Blown Assignments

Posted: December 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 62 Comments »

The NFC East used to be all about great defense.  This year…not so much.  Anyone who saw the SNF game knows what I mean.  There were multiple missing O-linemen.  Starting RBs were suspended or injured.  Each team had impact pass rushers.  And yet…the teams combined for more than 70 points and almost 1,000 yards.  Lousy defense.

There were some badly blown assignments by each team.  Receivers were wide open for long TDs.  I’ve read comment after comment this year about Juan Castillo and “how he can have coverages where players get so wide open?”.  I explained last week that it isn’t Castillo for 99 percent of those, but rather simple blown assignments.

Then people wanted to know why players would blow assignments.  Surely it was due to the fact Juan was a horrible, terrible, evil, awful, horrible coach.  Right?  Or maybe the Eagles players are talentless idiots who’ve quit on Reid because they don’t believe in Castillo (because he’s such a horrible, terrible, evil, awful, horrible coach).

As I wrote last week, blown assignments happen for a variety of reasons.  I’m glad they were such a problem last night (and in the Bears-Broncos game).  I think it is important for fans to realize that the Eagles aren’t the only team making mistakes this year.  That doesn’t excuse our sloppy play, but I always think you have to put things in context to fully understand them.

WAS  10th in Total D –  19th in Pts – 17th Rush – 13th Pass –  15th 3rd Down %
PHI   11th in Total D –   20th in Pts – 18th Rush – 12th Pass –  13th 3rd Down %
DAL  16th in Total D –  16th in Pts –   9th Rush  –  24th Pass –  18th 3rd Down %
NYG  30th in Total D –  27th in Pts –  22nd Rush- 29th Pass –  20th 3rd Down %

Takeaways:   NYG 24, DAL 23, PHI 19, WAS 16
Sacks:   PHI 42, NYG 36, DAL 35, WAS 34

As you can see, we’re either the 2nd or 3rd best defense in the division.  I think you can make an argument for Dallas ahead of us or us ahead of Dallas.

The one area where we are off the charts bad is still Red Zone defense.  We were dead last heading into yesterday.  Miami was just 1 for 3 so that did help us, but I’m assuming we’re still last.

I’m not writing this as an argument to keep Juan Castillo or anything like that.  I think Juan is in over his head, but I do think the defense is closer to being a good unit than people realize.

If you listen to the critics:

* Juan is a terrible coach

* the Wide 9 is a terrible scheme

* we can’t sign any good free agents

* we can’t draft any good players

And yet…we’re probably going to end up as the 2nd best defense in the division (Dallas still has to face Tampa, us, and the Giants in a rematch).

The DL is good, sometimes very good.  Jim Washburn was given players who fit his system and the results have been impressive.

The LBs are improving, but still a weakness.  At least we’re headed in the right direction.  I think adding one top flight talent would make a huge difference to this bunch.  In last week’s column for I wrote about how Brian Rolle could help himself going forward by making plays.  He had a sack and knocked the QB out with a later hit.  Casey Matthews did some good things in the Nickel.

The Safeties deserve a post of their own.  I like our guys, but most Eagles fans hate them.  Experience is the big issue here.  The best Safeties are usually veteran players.  Brian Dawkins was a better player in 2007 than 1997.  It took a while for Quentin Mikell to develop.

The CBs are good.  DRC did some good things in his return yesterday.  The light seems to be going on for him.

The Eagles defense doesn’t need to be rebuilt.  It needs some youth up front and some help at LB (at least one key starter). Add in a veteran Defensive Coordinator and this group can be a Top 10 unit next year.   The right choices have to be made.  It isn’t a matter of adding just any LB or any DC.  Whoever makes the choices needs to find the right guys to help the situation.

62 Comments on “Blown Assignments”

  1. 1 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 12:40 PM on December 12th, 2011:


    It was lovely to see a win (and a Q of very good play) yesterday!

    I can’t wait to see your ‘King for a day’ post, Tommy. When are you going to post that?

    I wonder why our offense struggled as much as they did. Was Vick dusting off some rust, or was our receivers running bad routes? Or was our O-line suddenly a weak link?

    If you were the Eagles, would you sign a FA MLB or draft one (Kuechly)?

