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bradentonian

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: December 23, 2008, 12:57:38 PM

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20081223_Gonzo___Reid_s_play-calling_no_accident.html

Gonzo: Reid's play-calling no accident
 By John Gonzalez

Inquirer Columnist

On the day after the most disappointing loss of an incredibly frustrating season, Andy Reid sat at the NovaCare Complex in front of a bank of cameras and treated us to a repeat performance of the same old song and dance. Yippee.
When asked why the Eagles attempted an astounding 48 passes (two of them spikes) against the Redskins - while running the ball just 16 times (two of them scrambles) - Reid did what he always does: He grumbled something inaudible into his mustache for a moment. Then he turned up the volume so everyone could better hear his special brand of nonsense.

"It just worked out that way," Reid said of his curious play-calling. "We probably could have run it a few more times."

It just worked out that way? And they probably could have run more? To hear Reid tell it, the play-calling sounds like an accident he had no control over - as though fate conspired against the Eagles long before they kicked off against Washington.

It seems as though Reid is the only person left who doesn't realize - or refuses to admit - that his offensive approach is responsible for making the Eagles so painfully predictable.

After the Bengals tied the Eagles, Cincinnati cornerback Johnathan Joseph said as much. Ravens safety Ed Reed echoed the same sentiment when Baltimore beat the Birds. Then, after the Redskins defeated the Eagles on Sunday, cornerback Fred Smoot became the latest voice to join the ever-growing chorus.

"That's them," Smoot said flatly. "When they're backed up, they throw their way out."

And so they do. Everyone knows it now, and everyone knows why it happens, too - even if Reid insists on claiming that the run-pass ratio is completely organic.

Unfortunately, none of this should come as a surprise. Under Reid, the Eagles have become a less humorous parody of the beer commercial starring Dennis Green - the one in which the former Cardinals coach barks, "They are who we thought they were." After the Giants game - which the Birds won, thanks in part to a balanced offense - we thought the Eagles might be evolving. We thought they were finally learning from their mistakes. We thought they might give the running game a real chance. That was our fault for buying an obvious con.

Now, we understand that everything remains the same as it ever was with the Eagles. Which is precisely the way Reid wants it.

"I'll take the responsibility," Reid said, dusting off another of his greatest hits. "I've got to put the guys in a better position to run the ball some more."

It's a common refrain from Reid - one we've all heard countless times before. It shouldn't be a shock. We've known who he is for a long time now.



ufojoe

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#1 : December 23, 2008, 01:08:23 PM


And here's a good one on Mangini...

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2008/12/22/2008-12-22_it_doesnt_take_a_mangenius_to_see_erics_.html

It doesn't take a Mangenius to see Eric's shortcomings as Jets' coach

Tuesday, December 23rd 2008, 9:52 AM

All season long, Eric Mangini has flatly drummed home his message about consistency and closing. Those are two of his big words, and they soon may be used to condemn the coach whose job is very much hanging in the balance on Sunday.

Mangini will be coaching for his own future at Giants Stadium, because he did a lousy job of coaching last Sunday in Seattle. He needs to beat a tough Miami team, because he didn't beat the dead-end clubs like the 49ers and Seahawks.

That's life, when you were once 8-3 and you're now calculating far-fetched tiebreakers. Mangini left potential points all over Qwest Field, on a snowy day when they were going to be very tough to get. And the problems go well beyond this one game. The Jets are 1-3 down the stretch against some very beatable sides, Brett Favre looks 50 years old and Chad Pennington comes to town to remind everyone that Mangini couldn't win with him, either.

Where is the consistency? How can a coach call his offense from the field on a fourth-and-1 on the Seattle 2-yard line, then later claim it is important to pin the Seahawks down near their goal line on a punt instead of attempting a 50-yard field goal attempt? Even if the Jets had failed to convert on that earlier fourth down, Seattle would have been in horrible field position under dreadful conditions - Mangini's own argument for punting later.

Where is the closing? Certainly not at the tail end of the schedule, or the final minutes of these defeats. We again saw no evidence that Mangini or his coaches have a good feel for Favre's strengths or weaknesses in the waning minutes of a tight game. If you can't engineer a late drive against the Seahawks' 25th-ranked passing defense, with a Hall of Fame quarterback, then it might be time to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

If the Jets don't win this game against the Dolphins, maybe it's time to start anew yet again for these cursed Jets. Maybe they chase Matt Cassel - not Tom Brady! - or draft a quarterback in the offseason. Maybe they find a coach who can run an offense when it matters.

They can't be sure they have one of those right now. Mangini didn't demonstrate faith in his guys until he was desperate late in the game, on fourth-and-2 from his own 20. Too late. Now we get to see if those players he didn't trust still have enough gumption and desire to rescue their coach, or whether they'll quit on Mangini against the Dolphins.

"That isn't a focal point of mine at all," Mangini said Monday, about his own job status. "I'm looking to give the players a good plan to beat Miami."

Again, you just want to shake the coach, find some passion in there somewhere that might be transferred to his players under pressure. Mangini is big on bringing in motivational speakers and showing inspirational films. It's time he found some ardor within himself, along with an offensive game plan that gets more than one touchdown pass and six interceptions in the last four games from Favre.

If nothing else, Jet fans can comfort themselves these days with the thought they were right all along. The football gods really do hate them. They are not imagining any of it.

How else can you explain the Scylla-or-Charybdis choice now facing the team, on this upcoming Sunday: The Jets can lose to Miami, anointing Pennington a star and Bill Parcells a genius. Or if they beat Miami, the victory will likely propel Bill Belichick deep into the playoffs, where his Giant Brain will be celebrated for its ingenuity and resilience.

Which is worse? Hard to say. Although there remains some small hope the Jets may wriggle their way into the playoffs, the far more probable outcome is a bunch of coaching and quarterback questions that must be answered shortly.

A lot of congratulations were handed out early in the season. Then as it started slipping away, we still kept hearing about how the Jets still controlled their own destiny. Now they control nothing, except their own effort against Miami.

Mangini Monday refused to define the Jets' success by whether or not they make the playoffs.

"I'll look at the whole course of the season," he said, whatever that means.

Forty years later, this franchise still can't buy a big win. But it can always purchase a new head coach.


Tampa Bay Todd

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#2 : December 23, 2008, 01:44:14 PM

It's just really curious about how the Eagles losses coincide with the high number of pass attempts. Does Reid forget he has Westbrook on the team?


ilovebeer

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#3 : December 23, 2008, 02:47:40 PM

I think he uses Wrestbrook perfect. He needs a back that can get those 3rd and 1 or 2.  Wrestbrook cannot do that. I expect the Eagles to make a push for a big back this off season.
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