One Very Simple Case For Ending the Andy Reid Era

One Very Simple Case For Ending the Andy Reid Era

Know what I'm tired of hearing? Arguments in favor of firing Andy Reid.

Not because I disagree. In fact, I think all this nonsense in the media about Reid coming back next year is pure crazy talk. There is no way he survives this. None -- and he shouldn't*.

I'm sick of it because it's become a tired, uninspired echo. "Andy Reid needs to go because of his play calling. The arrogance of his personnel decisions can't be defended. The locker room needs a new voice after so long. He has to take to the bullet for promoting Juan Castillo. He's a big, fat dummy."

"Andy Reid should be fired because he hasn't won a Super Bowl in 13 seasons." The truth is, Reid is likely finished here because the results simply aren't there anymore.

This situation doesn't require professional psycho-analysis. We don't need a self-professed expert to take us through the pros and cons of making a head coaching change.

All we have to do is look at what the Eagles have accomplished since reaching the big game in 2004.

2005: missed playoffs
2006: lost in divisional round
2007: missed playoffs
2008: lost NFC Championship
2009: lost in wild card round
2010: lost in wild card round
2011: 4-8, almost a lock to miss the playoffs

In the last seven seasons, the Eagles have had one legitimate contender. We can define what a contender is in various manners, but once the dust had settled, only the '08 team had a real great shot at winning a Super Bowl.

Jeff Garcia was at the helm in '06, and while they were only a play or two away from another conference championship game, even had they somehow sneaked into the Super Bowl, the Colts trounced them earlier.

In '09 and '10, they had fundamentally flawed teams. First, Donovan McNabb was clearly declining, practically incapable of winning them close games against difficult opponents. Last season, they had gaping holes at several positions.

Now they are 4-8, and have pretty much cemented missing the postseason altogether for the third time in seven seasons -- nearly half. They only have playoff wins in two others.

For my first ever post on this site, I wrote following the '07 campaign the Birds were closer to winning a championship than people thought at the time. Next season, they came within one game of getting back to football's biggest stage.

Andy Reid will lose his job because the Eagles are going in the opposite direction now, moving farther from contention with each passing year.

What else matters?

* Provided they don't steal an improbable playoff berth and rack up at least one or two post-season victories. Hey, the Cowboys and Giants aren't exactly putting the division away.

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn't get a handle on Kunitz's shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh -- where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday -- by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise's second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson's brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to "just play," code for fighting through Ottawa's neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport's ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary -- a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 -- by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone -- who stretched his left skate to stay onside -- fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz's screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson's shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray's back right to Dzingel's stick.

Notes
The home team is 21-20 in overtime Game 7s in NHL playoff history. ... Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Karlsson had 16 assists in the playoffs to set a team record. ... The Penguins are 10-7 in Game 7s. ... It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).