  2. 2 Anirudh Jangalapalli said at 12:45 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I think everyone is on the same page with respect to your “Add in a veteran Defensive Coordinator and this group can be a Top 10 unit next year” quote. Everyone ranting about our atrocious defense wants Juan gone and it sounds like you agree with that, though are much more restrained in the way you’re expressing it.

    For me, another huge question is CB. Assume Asante is gone. Who’s going to man that spot, and will Nnamdi’s current “regression” continue? It was painful watching him on that TD pass against Marshall yesterday. It was a perfectly thrown ball, and well run route, but still – that’s where his height comes into play. And he knew the ball was headed there yet still somehow got turned around and off balance, and then blew the play.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 3:05 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    DRC will take over LCB.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 6:49 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    “Everyone ranting about our atrocious defense”

    Jeez, I’ve been having this argument for a month, take away the first five games, which given the lockout, would have probably have been a mess with any DC, and the Eagles defense has played 4 excellent games in the last 8 (Redskins, Giants, Dallas and Miami), and are averaging 20 ppg and 320 yards per game. That is solid defense and much improved from last season.

    Yes, they added Aso, DRC, Babin and Jenkins, but subtracted Mikell, Bradley, Sims and Bunkley, lost Dixon to IR and never really got Graham back. So it’s hard to say the talent is that much better than last season – unless you’re gonna credit Rolle with being better than Sims (he is), Chaney being not much worse than Bradley, and so on. Point is their young talent may be making mistakes but there is some talent.

    Right now they’re an average defense, around #12-15 or so, with an offense that wasn’t leading the league in turnovers, they’d be acceptable (they’re playing better than the Packers, for example). Juan hasn’t done a good job, but he hasn’t been a disaster either, now Sean in Carolina, hold your nose!

    Right now, I’m just interested in finding out if Miami was an anomaly, or if the light has gone on for Juan and the plain vanilla, passive defense he’s been playing most of the season is history.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 12:48 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Tommy, do you think they should target a vet MLB and draft an OLB? Or target possibly a vet OLB and draft a MLB….not sure what will be avail via FA, but there are some vets that will prob be avail.

  6. 6 Eric Weaver said at 1:26 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Tommy wants Luke Kuechly manning the middle.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 12:59 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    While I agree we have some very good players on defense, mostly on our d-line, I think this statement here is a is a stretch: “the defense is closer to being a good unit than people realize.” I guess you could say that, but we’re going to have to replace probably 3 or 4 guys for that to happen. That’s 27%-36% of our starting unit. And how are we going to do that? Through the draft? I wouldn’t put Howie Roseman in charge of my fantasy football team at this point with the way he’s drafted.

    I think the bigger problem here is that you’re comparing us to our division to make a case our defense is good? The NFC East is not good this year, period. The Giants & Cowboys have looked good at times, but they’ve got some big holes on defense as well. So okay we’re maybe 3rd out of 4 teams and that’s good? Or maybe 2nd. Either way it’s still like being the tallest midget when you’re looking at our division.

    And it looks like Dallas gives up less points so I’d say we’re 3rd in the division. We’re 20th in pts given up, so we’re worse than average. As far as our players are concerned, we’re average to bad at all LB spots and Safety. I admit it’s probably a little misleading to say, since it’s not fair to a guy like B. Rolle to say he’s average or worse being that he’s a Rookie, but he is what he is right now. You could say, “yeah we’ve got a bunch of young guys on defense.” Unfortunaately, it’s a bunch of young 7th rd picks starting for us, so not sure where they’re ceiling is. Nate Allen has looked pretty good and pretty horrible, so at best he’s been okay. I think you’re more hopeful than anything else with him. We looked good against Matt Moore and a 4-9 Dolphins team, so let’s tap the breaks right now.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 3:20 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Whoa! Pitmanite hit on the same issues on my mind after reading TL’s post. I think it is a stretch to say the Eagles could be a top 10 defensive unit next year. The Eagles played a very weak NFC West (probably weaker than NFCE) this year and finished 1-3, with 3 teams gashing the Eagles with the run exposing some glaring weaknesses with the Eagles version of the wide 9 (re-watch the Seattle game if you can stand it). I think one could easily argue that next year, with the yearly schedule change, the Eagles could finish in the bottom half defensively.

    The Eagles front office have shown that they are likely no better (perhaps worse) than a group of dart throwing chimpanzes when it comes to finding talent at safety and LB. Getting a new DC will not be enough.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 3:21 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I think you mis-read the piece.

    Never said we were good. I started off by talking about the lousy defense in the NFC East and then said we’re 2nd or 3rd in the division. My point is that the defense isn’t as awful as some make it out to be.

    I did say and do believe we’ve got the makings of a good defense. I think we need a new DC and 1 or 2 starting LBs. I’m fine with the other 9 starters. I’m willing to upgrade if the right player is available, but only see LB as the one spot where a new guy is flat out needed.

    I’m not going to rip this team over and over to placate those who are mad at the team. We’re all disappointed in the 2011 Eagles, but I’m not going to bash the team every week. I’m not going to find the gray lining in every win.

    I wrote this post because I think too many Eagles fans think we’ve got this awful defense that has bad coaches, a bad scheme, and no players. That’s simply not the truth. We’re a mediocre defense. We do some things well and some poorly. Also, I wanted to show how we stacked up against our rivals. The Giants are substantially worse than us. How man fans realize that?

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 7:14 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    SF improved from one of the worst defenses to #1 by:
    losing four starters, Franklin, Clements, Spikes and Spencer, replacing them with Rogers.
    They also brought in Whitner, traded Mays and benched Reggie Smith.
    Otherwise, McDonald comes off the bench after 4 years to DE and Sopoaga moves to NT, Terrell Brown comes off the bench after 4 years and starts at CB.
    They draft Aldon Smith #7, but use him only in a pass rushing role.
    They start Bowman (2nd year player) replacing Spikes.

    So they changed five starters, but 3 of their new starters were on their bench.

    If you retain the scheme, major changes can be close to seamless:
    1) move in some young players on DL, replace Parker and Laws, maybe trade Dixon if he’s not a good fit, if Graham is healthy you start with 7 DL.
    2) sign a veteran SLB, that’s not an expensive move, draft a top MLB or sign a big time MLB (not Tulloch, someone more talented)
    3) move DRC to LCB, draft a CB to develop with Marsh, move Hughes to nickel or draft a waterbug CB in the middle rounds (nickel corners can be found in the 3rd to 5th rounds, 5’9 190 with average speed types)
    4) go with the young safeties, notice that only Moore and Gilchrist, both drafted high in the 2nd rd, had any impact as rookies, it’s a position where experience matters. You can pick up a veteran better than Page as a one year fill-in.

    Note that we’re talking ONE major acquisition, MLB, a couple second tier FAs, SLB and maybe S, and a few mid round picks to develop as depth. That certainly isn’t hard to do in one offseason.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 9:37 PM on December 12th, 2011:


  12. 12 Thorin McGee said at 1:00 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    this is a crazy year in the NFL. We saw 2 safeties this week alone, you usually don’t see two in a season. There’s blown coverages everywhere, if you play FFB you know how many projected high-scorers pooped the bed, and how many guys had crazy up and down years. QBs have been hot for years, but this years we may see multiple guys break Dan Marino’s mark for yard sin a season. It’s crazy this year.

    It’s the lockout. No team is all that polished so we’re getting some very wacky and entertaining results. There’s more opportunity to make these insane plays and for the top players to have insane games because of the lack of coordination in containing them. I think Green Bay is great, but I don’t think they’d be 13-0 in a regular season, and I really don’t think Bill Belicheck’s defense would be this bad.

    I think you have to take this into account when you talk about changes to the Eagles. Reid may have botched this season because he couldn’t adapt, but this is an abnormal season, and we’re likely to have a string of normal ones before this comes up again.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 1:07 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    p.s. The combined record of the 5 teams we’ve beaten is 24-40. We just got humiliated last week against the awful Seahawks. Stats don’t mean much to me right now. We picked up 9 sacks against a shit team. Coleman had 3 interceptions against Rex Grossman. I understand you just can’t give up on the team, and have to look for angles to write about. I’m just frustrated with how things have played out.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 1:26 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    It has been pretty bad , indeed. However, you have to admit that the defense has looked dominant at times. In most cases, they just haven’t played that way for a full game. If they had just been able to dig in and hold off in some of those games, we could possibly be looking at an 8 win team right now. But, its been a weird season. There are some good players in place with a need for a couple of difference makers in a couple of spots.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 2:44 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    We’ve been saying that for a few years now at some of the same spots. I agree that it’s been a quarter here and a quarter there, but this is the NFL so unless you’re horribly bad, your guys should be able to make some stops and put up a fight. So our defense puts up a good stand for a while, makes a few big plays, shuts a team down several drives in a row, but eventually falters. There’s a reason the game is 4 quarters and not 2 or 3. At some point over 4 qtrs an offense will eventually expose holes in a defense. Guys who don’t belong starting we’ll make that 1 or 2 mistakes per game. When you have 3 or 4 guys who don’t belong starting those mistakes add up.

