Soul Searching

Posted: October 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 94 Comments »

A quarter of the 2011 NFL season is in the books. The Eagles are 1-3, with 3 straight 4th quarter meltdowns. This is not a scenario I envisioned. Nor can I imagine Jeff Lurie, Joe Banner, Howie Roseman, or Andy Reid saw this coming. What needs to be done? What can be done?

A reporter asked Juan Castillo after the game if he was part of the 1995 Eagles team that started 1-3 before turning it around and going 10-6? Juan said yes. The guy asked Juan what could be taken from that experience and applied to the current situation. Juan gave his spiel about working hard and getting better. Bad memory, Juan. The 1995 team benched Randall Cunningham after the 1-3 start and made Rodney Peete the QB. Rookie Bobby Taylor entered the starting lineup. There may have been other changes. Point is, that group did not stay the course. Changes were made.

The first question on everyone’s mind is if Castillo should be fired. I have mixed feelings on the subject. Listen, none of us were thrilled with the hire in the first place. It was a shocking, unprecedented move. We all want Juan to succeed because he’s a genuinely good guy. The problem is that he made the move from an important position to a critical position. That means a lot more pressure and infinitely more scrutiny. Being a good guy isn’t enough. The defensive coordinator needs to deliver results.

Juan is part of the problem with the defense. Most of his decisions have been sound. Teams aren’t out-scheming us left and right. Unfortunately they are getting the best of us at crunch time. That is when Juan’s being a novice has hurt us. We’re giving up 4th quarter TDs. We aren’t making key stops. Part of that is on the players for not executing, but part is on Juan for not having them ready. Last week a screen pass on 3rd/long went for a TD. This week a run play on 3rd/7 gashed us. We can’t be surprised teams are using those measures. Teams know we have a good pass rush. The back seven have to be on the lookout for runs/draws/screens on 3rd downs when the other team is already in scoring range. Teams aren’t as likely to take chances in those situations. Go with the safe play.

My SB Nation Philly column last week talked about Castillo. I said we needed a couple of more games to really get a good feel for him. One of my main reasons is that the Niners were coming to town. They had a bad offense and it would be a good test to see how we played against an inferior unit. Giving up TDs to Matt Ryan/Tony Gonzalez is one thing. Being burned by the Giants on some fluke-type plays is one thing. Facing the Niners would give Castillo and his D a chance to show they could take care of business. Oops. The NFL schedule makers set it up perfectly for Juan, but the defense turned the gimme into a 4-putt nightmare. We made the Niners look like the old Niners, you know…a team that could move the ball and score points. I’m floored at how the defense came apart in the 2nd half. Simply shocking.

You can make a strong case for firing Juan. The question here is…what are the options? Do you promote Johnnie Lynn, our CBs coach? He ran the Giants defense years ago. Do you make a run at Chuck Cecil? He ran the Titans D last year and is unemployed. Do you beg Jeff Fisher to come in? I’m just not sure any of these moves is the answer. Lynn wasn’t a great DC when he worked for the Giants. Cecil is interesting, but unemployed for a reason. Fisher isn’t likely to want to come in and be a DC.

The other thing that would bug me about making a move is that it would show the players desperation. I know we’re 1-3 and we need the players to realize the gravity of the situation, but I don’t know if making desperate moves is the answer. One of Andy Reid’s big selling points over the years has been his stability. He’s got a plan and sticks to it as much as possible. He throws us a curveball every now and then, but generally stays on script.

Firing Castillo would satisfy the fans desire to see someone pay for the bad situation. I’m just not sure that it would accomplish anything else. Would it unite the players? Would it get their attention? Would it fire them up? I’m all for firing Castillo if Reid thinks it will help. I want this team to win.

We’re 4 games into the 2011 season. Nothing is over. The NFC East looks thoroughly mediocre right now. I’m only making moves that I think will help this team win now.

A few people have talked about Reid being on the hot seat. Save it. This team would have to be disastrously bad for that to happen. Bring up the subject when we’re 1-7 and then we can talk. We’re 1-3, with 3 blown leads. To get leads in the 4th quarter you have to do some things right. If the Eagles weren’t competitive, that would be a different subject. Reid has a very good track record. He’s dug us out of holes before. There are no guarantees he’ll do it this year, but there’s no guy sitting out there I’m ready to hand this team over to.

I do think Reid is part of the solution for this team. He tried some things this week. They obviously didn’t work. Time to push some new buttons and hope for different results.

One thing I think he should absolutely do is get everyone associated with the organization to quit calling this a “great team”. DeSean Jackson said after the game he knows this is a great team. Wrong. It isn’t. Barrett Brooks said on Eagles Live after the game that the Eagles are a great team. Wrong ,again. Reid needs to fine anyone who uses that phrase from here on out. Talented team? Yes. That’s a fair statement, but any notion of this being a great team is silly.

I would also fine the players for using the phrase “dream team”. I would instruct them not to answer any question using that phrase. That has been a curse ever since Vince Young said the damn words.

The players need to understand that talent means nothing right now. They must quit looking big picture and focus on things step by step, day by day. Learn from today’s disaster in the Monday film session and then let it go. Move on to Buffalo. We can’t un-lose this game. It’s done. Do everything possible to get geared up for the next game.

I’m not going to get into every issue with the team right now. The Red Zone offense is a major problem. Turnovers are a major problem. We’ve been outscored 43-0 in the 4th quarters of our 3 losses. That means we’re giving up points, but also not scoring. I know many of you are mad at Reid for the lack of a running game today. I actually understood what he was doing. I said understood…not agreed with. Reid felt we got too conservative in the past couple of weeks. He wanted us to aggressively go after points. The best way to do that on SF is by throwing the ball. They have a good run defense and weak secondary. Shady had 15 touches. Reid threw him the ball to try and get him in space. It didn’t work as planned. SF did an excellent job on him.

I am interested to see how Reid responds to the situation. Last year he told us Kevin Kolb was the QB and then changed his mind. He told us Sean McDermott wasn’t fired and then changed his mind. Mike Florio will have you believe that Reid’s some nutso liar, but Andy isn’t a guy who is going to make a decision immediately. He needs time to think. He’ll ask himself some of the questions we’ve talked about in here. What moves can be made? What moves will make the team better? Action for the sake of action is no good. There needs to be an upside to any decisions that do get made.

The other factor in this is that after such a bad start, Reid may not have total freedom in what he wants to do. I’m sure Lurie will talk to Reid, Banner, and Roseman. This is one heck of a messy start. I don’t expect heads to roll, but there will be some explaining to do. Everyone is going to get on the same page. This ship has got to be righted in a hurry. 1-3 doesn’t mean the season is over, but it does mean the fudge room is gone.

This could be an interesting week.

94 Comments on “Soul Searching”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 4:24 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Dream Team!

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 4:33 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    You owe me $500 or 5 push-ups.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 5:31 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    If NFL games ended after 3 quarters we’d be 4-0!!!

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 5:33 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    We just need to hire a good lawyer to get the rules changed. Team is fine.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 4:34 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Derek from IgglesBlog was so pissed off after the game he actually put up a post.

  6. 6 Steven Dileo said at 2:50 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Roger Clemons 2.0

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 5:56 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I think he has a point with his post today, the wide nine is killing us way more than it is helping us, the only one it truly helps is Babin and it hurts all 3 linebackers. People say fire Castillo, I almost want to say fire Wash first

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 5:01 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I don’t even blame Juan himself, in the same way I don’t blame Matthews himself. I blame Andy Reid for putting the team in this position. Trying to be so damned smart that we’re so good and can figure out things you can’t. His smugness is honestly unbearable and he needs to take any fall for the Castillo issue since it was his call.
    As far as promoting from within. Screw that. That’s what we did with Juan. Andy would never hire someone like Fisher because that would put even more heat on his neck with another personality in the mix. God forbid we just went out this off season and got some fresh blood and hired a new D Coordinator, with a fresh personality. Everything alllllways has to fall under Andy’s umbrella of power. It’s sickening.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 5:05 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Something’s wrong with this team and like you said I think it’s the mentality of not just the players but the organization as a whole. They think they are this great team and apparently believe that the opponents should just give up once we have a lead because once we get a lead it’s like the team mentally packs up and goes home. No sense of urgency, no “chip on my shoulder” attitude that all the great teams have. Pure Talent has yet to win anyone a championship. Give me a choice beween the single most talented roster in the world that doesn’t

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 5:16 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    First of all, great post Tommy. I always appreciate your level headed posts after such a frustrating loss.

    As to your comments about Castillo, a fully agree that “change for the sake of change” is never good. I don’t want us just picking up any available bum because we will be back where we started. That being said, I completely disagree with your comment that this sends a signal to the players that we are desperate. The fact is, if the players don’t recognize that we are desperate at this point, that’s a major problem. Directing your anger towards comments about “this being a great team,” doesn’t really do anything. To me, I think we are most dangerous if we are confident in our team but desperate for wins. Telling players to stop referring to this team as a great team could very easily shake their confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I hate all the dream team references, but I think if the players think this is a great team, they will have a need to go out there a prove it. Obviously though, it’s important that the coach knows how to push the right buttons to make them both play well and believe in this football team.

    The one thing I will say is that I do think some form of shake up may be necessary to recharge this team. Unfortunately, I am not sure there are a ton of good options on where we can make changes. Castillo has been discussed, and in my opinion, you only fire him if you can get a better option (which doesn’t seem to be available). I think MM is another guy that should be on the hot seat, but again I’m not sure what options we have to replace him (and frankly, I think he is too much of an AR guy for AR to even consider making a change there). In terms of players, as poorly as our LBs and safeties have played, I don’t think making a change at those positions really sends any message to the team. So overall, i’m not sure where the changes need to happen, but the way I see it, “tweeking” here and there is not going to be good enough to make us a contender again.

  11. 11 Jon Blank said at 6:14 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Even bringing in a replacement for Juan, how effective can a new DC coming in mid-season be? Unfortunately Juan doesn’t have the experience or seemingly the ability to fix the problems or mask the personnel deficiencies. Andy really blew the season with that hiring.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 6:36 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I did notice that SF’s TD drives were when we were without Trent or Babin, both of whom we rested quite a bit in the 3rd quarter and then in the 4th after losing Trent.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 6:49 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    But that’s on Juan too. If the strength of his defense is predicated on the health of one or two players to make up for the shortcomings of other players he’s starting with a recipe for failure.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 7:02 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Not really, The system is designed to have at least 4 or 5 active DE’s going all out when they are in and then getting extended rest periods. Not his fault that Tapp and Parker are hurt and we only had 2 experienced player plus a player who is only active for the second time. Could we have done things to scheme around it like only running 3 down linemen and blitzing a random backer in nickel looks or bumping Jenkins out to LE for a few plays here and there? Sure but on the whole the fact that by the end of the game he only had 2 healthy DE’s on his roster isn’t on him.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 7:17 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    So, what do you guys think about Johnnie Lynn?

