• July 7, 2022

Eagles Must Make The Tough Decisions On Defense

As Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in his postseason press conference, only taking into consideration the last 4 weeks of the 2011 season is “fool’s gold”.  While the team did make significant strides, especially on the defensive side of the ball, we cannot forget the entire body of work that we witnessed over 16 games, much of which was hard to stomach.

During the mid-point of the season, I was vehement that Juan Castillo had to go.  Players were not being put in positions where their talents could be maximized and the defense was getting decimated.  It seemed as if few adjustments were made to combat the opposing offenses strategies.

Then, everything started to turn around.  Granted, it was against relatively inferior competition, but this was an Eagles team that lost to Arizona, Seattle and Buffalo earlier in the year.  Therefore, any turnaround, no matter who the competition may be, was a good sign.  Many believe that the last four weeks of the season were enough to allow Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo to be able to hang onto his job by the skin of his…teeth.

The strides that the team made throughout the season have been impressive, but as Lurie indicated, we must be careful not to be mesmerized by fool’s gold.  The entire season must be evaluated and each game given the same weight, including epic collapses like we saw in the San Francisco game early in the year.

I hate to say it because from what I’ve seen, Castillo is an incredibly nice guy; but I think this Philadelphia team would be well served to bring in Steve Spagnuolo to take over the defensive coordinator position.  “Spags” learned the ropes under legendary defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and has been known to employ the same type of high-energy defense for which Johnson was so highly touted.

The only issue I can see with bringing in Spagnuolo is the fact that he might try to get rid of a wide-9 defensive scheme that worked relatively well for the Eagles this year.  They brought in players who they thought would succeed in that system, and if that system is replaced after one year, there is going to be a great deal of turnover on the defensive side of the ball which will hinder the chemistry the group is able to establish.  Also, if Castillo is replaced, does Reid get rid of Howard Mudd and move Castillo back to his old job?  This is a very fluid situation that will require a number of pieces to fall into place.  It will definitely be interesting to see what Andy Reid decides.

As far as the cornerback position goes, I have a feeling that Asante Samuel is going to be the odd man out in the Eagles cornerback trio.  The team is obviously not getting rid of their coveted free-agent Nnamdi Asomugha and the coaching staff has a great deal of hope for 25 year old Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  DRC looked pitiful when he was forced to play the Nickel position this year, with Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha on the outside.

However, when he moved outside to replace Samuel for whatever reason (injury, etc), we saw the skills from DRC that the Eagles were hoping he would showcase at some point.  I’ve been a huge Samuel fan since he came to Philadelphia, but the lack of tackling, or should I saw the complete unwillingness to even attempt a tackle has taken its toll.  Samuel still is near the top of the league as far as ball skills are concerned, but a cornerback needs more than that.  I believe the Eagles will put their faith in the younger, stronger DRC and try to get what they can for Asante.

Carl Conrad

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35 Comments

  • It will be very difficult to Trade Samuel due to his crazy back-loaded contract that calls for a $9.5 Million Salary in 2012 and a $10 Million in 2013.. No team is going to accept this amount for a 31 year, lost a 1/2 step CB who doesn’t tackle.. and give up a high Draft pick in return, no way, no how..
    A possibility could be a trading partner, belive it or not, could be the Cowboys who owe the Eagles, and who are desperate for a CB… maybe Eagles can send Samuel and maybe one or their 4th Round Picks to get the Cowboys 2nd Pick (which is the #46 Overall Selection) .. Just think, the
    EAgles would have the #45(Cards), the #46 (Cowboys) and #47 (their own) all in the 2nd Round .. The Cowboys would be happy to get a top OL with their 1st round to Protect Romo,and and get a known All-Pro at CB for trading their their 2nd Round and still get the Eagles 4th round so Jerry Jones may just want go for something like that..

    Jeff Fisher just accepted the Rams HC job.. only possibility of Eagles hiring Spags would be if Fisher hires away Washburn and maybe offer a DL/Asst Title to offer a “Promotion” in Title only… Lots of moving parts…

  • “moving parts”- there it is again. lol- phrase of the early 2012 year.

    Thanks Asam for the memories….. enjoy MN.

    Congrats DRC- you get to be the guy. Dont mess it up.

    Hello new MLB- your job…. stuff the run.

    Welcome back Djax- meet (insert name here)…. his job is to replace you if this whole “tag” thing doesnt work out.

    ok Dline…. this is Mr. Spags…. he’s your new “Assistant to the Assistant HC..chuckle chuckle….. he runs the D now…. listen to him.

  • @paulman It would be nice to see the match-up between Maclin/Djax against Asante…You guys remember Deion Sanders boxing match with Andre Rison? Lol

  • Stevo, with OTAs, mini campe ect those things you mentioned wouldnt take long at all to jell and would put us right back in the drivers seat in our division.

