By Kevin K
About a month ago Kevin Acee, of the San Diego Tribune, reported that Steve Spagnuolo would join Andy Reid’s coaching staff as the Defensive Coordinator. Acee’s sources added that this move was “all but certain”. Apparently Andy Reid didn’t see or care about Acee’s report.
A month later and we know that Spagnuolo has joined the New Orlean Saints coaching staff as their Defensive Coordinator, leaving Eagles fans questioning.
This is what we know for sure. We know that Jeffery Lurie has put the decision of firing or keeping Castillo as Andy Reid’s decision. We know that Reid has yet to have an off-season press conference talking about any coaching or player changes yet this off-season. We are not saying that Reid will not fire Juan Castillo as Defensive Coordinator, but we also know Reid as a guy who won’t let a man like Juan Castillo be fired without helping him find a job to land on his feet. Reid could be waiting for this, but at this point it is too little, too late.
We are two weeks away from the Super Bowl, a Super Bowl that (once again) does not involve the “gold standard” in the Philadelphia Eagles; however, it is a Super Bowl that (once again) involves our rival, the New York Giants. I am sick of hearing “it could be us; we beat them with Vince Young as our Quarterback”. Well, it could have been “us”, if “we” beat the Bills or Cardinal … but “we” didn’t. The Giants won this division with 9 wins (one more than the Eagles). Let’s count a win over the Bills or Cardinals could have pushed the Eagles to 9 wins, along with their 5-1 NFC East Division record, that spells Playoffs.
But this year it is more of the same; more of a disappointing season, more of no changes, more of Andy Reid.
As we said, Reid has yet to come out this off-season to talk about any possible coaching moves that could be made, which leads me to believe that Juan Castillo will be the Eagles Defensive Coordinator for the Eagles in the 2012-2013 season. This decision could mean one of two things for Reid; Reid is a genius and gets the Eagles to the Super Bowl next season with the leader of Castillo running his defense, or Reid is who we think he is and the decision to bring back Castillo is as bad as the decision to sign Castillo as the Defensive Coordinator to begin with.
Let’s go with number one scenario: Reid the Genius. Andy Reid and the Eagles have a certain attitude toward themselves. An attitude that says “we do no wrong because we are the gold standard” (just a reminder the Eagles still have 0 Super Bowl wins). Reid shares these sentiments. Reid truly believed that signing Castillo to the Eagles would bring chemistry to his team. The problem was that Reid made that decision at the wrong time, during a locked out season. A locked out season meaning that moving and Offensive Line Coach to Defensive Coordinator was a smart move because the new “scheme” would be perfect to make a run at the Super Bowl. Obviously Castillo needed more time, which we now believe he has. The thing that Castillo brings to the table is the ability to build chemistry with his players and he is a natural born leader. The Eagles started the season 4-8, but ended the season 8-8 after a four game winning streak in which the defense looked food. Can the defense continue that run into next season? Maybe, maybe not, but if the Eagles can and get into the Super Bowl the Eagles and Andy Reid do look like geniuses.
Scenario two: Reid is fired. Think about it. Andy Reid has two years left on his current contract. The Eagles are run by business men that do not like to eat money. So, pay Reid and another coach for the next two years, or give Reid a chance with his coaches in 2012-2013? Currently Andy Reid is walking a very thin line. He is the longest tendered coach in the NFL, and still has 0 Super Bowls (yes he has been in NFC Championships, he has won the NFC East numerous times, and has gotten the Eagles to the Super Bowl once – but let’s be honest, he hasn’t done his job). Reid’s job as the Eagles head coach is to win a Super Bowl, point blank. This season and decisions made (coaching and others) are his.
Let’s look at those final four wins for the Eagles:
Week 14 @ Miami Dolphins. The Eagles won in Miami 26-10. The Quarterbacks (yes plural) for the Dolphins were Matt Moore (11/19, 95 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and J.P. Losman (6/10, 60 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT). The Eagles defense, lead by Coordinator Juan Castillo, didn’t have to play “great” to beat those two Quarterbacks. Their stats speak for themselves, heck, their names speak for themselves. Matt Moore and J.P. Losman, two quarterbacks that both failed as starters in Carolina and Buffalo. The Dolphins also had absolutely nothing to play for in this game.
Week 15 vs NY Jets. The Eagles crushed the Jets 45-19. Now we currently know the Jets issues in which their head coach is having issues leading his team. Not only that, but his “Franchise” Quarterback Mark Sanchez (Sanchise) is having trouble passing (like a QB should do) and is constantly under a microscope as a Quarterback in the big bad city of New York. In that game Sanchez went 15/26, 150 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT. Sanchez at one point did get hurt and was taken out prior to the end of the game in favor of Mark Brunell (I know I forgot he was still in the league too). This game was ruled by the Eagles knowing they had to stop the running game of the Jets (which they did) to make Sanchez throw. The Eagles defense stepped up against a team that was actually playing for something (a Playoff berth) but fell off right after they came to visit the Linc.
Week 16 @ Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys had something to play for in this game. If they won, they could all but lock up the NFC East. The problem was, no one told the Cowboys? They came into the game thinking about the Giants in the next week. Cowboys were basically walking through the plays and had no guts. The Eagles won this game 20-7. The Eagles did not play against “star” Quarterback Tony Romo in this game (he was injured early and didn’t return). However, the Eagles played against QB Stephen McGee (I have no idea who he is either). McGee went 24/38 (that is a lot of passes), 182 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INT. The Eagles defense “stepped up” greatly against a McGee run Cowboys that were playing to play the Giants the next week.
Week 17 vs Washington Redskins. New Years Day in Philadelphia where two teams playing for nothing, played for nothing. The Eagles crushed the Redskins in this game 34-10. The Redskins were lead by QB Rex Grossman, who has been overrated since he stepped foot into the NFL. Grossman went 22/45, 256 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. As I said, the Redskins and the Eagles truly played for nothing in this game. Neither team even had a close chance to play in the Playoffs; although the Eagles were playing for “Pride in Castillo”.
This is funny, because the “Pride in Castillo” may be the same Pride that results in the End of the World (well at least end of his career in Philly) in 2012 for Head Coach Andy Reid.
The question remains, if Reid continues with Castillo for next season, will he be a genius, or will his career in Philadelphia finally end? We should know something when/if Reid decides to talk at some point this season.