Coach Andy Reid's expected ouster in Philadelphia at the end of the season may be the first of many changes in the NFC East.
Five straight losses entering Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field mean Reid should start working on his resume. Dallas reportedly is eyeing Cleveland Browns executive Mike Holmgren to replace coach Jason Garrett. New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is hearing the annual growling from fans even though he has won two Super Bowls, including one last season.
Sometimes good coaches stay too long, and sometimes they're not good enough. But for Washington coach Mike Shanahan -- with a 14-27 record -- to seem like he's a safer bet to return next year is silly.
The Linemakers on Sporting News rate Reid and Garrett as the coaches most likely to be fired, edging out former Washington coach Norv Turner in San Diego. Shanahan is ranked eighth, while Coughlin wasn't rated.
Reid seemed to be in good humor during a Wednesday conference call. After burying a son during training camp, surely the pressure of a 3-6 season seems insignificant. Reid built the Eagles into regular contenders during his 14 seasons but never a champion. For fans, a 129-87-1 record and five NFC championship game appearances are meaningless. The roughest crowd east of Oakland wants Reid out.
"This year's not over," Reid said of a possible turnaround. "We've had some things go the other way where [you] lose games, and that's all part of this league. You keep battling. ... It's a privilege to play and coach in this league."
Reid certainly would be the most desired coach in the offseason should Sean Payton stay with New Orleans. Garrett, meanwhile, would join Turner as the most sought offensive coordinators. If Payton or Holmgren don't take over in Dallas, owner Jerry Jones will find someone else -- unless the Cowboys somehow win the NFC East title.
Coughlin has seldom been a favorite in the crowd and sometimes not even in the locker room in his nine seasons. Still, he's the second-longest tenured Giants coach, second in regular-season victories with 80 and tied with the immortal Bill Parcells with eight postseason wins in New York.
Five playoff seasons and two titles might not be enough should the Giants fail to reach the postseason, though. Coughlin is 66 years old and became the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl on Feb. 4. Sometimes retirement doesn't seem too far away.
While Redskins fans are no longer unified in believing Shanahan can turn around the team after it fell to 3-6 in his third season, Reid is still a believer in Washington's coach.
"You're talking about a Hall of Fame coach," Reid said. "[Shana?han's] trying to rebuild that program, and it doesn't happen overnight."
But come one sunrise soon, Shanahan's shadow may be the division's longest.