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 8:37 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Fire Castillo or demote him.
    A statement has to be made and there has to be a scapegoat for this mess. Its not going to be Reid right now. It has to be Castillo. Everyone who loves this team knows something just isnt right this year with their play. Yes we probably made personel mistakes with Safety and Linebacker. At this point, it can be said this team can not figure how to utilize 4 quality corners and that says loads about how this season is going so far. I would beg Jeff Fisher to come be the DC for this team and try to save this season… seriously. If a simple scheme he could set at this point of the season would probably better utilize the strengths of this team better than Castillo.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 8:52 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    This team just has no toughness, no grit. LeSean is a tough tough dude but other than him, Babin and Cole no one on this team has any fire in them. They need to man-up and refuse to be beaten and let their talent come through, not roll over and complain how its unfair or unlucky that this ‘great’ team they are on is 1-3. Even Vicks presser wasn’t inspiring, he shouldn’t be ‘frustrated’. He should be flat out angry.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 10:05 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Anyone still laughing about KC Joyner’s prediction the Redskins would win the NFC East this year?!

    Well, we all should have known better:

    Pride comes before desaster, and arrogance before a fall!!!

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 10:08 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Mike Lombardi annoyingly made the same prediction and considering he is typically ignorant and a bit of an arsehole it’s particularly annoying.

  20. 20 Matthew Butch said at 3:49 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    You do realize there is still 12 games to play? And yes, I’m still laughing.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 10:26 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Babin, Patterson, Jenkins, Laws, Hunt

    I´m not suggesting a new 5-2 system! Those are our remaing D-Liners.

    Dixon done for the Season
    Cole out a couple of weeks
    Juqua who?
    Tapp not ready yet

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 10:42 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    This season has “BUST” written all over…!

  23. 23 Zachary said at 10:54 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    “We’re 4 games into the 2011 season. Nothing is over.”

    I completely disagree. 1-3 gives us basically 0 margin of error over the final 13 games. And with how bad they’ve looked in many of the quarters they’ve played this year, I don’t see how’ we could trust them to be nearly perfect.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 11:04 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    we have an injury prone team with no red zone solutions, a choke artist kicker, a starting receiver who coughs up the ball on command and bad playcalling. We are outcoached every week and would be 0 – 4 if Steven Jackson didn’t get hurt.

    This team will be lucky to win 8 games.

  25. 25 Matthew Butch said at 3:50 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Really? If we lose 3 more games in those 12 it gives us 10-6. That’s pretty good to me.

  26. 26 Derek Campbell said at 11:30 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    “We’re 1-3, with 3 blown leads. To get leads in the 4th quarter you have to do some things right.”

    Amen. This team is so good 13-3 is still in play. Unfortunately they’re playing so bad right now that 1-15 is also in play (edit: they’re playing so bad ***in the 4th quarter***, that 1-15…)

  27. 27 Jon Blank said at 2:18 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Not really. Jet’s, Pats, Buffalo, Seattle in Seattle on a Thurs, plus both Skins and Cowboys games; easily 4-5 losses in there. This is an 8-8 team, at best.

  28. 28 Matthew Butch said at 3:51 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I predict this team will go 13-3. See I can make things up too!

  29. 29 Jon Blank said at 4:10 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Sure. Of course mine is based on the rest of the schedule and the way the team is performing, not some fantasy that this is a super bowl quality team that you’re basing your prediction off of.

  30. 30 Derek Campbell said at 3:56 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    And don’t forget about the Cards and the other Giants game. And the Bears game. And the Miami game. That’s 12 more losses right there. At least 12 more losses. 1-15 here we come.

  31. 31 Jon Blank said at 4:14 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Bears game will be tough, they always give the Eagles fits and their philosophy is perfect to counteract what the Eagles are usually trying to do. The rest of those games the Eagles should win, like yesterday….

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 5:01 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I agree with Jon. At the beginning of the year I thought we might well be an 11-5 team. Maybe 12-4 with a little good luck, 10-6 with a few bad bounces. Now, even if we play good ball, we have a tough schedule. Going 7-5 and ending up 8-8 sounds about the best we might get.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 11:41 AM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The question is where you can be with Castillo at the end of the season and where you can be with Lynn or an out of organization option. With the short offseason and new players, I still haven’t seen enough adjustments to opponents’ strategy and game planning around the wide disparities of talent between DL/CB and S/LB to think that Castillo will turn it around.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 12:41 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Calling on all cooler heads to prevail. I ask, now what? We know what the problems are, how to solve them? Even, is there any chance to salvage this season?

    I’m trying to remember the Giants SB season. Didn’t they start out terribly, with people calling for Couglhin’s head? Could this Eagles team turn things around in the same way?

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 1:13 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    You can’t fire any coaches until the bye week. There’s just not even time to fix the time during game-week. So Castillo IMO has 2 weeks to save his job. Two more bad performances and 1-5 means he and Reid may both go. 1-5 isn’t making the playoffs.

    He also has to do this without Parker, Cole, Dixon and the offense may be playing Justice at LT instead of Peters (we’ll see).

