Monday Morning Hope

Posted: October 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »

A strange thought occurred to me last night when I laid down to go to sleep.  Actually two.  The first involved the Eagles cheerleaders and a pool full of chocolate pudding, but you don’t want me to bore you with the details of that.

On to the more appropriate thought.  Let me describe a situation for you.  The Eagles play a high powered offense.  They dig a big hole, but then Michael Vick gets in gear and leads the team on a furious comeback.  There is no victory, but the team has “it”.

I’m specifically referring to the 2010 season opener.  We all felt like the Eagles would have won that game if there was just more time.  Vick came in and the team took off.  That mojo carried over to the rest of the season.

As I laid down last night it hit me that there was a similar vibe in Sunday’s loss.  Vick didn’t come in and replace anyone, but there was a clear moment of change.  His 53-yard run.  That play just seemed to ignite the whole team.  In the final 7:17 of the 3rd and all of the 4th quarters we held Buffalo to 76 yards and 3 points.  We had 238 yards and 17 points.  That doesn’t even include the 53-yard run.  Unfortunately, we had 2 turnovers.  That killed us.

We won’t know until next Sunday if the mojo will carry over.  There are no guarantees about things like that.  Sometimes a game is just a game.  Think about the Miracle at the New Meadowlands.  I think the difference is that we won that game and started patting ourselves on the back and didn’t stop until…heck, I’m not sure if we ever did.

There is no celebration after yesterday.  There will be no complacency.  We lost.  But we can build off what we did late in the game.  We need to.  The season can be saved, but only if we get the team to play with the sense of urgency it did yesterday for much of the 2nd half.

* * * * *

I’m not done re-watching the game.  The early part of the 3rd quarter was torture.  Torture.  Terrible defense.  Missed tackles.  Off coverage on 3rd/short.  Poor effort by DRC and Asante.  I really felt like stopping the game and just moving on.  Kept going because I want to see the 4th quarter and what went right.

* * * * *

Nate Allen had a good game.  I’m encouraged by what I saw from him.  If he can play like that more often, we’ll be much better at Safety.

* * * * *

There’s a lot of talk about scheme.  I don’t think we need to make scheme changes.  Jason Babin said after the game that the team stayed in the Wide-9 all game long.  I saw a couple of plays where guys were different, but not as much as what people seem to think.

We do need to make adjustments.  We do need to play more aggressive with our coverage.  No more off coverage on 3rd/short.  That drives me nuts.  We should mix in LB run blitzes more often.  That worked well at times in the 4th quarter.

Reid, Castillo, and the defensive coaches need to do a better job of pushing buttons.  They made the right decisions for much of the 4th quarter.  We’ll find out next Sunday if that was a complete fluke or if they finally figured out the scheme/personnel/play issue.

You have to understand what’s going on.  A baseball manager can tinker with his lineup for a month and then that group is good for 130 games.  Castillo has been shuffling players around and figuring out what he can call and what he can’t.

We saw progress in the 4th quarter.  I’d be all kinds of excited if I thought we could absolutely build off it, but there are no guarantees.  Buffalo had a lead and I’m sure that affected their playcalling.  Our guys were down big on the scoreboard and that brought out a desperate edge.

We have no idea what happens next week when the score is 0-0 and it’s a brand new day.  We need the players to come out and play with great intensity from the opening kickoff instead of waiting to turn it on when we’re behind.

We also need the coaches to push the right buttons.  Juan has yet to show he can do that for more than part of a game.  He can build off what went right yesterday.  Sunday will be a huge test from him.

* * * * *

No highlights from Andy Reid’s noon PC.

58 Comments on “Monday Morning Hope”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 4:37 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    You’re right about Allen. That was good to see. The Mathis-Kelce-Watkins trio could be special in time. I hope we screen the hell out of the Skins on Sunday.

  2. 2 Scott Mather said at 4:46 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Do you see Jarrett getting any playing time with Page injured? Or are they set with Coleman?

    Watching live it seemed like the OL was okay, but Vick kept waiting for someone to come open deep and allowed the pressure from the defense have more time. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts after reviewing the film.

    This football season is killing me both as an Eagles fan and as an Arizona Wildcats fan – great offensive players, bad coaching, TERRIBLE defense, and embarrassing special teams (more so U of A, but last week’s misses by Henery were unbelievable)

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 5:58 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    The team doesn’t want to rush Jarrett. If young players play too early and struggle, it can kill their confidence and affect their career. Eagles really like Jarrett and want to do the right thing.

    That said, I sure would love to see him on the field. Page is a veteran making mistakes. He’s not learning anything. Let Jarrett get out there as soon as you’re confident that he’ll be okay. I’m curious to see what he does. Jarrett might struggle just like everyone else, but he also might bring a physical presence that isn’t there right now.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 12:21 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    I’m hoping for after the bye. I used to be staunchly in the “don’t rush it” camp — that was my reason for wanting Mikell back — but I’m now in the “I don’t see how it can get much worse” camp.

    Page doesn’t seem to know the assignments either, or just lacks awareness (blitzing past Fred Jackson on a perfectly called, well-timed, poorly executed play Sunday) to the point where you figure even if Jarrett makes his share of mistakes, if he tackles well, and goes hard to the wrong place occasionally, it can’t be worse.

    I’d prefer Sean Considine at this point.

    You figure 1.5 weeks of practice for Jarrett if he’s elevated during the bye. Absent that, I’d go with Allen-Coleman and let Jarrett get in for certain series or packages. Colt, I’m assuming, lacks range or ball skills or something as a true NFL safety for him to have not been given a look so far.

  5. 5 Scott Thurston said at 2:13 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    They don’t want to rush Jarrett yet they throw Kelce, Matthews, and Rolle to the wolves? Odd.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 4:52 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Tommy, I admire your optimism, but I think you are grasping for any glimmer of hope at this point. The Bills were up 28 to 7 before Vick’s run. They were up 21 points and had pretty much all the momentum. We have seen it time and again that teams back off when they are up that big and seemingly have the game won. To put much stock into a quarter and a half of football is simply being desperate. I know changes aren’t going to come this week with the bye only a week away, but honestly, I think at this point “tweaking” a lineup like a baseball manager does is not going to all of a sudden save our team and make us a playoff team. We are undisciplined, we have a defensive coordinator that has proven to be overmatched, we have players who can’t tackle, we have a scheme that allows a 10 yard rush on a QB sneak on 3rd and 5, we have an offense that can’t hold onto the football, and a coach who in his 13th year still doesn’t know how to manage the clock, and 15 minutes of decent football is not going to change all that.

  7. 7 Jon Blank said at 4:55 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    It also seemed like the Bills went to more of a passing game after the 4th touchdown, but its also possible I was too angry at the time to be accurate about that.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 6:02 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Oh, I am grasping for positives. No doubt on that. I want something to believe in.

    As for tweaking the lineup and scheme…Juan has been doing this for 5 weeks. In theory, he should be close to finding out what works. This isn’t an overnight, magic solution. This is trial and error. The LB shuffle is over. Nate Allen is back as a starter at S. It will be interesting to see who goes opposite of him this week.

    Hopefully the focus now will be more on tightening coverage and figuring out the LB run blitzes from the 4th Q. What worked well, what didn’t.

  9. 9 Jon Blank said at 4:53 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I think the Washington game is going to be tough. They run the ball well and play good defense, as if they were built to match up well against this current Eagles team. They are also coming off of the bye and certainly remember the 58 points the Eagles hung on them in Washington last season. On top of all that they can really put the nail in the Eagles coffin. I’d like to believe the Eagles will come out desperate, but I thought that yesterday too and they came out flat and uninspired. I could see this game going so many ways, from the Eagles blowing them out all the way to the Eagles getting hammered. I’d like to believe the former, but so far this team has shown that the latter is much more likely.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 7:47 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I agree the ‘Skins are going to be tough. They probably actually WERE built with an eye to our weaknesses, the same way we tried to do with Dallas when they were the perennial playoff team.

    I saw undisciplined and unsound play yesterday, but I wouldn’t describe it as flat or uninspired. Guys were running to get in on tackles where they clearly didn’t need to, Avant looked near tears after his first fumble. Asante was frustrating and I didn’t like DRC smiling and patting the RB on the helmet after he broke through for a first down when we were down by a lot, but as a team I did not see players that didn’t care, just guys that didn’t produce.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 12:27 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    Well as far as inspiration, George Wilson looked like he was everywhere. The Bills LBs were going hard. Guys even on the Eagles big plays were hustling. We don’t seem to have a lot of that. We have a lot of “oh the play is past me, too bad” — DRC being the main exception.

    We also don’t seem to have a guy going up and down the sideline like “get your effing heads in the game.” While I sometimes doubt the usefulness of fake rah-rah, if it’s coming from a respected player, it’s contagious. And the team needs it.

    They know they’re talented. They look beaten. Or it just looks like the other team — in the Bills’ case — is playing harder.

    I don’t see how that can be in a must-have game. Maybe because Buffalo was at home and is a confident team … but they have the fire. If they go down, they looked like they are going down fighting. We look like we’re going down whichever way the quickest way down is. Hate to say it.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 1:05 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    I don’t know, maybe I missed it. Particularly this week I thought the body language looked like what it should, I saw guys chasing plays, I saw players pumped after big plays.

    I saw a lot of bad, but I didn’t see quit. But I am far from an expert.

  13. 13 Steve H said at 5:02 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    The Eagles are too painful to think about, lets just stick to the cheerleaders/chocolate pudding angle for a while Tommy…

  14. 14 Eric Weaver said at 5:16 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Tommy, why is Juan consistently having Nnamdi play off coverage? If I was Nnamdi, no matter how respectful I was of the coach; I’d just play press and hope the other 10 guys do their jobs.

  15. 15 Steve H said at 5:21 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    The misuse of Nnamdi feels almost criminal.

  16. 16 Jon Blank said at 5:22 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Maybe they should switch the name of the defense from the Wide 9 to the Easy 6.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 6:04 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Nnamdi does a mix. He does press. A lot of it has to do with formation. BUF is a spread team. Lots of WRs. Crossing routes can be tricky with press coverages because of pick plays.

    When a CB has a WR all to himself, I definitely agree that we need to press more…Nnamdi or otherwise.

  18. 18 Scott Thurston said at 2:14 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I don’t understand why Nnamdi isn’t lined up against the other teams best reciever all game, like Tillman on Megatron last night.

  19. 19 Steve H said at 5:20 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Pretty much sums up the afternoon for you. Anymore when the Eagles miss a tackle its not even reaction worthy, its pretty much expected.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 7:50 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Maybe we should all take a drink when we miss a tackle – PBR would seem worthy penance to me – then send the stomach pumping bill to the front office?

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 8:10 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    How dare you talk like that, sir!!! I don’t make fun of your family, don’t make fun of mine.

  22. 22 Derek Campbell said at 5:25 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    You nailed what I was thinking but was afraid to say out-loud: in the last parts of the game (last 22:30 apparently, but I hadn’t checked the clock) I started to feel good about the defense. They did a great job of blitzing at the start of the 4th quarter, and then backed off and came up with a big stop to give the offense the ball with a chance to tie and 5:41 left. Kind made me excited about Castillo figuring some stuff out.

    (hopefully no one quit smoking just before this season began, because these games are not relaxing)

    Edit: Tommy, as you’re reviewing the game, I’m curious what you saw from Watkins. I was generally happy with him (huge penalty obviously, but one penalty doesn’t define the quality of an OL’s game) as I didn’t notice him, except on some TV replays when I’d make a point to watch him and was pretty happy with what he did.

