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Zero
An eary morning browse of Eagle news landed a couple of pieces that sparked some energy in the old gray matter. Heading into OTA's I sure get the feel that this isn't the same old Eagles I've had a love/hate relationship with for most of my life. I really have a sense that things have changed in a positive way. We'll see if that's really the case or if it makes any difference at the end of the season.

QUOTE
Whether Reid and Banner purposely created or merely fell into their good cop/bad cop roles, it was obvious that they believed it worked. I expect that the combination of DeSean Jackson's sulking and Asante Samuel railing against the guys upstairs prompted a reevaluation of that strategy. After such an awful season, revisions were required both on the field and in the front office a marginalization of Banner and alignment of Reid's player-friendly attitude with Howie Roseman's less intimidating demeanor serves that goal. (See here ...)

I was one of the one's who, at best questioned the in-breeding move of promoting Howie to GM. A young kid/lawyer with no credentials except Joe and Andy claiming that he was bright and learned how to evaluate talent. Well, it's possible that as the young upstart he brought some fresh perspective to Joe's famous quote about doing the same thing and expecting different results. I'm happy having Banner in the FO and happier to not see or hear him. Thanks, Asante for speaking out and telling it like it is. Now I just hope what we're seeing is real and not smoke.

QUOTE
The most amazing thing about McCoy is not how precocious he's been in his first three seasons, averaging 1,414 yards from scrimmage a season. It's that he's 23. The Eagles signed him to a five-year deal Thursday, and five-year deals for running backs are always dangerous. But Steven Jackson will take his first carry of this season for St. Louis at age 29, and Michael Turner is 30, and both could easily finish in the top five in the league in rushing this year. McCoy will take the last carry of this contract at age 28.
McCoy's age offered the Eagles a unique opportunity to give McCoy a market deal (very similar to Arian Foster's deal) without really having to worry about what he'll be like later in the contract. As King said, he'll be 28 in the last year of the deal. Even for a RB, that's not old. (Credit ...)

Last year the Eagles drafted an old fart to play RG. Watkins seems to be the exception to what appears to be a developing trend - drafting Junior eligible players. I haven't compiled a list, but off of the top of my head there's DJax, McCoy, Maclin, Cox, Boykin, ... To me, this is a new twist on the Reid's belief in having good teachers as coaches: grab the young guy with talent and teach him to fit your system.
koolaidluke
Howie's drafting strategy seems to heavilly be based around value. Find guys that are too small, too slow, too young, too old, too raw, etc and take them. I don't feel like the Eagles are consciously trying to draft younger players, if anything the reverse is the case: Howie has made it clear that when possible they want consistant performers from big schools. This philosophy causes them to take horrendous athletes like Mathews and Jarrett way earlier than most teams would because of their great college production.
koolaidluke
By the way, I am neither endorsing or condemning this philosophy. I feel like our drafting has been better since Howie took over but I think we need at least one more year to make an accurate judgement.
HOUSEoPAIN
QUOTE (Zero @ May 22 2012, 07:06 AM) *
An eary morning browse of Eagle news landed a couple of pieces that sparked some energy in the old gray matter. Heading into OTA's I sure get the feel that this isn't the same old Eagles I've had a love/hate relationship with for most of my life. I really have a sense that things have changed in a positive way. We'll see if that's really the case or if it makes any difference at the end of the season.


They key for me is to keep asking myself if I feel as optimistic as I did entering 2002, 2003, and 2004, none of which ended in championships for us of course - and the answer since 2006 has been a resounding 'no.'

Being an Eagles fan, and really a Philly sports fan as a whole, means being an eternal pessimist. I think we're a team that's been on a slow decline for awhile now, and we've made the necessary additions to the team to keep us competitive. Shady is the brightest spot on the team, knowing we're going to have him for another 5 years at least is a great comfort. However, I wouldn't call us an elite team, and I would expect around 10 wins. I think the coaches behind the scene, such as Mudd and Washburn, have really been the ones who deserve the credit for keeping us together last year - I think it's laughable to assume Juan Castillo all of a sudden became a great defensive mind the last few games. And of course, Reid had his inevitable black marks causing a couple losses last year, and it'll happen again this year.

I'm ecstatic that we seem to have finally found some value in addressing the linebacker position, which will help. But at the end of the day, you have to define what a 'positive change' is - maybe you'd be satisfied with winning 10 games and exiting the playoffs after the first round? I sure as hell wouldn't.
Flying Dutchman
QUOTE (HOUSEoPAIN @ May 23 2012, 12:24 PM) *
They key for me is to keep asking myself if I feel as optimistic as I did entering 2002, 2003, and 2004, none of which ended in championships for us of course - and the answer since 2006 has been a resounding 'no.'

Being an Eagles fan, and really a Philly sports fan as a whole, means being an eternal pessimist. I think we're a team that's been on a slow decline for awhile now, and we've made the necessary additions to the team to keep us competitive. Shady is the brightest spot on the team, knowing we're going to have him for another 5 years at least is a great comfort. However, I wouldn't call us an elite team, and I would expect around 10 wins. I think the coaches behind the scene, such as Mudd and Washburn, have really been the ones who deserve the credit for keeping us together last year - I think it's laughable to assume Juan Castillo all of a sudden became a great defensive mind the last few games. And of course, Reid had his inevitable black marks causing a couple losses last year, and it'll happen again this year.

I'm ecstatic that we seem to have finally found some value in addressing the linebacker position, which will help. But at the end of the day, you have to define what a 'positive change' is - maybe you'd be satisfied with winning 10 games and exiting the playoffs after the first round? I sure as hell wouldn't.

Right you are! However I think it's laughable from a different perspective:
1. JJ was said to think Castillo was already a good D coach and used him often as a sounding board.
2. As good as Washburn is I can't see any way he would sign up to work under a D coordinator he couldn't respect.
3. Numerous players have come out saying that some guys let their egos get ahead of their work habits and underperformed. I suspect that's why Assante is out, Laws is out, Hanson is probably on his way out etc.
4. Imposing a new style such as the "Wide 9" demands some different talents such as last year's porous group with one that has speed and toughness which can cover and stop the run.

Count me among those who feel that as for his own performance, Juan made decent progress going from theory to practice over the course of the season.
HOUSEoPAIN
QUOTE
JJ was said to think Castillo was already a good D coach and used him often as a sounding board.


This is the exact quote from Leslie Frazier:
"I can remember Jim Johnson (the Eagles' longtime coordinator who passed away in July 2009) and our defensive staff putting our game plans together, and we'd always get together with Juan just to make sure they were sound in terms of pressures and blitzes.

"Sometimes, I felt like he was on our defensive staff. And to this day, he and I talk every week during the season to talk about other offenses in the league. That's how much respect I have for him as a coach and how well he is able to understand the defensive schemes."


Ok, so JJ would check with our offensive line coach to see if his pressure/blitz schemes would work on an opponents' offensive line - in fact, this was such a routine part of pre-game prep that it almost felt like Juan was on his d staff. In fact, I have SO much respect for him that we still talk about other offenses in the league, and as an offensive line coach he is able to understand defensive schemes.

That's a far cry from JJ anointing him based on his performance as DC at Kingston High back in the 80s, no?

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As good as Washburn is I can't seed any way he would sign up to work under a D coordinator he couldn't respect.


I agree - and that might have been a factor in why the Eagles hired Washburn on Jan. 19, 2011, while McDermott was fired and Castillo promoted weeks later. In fact, I would've LOVED to be a fly on the wall when Washburn turned on the tv late at night and saw who the new DC was.

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Numerous players have come out saying that the some guys let their egos get ahead of their work habits and underperformed. I suspect that's why Assante is out, Laws is out, Hanson is probably on his way out etc.


I have no doubt that happened - and when did it start? When we were 4-8? I doubt it was at the beginning of the season. I'm not making excuses for anyone who slipped, but which comes first here, the chicken or the egg? Our players most definitely quit midway during the season, I don't think that necessarily vindicates the coaching staff, rather it should further invite scrutiny on them.

QUOTE
Imposing a new style such as the "Wide 9" demands some different talents such as last year's porous group with one that has speed and toughness which can cover and stop the run.


I agree, but isn't that part of what 'coaching' is? Recognizing a scheme and strategy that best suits your players? Every casual fan on earth knew we had a shitty LB corps, so we decide to implement a scheme that is heavily dependent on a strong linebacking corps? wacko.gif That would seem to be an indication of cluelessness on Castillo's part.

Look I hope he does well, and it's nothing personal on him, I just think he was (and is) in way over his head. With our personnel additions, and Washburn, I would expect an improved defense, but nothing special.
koolaidluke
I'm usually optimistic but not this year. One thing we have in our favor this year that we didn't have in the past is no Donovan McNabb. I know our offense will be fine. But our D I am quite worried about, especially early in the season.
Reality Fan
QUOTE (HOUSEoPAIN @ May 23 2012, 03:21 PM) *
This is the exact quote from Leslie Frazier:
"I can remember Jim Johnson (the Eagles' longtime coordinator who passed away in July 2009) and our defensive staff putting our game plans together, and we'd always get together with Juan just to make sure they were sound in terms of pressures and blitzes.

"Sometimes, I felt like he was on our defensive staff. And to this day, he and I talk every week during the season to talk about other offenses in the league. That's how much respect I have for him as a coach and how well he is able to understand the defensive schemes."


Ok, so JJ would check with our offensive line coach to see if his pressure/blitz schemes would work on an opponents' offensive line - in fact, this was such a routine part of pre-game prep that it almost felt like Juan was on his d staff. In fact, I have SO much respect for him that we still talk about other offenses in the league, and as an offensive line coach he is able to understand defensive schemes.

That's a far cry from JJ anointing him based on his performance as DC at Kingston High back in the 80s, no?



I agree - and that might have been a factor in why the Eagles hired Washburn on Jan. 19, 2011, while McDermott was fired and Castillo promoted weeks later. In fact, I would've LOVED to be a fly on the wall when Washburn turned on the tv late at night and saw who the new DC was.



I have no doubt that happened - and when did it start? When we were 4-8? I doubt it was at the beginning of the season. I'm not making excuses for anyone who slipped, but which comes first here, the chicken or the egg? Our players most definitely quit midway during the season, I don't think that necessarily vindicates the coaching staff, rather it should further invite scrutiny on them.



I agree, but isn't that part of what 'coaching' is? Recognizing a scheme and strategy that best suits your players? Every casual fan on earth knew we had a shitty LB corps, so we decide to implement a scheme that is heavily dependent on a strong linebacking corps? wacko.gif That would seem to be an indication of cluelessness on Castillo's part.

Look I hope he does well, and it's nothing personal on him, I just think he was (and is) in way over his head. With our personnel additions, and Washburn, I would expect an improved defense, but nothing special.


first.....if Juan was so terrible than why did his rookie DC year stats exceed those of the guy everyone wanted here in his place? His first year as a DC was better than Spags first year......Juan, a move I was not in love with, still had a decent year and many of the meltdowns the D had were forced by terrible turnovers on the part of the offense. The D was not great but it was not as bad as some imply.....if the O was not a turnover machine the record would have been much better but regardless....look at where the Eagles ranked defensively.........he was not that bad but of course he could be better and I think he will be this year......the hype has exceeded the reality


also.....you think Castillo is the clueless one for implementing the wide nine with bad LBs but that is why Washburn was brought in, that is his baby so if you insist that Washburn was shocked by Castillo getting the job why are you shocked they implemented the wide nine? or did you think they brought in Washburn and then asked Castillo what he wanted to run on the defense? You can't have it both ways
HOUSEoPAIN
QUOTE
if Juan was so terrible than why did his rookie DC year stats exceed those of the guy everyone wanted here in his place?


The more appropriate question is 'why did everyone and their mother in Philly practically piss themselves in the hope that Spags would replace Castillo?' I joined up here in February, I would LOVE to see conversations on this board comparing the two. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone saying 'keep Castillo over Spags' with a straight face. I predicted in December Spags would go to NO, I didn't think he would want to be under Reid, but is a few months ago really that long that you seem to forget everyone gleefully saying Spags would come back, even as early as mid-late December? Post some of your thoughts from that time period, let me see who you wanted here back before it was a done deal.

QUOTE
His first year as a DC was better than Spags first year


In terms of comparing every single stat you can think of, many of ours last year beats out Spags' in '07 - which shows why stats can range from important to absolute bullshit. The Giants won the Super Bowl his first year, going 10-6, then going on the road 3 times in a row, absolutely shutting down Rodgers in the NFC Champ game at Lambeau, then embarassing the 18-0 Pats, a team many were calling the best NFL team ever. I didn't think it was possible for Brady to be held to 14 points, even if you had 12 guys on the field every play to his 11. We were 8-8 - actually, scratch that, we were 4-8 and demoralized, before going on our MAGICAL run to finish at .500 - beating the Dolphins, Jets, Cowboys, and Redskins. Meanwhile, over in New York, they just won another one.

QUOTE
also.....you think Castillo is the clueless one for implementing the wide nine with bad LBs but that is why Washburn was brought in, that is his baby so if you insist that Washburn was shocked by Castillo getting the job why are you shocked they implemented the wide nine? or did you think they brought in Washburn and then asked Castillo what he wanted to run on the defense? You can't have it both ways


Washburn coaches the D-line - he isn't responsible for signing LBs, nor running the entire defense. I don't know what kind of conversations are going on in the locker room and on the sideline, but it's well-known what Washburn's approach is, a popular theory is that because of Castillo's inexperience, he would be willing to adjust to Washburn's approach, instead of taking charge himself. In any case, any success our defense had last year can be attributed to the great job Washburn did with our d-line, and our talented corners.
Reality Fan
QUOTE (HOUSEoPAIN @ May 27 2012, 11:38 AM) *
The more appropriate question is 'why did everyone and their mother in Philly practically piss themselves in the hope that Spags would replace Castillo?' I joined up here in February, I would LOVE to see conversations on this board comparing the two. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone saying 'keep Castillo over Spags' with a straight face. I predicted in December Spags would go to NO, I didn't think he would want to be under Reid, but is a few months ago really that long that you seem to forget everyone gleefully saying Spags would come back, even as early as mid-late December? Post some of your thoughts from that time period, let me see who you wanted here back before it was a done deal.



In terms of comparing every single stat you can think of, many of ours last year beats out Spags' in '07 - which shows why stats can range from important to absolute bullshit. The Giants won the Super Bowl his first year, going 10-6, then going on the road 3 times in a row, absolutely shutting down Rodgers in the NFC Champ game at Lambeau, then embarassing the 18-0 Pats, a team many were calling the best NFL team ever. I didn't think it was possible for Brady to be held to 14 points, even if you had 12 guys on the field every play to his 11. We were 8-8 - actually, scratch that, we were 4-8 and demoralized, before going on our MAGICAL run to finish at .500 - beating the Dolphins, Jets, Cowboys, and Redskins. Meanwhile, over in New York, they just won another one.



Washburn coaches the D-line - he isn't responsible for signing LBs, nor running the entire defense. I don't know what kind of conversations are going on in the locker room and on the sideline, but it's well-known what Washburn's approach is, a popular theory is that because of Castillo's inexperience, he would be willing to adjust to Washburn's approach, instead of taking charge himself. In any case, any success our defense had last year can be attributed to the great job Washburn did with our d-line, and our talented corners.


ok....what does whether or not the conversations here focused on Spags over Castillo have to do with anything? The fact of the matter is Castillo's performance was decent but the usual "knowledgeable" Eagles fans know better.....the mere fact that Castillo got the job precluded any objective analysis of his performance. Was he great? no.....but he was not bad and his D finished in the top half of the league with no training camp and half the D being new starters......real terrible job.


Now on to Spags........the run they made in the playoffs was great and you missed the point completely but I realize had you not you would not have responded......my point was that Castillo's D was not as responsible as the O for the Eagles woes and his D, as bad as everyone loves to kill him simply was not horrible....not great, but not horrible. Spags D that year was great in the playoffs but not sensational during the season, just solid. Had the Eagles' offense been more responsible with the ball their record would have been much better and chances are the Giants don't make the playoffs......