  36. 36 Zachary said at 1:23 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Maybe you can’t fire them, but you sure could shake it up. Problem is our offensive coach, can’t exactly take defensive play calling away from Juan….or could he…I mean he gave Juan the job without any experience calling defensive plays….

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 1:48 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    the Redskins have a Roladex full of guys in Bingo halls who will call plays from the press box on short notice

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 1:32 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Tommy, this post is absolute money. Making a change to appease fans or with the thinking that “anything must be better than this” would be an epic disaster for this season. We would be setting ourselves up for a top 10 pick next year. In fact the Lions and Raiders would be calling Roseman to see about trading up. How weird is that. Unfortunately, the concerns with Castillo have proven to be correct. Derek’s post on his blog says a lot as well. I think Castillo is a hard worker and decent football mind. However,the things that allowed him to be successful as an OL coach, which got him consideration for the DC job; are not neessarily the only things he needs to copy to have success as a DC. I think Juan has failed to ensure that he knows what it takes to be a successful DC versus the factors of success that got him consideration of the DC job.

  39. 39 Jon Blank said at 2:19 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The season is already an epic disaster.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 2:46 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The season isn’t over yet so I will wait a bit before chracterizing the season as whole in any shape or form. In 2008 we finished 9-7-1. The tie to the lowly bengals put all of us over the edge but yet we were able to make it to the NFC champ game (beating the Giants twice incuding the playoff game and on the road). If not for a perfect desperate PI by Rod Hood on Kevin Curtis that was not flagged, we might of played the Steelers in the SB that year a team that we had beaten earlier in the year. Lots of if’s and but’s in that one but still we have a lot of FB still to play and there just don’t seem to be that many great teams in the NFC East or the NFC for that matter. We still got a shot. If 2008 doesn’t do it for you then go back to 2006. There maybe to many changes amongst players, coaches and scheme which make this a reality that is hard to picture, which I would agree with; but there is still a lot of FB to be played.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 1:35 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Gonna try and put a bit of a positive spin on this.

    Our O-line, its getting hammered in the press still as one of the major problems on this team but they’ve played really very well. It’s given mike the most consistent amount of time of any recent Eagles line (unless they blitz but that’s hardly on them)

    That and think about this, if we can pull this together and win the next two we sit at 3-3. A playoff run from 3-3 suddenly doesn’t look so impossible. A defence that can get us there however..

    Less positive, what on earth are we going to do at DE? 2 healthy players does not a good wide-9 rotation make.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 7:18 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Barrel scraping: Daniel Teo Neshiem? This would require that we waive a current player. There are more than a few candidates, I’d nominate #56, who is unable to unseat any of the young vets and rookies presently on the team and would not be missed that much or that hard to replace.

    We do look great in parts, fits and spurts, and if we put it together… How were the Bears this time last season? Adversity, it will either make us or break us!

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 1:51 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I wanted to post and rant and rave yesterday…but decided against it – instead went to my 6 year old’s flag football game and was a maniac running up and down the sidelines exhorting him to make a tackle on defense and he was the featured RB on running plays…gosh the guy listened to his crazy Dad and really put on a show (even was talking smack to the opposing team when his team made a play)- of course a lot of other parents were looking at me crazy and my wife commented “whats gotten into u..did your Eagles lose again?” I just stared at her and walked away…my misery went further when I decided that I am gonna watch no more football and just watch the Phillies beat the crap out of the Cards…kept screaming at Cholly to remove Cliff in that ill fated 6th inning but like Reid he too never bothered to listen my yelling…anyways…unlike the years before the Eagles would respond and play hard – I really dont see that in this team….where is the vet leadership like Dawk and Q and Runyan..? on the coaching side Reid’s got all these big name coaches – Washburn, Mudd – is he afraid to demand answers from them…one thing is for sure the season is going down the toilet and going down fast…for all those who say the season is still young – does this team give you the impression that they will turn it around…I truly don’t…the fumbles were gonna happen the way they were showing the ball..I am surprised McCoy has not lost one yet – I am pretty sure that’s coming, the way he holds onto the ball…this is a poorly coached team…has no sense of urgency and laidback attitude…changes need to come and come fast…maybe hiring Chuck Cecil may really not be a bad idea at all…I kept telling myself during the game – I hope Castillo does not blitz…and just when I said that he would blitz…

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 2:09 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Ok, here is my thoughts on this. You never want to remove someone to please the fans, I get that. However, the idea of scaring the players with a drastic move is what we need. If you listen to the players, they give very subtle hints about Castillo not getting it done. Listen to Cullen Jenkins talk yesterday. He stated that Juan is still learning and we will all get behind him or something of the sort. He didn’t refute the reporters claims that Juan was failing, he basically said, we as players can only play for the coach who is in front of us. I think if we could get inside Asomugha’s head right now, we would see a very frustrated player. He is very frustrated at himself foremost, but the guy is getting burnt pretty regularly anytime we throw him in zone. I also think he is not meant to move around the formation and play the Woodson type role. Put him on the outside in man/press and let him go. If DRC is your guy for the long haul, trade Asante for whatever you can get for him right now. This musical secondary is hurting us, among numerous other things.

    As for Page, I am done with that little experiment. He is horrible. I would rather watch Jarrett fail and learn than Page fail–who has no upside.

    Finally, this team’s apparent failures in the most recent drafts cannot be ignored. Just like on offense, our drafting strategy is always too cute. We try to show how fucking smart we are and never take what is there.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 2:16 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    “A quarter of the 2011 NFL season is in the books.”