  23. 23 Scott Mather said at 5:25 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    On the Buffalo TD from Brad Smith out of the wildcat, why did Nate Allen switch to play the outside WR, pushing Asante into the box? Do you think that was more of a coaching point in film study, or a heat-of-the-moment “hey, I have an idea” move?

    That leads me to my next point… I love Asante and he’s the best off-corner in the game, but is he limiting our defense? It seems to me that teams try to expose his weeknesses (tackling, physicality). He has been playing 6-8 yards off the LOS in 3rd and shorts. I’ve always been of the belief that top-shelf CBs should be able to play either side of the field, inside or out. Are Samuel’s limitations then limiting Asomugha and to a lesser extent, Rodger-Cromartie? I hate suggesting we trade him, but it seems that he does not belong in this scheme and we have more glaring needs.

  24. 24 Corry Henry said at 5:41 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I *think* they switched because the inside guy was a receiver. I’m pretty sure it was Fitzpatrick lined up way outside. This makes sense in some regard as you want a stronger cover guy on the actual receiver…unfortunately it was probably a run pass option type thing for Smith and when he saw Allen go outside, that’s one less defender in the box. Run all the way.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 6:07 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    You don’t want to waste a CB by putting him on a QB out wide. That’s the theory.

    Now, that’s sorta bogus based on the situation. BUF was likely to run since it was 1st/GL. We should have played that differently. Asante was wasted in the slot. Non-factor vs the run. Made it too easy. I didn’t like the lineup on that play at all. Will get into it in the DGR.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 5:37 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    The hole was dug early. The Iggles came 2/3 out by the middle of the fourth with two consecutive impressive and important 3 and Outs. That gave me HOPE that the D will begin to respond. It is obvious that the O is potent at any time in the game. Once the ball starts bouncing the Iggles way and dumb mistakes are minimized the Iggles should dominate. Safeties need to take better angles. They are awful.

    “We’ll be fine.” -The Emperor

  27. 27 Jon Blank said at 5:44 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    For some reason the Bills went to a more pass heavy attack after they went up 28-10. They had called run plays 56% of the time until the 4th touchdown, then for some reason called 57% pass plays from that point until the final drive when they were just trying to run out the clock. That probably helped the defense as well.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 5:56 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    You know we’re at a tough point in the regular season when I’m already consoling myself with thoughts like, “Well, at least if we lose to WAS on Sunday, I’ll still be getting drunk and watching ‘The Walking Dead’ later that night.”

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 6:05 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Don’t get me wrong, there is no reason to feel good about this team. The defense is not going to turn around over night, and even if it does turn around, it will not be a good defense. A major turnound would mean they are a bad defense, but not embarrasingly bad. A guy who I don’t think gets enough grief is DRC. He is absolutely terrible. Watch him off the ball, he is frequently walking. If not, he is jogging half assedly away from a would be tackle.

    Despite all of that, I am seeing one flickering reason for hope. IF (and yes, this one one enormous IF) the Eagles can sneak a win against and overrated and overconfident Redskins team, the team then has a bye. We all know Reid’s record after a bye. After the bye the Eagles have 3 very winnable home games. (Cowpies, Bears, Cardinals) Cole/Peters will come back in that time. Then the Eagles will have a road grudge match against the Giants. After you get past the Giants game, there are only two real tough games on the schedule. (Pats and Jets) And both of those games are at home.

    Page being out might be a blessing. And I agree that the defense was doing things I have not seen them do all year in that 4th quarter. They were actually hitting people. Regardless of how much Buffalo had backed off, that does not change that our defense was actually tackling.

    Bottom line, an improvement in discipline is really all it will take to turn this thing around. Will that happen under this regime, doubtful, but possible.

  30. 30 Gary said at 6:32 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I share your general optimism about the team’s play going forward Tommy. I firmly believe that at some point this year it will all come together and this team will win a bunch of games in a row. I just fear that it’s too late. Any more than 2 losses in our final 11 games and we probably have no shot at making the playoffs.

    The comparison of this game and last year’s opener makes sense, but I just think losing 4 out of our first 5 games this year has doomed us. (Even as I just typed that, I can’t believe we’re 1-4.)

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 7:21 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Even if we were playing up to expectations, Patriots, 2 games against redskins, 2 games against Cowboys, @ Giants, and even @ Seahawks on a Thursday after playing the Patriots are all tough games. That still leaves the Cardinals, Bears, @ Dolphins and Jets, none of which are guaranteed wins for us given the way we have played. Going 9 and 2 is a pipe dream at best, the more realistic question is if we can go 7 and 4 and get back to .500, with an outside chance of 8 and 3 with hopes that the NFC East crumbles and a 9 and 7 record is good enough to take the division (something I still think is a very unlikely scenario for us).

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 12:35 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    I operate off the “maximum losses is 6” theory. 9-7 we’re just hoping to get lucky.

    This seems like the kind of team that once it believes it can win, could rip off a long streak. Nobody is blowing them out of the stadium, they are just exploiting weaknesses, giving more effort and taking advantage of our multitude of mistakes. And still we have a chances to win.

    There’s certainly almost no margin for error anymore, but taken one at a time, with a good result going into the bye, maybe, just maybe this team cleans up its crap and starts to believe in itself.

    My hope is this: Division is still winnable.

    This week, if PHI beats WAS, BUF beats NYG and NE beats DAL — all plausible results — the division looks like:

    WAS 3-2
    NYG 3-3
    DAL 2-3
    PHI 2-4

    We go into the bye with a shred of confidence, make whatever changes we need to make, and chase from there. 1.5 games back is not impossible to overcome in the final four weeks, much less the final 10.

    There’s no team, aside from maybe the Patriots, left on the schedule that the Eagles can’t beat. The problem is, there’s no one they can’t lose to … because they keep beating themselves.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 6:38 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I was impressed by Nate Allen yesterday. Why do you think he looked so good? Is there something about Buffalo’s offense that gave him the chance to excel? Or is it just him slowly returning back to full health?

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 7:19 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I think his knee is getting better and he’s getting more confidence in it. Part of coming back from an injury is mental. ACLs heal faster than people think. Problem is the player doesn’t trust it and that leads to poor play. Definitely the problem with Stew last year.

    I was a big Nate fan before he became an Eagle. I had him targeted with the Donovan pick. Loved it when we got him. Think Nate can be very good S for us.

  35. 35 Rob Cabacungan said at 1:27 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    ACL tears sometimes occur in extreme situations (Kearse) but also occur in innocuous situations (Stew). I’m sure there’s some lingering fear that the next time you plant, it could go on you again.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 6:46 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I posted this under another topic, but was curious to hear your thoughts. If you don’t get around to it I understand.

    Tommy: always appreciate your work and ability to remain objective and level-headed through difficult and chaotic times for the Eagles…

    Anyway, a lot has been covered so I’ll try to focus on something different. As a former player (not at the NFL levl though, lol) and junior football coach, what baffles me most with this team is their inablility to execute the basic fundamentals – especially on defense. Is this simply bad coaching? I say that because it’s hard to imagine that these guys worked their way on to an NFL roster without being able to tackle and properly pursue ball carriers.

    Prime example. Several times today I watched Fred Jackson burn us for about 7,8,9 yards a clip on sweeps to the short side of the field. On a few occassions I saw Jarrad Page or someone else fly to the line of scrimmage only to overpursue and give up containment. They overpursue, then get in hitting position and their hips fail them because they break down too late. It’s so frustrating to watch. The guys have to know that you seal the edge, keep your containment, and hit with the correct shoulder.

    I did see one great tackle today and that was by Rolle…Anyway, I’m sure you’ll see this in film breakdown. Just wanted to hear you take on this.

