Andy Reid Era

This will probably be just the first in a series of posts we do on Andy Reid over the next couple weeks, but here we have highlighted his success relative to other current NFL coaches.   Before we get to the chart, here are the rules:

The X axis is cumulative regular season winning percentage.  Important to note that this a) only includes current NFL coaches, and b) only includes their track record with their CURRENT team.  So Jeff Fisher and Mike Shanahan don’t get credit.  This is a What Have You Done for Me Lately? world.

The Y axis, I’ve termed Annualized Playoff Success.  I went through each coaches playoff history and gave them credit for their success on a simple point system I created.

Playoff Appearance (No Wins): 1 Point

Playoff Win(s) (but no Conference Championship): 2 Points

Super Bowl Loss: 3 Points

Super Bowl Win: 5 Points

You add up all those points and divide by total coaching tenure with the team (to mitigate the impact of long tenure).

The bubble size represents total Playoff Points under my system (so it’s a bit biased towards long tenure, but instructive nonetheless).  Orange bubbles, in case you couldn’t guess, mean super bowl winners.

Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 10.43.08 AM


Andy Reid is a little tough to see, but he is the biggest blue bubble, just under Tom Coughlin.

The big takeaway here is: “Be careful what you wish for” regarding a coaching change.  I’ve long been an Andy Reid supporter.  Despite some obvious shortcomings, I believe he is still one of the best coaches in the league.  Most importantly, it is very difficult to find a good NFL coach.  As we can see in the chart above, by our assumed current standards (Andy Reid = just not good enough), there are A LOT of crappy coaches out there.

There’s no guarantee the Eagles make the right choice when it comes to the next coach, and I’d argue that the odds actually suggest it will be tough to find someone as good as Reid has been.

Just to clarify, this is not an endorsement of keeping Reid, just reminding everyone to temper their enthusiasm to get rid of him.



Andy Reid Drafts:

We’ll be taking a much more detailed look at the Draft after the season ends, but I thought I’d quickly provide a good illustration as to why the team’s performance has tailed off the last few years.  Below are all of the Eagles’ draft picks made under Andy Reid.  I did not include this past year’s since not enough time has passed to really judge any of the picks (though Cox looks like a hit).

I’ve color coded them so we can easily see where and when the good picks were made.

There’s a lot of subjectivity to “grading” players, but the general rule of thumb I used was:

Good starters for the Eagles are highlighted Green.  Complete disasters are Red.  Everyone else is Black (either mediocre or jury is still out).  You’ll notice that nobody after the second round is Red.  Beyond there it becomes very difficult to find quality starters, so the team really isn’t docked much for missing there (though not finding quality backups is another issue altogether).  Also, if a player went on to be successful, but did so for another team, they don’t count as a good pick (think Derrick Burgess or Brandon Gibson).

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 2.59.45 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 3.00.34 PM

Notice anything?  Now I’m sure some will argue about how I’ve classified a few of the names on the list (Andrews and Bunkley could certainly be Red) but in general I think everyone can see the same overarching trends.   The most shocking realization is the complete lack of strong defensive players picked since 2006.    Maybe Brandon Graham’s emergence is real, in which case he might switch to Green, but there really isn’t anyone else in all that time that I’d happily call a starter.  (And don’t say Stewart Bradley, he started for just 2 seasons, only one of which was a good year)

It’s also easy to see how this happened if we take a glance at who is highlighted in Red (i.e. complete misses).  From 2007-2011, the Eagles used 2nd round picks on the following defensive legends:  Victor Abiamiri, Trevor Laws, Nate Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett.

That, folks, is a very big reason why this is Andy Reid’s last year as coach.  It looks like he broke the trend with Cox, but too little too late.

Final note:  I do not mean to suggest that Andy Reid is bad at drafting.  My guess is that over his career he has been about average and most people don’t realize just how hard it is to accurately project talent.  The offseason draft analysis will take a look at league-wide success rates and see where Reid actually ranks and if there really are good drafters or if it’s just luck (hint: it’s probably a lot of luck).

Also, I apologize if there are any typos or misspelled names.  Lots of transcription, hopefully its all correct.

Andy Reid Article


Very good article on Andy Reid published on Grantland today (written by Bill Barnwell).  I’ve included the link below.

Towards the end of the season we’ll take a look at some Andy Reid numbers in hopes of gaining a good perspective on how best to characterize his tenure.  However, the linked article is a great outline.

I’ve been a vocal Andy Reid supporter for a while, and though it certainly appears like it’s time for both the franchise and him to move on, don’t be surprised when he competes for a title with another team.