    Let’s hope the Eagles won’t blow the last quarter again.. lol

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 3:43 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Good one!

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 2:35 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    There are fears Trent Cole is done for the year but I’m hearing an MRI showed a Grade 2 calf strain, which prob puts him out 3 weeks.

    Jay Glazer

    One more nail in the coffin…

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 2:43 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Your ends against Buffalo: Jacob Ford, Philip Hunt, Jason Babin…against a Bills team that wants to throw every down. Yah!

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 2:54 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I guess Cullen Jenkins will get a look at DE as well, although we’re not very deep at DT any more…

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 2:45 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Oh God do I pray that the Rams will sack Spags so he can become our new DC…!

  51. 51 Jon Blank said at 2:56 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Don’t be silly, Andy is already grooming the cafeteria lunch lady at Novacare to take over the defense.

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 3:01 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    If she’s good looking and giving head (butts) to our players like Castillo did with Clayton that’ll be fine with me then.

  53. 53 Mac said at 5:14 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Are her stats 36-24-36? I’m in…

  54. 54 Ryan Highlands said at 2:56 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The Defense has no leader right now. In the Andy Reid era we have had Dawkins, Trotter, hell even Q last year. We need someone to have that ‘everyone follow me’ attitude. Can we sign Trotter to be on the sidelines and help out at least?

  55. 55 Steven Dileo said at 2:56 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    definition of meltdown:

    2nd-6, SF24 8:50 A. Smith passed to K. Hunter to the right for 44 yard gain

    1st-10, SF23 5:30 A. Smith passed to M. Crabtree to the left for 38 yard gain

    4th-6, SF21 13:57 A. Henery missed a 39-yard field goal

    4th-12, SF15 6:28 A. Henery missed a 33-yard field goal

    2nd-7, SF26 5:51 F. Gore rushed up the middle for 25 yard gain

    2nd-3, PHI42 4:45 K. Hunter rushed to the right for 2 yard loss. Philadelphia committed 15 yard penalty

    3rd-7, PHI26 3:52 K. Hunter rushed to the left for 14 yard gain

    1st-10, PHI12 3:00 F. Gore rushed to the right for 12 yard touchdown. D. Akers made PAT

    2nd-5, SF49 2:06 M. Vick passed to J. Maclin to the left for 17 yard gain. J. Maclin fumbled. D. Goldson recovered fumble

    2nd-6, SF35 2:02 F. Gore rushed to the right for 8 yard gain

    3rd-1, PHI48 1:04 F. Gore rushed up the middle for 5 yard gain

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 2:59 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Derek Landri?

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 3:09 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Is he still available?! Please bring him back. I really enjoyed him in the pre-season. Him or Anthony Hargrove would do!

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 3:02 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Wow! If Cole were out for the year that would certainly change my tune. No one and I mean no one chases run plays from behind like him. Teams would run on us like the hapless Raiders of years past as if they aren’t tempted to do so now.

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 3:09 PM on October 3rd, 2011:


    I respectfully disagree. It isn’t too early for Andy to be on the hot seat and here’s why: He hand picked our defensive coordinator from his own staff. He was given all of those pieces of gold in free agency to help put the team over the top. He let Akers go in favor of Henery (btw…I agree, Akers is a stiff. f him.) Basically, Andy got everything he wanted this off season and if the buck really does stop with him, then there’s only one place to point the finger.

    We’ve got an offense that (yet again) can’t pick up short yardage and is struggling to score TDs in the red zone. We’re turning the ball over and not putting points on the board in the 2nd half. On defense, more and more missed tackles. Can we please put Jarrad Page out to the pasture, btw? We’ve got two blue chip CBs looking like Dimitri Patterson. Hell, this is supposed to be a simplified defense but we’ve got Samuel and Asomaugh running around looking lost. Oh…apparently we didn’t learn any lessons about putting a LB on an elite TE in the red zone.

    The point being, if I even have one, is that Andy and Co. don’t have these guys ready to play. And isn’t that what coaching is about? Funny, but Andy was always great at getting more out of less. Now he can’t seem to get anything out of The Dream Team. lol. just had to…

    The mediocre NFC East isn’t any consolation to me. We’re supposed to be all-in this year. Does anyone think we have a fighting chance against Green Bay (if) we get to the playoffs? “long season…you just need to get hot at the right time….blah, blah bullshit”. The Eagles have ZERO chance at reaching the Super Bowl. Zero. ZERO. z e r o.

    On the bright side, Brian Rolle and Nate Allen played well. Fokou was active around the line of scrimmage. Don’t get me wrong…they weren’t great, but showed promise.

  60. 60 ike said at 3:10 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The difference between this season and the past is we don’t have JIM JOHNSON or even a competent D.C.

    The “Wide 9” worked for the Titans for years. So it’s not the Wide-9 per se.

    We have 3 top 10-15 CBs. So it can’t be the CBs.

    The problems seem to be the LBs/Safeties and the D.C. — whose job is to mask those problems.

    1-3 has never led to a SB. And, right now, this is not a SB team. Not a playoff team.

    But stranger things have happened. (As the Buddha may have said, “anything can happen and usually does.”)

    Unfortunately, those strange good things happened when we had a Jim Johnson at DC, J-Trot at MLB, and Dawk at S.

    Compare Juan to JJ. Jamar to J-Trot. And anyone to Dawk.

    A huge gulf exists. And now the injury bug is hitting.

