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Shakeup in the Nest

Although Joe Banner was fired this month, Eagle-eyed fans knew Andy Reid was going to assume more power from the moment he was re-signed.

However the 2012/13 NFL season plays out, when fans of the Philadelphia Eagles look back on this offseason, they will look to the dismissal of team president Joe Banner as the biggest personnel decision the franchise will have made in a long time.

The announcement was made June 7, but to those with a heightened sense of foresight, the big change really came back in January, when owner Jeffrey Lurie announced that he would be retaining Andy Reid as head coach and executive VP of football operations.

In March, Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times noted that Andy Reid was "ready to walk away from the Eagles if he didn't get more personnel control." The report seemingly upheld Asante Samuels’ assertion of an internal power struggle among Reid, General Manager Howie Roseman and Banner. But Banner's future had been in jeopardy since Lurie had decided to hand the reins over to Reid.

Frustrated Eagles fans have long directed their ire at Andy Reid. This move justifies the view that their aim was misdirected. Banner was great at his job as a cap manager. He managed to parlay that into way too much involvement in football decisions.

The cloak of secrecy has always been drawn around the Eagles' front office. The view obscured, we have often been left to speculate about its inner workings. But contrast the Eagles’ moves this offseason with their 2011 transactions under Banner. They would seem to indicate a major philosophical shift under Reid's control.

This year, a premium has been placed on re-signing key roster players DeSean Jackson, Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis and Trent Cole. Just as telling is the shrewd trade for DeMeco Ryans and the high draft pick spent on Michael Kendricks, both linebackers—a position long under-valued by the personnel department under Banner.  

Reid probably welcomed some of the flashy moves the Eagles made last year, but it’s unlikely he would have made all of them had the decisions been his. Wholesale additions, no matter how talented, never work in football—at least not in their first year. This Eagles team probably has a stable enough infrastructure on the field that an infusion of new blood into a roster of proven talent will pay dividends for the franchise.

So where does Howie Roseman fits now that Banner's gone? The pessimistic among us would say he’s very similar to Banner in background and ambition. Thus, the danger remains of another cap manager forcing his way into making football decisions.

But Roseman seems to have a great deal of respect for Andy Reid. He is young and seems to know what he doesn’t know; content to learn from Reid, would not abide another encroachment on his turf. Roseman's recent experience with Banner virtually assures his subordinate role.

Still, Lurie’s press conference announcing Reid's retention made it clear that the clock was ticking. Without immediate and substantial success, Reid has little job security; hence his insistence that he be solely responsible for the personnel moves that will go a long way in deciding his future.

