Eagles

Why Eagles fans should be rooting for Andy Reid to win Super Bowl LIV

Why Eagles fans should be rooting for Andy Reid to win Super Bowl LIV

I sat here for a long time trying to put into words why Eagles fans should root for Andy Reid to win a Super Bowl.

And really it just comes down to this: Why wouldn’t you?

And I can’t think of one reason.

But I’m not blind to the fact that a large portion of Eagles fans — Maybe half? Maybe a third? — can’t stand Big Red, root against him all the time, hope the Chiefs lose Sunday and cackle every time Reid loses a big game.

People can root for anybody they want. There’s no rules governing this stuff. But the anti-Reid sentiment has always surprised me. And baffled me.

Where is it coming from? This isn’t Rich Kotite here. 

This is the guy who took over a team that had won two playoff games in the previous 20 years, a franchise that had really lost its way, and made it relevant again. 

From 2000 through 2010, the Eagles averaged 10 1/2 wins a year - most in the NFC - and won more playoff games than anybody in the league other than the Patriots and Steelers.

Year after year, the Eagles took Philly for a postseason ride. Year after year, there was meaningful football in January.

None of it culminated in a Super Bowl championship, and that’s a pretty big blotch on his resume. One that Reid is now once again two wins away from erasing.

But if we dismissed as failures everybody who came through town and didn’t win a championship, that wouldn’t leave very many people to root for.

Heck, there’s still a rather significant portion of Eagles fans who can’t stand Big Red because he never won a championship but celebrate Buddy Ryan, whose talent-laden teams went all of 0-3 in the postseason and scored one touchdown in those three playoff losses. 

So what is it?

The guy has some personality quirks, no doubt about it. 

“Ahem, injuries,” became a punchline around here. 

Same with, “OK, injuries,” and, “I’ve got to do a better job.”

And who could ever forget, “This is Stacy’s day.”

And as a coach Big Red has his flaws, no doubt. You don’t need me to tell you about his clock management issues. About burning all his timeouts 10 minutes into a half. About not giving Brian Westbrook enough carries.

But so what? Are we really that petty that we’re hoping a guy who delivered a decade of winning football to a city starved for it loses because he wasn’t perfect?

And think about this: Without Big Red, there’s no Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham or Jason Kelce. And of course there’s no Doug Pederson, either.

Do you think the Eagles win the Super Bowl without them?

The Reid haters love to tell me how Jim Johnson was the real brains behind those great Eagles teams. And, yeah, Jim was definitely a brilliant coach and is rightfully revered in this city a decade after his tragic death.

But the reality is the Eagles during that period from 2000 through 2010 were 5th-best in the league both on offense and defense. Andy was just as capable an offense mind as Jim was on defense.

I remember talking to Andy a day or two after opening day weekend in 2013. The Chiefs had beaten the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon in Reid’s first game in Kansas City, and the Eagles beat the Redskins the next night on Monday Night Football in Chip Kelly’s first game as Eagles head coach.

Andy told me he sat in his office during that Eagles-Redskins game, “Rooting like crazy for the Eagles.”

That’s the thing about Andy. He genuinely loves this city, genuinely loves this franchise, was genuinely rooting for the team that had just fired him eight months earlier.

Andy has his flaws, like the rest of us. He’s made mistakes, like the rest of us. He’s only human, like the rest of us. 

And when you get right down to it, that may be the best reason of all to root for him.

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Eagles choose to sit tight, watch as Brandin Cooks is traded to the Texans

Eagles choose to sit tight, watch as Brandin Cooks is traded to the Texans

Another week, another starting wide receiver changing teams - and the Eagles still remain on the sidelines.

The Rams traded Brandin Cooks and a future fourth-round pick to the Texans on Thursday for the No. 57 pick in this month's NFL Draft, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Cooks, 26, is headed to his fourth team since being drafted by the Saints in 2014, and his third team since 2017.

The Texans' move, of course, comes a little more than three weeks after Houston traded DeAndre Hopkins, a superior wide receiver, to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for basically a second-round pick and running back David Johnson.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman implied in late March that the Eagles were involved in the Hopkins discussions, but couldn't - or didn't want to - match the Cardinals' offer. It was an interesting argument, considering the Birds' absolutely dire need for wide receiver help, but Roseman isn't one to overpay when he draws a line in the sand. 

It's unclear whether the Eagles were in the mix for Cooks, a player who they've been linked to in previous trade talks.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro broke down the pros and cons of a potential Cooks-to-Eagles deal, and concluded that while Roseman should've at least been talking to the Rams about Cooks, trading a second-round pick for a player with concussion history who isn't getting any younger wouldn't be a smart use of capital:

Should they trade away the No. 53 pick for him? No way! Especially not in a draft that’s this deep at receiver. And not for a high-priced player coming off his worst NFL season and who might be one concussion away from the end of his career.

The fact that the Texans' Bill O'Brien, not exactly one of football's most revered decision-makers at the moment, traded the No. 57 pick for Cooks tells that Dave was on the money.

Of course, this leaves the Eagles with one fewer way to fix their wide receiver woes. They are clearly eyeing the draft, where a historically deep wide receiver class should net at least one contributor.

Will it be in the first round? Players like Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs seem like game-changers, but they might not be available without the Eagles trading up. If they don't, guys like Brandon Aiyuk could be available with the second-round pick Roseman just decided to not trade.

And if they wait past the first wave of top-tier wideout talent, there are plenty of names to watch in the later rounds.

One thing's for certain: things are starting to heat up, and that's normally when Roseman starts making moves.

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Sidney Jones: 'You haven't seen nothing yet'

Sidney Jones: 'You haven't seen nothing yet'

“There’s a whole lot left. That’s all I can tell you. You haven’t seen nothing yet," Sidney Jones said Thursday afternoon in an interview. 

Jones is going into his third real season in the NFL. He has gone through injuries. He’s been a healthy scratch.

Howie Roseman said, “It’s time for him to prove it," and Jones agrees.

“Adversity builds character," he said. "I feel like I have weathered the storm. I am ready to show what I can do and prove it."

Jones is working out in Texas with noted defensive backs trainer Ronnie Braxton. They are working on physical and mental techniques. I asked Jones if his confidence has been affected through his ups and downs.

“It probably could have," he said. "I’m not going to lie. But you’ve got to keep pushing through it and that’s where I’m at right now, working with everybody in my circle that’s getting me back right." 

Jones is also working with veteran cornerback Chris Harris, who was just named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team. Jones wishes Harris would’ve signed with the Eagles, but Harris chose the Chargers in free agency. 

“Just to be around guys like that and to watch him and watch his moves and see how they go about their business, I can just follow him and pick up tips," Jones said.

Jones is thrilled the Eagles traded for his “boy” Darius Slay. Jones says having Slay with the cornerback will help him, and he says the two have a similar body type.

“Veteran leadership," he said. "He’s been around the game and has experience. I think it’s going to be really good for us."

Jones said the Eagles did not say anything to him after they traded for Slay. The word is Jones and Avonte Maddox will compete for the other outside cornerback spot, and Jones is ready to compete. 

“I am ready," he said. "I don’t think anybody is working as hard as me right now”

How motivated is he?

“I can’t even describe," he said. "It’s not even on the radar. It’s 1,000 times above that. I’m excited, man.”

Jones and his fiancée donated $25,000 to The Philly Pledge, following Rodney McLeod’s lead. Jones wants to help people in Philly, and wants to stay in Philly.  

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