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Andy Reid in No-Win Situation This Year

Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid was on the hotseat after last year's 8-8 finish. But with the death of his son, maybe he should get a mulligan this year.

Poor Andy Reid.

It's one thing, for any parent, to have to deal with the .

But it's another, when you're the coach of the , to cope with that death when a season of high expectations is on the horizon.

After last year's 8-8 finish, the longtime coach -- arguably the best in franchise history -- was put on the hotseat by team owner Jeffrey Lurie for faltering during a "Dream Team" season in which nothing short of a Super Bowl would suffice.

So, now comes this year and the team looks very sharp and determined as it trains during camp at .

Suddenly, there's tragedy as Reid's eldest son has died on campus grounds, casting a dark cloud over an atmosphere that looked so sunny and bright.

If you're in Reid's shoes, is this season going to be anything but fair to the coach?

The answer is a plain and simple No.

There's no way any human being can rebound from such a tragedy and suddenly focus like everything is fine and nothing has changed.

Reid, a noted tough guy, can do all he wants to try and hide his emotions. He can put all his energy and focus into his job and his football team, but how can anybody overcome such a tragedy?

As they say, "Time heals all wounds."

But will Reid have the time?

As compassionate people, we all should say yes and give Reid a mulligan for this year. He gets a pass. If he fails, blame it on his devastation.

But this is Philadelphia and the National Football League.

If Reid decided to take the season off to handle his grief, while everyone would understand, Philly's fan following and media would probably state that the coach bailed out on his team.

Yet if Reid comes back immediately and the losses mount, everyone will say that his mind is elsewhere and that Reid shouldn't be on the sidelines.

In other words, Reid is in a no-win situation this year.

Maybe, just maybe, the team rallies around the coach, dedicates the season to Reid's son, goes undefeated and wins the .

Maybe such a tragedy gives this team an emotional edge this year to do whatever it takes to win the championship.

But, in reality, that's a lot to ask.

Reid, based on his persona, will say all the right things. He'll tell everyone that he's fine and doing his job. He'll say that the best place for him to recover is on a football field.

But Reid just might not have it in him this year.

When the son of Tony Dungy, coach of the Indianapolis Colts, committed suicide, the team stood at 14-1 and was having a monster season. But its heart went out in the playoffs.

It wasn't until the following year that Dungy got back that will to win and the Colts won the Super Bowl.

So maybe this isn't the year for the Birds based on this tragedy. Maybe it will take a year for Reid to mend and to be somewhat capable of having the fire back in his belly.

No one should fault him if Reid doesn't have that fire anymore. After such a tragedy, how could anyone?

But is that enough for Philadelphia Eagles fans? Can we wait another season?

We just might have to.

Dino Ciliberti is the editor of the Palmer/Forks Patch.com site. He covers professional sports for the Lehigh Valley.

Colin A. Mattis August 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM
While i can not imagine the psychological devastation that losing a child has wrought within. Mr. Reid I can discern between what is public "space" and what is private. I wholeheartedly disagree that if Reid chose to take some time off that Philly fans or the media would say he bailed on his team...and frankly if they did they are shallow callous humans whose opinion is meaningless anyway. That said, football is an event fans wait anxiously for from the moment one season ends until the next begins. A team does not belong to one man it belongs to every fan. I do not believe it would be fair or reasonable for Andy to CHOOSE to stay on in the capacity of head coach if there is even a small chance that his performance will himder the team. There are plenty of ways for him to stay involved while he tries to get through this tragedy but, it would not be right to ask for a mulligan.
frank ciliberti August 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I think the team will help with his loss and take his mind off of things untill the season ends. Then he can grieve in private. I don't think you can ever get over something like this. We can only offer our prayers.
Bob Linney August 11, 2012 at 04:35 PM
A Mulligan? Give me a break! This isn't frickin' golf. it's FOOTBALL. How many times have you read about players who just buried their fathers (who died from natural causes) and played their hearts out in the very next game? What's the difference? Just because Reid's son died from a self-abussive, chosen livestyle we should let the coach's substandard work perfomance go on for another year??? This mind-boggling, mind-set of so many so called "fans" makes me want to puke.
Margaret Litka August 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Well - he made a hero out of a monster (Michael Vick) - karma works in strange ways. Just saying.....
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out August 11, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Reid got his Mulligan the year that his sons were arrested and put into jail! Remember all the time he took off? Frankly he should have stepped aside at that point, focused on his family and he could have returned to the NFL anytime later as a Head Coach. Enough already, he made a bad choice back then and Lurie perpetuates it by keeping him as the Head Coach....for Reid's own good, and that of his remaining family, Lurie should send him packing with a nice severance.
Eric Campbell (Editor) August 11, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Everyone's obviously entitled to his or her opinion. But Bob, if you seriously see no difference between burying a father and burying a son, I don't know what to tell you.
David August 11, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Seriously, poor Andy Reid? No, it's rich Andy Reid. He is one of the very few people out there that can afford to quit his job and be fine for the rest of his life. But football, and not raising his children, has always been his priority. Maybe Reid could take a close look at what just happened in his family, and decide that working to fight drug abuse is a more appropriate life goal moving forward then giving 2nd chances to unrepetant animal murderers and coaching a bunch of young men to early deaths by bashing their brains against each other as hard as they can game after game.
johnny chitwood August 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM
wow, lack of reporting, apparently the author of this was not at training camp today when the agent for reid said they have an agreement that as long as Lurie is the owner reid would be the coach. He can go 0-16 and still have a job thanks to the divorce agreement about the operation fo the team that stipulates the coach between the Luries split. also, i feel nothing for that scumbag reid, he obviously puts work before family, killed off his drug addict son, funeral and then the next day back to work while his wife is devastated but the team comes before family, Andy Reid = SCUMBAG
Dino Ciliberti (Editor) August 12, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Of course I wasn't at camp today. I wrote it just after his son died based on the information I had then.
Bob Linney August 12, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Eric, please reread what I wrote. The players who lost their fathers were back playing after the funeral, with pain in their hearts but determination in their spirits. With Reid, some people are ready to allow the pain in his heart to be an excuse to lose the determination of his spirt.
anonymous September 08, 2012 at 03:18 PM
In one sense, I feel bad for Andy Reid in losing his eldest son. But on the other hand, I feel Jeff Lurie is right on target. He's been more than patient. This is business. This is the NFL. Enough is enough, already. 13 years is a long time without a Super Bowl championship. It's time to give the Philadelphia Eagles the title "2012 Super Bowl Champions!!!!!"

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