This upcoming season already promised to be very exciting. The added stakes surrounding Reid’s fate makes the anticipation that much more intense.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Larry O'Doyle June 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Grrrrrreat article! So FIRED up for Andy's ascension as well as this upcoming season. Hope Mike Pick gets his act together. Stay warm Nicky Foles!
Jack Walden June 25, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Very insightful. Let's hope Andy gets it right
Porterincollingswood June 25, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Must say, I have nothing bad to say about the Eagles moves this off-season. That's a first. I didn't care for the Foles pick in the 3rd, but they got the guy I would've taken there in the 4th (Boykin).
Reed Rothchild June 25, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Well said but the ignorance Andy consistently shows the fans is enough. All or nothing this season! Then we bring in Obama for some CHANGE!
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) June 25, 2012 at 08:47 PM
My two cents: even if this resolves the nickel-and-dime issues in the front office and improves locker room morale, who's going to inspire Big Red with the two things he needs the most help with: clock/timeout management and play-calling?
Porterincollingswood June 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Will we see our first halftime adjustment in the Reid era? Can we get a 3rd and 1?
Bo June 25, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Andy and Joe played this whole conflict out in silence and I think through referee Jeff Lurie, who acted this part for the past 14 seasons which Reid was coach and GM and Banner president. I ultimately think Jeffery came to a place where his respect and admiration had grown so much that he accepted that he had to ax a childhood friend in favor of the business being more successful with one cook doing the shopping for ingredients as opposed to two. I think Lurie must have been extremely impressed by the words and actions of his team to the public pressure that was on all parts, but seemed the brunt of such was on Andy. The players responded and ended season far better than they started. On the pro level I think you often hear the players say they support and care for their coach who's under scrutiny, but in many like situation they'll still lose and the coach will still be fired. Andy waited for the moment to play his hand, and that's what the LA Times reporter fed us. I agree that Andy's still under the pressure of the clock, but I also think that with Banner now out of the way, he will be allowed more time, maybe another season, on Lurie's watch. Asante was also right, and I know it is the off-season, but has there ever been a more quiet exit than his was.
Mike Diviney June 26, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Clock management is not Andy's strong suit. He doesn't call the plays, but I do think he has a lot of input and I actually think he does a good job. Look at the Eagles offensive numbers- they're consistently very good.
Mike Diviney June 26, 2012 at 03:37 AM
The unsuccessful 3rd and 1's were excruciating, but I think towards the end of last year when they finally realized giving the ball to their best player is the best move there, it improved. The came to the same decision on the goal-line last year and that also worked out well.
Mike Diviney June 26, 2012 at 03:41 AM
It is annoying sometimes, but people get too caught up in that. If you want someone to hold your hand and make you feel good about yourself, go to your Mom's house. If you want to win football games, Andy's one of the best.
Porterincollingswood June 26, 2012 at 12:04 PM
And that pass in the flat to the FB. That seems to be a thing of the past.
Porterincollingswood June 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I don't think that Andy's under any pressure. He's been given more responsibility, and over the years he's never been cited by Lurie as being the problem. He's coach for life barring a truly brutal season (3-13 or worse). He always has an excuse handy - this year it will be Peters' injury. As for Banner, he was pretty good at his job when he focused on the money and contracts and stadium. The problem was, he insisted on being a PR guy. The day he got on WIP and told a season ticket holder maybe he shouldn't come to the games - he should've been fired. Or at the very least locked in a back room and never speaking to the media again.
Phil McConkey June 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
As a Giants Fan I'm going to really miss Joe Banner. Maybe Andy can learn from Tom Coughlin and see how he never gives excuses!!
Porterincollingswood June 26, 2012 at 03:00 PM
And maybe Donovan McNabb can learn from Eli Manning about how to handle pressure and criticism. But I doubt it!
Mike Diviney June 26, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Since Donovan McNabb has been drummed out of the league, his job now is probably driving his kids to school. He should be able to handle that pressure without vomiting.
Gary B June 26, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I beg to differ Mike, this morning while driving I saw Donovan on the road; he over shot a red light by 10 yards, I honked my horn n he puked.
Mike Diviney June 26, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Haha. I believe it, but you know he'll deny it, like he did after the Superbowl.
Porterincollingswood June 26, 2012 at 07:15 PM
He's killing his ESPN career by using every story as an excuse to settle old scores, most recently attacking the Shanhan's and RGIII.
Bo June 27, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Andy is under pressure in the sense that he now has the control he had obviously wanted for a long time. There's now only one cook in the kitchen and he's also the only one shopping for the groceries. Joe isn't looking over the list to give a quick ok, or to add and or subtract from it, before Andy then heads off to the ACME to pick up the ingredients. Andy's new found freedom and control comes with an increased responsibility and accountability, and now it is directly to Lurie with no one to buffer for the big man per say. Whether Andy and Joe liked each other or not, it'd be easy to assume they did provide cover for one another when decisions were made that let to less than desirable outcomes. I wouldn't question Joe's loyalty to Andy when the heat was coming from outside the organization, but inside the organization we now know those two had a turbulent relationship. I'd also venture to hypothesize that in this new NFL, with an increased concern with players safety, it seems a bit cold and unnecessary and a bad reflection on the organization for Joe to continue his often hard-line stands, during player contract negotiations. The smoothness and quiet of both Jackson's and McCoy's new contracts now speak loudly to a shift away from prior tactics.
Fabiola Et June 27, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Well said, Mike. You made your point very well, and I agree. Nice job on the article!
Mike Diviney June 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Great point regarding how quickly and quietly Jackson and McCoy were wrapped up. I don't think Banner and Andy really had a tumultuous relationship. I think it was a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen. One had to go and Lurie made his choice.
Alonzo Mosley June 28, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I agree with Fabiola......nice work Mike. Also, I'd like to see some more belligerent comments aimed at the Giants fan who wandered onto this message board. That is all for now.
Mike Diviney June 28, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I agree with the Giants fan sentiment, but they caught lightning in a bottle TWICE so tough to say much. Tyree caught a ball with his facemask and Manningham caught the back of the ball 50 yards downfield, but they did what they did and we have to give them credit.
Phil McConkey June 29, 2012 at 01:45 PM
sorry, I stumbled in here looking for one of the 2 Giants superbowl trophies from the last 5 years.
Mike Diviney June 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Big Blue, not sure why you'd be looking in here? I'm all for good trash talking so come up with something clever and you're welcome here. That's history now, 2012 season is almost upon us. I don't think you'll have much to say as this season progresses. We'll see.
Evan Richman June 29, 2012 at 09:23 PM
the players love andy and love playing for him. A lot of the discontent directed at the front office from years past for not taking care of their own players (B dawk,trot ETC) will hopefully diminish with the new attitude towards taking care of their own and the level of play may rise as a result. I was SHOCKED to see the ryans pickup as the eagles have ALWAYS felt that whoever they have on the roster is good enough to step in and play. It is them admitting their past mistakes without coming out and saying it. Having 7th round picks and undrafted free agents starting in your backfield and at linebacker just isn't going to cut it and they finally have admitted it. Good riddance to banner
Evan Richman June 29, 2012 at 09:24 PM
gotta give it to big blue....that was a good comment
Christian Giudice June 29, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Mike - You are doing an awesome job. Keep it up.
Jono June 30, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Andy will never lead this squad to a Superbowl win unless he commits to establishing the run. If he doesn't do that this season he deserves to get canned.
Jeem July 01, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Good job, Mike. Well written and very informative. I see my teaching has paid off for you. Looking forward to your next article.

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