhere in the NFL after Eagles’ owner Jeff Lurie pronounces it official in January.
One place right off the top where Reid may land next is San Diego. The Chargers have similar woes as the Eagles, a talented team that’s underachieved the last two years. San Diego has mirrored the Eagles these last two years, starting 2012 3-1, as the Eagles have, and find themselves in the throes of a three-game losing skid—as the Eagles are.
Also, like the Eagles, the fanbase is frothing at the mouth over the removal of Norv Turner as head coach. And yet again, like the Eagles, Turner’s Chargers finished 2011 a lackluster 8-8 and it appeared Turner was all but ousted.
He wasn’t, nor was Reid after the Eagles went 8-8. At least Lurie put the gauntlet down publicly when he said going 8-8 in 2012 wouldn’t be tolerated. At this rate, the Eagles may finish far worse than that.
If the Chargers don’t make the playoffs and continue floundering, Turner will be shown the door. Don’t be surprised if Reid’s name is one of the first broached in taking over the Chargers.
Reid is originally from California. He’s lived in the Philadelphia area and raised his family here the last 15 years. But a new chance in a new market with the Chargers would be a perfect morale boost for Reid.
He would be walking into a ready-made situation to win. He’ll get an opportunity to correct Philip Rivers, a test he would relish.
Another possibility is Cleveland, where Reid already has former Eagles’ fixture Joe Banner, the Browns’ CEO and President, in place. Head coach Pat Shurmur is a combined 6-18 over his two seasons in Cleveland, relying heavily on rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and rookie tailback Trent Richardson to lead the offense. In Cleveland, Reid would have a chance to hone and shape a young quarterback, a Reid strength.
Cleveland may actually be a better fit. Reid and Banner have obviously worked with each other before, and both carry a mutual respect for one another. Can’t you almost see Banner double-pumping his fist in private after each Eagles’ loss this season? It creates a better chance to land Reid, who turned the Eagles’ program around from the dormant 3-13 state it was in when Ray Rhodes left after the 1998 debacle.
Remember, it only took Reid one season to convert the Eagles into contenders. Remember, in his prior 13 season, the Eagles had a losing record in only two seasons (1999 and 2005, the Terrell Owens’ meltdown year). In the five years before Reid arrived in 1999, the Eagles were sub-.500 in three of those years.
Those dark years seem lost to Eagles’ fans. Another dim time looms on the horizon again for this team.
No Eagles’ coach has won more games than Reid. But now his coaching and influence over this team appears stale. Reid himself looks forlorn.
A fresh start with a new team seems best for Reid, the Eagles, and for the rabid fanbase that will no doubt be chanting “Fire Andy” in the remaining four home games.
It’s a matter of time before it actually happens.