I’m with you. Well, most of you. I was licking my chops with the thought that Steve Spanguolo was almost a lock to come back to the Eagles as their new defensive coordinator. The stars were seemingly aligned. Spags was fired as head coach of the St. Louis Rams and days later Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reported that Spagnuolo was going to be in Philly by the end of that week.
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News promptly explained that Spags was probably just coming for an interview, as Andy Reid was away for the week on vacation. Off the record, Andy Reid still hasn’t had a season-end press conference like he normally does after each season by this time. That left many to wonder that Reid was making calls around the league and that Juan Castillo most likely would not be back next season at the team’s defensive coordinator.
And then Steve Spanguolo agreed to become the new defensive coordinator of the Saints late Thursday. Anthony Gargano of SportsRadio 94WIP read a text message from Steve Spanguolo on the air that said “Ant, I’m taking the Saints’ job.” That left many Eagles fans displeased, not just because we wanted Spags to be reunited with Andy Reid and head the defense, but because we were relegated to believe that Juan Castillo was going to return to the Eagles and stay the defensive coordinator, figuratively ending the 2012 Eagles season before it even began.
But I have a friend who’s got a different take. His take is mostly on par with the same people who would like to see Juan back. The Eagles defense played really well the last four games of the season after they were thrashed by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. They learned how to use Nnamdi Asomugha, which is an excuse that I find undesirable. Nnamdi was supposed to be a world class football player, he was paid like a world class football player, and he needs to be put in a good position by his coaches to succeed here?
I’ve heard that if someone is a great player on a bad football team, and come to a good football team and plays poorly, then they’re overrated. Yes, Nnamdi was overrated most of the year but became a shutdown corner towards the end. We’re likely to see Asante Samuel go, and have DRC take over the reigns on the other side of the field across Nnamdi. The defensive line was pretty good the entire year, but Jim Washburn and Castillo clearly were not on the same page for most of the season.
The “Wide-Nine” alignment for Jim Washburn’s defensive line left many gaps in which good linebackers and good safeties would need to stop. They didn’t. The Eagles linebackers and safeties were terrible all year, and when Nate Allen returned 100% from his knee injury from the prior season, he played pretty well.
Then we have the lockout excuse. This offseason gives Juan a clean slate to go over the defense, and help develop his scheme for eight long months. He will have eight months to contact his players, instead of just eight days. This makes sense to me, but in the National Football League, there’s your new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh taking his team to at least the NFC Championship game. It’s hard to feel bad for Castillo when we are constantly told about how loyal he is and how loyal Reid is. I understand that loyalty issue, but shouldn’t their loyalty be for the Eagles fans instead of theirselves? That’s the reason many fans soured on this team.
Andy’s cockiness, Juan’s knack for saying “they work hard,” and Jeff Lurie unable to witness how poorly his front office has managed this team the last few years. Honestly, this team has been a lot worse since Andy Reid has lost some of his power within the front office. If Reid isn’t the only one making football decisions, this team doesn’t go far.
So, I ask you, is bringing back Juan for another year the right move? He’ll have a full off-season. There were good signs towards the end of the year. They did play the Dolphins, Jets, Cowboys, and Redskins who all were playing for nothing. That’s the huge red flag to me. But there is seemingly nobody better out there to bring in, and unless the Eagles bring in a defensive consultant, like they were rumored to this past season during their bye week, I don’t think this is a championship-caliber defense with Juan Castillo at the helm.
I am so sick of hearing the lack of OTA and off season. The 49ers also had no off season and they have a WHOLE NEW HC AND STAFF and went 13-3. I cant believe people still use that excuse. I am also nauseated that we keep talking about those last 4 games. Those teams were crap, and when we did play a playoff caliber team like the Pats, the didn’t just beat us…they embarrassed is. Stop making excuses for Andy.
NO, HE IS COMPLETELY OVER MATCHED BY EVEN THE WEAKEST OF CREATIVE OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS IN THE LEAGUE. God bless Juan, but he was put in a no win situation, no matter how much he tries to be professional about it. If they are going to keep him at D-Coor, he needs some help. I pay Eric Mangini, what he wants, and make him some kind of Defensive Council./ Assistant Head Coach, or something to get some one in here that knows defensively what he’s doing.
Fans need to remember, that the 49er entire Staff has worked together for 5-6 with Harbaugh as their leader back to their Coaching at Stanford and San Diego State together. So when they started after the lockout, they already have a proven internal processes, schemes,routine on drills, and a philosophy already esstablished.. It was a matter of them getting it down to Coach the players who obviously bought into it quickly..
The Eagles situation was the complete opposite.. You have about 5-6 new Coaches who have never worked together before and who all came from different schemes, you are completely changing the OL and DL Schemes and than you have a new Secondaty Coach, 2 Newbies in Zordich and Caldwell and of course a new 1st Year DC who has never been a DC before or a Coach on the Defensive side of the ball in his NFL Career. This is a lot to coordinate and lhave a staff learn how to work together to develop a smooth transiton from past schemes.. then you add in about 20 new Players to the Roster and there really should be little surprise that they struggled out of the gate.. This Staff just didn’t know or trust each other well yet and it was reflected in the players play on the field which was tentative at best..