    Because of some poor drafting the past 4 years, we have no depth. (Yeah, yeah – DJax, Shaddy, Maclin, and a healthy Nate Allen . . . they’re very good to great. But it’s the other 30 or so picks that leave the team in trouble.)

    HEY, MORTON . . . Time’s yours.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 3:26 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Saying that San Fran was good against the run is just an excuse for what Andy did yesterday. It’s way too simplistic to say, “hey san fran was good against the run, so we had to throw it 80% of the time. what else could we do?” In the 2nd half we started out up 20-3 and didn’t lose the lead until the very end. Up to the point we lost the lead we had 24 plays on offense, and Andy threw the ball 19 times out of 24 (79%). That’s ridiculous.

    Just because a team is stout against the run doesn’t mean you say “oh no, we can’t run the ball on them!” You still make an effort to run. It’s not like we were having great success throwing the ball in the 2nd half. Also, there have been plenty of times when a team was very good against the pass and weak against the run and guess what…you’d still see Andy chucking it up 70% of the time. Trying to explain his thought process here by bringing up their run defense just excuses his negligence to run the ball. Especially when the last thing you wanted in the 2nd half was our defense on the field.

  62. 62 Jon Blank said at 3:50 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Especially when you consider how much of the throwing offense involves play action.

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 3:52 PM on October 3rd, 2011:


    do you still think not going after Stephen Tulloch in FA was a wise idea?!

  64. 64 Matthew Butch said at 3:53 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I’m really not in panic mode. With the shortened offseason, I’m not surprised this team has failed to achieve. The Eagles are better than all three teams they lost too. They played terribly in the fourth quarter, and it cost them. However, these are all fixable things. And Reid is good at fixing his teams. I’m confident in Reid and Castillo.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 3:53 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    While I would love to go on a never-ending rant about Andy and the coaches, when the hell are these players going to step up. Every big moment since this season started has found these guys whimpering away from the big moment like a bunch of gutless cowards. They know the 49ers would try to run the clock out and still couldn’t stop Gore. I used to just call the D frontrunners who only played well when the going was good, but we can’t even say that anymore.
    There’s a large amount of blame to go around on the red zone problems, and the play calling hasn’t been the best. Really though, should any coach even have to get that creative down in the trenches. It’s down to a man to do their job and fight for the yards they need, and they have failed collectively as a unit. To me the RZ should be where coaching almost goes out the door, and men just take it amongst themselves to STEP UP and make a god damn play. This goes for offense and defense. Just a bunch of cowards out there who either aren’t man enough to make the play, or are too busy waiting for someone else to make it for them.
    This being the same week the NFL network aired the Reggie and Jerome special, it honestly just makes me sad to watch how gutless our D has become over the years. Sure as hell couldn’t have hurt a few years back to keep the one leader this team could count on for some inspiration in B Dawk. I know he’s lost a step, or many steps, but he can’t be any worse than the slop we’ve been throwing out there at Safety.
    Absolutely sickening.

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 5:40 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I agree that the defense has been atrocious in the tackling. Absolutely no discipline in staying in their gaps and guys just flat out missing tackles. It’s easy to say that’s the coaching, but after playing football for 15 years these guys should know how to tackle.

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 5:40 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I agree that the defense has been atrocious in the tackling. Absolutely no discipline in staying in their gaps and guys just flat out missing tackles. It’s easy to say that’s the coaching, but after playing football for 15 years these guys should know how to tackle.

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 3:58 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I don’t remember who or where I heard this, but I remember hearing some team in the NFL in the same spot we were in… maybe it was us? But I remember hearing that the coach actually stood in front of the players and challenged their manhood… I remebering hearing that it actually turned the season around. Andy needs to stop throwing all the blame on the coaches, make the players own up to it, and challenge their manhoood.

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 4:13 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Couldn’t agree more, because frankly they look like a bunch of lost BOYS out there. Be a MAN, step up, and make a god damned play.

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 4:14 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    As far as the coaches go, every game this season as I watched the offense I couldn’t help but think of the line off Varsity Blues. Somebody needs to beat our coaches over the head repeatedly with a tack hammer while repeating “Stick to the basics, stick to the basics, stick to the basics…”

  71. 71 Anonymous said at 4:17 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Vicks response about finding out which players had fight in their gut (or however he said it) was encouraging. If this result doesn’t wake up the team nothing can. It doesn’t seem to be a schematic thing, its an intensity thing. Our D-line plays with intensity and the results are proving that, don’t see that anywhere else.

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 4:26 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    “The other thing that would bug me about making a move is that it would show the players desperation. I know we’re 1-3 and we need the players to realize the gravity of the situation, but I don’t know if making desperate moves is the answer. One of Andy Reid’s big selling points over the years has been his stability. He’s got a plan and sticks to it as much as possible. He throws us a curveball every now and then, but generally stays on script.”

    Tommy, did AR not show some (a lot of) desperation in the gambles he made this offseason?
    -Making Castillo the DC
    -Washburn as D-line coach
    -Mudd as O-line coach
    -Completely changing the Offensive line & Defensive philosophies
    -Counting on a 4th round rookie at MLB
    -Counting on a 26 yo rookie RG, with limited football background to be the starter.
    -Not bringing in a veteran LB
    -Relying on a rookie PK and rookie P, while not bringing in a vet to challenge either position
    -Doing all of this under a lockout-shortened off season

    That’s a lot of things that had to go just right in order for this team to be ultimately successful and far out of character for Reid. A couple of things are going on here: AR is delegating too much and doesn’t have enough control over this team or he has simply run out of answers and is pulling at straws….or both!

