Philly Sports Live

How much pressure is really on Andy Reid?

Many believe that Andy Reid is under pressure to produce some kind of postseason run – with good reason. The Eagles have Pro Bowl talent at nearly every position group and Reid has now had two swings at replacing Donovan McNabb (Kevin Kolb, then Mike Vick). Vick has been up-and-down, and his third season as a starter will reflect immensely on the Eagles‘ record and Reid’s judgment. Reid has a hand-picked coaching staff and will have a full offseason to incorporate last year’s free agent signings. If he is going to prove that his three playoff wins in the past seven seasons are just a temporary dip and not a permanent slide, now is the time to do it.

But owner Jeffrey Lurie, who called the team’s performance last year “unacceptable,” pointedly refused to set any targets for extending Reid after this year (the coach’s contract takes him through the 2013 season, though teams rarely let their coaches play out the final year of a deal). Which leads to the question above. If Reid is really under pressure to win now, he has to draft accordingly. But if he still has room to maneuver, if it’s not truly a make-or-break season, Reid could plan for the future by, say, using an early pick on a quarterback to develop as Vick ages. That would fit his history and indicate that there is little reason to expect a coaching change in the near future. But it may be the case that Reid faces pressure this year unlike any he’s faced yet in Philadelphia. If so, look for early picks to be spent on players that can help immediately, not another quarterback or project for down the line.