In Philadelphia, people find a way to complain about everything – there's something in the water. And nothing, or nobody, in Philadelphia gets people in the media more cantankerous than Andy Reid.
Reid's relationship with the media is about as strained as any public relationship can be. Despite the successes on the field, including a lackluster 2008 regular season that ended in a visit to the NFC title game, Reid has remained a giant, green, media punching bag. Chalk part of the icy relationship up to the hard-nosed attitude of Philly writers and talk radio hosts, coupled with the fact that Reid somehow manages to give less information out than Bill Belichick, which people in New England only put up with because Belichick has an entire hand full of rings. Reid, on the other hand, has none, at least as a head coach. Sure he boasts a .607 winning percentage and went to five NFC title games and one Super Bowl, but he hasn't won anything yet. Until he does, or until he's booted out of town – neither look likely any time soon – the media will continue to take their shots whenever they can.
None of those shots have been more creative than Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford's missive today, suggesting that the Eagles sign Allen Iverson to play quarterback. His column, cleverly titled, "Answer for the Eagles? They could try Iverson," was a direct shot at Reid's decision to turn the town upside-down with the Michael Vick signing, who he has failed to properly use. Why not, Ford suggests, bring in AI as well?
Now that their first experiment with rehabilitating the image and playing career of a former quarterback has been so wildly successful, it's obviously time for the Eagles to reach out again and build on that strategy.Ford's point is actually pretty valid. With how little Vick has contributed on the field for the Eagles – 2-for-7 passing for six yards and 12 rushes for 27 yards in seven games – Iverson could be a better option for the Eagles than Vick. Remember, Iverson was a state-champion quarterback in Virginia.
There is nothing, after all, that Andy Reid and the front office likes better than being smarter than everyone else ... These guys don't just think outside the box at One NovaCare Way. They don't even recognize the box. The box says boring things like, "You should really run the ball against the Oakland Raiders." Anybody with a whistle and a mail-order coaching certificate can do that. Where's the thrill?
And you do have to hand it to them. This Vick thing has been everything they promised - with the possible exception of, well, everything.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie basically came out on the day Vick was signed and said, 'this better work,' and clearly, it hasn't. Add to the fact, as Ford explains, the edict from Lurie that the Vick signing will be a success if he's a positive influence in the community – something either going woefully underreported or flat-out not happening (we believe the latter) – it's evident that nine games in, the Vick signing is an unmitigated disaster for Reid. Sure Donovan McNabb could get hurt and Vick could put this team on his back and get to the playoffs, but the sentiment in town is that should McNabb miss significant time, Kevin Kolb is more adept and trusted to lead the team than Vick.
And, as Ford jokingly suggests, so is Iverson.
[I]t is time for the Allen Iverson Era. If there ever was a man for the Wildcat offense, this is the guy. As we know from his time with the 76ers, this is one wild cat. And now he needs a job and a little image rehabilitation.
So, get in here, Allen Iverson. This one is really outside the box. And the only thing the Eagles appear to work harder at than being outside the box is being outside the playoffs.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.