“This is fixable”

Posted: October 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 91 Comments »

So says Andy Reid.  He called the performance embarrassing, but said that he thinks the problems can be fixed.  He still believes the team has the talent to win.  Reid said he knows some people will doubt that after a game like today.

There are 2 perspectives to this.  First, Reid is right to say that.  He’s a coach.  He can’t think long term in late October.  He’s got to focus on the game that is in front of him.  He needs to coach his butt off and try to figure out what this teams needs to get going.

The other perspective is for those of us on the outside – fans and media.  We bench, cut, and trade players all year long.  We hire and fire coaches all the time.  We mix long and short term thinking based on what we’re feeling at the moment.  FakeWIPCaller had a great line on Twitter a ways back about trading a bunch of resources for a star player, but also making sure to keep an eye on the future.  Don’t recall if that was Phillies or Eagles, but such a perfect message.

We’re all sitting here now talking about whether this is the beginning of the end of the Reid era.  We can think and talk like that.  Reid can’t.  He’s got to coach.  He’s got to try to solve problems.   We analyze and speculate because that is all we can do.  We’re on the outside.

Today was a stinging loss for the Eagles and Reid.  The team drops to 3-4.  This was Reid’s first loss after the bye.  That makes those of us on the outside wonder if this is going to be the year when things do fall apart.  In the past, Andy was able to solve problems.  He got his teams to play good football down the stretch.  Was today an anomaly or a sign that the Eagles are in big trouble?

I know a lot of you are going to answer that the team is in big time trouble.  I can’t blame you for thinking like that.  I’ve definitely got my doubts.  I’m not ready to go all-in on that line of thinking when the team is 3-4.

This isn’t some spin job or sales job to tell you everything will be okay.  We very well might be seeing the Reid era fall apart.  I’m just hesitant to fully buy in right now.  Tom Coughlin was under serious heat last year in late November, but saved his job in a big way.  My hesitance may mean that I’m late to the world of Fire Andy!, but that’s okay.  I’d rather be late to a coach’s funeral than early.

* * * * *

I know a lot of you want to talk about coaching candidates for the future.  I’m not getting into that in October.  Talk to me closer to Thanksgiving.  You can speculate all you want, but I’m not going there right now.

* * * * *

Should we bench Vick and go with Foles?  I won’t complain if we do, but Vick wasn’t the Eagles main problem today so I don’t know that move would make the most sense.  I just want us to win.  I don’t care who the QB is.  Get me someone who can win us games.

* * * * *

What do we make of Todd Bowles vs Juan Castillo?  One game is too small a sample size.  Last year the Falcons beat us 35-31.  They were 5 of 5 in the Red Zone.  It wasn’t like Juan stifled that offense.

I think the biggest problem today was the DL.  Need to watch tape before I say too much, but they were quiet again.

And DRC played his worst game as an Eagle.  Very, very disappointing.  He hurt us big time.

* * * * *

I’ll write more about the team and game later.  I’m in a crappy mood right now.  I’m not sure how much insight I can offer until I have a cooling off period.  If I had to write a game review at this point, I might borrow Col. Kurtz’s line and say “Exterminate them all”.

Simply a miserable day.

_


  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.n.richwine Daniel Norman Richwine

    Andy’s a goner.

  • GermanEagle

    Just watch the cowboys mate. This may cheer you up a bit..

    • TommyLawlor

      It sure is.

    • iskar36

      Except for the fact that in the other side, Giants are about to be 2.5 games ahead.

    • Doctor Claw

      I hate the Cowboys, but I wanted them to beat the Giants, if only to put another pin in the “Eli is a 4th quarter hero” meme.

      Then Jason Garrett and Romo did what they always do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

    Um, I was away this afternoon, what happened?

    • TommyLawlor

      Eagles won 35-7. D was great.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

        Yes, that’s great, Eagles are a lock after the bye, they covered the spread too.

      • PK_NZ

        A cruel joke…

  • The_Reddgie

    In the immortal words of one of humanity’s greatest philosophers; Good grief.

  • DarthBanner

    Bye Andy. This team clearly doesn’t want to play for you. Talent is there, but the coaching is a failure. Andy and Marty are clearly unable to fix the offense (under 20 points again) and by firing Castillo they seemed to have broken the one unit that was semi-performing.

    • Julescat

      the talent really isn’t here. stop buying into the hype

      • Anders

        The talent is still there. Right now we just have a bunch of players who have performed great as Eagles before, but right now are playing terrible.

        • Julescat

          who is “great” on the O line?

          • Anders

            Watkins is an extremely talented player, his performance just isnt there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1068177518 Tom Gryn

            Peters, with Kelce probably #2. That points to the main OL problem: you can’t lose both your best OL and your line playcaller and expect things to continue to hum along as before.

      • DarthBanner

        Talent wise this is one of the better eagles teams at the skill positions during the Andy era. Unfortunately Andy has run the team like a circus the past 2 seasons and it has cost him.

        • Julescat

          I would argue that this is a very overrated team talent-wise. too many people hyped mediocre talent into supposed super stars on this team.

          • Anders

            care to elaborate on that?

  • eagles2zc

    There goes my expectations for D. Can we bench Babin already. His drive extending penalties are getting tiresome

    • DarthBanner

      It looks like Cole’s age is catching up to him and Babin has regressed to his form from 3 years ago. 2 probable cuts made by the new coach next summer.

      • Julescat

        Babin got his big contract and stopped having to perform. Cut him now! He’s no longer hungry.

        • shah8

          I was gonna say, Babin has been my goat, today…

        • Joe

          Huh.

          He got his contract before last season and had a career year…

          And if Andy isn’t back for next season, the new HC isn’t going to cut Cole and Babin…

          • Julescat

            that big wallet is starting to weigh him down

  • Kevin_aka_RC

    Something I never thought I’d feel about this team: apathy

  • SteveH

    This wasn’t a miserable day for me, I checked out after the Falcons third TD, along with half the fans at the linc appearantly.

  • shah8

    The OL blocked a little better today. I didn’t catch all out missed assignments, but pass and run blocking was iffy. Herremans disappeared at the end of the game again.

    At the end of the day, we need productive size out there. After watching that Tampa-Minn game, it was striking how much big wideouts made Freeman’s job easier.

    Vick is looking slow, these days. The beatdown has been catching up to him.

    The defense? What can you say? I didn’t see anyone really play well outside of the defensive tackles.

    le sigh

  • ETrain

    Here is the issue. Either the players aren’t good enough, or the coach isn’t good enough. Either way, it’s the same guy making the decisions. Something has to change.

  • Andrew Hope

    I don’t think the Reid/Coughlin comparison is fair. Coughlin has won two Super Bowls. Both times were with very flawed teams. The one time Reid made it to the Super Bowl, he did it with the greatest collection of talent the Eagles have ever had. And he squandered a huge edge in talent against TB and CAR in the 2002 and 2003 NFC Championship games. Reid did a nice job turning a struggling franchise around. But he reached his peak several years ago and his teams have disappointed ever since.

    Reid should have been gone in 2007. He was on the hot seat the year before after getting humiliated by the Titans at home. But then Garcia stepped in, and he figured out it would be a good idea to hand the ball to Westbrook and have him run behind Andrews. He promptly forgot that lesson in 2007 and the Eagles missed the playoffs. They would have missed the playoffs again in 2008, but Reid stole under a lucky star and backed that team into the postseason on the last day.

    This team has been in disarray for years. And to the people like Ruben Frank who say this is “rock bottom”–how is this loss any worse than the New England beatdown last year? The sad part is, I think the Eagles can still make the playoffs this year. And Reid will be able to point to losing Peters and Kelce as an excuse, which is actually valid, in my opinion. Winning those 4 games at the end of last year was terrible. If we lose to New Orleans next week, I really hope the team tanks the rest of the year so we can put the Reid era behind us, start to break in Foles and finish high in the draft order.

    • pkeagle

      Couldn’t agree more. Loyalty is a very commendable attribute but Lurie’s loyalty to Reid has hurt this team

    • Doctor Claw

      My sentiments exactly. In 2006, I really felt like Andy had lost it. Garcia bailed him out. Then it happens again in 2008. McNabb bails him out. Then it happens again in 2010. Vick bails him out.

      This team should have at least 2 rings, and I know what the one constant on this team is…

  • JJ_Cake

    Tommy, I like AR, but it’s clear he doesn’t know how to fix this team otherwise we would have seen something positive to take from this game. The defense stinks and seems outmatched. I don’t think the wide 9 works, is there another team implementing this style of defense successfully? Vick holds on to the ball too Long, probably makes our oline look worse than it is.

    I really think the Vick experiment is over. He has had a season and a half to put his game together and he hasn’t. I like his leadership and what I’ve seen from his interviews, but he isn’t getting it done on the field. Time to see what Foles can do.

  • bridgecoach

    They proved today that they fired the wrong coordinator. Juan had his Defense well prepared for each game. Today, they looked lost, clueless and it felt like they put less pressure on the QB than before. I have no problem if ownership decides to move in a different direction, but keeping Morningweg while firing Castillo makes no sense.

  • ACViking

    Re: “Fixable” / Vick’s future / the Homerun Ball

    T-Law:

    This is the second time in just five games the Eagles played poorly. The Cardinals game and now this one.

    It’s hard to remember past Eagles teams — that is, pre-2011, when we ran the Jim Johnson-style defense — delivering two bad games like this in such a short time frame.

    (2005 doesn’t count because Mike McMahon was randomly selected to do a “reality TV” show on life as an NFL QB on game day.)

    ________________

    During Vick’s post-game visit to the podium, a reporter said that Reid specifically mentioned evaluating the QB position — then asked for Vick’s reaction.

    True? Did Reid say that today?

    If so, ominous for Vick based on recent examples “Reid speak.”
    ________________

    (As posted before) . . . if Reid goes to Nick Foles, the Eagles season for all intents and purposes — read: SB game — is over.

    No rookie QB has started and won an NFL title game since 1945.

    In fact, no rookie QB has started an NFL title game since 1945.

    Based on Statistics 101, that’s a good sample size.
    But if Reid goes to Foles, my respect level for his commitment to the Eagles as a franchise goes through the roof.
    ________________

    What’s happened to the long passes?

    An opponent was quoted earlier this year saying teams don’t even game plan for the Eagles’ running game. Because even the Eagles don’t take it seriously.

    If teams are going to play 2-deep all the time, the Eagles are going to have to change their philosophy and pound the ball. Until defenses change their approach.

    Interesting that, during the D-Mac era and the early Vick games, this wasn’t a problem.

    What happened?

    • shah8

      1) Anytime you reel off why teams aren’t successful with rookie QBs, *especially* third round rookie QBs, and then say, “well, I’ll respect Reid more if he should embrace that lack of success”, how am I to react to that?

      2) McCoy had an average of 2.8YPC. I saw him with a couple of successful runs, so…The Running? Just as sick as the Passing.

      • ACViking

        I didn’t make my point clearly.

        What I mean is: If Reid, knowing that he needs a deep playoff run to keep his job, switches to Foles, and a switch to Foles — historically — spells that the Eagles will not be playing for the Lombardi Trophy, then I have no choice but to respect Reid.

        Why? Because Reid is putting the future of this franchise — no matter what he says — ahead of himself.

        For that I respect him greatly — “Reid fatigue” or not.

        • Anders

          I know we are only 3-4, but Reid need to send a message and right now I cant really see us play better.

    • Doctor Claw

      The long pass plays (as designed by Andy and Marty) are big reason why this offense has been sputtering up until this point. Nothing develops long enough for this O-Line to hold up. Using the short pass game with the current state of the O-Line is the safer bet.

  • GermanEagle

    Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez on quote sheet: “I talked with some of their players and they said something’s going to go down here in Philly.”

    We can all kiss the season goodbye.

    • Julescat

      that kiss should have happened week one

      • Anders

        Little negative are we?

        • Julescat

          heck yeah. the past two games I read the game preview on this site. We are told that the opposing team’s O line isn’t very impressive. Both games ended up with the opposing team gaining over 100 yards on the ground, close to 300 in the air and no Eagles sacks.

  • austinfan

    It’s over Tommy. It’s not that they lost, it’s that they were bitch slapped with two weeks to rest up and prepare, if that’s the best they can do, it’s far, far from good enough. Say good bye to Andy. This wasn’t losing to NE with VY at QB.

    VIck – he gave up in the 4th Q, he was afraid, he’s been beat to death but when a QB shows fear, he’s a bench player. MM ruined him. Foles can’t be worse at this point, at least we can find out if a new QB is a priority in 2013. As Ponder showed, you have to let a young QB take his lumps to improve.

    OL – they actually played better, Kelly blew one blitz, Celek blew another, but the big problem was Herremans, when Biermann runs past you like you’re standing still, you’re not a NFL RT. Dunlap actually played well.

    DL – I’d bench Babin, Jenkins and Cole, not just to give the team a big message, but to make it clear that if veterans don’t produce, they don’t take PT from kids with upside. How can a line of Curry – Cox – Thornton – Graham play worse than these guys? Cole can’t beat Baker one on one? Stick a fork in him.

    LB – Might as well play Clay over Jordan, it’s not like Jordan is giving you much else but STs.

    CB – Aso is no longer a first or second tier CB, he’s too slow, he doesn’t fit a zone cover two because he lacks quickness to the ball, he’s best suited to man press with help over the top, or move to safety. I see either a BIG pay cut and move to FS or the waiver wire in his future.

    DRC blew his salary drive, he’s hard to pay like a top tier guy for two reasons, he simply can’t play inside which makes him easy to exploit, and he won’t tackle. Tall, fast but can’t find the ball and gets turned around too easily, when he loses a step, he’s in really big trouble.

    Though Asante showed dumping him was the right move, now move that money into 2013 for some new players.

    • ACViking

      The NFL is the “under-30″ league now. With rare exceptions (e.g., Dawk).

      Joe Banner got that. Screw the players.

      AR wanted to make the locker room happy.

    • shah8

      I watch Ponder regularly. I can’t stand him because I think he was overdrafted and over-supported–and a superior QB is on the bench while I get to watch Vikings lose games that they could have won. Ponder illustrates the catastrophe of “letting young players take their lumps”. Arizona sure is letting Kolb take his lumps, and Kolb is a much better prospect than Ponder. Even so, he’s not ever going to be very good, it looks like. Teams just waste time on guys like Colt McCoy and Ponder, and Gabbert, and (probably-inaccuracy issues) Locker and winding up having to draft a better QB.

      I couldn’t bear it if I have to do the same for Foles. If I do the downgrade from preseason to season of, say, Damaris Jackson, and apply it to Foles–I’d have to say it’s really unlikely that he’s going to be of much use. And I really don’t want *both* of my teams going with craptacular QB play, just because…FUTURE.

      It’s what Stupid Jack told his mom–for nonmagical beans. And no happy ending.

    • Anders

      How many top CBs can play inside well? We might see more and more CBs coming out of college having to learn to play inside, just as WRs have had to learn that (guys like TO and Moss never played inside, so there was no reason for the CB to play inside).
      Its first now with guys like Welker and Cruz there make a living on the inside and top tier WRs like Johnson and Fitzgerald there can play both outside and inside that teams need good inside CBs.

      I dont think one bad game by DRC, will hurt his pocket. DRC can play both zone and press, got plenty ball skills tho he have a bad habit for looking at the QB to early, but that is just because he is still learning to play press.

    • Doctor Claw

      I agree all the way through this reply. Particularly the Marty ruined Vick meme. I feel that he (and Andy) did the same to McNabb before him. I don’t know why it took so long for the Eagles to instill the offense they ran in yesterday’s game. It should have been the plan all the way from the first game of this season. Maybe the AZ game would not have been as much an embarrassment.

  • RaisedinPhilly

    Here’s five Eagles, who have the same names they had a year or two ago, but not the same results on the field: Michael Vick (Age 32), Jason Babin (Age 32), Nnamdi Asomugha (Age 31), Todd Herremans (Age 30), Trent Cole (Age 30). Mr. Banner, I cursed you for being a cheapskate and less than loyal to our best players, as they reached a certain age but you recognized something about how NFL teams get better or worse. Sorry about that.

    In related news, Demetress Bell and Dallas Reynolds turn 30 in two years.

    • http://twitter.com/Dasdip Osiris

      Tony Gonzalez is 36. John Abraham is 34. Asante Samuel is 31. Roddy White is 30. These guys are getting the job done just fine for Atlanta. I don’t think that it’s anything as simple as the Eagles just being too old. If anything, the maturity of the Falcons’ players is an advantage. They have young and old guys producing.

      Aside from McCoy and D-Jackson and DRC, the Eagles youth has often appeared adequate at best — and more often less than average. I mean, the Eagles’ Kurt Coleman is in his early to mid 20s, but he’s not bringing a whole lot more than spunk, energy, and nuisance. I have hope for Kendricks, and a few of the other guys, but these guys need to be able to step up while simultaneously eliminating mistakes.

      When the old guys, like Jason Babin, are constantly making rookie mistakes, seemingly without being held accountable, it doesn’t do much for the actual rookies in the way of setting an example. It’s not that the Eagles are too old; it’s simply that people aren’t doing their jobs.

      This quote from the AP report stood out to me as the difference between the Eagles and the Falcons:

      “We like to have a lot of fun,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We have a very mature group. We have a bunch of guys who are mentors. We’re good at focusing on the task at hand. We’re on point when we kick off and guys have done a good job focusing all season.”

      Do any of those statements seem to be holding true for the Eagles?

      The Eagles have to quickly find a way to have fun, mature, focus on the task at hand, and maintain focus from kickoff to the final whistle.

      • austinfan

        Asante isn’t getting the job done, if they had an alternative, they’d bench him.
        Gonzo and Abraham are HOF players, but they are also freaks. However, Gonzo is more a big possession WR right now than a TE.

        I wouldn’t count on White as more than a possession receiver the next couple years.

        Point is you can look at players and have a pretty good idea, I didn’t like signing Aso for big money because I didn’t expect him to produce at CB for more than 2-3 years, he never was that fast to start with, but what has been exposed is his lack of quickness, key for a guy with average speed, at this point I think he’d be better at FS, but he lacks the tackling skills and may not have the instincts.

        Babin depends on explosion off the snap, Jenkins had a mediocre second half which is why Howie renegotiated his deal, no one signed Landri, Cole was always a limited athlete (good but not great) which meant he wasn’t going to play at a high level until his mid-30s, we saw this with William Fuller and Douglas, both more talented players, DEs hit the wall dramatically. Just unusual for all these guys to fall off the cliff together. But there’s a reason Howie drafted Cox, signed Thornton and took Curry as the BPA. He saw the handwriting on the wall.

        • http://twitter.com/Dasdip Osiris

          In the Falcons’ final game before the bye, they welcomed a pitiful, desperate, woebegone team into their home stadium. The Raiders somehow were able to be tied 13-13 going into the 4th quarter. Asante Samuel, yes that Asante Samuel, grabs an interception and returns it 79 yards for the TD. They go up 20-13, and eventually the Falcons win a game that shouldn’t have been close by a score of 23-20.

          The Eagles faced a similar circumstance when they faced the Detroit Lions. This was a game that good teams win. The Eagles took went up 16-6 in the 4th quarter. Then their secondary was lit up, their pass rush ineffective, and their hopes for being a good team dashed. The Eagles lose 26-23 in OT.

          No CB is going to be perfect, but as the third head of a three-headed monster (now made into the second head of a two-headed monster with the loss of Grimes), Asante Samuel has been getting it done enough to put his team in a position to win — and he has been doing it with a manageable salary.

          I’m not saying that the Eagles should have kept him. What I am saying is that the Falcons veterans are getting it done, while the Eagles veterans aren’t. It’s not as simple as a question of age. Coaching is a big part of it.

          One every Super Bowl winning team there are veterans with only a year or less left in the tank. Those teams make it work. When I look at the Eagles’ problems, “old age” or a “closing window” are among the last things I see. Issues with consistency, focus, preparation — those things are most often attributed to inexperience, injuries, and poor coaching.

          I am a huge Reid fan, but this game does not go well on his record. The Falcons are a well coached team.

          • austinfan

            Teams that win tend to have a core between 25-30, a few veterans playing support role and rookies mostly on the bench for a year or two. Pittsburgh has traditionally followed this mold, thought lack of development by younger players has forced them to rely more on veterans than they’d like – but they have LeBeau – when he goes, all bets are off.

            Falcons have designed their offense around the physical limitations of White and Gonzo, how many routes did they run over 10 yards? They use Jones to stretch the field. On defense, Abraham is the only old veteran, and he’s a freak, a rare group of players at “athlete” positions can play until 34-35, but most have to shift (Woodson to safety) to where athleticism is less important.

            Eagles problem is too many players younger than 25 playing major roles on defense, Thornton, Cox, Kendricks, Boykin, and too many over 30, Babin, Cole, Jenkins, Aso.

          • Mac

            I am starting to think that if you keep nnamdi on this teamhe is going to have to transition to S.

        • ACViking

          RE: Teams get old fast in the NFL

          1978 Eagles . . . 9-7 — heartbreaking playoff loss to the Falcons

          1979 Eagles . . . 11-5 — divisional rd playoff loss to Tampa (key injury: MLB Bil Bergey)

          1980 Eagles . . . 12-4 — SB loss to Raiders (team peaked in NFC title win over Cowboys)

          1981 Eagles . . . started 6-0. Then, getting old before our eyes, went 4-6 the rest of the way (lost in wildcard game to the Giants, 27-21)

          1982 Eagles . . . 3-6. Strike season. Team was *old* and done. Vermeil resigned after the season: “Burned out.”

          1983 Eagles . . . 5-11. Talent gone.

          1984 Eagles . . . 6-9-1. Slowly rebuilding

          1985 Eagles . . . 7-9. Reggie White arrives via USFL supplemental draft, and Randall Cunningham in the regular draft.

          1986 Eagles . . . 5-10-1. Buddy Ryan’s first year as the new coach. Begins rebuilding around Reggie and Randall.

          1987 Eagles . . . 7-5 in non-scab games. Reggie White posts 21 sacks in 12 games.

          At that point, the Eagles are on their way to breaking our hearts in the playoffs for the next 3 years.

  • ACViking

    Re: W-9

    I remember back in the early 1990s, the Cowboys and 49ers dominated the NFC.

    Each team ran schemes that couldn’t have been more different.

    The ‘Boys ran a power-running attack and threw the ball downfield (the skinny post that Irvin made a living on).

    The 49ers ran the classic WCO. Lots of slants, using the TE as a weapon in the middle of the field, the occasional deep ball — but RAC yards was what that team was about. Running the ball was important but not the foundation.

    What I remember thinking back then was you could swap 49ers’ Montana/Young, Rice, John Taylor, Russ Francis and Rathman/Craig to the Cowboys for Aikman, Johnston/Emmitt, Novacek, Irvin and Harper and . . . both teams would continue to dominate the NFC.

    When you have serious talent, the scheme really doesn’t matter (except at the fringes).

    ____________

    So what about the W-9?

    Consider the 1988-91 Eagles who played in Buddy Ryan’s 46-D (even when Bud Carson came in, though less so) . . . Reggie, Clyde, Jerome, and the 2 Mikes (Pitt/Golic).

    Stick those guys in the W-9. Would it work? I have no doubt.

    How ’bout this years’ Eagles’ DL? Could they have played in the 46?

    No way.

    But this year’s Detroit Lions — who run the W-9 — are able to execute that scheme, just as they would be able to execute the 46.

    N-Suh over the nose. Fairley and Avril over the guards. And Vanden Bosch.

    Or put those guys in a conventional 4-3 defense.

    That’s a talented and young (‘cept for KVB) group.
    ________________

    The Eagles D-line is not young. Not the starters — especially if Patterson takes over for Landri.

    Nor are they as talented as the Lions.
    ________________

    POINT: I don’t think it’s about the scheme. Talented players will make any scheme work.

    It’s about the talent itself.

    • RaisedinPhilly

      AC Viking, you make some good points, but Derek Landri is only 20 days younger than Mike Patterson. September 21, 1983 versus September 1, 1983. If your point is games played, that’s different, Patterson has played in 110, but Landri has played in 70 NFL games himself.

      • ACViking

        Didn’t realize Landri’s age. Thank you.

        And I do think “tread on the tire” does matter.

        Regardless, at age 30, it’s tougher to bounce back. No matter how much tread you have.

        Just my theory.

    • austinfan

      Some players fit different schemes, the Buddy DL wouldn’t not have fit the wide 9, Reggie inside but that’s it (and no depth). Simmons was not a speed guy off the edge, those were power guys like the Giants DL.

      The 49er offense would not have worked with the Dallas players, different skills, required a mobile QB (Aikman?), a RB who could catch (Emmitt), a FB who was a good receiver (Johnston could do it), and WRs who ran precision routes (Irvin?).

      Talent helps, but the right talent helps more, plus you rarely have the right talent at every spot, but the right talent for a scheme can play above their “absolute” talent level.

    • JJ_Cake

      Detroit is a good Defense? Granted, we made them look pretty good a couple weeks ago, I thought their D-Line was considered a group of under performers prior to our game.

      Maybe there is no such thing as a great Defense anymore, it seems that it’s either the Offense making plays or a bit of luck that has helped teams win those close games (our first 3 wins), Chicago today.

      Who’s wining with Defense this year, San Fran? They got spanked by NYG at Candlestick. Seems like the Texans have put a good Defense together, but they are dominating on offense.

      Maybe that’s the trick these days. Have a terrific Offense (Texas, NYG, NE, Packers, NO… others) and a defense which doesn’t totally suck.

      I think that’s our problem. Our Defense has played very poorly… maybe they’d look better if we had an offense that could keep them off the field, sustain drives and put points on the board to where we are forcing opponents to pass the ball. Maybe that’s where the wide-9 works?

      Problem is we don’t have the offensive players to execute that type of offense. Like others have said, we have McCoy, Djax, and Celek. We had Peters and maybe Kelce was deserving to be named among the top tier.

      I think we need a type of QB who’s like Rogers, Brees, Brady, (ugh) Eli, to make this team successful. (Garcia was a good fit for us and could’ve made things work, great smarts, toughness, and short ball accuracy).

      Can Foles be like Rogers, Brady, or Eli? Vick can’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Dasdip Osiris

    The player I’d most like to see benched is… Jason Babin.

    There’s too much depth behind him for him to continually make turnover-level mistakes on defense. It was bad before, but we accepted it because he got sacks. Now that he’s not getting sacks and it seems like nearly every game he gives opposing teams first downs, big yardage on personal foul penalties, or both, I’d just as soon see him sit.

    This team lacks discipline, and firing coaches isn’t enough. The players must be held accountable.

    This loss doesn’t fall on any one player, and Babin isn’t the only one who made mistakes in this game. However, the guy has been in the league for a long time now, and he should know better.

    The defensive line was supposed to be this team’s strength. The team was supposed to be built in its image and likeness: aggressive, quick, explosive, and relentless. Unfortunately the team has performed just like the defensive line: disappointing, undisciplined, unfocused, and overmatched.

    I don’t know where I stand on the subject of benching Vick, but I do know that if anyone is benched and Babin continues to start then the Eagles are missing the point.

    • Mac

      I know im just a fan and dont see whats really going on… but with Babin i get the impression via twitter that he is currently more focused on being a star than a high caliber DE.

      • Allen3000

        Based on the interviews I’ve seen of Babin on CSN, he seems like a good, hard-working guy. But off the cameras, who knows? Maybe he is caught up in individual accolades. I can’t really comment on that.
        However, his on-field play has been extremely undisciplined and erratic. This is simply not the same Babin from last year (unfortunately the same is true of Trent Cole too). That hold he had on 3rd down on the opening drive to extend the drive was just a complete, utter brain fart. It was a mistake you might expect to see at the high school level. It was 3rd and long. The ball was going on the flat – maybe a yard or 2 at best from the line of scrimmage. If you know you can’t keep up with the receiver then simply take a deeper angle and make sure you keep the receiver in front of you. You may give up a few more yards, but it assures you that the receiver will be brought down in front of the first down sticks. That should have been a routine stop. Instead he made a boneheaded mistake by trying to go for the ball/int and made an abysmal attempt in the process. Just a dumb, dumb play that set the tone for the rest of the afternoon (at least for the Defense).

  • bdbd20

    At least we’re still in 2nd place in the division!!!

    • BlindChow

      Ha! Too bad every team that plays the Giants seems to choke big-time when they have the chance to put the game away…

  • Ark87

    Hard to believe 2 weeks ago we were 5 minutes away from being 4-2 with a 2 possession lead…..Today the defense picked up right where they left off. This is looking like a full blown collapse. This is probably going to go down like last year, we might get it together, bowles and morhinwig might get their units playing decent football, but it will probably be too little too late.

    I’m wondering when Andy goes into plan b. It seems to me the only chance he has of holding onto his job, and it is a very tiny chance, is to make his boss fall in love with Nick Foles and his future. If at the end of the year his offense shows promise, and can scapegoat the D and have a promising D-coordinator willing to take the job next year, ie a promising plan…he has a long shot of convincing his boss to keep him around. But odds are he’s toast if he is forced to go to Foles. Still at some point that will be his only hope.

  • Allen3000

    I do think many of our problems are “fixable.” However, I’m not sold on the fact that these problems will actually be fixed in time to get this team back on the winning path.

    I’m gonna go ahead and assume that most of us posting here are 25 years old and up (I’m 30). There was a time (from about 2000-2005) when it seemed like the Eagles could simply flip the switch and turn things around immediately. It was as if AR had the golden touch and could inspire the guys to come through in clutch moments (discounting NFC Championship/SB games) with their backs against the wall. Even the late season run in ’06 and ’08 there were glimpses of Andy’s magic.
    Part of me is now thinking that magic had far more to do with the players/personnel than it did with Andy. Guys like B-Dawk, B-West, Tra, Runyan, Chad Lewis, etc. would never allow themselves to routinely falter and embarass themselves in the same manner as this current team does. Maybe it’s the curse of B-Dawk or perhaps TO, I’m not sure. But this team has lost it’s chemistry and hasn’t seemed to regain it for quite some time. The effort and sense of urgency just isn’t there. Outside of McCoy, DJax, Demeco Ryans, and a few others, this hasn’t been a fun team to cheer for.
    Personally, I think this loss was mostly on the players – particularly the Defense. They came out flat and lifeless. They made boneheaded mistakes that should not be happening almost halfway through the season. The problem is though, these were the guys Reid wanted. It’s on him to assemble a more competitive and productive team. I think he’s lost his touch there. Where is the leaderrship on this team???? Who are the real leaders?????
    I do think the Eagles can still make a playoff run – even with a loss next week. The NFC East teams don’t scare me and we have a few other matchups that are very winnable. However, if we come out the way we did today then we probably aren’t winning another game. At this point, it’s pretty much a win-win situation – we stay average and lifeless then AR will be fired OR he guides us to a deep postseason run.

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    “This is fixable.”

    I said something similar after the game, but I used a different f-word.

    • P_P_K

      Laughing and crying here.

  • chris cornett

    If it’s so $#%@(*& fixable, then why doesn’t Andy fix it already?

  • A_T_G

    Those of you who go back to Igglesblog days probably know I have always been a huge Reid fan. I love his approach to leadership, to putting a team together, to uniting them, to the example he sets and the standards he holds.

    I think this is the end of the Reid era.

    And I am okay with that.

    That makes me sad. More so than the outcome of today or the past 23 games. I am ready for something different. Something to get excited about. Something new to worry about. Reid will always be a bright swath in the team timeline, but I think that swath has started to tarnish.

    And so I’m disappointed that we lost today. I am not sad that we will most likely be heading in a new direction after the season. I am a little sad that I am not sad. Mostly I am sad that it seems things will not end with a bang, but a whimper.

    • A_T_G

      Also, thanks to sticking to my principles, Matt Ryan and my bench outscored my starters, easily, and the starters of my opponent, a little less easily.

      I guess I have to put my guys in a better position to succeed.

      Time’s yours.

    • Allen3000

      I’ll be sad to see Reid gone bc I think the guy genuinely loved being the coach of the Eagles. I’m not so sure he’s really enjoyed it the past few years. A lot of speculation on my part, but I think the pressure has finally gotten to him and he’s feeling a sense of resignation. I think the QB drama and the whole ‘Dream Team’ fiasco has probably taken it’s toll on him too (aside from the obvious personal/family issues).
      With that said, I will be sad that he’s gone because I genuinely like the guy. But not only that, I will be greatly saddened that he’s leaving here without delivering us a SB title. I’m 30, so I was used to expecting failure with the Eagles. He brought renewed excitement. Back in 2000-2001, the question wasn’t *if*, it was *when* are the Eagles finally going to win that elusive SB. That feeling was (for me at least) swept away about 5 years ago. Unfortunately, I think AR has simply lost his touch and is completely stagnant as the leader of this team. So yes, I will be sad to see a good guy who once promised so much for this team leave on a bad note. However, I’ll be thankful to see this team headed in a new direction instead of the groundhog day feeling I get with watching this team.

    • Steag209

      I agree, I wish he could have gotten to the top here at least once.

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

    Now that I’ve calmed down (and watching the Cowboys lose is always helpful in getting over an Eagles loss), I think I’m willing to give Bowles a pass on this game. I realize that’s pretty unpopular, but it’s his first game as a defensive coordinator and clearly, it didn’t go well. He absolutely needs to get better in a hurry. If they have another performance like this next week, Brees and company will drop 50 on us.

    To the point of the post, I don’t know that this is fixable. Andy Reid appears to be a lame duck coach who’s out of changes to make. His defensive coordinator has been switched. He can’t fire Mornhinweg because there’s no one behind him to take over. He can’t remove April for the same reason. He could bench Vick, but his option there is a rookie. The players don’t seem to be responding to anything that he’s doing. The offense is still pedestrian (and on life support at times) and the defense obviously brain farted for about 50 minutes of that game. Both sides of the ball are totally undisciplined with Jason Babin as the head dunce. And the veteran “leaders” of this team don’t seem to be doing anything to help guide the team in the right direction. To me, it appears as though the team has tuned out Reid, and if he switches his QB, I think he’ll totally lose the locker room.

    I realize that Hurricane Sandy played a big role in this, but there were a lot of fans dressed as empty seats. The last home game also had a lot of empty seats. 8-8 will be unacceptable to Lurie, but I’d have to imagine that an indifferent fan base will be just as unacceptable even if we finish 9-7, 10-6 (which I’m not sure that 10 wins will get us in the playoffs). Lurie is a businessman. The Eagles are his business. If they’re not making money, there will be a change made, and honestly, I think this team needs a new direction.

  • BobSmith77

    Reid basically has week to ‘correct it’ because if they lose next week to the Saints, it will be ‘over.’ It would put the Eagles at 3-5 in the NFC East and 1-4 in the NFC. This simply isn’t the kind of team capable of going 6-2 or 7-1 over the final 8 games to make the playoffs which means Reid is gone.

  • Cal Setar

    I know people appreciate how hard Mike Vick plays. I’m certainly one of them. Watching him take a beating and keep on coming back for more is truly astonishing and I fully respect him for that. But that being said, I don’t know how anyone can ignore the fact that the last two extremely subpar years have come, in direct conjunction, with his ascension to starting quarterback. Now, whether or not Kevin Kolb would have done much, if any, better is totally debatable. I personally don’t think it would have been that much different. At this point it looks like you’d be choosing between bad and worse.

    But to me the main issue here is the overall personality of the team. The sloppiness. The lack of focus. The attitude that “we’re so talented, it’ll all figure itself out eventually”? I believe these are direct results of a team that has to an extent taken on the personality of Mike Vick. Ike Reese said after the game that he sees a team filled with guys who don’t care about winning…and leaders who want to be every other players friend, instead of being the hard ass(es) who tell people off when they’re not doing what they should be.

    I think Mike Vick is still supremely talented and, in better times, has been and will probably continue to be one of the most dynamic and truly interesting players to watch. But beyond ability lie personality, style, attitude. And it seems like Vick’s personality is not a sustainable way to win football games. It’s a high wire act that requires receivers to be wide open in order for them to get the ball and that too often results in negative plays. And then when things are bad…your quarterback, your field general is laughing on the sideline as you go into the locker room down 17. You find yourself dealing with days like today…where you’re accepting mediocrity out of him simply because he didn’t commit any awful turnovers.

    Those gutsy plays? His fighting through sacks and hits and pain? If it looks like things are really hard for him out there, isn’t it at least possible that he’s the one making it look hard? Or at least harder than it otherwise would be?

  • SteveH

    I feel like every week Tommy writes something to the effect of “Andy Reid can right this ship” or “Andy can fix this”. Seriously, I bet after every game this year in one of Tommy’s write ups (except maybe the Giants game) some variation of that theme has been included.

    • TommyLawlor

      If you’ll read carefully…I noted that Andy says this is fixable. His words, not mine.

  • Ark87

    Well…the world is right again in at least 1 regard, offense looks fine compared to the defense once again. In retrospect it was a desperate hope that Todd Bowles could just jump into the DC position and automatically be a top 5 D. It’s going to take time for Todd to get into the swing of play calling and game planning. Time he doesn’t have.

    Re-examining the wide 9: It seems like it is easily countered, and not just by running up the gut. You have the pass rushers lining up further away from the QB to create space in which to beat their man. You can use the space to build up speed and bull rush, you can do outside or inside moves, just you and the tackle in space, I give the advantage to the D-end every time. But distance is distance, distance is time. It seems relatively easy for the league’s offenses to adjust to this, don’t let your guy beat you cleanly, which once you get used to the new angles, isn’t such a huge task, and you should have plenty of time to do pretty much any route short of the hail Mary. Scheming blitzers to go up the middle is dangerous, puts their running back 1 good cut, 1 good stiff-arm away from a TD. I think the league has adjusted to it, and I don’t think the wide-9 survives to see 2013 with the Eagles. Personnel-wise, we still have solid DE’s to revert back with, but our DT’s have gotten mighty sleek as of late….

  • greenblood0118

    Tommy, you act like these are recent problems that emotionally unbalanced fans are overreacting too. That couldn’t be further from the truth for most of us BLEED GREEN FANS. We’ve seen the writing on the wall for YEARS now, some of us as early as February 2005. This isn’t even close to being the “beginning of the end” of the Reid regime…it’s the final death throes of the massively bloated beast sitting atop the Linc and causing it’s foundations to crumble…the beast has got to die, man…
    Honestly, your continued refusal to accept where this team really stands in the football world and what needs to be done about it is Spadaroesque at best.

  • Mark823

    Something to keep in mind, 5 of the Eagles last 9 games in the season are division games. Last year the Eagles went 5-1 in the division, and I can’t see any reason why they can’t match that this year. So if they can match last year’s division record, that puts them at 7 wins alone. Just a positive spin on the season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

    Maybe the Falcons are just a better team…A LOT better team. Without Peters and Kelce, we’re a dink and dunk offense with receivers and a quarterback whose talents are much more suited to throwing the deep ball. Unfortunately, we can’t throw the deep ball without protection. Defensively, the Falcons are a borderline great offense and we had no answer for them. To beat a good QB with weapons, you have to get pressure and we couldn’t do that. We don’t have good enough pass rushers and schemes to blitz with. Almost every time we blitzed, we didn’t get there–we occasionally had opportunities, but, for the most part, blew them. No one was coming free. Perhaps it’s the scheme–perhaps it’s the personnel. Maybe Juan knew that he couldn’t blitz because he didn’t have the players to do so. I don’t see a dynamic blitzer from any of our safeties or line backers. We’re just not a very good team.

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    Yeah, this is so fixable that they are canning defensive coordinators mid-season, benching second year first round draft picks for a rookie no one had heard of on draft day, They have two defensive ends who cannot beat single blocking anymore, this supposed potent offense that’s actually just average in yards and wretched in points, an average defense in both yards and points that can’t touch a QB or create a turnover, they are undisciplined, and poorly coached.

    Is anyone really wondering why they are 3-4? This is the definition of an average football team. They don’t do anything particularly well and have no identity.

    Letting to of what the Eagles were early in the decade is difficult. People are still trying to paint them as a contender and an immensely talented team. They just aren’t. They caught lightning in a bottle for a few games 2 years ago when defensive coordinators were adjusting to a new Vick led offense, but have since figured out how best to defend them. Defensively the eagles are still trying to figure out who they are with a bunch of average to above average players with very few difference makers and no true nucleus.

    • Mac

      Technically Watkins is injured… and all of us here are familiar with Kelly.

      The maddening thing for me is that I haven’t seen the impact I thought I would with Ryan’s in the middle. Maybe our D-line is just too long in the tooth. I expected to see more fire. Hell at this point, I’d rather see stupid penalties for late hits and shoving matches than this brain deadening holding calls on pass plays. But for goodness sake if we’re going to commit one of those retarded penalties do it on 1st or 2nd down (Daryl Tapp).

      Where is the passion?

      • ceteris_paribus1776

        We all familiar now since he’s been on the roster since april, but not when drafted. none of ten or so people who commented on Kellly in the draft thread were sure were that pick came from. Tommy even said he didn’t know much at all about him; had seen one game film of him. My point is this is not exactly the sort of fixing you’d expect from a team struggling.

        • Mac

          True, it’d be nice to see a real solution.

  • GermanEagle

    I know it’s early, but assuming Peters will be 100% next season here’s my wishlist for 2013:
    1. Playmaking safety
    As much as I like Coleman, but he shouldn’t be starting in this league and Nate Allen is AVERAGE at best. Though it’s hard to find difference maker at safeties, I would love to have one in the Eagles backfield!
    2. Playmaking DT/DE
    It seems more and more that the good days for Trent Cole and Jason Babin are over. Jenkins won’t probably be back which screams for a young and upcoming star at either the DT or DE position who can create havoc in the opponent’s backfield.
    3. A big physical WR
    It will be very interesting to see if the Eagles will extend Maclin and give him a big chunk of money. The way he’s been playing this year – paired with the fact the he struggles to stay healthy for a full season – leads me to believe the Eagles won’t break the bank for him (and rightfully so!). Jason Avant might have the best hands on the team, but he is SLOW and cannot play the outside. Same with Cooper, who’s had 1 catch (???) so far this season. The Eagles will NEED a big WR in this offense.
    4. Playmaking CB
    Nnamdi is overrated and will probably not be back if he doesn’t agree a significant pay cut. DRC is going Asante/Desean on us and similar to Maclin’s situation I cannot see how the Eagles will reward him with a big pay rise. The lack of interceptions is also worrying, that’s why CB will and must be one of the top priorities for the Eagles next off/season.
    5. Better QB play
    If it is Vick (barring an unforeseen turnaround), Foles or another vet/rookie behind center in 2013, the play at one of the most important positions will be critical for the success in the short- and long run.
    I have not mentioned the head coaches and any coordinators because I think we will see a complete makover there.

    • Mac

      Going into the season we were all trying to convince ourselves that we could see the Eagles winning the SB without Jason Peters. My belief was that we could possibly have a shot because we had another key piece on the o-line a good Center in Jason Kelce. My hope for this season diminished when I watched that terrible knee injury happen. I was briefly able to remain hopeful as Reynolds stepped in and played decent.

      I feel we need a solution at RT. I am going to pray like crazy that Peters is ok and we don’t need 2 tackles. I believe Herr-dawg is strong enough and mental enough to keep playing the game, but he can’t seem to hold up enough for 4 qtrs on his own on the edge. I think we have a great back up OT in Dunlap. We can’t judge Kelly or Menkin as of yet, but can hope they have something with at least one of those guys.

      I do believe we need at least one really good S as the final part of our Defense. I would be ok with shifting Nnamdi to S and having him be a S/CB hybrid with the ability to give us some added CB depth allowing us to carry 5 Safeties for next year: Allen (health concerns), Coleman (a solid backup S), Nnamdi (maybe starts over Allen?), Anderson (who we need to keep for special teams), and a stud rookie (The obvious choice being “The Honey Badger”).

      I wonder if the complete incompetence at LB last year covered up the fact that our starting Safeties weren’t cutting it.

      I think I disagree on DRC. He was making plays all summer… not sure why he had a bad game this week, but I am looking for him to step up and be our top CB for awhile.

      I know it means nothing at this point, but I do wish the Eagles had found a way to get one of the two D-line I had a high desire to get (JJ Watt and Ryan Kerrigan).

      • GermanEagle

        I don’t think the honey badger will be eligible next year… :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kanin-Faan/100000790557328 Kanin Faan

    Herm Edwards just said on Espn sportscenter(in response to “what will happen if they bench Vick?”);
    “If they keep calling the same plays, Nick Foles wouldnt make it into the second quarter!”