Now that I have had a full week to really “digest” the Dallas loss, and believe me, living where I do, I have been reminded of it on a daily basis, I have had some time to think on the direction of this team. All of the pundits and talking heads will all say that this is Andy Reid’s final season in Philadelphia. And, yes, I remember the owner coming out before the season and saying that an 8-8 record would not cut it, and that changes would be made. As the owner, certainly, he can say what he wants. It’s his team, after all. But, is Coach Reid really the problem for this season?

We can all point to a certain time of the season where we think the whole thing went sideways. Some would say it was the hit on Vick in Arizona, where the Cardinals turned a first and goal for the Eagles into a touchdown. Some would even say it was the loss at Pittsburgh. In any event, the season has gotten sideways. That is a fact I’m sure we can all agree on. And, the easiest thing to do would be to blame the head coach. I mean, after all, he’s the one calling the shots, right? But, look at it, as a whole, a little deeper.

Four of the five starting offensive linemen are out. That’s 80 percent of the guys that were at the top of your depth chart that protect the passer, and open lanes for the running back. Is it Coach Reid’s fault that guys got hurt? The guys behind those starters are called back-ups for a reason, and I don’t have to tell anyone what that reason is. Once again, 4 of the 5 starters on the O-line are out. Let that sink in. In basketball terms, if 4 of your 5 starters were out (see also: Bynum, Andrew), your team would be in dire straits. Next, I can give Coach Reid a pass on this season, strictly for coaching under the enormous stress of losing his son just prior to the season. For anyone that has had to bury their own child, trust me, it takes a tremendous toll on you. Your focus is not the same. You straddle the fence of being with family and doing your job. In that light, once again, I can certainly forgive Coach Reid for the way this season has unfolded.

Now, as far as the defense goes, well, I don’t have an answer. I had said long ago that I thought an O-line coach was the wrong way to go for a DC, and, like everyone else that said it, we were all proven right. That is something we can lay at the feet of Coach Reid. But, watching this defense play troubles me. Again, nobody is wanting to get the ball carrier to the ground. Everyone wants to strip the ball, or arm tackle someone, and the hard hitting style is just not there. There are days when it seems that Nnamdi Asomghua is completely lost out there. But, the flip side is that Mychal Kendricks and Fletcher Cox look great out there. Nick Foles, being pressed into duty last week, didn’t do as poorly of a job as many would think. Sure, he made some rookie mistakes. I get that. But, he showed some poise, and this week, will get to show what he can do with all the reps in practice and going into the game knowing that he is the starter. Bryce Brown has been a great change of pace back, giving LeSean McCoy some much needed rest.

So, before we all just rush to the Linc, with torches and pitchforks in hand, and demand that Coach Reid be fired. let’s see how the rest of the season goes. As you can probably tell, I’m not jumping off the bandwagon. I want to see how this team responds. Remember, they did make a run last season, and were in the playoff discussion right up to the last weekend of the season. In this season’s case, patience may be the biggest virtue.

 

Photo: Zimbio

Patrick Lowe

An Eagles fan in North Texas.....surrounded by obnoxious Cowboys fans. Ouch!!!

2 Comments

  1. vince

    December 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    You’re the dumbest writer ever …. ever. Are u on AR’s payroll. The guy can’t use the players he has to their strength. Never has, never will. He is,by far, the worst game day coach of the NFL, almost never adapting to the situation (inaccurate passer forced to pass 50 times ie…)and he is stubborn to the point of sticking with Juan for a year … and moron enough for firing him after 6 good games.
    I can get on board with u about the death of his son and excuse him for this year… but not for the last 13 years (especially the last 5) when he had, by their own admission, the best roster in the NFL and lead us to .510 !!!
    I was in shock throughout the whole paper, thought it was some kind of a joke ….

    Reply

  2. Mark

    November 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    This is actually a very accurate and level headed approach to their problems, which a lot of philly publications seem to be missing.

    I think the exact point we started really doing poorly was when Kelce got injured and came out. The O-line wasn’t good up until that point, but it was terrible afterward.
    I’m not certain how AR could’ve done better (or any coach) given what he had to work with. We grabbed Bell to replace Peters in the offseason, who was the best FA available, and he’s flopped to the point of being out-performed by Dunlap.
    Some of the great moves, IMO this season were with LB’s (Kendricks is a huge addition). Boykin looks to be almost a perfect fit for our D, with a bit of green behind his ears, but tons of upside.

    Foles, who was initially bashed when drafted, has proven to be just as sound as I thought he was, that is to say, he’s likely going to be the future QB of the Eagles, regardless of when that future begins. I think currently he’s suffering the same problems that Vick did, with basically an O-line that’s as effective as water on a screen.

    I’m glad that (this past week) Riley Cooper has been placed as the #3 WR, as I’ve felt for the past few years that with more reps, he’ll get even better, and provides a higher upside to Avant for the position (bigger, faster, generally more athletic, and has made quite a few circus catches).

    The only point of contention I can honestly have is with firing Castillo, I think he was lost at DC early last year but began to show good signs of improvement, with our D ranked (as I recall) in the top 10 when he was fired, and still improving. Their biggest issue was there weren’t really any blitzes, so pressure was very predictable.
    Bowles may get better with time, and the ability to actually put in place his own schemes, so I won’t rush to make a snap judgement of him.

    I do think that most are blaming everything up to and including the kitchen sink for what appears in real terms to be a problem with the O-line, that in week 11, isn’t really possible to sign worthwhile linemen to fill the (many) gaps.

    Reply

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