    The moves made this off season do not line up with the AR you describe in the above quote. I think the moves he made wreak of desperation for a HC who is coming up on the final years of his contract and that has never won the big one. The moves made this off season are not the moves of a HC who thrives on stability. The moves could only result in instability.

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 4:56 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Too many moves in a short off season, that is the problem, pure and simple. In an ordinary year there would have been time. Time to have JC settled leading the D. Time to decide how to use all the new toys. Time for the rookies to make themselves starters. Too much, too soon. The moves were supposed to help simplify the game plan. It seems we have no game plan.

  74. 74 Dewey said at 5:45 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I still to this day don’t see how any of these moves are desperation:
    Making Castillo the DC
    Changing the O and D Line philosophies
    Relying on a rookie K.

    Those are moves of over-confidence in your position. He basically said, I’m trying these things. If they work, great if not, I can change them.

    How are they desperate?

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 5:57 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Dewey, I can’t say I completely agree, but that is one way to look at it; that the moves were made out of a feeling of job security.

    Although, these moves were not characteristic of AR. I kind of feel like he’s run his course and has run out of answers the last few seasons. His defenses have steadily gotten worse over his tenure. He’s in what may be, short of bringing home a title, his last contract with the Birds. I think he’s made these moves (gambles) out of some desperation to win it all.

    These don’t feel like the moves of an Andy Reid that preaches stability and follows through with the plan. They blew up the plan and reworked the entire thing this offseason. Like you said, way too much in way too little time to prepare.

  76. 76 Anonymous said at 4:35 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Do other teams bring up their safeties and drop their corners deep when there are no receivers on one side of the field? I don’t really get why we do this so much. It leaves Nnamdi or Asante as the last defender when the RB inevitably gashes us up the middle. And on the play Nnamdi got beat deep, he came running up from where the safety would normally be playing when Crabtree went in motion. He never really looked ready for the ball to be snapped. He looked terrible on that play.

    Obviously this isn’t a big deal considering the trillions of problems with this team right now, but I’m curious about this.

  77. 77 chris cornett said at 5:03 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Tommy, is there anyway to get Juan some help on the sidelines? Maybe someone who can warn Juan befor he steps into a trap devised by the other team’s OC?

  78. 78 ike said at 5:33 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    That would the Head Coach, I would think.

    Not sure Reid’s the man for the job, though.

    Frankly, he has only slightly more experience with the defensive side than Juan.

    Reid’s never coached on the defensive side.

    When Jim Johnson was the D.C., Reid left him alone.

    When Sean McD was the D.C., (I think) Reid became a bit more involved.

    That was because he needed to stop the 76% red-zone success percentage for opposing offenses.

    So, like I said, I’m not sure Reid’s the guy.

  79. 79 Morton said at 5:36 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The problem all stems from the poor drafting of the current regime.

    In the NFL, games are won and dynasties are built not in September, October, November, or December but in April. In the NFL, the draft trumps all. Free agency is next to meaningless in today’s NFL. In today’s NFL, you draft well or you lose, period.

    Even if this team manages to “right the ship” and finish with a winning record, or even a playoff berth, they surely will not compete for a Super Bowl. They are too deficient in too many regards to be a championship team. Why are they so deficient in so many areas? All of this can be traced back to the poor drafts of the past 2 years. None of the players drafted in the past two years are contributing to this team in a big way and many of them are even deactivated on game day. Danny Watkins, Jacquian Jarrett, Brandon Graham, Daniel Teo Nesheim, Trevard Lindley and Casey Matthews were all puzzling reaches (picked ahead of better players at similar positions) even on draft day, and nothing to this point has shown them to be anything but franchise-killing busts. While other teams reap the benefits of rookies and second year players contributing to their team’s success, the Eagles watch as all of their rookies and second year players sit on the bench collecting paychecks for doing nothing.

    Teams such as the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers rarely, if ever, splurge on big-ticket free agents in the offseason. Nevertheless, they are two of the most successful franchises of the past six years. Why is this? Because they draft exceptionally well. They hit on their first round picks and find talented players in later rounds as well. If you can’t do this, you will never assemble a championship team. This is the single most important aspect of winning in the NFL: acquiring talented players, and quality depth, through the NFL Draft.

    So again, even if Andy Reid manages to squeeze eight or more wins out of this hapless squad, it won’t matter, because this regime has shown an inability to build a roster through the draft. If you can’t do that, you can’t be a winner. The only way to truly solve this problem is to find a new General Manager, and/or scouting department that will enable Eagles to rebuild their roster through the draft with talented young players.

  80. 80 Anonymous said at 6:22 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    If I have to see another post for you regarding the draft, I’m going to blow my brains out. I was positive the Grinch only came around once a year, and he had the whole year to build up all that negativity and pessimism so he could let it all out in one giant $hit storm on X-mas. If you keep this up, Christmas might just be a little more Merrier this year! I can picture you sitting next to the fire on Christmas Eve going through the Eagles past Draft List, then pulling out the team picture while pointing and exclaiming “Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. Double Hate. LOATHE ENTIRELY!” After which you pull out your daily to do list:

    4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?”

  81. 81 Anonymous said at 7:10 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Thank you

  82. 82 Dewey said at 5:43 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    My big thing is this:

    How are the Texans going from a 4-3 to a 3-4 with less of a hiccup than we are?

