Countdown to the Season

As with every year the bitter aftertaste of last season has faded and now I’m filled with some optimism for the season.  It’s not that I don’t believe a lot of what I’ve posted previously but Reid, Castillo, Roseman & Banner are here for better or worse and so far the offseason personnel moves look quite solid.

A lot of people are really buying into the fool’s gold of the end of last season but that’s not really why I’m getting excited. For me the main cause of optimism is that it’s a new year and anything can happen.  Teams with quality personnel like the Eagles rarely carry momentum (good or bad) from year to year. Each year is a completely new story. So why can’t this story finally have a happy ending?

I could answer that in a pessimistic voice but I do think the offseason is a time to embrace the most optimistic scenarios out there.  You really can’t watch Vinny Curry get excited in the video below without embracing some of that excitement.

Kudos go the Footballman175 who created the video. Check it out!

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Reid: Stay or go? Part I

I’ve been very critical of Jeff Lurie’s speech and subsequent decision of inaction. It’s pretty obvious that he’s giving Andy Reid one more year to get it done. He hasn’t forced Andy Reid’s hand in any decision which is obvious from Juan Castillo’s continued presence as a make believe defensive coordinator. It seems like Lurie is making sure he has any easy decision at the end of the year. Reid is successful on his own terms or is a failure on his own terms.

Sounds great, right?  Wrong. Being a CEO isn’t about setting yourself up for easy decisions. It’s about making tough ones. While it sounds perfect to some to have a CEO who never overrules anyone and let’s them do as they wish, it’s poor management. People do look for the CEO to provide the ultimate guidance and there are times you have to save people from themselves. It beats firing them and everybody who is brought down by their decisions the following year.

In any case this post is about how setting yourself up for easy decisions usually backfires. Sure if Reid makes or wins the Super Bowl the decision is a no brainer to keep him. And if Reid crashes and burn and misses the playoffs you fire him. Well, I’m going to show even that might not be that simple.  I’m going to present scenarios that I think are both realistic and difficult. Let’s see what you think.

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The Andy Reid Press Conference

The long awaited Andy Reid press conference has come and gone. Reid seemed honest and sincere for a change. But we learned one sad fact. Andy Reid is insane. I felt badly for him. Unfortunately I am more convinced than ever that Reid has no answers to the issues plaguing this team. He will continue to do the same things and expect different results until someone puts him out of his misery.

How else can you view someone who says he reviewed the entire season’s worth of failures and essentially can’t come up with anything to do differently to try to fix things? Really the redzone issues have been present on both sides of the ball for years now. Nothing has changed. Reid exits each season saying he looked at everything and will correct the problems and enters each season doing essentially the same season thing as he did before.

Even the Castillo mistake was replicated. Andy had a Plan A of hiring Spags and when that fell through he repeated the same mistake as last year and stayed with Castillo. At some point as an owner Lurie has to realize Reid just can’t do any better. He’s out of ideas.

So at this point I still await the day of Reid’s firing but not out of some venom towards Reid but maybe even with a little sympathy. Andy’s doing the best he can. That’s just not good enough.

Jeff Lurie I appreciate all your charity work but maybe it’s time to help one man gain his sanity back and one city get some hope back. It’s time for you to step up.

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Question of the day: Is Jeff Lurie a fool or is he gutless?

Question of the day: Is Jeff Lurie a fool or is he gutless? There really seems to be no other choice. The guy stood up in front of the health club known as the Philly media and said that he wasn’t going to consider the last 4 games fool’s gold. So now how big a fool would he have to be to allow Andy Reid to sell him on those 4 games as a reason to go into next year with essentially no change?

No one can sit here and tell me that we’d be tourists here in the state of denial if those 4 games didn’t happen. And if Jeff Lurie isn’t a fool then he backed down like a gutless coward when the school bully known as Andy Reid met with him. Those are the only two options. Coward or fool? Wait, I could be wrong. It might be both.

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The Green Lebowski – The Defensive Coordinator

Here is the debut of The Green Lebowski with the premeire episode:

Please click the share buttons or share this on your own if you like it and I will continue to make more if there is demand.

