While Andy Reid was soaking up the sun in Antigua, the Eagles hired a new assistant and issued statements about their long search for a defensive coordinator. For the first time, it appeared Reid wasn’t running his team.
More than ever, it appears there has been a seismic shift in the Eagles’ power structure. Major football decisions seem to be falling increasingly under the control of president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman.
Just follow the timeline. This is not the way a conventional football operation conducts business. At his Jan. 10 news conference, Reid offered testimonials for all of his assistants, especially defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Two days later, Reid fired both McDermott and defensive line coach Rory Segrest.
Rather than deal with questions about his about-face, Reid escaped to the Caribbean, issuing no statement after news of the moves became public. A few days later, Jim Washburn agreed to coach the defensive line, and Reid jumped in with a statement crowing over the new addition. Glowing words for a coach he didn’t interview face to face? No comment on a valued 12-year colleague? Does this sound logical to you?
Adding to the intrigue is the undeniable emergence of a mystery man, GM Howie Roseman, a lawyer who cut his teeth in football by negotiating contracts. Yesterday, Roseman said that Reid was in charge of the search for a defensive coordinator. The fact that Roseman — a total novice in the Eagles’ hierarchy — felt the need to clarify that point only raised more eyebrows.
Who’s running the Eagles? If the answer is Reid, why did he say one thing and do the opposite when he traded his all-time favorite Eagle, Donovan McNabb? Why did he switch to Michael Vick two days after insisting that Kevin Kolb was his starting QB? Is Reid having trouble making decisions, or are they no longer solely his decisions?
The irony in all of this is that the three moves in question have all proven to be right. McNabb is done. Kolb is nowhere near the quarterback Vick has become. And McDermott was dreadful. If Banner and Roseman played a significant role in those decisions, the positive outcomes will only empower them even more in future moves.
Reid is back from vacation now, preparing to hire his new defensive coordinator. After what we have all just seen, however, it’s fair to wonder whether he is making that decision alone — or if it’s still his decision to make.
Wake up and trade Iguodala
How many games are the Sixers going to blow, and how many weeks are they going to waste, before GM Ed Stefanski finally does his job and trades Andre Iguodala?
In a week when the Flyers extended the contract of superb GM Paul Holmgren and the Eagles signed the best available defensive-line coach in the NFL, Stefanski remained invisible. Have we ever had a GM of a major pro team less conspicuous than Stefanski?
It doesn’t take a genius to see the wisdom of an Iguodala trade. In his seventh season, he has reached his NBA prime. What you see is what you get. On a good team, he could be a vital addition, especially at his appealing age (27 on Friday). On the Sixers, he is neither a franchise player nor a gate attraction.
Iguodala is stunting the development of Evan Turner, a rookie with a greater upside than Iguodala. Given his record of blunders as GM over the past three seasons, it is no sure thing that Stefanski sees this problem.
Whatever the problem, the clock is ticking on Iguodala and Stefanski. The trade deadline is Feb. 24. The affable GM said it was a “dream come true” when he took the job in his hometown. OK, great. Now it’s time to wake up from that dream and do something.
Phils lead by deeds
The Phillies did something that showed a genuine appreciation for the loyal people who have given them this unprecedented era of success. They bought the fans a new TV.
This isn’t just any video screen, understand. It is the biggest in baseball — 97 feet wide, 76 feet high, the absolute latest is high-resolution technology. It will fill the surface of the left-field scoreboard, offering film packages, interactive crowd games and replays with a clarity most fans won’t even find in their own living rooms.
The cost is the true indication of the Phillies’ commitment to the fans: $10 million. Yes, I know a big percentage of the cost will be defrayed by advertising, but that’s not the point. The Phillies didn’t have to do this. They sell out every game. There was not a single complaint about the old video board.
The Phillies did this because they care about the fans. Every pro team in our city pays lip service to the patrons, but the Phils just showed the difference between words and deeds.
Bravo to president Dave Montgomery and his staff of fan-friendly thinkers. When the Phils celebrate another championship this fall thanks to the best pitching in baseball, we will all see it on the best ballpark TV in the sport.
–Angelo Cataldi is host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30-10 a.m.
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