    @tommy: No offense, but I’m less interested in what you think of the team right now, as what you hear. Are people doubting Castillo?

    Regarding Tulloch. Are people joking? The guy is a decent player, nothing more. The issue is Castillo plain and simple.

  83. 83 Ty said at 6:25 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    4 straight games where we gave up a running play that went for more than 40 yards. 3rd straight game where we couldn’t stop the run on game winning drives. No one is saying that Tulloch is Patrick Willis, but he is much better than the players we have in place. At 3 million he would have been a bargain, but our team decided to neglect that position and instead go with a rookie and a 2nd year player that only played in 5 games.

    We have 2 million to spend on our #5 WR but we don’t have 3 million to spend on a starting LB.


  84. 84 Anonymous said at 6:04 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Please Tulloch is light years from what we have at the position currently. Is he worth the money? Can our guys develop to his level of play? Those are separate questions. If I could take Tulloch who has played in this scheme before, without respect to the cap or picks; I would do it in a cocaine heartbeat. However, we can’t swing a deal for him or someone like him but he would improve the LB play exponentially in the short term.

  85. 85 Morton said at 6:22 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Guess what, the Eagles could have had Tulloch in the offseason for a song. The Lions signed him to a one-year, $4 mill contract. The Eagles paid nearly that much for Steve Smith, who is contributing absolutely nothing right now to the team.

  86. 86 Anonymous said at 6:27 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    The most amazing thing is that there is a pretty acceptable list of both LBs and Safeties who were available during the abbreviated offseason, and the Eagles fully opted to ignore them all. That might be more forgivable if this was a typical Andy Reid offseason, where free agency was used only to augment small holes. But this was a year in which they, in their own words, went all in through free agency, and yet still ignored relatively solid pools of talent at clearly the team’s two weakest areas. It was odd as it was happening, and I got ripped here for mentioning it. It makes even less sense now, as does the general confusion from people who didn’t see this predictable outcome for what it was.

  87. 87 Ty said at 6:22 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I can’t blame this loss on Vick or the offensive play calling. Our last three offensive possessions ended in two missed field goals and a fumble. I blame this loss on the defense. Our big gains were given up on runs plays and screens. How many trams run the ball on a 3rd and 7? They were basically settling for a field goal.

    I don’t even know who to blame. Is it the LBs, safetys, wide 9, or the defensive scheme? The scary thing is that there is no simple fix for any of these problems.

    We geared our defensive philosophy in beating the Packers so much so that we seemed to neglect teams with other offensive schemes.

    This team is pathetic. This is the 2nd game this season that Maclin has made a bad play on a crucial offensive possession. This is the 4th straight week that we have given up a running play that went for more than 40 yards.

  88. 88 Ty said at 6:30 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I also think its time to see what Watkins has. DeVan has been terrible for the past 2 weeks. Maybe its time to see Jarret as well. Page has been up and down. He’s too inconsistent.

  89. 89 Anonymous said at 6:37 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Let me apologize ahead of time for this rant, but ARs day-after press conference was awful. I know he will not throw anyone under the bus, I know he doesn’t like to say much in his press conferences, but reading between the lines, he just sounds like he has no idea how to fix things right now. You can say “we need to improve there” all you want, but the question is “how” will you improve there. I really appreciated Mike Missanelli getting on ARs case about that by asking “why” we are struggling in the redzone rather than letting AR get away with his useless and uninformative responses about us needing to improve in that area. Anyone who watches the Eagles can see that we have problems there, and it’s ARs job to figure out why, and furthermore, how to fix it. I think more reporters in Philly need to get on ARs case and ask tougher questions. I don’t care if AR gets pissed, when did he become so powerful that no one could question him? I can’t stand it when AR acts like he is above everyone else and acts as if everyone else needs to just listen and accept whatever he says.

  90. 90 Steve H said at 7:20 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Uhhh, I hate to burst your bubble but its in the best interest of NFL coaches to not reveal exactly what they are planning on doing, lest other teams become aware of those things… Theres a reason Andy gives boring press conferences and its not because he doesn’t actually have anything to say, its because he doesn’t want to tip his hand on anything or to give anyone any bulletin board material. He’s a lot like Bill Bellicheck in that regard, they both give very boring pressers for a reason.

  91. 91 Anonymous said at 7:17 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Tommy you hit the nail on the head with your one point, nothing is over yet, especially given how the rest of the NFC East looks. This notion of firing Castillo midseason is assinine. Who fires a DC four games into the season? Not to mention it’s so unlikely to happen that it really is not even a noteworthy subject. Yeah the defense is bad, but these are team losses every phase of the team was some what responsible last week. Give the firing Castillo idea a rest.

  92. 92 Anonymous said at 7:28 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    I mean it really is an absurd notion, he’s four games into his FIRST season as DC. Give the man a break. How would you like be fired right after starting a job that is totally new to you?

  93. 93 Anonymous said at 7:39 PM on October 3rd, 2011:

    Sorry Morton, 4M is not exactly a song. Steve Smith guaranteed money is $2M. Thats a big difference. As for Steve’s impact, we knew it was going to be slow to get him back in the lineup. No surprise there.

  94. 94 Anonymous said at 11:13 PM on October 3rd, 2011:


    Once you will have found the Eagles’ soul can you please tell me. Maybe wa can ship them together for Q, Sean Lee, half a tackle and a run pass action play on the 2 inch line..