The Defensive Coordinator

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My Eagles Coaching Prediction

The Eagles had an incredibly disappointing season according to the big man in charge. My mistake, the big man in charge hasn’t spoken but the owner of the team did call the season unacceptable. Thus far this outrage has caused them to take bold action and fire the cornerbacks coach. After all most of us left the season thinking that all that was separating  us and the Super Bowl was a new cornerbacks coach.

In theory the least they could do at this point is to promote Michael Zordich who coached the safeties last year and make him in charge of all defensive backs. This type of internal promotion in the face of failure would be typical of past moves for Andy Reid but this time I think they’ll take a slightly bolder path.

Apparently the Sun Sentinel reported that there was gossip & rumor going around the Senior Bowl that Todd Bowles could join the Eagles in some capacity. Bowles was linked to the Eagles last year as it was reported that they sought permission to interview him for the defensive coordinator job and were denied.

Again in theory the Eagles could be willing to admit their mistake and make Bowles the new defensive coordinator replacing Juan. But then again in theory the cast of Jersey shore might not wind up penniless and in ‘celebrity’ rehab and boxing shows in 10 years.

So while I think Bowles might very well be the guy for the Eagles, I think it’ll be as CB coach. The interesting caveat is that they could give him some advanced title like assistant DC. This would serve to give Juan help and also give them an exit strategy if Juan stinks early in the season. With Bowles familiar with the defense they could easily kick Juan to the curb in season, make Bowles DC, and promote Zordich to full DB coach.

Should we get excited about this possibility? Not really. Personally I hate wishy washy moves. This unacceptable situation calls for bold action. But again Andy Reid and Jeff Lurie seem to differ on the definition of unacceptable and Andy’s in charge.

Would this be a solid move? Yes, I’d like to see Bowles added to the staff in any capacity. It’ll help and after all I’m a starving fan and if they toss me any cracker at this point it’ll taste good.

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You Can’t Hang Andy Reid

Disclaimer: If you find the saying ‘given enough rope to hang himself’ offensive you might want to skip this post. I myself am a little uneasy with it but I’m going with it in a big way anyway:)

Remember last offseason when Andy Reid hired Juan Castillo that the conventional wisdom was that he was given enough rope to hang himself. Well the tree branch must have been unable to support his weight because surely after 5 blown 4th qtr leads Jeff Lurie would have gotten his rope out and gathered his posse (wow, that is in poor taste!). Somehow I imagine Andy Reid walking into Lurie’s press conference at the 12 minute mark when Lurie did his about face.  Andy has the rope around his neck and is dragging the broken branch. ‘I’m still here Jeffy.’

Last year the Eagles floated an excuse that there weren’t that many good defensive coordinator candidates available and that they did indeed try for a few (thousand) before settling on Castillo. Let me take the second point first. Aren’t we all supposed to try at our jobs? Isn’t succeeding what’s relevant? Do they really want an ‘atta boy’ if they try for a player or coach to improve their team? We’re supposed to be proud of them for taking a break from shining the salary cap championship trophy to actual try for something?

As for the candidates, I’d argue there were a few last year like Wade Phillips, Rob Ryan (ok he wasn’t so good) and a few others. But if we agree with that point last year, there is no way we can give it to them this year. So far Spags, Mike Nolan, Gregg Williams, and today Jack Del Rio all changed teams as defensive coordinators.   Those guys aren’t better than Castillo? I’d argue any of them could outcoach Castillo while heavily medicated on what we out in California like to take for anxiety (or glaucoma).

So I ask if Andy Reid sticks with Castillo again can Jeff Lurie find a better way of proverbially hanging Reid? Maybe he can ask Joe Banner for whatever he used on Brian Dawkins to allow the heart of the team to leave. Then maybe he can do Andy and Joe together.

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Eagles are Having a Sale on Continuity – Don’t Buy It

Every year it seems the Eagles have a buzz word that they are selling us. This year it appears it will be continuity. I saw in an early article that the invisible man, Andy Reid, had mentioned he wanted continuity. On a recent article on the Eagles site, I saw it mentioned again. Continuity will be the saving grace for the Eagles in 2012.

Bull-loney! When they sell continuity you can be sure they aren’t talking about the players, they are talking about themselves.  They’ll draft and sign free agents and kick to the curb whichever players they want. If Joe Banner and Howie Roseman can get good value on many free agents then they will go crazy bringing in new players again. I don’t fault them for that. They should look to upgrade but don’t sell us on continuity.

I also hear some rumblings about not wanting to switch from Juan (aka continuity) because starting over at defensive coordinator would be a setback.  Perhaps they didn’t notice that in Mike Nolan’s first year in Denver as DC he had good success even while switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4.  Surely they noticed Wade Phillips, hired the same year as Juan, as he immediately turned a bad Houston defense into one of the tops in the league.

The simple truth is that if you hire a good defensive coordinator he will right away have some reasonable degree of success and will have a great degree of success if you give him good personnel . These are professional I’m talking about, not converted offensive line coaches.

So I implore you, don’t spend your good money purchasing continuity from the Eagles. It’s a fraudulent concept promoted for the self-survival of the front office and coaches. And while you’re at it maybe you can get a refund on last year’s buzz word that accompanied the Castillo hire, fundamentals. Watching last year’s defense try to tackle, I’d say it was defective merchandise.

p.s. Lest you think every single post on this site will be negative I’m eagerly awaiting some positive news from the Eagles to write about. Until Juan is officially announced as the returning DC I’m allowing myself the delusion that there might be good news there soon. Of course I’m 20 pounds lighter and 15 years younger in that delusion as well:)

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What if the Eagles had a proud tradition?

Something occurred to me when I read Howie Roseman’s quote today from the Senior Bowl, ‘when you step back and look at the core of the team, the blend of youth and experience and talent, we have an opportunity to be competitive and be competitive for a long time.’  The Eagles front office likes to throw it our faces that the Eagles stunk for the better part of the Super Bowl era.

They play on our fears that things could get worse because they know we’ve experienced that pain. But imagine for a moment that the Eagles had won multiple Super Bowls in the 70s and 80s. I know its next to impossible like a child trying to understand infinity or Madonna trying to understand acting but try.  Are you there? You must be if that’s you smoking a cigarette with a satisfied look on your face.

Now that you’re thinking like a Champion, are you putting up with this nonsense of today’s Eagles leadership? Are you afraid to fire a coach because things could get worse? Are you satisfied with just being competitive?  I think not.

One of the first concepts they teach you in an economics class is that of a sunk cost.  Basically it means you can’t let what you paid for something drive your thinking. That money is gone.  Well, the cost of all our losing seasons shouldn’t drive our thinking or fear as Eagles fans either. The past pain of failure is gone except in the damage it’s done to our livers and waistlines.

So the next time the Eagles FO try to sell their competitive nonsense send a link to this site and tell them the countdown is on:)

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Juan has no answer, literally

This is truly unbelievable. It is January 23rd and the Eagles coaches are at the Senior Bowl and Juan Castillo won’t answer the question asking if he’s still the defensive coordinator. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? That no one in the organization is stepping up to put an end to this ridiculousness is sad.  But it’s not sad for them, they made this mess. It’s sad for Eagles fans old and young because the organization is becoming a laughingstock.

One can only guess that the Eagles are trying desperately to replace Castillo but haven’t been able to get it done.  There seems to be no reason at this point for them to not just say Castillo is staying as DC if he definitely is. Then again reason and the Eagles seem to have gone through an uglier divorce than Katy Perry and Russell Brand.  Reason has surely unfollowed the Eagles.

Andy Reid seems to be looking for a DC who will inherit every single coach he already has in place. A coach who will run the system Andy wants and use the types of small, fast players Andy likes.  It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe why it’s been reported that Andy’s been turned down by more coaches in the last year than Terrell Owens.

In the end Andy Reid will do whatever he wants. He’s made that perfectly clear. Jeff Lurie will do nothing. He’s made that clear too. And in my opinion it appears that Joe Banner and Howie Roseman are in stealth mode probably distancing themselves from Reid so that next year they keep their jobs while Reid shoulders the blame.

But come on guys I know you’ve got your Dr. Evil plan to dominate the NFL but throw us fans a frickin’ bone here.

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