Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Andy will never tell

What's with the play-calling? Andy Reid will never tell.

Andy will never tell

"Some of it was dictated by the weather conditions," Andy Reid said when asked about running the football against the Giants. "You weren´t going to be very successful throwing the football in that weather." (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
"Some of it was dictated by the weather conditions," Andy Reid said when asked about running the football against the Giants. "You weren't going to be very successful throwing the football in that weather." (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Andy Reid isn't saying if he decided to tweak his approach to running the football the last two games because of a decision to take the ball out of quarterback Donovan McNabb’s hands, or because running back Brian Westbrook is finally healthy, or because they just needed a change for the sake of change.

He isn't saying and he will never say; same old.

This has happened a few times in the past. In 2002, it was because McNabb  was getting killed. In 2003, it was because McNabb started the season erratically. There have been other times, too. Reid changes his approach, either radically or subtly, and never lets on, never acknowledges it is even happening. The reason is simple enough: he doesn't want to criticize his players. But it happens all the time.

This change is more subtle, not exactly a tweak but not exactly drastic, either.  The all-timer might have been in 2002.  In the first five games of that season, they ran the ball only 21.8 percent of the time in the first half of games. They threw, threw, threw their way to a million points -- but their record was only 3-2, and McNabb was getting sacked like crazy. So, during the bye week, fearing for their quarterback's health, the Eagles completely reassessed. In the next five weeks, they doubled their number of first-half runs to 42.6 percent. In essence, they went from a more wild-and-crazy throwing offense than this year to pretty much exactly what Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called in the first half against the Giants on Sunday. Again, this year was a change but not monumental. Back in 2002, it was monumental.

But Reid never acknowledged it. Asked back then, he never admitted that anything had changed. Black had turned into white, overnight, and he refused to say it -- just refused.

Just like now.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected