The Indianapolis Colts announced the firing of head coach Jim Caldwell yesterday in light of a 2-14 record, minus the talents of Peyton Manning, who has been out all season due to neck surgery. While the Colts’ 2011 season is just plain sad, the firing of Caldwell makes this football fan wonder (yet again) why other head coaches such as the Philadelphia Eagles’ Andy Reid keeps his job after not just one, but many suck-tacular seasons.
Guest post from Kent Page McGroarty
In Caldwell’s first season as head coach in 2009, the Colts made it to Superbowl after a 14-2 regular season, though they lost to the New Orleans Saints. Hey, at least Caldwell took his team to the Superbowl fairly recently, something the Eagles haven’t done since 2004 when they got their helmets handed to them by the New England Patriots. The Colts lost in 2010 to the New York Jets in the wild-card round after a 10-6 regular season. This year’s record was “the worst in the franchise’s history.”
Okay, okay, so this season was terrible. Caldwell still took the Colts to the Superbowl in his first year as head coach, a feat that took Reid four years to accomplish before losing miserably. While the Eagles under Reid have made EIGHT postseason appearances, most of them were dismal, and none of them have garnered a Superbowl win. At least Caldwell has the excuse of a Manning-less season. Reid has a star quarterback in Michael Vick, though he never seems to know what to do with him. And when I say “doesn’t know what to do with him,” I mean Vick got sacked a whopping 34 times in 2011, despite only playing 10 full games and parts of two others.
That gets a “Great googly moogly!” does it not?
Andy Reid’s first six seasons with the Eagles all included postseason appearances save the disaster that was 2005 when the Birds’ record was 6-10. This arguable success was at least in part due to defensive head coach Jim Johnson, whose units ranked second in the NFL from 2000-2008 in terms of sacks (390), 3rd down efficiency (34.0%), and red zone touchdown percentage (43.9%). The team also ranked fourth under Johnson for fewest points allowed per game (17.7 per game.) Then Johnson died, and Eagles defense died with him, ranking 19th in 2009 (21.8 ppg), 21st in 2010 (23.4 ppg), and 13th in 2011 (21.2 ppg)
Out of the 28 coaches that have won the Superbowl, 25 of them won the big game within seven years of being head coach. Andy Reid has been the Eagles’ head coach for 12 frickin’ years. Caldwell took his team to the Superbowl in his first year, yet won’t get the chance to redeem himself for this past season, something Reid has had the chance to do over and over again. And over again. Hmmm.
Kent Page McGroarty is a blogger for Gold Star Games, a leading tailgategear supplier.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks