Let’s Talk

Posted: October 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 73 Comments »

The Eagles lost a heartbreaker today.  We’re all in a bad mood because of that.  There is a lot to discuss with the Eagles.  We’ll get to everything, but be patient.  This is the bye week.  There is no need to rush in and try to cover every issue tonight or Monday.

Here are some of the subjects we’ll cover:

* Vick

* the offense/coaching

* OL

* DL

* Castillo

* Reid

* state of the team, both long and short term

* * * * *

One of the popular reactions today is that after a loss like this, heads must roll.  Someone needs to get fired.  Someone needs to get benched.  Some kind of action is needed.

That is a fan’s reaction.  It certainly would have been mine when I was younger and really went nuts when the team lost.

This isn’t the wise reaction.

Andy Reid must analyze the Lions game and the season to this point.  He must identify specific problems.  He then needs to figure out solutions to those problems.  It is possible that will result in a significant action, but don’t count on it.  Andy tends to trust his players and coaches.  He’s not making changes for the heck of it.

I know plenty of you want Reid fired.  Makes no sense for Lurie to do that.  You need to let Big Red finish the season in order to judge where he’s at.  The Eagles are 3-3.  We’ve just lost a pair of heartbreakers, but don’t let that cloud your vision.  When Dallas started 1-7 in 2010, Wade Phillips got fired.  That team lost 35-17 and 45-7 to drop to 1-7.  Something had to happen to that team.

Last year the Giants started 6-2 before hitting a 1-5 stretch to fall to 7-7.  They were swept by the Skins and Rex Grossman.  They lost to the Saints 49-24.  There was talk of firing Tom Coughlin.  The Giants decided to be patient and things worked out pretty well.

You don’t fire a 3-3 coach coming off 2 and 3-point losses.  I know that many of you will say Reid deserved this based several years of mediocrity.  That’s a long term discussion and you don’t make that argument until the season is over.  You only get fired midseason if there is a need for drastic action.  3-3 isn’t that situation.

The goal is to right the ship and start winning games, not get vindictive with the staff/team.  Seeing someone fired/cut/demoted might make you happy initially, but it only makes sense if it makes the team better.  The 2012 season isn’t lost.  Not even close.

I do certainly agree that something is off with the team.  The Eagles have yet to play a complete game.  The offense is erratic.  The defense was stout, but struggled today.  STs are improving, but hardly a strength.

I’m of the belief that most of the problems are self-inflicted.  That means they can be solved from within.  I wish I could promise you they will get solved.  We have to wait and see, always the hardest part.

I know Mike Vick is a key subject for debate.  I’ll try to cover him tomorrow.

One point I want to stress.  I think a lot of the Eagles problems are solvable, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.  This could be the year that the team falls apart after the bye and things do go in a bad way.  History tells us Reid and his staff will get things fixed, but there are no guarantees.  Every season and every team is a bit different.

Let’s end on a positive note from Reuben Frank and his never ending stats:

“Since 1970, Eagles have been 3-3 eight times. They went to the playoffs 7 of those years and went 10-6 the other year.”

_


  • PK_NZ

    Andy Reid is good enough coach to make this a season. The talent on this team is too good. But this seems to be what we say every year…

    • TommyLawlor

      Well, Lurie never put him on notice before this year.

      • PK_NZ

        …and maybe we should see that as a sign. I have to say Andy and his staff do an amazing job of gathering talent year after year, but this season just feels like the coaching staff has run out of mojo and the overall talent is keeping us afloat.

        • Anders

          That can happen. I still think AR is fine HC, but MM seems to be the problem for this offense (Its not an instant reaction, I have never liked the offense under MM)

    • Julescat

      eagles fans tend to over rate the talent here.

  • SteveH

    The thing that I don’t want to see happen is for Vick to play just good enough not to get benched, but not good enough to lead us to the postseason. I don’t want to see AR coach just good enough to get us a winning record, but not good enough to make any noise at the end of the year.
    As it stands right now, Vick has been awful plenty, but he’s done just enough to make benching him not a realistic option. As it stands AR has us right at the cusp of a postseason berth if the season ended today.
    Its a long time since Vick was the elite guy we saw in 2010, and we didn’t hand him a 100 million dollar contract to play sometimes putrid, sometimes great football.

    • iskar36

      I’ll buy the argument that most likely, Vick gives us the best chance at winning anything IF (and this is a huge if right now) he plays up to his potential. But I think right now, his reputation and assumed potential is what keeps him as the starter, not what he has produced on the field.

      In terms of stats, according to NFL.com right now:
      23rd for completion percentage
      13th for yards/game (this is on a pass heavy team as well)
      22nd for average/attempt
      tied with 10 other people for 10th in TDs (that’s without having had a bye)
      5th worst in terms of INTs with 8
      Worst in terms of fumbles lost with 6 (second is Griffin with 3).
      4th most sacked (obviously that has a lot to do with the Oline, but Vick adds to that number with his style of play)

      Stats are obviously not everything and certainly, the Oline hasn’t made things easier for Vick, but what exactly has he been doing well this season?

      At some point, I just think Vick needs to be sent a message that this can not continue. He can’t be continually put out there turnover after turnover without being held accountable in some way.

  • http://twitter.com/ProtoTyler Ty-Philly

    I’m done with Marty and have been for awhile. Andy and Marty together are like a flammable material with an accelerant. I’m not raving/pissed off or anything right now. I just think Marty is exacerbating our offensive problems with the way he calls games. He was competent vs NYG and PIT but reverted…again and it cost us. He can’t be trusted to optimize our offense. He wants to run it without regard to our OL possibly having a bounty on Vick.

    • shah8

      The problem is that this is not a team that’s well suited to shorty-ball. All of the assets are about stretching the field vertically and horizontally. DJax, for example, is not well suited for a Percy Harvin type role, as we saw in the Kevin Kolb Experiment. Throwing quick developing passes mostly has meant throws outside the numbers, which are actually kinda long. Throws over the middle have a tendency to need to be very bang-bang with the ball rifled in a small target. Screens and misdirection plays, outside of that funky Shady run up the middle (looked to be some kind of influence play?) that went for 12 yards have been abominably executed.

      As much as anyone can say, well, let’s work with what we’ve got, what we’ve got hasn’t been good enough to be workable with, and plays directly to the strength of teams with a strong front seven. Both Vick interceptions looks like Vick following through a play come hell or high water–strike ‘em deep, and I have a hard time not being sympathetic about this. You just can’t allow a defense (and when you’re the Eagles, *every* team is bring their A game) to think the offense can be intimidated like that. You’ll get more man coverage and more blitzes and disguised coverages with the intent of sniping one of those quick passes. Only, luck just hasn’t been on our side as far as recovering fumbles and catching passes.

      Here’s the big conceptual problem here. The offensive line is simply not reliably communicating with each other and with Vick. I though Lawlor kinda breezed by this when talking about the Pitt game, but you don’t need a massive jailbreak on every play a lá Rams and Cardinals last Thursday to have a drastic effect on your QB. It’s one thing to think, well, my man got beat, gotta go back up there and do it again. It’s another thing to be unsure whether people are actually doing their jobs correctly. The game is too fast for a QB to check up on how an OL is coping with cheap attempts at overloading one spot. So once that intuition of wellbeing and drop placement is gone, it’s gone, even when the OL does the job most times. Failures are bleeding into confidence in many ways, and bad plays are affecting multiple other plays.

      As far as the DL is concerned, my memory of what’s happening is that the ends are not shedding the OTs after driving them back. There are also no jailbreaks. In the last few games, what has happened is that the pocket is not collapsing to our advantage. It’s just rolling to a side of the field and the QB resets feet and throws. Or a late rollout and throw on the run. Either way, the DL has begun to seriously ask for huge amounts of time from the coverage people. I’m not sure how to fix that. The blitzes that were used were quite ineffective.

    • Anders

      Agree 100%, I think MM have been the problem since 2009 where he couldnt make an adjustment to save McNabbs life. Also it seems NFL has caught up to him. Look at the Redskins, they got a rookie QB, rookie RB (there is no where near McCoys level), worse WRs, above avg. OL, a decent TE (I think Celek is the most underrated TE in the NFL because he is asked to block so much) and yet the Skins score 12 ppg more than us. The whole reason is Shanahan has evolve as an offensive coach where MM is stuck in a offensive world there does not exist anymore.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    i was willing to stick up for vick with all of his turnovers, but even i am approaching the point where i have to admit that this is just ridiculous….
    he has what? 8 TD to 8 INT? plus 1 TD running and 9 (NINE!) fumbles (5 lost) as per his stats on nfl.com (dont know if updated for todays game)

    i hate to join the ranks of the fans screaming for foles, but at some point, i have to think that he can’t do much worse, and it would be better for the future of the team to get him some reps, right?

    • McMVP

      I personally don’t think Foles would’ve done worse than Vick over these first 6 games. He’d have his growing pains of course, and there would be turnovers. I’d bet there would be less of them though (hard to really argue otherwise…Vick seems to be on a mission to set a record).

      But I think the real reason Foles would be ok is because it would force AR/MM into being better coaches. They will always be aggressive in nature (which I think is good in general), but they wouldn’t coach/playcall the same way w/ Foles. They wouldn’t be as predictable (at least not at first). I think we’d see many more games that resembled the ‘Giants’ gameplan. That seems to be the only team AR fully respects.

