By Kevin K
The frustration of a bad Eagles season has us all sitting and wondering one this ... how? The Eagles have the talent and the team to do something special, how are they this bad?
There are many answers to that question, and I will take some of them one by one.
Lack of Discipline
Over the last few weeks we have seen the Eagles struggle both offensively and defensively. The Eagles aren't playing to their potential. They keep playing undisciplined football and it is showing. The offensive line has gotten increasingly better as the season has gone on (which was a worry), but the "playmakers" continue to struggle. Eagles WRs seem to be unable to hold the ball correctly, which has continued to cause fumbles (and interceptions - see Jason Avant versus the Bills). You can even look at Michael Vick, who has made the right decision at times, but seems to want to throw the ball more (even in double coverage) than take the sack, run the ball, or throw the ball out of bounds. In five games this season, Vick has 7 interceptions - which is one more than he had last season alone (he played 12 games).
The offense isn't the only side of the ball with a lack of discipline. The defense continues to lose game after game for the Eagles, against the Bills nothing changed. The Eagles defense seemed to get better in the second half, but at that point the Bills were looking to kill the clock and run the ball a majority of the time. The problem for the Eagles came in the final 2 minutes of the game, on a 4th and 1. The announcers say, "I think the Bills are going to look to cause them to jump offside", we are sitting at home watching the game saying "don't jump offside, they are going to run the play clock down", even Juan Castillo knows that they are going to try to have the Eagles jump offside, and what happens? Juqua Parker (formerly Thomas) does exactly what the Bills wanted him to do, jumped offside. This continues to happen to the Eagles so far this season, even during a punt in which an Eagle jumped offside ... undisciplined play is costing the Eagles.
Too Many New Faces
When the Eagles brought in big name free agent after big name free agent, and big name coach after big name coach all Eagles fans, including myself, thought we had something special going on ... we didn't realize that it would hurt the Eagles more than it will help.
The Eagles aren't working as a team right now and it continues to hurt them. This comes from the players to the coaches, it isn't working. You can blame some of this on decision making, you can blame some of this on the Lockout, and your can blame some of this on management.
The fact of the matter is, it is not fun to play for the Eagles right now and all Eagles players realize it, even the newer free agents.
OK so the big thing right now is "Fire Reid" and "Fire Castillo". The problem with that is it is not going to do anything for the Eagles. You bring in a new coach at this point, and the entire scheme changes. It will not help us this season and can only cost more problems - see the Too Many New Faces post.
Am I concerned about how bad the defense has looked under Castillo? Yes. Enter the Lockout problem. At the end of last season the Eagles hired Juan Castillo (former offensive line coach) as their defensive coordinator. During the Lockout, Castillo was unable to work with his defense until Training Camp, which in this case is way too late. Castillo is still working his way around to understanding a defensive scheme.
And of course their is Andy Reid, that continues to look more and more pompous as the season goes on during his press conferences and on the sidelines. The truth of the matter is that Andy is frustrated, and so are we. When you continue to lose the way you are to teams you shouldn't be losing to, it's frustrating. We all understand that, but we see that he has been here since 1999 with nothing to show for it.
I know they will never say this to you, but 2011-2012 has officially become a rebuilding year (not retooling year) for the Eagles. We notice their problems, we notice their errors and mistakes, but so do they. It is officially a season to no longer look forward to, but to build on.