Andy Reid has rollercoaster ride of a year
New home found by Andy Reid, while Hue Jackson, Ramses Barden¿s future NFL landing spots are still in question.
Andy Reid, a former offensive lineman at Glendale Community College, transitioned from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Kansas City Chiefs this past year. (Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs / January 26, 2013)
Change was abundant for the three locals in the NFL this past season with even more on the horizon. Most notable was Andy Reid, a former Glendale Community College football player, joining a new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, for the first time in nearly a decade-and-a-half after a second year of struggles with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Another former Vaquero, Hue Jackson, had more success as an assistant coach, helping the Cincinnati Bengals reach the playoffs after being fired from his head coaching job in Oakland at the end of the 2011 season.
The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants missed the postseason, but wide receiver Ramses Barden, who graduated from Flintridge Prep, had his best showing yet with free agency approaching.
While Reid’s landing spot for 2013 has already been decided, only time will well where Jackson and Barden will find themselves next season.
The following are recaps of the past year — good and bad — for all three former local players in the NFL.
It was a heart-wrenching start to the 2012 season for Reid, a former offensive tackle at GCC, as his son, Garrett, was found dead on Aug. 5. And it became clear before the first regular-season game kicked off that he was on the hot seat with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Twenty-six days after Garrett was found dead, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said a season like 2011 — when Philadelphia finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs — wouldn’t be acceptable at a press conference.
Thus, it came as no surprise when Reid was fired on Dec. 31, 2012, after the Eagles fell well short of the postseason with a 4-12 record.
While injuries played a big part, the struggles weren’t limited to just one thing. Offensively, Philadelphia averaged 17.5 points a game and allowed 27.8 points on defense. Both numbers ranked 29th out of the league’s 32 teams.
The Eagles were a popular pick to make and win the Super Bowl before the 2012 season began. Philadelphia started the season by winning three of its first four games by a total of four points before losing its next eight. They boasted a roster filled with high-priced talent on both sides of the ball, but it didn’t translate into many victories this past year, which included a quarterback change from veteran Michael Vick to rookie Nick Foles.
With a resume that includes a career record of 140-102-1, nine playoff appearances and a Super Bowl appearance, Reid wasn’t going to be unemployed for long. He proved to be a hot commodity in the NFL, being the first coach hired this offseason, with eight teams looking for new leaders, when the Kansas City Chiefs made him their new coach on Jan. 4.
Reid, who reportedly had drawn interest from the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers, will look to put the past two disappointing seasons in Philadelphia behind him in Kansas City. It will take some rebuilding, but the Chiefs have some nice pieces with six Pro Bowlers and the No. 1 overall pick for the upcoming draft after they finished the past campaign with a 2-14 record.
“Sometimes change is good,” Reid was quoted as saying during his introductory press conference with the Chiefs by ESPN.com. “It could be tremendous for the Philadelphia Eagles, and at the same time, I think it's going to be tremendous for the Kansas City Chiefs.”
REPEAT SUCCESS FOR
For the second straight year, the Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs, this time around with Hue Jackson onboard as an assistant special teams and defensive backs coach.