      And the bottom line is this. Vick simply is what he is. Foles may not be better in the long run…but I do feel be would make the coaches smarter in the short term.

      And if Foles turns out to be good…so much the better…

      • shah8

        On what basis could you say Foles couldn’t have done worse? Make Reid be a more conservative coach?

        Let’s bring a person back to reality here: Swing the glittering pendulum–I waaaaaaant you to remember the glory days of Mike McMahon… I neeeeeeEEEEed you to LIVE HIS GLORY!! And bring horror to the faces of all Eagles Nation!

        ::dark, brutal laugh emits from Gracie Mansion::

        • McMVP

          I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility that Foles would have 14 turnovers instead of 13…but I doubt it.

          I’m not sure what relevance Mike McMahon brings to this discussion. I really don’t get the logic there at all.

          I think others may get my point better…at least that is what I would hope.

          • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

            I’m not sure what McMahon has to do with this either. But I get what you’re saying. There’s a good chance that Foles won’t be as turnover prone. Vick has been absolutely horrendous. The problem, I think, for many of us is that Foles is the great unknown. He could be better but he could be way worse. I guess for many of us it’s better to go with the devil you know.

            There’s also the whole leadership angle to consider. Benching your starting QB can lose you the locker room. It’s a tough decision to do that. However, with the way Vick is playing he could very lose the locker room on his own.

          • BC1968

            Foles would’ve been destroyed by now. I’m sure if there is a scenario where foles has to be used vick will be hurt or the season will be over. Does it make sense to put foles behind this line? 3-3 and people are calling for a rookie quarterback, welcome to Philadelphia.

          • Mac

            Agree, plus we may need to factor how many free agents we acquired in 2011 who came over here to play with or alongside Vick…

    • shah8

      Lemme ask you this, would you care for Foles and Reynolds, both babes in the woods working out protections? This is not fixable by Foles. It’s really not fixable with replacing Vick with Foles. Say, Joe Webb or Russell Wilson or RG3 or someone else who can really kill a defense with their youth and speed–that may help. But Foles is a pocket QB, and he is not even a poor man’s Big Ben. There has been no pocket, and at best, he’d look like Brandon Weeden, and probably worse.

      As much as it might make anyone gnash their teeth, but Vick’s play is simply not casually reproduceable. We did not even have a run game going today. No quality center play, no quality running play…Yes, you could sorta hope for Skelton of last year, but he was winning on the back of elite defensive play and had a huge target (while still turning the ball over). And of course, this year, the Arizona OL has killed Kolb, and Skelton looked even worse, game one, and today.

      Foles is not a solution. Some kind of miracle fix on the OL is.

  • Matt

    I think the biggest thing for me is the schedule after the bye week. Falcons, Saints, Cowboys twice, Bucs, Bengals, Panthers, Redskins twice, and Giants. Hopefully Reid can use his post-bye week magic on the Falcons, and then the only real tough game is the Giants at New York, but that’s more than winnable.

    • McMVP

      We just lost at home to the Lions. I know, despite their record coming in, that they are a decent team. But I think it’s overly optimistic to view the post-Falcon game schedule as having only one tough game.

    • Zachary Kaplan

      5 division games, a game against the 6-0 Flacons, and Drew Brees who always seems to beat us. To me – that’s a rough final 10 games, records or not.

      Every one of those teams has a better offense right now than the Eagles, I can’t say I exude confidence about a team that averages like 18 PPG.

      • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

        Right but 7-3 across that schedule puts us at 10-6.

        I think it is do able. I am tired of the mediocrity… but maybe this team needs a little desperation to help them. There are a lot of young guys on this team and a lot of veterans that are not used to winning but string together a 2-1 in the next 3 and things start looking up.

        And if not will be talking about new headcoach Todd Bowles?

  • http://twitter.com/harsha0811 harsha

    Hi Tommy,

    I am just thinking out loud here — BTW, this is not just because of this game. Its been lingering for a bit in my mind over the last 2+ years. We have the best D-line & O-line coaches. One of the better secondary coaches this year. Decent Offensive Co-ordinator. We have one of the best of talents in the league on both sides of the ball. If we look around, there are many teams who might envy our talent base. I often here it starts with coaching and the talent on the roster. But right now, what about the execution in terms of coaching and players? Big Q mark, No? So, I wonder what else does Andy Reid needs to be equipped with to make a decent run in the play-offs? Can this happen? Can Eagles improve on in-game decisions on both sides of football? I am having my doubts here. I am starting to think about his capabilities. It is not that I want to put the blame on the head-coach. But that is where it starts. Correct? Of-course, along with the QB w.r.t vitals positions.

    With one of the better coaching staff and talent base on the roster, what does it take for an experienced and successful coach like Andy Reid to make the playoffs and beyond?

    Your thoughts?

    My examples of adjustments:
    1 – Minor adjustments to D coaching staff Ex: Todd Bowles having more responsibilities. Again, this is not based on one game but I am challenging Juan w.r.t last yr and last 2 games about in-game adjustments late in the game. Fundamentals are not good enough, football IQ/chess-games are vital too. Just rushing 4 all the time is too predictable!
    2 – Head coach to urge players stop talking about how great they are, how talented they are, etc. Shut up, admit mistakes and show-up and deliver results and then talk.
    3 – ??

  • Beagles Fan

    ANDY ANDY ANDY~~ It’s one thing to be loyal to your players but this insanity (you know, doing the same thing over & over & over and expecting different results) has to stop. What have you got to loose (another game? you’ll probably loose anyway) by putting Foles in. Mike is courageous no doubt about it. He gives it his all BUT it isn’t enough anymore, he just isn’t smart enough to be a NFL quarterback. He got away with it when he was younger and more athletic. Maybe you don’t have to replace Mike completely. Throw the other teams off by putting the kid in for a couple of series to keep defenses off guard. ANYTHING but the insanity that has gone on too long.

  • Julescat

    the players have probably tuned out Reid’s message a long time ago. Realistically this team should be 0 – 6. the talent is over rated or unmotivated.

    • TommyLawlor

      Nope. If Reid ranted and raved, you’d be right. He picks and chooses his spots to do that. Mostly just coaches. That’s why they do keep listening.

      • Julescat

        yet neither one of us is in the locker room. this team is dogging it. your pre-game analysis said Detroit doesn’t run the ball effectively. Explain how they racked up over 100 yards. Explain how they also threw for over 300 yards.

        These over rated and over compensated athletes had one eye on the exit waiting for the bye week to start. It must be tough earning millions for six months work where you want your off week to start in the fourth quarter of a winnable game.

        If you remember I predicted that the eagles wouldn’t play hard leading up to the bye week.

  • Anirudh Jangalapalli

    History tells us Reid will pull the team together and do just enough not to get fired.

    • BC1968

      I don’t think good enough is going to be good enough unless it’s deep into the playoffs.

      • TommyLawlor

        Exactly.

        • Andrew Hope

          I should hope not, but the excuses are already in place: we were without Peters and Kelce, Reid was understandably distracted by the loss of his son, Vick missed the entire pre-season, the D-Line had a down year, we were the victims of bad luck (e.g., recovering only 1 of the opponent’s 8 fumbles so far), it’s really all Bobby April’s fault…

      • Zachary Kaplan

        I feel like Jeff won’t hold him accountable, but maybe I’m wrong. I just don’t takes his words at face value.

        • McMVP

          And I don’t think it really matters even if Lurie does hold him accountable. Reid knows he’s not fighting for his job. If Lirie says goodbye, another team will say hello the next day.

          Whether or not we want to continue with AR, he does hold that respect around the league. No…I don’t think AR is on any hot seat. He knows he’ll be employed by someone. So does Lurie

          • BlindChow

            Just because you know you can get another job doesn’t mean you want to. I imagine it would be a very big deal to AR to have to relocate after so many years. I doubt he’d regard it so flippantly.

          • McMVP

            It may be a big deal to him…and he may be ready for a change. I didn’t mean to say he’d be flippant about it…only that he has peace of mind.

    • bdbd20

      With the personal tragedy, I’m not sure AR really cares about getting fired. I’m sure he wants to win, but the fear of getting fired may not exist anymore.

  • Anirudh Jangalapalli

    Tommy – one thing that the comments are sort of bringing up is coaching vs. execution. There was so much fanfare around us hiring Bobby April, Howard Mudd, and Jim Washburn and yet our STs and our O-Line are playing terribly right now and I think we have one sack in the last 3 games. (Your point in an earlier post about sacks not equating to pressure is well taken, but at some point, you have to think that sacks help….especially in big play situations. Just look at Vick in OT yesterday. Twice.)

    On the O-line side, sure we lost the best LT in the game but I thought the whole point of Mudd’s scheme was so that we don’t need the most talented guys to run it, just scrappy dudes who can be coached. With the D-line, how many first round picks have we invested in it? We also have Cole and Babin. Where are the big plays?

    • P_P_K

      I think our O line is just not talented enought to get the job done so I don’t blame Mudd. D-line doesn’t get any help from blitzes, Castillo is too passive. ST is a disaster even though we have good personnel, I blame April.