  • yes andrew. What it takes is leadership… from the new DC and from a few solid vets they bring in and the ones who need to have a larger voice in the huddle. Id love to see them keep washburn and for that line to be the heart of our D. Turn the LB’s into the brain,,,,, we need a group that thinks as 1. Not we move nnamdi wherever he wants to play and use DRC to keep tabs on the fastest WR’s in the league. Id love to see nate allen picking balls out of the sky and Jarrett (or better yet- a vet) all over the place to lend a hand. It can be done my friends. It can be done. First step- DC 2nd step- keep andy and EVERYONE in the FO away from our D draft picks.

  • Sante gets released,no way a team takes on his contract. They’ll just wait for him to get let go and sign him to a new deal.

    Coleman is a starter next year. I think they let Allen and Jarret duke it out for the job next year. Only thing this d needs is some more d-tackle depth with the expected release of Laws. And some young backers.

    Nam/DRC/Jose is a great secondary…bring along the young guys. Maybe we try and deal a couple picks to the Niners for Grant(Willis back-up)..him and a rook would right away fix the d.

  • MLB GRant is a Free-Agent with the 49ers, no need to trade anything for him.

  • Erock, if Coleman and Allen/Jarrett are our starters next year again, we will be home again well before the playoffs start. This D needs a serious adjustment.

  • PFT is reporting Gregg Williams is joing Fisher as the D-Cord, what does that do to Washburn? Is Gregg Williams a wide 9 guy? need some answers guys.

  • Greg Williams is not a Wide-9 Guy and likes to use various Blitz-Packages and especially with his Secondary personnel (Safety Blitz’s & Corner Blitzes)
    If this is truem than it mean Washburn in remaining in Philly and it also means Spags will join the Vikings or Colts.. Bottome line is this if this is true, Spags will not be comign back to Philly with Washburn’s 9-Wide Scheme in place..

  • Paulman, are you sure? here goes the article and its saying Greg Williams was on that staff at one time with Washburn.

    Gregg Williams will be coordinating the Saints defense on Saturday and through the rest of the postseason, but that could be it for his run in New Orleans.

    Peter King of NBC and Sports Illustrated reports that Williams is “expected” to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis next season. Williams ran the defense under Fisher with the Titans from 1997 to 2000 before leaving to become head coach of the Bills. He was a defensive assistant under Fisher and Jack Pardee with the franchise before moving up to defensive coordinator.

    Williams, via James Varney of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, said earlier this week that he won’t talk to Fisher, who he called his best friend in coaching, until after the Saints’ season is over. The self-proclaimed “Dr. Heat” didn’t offer anything concrete about his plans beyond the postseason, however he did pass on a chance to reunite with Fisher when he took the New Orleans job in 2009.

    If Williams does head to St. Louis, it will be interesting to see if Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn joins up with his old mates from Tennessee. With changes looming on the Eagles defense, the whole band could get back together with the Rams.

  • I would be surprised, thinking that Greg WIlliams has a pretty gig job coaching down at that loud Saints dome on a good team that will comepte for Titles for then next 2-3 Years while the RAms will be in are rebuilding mode.. I wjust would have though that if Williams were to leave New ORleans, that is would be for the opportunity to be HC again .. but maybe he just likes coaching Defenses

  • Getting rid of Mudd would be absolutely disastrous, not only in general O-line play, but in morale. It is VERY obvious by various public comments from Peters and Herremans (even McCoy) that they far prefer Mudd’s attack style than Castillo’s “fall back and catch style”. Seriously doubt Juan would completely readjust his coaching techniques if back on offense, besides he even told you before season started he is really a defensive-minded coach.

  • Eagles need NEW safeties….Allen has proven he is not an NFL starter and Coleman is a backup….Jarret should be playing arena football….

  • you guys on this site seem to me like you dont even know anything about football the only way kurt coleman starts next year is if jarret blows out a knee or is a total bust.And asante can be traded they would just rework the deal and add more years to it and more back end money so that he never see’s it.also all you that want a lb in the first rd keep on dreaming why in the world if this is big red’s last year why would put all the eggs in the basket of a rookie i just don’t see it,a vet will be here if its tullock=from the lions or london fletcher or somebody else from a trade they will get a vet they, might draft one in rds2-3 but not in rd1 that will be either o-line or d-line and if we lose d-jack i want vincent jackson

  • A deal was im place for 31 year old CB Samuel with a rising contract last year. It had been reported that the Eagles had offers for Samuel to be traded for a 2nd round pick put Howie wanted a 1st round pick and didnt trade him. So there is a way and a how.

  • WHO CARES ANYMORE. THIS OWNER LOVES ATTENTION POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE

  • Samuel will not rework his current deal with the Eagles, no way no how…
    He may rework it once he’s traded to another team, but it goes against his grain and self-respect to rework it with the Eagles…
    SAmuel is actually in the Drivers seat… He either gets $20 Million from the EAgles the next 2 seasons or the more likely route is that they release him,
    he becomes a free-agent and signs a new 3/4 Year with $5-$8-$10 Million up front in Bonus and a $6-$7 Million Dollar a yar Salary so he will get his $$$ one was or another… just not from the Eagles..

  • The only issue I can see with bringing in Spagnuolo is the fact that he might try to get rid of a wide-9 defensive scheme that worked relatively well for the Eagles this year. ….Carl Conrad

    The wide -9 defensive scheme is a Joke. The patriots ran at will against the eagles. The Steelers in preseason and the Seahawks STEAMROLLED the Eagles. Any team committed to running against the Eagles will Steam Roll right through the gaps it creates.

    Most of the personnel on the defense was the same as before the wide 9 change. And the cornerback who was supposed to be the best cover guy in the league was put in a zone where he was ineffective. The Giant defense has not been the same since Spags left. The Eagles defense has not been the same since J. Johnson departed.

    This is a no brainer. Which explains why Crystal Ball Andy has not made the move yet. I heard the Falcons are interested in Spags.

    Nothing Fat Boy does surprises me anymore. He has a built in self destruct button.

    Making an offensive line coach your defensive coordinator. Trading out of the 1st round, drafting AARP players, trading for Torn ACL guy. Picking up a offensive lineman who had back surgery after having to deal with all the back surgery drama from the Andrew brothers. How stupid could you be?

    “Self Destruct” Andy will come up with another doosie this coming year.

    Since the NBA has been drafting players from overseas, that’s got to be the next move Andy will do, to show his superior football knowledge.

    So don’t be surprised when the Eagles use their 1st round pick to draft a player from the Pro Football League in Germany. I played in that league while stationed in Germany. The players are soft as jelly. But hey, he’ll have a great motor.

  • If Paulman were a GM, he might not trade for Samuel, and wait to grab him in FA, but I’m sure there are more than a few real GMs (with a need for a former pro bowl CB) that would rather not risk losing him to another team or getting into a bidding war to land him. Working out a trade with the eagles (did Detroit really offer a 2nd round pick?) and reworking his contract seems like a more realistic outcome.

  • I agree that teams like the Lions,Cowboys,Panthers,Dolphins,TB Bucs would all be interested in CB Samuels, but like yo ustated, they would have to work out a new Deal with him, but since any teams would have pay a decent Salary and bonus $$, why give the Eagles high Draft picks in return when everyone knows he will be released and free to make any deal without having to give up Draft picks..

  • Paulman, you were dead wrong in your earlier post when you said Greg Williams is not a wide 9 guy, here goes part of an article i just got out of the philly paper, do your homework buddy. Washburn will be outta here.

    Williams spent four seasons as defensive coordinator of the Titans under Fisher, from 1997-2000. In 1999 and 2000, Jim Washburn was Williams’ defensive line coach. The Titans ranked 20th in overall defense in ’99, according to Football Outsiders and allowed 20.2 points per game (15th). But Tennessee did have 54 sacks, which ranked third.

    Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/moving_the_chains/Will-Washburn-join-Fisher.html#ixzz1jRm6b66

  • Paulman, you were dead wrong in your earlier post when you said Greg Williams is not a wide 9 guy, here goes part of an article i just got out of the philly paper, do your homework buddy. Washburn will be outta here.

    Williams spent four seasons as defensive coordinator of the Titans under Fisher, from 1997-2000. In 1999 and 2000, Jim Washburn was Williams’ defensive line coach. The Titans ranked 20th in overall defense in ’99, according to Football Outsiders and allowed 20.2 points per game (15th). But Tennessee did have 54 sacks, which ranked third.

  • Paulman, Here goes your post just in case u forgot what u said.

    paulman
    January 13, 2012 – 7:44 pm

    Greg Williams is not a Wide-9 Guy and likes to use various Blitz-Packages and especially with his Secondary personnel (Safety Blitz’s & Corner Blitzes)
    If this is truem than it mean Washburn in remaining in Philly and it also means Spags will join the Vikings or Colts.. Bottome line is this if this is true, Spags will not be comign back to Philly with Washburn’s 9-Wide Scheme in place..

