Okay, Eagles fans. Let’s get this right:
Juan Castillo is terrible and has no idea what he’s doing.
The Wide-9 is a dumb system.
All the DL care about is sacks. None of them can play the run.
The Eagles have the worst LBs in the league.
The Eagles have awful Safeties.
Howie Roseman is awful at acquiring players.
So how in the hell is it that the defense is ranked 8th in yards allowed and 12th in points allowed? HOW??? I know it kills some of you, but you can’t have everything be wrong.
Detroit has a strong DL. They had Ndamukong Suh in the middle. They have Levy and Tulloch at LB. They have Jim Schwartz as HC and Gunther Cunningham as DC. Their farts know more about defense than Juan Castillo. So how is it that Detroit is below us in yards, points, and rushing yards? How???
Chicago has Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Peanut Tillman. Lovie Smith is the HC and Rod Marinelli is the DC. Their farts know more about defense than Castillo. So how is it that the Bears are below us in points and yards allowed? They do have a better run D, but allow almost 50 more passing yards a game.
I could go on, but you should get the point by now.
Listen, no one is trying to make the defense into some great unit that should be worshiped. This defense has had some horrible moments this year. But…BUT…you cannot ignore the success it has had as well.
The front office can’t solve every issue in a given offseason. That’s not reality. Andy Reid and Howie Roseman focused on the DL and the secondary. The results have been good. Jim Washburn’s DL is doing a great job of rushing the passer. They actually play better run defense than most think.
The secondary struggled early on as very talented players adjusted to new roles. They have done that now and Samuel, DRC, and Nnamdi have played their best football in the last month.
The Safeties are better than people think. I know Kurt Coleman has missed a couple of key tackles. I know Nate Allen stunk up the joint in the Patriots game. I also know that Kurt has had some good games and made some key plays. Nate was lights out a few times (Bills game, recent Dallas game). The jury is still out on Jaiquawn Jarrett, but he did look good when he got on the field. Sunday will be a good test for him.
Juan, Andy, and Howie knew that LB was going to be the weak spot on defense this year. They felt comfortable with Jamar Chaney moving outside to take advantage of his speed. They threw Casey into the fire as MLB. It was sink or swim. Obviously both those moves blew up in their face. Jamar struggled at OLB and Casey was overwhelmed as a starter. The Eagles deserve criticism for the moves not working.
The LBs were a major issue for a long time. Castillo finally got them to play reasonably well in the last few weeks by changing roles to be as specific as possible. This has taken pressure off some guys and gotten everyone involved. The LB corps still needs a lot of work, but they are playing better than any other time this year.
Castillo is doing a better job of coaching than at any other time this year. He and the players are feeding off each other. The numbers are good and the team does pass the eye test. They look like a good defense.
I’m not asking everyone to hop on board and kiss Juan’s butt or send the players to the Pro Bowl. I do think the blanket criticisms need to stop. The Eagles aren’t 7-8 because of Juan Castillo. Or the LBs. Or the defense as a whole. The Eagles are 7-8 because the entire team was addicted to mistakes earlier in the year.
How many shootouts have we won? ZERO. That’s not on the defense. That’s on Vick, Shady, DJax, and the crew. GB and NE have won several shootouts this year.
STs blunders were costly in the SF and CHI losses.
The blown 4th quarter leads weren’t huge leads. The only big lead was in the SF game. The defense fell apart in that game, but the offense had plenty of chances and couldn’t make a key play or hold onto the ball.
In the other games the defense did blow leads, but small ones. Losing a game where you were up on the Giants 16-14 in the early 4th Q isn’t exactly what I would categorize as a blown lead. Technically, yes, but reality tells you that being up 2 points in today’s NFL is nothing. The offense failed to score in the 4th Qtr of several of the games where the Eagles did have the lead.
Turnovers have been a huge problem all year long. That’s on the offense, mainly the skill players.
The Eagles got to 7-8 as a team. The whole team needed to get better. And it did. The defense is playing great football right now. The offense is still hit and miss, but is getting the job done in the Red Zone and has eliminated some turnovers.
You can fault the Eagles for not doing what you thought was right, but based on the overall numbers you can also argue the Eagles did the right thing by concentrating on DL/DBs. If there is part of the defense to put on the back burner, it is the LBs.
Feel free to be critical of the Eagles in some way, shape, or form, but you can’t blame everyone. Is it Castillo for not being smart enough? The players for not playing well? Roseman for not getting the enough talent? When you are 8th in yards allowed and 12th in points allowed that means that more is going right than wrong.
If Castillo is the problem, then you better start heaping praise on the players. Overcoming bad coaching isn’t easy.
If it is the players, then you better praise Castillo for being able to deal with such mediocrity despite making the change from offense to defense.
If it is Roseman, then you better praise Castillo for coaching his butt off and the good players who are carrying the underachievers.
You just don’t have a lousy GM, lousy DC, and lousy players and get to 8th/12th. That’s not reality.