November 21, 2012
When it comes to finding out whether or not head coaches are getting through to their teams, the biggest indication is if the team is giving their maximum effort. Looking at the performances of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers last Sunday, it appears the respective coaches have lost their team. The Eagles lost 31-6 to the Washington Redskins, which drops the team to 3-7, and the seat is hotter than ever for head coach Andy Reid. The Eagles looked lifeless and uninspired in a game filled with bad tackling, bad execution, and lack of effort. As for the Chargers, they lost to the Denver Broncos 30-23, dropping them to 4-6 and three games behind the Broncos for first place in the AFC West. Their head coach, Norv Turner, probably should’ve been fired at least two seasons ago appears to be a lame-duck coach with each passing game. As I compare the two cases, it looks to be harder to fire Reid than it would Turner. Yes, the Eagles have lost six games in a row and the team looks lifeless, but this has been a tough year, professionally and personally, for Reid. While Reid won’t use it as an excuse for why his team is struggling, he did lose his son, Garrett, to an apparent drug overdose in the first few days of training camp. Reid has also been an successful coach during his tenure there. He has led the team to five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. Even though I may feel it’s time for Reid to go, I could understand if the Eagles’ ownership decided to keep him aboard. Turner, on the other hand, has no excuses and if he isn’t fired at least by the end of this season, it might be time to look at the people in ownership and re-evaluate their positions as well. Some guys are just better coordinators than coaches, and Turner definitely fits that mold. The Chargers haven’t made the playoffs in the last two seasons and are looking progressively worse under Turner’s control. Phillip Rivers, who for a time was in the class of elite quarterbacks in the NFL, hasn’t played up to that caliber in the last year and a half. In fact, Rivers has turned the ball over 43 times since the beginning of last season. Some of those turnovers look like an effort of a guy who doesn’t care, and that’s a direct reflection of the head coach. I never thought Turner was a good coach anyway, but I guess the Chargers had to see that themselves. This conversation would be different if we were talking about an offensive coordinator job. Turner is one of the best offensive play-callers in the league, just not a good head coach. I don’t feel these are the only two teams who need a change in head coaches, but these are the two that stand out, primarily because these two teams had high hopes for the season. The Eagles were one of those teams thought to be a contender for the Super Bowl, and the Chargers were looked at as a darkhorse from the AFC. These teams have way too much talent to do this badly, and underachieving is something that won’t be tolerated in the NFL. You never want to see coaches get fired and lose their jobs, but you have to do what’s best for the team and the future. Unfortunately for Reid and Turner, the future for the Eagles and Chargers look to be better without them.
By Charles Taylor