Personal note: I grew up in Philly, and the last time the Eagles had a coach not named “Andy Reid,” I was 10 years old. So I’m familiar with the Andy Reid Experience.
And the beginning of today’s Eagles-Giants game — which will almost certainly be the last game of Reid’s tenure — involved a lot of the things that have defined this era of Eagles football, for better or worse.
Philly started the game with a surprise onside kick on the opening kickoff. It’s something Reid has done a bunch of times in the past, to varying degrees of success.
Say what you will about him, but Reid has always had a bit of showmanship in him. He runs a goofy gadget play at least once a game (even when they don’t work). He throws it deep on 3rd and 1. And he tries the tricks and gimmicks that other NFL coaches won’t.
So it’s fitting that in his final game-opening kickoff, this happened, and it worked:
But then Mike Vick threw a truly terrible pick, and rendered the thrill and cleverness of the onside kick meaningless.
Vick was Reid’s big bet. As general manager of the team, Reid took a chance on Vick when he was released from prison. When Vick performed well in the first half of 2010, he decided to build the team around his unique skillset.
But Vick inevitably regressed, Reid never gave him the offensive line he needed to protect him, and the team collapsed in both 2011 and 2012.
It was and endless stream of fumbles and INTs that doomed the Eagles this season, and ultimately ended Reid’s tenure.
If there are two plays that sum up the Reid era, it’s these two. The intelligence and brilliance of the onside kick, followed by the finality of the pick that made it all for nothing