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 7:26 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    The issues with tackling are all over the sport of football. ESPN has been a curse to the fundamentals of the game. Players want to make highlight plays and big hits. They don’t wrap up anymore. Drives me insane. Can’t imagine coaching these guys.

    Page was the guy flying up near the LOS a few times and just over-running the play. He was trying to do too much. Football can be as simple as do your job. Guys create problems when they take chances and try to make things happen.

    The Tampa defense was great for a decade with a simple playbook because guys like Derrick Brooks and John Lynch were very disciplined. Belichick’s great scheme ideas are predicated on discipline. Right now his defense is 32nd because they lack talent and discipline.

    Castillo needs to do a better sales job with his guys. “Just handle your job and we’ll be okay.”

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 8:02 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Nnamdi on the series where he made all three tackles, was a great example. On, I think, the first down run away from him he stayed where he belonged and then drove through the running back when he tried to reverse fields.

    That play stood out to me in contrast to the Page run blitz where he tried to go for the QB, then the RB and got neither.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 9:03 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    And even though Nnamdi is listed as having missed two tackles, one of them was a backside attempt on Jackson(I believe) where he hustled from one sideline to the other and almost stopped the play for a loss. The hands-to-the-face penalty hurt a lot, but it looked(to my naked eye) to be Nnamdi’s best game so far. Perhaps it was the fire lit under him from the death of Al Davis, or perhaps he’s getting more comfortable in the situation. We’ll see.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 8:02 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Nnamdi on the series where he made all three tackles, was a great example. On, I think, the first down run away from him he stayed where he belonged and then drove through the running back when he tried to reverse fields.

    That play stood out to me in contrast to the Page run blitz where he tried to go for the QB, then the RB and got neither.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 6:51 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Another quick Q: What happened to Celek? I know he’s helping out more with blocking, but he’s been a complete non-factor on offense this year. Clay Harbor looked outstanding a week ago, but was mia yesterday. Why aren’t we getting the TE’s more involved in the passing game? And how can we?

  42. 42 Ty said at 7:06 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    When was the last the time the Eagles called a defensive timeout and then made a stop on 3rd down or a 3rd and goal?

  43. 43 Mac said at 8:26 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I don’t want to be overly critical of Asante. He has been one of the few Eagles that could be counted on for the defense the last few years, but… Does he play that far off the line of scrimmage simply because he can’t keep up with the WRs on deep routes without that cushion? If that is the case, then at what point does he become a liability on that side of the defense? His beast mode seems to be limited to attacking footballs, not players… would you only be able to walk him up to the line if he has a babysitter on the backside? Could he be utilized in some strange way on the field… like some kind of short zone guy who just reads the QB and attempt to pick passes? Is that what he does anyway?

    I was not previously on board with any idea of trading Asante, but I may be starting to see where people are coming from when they talk about it.

  44. 44 Mac said at 8:35 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Then again… I from what I have read and seen in games Nnamdi and Asante aren’t getting challenged all that often.

    I’m still leaning more toward trying to get more players in the box. Why can’t we occasionally roll out a 3 DT on the LOS to eat blocks in the middle in place of a LB or S?

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 9:15 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Although this is just speculation, I think Asante was pissed off, and therefore motivated, by Deion’s comments last year. I bet pulling him off the field for goalline and short yardage would relight that fire. And we have the personnel to give it a try.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 12:49 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    I’m pretty close to where you are on this. I love Asante by himself. Nnamdi and DRC aren’t going anywhere.

    It seems like teams have a read on us though. Third and short just throw short to Asante’s side. We’ve got to get him to either make plays on those balls, play tighter on the line or … whatever.

    How do we let the player and the offense dictate what kind of coverage we play? Should be the coordinator and the game situation.

    If Asante is doing his own thing and is uncoachable then we have the horses to not put up with that.

    Asante and Nnamdi and DRC are a microcosm of what’s going on with this team. While a team like the Bills is better than the sum of its parts, we have a lot of good individuals that when they come together, are still just a bunch of good individuals.