  • miked718

    Maybe Andy can convince the team that they’re playing the Giants every Sunday? 13-3 baby! As for Vick, he’ll finish the season but it’s extremely hard to see him here next year barring an incredible turnaround in offensive production. As much as I would love to get the next Jim Harbaugh in here (I’m curious who Roseman would pick for HC if he could), Andy remaining at the top next year probably will help us remain competitive. Especially if there’s an overhaul at QB and asst coaches. Dammnit Andy I wish I could quit you!

    • Mac

      I am on board as an Andy supporter. I think he needs a new OC and many of the teams problems would be solved. Andy and Marty think too much a like and the lack of variety hurts the team, in my opinion.

    • Julescat

      they should have lost the Giants game!!!! NY’s kicker missed two FG attempts at the end.

      • miked718

        Yes but the team and the coaches seemed like they were ready to play a high stakes game against a quality opponent. And in the past two seasons we’ve seemed to play/coach our best against the giants. Victor Cruz game excepted of course…

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    After sleeping on this game, I’ve come to the decision that I’m still mad and still want everyone fired and all the starters cut and possibly flogged.

    • TommyLawlor

      Done. And with Justin Bieber playing in the background.

      • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

        That’s just mean.

        • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

          I think it might be necessary…

  • bdbd20

    I will be anxious to see what changes are made during the bye. The right side of the O-line has been very disappointing. I can see Mathis having a down season since Peters is missing, but Todd and Danny have not played well. Maybe we see more of Dennis Kelly or King Dunlap there?

    I’m not as pessimistic as most folks here. We’re built to beat the division teams. If we can finish 5-1 there, we should be ok. I’m confident we’ll be Atlanta. Not sure what AR does during the bye, but it works.

    • Mac

      In my opinion, Todd and Danny team up for some pretty decent things in the run game. I would like to see a break down of runs to the left vs right and the amount of success with the runs. (and take into consideration that during the steeler’s game when we needed a yard, we went right both times).

      In pass protection, yeah I agree Herremans has looked like a G playing OT this year on some plays.

      Will we see King Dunlap again?

  • Mac

    I like to watch the action on the sidelines… and it has helped me to formulate an opinion on Vick, but what I’d like to mention now is that there was a bearded fellow on the sidelines yesterday who might be able to help this team out.

    How much does the loss of Mike Patterson hurt this D-line?

  • Zachary Kaplan

    Tommy,

    Since the Super Bowl loss in 2004 – The Eagles are:

    65-52 in the regular season
    3-4 in the playoffs

    Slightly above average.

    This isn’t the same coach, same GM, same team as the team that went 64-32 in the regular season from 1999-2004, and 7-5 in the playoffs.

    His teams have been sloppier, the talent has decreased, the coaching has gone downhill.

    I think if I was shouting to FIRE Andy just based on yesterday – it wouldn’t be wise. But I’m shouting based on a trend of medicore, a trend of stupid decisions, a trend of poor evaluation.

    I know he won’t be fired during the bye week – but it doesn’t change my opinion that he’s leading us no where. We are a team stuck in the mud. Sure we never went through the Redskins rebuilding phase (that lasted 20 years), but at the same time, I like their future better than ours at the moment.

    We might not be the worst team in the NFC East – Cowboys are struggling – but we definately aren’t the best at the moment.

    Jeff said 8-8 isn’t good enough, so do you fire Reid when we hit 8 losses? Someone needs to be held accountable….but much like they make the same dumb decisions they did in 2005-2011, they’ll make the same dumb decisions and sweep the poor performance of players and coaches under the rug.

    • Kevin_aka_RC

      I’m on board with this. We’re now an “average” franchise. We can beat *any* team when our passing game clicks or our DL dominates, but we’re so up and down we can also blow leads and get blown out. I’m ready for change and this is NOT a knee-jerk reaction. I hated 90% of what we did yesterday, with the exceptions of more Bryce Brown and putting Nnamdi on Megatron (until we foolish stopped it)

  • Mac

    I think the Lions did to us what we should have done to them. Run the darn football and wear down the D-line. Success or no success, you could see that at the end of the game our guys were gassed (where’s the rotation) and their D-line was fresh and ready to sack the living snot out of our QB. Our “nearly good enough” O-line isn’t talented enough to pass 60% or more of a football game without getting worn down.

    Maybe I’m over simplifying things, but isn’t that what happened in this game? The ran the football and gassed our D-line, we passed the football and gassed our O-line.

  • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

    When the season is over, fire Andy and get me a coach who wants a cerebral QB, who can get in the game with short passes and utilize LeSean McCoy. Run him 20+ times and feed McCoy, DeSean and Maclin with passes they can work with, ie. screens, slants etc. Im done with Vick and Andys way of playing offense.

