Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Andy bashers take a holiday

Andy Reid's day in Minneapolis was typical.

Andy bashers take a holiday

The Andy-bashers are giving the coach grudging credit for sticking with the run game against the Vikings even though it wasn't working. This is wrong. He didn't stick with it. They weren't getting anything out of it (but for one 27-yard run by Correll Buckhalter). The rest of the time,  Brian Westbrook was banging his head against a wall and he didn't look like he had the burst it would take to bounce outside. So Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg did what they almost always do in that situation -- they threw.

At the point where Westbrook caught the 71-yard screen pass for a touchdown, the Eagles has called about 68 percent passes and 32 percent runs. When they are losing, these are the kinds of numbers that get Reid barbecued. It is only a few play calls away from the sainted concept of balance, but people here insist that those play calls are the holy grail. Well, he wasn't balanced yesterday. So why aren't the Balance Police out in force?

Because it was never about the play-calling,  except in the most extreme cases. It is about the players. Most of all,this was about a defense that tightened up at halftime and smothered Minnesota. On the other side of the ball, it was about Eagles receivers holding on to the ball and, especially, it was about Donovan McNabb delivering the ball under pressure. He did turn it over twice, and that can get you beat against a better offensive team, but McNabb played a tough game and absorbed a lot of punishment and functioned well overall.

It is the players, not the play-calls.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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