Grin and Bear It: Andy Reid Here Until the Bitter End

Grin and Bear It: Andy Reid Here Until the Bitter End

Want Andy Reid gone? At the current rate, you'll get your wish soon enough. Then again, maybe it won't come quite soon enough for some of you.

After 14 years, Reid may very well be headed for a pink slip in the next two months. Don't expect the news to come down today though, nor this week or the next, probably no sooner than the end of the season. No matter how much you think he deserves it, there is simply no point in dumping the head coach at this stage, as some folks have already suggested.

Sure, such an announcement might bring fans a measure relief, but it doesn't change what the Eagles are with nine games left. After all, it's not like Jeffrey Lurie can go outside the current staff to find Reid's replacement in November.

That should be stating the obvious. Never mind the fact that most active coaches are currently, you know, employed -- though it stands to reason that might be a stumbling block. Who in their right mind is going to sign up to take over a sinking ship? Even if the task was somehow appealing (it's not), no outside candidate would or could work with a foreign staff.

Reid couldn't successfully transition a new defensive coordinator with an extra week to prepare, so it's probably safe to say Vince Lombardi couldn't overhaul an entire staff in six days, mid-season. And again, coaches are working right now, not applying for jobs.

Nobody is available.

That means the only answer is to promote an interim coach from the current staff. Well, since those guys are doing such bang-up jobs, who do you think should get the call? Todd Bowles deserves to keep flying up the ladder after Sunday's effort on defense, no? Have Marty Mornhinweg or Bobby April drawn rave reviews coaching the offense and special teams? Maybe under-performing line play will get Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn some looks, but I doubt they're willing.

This isn't a situation where there is a head coach-in-waiting in the building. When this regime ends, you want it to be finished once and for all, so it's not as if you're getting a look at a guy the organization would consider hiring.

Face it: Andy Reid is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for at least another month or two -- and there are still two more logical reasons why.

First, the Eagles' season is not over yet at 3-4. That's not a vote of confidence as much as it is acknowledging the remaining existing possibilities. As long as there isn't somebody better stepping in right away, Reid might as well have every opportunity to dig himself and his team out of this mess. It's their best chance for this year, and he's certainly surprised us in the past.

Second, you can make the case Reid's dismissal is long overdue, and it's a valid point. That said, as difficult as it may be to remember, there were a lot of great years under Reid, and it should earn him a modicum of respect. As long as there isn't an obvious replacement, he should be allowed to finish out the year.

Because what purpose does causing a scene serve other than to humiliate a man who led the Eagles to multiple appearances in the conference final, plus a trip to the Super Bowl?

It appears the end is near, but while it may seem like getting it over with is a thing to do, it's not. The Eagles won't be in any position to truly start over before January, so rather than hastily pull the plug on 2012, time's Reid's.

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

The Phillies made a couple quiet additions as the winter meetings ended, signing veteran outfielder Daniel Nava and lefty reliever Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts.

Nava, 34 in February, is a left-handed hitter who can play the outfield corners and first base. He came up with the Red Sox and became a fan favorite in Boston in 2010 as a 27-year-old rookie. Some Phillies fans will remember him for hitting a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major-league plate appearance.

Nava had a few decent years in Boston, the best of which was 2013, when he had 536 plate appearances and hit .303/.385/.445 with 29 doubles, 12 homers and 66 RBIs. 

Nava's numbers and opportunities have dropped every year since. He was designated for assignment by Boston in 2015, latched on with the Rays, signed the next year with the Angels and was traded late in the season to the Royals.

Over the last two seasons, Nava has hit just .208, albeit with an on-base percentage 99 points higher because of his 30 walks and 10 hit by pitches.

Burnett, 34, has spent five of the last seven seasons in the Nationals' bullpen. He had a 2.85 ERA in 283 appearances from 2009-12 and parlayed that success into a two-year, $7.25 million contract with the Angels. However, he barely pitched in 2013 and 2014 for the Halos because of an elbow tear. He returned to the Nats last season and allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings.

Burnett, perhaps more so than Nava, has a chance to fill a role with the Phillies if he can stay healthy. He's shown he can get outs at the highest level, posting a 2.38 ERA in 2012 with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.14 ERA with 8.9 K/9 in 2010. That was a long time ago now, and Burnett's fastball has dipped from averaging 90-91 mph to 88.

According to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith, Burnett will receive a $1.25 million salary if he makes the team and can earn another $1.75 million in incentives based on his number of appearances.

Burnett has an opt-out date of March 26, meaning he can become a free agent a week before the regular season begins if it looks to him like he isn't in the Phils' plans.

Nava's chances at cracking the opening-day roster seem longer because the Phillies are expected to make more depth signings between now and the start of camp. They've prioritized finding some offense in the corner outfield and that could come in the form of more minor-league deals, a guaranteed contract or trade. One potential fit I examined last week was Mariners outfielder Seth Smith, a hitter more proven than Nava (see story).

These minor-league deals were commonplace for Phillies general manager Matt Klentak last offseason, when the only free agent he signed to a major-league deal was reliever David Hernandez. 

Last season, three players who were signed to minor-league deals with invites to spring training made the team on opening day: outfielder Cedric Hunter, utilityman Emmanuel Burriss and reliever James Russell.

Others, such as former closers Edward Mujica, Ernesto Frieri and Andrew Bailey, failed to make the team out of camp. Bailey eventually earned a call-up; the other two didn't.

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixers point guard and Meek Mill collaborator Lou Williams is enjoying quite the run off the bench for the Lakers recently.

Over Los Angeles' last four games, Williams has posted totals of 40, 38, 24, and 35 points. 

The six-man is averaging 34.5 points per game over the stretch, and his 137 points are the most off the bench in a four-game span by any player since 1970-71, when stats were first recorded, per Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN. Williams is now averaging 19.3 points this season, which is 4.4 more than his highest average with the Sixers.

Williams isn’t the only player who used to play for the Sixers that is playing well for the Lakers this year. Nick “Swaggy P” Young, who also comes off the bench, is averaging 13.3 points per game. Just a few weeks ago, Swaggy P stole a pass intended for Lou Williams, and then proceeded to hit a game winner against the Thunder. Swaggy P, however, is currently sidelined with a right calf strain, but is getting closer to a return.

"Lou Will" was also talked about last April during Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, when he was beefing on Twitter with another former Philadelphia athlete, LeSean McCoy.