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.