What Would Buddy Do?
Leave it to R-Diddy
Posted on November 25th, 2008 at 1:03 pm by Cheesesteak Hoagie

In the midst of an avalanche of Eagles criticism in the past 48 hours, both local and national, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the most cogent — and damning — piece of analysis has come from Blathermonkey Emeritus Ray Didinger in his weekly Comcast Sportsnet column.

I already linked this in my del.icio.us, and I’m not in the business of overwhelming you with block quotes (if only for copyright reasons!), but for all the crap I like to fling at the local press, this column was a clear reminder of why some guys really really really know what they’re talking about (and why folks like me are mostly full of sh*t).  Enjoy:

For whatever you may have thought about Reid’s coaching in the past – and Lord knows I’ve had issues with his play-calling for years – there was always a sense that he mapped things out, that he thought things through and wasn’t given to impulse. That’s no longer the case. Now he has the look of a blindfolded man swinging a stick at a piñata, hoping he somehow makes contact and wins a prize, or at least converts a third down.

Consider how Sunday’s game unfolded. The Eagles come out in a no-huddle offense and McNabb completes six of his first seven passes. Then he gets hit from the blindside and coughs up his first interception and the offense falls apart for the rest of the first half. At halftime Reid makes the decision to pull McNabb and play Kolb. Based on what?

It isn’t like Reid was turning to a veteran backup who had been in this situation before, a Jeff Garcia or a Kerry Collins. This is a kid who had hardly played in the regular season and wasn’t even practicing with the first unit. Yet you are putting him on the field against the Ravens defense, which ranks third in the NFL, without even one healthy running back and asking him to win a game and, basically, save your season.

There was no good reason to expect Kolb to perform any better than he did. His skittish performance, which was every bit as dreadful as McNabb’s, was totally predictable. And the play call at the goal line – throwing a pass to the back of the end zone against one of the best red zone defenses in football – was dumber than dumb.

So what was the real upside of switching to Kolb? To win the game? The kid had no chance, not surrounded by that wreck of an offense, playing against a hungry Ravens defense. To begin the Kevin Kolb era? That doesn’t make sense either. If Reid wanted to do that, he could not have picked a worse time with just three days to prepare for Arizona and a trip to the Meadowlands to face the Giants defense looming the week after that.

So what conclusion can we draw? That Reid didn’t think it through at all. He just took a shot and as a result he turned a winnable game into a 29-point rout, he opened the door to a quarterback controversy and he left a lot of people – including some in his own locker room – scratching their heads and wondering if he has any clue at all.

To summarize, inserting Kolb was a bad move because the kid wasn’t really prepared for a pretty tough Baltimore defense, it wasn’t likely to win you the game, and that Andy pulled this stunt means that Andy really isn’t thinking clearly.

Pretty logical, and pretty damning.

Tip of the cap to you, Mr. Didinger.  Now let’s see if you’re right about that sabbatical theory.

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