Understanding Andy’s Actions

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 114 Comments »

The cutting of Jason Babin.  The firing of Jim Washburn.  The firing of Juan Castillo.  What do these moves mean?  Is Andy Reid trying to save his job?

I don’t think so.

Let’s look at the moves individually.  Babin was cut after the Eagles fell to 3-8.  The playoffs were no longer an option.  I think Andy was tired of his selfish, undisciplined play.  In theory the move probably should have been made sooner, but my guess is that Reid kept waiting for the DL to get hot and have a dominant stretch of games.  When Babin is on his A-game, he can be very disruptive.

Once the playoffs were no longer an option, why keep a guy like that around?  He then becomes a bad influence on Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt, and Brandon Graham.  Plus, you want his reps to go to the young players.  Trent Cole has had a down year, but he is still very much a team guy.  He’s not going anywhere.

Washburn was fired after the loss to Dallas.  I have to wonder if there was some frustration that Wash played Darryl Tapp 24 snaps, but Curry and Hunt a combined 27.  Tapp is loved by Wash (and all the coaches).  He is a great guy, but there is no reason to play him that much over the young guys.  Heck, you can question why he played at all.

Wash did not handle Babin’s release well at all.  And per a Reuben Frank story, Wash has basically been an asshole for the last 2 years.  He openly mocked Juan Castillo, calling him Juanita.  Wash didn’t treat Castillo with respect and undermined him repeatedly.

I think Andy just reached the breaking point and said enough is enough.  This team isn’t going anywhere.  Why put up with Washburn’s BS if you don’t have to?

Reid has had years when things didn’t go right, but the team and staff didn’t get out of line.  Not like this.  I think Reid kept it going this year in hopes that the team would start winning and then he could deal with the personalities in the offseason.  There is a great saying in sports that winning is the ultimate deodorant.  It makes problems go away.  Jerks become “characters”.  Selfish people are just “really driven”.  And so on.  Losing means things are what they are.  And Washburn became too much for Reid to put up with anymore.

As for Castillo…Reid told the NBC guys that he felt bad for putting Juan in an awkward position.  After learning what we have today, it sounds like that means dealing with Washburn as much as anything.  Washburn is a bully.  For years he worked with Jim Schwartz, another fiery coach,  who could handle his BS.  Castillo was learning the ropes on defense and doesn’t have an alpha-male personality.  I’m sure Wash made life miserable for him.

By firing Castillo, I have to think Andy was trying to help the defense, but also getting Juan out of a bad situation.  Andy truly cares about the coaches he’s been with for years.  Seeing Juan belittled and mocked by Washburn had to be painful.  Andy could have fired Wash, but instead did what he thought was in the best in the best interest of his team’s success.  In retrospect, Andy should have kept Castillo and fired the jerk.  Boy, I never thought I would type that sentence.

I know many people think Reid is trying to find a way to keep his job.  I just don’t see any way Lurie could do that.  That topic deserves a lengthy post and I’ll do it when I can.  Put simply, I think keeping Andy for another year would just result in more pressure and drama, but with some new names.  I think Lurie knows it is simply time for a change.

_


  • Julescat

    I still think this firing allows Lurie to keep Reid. With injured players back and a new D coordinator, the team is better.

    • T_S_O_P

      Nope. This offense has yet to put 30 on the board this season, yesterday being the closest. Marty came in ’03 as an advisor and took playcalling full-time halfway through ’06. It is stale. Moreover, should Reid get fired and take a year off, I’ll put a shiny dollar on the fact that when he reassembles a crew of coaches the Montana Midget won’t be among them.

      • P_P_K

        MM! Good one.

        • T_S_O_P

          I should add that it should read as Reid and Marty came together and that it is Reid and Marty that is stale, rather than a direct assault on Morny.

          To the original post, there is too much wrong on D, STs and O as well as little things for Reid to survive.

          • D3Keith

            He’s definitely gone, he should definitely take a year off and MM is definitely stale. Excited to see how the new OC utilizes Brown and Shady, with Mac n Jax being second fiddle and maybe used differently.

    • TommyLawlor

      I see where you’re coming from but disagree. Will address in a full post.

    • 47_Ronin

      Yes, Lurie keeps Reid and he cleans ship replacing all the coordinators brings back Childress as OC (we know Childress values the run) and Spags as DC after Spags is let go by NO when Payton returns. (written with tongue in cheek)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

      I think it’s time for the Eagles to part ways with Reid. It’s better for both parties. I can’t see Reid coming back as a HC, but I could definitely see him coming back in some sort of GM/VP role ala Mike Holmgren.

  • austinfan

    Did Brasher retire?
    Because other than 2008, the defense was never the same.

    • TommyLawlor

      Left for health reasons.

  • Ark87

    I don’t see the big Reid surprise coming. Love the guy, respect the guy. But this situation is toxic and would only get more toxic without a superbowl run very soon. And with no franchise qb, that is unlikely to happen. ANY struggles will blow up into insurmountable challenges under the scrutiny. Andy needs a fresh start. He won’t get that here, even if he rebuilds. Hope he takes a year off, then gets back to it…on an AFC franchise.

  • Ark87

    Foles to start the remainder of the season it looks like.

    • P_P_K

      Just caught Jaws on ESPN reporting on this. It’s the right move.

  • NoDecaf

    Tommy, did you just hear all this about Wash recently?

    • TommyLawlor

      I had not heard bad things about him in the past.

      • NoDecaf

        Yeah, no one had, I guess.

    • 47_Ronin

      I question why are these stories coming out now, with the team imploding the daggers come out.

      • TommyLawlor

        The Eagles have a pretty tight lipped organization. Stuff comes out at a time like this when there is no reason to protect Washburn anymore.

  • Eric Dein

    Tommy, was this Andy? I’m sure he influenced but shouldn’t it be called “Understanding Jeffrey’s Action”? How much control over the players and coaches does Andy hold at this point?

    • TommyLawlor

      I totally think Wash was fired by Andy. Why would Lurie fire him for being an asshole? Lurie doesn’t know about the interactions of players and coaches unless Reid or Roseman tells him. This was a Reid move.

  • ian_no_2

    Graham confirmed that Bowles is dumping the Wide 9 as I suspected. With Mudd reportedly retiring, the Eagles want to see what Bowles can do with a free hand to design his own schemes.

    • 47_Ronin

      I think Tommy has written this, but it’s too late in the game for Bowles to design his own schemes, he only has a few days come up with a game plan against the Eagles’ next opponent. The off season is the time for designing schemes. I think scrapping the W9 comes down to helping the DBs, likely fewer gap and run support responsibilities for the safeties. QBs are killing the Eagles.

      • austinfan

        It’s also about evaluating the young DEs in a conventional 4-3 set. They know that Cole is better suited to playing over an OT’s shoulder, they want to see Curry, Graham and Hunt do it.

        Won’t impact the DTs, still a one gap, just more time over the “A” gap and less over the “B” gap.

  • GFF

    It’s all straight out of an old Star Trek (“Galileo Seven”), with AR as Spock:

    BOMA: All right, Spock, you have all the answers. What now?
    SPOCK: Mister Boma, your tone is increasingly hostile.
    BOMA: My tone isn’t the only thing that’s hostile, Mister Spock!
    SPOCK: Curious. Most illogical.
    BOMA: I’m sick and tired of your logic!
    MEARS: We could use a little inspiration.
    SPOCK: Strange. Step by step, I have made the correct and logical decisions. And yet two men have died.
    MCCOY: And you’ve brought our furry friends down on us.
    SPOCK: I do seem to have miscalculated regarding them, and inculcated
    resentment on your parts. The sum of the parts cannot be greater than the whole.
    MCCOY A little less analysis and more action. That’s what we need, Mister Spock.

    • TommyLawlor

      Comparing Andy to Spock is interesting. Sometimes I think Andy does make decisions in a vacuum and doesn’t know how they’ll truly play out due to the humans who execute them.

      • Ark87

        Andy is no slave to logic. Promoting Juan Castillo was a massive risk made on a hunch that was propped up by loyalty to a good soldier. Andy can be brilliant, but also reckless and arrogant, a risk-taker. He’s a player’s coach. If anything he is Kirk. Spock was Banner.

        • K_Dilkington

          Spock was Banner? You’re crazy, Banner was Khan!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

    Is Tommy Brasher really 72 years old? Why bring him in late in the season when the team isn’t in contention for anything? Is it strictly to develop Curry, Cox, Thornton, and Graham?

    • Sb2bowl

      He is known and trusted

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

    I never want to hear the terms “Princeton Offense” and “wide-9″ associated with the teams I root for ever again.

    • SleepingDuck

      I feel you.

  • P_P_K

    I give Andy props for the cannings. He could just roll over and let the season play out to the bitter end with a defeatest attitude, “I’m outta’ here, anyway.” At least he is still engaged, acting professionally, and trying to do what is best for the team. It’s got to be hell for him.

    • D3Keith

      I agree. He’s not coming back. The run is over. But by going with Foles and showing concern for the young DL, he’s doing the right thing til his last day.

      Highly unlikely but maybe Reid is a consultant somehow while he’s out of football.

      I always thought Wash was getting off easy for the defensive struggles; posted it here several times. Didn’t know it was this bad but it makes more sense now.

      • jshort

        AR did not look or talk like a beaten or washed up coach in his press conferences. He wasn’t looking down, but right into the eyes of the questioner. Giving more lively responses than I’ve seen out of him in awhile.He seemed to me refreshed, recharged, and ready to go. Like a man with a new lease on life. Anyone else notice that? Perhaps this might have something to do with his disposal of a DL coach that’s been eating at his soul. Maybe a chat with Jerry Jones about his future.

        One thing for sure, he’s not ready to hang it up. He is waking up. You learn from your mistakes and AR has made his share, especially in the last two years. For those counting the days to his dismissal, be careful what you wish for. More than likely, you’ll see him hoisting a Lombardi trophy, just like another ex-Eagles coach, only this time it will be Tony Romo’s arm around Reed’s neck.

        • D3Keith

          I could not disagree more. Reid and the Cowboys don’t seem like a good match at all, though that should never stop your agent from linking you to them to up the bidding.

          Reid seems likely to follow the Jeff Fisher/Mike Shanahan route; has any coach ever been a more perfect candidate for a year off? Guys who are longtime coaches with one team tend to take a year and wait to see what opens up. Panthers, Browns, Cowboys jobs seem to be bad fits for Reid IMO. Chargers I could see, but personally I hope he takes the year.

          As to whether he ever wins it all, no telling if he’ll ever be given more talent than he was several times here, but I doubt GM Jerry Jones could set the table any better. I could root for Reid to have success elsewhere though.

          • quest4fire

            If AR gets fired he will have 50 job offers (Pro & College) within 10 minutes of his firing made public. On the college side, BYU would be ideal for him. Agreed that the Cowboys are not an ideal fit because Jerry is too hands on. In addition to SD, Carolina would be good fit. You can build around Cam and there are alot of similarities between Cam and McNabb.

    • A_T_G

      Agreed. I don’t like the way things played out, but I’m glad he did it… Too late.

  • Iskar36

    Looking back on the comments AR made about Bowles when he became defensive coordinator, it sounds like AR was sending Washburn a message as well. He said the Bowles was careful not to undermine Castillo while he coached the secondary. Looking back at that comment, he must have been also saying that elsewhere on the team (Washburn), there were people who were, and that was being noticed.

  • ACViking

    Re: Why is Reid Canning People Now?

    Because freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

    • Ark87

      Doing what he feels like doing. Now if he would say what he feels like saying, he may be a renewed man and conquer the world (and destroy any legacy he had with the Eagles),

  • shah8

    It’s a lot clearer now, why Brandon Graham took so long to be a starter…

  • shah8

    I just can’t get used to how the NFL does things. No healthy organization lets a senior official on the field get undermined like that. You fire the victim instead of the asshole? It’s one thing to be über supportive of a loser just so you can be proven right (Speilman vs á vis Ponder). It’s quite another to allow disciplinary issues to continue. Babin should have been cut ages ago. Washburn should have been fired weeks ago–you don’t worry about who’s gonna coach, because he’s a loser and losers will tell. Case in consideration: Tom Cable in Oakland. Should have been immediately fired after assaulting his co-worker, and he showed no results on the field that mitigated against the fact that he was incompetent and belligerent. Indeed, what he did was scapegoat the bust at QB for his horrible coaching. It never works out to tolerate this sort of thing, and I have to wonder whether a lot more of this sort of stuff happens and we never hear about it except when it’s a loser being an egregious loser.

    I’ve watch this league for a long time. The Love Boat scandal is one of the defining reasons why the Vikings aren’t as good as they could be. It screwed everything up every which way. Mike Tice deservedly does not seem eligible for future head coaching jobs because of his lack of control (not authoritarian daddy control, but simple common sense exertions of moral authority). It never works out for a head coach to be ignoring idiocy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

      Washburn is regarded as one of the best DL coaches in the NFL and the defense was built around his “wide 9″ scheme. If the DL coach and the DC couldn’t get along, it was easier to replace the one with the lesser experience and track record.

    • A_T_G

      I agree. I have a lot of respect for Reid, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Washburn should have been fired, not Castillo. Reid is loved because he stands up for his players, possibly to a fault. Where was that leadership with Washburn. I don’t care if he is the best Dline coach in the game. If he is hurting the overall product, he should have been gone. I am left wondering how things would have turned out if we had kept Castillo, ditched Wash and sent Babin with him.

  • TommyLawlor

    Here’s a question I just posted on Twitter: Are we really sure Andy wants to come back next year? All the talk of him “saving his job” is based on him being desperate to return. Could be that Andy sees it is time for a change, for both him and the team. Might not even want to come back.

    What do you guys think?

    • BobSmith77

      Won’t even have that option so basically a ‘null’ choice. For his sake and probably for his family, I hope Reid takes a year or maybe even two.

    • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

      I honestly think Reid would come back if given the opportunity.

      A couple of years ago everyone here in the city of Houston wanted Kubiak fired. The Texans had taken a step back, and looked like they were going in the wrong direction. The head coach was spared, but he added a new D-coordinator (Wade, who was just fired from Dallas) and things were turned around. Now he looks like a genius.

      I have no doubt that Reid thinks he could assemble a new staff and make it work. I just don’t think he will get the chance.

      • TommyLawlor

        Interesting take.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

        The only problem is that Andy Reid was given an opportunity to build his own coaching staff and it didn’t work out well. You could sympathize with Andy when his ST coach took a job elsewhere and his DC died, but it’s now been 4+ years and he still hasn’t been able to find new leadership.

        At this point you have to question his decision making and whether or not his philosophy is limiting this team.

    • Ark87

      I wouldn’t come back in a million years. Not worth it. Still, these guys are wired funny. He built this thing along with Jeff and Joe. He might feel that redeeming this franchise goes hand and hand with redeeming one’s self, one’s legacy.

      It’s like walking away from a roulette wheel. You were up. You kept playing till inevitably odds won out and you’re broke. At that point you HAVE to walk away, broken and ashamed….unless, someone offers you house money…do you really walk away with the temptation of regaining some of what you lost?

    • goeagles55

      I think if it was completely up to Andy, he would definitely come back, but he isn’t going to be too upset to be let go. Remaking this team would be almost as much work as starting fresh somewhere else. Looking at this team for 2013 you basically have no d-line coach, no d-coordinator, no o-line coach, no safeties, no cornerbacks, and a question mark at QB and left tackle. He might as well start over somewhere else where he will have a honeymoon period instead of a place where there is tremendous pressure to win now, and players might view his message as stale.

      At his press conference today, it sounded like he knew and accepted that he won’t be here next year. He is still being paid by the Eagles and feels obligated to do what is best for the Eagles until he is no longer with the team.

      I hope, for his sake, that Andy does take the year off to fully evaluate his coaching and personnel philosophies and and make some adjustments. All while collecting his Eagles salary.

    • mcud

      I think Andy would certainly come back, if asked. Stubborn guy. He wants to win one here I am sure, if nothing else to prove to everyone (including himself) that his line of thinking was right all along. I wish I could talk to him and ask him what the past couple of seasons have taught him. I admit that I hate the thought of him learning all these lessons, then going somewhere else (Dallas) and becoming a better coach for it. Not saying he should be retained either. He’s had his chance(s). I wish him well. Just not in Washington or Dallas.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

      I wouldn’t come back if I were him. There are too many questions with this team such as the QB position and the make up of the defense. He has to rebuild a new defense, a new scheme, bring in a new QB, replace Nnamdi and deal with the injuries that are on the OL. This team is a few years away from championship contention.

      If I were him, I would join a team with a franchise QB or a team that is position to draft. The best coaches in the game start out with a franchise QB either in their first or second year:

      Bellichick- Brady
      McCarthy- Rodgers/Favre
      Peyton- Brees
      Dungy- P. Manning
      Coughlin- E. Manning
      Schwartz- Stafford
      Harbough- Flacco
      Reid- McNabb
      Smith- Ryan
      Kubiak- Schaub
      Shanahan- Griffin III
      Tomlin- Roethelsberger

      • austinfan

        Except:

        Belichick – Bledsoe, Brady came out of nowhere
        Couglin – took 6 years to turn Eli into an above average QB
        Harbaugh – Flacco is still erratic, they win on defense
        Reid – made McNabb, stop action option, into a NFL QB
        Kubiak – Schaub was a long shot who he developed

    • Iskar36

      I think it is an interesting question, but my question would be, in the completely unlikely scenario that Lurie say let’s bring AR back, what would be the “expectations” on AR for next season? To me, Lurie would lose a ton of credibility if he kept AR after basically spelling out that an 8-8 season would be unacceptable. With that in mind, could he possibly lower expectations? If not, is it realistic to think we can be a legitimate contender with the number of major question marks we have on the team. Maybe I am too down on the team, but it seems to me that whoever the next coach is really needs to come in with a 2-3 year plan rather than a win-this-year plan.

      To me, it just doesn’t make any sense to keep AR beyond this season. He was a historically great coach for the Eagles, but with the way this season has gone, I don’t think Lurie really has a choice.

    • bdbd20

      Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that AR had a sense of relief once the team reached 8 losses. I’m thinking that he’s just burned out and doesn’t know how to get himself started again. I personally think he’s already spoken with Lurie and the two of them have an understanding. Someone on twitter mentioned that the BYU job might be open soon. That may be his ultimate destination.

    • Eagles4life

      I would think that Andy may want to come back if Lurie offer him to keep his VP head of football operations

    • JJ_Cake

      I think Reid will very eloquently thank the city of Philadelphia, it’s fans, and the team for over a decade of great seasons and great experiences. Then he will voluntarily step down. Reid will not be fired.

  • T_S_O_P

    Tommy, with wash gone and Brasher in a with the statement that the Wide-9 is gone too, how does that effect Kendricks?

    • TommyLawlor

      New coach may prefer him at WLB. GCobb thinks he could be a star there. New coach may keep him at SAM, but just do a better job teaching him. Could also be 3-4 ILB.

      • BobSmith77

        Delete my comment

      • austinfan

        If they’re going more conventional 4-3, they can pick up a two down SLB and move him over, or draft a more lanky SLB who can cover TEs and move him. I think in the long run he’s not a great matchup with TEs given his height, but may replace Ryans at MLB.

    • TommyLawlor

      @T_S_O_P:disqus … as far as this year…not sure what this means. Need to see the guys play a game before we know what they’ll do.

  • BobSmith77

    This there any coach in the NFL whose stock has plummeted more than Bowles the last few weeks? Does he even sniff a defensive coordinator job next year?

    • TommyLawlor

      His rep is hurt, but those in the league know that he inherited a mess and it is far from all his fault.

      • Anders

        Bowles might not be a DC next season, but if he goes to a place with a good system in place, I would bet he could be a DC in 2014.

    • http://twitter.com/BugeHalls Buge Halls

      He’ll be lucky to be a Assistant at a D-II or D-III school next year!

      • D3Keith

        Watch it sucka.

  • http://twitter.com/BugeHalls Buge Halls

    Maybe Reid should have kicked Washburn in the ass and told him that Juan was his boss and he better act that way or hit the friggin road! If all of that was going on, Reid should have done the ass kicking years ago! Sounds like Washburn was an ass and the rest of the coaches were (are) cowards!

    • TommyLawlor

      There is dysfunction on every staff. Not everyone will get along. There are stories from the past with coaches that would surprise you. Reid tries to keep the peace, especially if he thinks the coach is really good. Wash is still a top DL coach. Recently, he got out of hand and the team’s record made him expendable.

      • Concussed FB

        What you call dysfunction is also known as cowardice. You can also call it a stunning lack of leadership if that’s softer for you.

      • D3Keith

        You hit it on the head when you said this stuff is quirky and tolerated when teams are winning. When you’re losing, there’s no point in putting up with it.

  • BobSmith77

    Here’s a question Tommy – Do you think the hiring of Washburn in ’11 was the single worst decision by Reid during his tenure here?

    I would argue ‘Yes’ because of the domino effect it had starting last year with having to name Castillo as the defensive coordinator & bringing in Babin.

    • ACViking

      Tough question.

      But had the Eagles’ draft-day decisions been better, I don’t think we reach this point.

      As T-Law said . . . it’s all about deodorant in pro-sports.

      • 47_Ronin

        It is a difficult question, but I agree it has to come down on the bad draft decisions. I could argue that blowing a 1st round pick on FredEx and passing on Reggie Wayne was the worst Reid decision

        • P_P_K

          Oh man, you had to bring up Freddie the day after a loss to the Cowbys. Please show some mercy!

  • JJ_Cake

    I feel badly for AR, he seems to be a class guy wh tries to do the right thing, he knew we were close and convinced Howie to bring in top FA and big named Coaches. He unfortunately fell victim to the team falling apart. Vick was awful at the start, but the D looked good enough, and then it all imploded. Hard to think AR would want to coach again after this year.

    So, no Tommy, I don’t think he wants to come back. But I do think he is a decent human being who wants to let the young guys get some experience and remove the bullies and primadonnas

  • JJ_Cake

    How does DJax fit with a power running attack? I think we can’t force the team into a “scheme” and need to go with the strengths. That is a power running attack that can set up the pass. Can DJax contribute to this style? I think he is too fragile. He can’t run block. He is a very fast and good role WR, but does he fit our team’s strengths. I’d argue we trade him and replace him with Dwayne Bowe (would rather see Fitzgerald cause AZ sucks so bad I’m sure he’d like a new place, but that won’t happen).

    • Cal Setar

      I think there’s a prevailing viewpoint among the fanbase that DJax is this amazing player. He’s a special talent. No doubt. But he’s a talent that does a few very specific things really well. And some other things not so well. Domo had in an article that he’s averaging something like .22 touchdowns per game for his career.

      He’s a small guy, with incredible quickness who fit really well into what Andy Reid/MM wanted to do because he took the top off defenses and opened things up in the middle of the field (Not taking advantage of those openings in the middle of the field by say, running the ball, is a whole other discussion).

      But basically I think he’s a scheme specific guy who will have a hard time really thriving in another type of offense where he doesn’t get to run deep posts and fly routes all the time.

      • P_P_K

        But having him on the field means the defense has to constantly scheme to prevent the fly and deep posts. This benefits all other aspects of the O.

        • Cal Setar

          Which I agree with completely. But you’re accepting other limitations, specifically in the red zone, with DJax.

          That’s the trade off. Those fly and deep post routes aren’t high percentage plays. That type of offense, as we’ve all seen first hand, isn’t a sustainable way to win football games. I think the fact that he himself doesn’t score more often far outweighs the fact that he may open things up for other people to score.

          Anyways, the original question was whether he’d be able to thrive/survive in a power running offense. And I think the answer is…he could, but probably not.

          • A_T_G

            You are only accepting that limitation if you choose to play him in the red zone package which, strangely enough, we do.

          • Cal Setar

            Well, running the ball or throwing a fade with any regularity would just be crazy.

    • A_T_G

      DJax would thrive in a power running attack. You don’t need to block to take a defender out of a play. DJax takes two out of most running plays by going deep. When a defense that actually fears a running game from us decides they need their safety in the box, play action and throw it deep.

      • D3Keith

        I agree with this post and some of the ones below, but for slightly different reasons. Jackson with less focus on him is good. I also think he could flourish as a guy in a true rhythm offense … slants, hitches, crossing routes with a QB that could hit him in the hands and give him space to run might make him more valuable.

        I think we’re pretty likely headed toward a new coach who will try to figure out how to utilize McCoy and Brown 30 times a game. That might mean Jackson, Maclin and Celek take less of a starring role, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be more effective if teams are loading up to stop the Eagles’ run game.

        I just hope the new OC sees as much potential there as I do. Could make the guy look like a genius, and might not even need a ridiculously good QB if he can ride these RBs.

        • Cal Setar

          Yeah, I’m with you on most of this. DJax is a special talent so he needs touches. But he’d be perfect getting his hands on the ball as a punt returner, on end-arounds, bubble screens, while still trying shots deep to him several times a game.

          It’s not just his deep speed, but his short area quickness that’s so impressive. Problem is, as a little guy all it takes is one play where the QB leads him too far and he get’s destroyed trying to extend for the ball.

      • Cal Setar

        I think thrive is the wrong word. He could do it. But you’d be asking a guy with a potentially volatile personality to take a backseat to the running game. The scenario(s) you presented sound good in theory…but they’re really oversimplified and dismissive of the issues Desean has blocking. Not to mention the fact that DJax got a taste of being a star player in the NFL. There may not be any going back from that for him.

  • JJ_Cake

    Last comment on this thread, I won’t be surprised if the next head coach after Reid isn’t as good. There are 32 teams, how many head coaches would you rather have. Even for the haters, ill argue that he is still better than more than half of the starting coaches. I hope we get lucky with the next guy, but the odds are against us. Finding a great coaching staff is just about as hard as getting a franchise QB.

    • D3Keith

      I agree that Reid is better than most and it’s possible/likely that our next head coach won’t be as good.

      That shouldn’t obscure the fact that Reid is out of answers with this particular roster, which is too talented to be 3-9. What should have been a Super Bowl contender has been squandered two years in a row now, and enters next season not at all a contender. Anyone can have an off year, but this is more than one year, and sustained “everything I’m trying isn’t working.” Firing Reid is almost the merciful thing to do; All sides will be better off when they part.

      I love the guy, but it’s over.

      • JJ_Cake

        Sadly I agree with everything you said. Reid was my favorite coach since Vermiel (thats as far back as I go). Reid had a longer tenure and wasn’t a looser like Kotite, or a loudmouth like Buddy. (Punching Jeff Fischer on the sidelines).

        Too Bad this wasnt the year for Fischer to leave the Titans. He would’ve been a good coach for us.

  • Concussed FB

    The emperor has no clothes and apparently no guts either.

  • ACViking

    Re: Winning Organizations and Coaches

    Just a hunch . . . but when Dick LeBeau retires, Mike Tomlin’s chances of continuing a great run of success won’t be quite the same.

    LeBeau is Tomlin’s “Jim Johnson.”

    In contrast you have John Harbaugh — whose Ravens have continued to win despite the turnover at D.C.

    But with Ray Lewis almost on the full-time speaking circuit, we’re seeing a very different Ravens’ defense. Harbaugh’s becoming an *offensive* coach out of necessity. Next, Ed Reed will leave . . . and Harbaugh will be in a world of potential hurt.

    All of this is to to make two points.

    First, Andy Reid had a great run for 2 reasons. He inherited a core of very good to great players, including a HOF safety. Also, he chose a D.C. fashioned a defense that concealed some (many?) of the Eagles’ offensive shortcomings. Or at least, allowed Donovan to play very conservatively.

    First he lost his D.C. (And when Tomlin loses his, watch out.)

    Then the team’s talent thinned out quickly, with the loss of Dawk being critical (Harbaugh . . . watch out.)

    I’m not sure Vince Lombardi could win with this year’s Eagles.

    Talk about good fortune, when Lombardi arrived in Green Bay in 1959, the team already had drafted HOF QB Bart Starr, HOF FB Jim Taylor, HOF HB Paul Hornung, HOF OT Forrest Gregg, HOF C Jim Ringo, All Pro OLs Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer, HOF DT Henry Jordan and HOF MLB Ray Nitschke.

    Yes, Lombardi made the Packers a *team* and had the gift of bringing out the very best in his players. And he had a great eye for talent — adding All Pro WR Boyd Dowler in ’59, HOF DE Willie Davis and HOF S Willie Wood in 1960, and HOF CB Herb Adderly in ’61.

    Lombardi was both a brilliant coach, very good talent evaluator, and damn lucky. He retired as Packers’ coach just before the roof fell in.

    Anyway . . . I think Andy’s run is over here.

    • GFF

      One of the few good things to come of this collapse may be punching Dawk’s ticket to Canton, and perhaps getting JJ’s name into the conversation. Imagine if the defense had continued to be top 5 after their departure.

      • Anders

        coordinators cant get into Canton :( What I feel most sorry about is when people talk about the great DCs over the last decade, they NEVER talk about the Eagles D and JJ.

        • D3Keith

          That’s not really true. May not get as much respect as LeBeau or Monte Kiffin, but JJ gets love.

          • Anders

            I never read it or hear it. They always talk about LeBeau and Kiffin first, but then they move to Belichick, Phillips and Rex Ryan, but you never hear about JJ. Its the same when people talk about great safeties, they always forget Dawkins. I understand Ed Reed, but I cant understand why Polumalu is so hyped as a safety compared to Dawkins.

    • P_P_K

      This is a really good post. Harbaugh is a good example of evolving as a coach. This may be Andy’s terminal flaw. He came in as a head coach with that famous binder. and I wonder if he’s ammended it at all. I hadn’t realized Lombardi inherited all that talent. Whoever takes the helm of the Eagles next year will also inherit quite a bit of talent plus a couple good spots in the draft. The Eagles could quickly be back in contention if the players stay healthy, the new coaches do their jobs well, and the mojo falls into place.

      • aub32

        I think a better example would be Belichick. He was a DC, and now his defense if terrible.

      • D3Keith

        Yeah, should be a desirable job. You can look like a coaching genius by making this already-talented roster (including the draft pick) win right away.

    • austinfan

      Except no player on the 1998 team had ever taken a trip to Hawaii.
      There were some good players and some talented players on the team Reid inherited, but no one who was considered a blue chip player at that time.

      Trotter for example dressed for 8 games in 1998, and didn’t play.
      Whiting was a DT being converted to DE, they were still looking for the right fit for Mayberry who flopped at LT, Dawk was a talented but erratic safety, and so on.

    • Anders

      I think Bill Belichick’s geniusness will dimiss the second Tom Brady retires (yes he won 11 games with Cassel when Brady went down but AR also won alot of games with his backups over the years).

  • Zivetor

    I don’t think Andy is going anywhere. I think a new defensive coaching staff will be added, but Andy is staying. We all know Reid would have another job before the press conference is even over and all us Eagle fans will be full of regret when Andy is coaching in the conference championship game while our next “head coach” is still trying to make playoffs. I am not ready to get rid of a HOF coach for the guy coaching the Lions.

  • SteveH

    I knew Washburn was a gruff old guy but I didn’t realize he was such a raging doudchebag. Hard to believe Reid would tolerate that kind of behavior from Washburn, kind of mind boggling really. You can’t have that kind of flagrant disrespect from a subordinate, thats going to poison the entire environment. No wonder the defense is such a mess this year, and no wonder the DL underperformed so drastically, they probably felt like they weren’t accountable to anyone except for Washburn

    • D3Keith

      The guy was hired before the D-Coordinator, imposed the system on the DC and would have been the DC except he didn’t feel like it. And then was apparently undermining the DC to his face, so who knows what was said in meetings. Obviously not a winning environment.

      Everything else you said makes sense except that last part. No surprise really, if you think about it, that they only felt accountable to him.

  • Brad King

    I agree. This feels much more like Andy knowing he’s going down with his ship, but choosing to not go down with certain people. Dawk said something similar to that on ESPN about Babin in regards to the last guy to be cut midseason was “TO” (I believe he was shut down, but semantics)

  • begatts

    This once proud organization has become hyper-disfunctional and the laughing stock of the NFL. How have things gone so south. How has AR allowed this team to fall apart so badly. You can trace it all back to losing Jim Johnson. Things have spiraled out of control since then. Promoting McDermott, hirign Johnnie Lynn as the secondary coach, then hiring Washburn before hiring a DC, promoting Castillo to DC, firing Castillo, promoting Bowles, and now firing Washburn. What an absolutely embarring mess!!
    For those that think AR will get a job the day after he’s fired, just look at the mess he created above. Why would anyone want to hire a HC who would make such disasterous decisions and he coming off what could easily be a 3-13 season?? I’m not so sure AR is hired immediately as every commentator on game broadcasts, the NFLN and ESPN seems to think.

    • ACViking

      In 1998, Ray Rhodes was the head coach of a 3-13 Eagles team.

      In 1999, Ray Rhodes was the head coach of an 8-8 Green Bay Packers team.

    • D3Keith

      You’re either cherry-picking or purposefully not giving Andy credit for the Eagles’ good moves the past several years, but he is responsible for this, and will be let go.

      I think if he’s smart he’ll take the year like Fisher and Shanahan did after 18 and 14 seasons with one organization, and have his pick of jobs the next time around. It’s got to be pretty hard to live somewhere that long and put your family aside for that long and just pack up and move the day after the season is over. I bet a year at home doing nice things for his wife and other four children watching football on the weekends will do wonders for him.

      Considering Rivera and Shurmur are also leading candidates to be fired, though, he could round up guys from his coaching tree and have a staff in place this year or next.

  • aub32

    I can’t really blame Wash for not having much respect for Juan. We mocked Juan plenty, and I am sure he knows more about coaching than us. I can only imagine having to answer to a guy that has no background in your field. Coaching seems like a field where respect is earned over time and production. Castillo had neither on the defensive side of the ball.

    • D3Keith

      The problem with this is Washburn wanted to have defensive coordinator’s powers but did not want the DC’s job. Therefore implicit in saying “I only want to be a position coach” is reporting to your superior, the DC. If you want autonomy and to run things on D, then be the DC.

      Washburn’s hiring imposed his style on whoever the DC would be, and more accomplished candidates for the job were smart enough to know they couldn’t come to work and be “in charge” yet have subordinates dictate decision-making to them. Castillo took it because he was desperate to get over to the defensive side, and to be honest, he was damn close to making it work. If the offense has held its own this year, Castillo probably would still be on board.

      • aub32

        I agree that Castillo would be here is the offense was more productive. I also see your point that Washburn may have made this a less desirable position. However, Reid should never have put Castillo in that position, and Castillo should have asserted his authority if he was going to take the job. Real management does not allow their subordinates to disrespect them, and it only further shows he was not the man for the job.

  • Gregory Post

    Tommy, I realize this may be inappropriate for this blog, but given the national attention this has recently gotten and its link to football…what do you think about Bob Costas’ comments regarding gun control?

  • aub32

    I really don’t see how Reid can come back. I spoke with my father on the subject, and he believes the mistake started with advocating for Jackson. I am happy Jackson is an Eagle and got paid, but we argue that Andy possibly started losing the locker room after guys saw you could basically quit on the team and still get rewarded. This goes into how there seems to be no accountability on this team. I like BB, but he should’ve been benched last week and again against the cowboys. Shady should have been benched earlier in the season. I don’t care who, but somebody in the secondary should have been benched on multiple occasions. I know many fans want wholesale changes, but the reality is that most of the players will be back next year. They will remember this year and how seemingly soft and patient Reid was. I don’t think Reid can just flip the switch and expect them to be held accountable for things he did not this year. If Shady fumbles week 1 of next year and Reid were to try and bench him, there could be a major problem. Shady will recall Reid’s leniency, and have a fit. I think in this regard Reid has sealed his fate in not being able to come back.

  • quest4fire

    I suspect that Wash told AR that he wasnt happy about the Babin release which rubbed him the wrong way and he was hinting that he wasnt returning next year anyway. While the secondary has been more of a problem than the D-line this year AR felt that he wasnt going to use the wide 9 next season with Wash gone so why not run a traditional 4-3 for the rest of the season and see what you got for next year. Most of the top 10 players in this year’s draft are D-lineman.