  • Kevin_aka_RC

    @TommyLawlor:disqus, you shouldn’t question whether Andy will fix it. He will. He’s shown that he’ll always be better in the second half than the first half. However his shaky at best coaching early on makes it difficult to win divisions/home field…and this is not a veteran enough team to win 3 playoff games on the road. It’s just a bad mix all-around.

    Heck, we could be 1-5/2-4 right now. We keep playing close games because we’re not a good football team. We’re average.

    • bentheimmigrant

      We could also be 5-1, if you want to go down the “could be” alley.

      • Kevin_aka_RC

        That’s possible too…but you can’t keep winning games by 1, 2 or 3 points. Eventually you crack (Football Outsiders has shown this). 3-3 sounds right. Nonetheless, tough sleeding

  • bentheimmigrant

    No matter where this season goes, I’m hoping we get rid of Marty. He’s simply not cut out to make the key decisions. Assuming Reid is not having major input on every play, what we’ve consistently seen for years is a man who does not want to rely on his running backs to protect a lead. A man who goes to the deep ball (the last two weeks were a short exception – and I suspect one that was forced on him) when flustered, and a man who does not understand that every minute his offense is on the field is a minute the D gets to rest. How many times have we seen him dial up a shot down-field on first down, get nothing, and then pass again because it’s 2nd and 10, get nothing and then have to pass because it’s 3rd and 10?!

    I think the opening series of OT sums up everything I’ve hated for years in MM: After success driving the ball methodically, and in a situation where field position could not be more important, MM goes back to a hold it and hope play. Sack. Oh, well, we better go long to get out of this hole… He’s still the same guy who thought it was a good idea to kick off in OT.

  • Andrew Hope

    The fact there IS talent on both sides of the ball and that the problems ARE fixable is the most frustrating thing about this team. It doesn’t make any sense to fire Reid mid-season. That said, I can’t imagine that Andy and his staff will end up solving any of the eminently solvable problems that plague this team.

    The scoring was down the last two weeks, but I think most people would agree that they were encouraged by the changes they saw on offense against NYG and PIT. I honestly thought AR/MM had finally turned the corner. Then we get yesterday’s debacle–dropping back on nearly every down and then (when we did run), ignoring the successful quick hitters inside and running slow-developing stretch play after slow-developing stretch play.

    On defense, I actually feel bad for Castillo. Last week he gets hammered for not blitzing on the last series. This week, he DOES blitz and still gets burned. He’s clearly a very nice man who is in over his head. I wasn’t the biggest fan of McD, but he at least had the “lack of talent” excuse. Promoting Castillo to DC, in my opinion, sealed Andy’s fate with this franchise.

    • bentheimmigrant

      I don’t agree about Juan – Overall he’s had a pretty good season. That doesn’t happen when you’re in over your head.

  • NoDecaf

    We’re not…
    It’s basically that we’re…
    We’re…not good.

  • Mac

    How much of the 4th Qtr success is attributable to missing Nate Allen?

    • JJ_Cake

      A team still has to get it done, but Yeah I agree. If we had Nate, I don’t think Det comes back in the 4th like that.

      Maybe ditto with Cox. If he isn’t booted, maybe he gets pressure up the middle.

      • Ark87

        I really think losing Cox hurt. Dropped our rotation down to 3 DL’s. I have to say though, the rotation doesn’t seem to be helping. They don’t seem noticeably fresher in the 4th quarter than the other team’s DL. It almost seems like their bodies have adjusted to the playtime. Like being in “football shape” for them is playing like 2 quarters of football. I can’t imagine what would happen if these guys tried to play 4 quarters without the rotation now. It does seem to keep them from wearing down at the end of the season though.

  • Andrew Hope

    Is there any chance that after the bye Mathis gets moved to C and Vandervelde is inserted at G?

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    I still think it’s on Marty and Reid. They need to realize Vick is not Peyton or Brady. They can’t fit Vick and their into their gameplan; they need to gameplan around him and the OL, and they don’t.

    People keep talking about adjustments at half time when the first half isn’t working, but that’s because our first half plan never works well. It’s like every week they forget they need to fit the plan to the players and instead come up with their plan in a vacuum.

  • Jason Feldmann

    I love you Tommy. I really do. Yours is the blog that I check most frequently and read with the most interest each week. I’m in my mid-30s just like you, drink PBR, still listen to metal (check out Red Fang) and I’ve been living and dying with the Eagles since 19 fucking 88… But for the love of God, Tommy, PLEASE stop referencing the Giants and their Super Bowl winning seasons when trying to make us all feel better. As if there’s a comparison. Yes those NY teams played bad for stretches (like we do every year) but then they put together the important winning streaks down the stretch and in the playoffs to earn their most recent Championships (which we do not, seemingly cannot, and I fear will not under Reid’s management).