    If this D never becomes a cohesive unit, I will begin to shift blame from players (who are making the vast majority of the errors irrespective of the calls; i.e. bad tackling, overrunning blitzes, etc.) to the coordinator.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 9:06 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    As critical an error it was for Vick to hold the ball too long to attempt a FG at the end of the 1st half, it brings up the notion that there seemed to be a lot of plays where our receivers just weren’t getting open. That hasn’t happened often in the last 2 or so years, and I certainly didn’t foresee it being a problem against Buffalo where McGee was hobbled and McKelvin hasn’t proven to be anything more than an average starter.

    Any time Avant leads the team with 9 receptions, it makes me wonder if guys like Maclin and Jackson simply weren’t getting separation. If that were the case, I really would’ve liked to see Celek and Harbor implemented into the gameplan more, instead of Vick holding the ball until one of his wideouts sprang free.

  48. 48 John Feeser said at 9:31 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    How did Brian Rolle do in the past few games? He seems more aggressive, faster, more confident in his ability to dissect the play and get to the ball, and a pretty good tackler… hE looks like he might be their best LB right now.

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 10:51 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    caught inside on at least a couple of Jackson’s runs outside.

    On one replay in particular, you could see Rolle, playing on the short of the field (where the Bills ran frequently), step forward as Jackson is sweeping wide toward him and to his left. Rolle’s then engulfed by the Bills OT. Not sure why Rolle stepped forward rather than to his left.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 9:46 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Tommy: I’m not a football expert, but I know what you meant by that “it”. If you go back and watch our earlier game this year, notice how dedicated Vick is to staying in the pocket/trying to make a pass instead of run. I think that “it” you are reffering to is what comes out when Vick turns into a scrambling gunslinger, playing “streetball”. I noticed the whole team seemed to take on that mentality offesively once Vick turned to “streetball” mode. Maybe that “it” you’re talking about is when our fast/finesse offense starts playing “streetball” and maybe that is who we are offensively… maybe we are at our best when we play fast, finesse, nothing to loose football? Maybe that IS who this offense is, now if we could only play with that fast/wreckless mentality without the turnovers. Maybe this is just incoherent ramble, or maybe this brings up a good discussion?

  51. 51 Deshawn Bentley said at 10:32 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Tommy it looks as if the O-Line played well outside of Jason Kelce. Both Mathis and Watkins didn’t allow any pressures, while Dunlap allowed just one pressure. Todd allowed some heat but did an excellent job blocking for McCoy. On the contrary, Kelce allowed a pair of hits on Vick (one leading to an INT) and another pressure. He also got pushed back in the run game which also contributed to his difficult day.

    I think we need to ditch our zone-coverage as well. For the most part, everyone did terrible outside of Nnamdi (was only thrown at once and made some tackles.) Cromartie looked disinterested in his zone and was thrown at 6 times, allowing 5 catches for 45 yards. DRC always seems like a spectator on the field rather than a player and it’s frustrating. Either he’s lost or he just doesn’t give a damn. I hope its the former.
    Asante and Page both decimate the enamel on my teeth. Page missed four tackles. FOUR!…What took so long to bench him… SMH
    In total the eagles missed ~14 tackles…That’s just beyong ugly.

  52. 52 Matthew Butch said at 10:48 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    Nothing had me screaming at the TV more yesterday than guys playing 5 yards deep on a 3rd and 4. I saw one stat during the game that Fitzpatrick had only two pass attempts greater than 10 yards! What does that tell you?

  53. 53 Jonathan said at 11:11 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    If you’re looking for a reason to be optimistic, and God aren’t we all at this point, then I would say that it is we have only played 1 division game so far. The Redskins game will really be the last hope for turning things around. If we beat Washington, and I’m not sure how we do that based on what I’ve seen so far, then we are 1-1 in the division, with the Giants having lost a division game already, and the Redskins having lost 2. It at least would leave the door open to staying in the division race through the year, and if we can actually come together after the bye, then we could potentially rattle off some more division wins and be right back in the mix. The Giants showed yesterday that they’re not there yet, and the Cowboys are as prone to late game collapses as we are.