    We’re 5-8 and our wins have all come against shitty to average teams. The Giants and Cowboys are 7-6. I can’t take anymore of the “oh we could’ve won this game, or we just needed to put it a complete game together, etc.” We are not a good football team period. We have some big names and some good players, but there are some positions where we are horrible. LB is horrible. Safety is very bad. Our CBs are the worst tackling bunch in the league. We allow opponents to score on 80% of their trips into the red zone. The world is not ending for me, but let’s just say it…this is not a good team and we need to seriously shake things up next year.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 2:54 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Your right it is the NFL and the difference between 6-10 and 10-6 is 4 plays one way or the other. We don’t need to blow the roster up. We are still young in most spots. If we can find a WR to replace Djax in this draft a QBOTF in the next two maybe three our offense is set for the next half decade. That means you can dedicate a majority of the picks to defense and at the very least by sheer statistical odds will end up with a few playmakers.

  17. 17 Mac said at 3:00 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Pit… I am not buying what you’re selling.

    Atlanta – we looked like the better team
    San Fran – we looked like the better team
    Buffalo – we looked like the better team most of the game

    Arizona – Vick injured yet still played

    The only embarrassing loss where the Eagles really looked out matched was Seattle (of all things) in my opinion.

    The NFL is a league of Parity where you can’t buy a championship and with the shortened offseason, it is proving to be even more true.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 2:58 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I think my view is closer to Pitmanite on this. I don’t think we need to blow everything up and start from scratch, we certainly have several key guys in place, but I also don’t think we are a defensive coordinator, cutting Asante, and a star LB (a tall order to begin with) away from being a good defense. Now to be fair, Tommy said we would be a top 10 defense, so if he is talking about top 10 in terms of yardage (the way the NFL ranks defenses) then we are talking about moving up one spot and that is certainly possible, but I am talking about being a good overall defense (yardage, pts, turnovers, redzone, etc…). I’m curious to here his thoughts on our safeties, but I think they have largely struggled, regardless of Coleman’s INTs. Yes they are young and may develop, but right now, they are certainly a weakness in my opinion. Our LBs are more than one LB away from being a good unit. Frankly, I’m not sure we really know what we have at CB right now. We may have two quality players in DRC and Nnamdi, or two FA/trade busts. Finally, depending on the defensive coordinator and his decision on what to do with the wide 9, how good are our DEs? Trent Cole is Trent Cole, and i wouldn’t expect to see too much of a change in production, but has Babin ever been successful in a different scheme? Now that he has had success and knows what it is like, if we do change schemes will he be able to make the adjustment?

    I just think there are a lot of significant question marks on the defense to really feel comfortable with the idea that only a couple of changes will make a significant difference.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 1:11 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I agree with you on the Safety play big time. Nate has been up and down due to an injury that is most likely still nagging. I really don’t get why people hate on Kurt. Kid does nothing but make tackles. Every time the ball carrier goes down hes in the pile. The same people who bitch about Jarrett not getting on the field this year are the same people who love the way the Steelers draft. Do they not remember it took a few years for Lawrence Timmons to get on the field? Last time I checked Ziggy Hood is still only a rotational player. Calm down people. Just because he didn’t come in and change the game in year one doesn’t mean he is a bust.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 2:49 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Tell me who it was that Timmons was behind? I don’t mind a player not getting on the field if he’s behind someone good. Look at Sheldon and Lito when they first got here. But dude, Kurt Coleman is so average. If you recall J. Page was starting initially, then Kurt and then Kurt got benched. When things were in shambles our 2nd rd pick couldn’t get on the damn field. If you had one isolated guy I might not worry. But my man we’ve had almost absolutely nothing from our high draft picks the last 2 years. Graham had almost no impact before he got hurt. Nate was okay and Teo was a flat out bust. Our 4th rd corner is out of the league. This year Watkins is a 28 yr old rookie and has been decent, our 2nd and 3rd rd picks haven’t gotten on the field in an area where we’ve struggled. We have to go to Joselio and Brandon Hughes and Marsh didn’t get a nibble. Graham has suited up for games and he hasn’t played. If you suit up that means you’re healthy, right?

    I know I’m going all kinds of Morton, but let’s stop with all the excuses.

  21. 21 Mac said at 3:17 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Graham was actually on pace to have the most impact of all the DEs that came out in the draft his rookie season prior to injury.

    Allen, Coleman, and Jarrett all need time to develop.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 4:48 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Timmons was stuck behind Larry Foote for two years, Not exactly an elite LB. And of course Kurt didn’t light it up early he only had a few starts last year. As far as Marsh we knew he was going to be a project. He only played a few years of CB in college. Give him time he has upside.

    My major problem is you seem to be advocating going out and getting a Safety high in the draft. Nothing I have seen out of Barron or McDonald make me think they have any more potential coming out of college than Jarret or Allen.

    JimmyK recently did a who would you take to a game against an alien team from another planet. He only took 3 Safetys with the third being Eric Weddle. Its not like there is going to be some great upgrade in free agency. The entire league is suffering from poor to average play from the Safetys.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 7:13 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Kurt is limited athletically, so is Leonhard, who is even more limited, but managed to start for the Ravens and Jets the last four years, two top ten defenses during that stretch. Losing him is going to hurt the Jets. If you can’t find a great safety, the next best thing are smart, tough safeties, not dumb athletes.

    Coleman is up and down because he depends on smarts and needs experience to improve his anticipation. He also tries too hard at times, which is why he misses tackles, but played an almost perfect game against Miami.

    Allen needs to get healthy, he’s just getting comfortable with the knee, gets his bell rung and looks lost for a couple games. But he showed the value of a big S on the play where he took the ball from Marshall.

    Jarrett needs to get PT, those bad angles are what happens when you play 3 snaps a game. I think they reached for him, but frankly, there are only 2-3 safeties a draft worth taking, after that it’s guys with athletic limitations, mental limitations or big converted CBs who are a crap shoot. Which is why I’d go safety in numbers and draft another one in the middle rounds.

    However, Giants have two high priced veteran safeties and a 1st rd pick, how’s that working for them? Ryan brought over Elam and resigned Sensabaugh, man that Dallas secondary only gave up 400 yards to Eli.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 3:02 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I don’t think too many people have come out and called him a bust just yet, but assuming we don’t see anything more from him the rest of this year, are you really going to go into next year expecting him to make a significant impact? I’ll give him more time before I call him a bust, but I certainly am not ready to call him a good pick when the guy hasn’t done anything.

  25. 25 Eric Weaver said at 1:25 PM on December 12th, 2011:


    A lot of our focus continues to be on Nnamdi. Is this a case of him not being familiar with the scheme. Is Juan not using him correctly? Has he just lost it? I’d be more for choosing Juan as the problem, but him being matched 1 on 1 with Marshall didn’t help explain that it’s Juan. But I’m also not going to blame Nnamdi for getting beat by top 10 WRs every so often. That’s just the nature of the position.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 3:26 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Nnamdi turned the wrong way on the TD pass and that allowed Marshall to get open enough to make the catch.

    I think Nnamdi is still a darn good CB.

    I wrote back in the summer that going to a new team would be interesting for him. In Oakland, teams normally got the lead on them and didn’t have to pass. They could simply avoid his side. In Philly, people have to throw his way.

    I think his confidence has been up and down with the way the coaches have used him. We can’t blame one person for that because we don’t know if Juan pushed for him to do stuff or if Nnamdi pushed Juan to use him creatively.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 1:38 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    The case for and against, good stuff. Now to take the spotlight off the D and help me understand the woes on O. Missed assignments?

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 3:27 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Can’t comment on the offense til I finish studying the tape.

    I do think Vick’s ribs and Maclin’s absence played a large part in things.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 3:47 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Please answer me this question in doing so, what happened to Celek in Qs 3 and 4.As much as you (and I) love him, Shady needing spelling way before he was eventually withdrawn. Who pulled Shady in the 4th, it looked like Reid to me.

    Finally, maybe it was Vick’s ribs and Macs hammy, but it isn’t the first time we have been shutdown.

    Thank goodness to the damage our D did to them.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 4:05 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I absolutely agree Ronnie Brown should have gotten carries. That was dumb. Don’t know if Marty or Andy makes RB decisions.

    Gotta watch the tape to see what happened with Celek. Did they focus on him? Did he block? Did Vick screw up and miss him? I have no idea.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 9:27 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I would imagine getting Shady the rushing title is on tap as a pride goal when the playoffs are officially out. Gotta keep him on the field to do that.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 2:16 AM on December 13th, 2011:

    To give Drew more ammo at re-up time.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 1:51 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Someone mentioned whom the Birds should draft . . .

    Answer: ROBERT GRIFFIN III if he comes out. (Or even Matt Barkley if he comes out — but I’m betting he goes back and shoots to be the No. 1 pick next year).

    Reason: In 2008, Parcells drafted for Miami and had the overall No. 1 choice. Parcells selected Jake Long . . . but passed on QB Matt Ryan. That selection has haunted the Dolphins ever since.

    Moral of the story: When you can draft a franchise QB, you do it . . . you don’t select a MLB or even an All Pro LT. Get the guy who handles the ball 100% of the offensive plays.

    Getting Griffin/Barkley could be a problem. Several teams who need a QB have a good shot of getting ahead of the Eagles in the draft order (besides Indy): Miami, Washington, Cleveland, KC, and Seattle. Maybe even Buffalo.

    [Clearly, I’m not banking on the playoffs. G-men look like they’re starting a roll to be the best team in the NFC East right now — if only because they can score in the 2nd half . . . which gives them a gigantic advantage over the Eagles.]

    But whatever the cost — even if a future All Pro at MLB is available — the Eagles need to trade up to get the QB of the next decade (after 1 year of seasoning watching Vick, but which may include at least 2 or 3 starts when Vick’s sidelined with injuries. Kafka’s not the guy.)

    When you’re close enough to get a franchise QB, I think Parcells proved you get him.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 2:57 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    If we finish in the 10-15 range to move up into the top 5 with the bidding wars that are going to be occuring could very well cost us all valuable picks this year and most of next years.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 11:40 AM on December 13th, 2011:

    Wait, ALL of our 7th rounders?!

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 2:03 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    how much of our defenses poor play has been the result of the offense being even worse at times?
    i think we all came in to this season knowing that there was a lot of talent, but the D was very much still an unknown.
    The offense hasnt changed much. but our offense just seems….not good. too many 3 and outs. too many turnovers. Now our decent-but-not-great defense is out on the field way too often and given shorter fields to work with.

    i’m just thinking that if our offense was on par, or even close to what we did last season, this D could be better than what we are seeing now.

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 2:10 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    If only you cold be Roger the Forecaster. I have taken some heart lately though from posters ear and far that are no longer deceived by Marty even in the Jaunstorm.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 3:40 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    The offense is a complicated story. For a while, the offense was a major help to the defense. We didn’t have the points we wanted, but we led the league or were close in TOP. That kept the defense on the sideline and helped them out.

    I do think the lack of points and highly inconsistent play has hurt the defense. Turnovers have cost us points. Some have left the defense in bad position.

    The lack of 4th Qtr points has hurt the D. Football is a team sport. You need each group to help the others out. In our last 4 losses (CHI, ARZ, NE, SEA) we have 0 points, 3 pts, a garbage time TD, and one legit TD. That’s pitiful. The backup QB played in 2 of those game, but against porous defenses that shouldn’t have shut us down.

    The defense has not played well, but our high-powered offense hasn’t helped it out.

  39. 39 Anders Jensen said at 2:40 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    How many good experinced DCs are there out there?

  40. 40 Mac said at 3:19 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Our hope lies in the Spirit of St. Louis.

  41. 41 Anders Jensen said at 3:21 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I would love to have Spag run our defense. He might not be ready to be HC, but he showed that with only 1 good unit, he could still run an effective defense. The Eagles defense would be very similar to the Giants, strong d-line (not as talented as the 2008 unit), but with better CBs then the Giants unit.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 3:40 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    We won’t know til all the firings are over.