The discussion is moot because Reid, to his credit, doesn't listen to the "knowledgeable" fans..........Castillo will be here this season and one of us will look like an idiot (and it won't be the first time for me...) at the end.......even better is Spags will get a chance to show his brilliance in NO.......it will be nice to have an answer......
HOUSEoPAIN
QUOTE (Reality Fan @ May 27 2012, 05:12 PM) *
The discussion is moot because Reid, to his credit, doesn't listen to the "knowledgeable" fans..........Castillo will be here this season and one of us will look like an idiot (and it won't be the first time for me...) at the end.......even better is Spags will get a chance to show his brilliance in NO.......it will be nice to have an answer......


I would love nothing more than to look like an idiot when Juan puts together the best D in the NFL - unfortunately we have to agree to disagree for now.
Flying Dutchman
As I noted above I'm not that down on Juan at this point in the gamel. This year will tell us far more than the last one. We speculate with some good reason about the choices and mistakes that JC made last year. I still think the hand that Andy delt him was not a good one. And I am not even talking about the players he was left with. My old brain thinks that just maybe Andy had expected a hell of a lot more out of Johnnie Lynn the former Vagiants DC as the new secondary/cornerbacks coach. It's just as possible, as other proposed theories, that Lynn may have been headstrong enough to have promised Andy the moon in his job application. He had after all jumped ship on the Niners in December before the year ended for undisclosed reasons". I can't figure out for sure where the chickens and the eggs are on this one. I of course liked seeing former Iggles Caldwell and Zordich promoted to full coaching positions but they were really rookies and trying to learn on the fly themselves. Based on what we then saw, they were not yet quality coaches IMO. It just seems like a group clusterf**k to me. I have very high expectations for Todd Bowles to get the secondary under his wing and earn his keep by teaching, organizing and leading them to a much better performance this year. If JC wasn't terminally burned with Lynn's advice, hopefully he will listen carefully to Bowles and get better input. Just a theory, but as probable as any other IMHO.
koolaidluke
I still think the hand that Andy delt him was not a good one.

To say the least
D Rock
Bottom Line:

Juan can't tackle for them. Juan had early troubles, but anyone with a single brain cell could have predicted a slow start based on any number of factors. By the end of the season, the D played very well despite glaring peronnel deficiencies. To expect more of last year's defense is lunacy.

Personnel deficiencies have been addressed in part and I think it reasonble to expect a top 10 performance from this defense in Juan's 2nd year.

Reality Fan
QUOTE (D Rock @ May 28 2012, 07:53 PM) *
Bottom Line:

Juan can't tackle for them. Juan had early troubles, but anyone with a single brain cell could have predicted a slow start based on any number of factors. By the end of the season, the D played very well despite glaring peronnel deficiencies. To expect more of last year's defense is lunacy.

Personnel deficiencies have been addressed in part and I think it reasonble to expect a top 10 performance from this defense in Juan's 2nd year.



agreed.....considering the "horrible" job JC did in year one resulted in a finish that was 10th for points against and 8th in yards against I am hoping to see top 5 but I am greedy.......
Phits
Yes, thankfully the D turned the season around at the right time and we were able to make the post season. Thankfully that 1-4 start had no bearing on our ability to make the post season. Thankfully our experienced and talented coaching staff made the necessary adjustments for such a "slow" start.
huh.gif

100 days until a fresh start, until then you can take that bullsh*t and catch flies somewhere else.

QUOTE (D Rock @ May 28 2012, 07:53 PM) *
Bottom Line:

Juan can't tackle for them. Juan had early troubles, but anyone with a single brain cell could have predicted a slow start based on any number of factors. By the end of the season, the D played very well despite glaring peronnel deficiencies. To expect more of last year's defense is lunacy.

Personnel deficiencies have been addressed in part and I think it reasonble to expect a top 10 performance from this defense in Juan's 2nd year.

_KAMELOT_
QUOTE (Reality Fan @ May 27 2012, 11:12 PM) *
my point was that Castillo's D was not as responsible as the O for the Eagles woes and his D, as bad as everyone loves to kill him simply was not horrible....not great, but not horrible.



Fuckin' right!!
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