    There really is no comparison. The Eagles are NOT the Giants. I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid for most my life and believing in my heart each year at the beginnig of the season (from 2001 to 2012) that THIS IS FINALLY GOING TO BE THE YEAR THE IGGLES WIN IT ALL. But this ain’t the year.

    A Super Bowl for the Eagles? Not gonna happen with Andy Reid. Not gonna happen with Mike Vick. There, I said it. I’m not throwing in the towel on the 2012 season…but let’s face facts. We’re “this” close to 5-1. But we’re also “this” close to 0-6. The same can’t be said for any real Super Bowl contenders. And what’s sad is that this team really should be a contender.

    But If we were Super Bowl caliber we would’ve stepped up and played like it yesterday… or 2 weeks. Should’ve beaten Detroit by 14+ points. Should’ve beaten Pittsburgh. The Packers and the Giants showed yesterday that they are the real SB contenders in the NFC (I’m still not sold on Atlanta, undefeated or not). And yeah, I realize we beat the Giants a few weeks ago. But how many times have the Eagles beaten a division rival during said division rival’s Super Bowl winning season? (God I hope the Giants don’t win another Super Bowl).

  • BobSmith77

    Firing Reid is a ridiculous and outlandish suggestion. Accomplishes nothing except guaranteeing a lost season. Only time I even want that considered is after the final game of the season.

    I do think it might be a realistic recommendation to consider that MM either give Reid more input into the offensive plays calls or even perhaps take over those duties.

    I would love to see who is scripting the first 10-15 plays because they just haven’t worked at all this year. Something you would like to see immediate improvement on after the bye starting the Falcons game.

  • JJ_Cake

    Tommy, I am looking forward to reading how you think this team can be fixed. We should’ve been 5-1, only game where the team got 100% beat was against the cardinals. We could’ve been 0-6 with how close all these games have been.

    I’m dissaponted that our star coaches Mudd and Washburn haven’t gotten their lines to play well. I expected these guys to be able to find some talent and make the lines at least good if not great, including backups. That’s what I’d expect from “elite” talent at any position.

    It makes sense to see how Vick and the team will perform in Atl. Thaw the “rubicon” game, if we win then there is still hope, if not, time to play Foles and get the team ready for next year.

  • ACViking

    Re: Marty’s Play Calling / OLC Howard Mudd / the DLine / Russell Wilson

    Little remarked the past few years (here and before on Iggles Blog) is the *reputation* that Marty brought to the Offensive Coordinator position based on his time as the 49ers OC from 1997-2000.

    When AR elevated Marty to OC, after Childress left for Minnesota, I seem to remember local reporters and columnists focusing on the 49ers’ Pass-to-Run ratio during MM’s tenure.

    In 1997, the 49ers were roughly 50-50 (treating Steve Young’s 50 rushes as called passes). In 1998, the ratio was about 56-44. Those two years, the 49ers were a playoff team.

    But in 1999 — when the 49ers sank to 4-12 — the ration shot up to 60-40. And in 2000, when SF was 6-10, the play calling was closer to 65-35. (It’s understandable that a team will call far more passes than runs when they’re bad.)

    Generally, Marty’s been around 62-63 percent called passes in Philadelphia, starting in 2006. Even though the Eagles were no worse than a .500 team.

    POINT: Marty game plans, and calls plays, consistent with what Andy Reid wants. Andy likes to throw the ball . . . a lot. MM executes Andy’s philosophy. So I’m not on the band-wagon for firing MM because of the play calling.

    Seems to me, based on the numbers, the buck starts and stops with Andy Reid when it comes to play calling.
    ___________________

    T-Law:

    I’d like to read your thoughts on the responsibility of Howard Mudd for this season’s O-line struggles.

    Comments on the blog have suggested canning MM and JC, and benching Vick. But without an effective O-line, would it matter?

    So far, Mudd’s escaped criticism. I’m wondering if he deserves some, and if so as to what aspects of the O-line (e.g., scheme, execution, player choices)
    ____________________

    The D-line’s declining sack numbers is a mystery. For the most part, the Eagles have put pressure on QBs.

    I wonder if the close scores all 6 weeks has impacted the sack numbers.

    I also wonder if age has become an issue for Babin, Cole, and Jenkins (all 30 or over by November).

    And, while I’ll continue to root for Brandon Graham to be an impact guy, when I watch him — and then see JPP, who looks so much bigger — I’ve begun to believe that Graham’s a *nice* player. Better than a lot of DEs.

