Andy Reid isn't saying if he decided to tweak his approach to running the football the last two games because of a decision to take the ball out of quarterback Donovan McNabb’s hands, or because running back Brian Westbrook is finally healthy, or because they just needed a change for the sake of change.
He isn't saying and he will never say; same old.
This has happened a few times in the past. In 2002, it was because McNabb was getting killed. In 2003, it was because McNabb started the season erratically. There have been other times, too. Reid changes his approach, either radically or subtly, and never lets on, never acknowledges it is even happening. The reason is simple enough: he doesn't want to criticize his players. But it happens all the time.
This change is more subtle, not exactly a tweak but not exactly drastic, either. The all-timer might have been in 2002. In the first five games of that season, they ran the ball only 21.8 percent of the time in the first half of games. They threw, threw, threw their way to a million points -- but their record was only 3-2, and McNabb was getting sacked like crazy. So, during the bye week, fearing for their quarterback's health, the Eagles completely reassessed. In the next five weeks, they doubled their number of first-half runs to 42.6 percent. In essence, they went from a more wild-and-crazy throwing offense than this year to pretty much exactly what Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called in the first half against the Giants on Sunday. Again, this year was a change but not monumental. Back in 2002, it was monumental.
But Reid never acknowledged it. Asked back then, he never admitted that anything had changed. Black had turned into white, overnight, and he refused to say it -- just refused.