  • Williams has not Caoched that Winde 9 Style in his last 3 Coaching Postions since he left the Titans over 10 years ago… He was at Washington, Jacksonville and now the Saints and rely’s on a lot of exotic Blitz Pakagages utilizing LB,s CB and Safety BLitzes, dropping DL in zone coverages as well.. The Wide 9 Philosophy is relying your front 4 DL to generate most of the Defensive Pressure on the QB and backfield.. There may be some elements on occasions that Willisma may use from time to time, but tho say he’s run a “Wide 9 Scheme” over the last 10 Seasons is not accurate .. He brings pressure from all over the field using many in the Defensive Back 7 to get to the QB.. He Blitz % has been probably one of the highest in the NFL over the last 5 years or so..

    Washburn is going nowhere and will remain on PHilly as will Castillo..
    Spags wil not be coming to PHilly to join the EAgles for he will pursue the DC Positions available in Minnesota,Indianapolis and possibly even Atlanta where he can mold his Defense in his liking which does not utilize a “Wide-9” scheme as it’s main alignment or base scheme..

    If Eagles get rid of Washburn, you will have some very unhappy campers in
    Cole,Babin and Jenkins, plus it may be bwest suited for Brand Grahams ability as a pass-rusher too once he’s 100% Healthy and I seriously doubt that Coach AR want’s to mess around with his DL which led the league in Sacks last year and if there is one area of Defense that Coach AR believes in strongly is putting Pressure on the opposiing Teams QB which is why he hired Washburn to begin with last year.. There will be no Spags my man…,……

  • Paulman, Washburn always used the wide 9 n when Williams was D-Cord there it was used in some form, look at the sack total in the article, that came from the wide 9, and if Fisher calls Washburn n says he wants him hes gone!! remember, Washburn only left the Titans cause Fisher got fired, i’ll tell you another thing, if Washburn does go expect to see the Rams make a trade for Babin, without Washburn Babin is useless for us, as you know, the only years hes ever produced (the last 2) was under Washburn.

  • Washburn has always used and believes in the Wide 9 and is the only scheme he will teach or coach as a DL Coach,
    My response to you was that Gregg WIliams use a lot of different looks and relies on exotic blitz’s and does not run the “Wide 9” as a base Defense..
    Rams have DE Long & Hall and last years #1 pick DE Robert Quinn at the DE positon.. Why would they trade for Babin,,,
    Also, Washburn took the Eagles Job before Fisher got fired/quit from the Titans for he saw that the end was coming for Fisher..

  • Paulman, Exactly! He saw the end coming for his boy Fisher and left, no matter who the Rams have at DE, if Washburn goes there he will make a push for Babin and if the Rams wanted to do a straight up trade for anyone of those guys for Babin i’d take it, again, if Babin stays here without Washburn, hes useless to us!

  • Washburn is not going anywhere Andrew and I am not so sure what your fascination is about it.. Washburn will fulfill his 2 year Deal with the Eagles, which means no Spags, if that’s what your trying to get at…
    The Fact that the rumor’s are out about Fisher wanting to bring WIlliams to the Rams as DC’s reinforces that Wahsburn is not going anywhere.. C’Mon Man,,
    Washburn and Castillo will be with the Eagles for 2012

  • Pman- help is coming. Is it spags? i dont know…. but i honestly feel that help is on the way. There is no way they try this again as is. Someone that knows how to run a D will be joining this staff.

  • The games for the weekend are starting. Going to your own stadium for home playoff games is awesome, and this isn’t awesome. It sucks.

  • What a difference a coaching change makes! Forget all those passing records?

    Reid was ahead of the curve on the passing frenzy and he caught most of the league off guard, but defenses have begun to catch up.

  • 1 thing that was very clear to me and especially in the 4th Quarter
    The Top Teams need to have excellent Safety play
    Saints SAfety #27, was burnt on 4-5 Big plays at least…
    49ers Safety Whitner also belw a tackle while going to ball that allowed the Saints TE Graham score on that long pass befoe the 49ers final drive ..
    Eagles need Safety Mark Barron from Alabama and if they have to use their #15 Pick Selection in the 1st Round, than so be it…

  • ***Reports/Rumor from Indianapolis, is that Coach Marty was out dining at “St Elmo’s Steakhouse” (famous Steackhouse) with Colts new GM Grigson and Owner Irsay.. my guess is their will be an annoucement on Monday or probably Tuesday due to MLK Day.. I hope AR is reahing out to other Coaches on both osides of the ball while he’s away on “Vacation” .. Brad Childress, Mike Sherman..

  • Paulman, there is no way in hell, that we waste #15 on safety Barron, especially with the black-hole at all the LB positions. Also, you know square peg in round hole Reids infatuation with tweener 4-3 DE’s, 3-4 OLB. Bank on Graham, Matthews & Jarrett clones, with our first 3 picks! SICKENING!!!

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