I originally meant to write this post when the Eagles played the Titans last season, but never got to it.
With the news that Jeff Fisher is done in Tennessee, now's a good time to revisit the topic.
It's a simple comparison between Fisher and Andy Reid. Fisher spent 16-plus seasons as the head coach of the Titans, and Reid just finished his 12th season with the Eagles. Neither guy has won a Super Bowl, yet both are widely respected around the league. Fisher will have another head-coaching opportunity in 2012. And if/when Reid's time is over here, he'll have the same opportunity.
In Philadelphia, think of Fisher fondly. He's the guy that could have been running the show instead of Rich Kotite back in 1991.
But the truth is, had Fisher produced the same results in Philadelphia that he produced in Tennessee, he'd be getting killed. That's not to say he's a bad coach, but in a city that is starving for its first Super Bowl, Fisher would have been in the same boat that Reid's in right now. Actually, it would probably be worse.
Let's break down the numbers:
|Regular season winning pct.
|Seasons w/ a winning record (above .500)
|Super Bowl berths
Is there any category where Fisher has an edge? I can't find one. And remember, he's had four more full seasons under his belt. I guess that could hurt Reid in the winning percentage category if the Eagles go in the tank the next four years, but he has more division titles, playoff berths and playoff wins than Fisher.
Fisher's teams finished above .500 in Tennessee just six times in 16 seasons. Reid's have finished above .500 in nine of 12 seasons.
Of course, I know what you're going to say. The only category that matters is Super Bowl wins. And that's not included above because neither coach has one. To a large degree, that's a fair point. But to say that Fisher's run in Tennessee was more successful than Reid's run in Philadelphia is just inaccurate.
Reid is in a critical stage of his career here. In his column today, I thought the Daily News' Rich Hofmann did an outstanding job of detailing the change in philosophy with Reid and the organization. The results that come from the Eagles' decisions this offseason could very well dictate how much longer he coaches here.
As for Fisher, he said today that he's "tired" and needed a rest. How could he not be after 16-plus seasons? Perhaps a TV gig in 2011 and a head-coaching job in 2012 is in his future. And maybe the above comparison will look different 10 years from now. The final chapters have not been written in either coach's career.