    But I’m skeptical that he’ll never be an elite, game-changing DE. I wonder how he’d have done in a 3-4 defense.

    And, NO, Graham is not a bust. A bust is 1971 5th overall pick DE Richard Harris. Or 1997 25th overall pick Jon Harris. Or 2003 16th overall pick DE Jerome McDougle.
    ___________________

    By some accounts, the Eagles had QB Russell Wilson targeted for their 3rd round pick this past year. Seattle got him, the Eagles took Foles . . . and Wilson’s now the Seahawks starter.

    Personally, I’m very happy the Eagles don’t have Wilson. He’s short. He scrambles. And he’s not any more accurate than D-Mac was.

    I’m ready for a big, lumbering pocket passer at some point in the next year or two. Especially, if the Eagles import a new offensive philosophy that depends more on the run . . . like the Texans, for example.

    Just no more short running QBs, please.

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    I think those of you holding out hope are overrating the coaching staffs’s ability to make adjustments and the ‘talent’ this actually has. Yes, at some point Reid and co. will hit a better stride and the sky won’t be falling. By then it will be too late. They aren’t going to magically adjust to everything. They tweak things here and there so long as they are still pass heavy. They won’t fully commit to a better offense because along the way they will have a few good games mixed in the the usual stinkers.

    Secondly, maybe they jut aren’t that talented??? The online certainly isn’t. Jackson and Maclin are nice deep threats, but they aren’t go too clutch receivers. I like Celek, but he’s neutralized because no one can block. Shady is a legit stud, the ONLY one they have on offense. Vick is simply a avg. nfl QB at best.

    On D, may be Babin and Cole are a step slower. God knows neither of them can beat a double team. Kendrick’s is still young. Ryans is actually a ballet. DRC is a solid CB and Nnamdi isn’t the superstar everyone expected. We all know Coleman plays his heart out, but he’s physically limited. Allen is playing well, by opposing offenses aren’t looking for where #29 is anytime soon unless he’s in the box so they can run at him.

  • lilmc

    Hey Tommy. if you get a chance can you take a look at how are receivers block. It seems to me that they really do not embrace it at all. I know Westbrook mentioned it on t.v. last week, but I just wanted to see what you thought.
    Thanks

  • ACViking

    Re: Safety Position & Depth in General

    T-Law:

    You may disagree.

    But watching especially the 4th Q yesterday, and in earlier games, the Eagles are desperately thin at safety — just as they are at O-line.

    Once Colt Anderson replaced the injured Nate Allen (early 4th Q?), not only did the Lions’ offense kick into high gear, but Juan Castillo — according to Nnamdi — changed up the defensive game plan. More blitzing. No 1-on-1 assignments.

    Maybe Juan’s decision was prompted by the fact that Colt Anderson isn’t a 3-down player. (T-Law, feel free to correct me.) So instead of assigning the same responsibilities on Anderson that Nate Allen had handled so well — it seems — against the Lions. Juan changed the look.

    Also, while Curt Coleman is a *gamer,* he reminds of Eagles SS Ray Ellis — like Coleman, an Eagles draft pick from Ohio State at safety taken in the last round of the draft (1981). Ellis, whom former head coach Marion Campbell chose to play ahead Andre Waters, lost his job about the moment Buddy Ryan arrived in 1986 to Waters. (Ellis hooked on with the Browns as their starting SS in ’86 and ’87, reaching the AFC title game both years, and then was cut loose after ’88 training camp.)

    The other safety active yesterday was David Sims. The fact he didn’t play may speak volumes about his readiness. (Argument: the Eagles should have kept free agent rookie Phillip Thomas for just the situation faced yesterday.)
    ______________

    Yesterday’s apparent safety problem (T-Law, I leave it to you) seemed to mirror the Eagles’ O-line struggles. Insufficient depth.

    By the way, Sean Morey — and Eagles ST demon from 2001-2003 — was nominally a WR (picked up as a free agent from the Patriots). In 2004, Reid cut Morey loose . . . after which he went to the Steelers and played won a SB and then reached the Pro Bowl for the Cardinals in 2008.

    I always thought Reid regretted the move. And so he’s kept Colt Anderson. The problem is Sean Morey was no NFL WR. And — T-Law correct me here — Colt Anderson doesn’t look like an NFL safety. At least not yesterday.
    __________________

    Reid was asked about Juan continuing to call the defense.

    I think JC will continue doing so because . . . Reid didn’t use the phrase that’s been the death-knell for change: “I’ll see.”

  • BlindChow

    What was with all the edge runs? Don’t the Lions use the wide-nine? If there was a ever a between-the-tackles team to run against…