Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reid gets defensive about Eagles' turnaround

OK, I’m ready to say it.

The Eagles defense has played very well the last two weeks, first smothering the Miami Dolphins and then thoroughly befuddling Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets.

You can’t say that without also noting that the defensive unit is still under the command of embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

If it seems like every finger in Eagles nation has been pointing at Castillo when it wasn’t aimed at Reid in this most disappointing season, that’s because it has.

Castillo has been skewered – and rightly so – for the Eagles defensive woes.

Now we are hearing the expected explanation for the Eagles poor early play on the defensive side of the ball. No less an authority than Reid at his day-after press conference chimed in on the Birds' D’s sudden, remarkable turnaround.

And that’s where I have problems with the whole thing.

Reid fell back on the lockout, and the lack of off-season work, along with all the new faces – both players and coaches – for the Eagles struggles early this year on defense.

Which leaves me with a big question.

If everyone knew the league was hurtling toward a lockout, what exactly was Reid thinking of in turning over the defense to his offensive line coach, who had not coached defense since his college days?

Reid and the Eagles brass knew very well it was unlikely this was going to be a normal year. There were no organized team activities (or mini-camps to the rest of us). Training camp was an abbreviated version.

The Eagles brought in several high-profile players, not the least of which was Nnamdi Asomugha.

They also brought in a new defensive line coach with a whole new system – the wide nine.

They decided Casey Matthews was a starting middle linebacker in the NFL. On what basis they made that decision I have no idea.

How did all this work out? As you might expect, it was a meltdown.

Now the defense is playing better. Credit to Castillo.

But if the Eagles fail to make the playoffs, questions must be asked about the decisions the Eagles made in the off-season, prime among them Reid’s move to hand the keys to the defense over to his offensive line coach.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't give Castillo that much credit in the later stages because of the weak QBs that we have played in the later part of the year

December 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM 

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