Let me first say that I don’t know exactly how much control that Joe Banner had over the entire organization in Phily. I’ve read various accounts ranging from the fact that it was really Andy Reid making all of the personnel decisions, to accounts that Banner was a control freak and that he insisted on final say on everything. I’m going to assume for purposes of my analysis that the truth lies somewhere in the middle: Banner was at least partially responsible for the 16 year run that Phily had while he was there. If you can’t accept that premise – if you’re absolutely sure he had nothing to do with it and it was all Reid – there’s no reason for you to read any further. Banner and Jeff Laurie’s first year running things in Phily was 1995. In the previous 62 years of the team's existence, Phily went to the playoffs 14 times. In the next 16 years, they went to the playoffs 11 times, which was second to only the Indy Colts during that time, made four consecutive NFC Championship games, and went to their 2nd Super Bowl. Banner was at least involved in the hiring of Andy Reid – who’s record in Phily was 130-93 from 1999 through last year, the Browns’ record during that same time: 73-151 – and was at least involved in, if not the decision-maker on personnel decisions from 1997, on. Banner is also generally credited with being the point person on both the building of new team training facilities and the building and opening of Lincoln Financial Field in 2003. So here is all I am saying: Though we’ve all been let down before (and before, and before, and before) by new regimes, Banner has a track record of demonstrated success leading an organization that was very good at bringing in talented players, hiring good coaches, and putting a consistent winner on the field. He should be given the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he is doing unless and until he proves otherwise. All of the teeth-gnashing over the Mike Lombardi connections, the snide-remarks about his power-monopolizing, and the histrionics that he and Jimmy Haslam botched the coaching-search are way premature and unwarranted at this point. Time will tell if Rob Chudzinski is another Andy Reid or Sean Payton or just another Romeo Crennel. We’ll see not only who banner picks as GM, but then how they draft and sign free agents and re-sign our own players. History suggests that Banner knows how to pick a coach and build a winning team. We should support him until he proves he is a 16 year one-hit wonder, and he hasn’t shown anything but competency and intelligence so far.
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