  43. 43 Anders Jensen said at 3:54 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Is there a head coach or a DC coach you would hope the Eagles could pick up? I know most Eagles fans, including my self would love Spags, but most of us have no clue what else is out there.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 4:11 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Jack Del Rio is an interesting guy.
    His DC is Mel Tucker and could be available.
    Mike Nolan is DC in Miami and could be available.
    Raheem Morris could be available if Tampa fires him.

    Spagnuolo and Mel Tucker are the most interesting names.

  45. 45 Sam Lynch said at 4:51 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    There’s also the guy I think will be a coaching free agent this offseason, Gregg Williams, who is a good DC AND has coached a successful defense with Jim Washburn coaching the line. That’s my pie-in-the-sky target.

  46. 46 Corry Henry said at 5:23 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I’m not a fan of Gregg Williams’ defense overall, but he would fit the bill for what this team needs. He’s definitely a guy Reid could hand the keys to the defense over to and just let him do his thing.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 7:06 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    I’d grab him in a second.
    He’s done wonders with dreck to work with in NO.
    His Redskin defenses were always tough.
    And he’s a 4-3 one gap coach, which I think is essential unless you’re going to blow it up and start over.

    People who want a 3-4 DC have to understand that means two years at least, when Capers went to GB he had the right people on the front seven to switch over immediately (Jenkins, Kennedy, Jolly, Raji didn’t even start as a rookie).

    Most of our front seven would have to be cut or traded, Cole, Babin, Tapp don’t fit as OLB, Patterson, Law and Landri don’t fit as DL. And who would be the ILB? Maybe Rolle and Lloyd.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 3:32 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Sorry Tommy, but this sounds similar to a post after the Dallas game. We had extra time to prepare, and Reid makes good on that… I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic.

  49. 49 Dewey said at 4:26 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Sparano’s firing could have resonance to the Birds. They were high on Bowles in the off-season but were denied permission to interview by Ireland.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 4:34 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Great video on regarding the Birds fans in the audience. Awesome to see Asante exhorting the fans to make noise, in an ostensible road game. Anyway, that put a smile on my face.

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 4:43 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    We may not have won many this season but boy do we cause a ripple. Sparano sacked!

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 4:47 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    In other news, Tapp has a broken rib. Miami’s #75 better get a fine, which will probably make Sunday 11th December the worst he can remember for a long time.

  53. 53 Eric Weaver said at 10:34 AM on December 13th, 2011:

    As soon as I saw that I said that’s a broken rib.

  54. 54 Steve H said at 5:46 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    In other news, St. Louis vs. Seattle in the monday night game. I’m sure it looked a little bit better when they were making the schedules but still, blech.

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 6:49 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Gives me extra time to focus on DGR.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 6:06 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    was the ending of the Detroit v Minnesota game yesterday one of the greatest blown non-calls by an official in the history of the league?

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 6:48 PM on December 12th, 2011:


    Of course, people forget there was a similar call on play at end of GB/ARZ playoff game a couple years back. Rodgers either had facemask or hit to head as he fumbled and it was run back for a TD. No flag and the game was over.

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 6:13 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Doesn’t the fact that we’re still technically in the hunt for the division take a little luster off Reid’s past accomplishments? Rich Kotite would probably be a perennial playoff coach in today’s NFC East. This isn’t Buddy Ryan’s NFC East.

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 6:51 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    This is a down year. Not case in all recent years. Multiple good teams in 2006, 07, 08, 09. Last year was down as well.

    We aren’t seeing SB teams, aside from us in ’04 and NYG in ’07. In that sense, the division is down. There is no real NFC power over last decade. Not like the old days.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 8:54 PM on December 12th, 2011:

    Eagles 2nd half offense (excluding Hunt’s safety): 48 points in 13 games; that’s 48 points in 26 quarters of football. Horrendous!!!


    You added in the comment section: “The offense is a complicated story.”

    Please explain when you have time for a full post.

    Seriously, the Eagles 2nd-half offense is worse — if that’s possible — than the Dana Bible/Bill Musgrave regime of 1998.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 3:31 AM on December 13th, 2011:

    Spags next?!!

    Can you actually sign coaches from the street during the season?? If so and Spags gets sacked I hope the Eagles will be all over his little bum!!

  62. 62 Mac said at 11:06 AM on December 13th, 2011:

    Eagles making sure Ced Thorton doesn’t slip away… just put him on the 53.