I think we’d all agree that Vertical Limit is the Citizen Kane of brother-sister climbing K2 movies ever made. I pretty much think Vertical Limit is a movie that answers most of life’s questions. My favorite part, aside from the gorgeous Robin Tunney, is the extreme over-acting of Bill Paxton and Scott Glenn.
Glenn gives one good speech. A group of climbers has to go to an extreme height to save another group of climbers. Glenn is reluctant to go on the rescue mission. One guy says to him that he needs Glenn’s help in order to save his sister, who is dying.
Glenn responds: “Get your facts straight, Mr. Garrett. Up there, you’re not dying. You’re already dead.”
In other words…coming down from a situation like that isn’t to be expected. It will take a lot of teamwork, skill, luck, and some incredible effort. Even then, that may not be enough.
With a 3-3 record comprised of some ugly wins and 2 blown leads in a must-win season, Andy Reid may not be coaching to save his job. He may have already lost it. He’s got the final 10 games to win it back, but it will take a lot of teamwork, skill, luck, and some incredible effort. Even then, that may not be enough.
Andy was told that mediocrity would not be acceptable. 3-3 is just that. I’m not trying to paint the Eagles into some hole they can’t climb out of. They’re a game out of the division lead. 3-3 is far from the end of the world.
The point is that there is little to no margin for error. Reid normally is a very patient guy. He has never made a move like firing Juan Castillo in the middle of October. We were all blown away when he made Michael Vick the QB back in 2010. That wasn’t to punish Kevin Kolb. It was done to reward Vick for 2 great games.
Over the years Reid has given players and coaches time to figure things out. That generally worked well, but not always. Reid can’t do that right now. He needs quick results. This doesn’t mean Andy will bench all young players. He will stick with the players he believes in. Same with the coaches. Andy is almost using this simple question when looking at a situation, “What answer will help us win games and get to the playoffs?”
I think we know which way “Should I keep Juan Castillo?” went. This isn’t to say Juan was a terrible coach. The defense showed progress this year and posted solid numbers. I’m sure the players get most of the credit. Some certainly goes to Todd Bowles for the changes he made. I do think Juan deserves credit as well. I think Juan showed that he can coach on defense. I think he showed that he’s not ready to be a good DC in the NFL right now, but he could be a position coach or run a defense at the college level.
The problem Juan had was in the 4th quarter. Veteran offensive coaches were able to make adjustments and react to our defense. Juan wasn’t able to adjust to the adjustments. To use the old line, he was playing checkers and they were playing chess.
In the first 3 quarters of the 6 games, the Eagles defense allowed a total of 73 points this year.
In the 4th quarter/OT of the 6 games, the Eagles defense allowed 45 points this year.
Juan wasn’t some epic failure. He wasn’t incompetent. He simply wasn’t good enough for what the Eagles needed in 2012.
I’m glad he got a chance to coach defense. I wish it wasn’t for the Eagles, but Juan’s dream was to get back on defense, which is what he knew from his early days. He can lie down in his bed at age 87 and know that he gave it a shot. There’s nothing worse than not knowing.
Don’t feel bad for Juan. He begged Andy for years to give him a job working with the defense. It would have made a lot more sense to make him the LBs coach and let him work his way up, but things unfolded in an odd way and he went straight to DC. Juan knew when he accepted the job that he was making an unprecedented move. He knew the risks involved.
It will be interesting to see if Juan pursues a defensive job next year or if he goes back to the OL.
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A few of you have pointed out that Andy is to blame for making the hire in the first place. Agreed. There is no question about that. Reid took a chance on a friend and did something unheard of. It didn’t work.
I’ll never forget the day that I found out Juan got the job. I was in disbelief. The move made no sense at the time. Still defies logic to this day.
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Are there other changes coming? If you listened to Reid’s PC or talk with Dave Spadaro afterward, he made it clear that things were fluid. All options are on the table.
I still doubt that Reid will make a bunch of moves. I think he is using this move to get everyone’s attention (hint, hint – Mike Vick). Reid can’t wait for coaches or players to get out of a slump. He needs them to play/coach to their potential right away.
More than a few people have wondered why you fire the guy running the best group on the team? Right now it would go:
2a. special teams
As I wrote earlier today, this is about having confidence in coaches to fix problems. Reid knows that he, Marty, and Vick have produced dynamic results together. Reid feels like the offense can be fixed by the people already in place.
STs was a major mess a few weeks back. The return of Colt Anderson and Akeem Jordan has helped a lot. Riley Cooper, too. We are seeing progress on that front.
Defense had the least amount of problems to solve, but also needed to be the group carrying this team. Not having Colt Anderson really hurt the STs. Bobby April was also breaking in rookie returners. We knew there would be issues. The offense was minus Jason Peters and then Jason Kelce. We knew there would be some issues. The defense was healthy and stacked. That group needed to play lights out. Didn’t happen.
Don’t expect other coaching changes. I know many are ready for Bobby April to be fired. I know many are ready for Marty Mornhinweg to be sent to the backwoods of Delaware for eternity. You’ll have to wait for the offseason to see anything with April. Marty getting fired would go beyond shocking me. I literally cannot imagine that happening. He and Reid have known each other for decades. Reid loves Marty’s kind of offense, even if we don’t.
I’ll write up a separate post on offensive changes and adjustments to make.
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* Could Lurie have forced Andy to fire Castillo? Possible. I’m hesitant to buy that since Lurie already has Andy on an edict to win. I sure can’t say it didn’t happen.
* What’s up with Howard Mudd and the OL? This is worthy of a longer answer, but there has to be a symmetry between blocker, playcaller, QB, and skill players. Vick holds the ball longer than any QB in the NFL. That’s a fact. It sure feels like Marty calls as many deep balls as any coach in the league. Not sure if that can be proved. This puts tremendous pressure on the OL to block longer. Mudd and the OL need help from Marty and Mike.
* Great point from reader named Mcud. Coordinators can be weapons. Jim Johnson was feared. When Marty is on his A-game, he can be a great OC. Was Juan ever going to be in this category? No.
* From Domo/another commenter…Field position hurt the offense. They might not be 31st in scoring if more drives started at midfield or in plus territory due to a long return or turnover. There is truth in this. The lack of takeaways hurt Castillo just like the sack total.
* This move wasn’t done to say the defense was the big problem. It was done because the defense can be fixed and there is a coach in position to do it. No Todd Bowles, probably no firing today.
* Will there be a change? Do expect more blitzing. Bowles coached under guys that like to attack.
* Were there any player issues? Nnamdi was making some odd comments after the game, but I never heard of a serious disagreement or anything like that. Possible. If anything involving the players, I think it would be more about confusion than any anger over scheme. We have had guys look lost in each game, although nothing like last year.
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Take a break from reading about the Eagles and go check out MAQB. Gimpy wrote a good column. There’s several nuggets of interest.
Jimmy Bama and I will do show on the Castillo firing, probably tonight.
We’ve got a ton of stuff to cover this week. And there could be more moves on the way.