To our lasting regret, no one ever wrote the book on Andy Reid.
It's not that no one ever tried to write a book about the Andy Reid Eagles. I'm sure it was pitched dozens of times. Clearly, no one ever got a yes.
We can only guess as to why, but I'll always blame it on the Super Bowl.* A book on Reid would have given a fuller picture of the man beneath the moustache, under the hat, behind the podium. That would have been problematic for Reid, because at some point in the book, we'd have seen him happy. And happy was one thing the fans never wanted to see Andy be.
Not without a Super Bowl.
From where we stand right now, it looks like the story of the Andy Reid Eagles just ended. And I guess it did. But we're starting to get some hints that maybe the new story: a) didn't start with Chip Kelly and b) quietly began at least a couple seasons ago.
I confess that I don't quite know what to make of Howie Roseman. Joe Banner was easy to figure out in comparison. A strange and complex blend, for sure, but the components weren't too hard to suss out.
Howie's a little trickier, especially because the longest and most in-depth pieces we've read about him have been almost entirely based on anonymous third-party assessments from people who have a vested interest in making him look bad -- either in general terms or because the knife Howie used to stab them in the back is preserved in amber and hanging on a wall in an office near the lovely campus of Baldwin Wallace.
That's a lot of noise to wade through in search of a signal. But I keep getting this tingly sense that there's a lot more going on with Howie than we really understand.
Today's tingle comes from the pair of stories about Tom Gamble's long road back to Philly (Inky version, DN version, and yay no more MFN games from the Eagles' FO). Gamble was a big hire for the Eagles. Not, you know, the biggest of 2013, but a really big deal nonetheless. He fills a major hole in the organization and even if he doesn't bring any positive acquisitions to the table, he'll save us years of grief just by waving us off deadweight like Demetress Bell, Nnamdi Asomugha and OJ's Atogwe's opportunity cost.
The big news in the story is that Howie tried to hire Gamble a year ago.^ Think about that for a moment. A year ago Howie wasn't in charge. It was still Reid's team. The owner put everyone on notice: one more losing season and big changes are in store.
And yet Howie was out there recruiting a guy who -- on paper -- is much more qualified to be an NFL GM than he is.
In practice, Gamble should be Howie's Mornhinweg. A guy who's so good at his job his boss can go off and worry about everything else, knowing he's got that part covered.
In effect, though, it's a lot more like Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg hiring Offensive Coordinator Andy Reid.
I'm still skeptical about Howie in some ways. I think he's gotten taken in some recent negotiations. I have a hard time writing off the 2010-2011 drafts as Not His Fault At All. And boy, has he made some enemies.
But I think the new consigliere might just be one of the most interesting people in the NFL right now.
Sure would be nice if someone would write that book.
* We can add this to the list of things lost that night in Jacksonville, along with Donovan ever getting the career credit he deserves and maybe even Dawk's Canton chances.
^ Which explains a lot and should go a long way in assuaging fears about why the 49ers let him go right now.