    That being said, I’ve never seen an Eagles defense so outmanned consistently to start a year, and I’ve never seen a team make so many critical mistakes at the worst time. It seems like more than just bad luck, and there needs to be a complete turnaround in attitude and execution if they’re going to have a chance. For God’s sake, the Bills (the Bills!) were ridiculing our defense after the game saying they knew they could run on us and beat our wide 9 with screen passes, and they were ridiculing our offense saying they thought they would have some opportunities to strip some balls and get some turnovers, which is exactly what they did. How the hell do you let that happen?

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 11:40 PM on October 10th, 2011:

    I noticed on that 5 of the 6 teams with the most Int. are the best teams right now: Bills(12), GB(10), 49ers(8), Lions(7), NE(7) & the Jets(7). GB and Lions 0 losses. Bills, 49ers and NE only 1 loss. Bills winning and causing 4 int’s to Brady and Vick, as well as having the most(3) returned for TD’s. Then seeing the 49ers beat TB 48 to 3; maybe the Bills and 49ers are better than I thought. The Bears at the Lions should be a fun game to watch tonight.

    I think the Eagles could possibly win the division if they could beat the Skins. NE should beat the Cowgirls and the Bills have a good chance of beating the Giants(since they couldn’t even beat Seattle last week). If we beat Washington we could go 5-1 in the division since nobody’s that good in the east this yr. and we’d be building up some momentum. What do you think? The Giants didn’t start off well a few yrs ago when they snuck in and won the SB.

  55. 55 Jon Blank said at 12:18 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    Monday night countdown just mentioned that team sources report that the Eagles are reviewing whether they need to bring in a defensive consultant. Take it for what its worth.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 12:47 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    Just finished a post on the subject.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 12:58 AM on October 11th, 2011:

    This season proves, especially on defense, that COACHING MATTERS.

    I’ve been watching the Eagles since Jerry Williams was the coach and Pete Retzlaff the GM in 1969.

    The Eagles were terrible until 1976, when Dick Vermeil came along — and brought Defensive Guru Marion Campbell with him. (Yes, Campbell was a terrible H.C. But he was great D.C.)

    At that point, the Eagles were in the middle of a string of No First Round Picks For 5 years.

    In fact, in Vermeil’s first season, the Eagles first draft pick came in Rd 4. Then in Rd 5 in 1977.

    But Campbell turned the defense into a rock-solid foundation that led to a SB appearance 5 years later.

    And not a single 1st-round pick was on that defense until 1979 – when LB Jerry Robinson from UCLA joined them (A LB in the 1st round). And in 1980, Roynell Young was taken 1st from Alcorn State to play LCB.

    But those guys played together. They played tough. And they played to the whistle.

    We’re a long way from that era, sure. But my point remains valid: A coach can make a huge difference — especially with a hungry group of guys who play to the whistle.

    I like Juan. But he’s not the guy. And for reasons Reid will never share with the people who pay the money to Laurie to pay Reid’s very substantial 7 figure salary, Reid has put this entire season in jeopardy with a huge roll of the dice.

    I want this team to win. Badly. And the offense can mask the defense’s deficiencies if they limit TOs to just 1 or 2 a game (a scarey thought).

    But in the playoffs — as we saw with the Phillies — the stakes change.

    Anyway, here’s hoping that Juan turns into a modern-day Marion Campbell this week.

  58. 58 Greg Cherry said at 6:25 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers!!!!!!!!
    The games with Atlanta, Giants, 49ers and Bills – all of them were winnable games.
    That is probably the most maddening thing about this team – is that in all of those games there was the possibility of a win. We aren’t getting blown out. We are just making stupid mistakes, errors, and TURNOVERS at the worst possible moments of the games. That must end.