As far as 2012 Season Goes, Coach AR has no choice but to stick with Castillo & Washburn and the Wide 9… I don’t beleive he or the team for 2012 can afford to bring in another DC and start making Schematic Changes all over again for they don’t have the time to work out the bugs and change a lot of personnel around to fit the new schemes.. They need to build on how they finished and add a Strong Safety and 2 LB’s and this Defense can be solid.. I believe they finished 8th Statistically last Season, but gettting bigger,stronger,meaner in the middle from DT/MLB/Safety will hjelp them on short-yardage and in the Red-Zone which has been the Eagles beiggest defensive issue for the last 3 Seasons.. You have to hold the fort down Defensively once in the Redzone and keep teams to a FG once in a while, even if it’s a 1/3 of the time, could make a big difference of winning a couple of more games a season .
I hope they are focusing on a strong Defensive Secondary Coach for they need to get a good one in here to work with this talented Secondary for this should be a real strength of the Eagles Defense with their All-Pro CB’s
I hope they hire Kevin Ross from the Raiders..
If 2012 is another subpar season, then the entire Coaching Staff will be terminated and a brand new Vision,Philosophy will be brought in but this is not the tie (2012) to be making changes.. Go with how you got and get better
Paulman, Stop trying to justify how bad we played because of the new coaching staff, it doesnt matter if Harbaugh and his staff coached together, the bottom line is they had to make an ENTIRE team buy into their system with no OTAs or mini-camps just like us, Reid went and brought in Washburn first then asked a D-Cord to adjust to his wide-9, does that make sense? I never in all my years following football heard something as stupid as that, that is the real reason why no real D-Cord wanted this job! Castilo was the only one to jump at that, I dont care how long Castillo has this offseason to get his players ready, hes not built scheme wise, halfftime adjustmen wise to compete with the more experienced O-Cord, everybody talks about what the Patriots did to him but the game that sticks out most is the Bears game, Martz made a fool out of him, the man was five steps ahead of him. Castillo is a position coach only and if we dont make a change were in trouble.
yeah the no OTA thing is just an excuse because every team had to deal with it.The eagles were not the only team to bring in new coaches.I think if they don’t make some kind of change because they just look at the last 4 games of the year they are making a huge mistake.
andrew p, I agree buddy. Paulman – stop co-signing for reid and his inadequacies. Lay off that green liquid buddy and go into rehabilitation. After 13 years, you need to get clean and sober up like I have, There’s no excuse four last years debacle.
wow these threads on this site are getting worse each week……the question is absolutely stupid as we all know Juan has no business running a defense, an NFL defense at that… .the Eagles will finish 8-8 and Reid will be fired next year…. Lurie’s statement at his press conference will change Reid’s philosophy on drafting and player moves….the players and coaches will all be stressed every week to win… Lurie put Reid on the hot stove and things will fall apart early next season when DJAX contract talks will break down causing a headache to all, then Reid will franchise him then send him to the 49ers for a 1st round pick in 2012…..only to use it on an offensive lineman who wont play….same old story for next season…. they wont win and do not have the talent to win…. Vick is never going to win a super bowl and neither will Reid…. same your money and time and do not watch them next season….you’ll only be stressed and dissappointed.
I think many of you underestimate the time it takes a Coaching Staff who have never worked together,and come from different backgounds and schemes and expect it to be a smooth running operation out of the Gate..
I am not making any excuses for AR because I didn’t like some of the Hires to begin with either.. He iniatially should have hired a real DC who then brings his own Schemes and Staff to coach it… AR 1st mistake was hiring DL Washburn who will only coach 1 style (Wind-9), which is probably a big reason he was not able to hire a real DC afterwards since this Scheme is not every DC’s Philosophy.. In fact, only about 3 Teams even play the Wide 9.. Washburn is the kinda coach who is “My Front 4 is playing Wide 9 regardless and getting after the QB, so the rest of you Defenders and Coaches (LB & Secondary) have to figure out out what to do behind us..”
Washburn wants the authority of a DC but is only coaching the DL which turns of a lot of Potential DC’s (Spags,Mangini,Del Rio) who are not going to change their Schemes and Philosophies just to keep Washburn happy and therefore would not consider coming to the Eagles.. Now it works for Castilo who probably doesn’t have the experience or balls to know any better but not for a well-respected DC who doesn’t beleive in the Wide-9 Scheme , but to me this is all water under the bredge for Coach Ar and his Staff are all hree for 2012 and this includes Washburn,Castillo , the key now is to get a good Secdonary Coach, like Kevin Ross, Chick Cecil or Tim Hauck. and get this Defense on the same page which they showed signs of coming together as a Unit the last 4-6 weeks of the Season
Look at the Turnovers committed and the missed scoring opportunitied by the Eagles Offense the 1st half of the Season and this is the real reason why the Eagles finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs..When they were 1-4 and then up to 3-6, the Season was over… maybe not matematically, but for all intents and purposes, this 2011 Team dug too deep of a hole for itself and didn’t deserve to make the Playoffs
Guys read my posts from yesterday, i gave a deep analysts of andys reasons behind allowing this defense to remain mediocre and at times the worst in the league like this past year showed.. you cant just have talent on a team you need great coaching also.. the reason why andy will most likely hold on to. Juan is obvious he doesnt want to set this team ip for the log haul bc he knows he could be gone any time now so he always leaves the team in a situation that it seems like the always need andy and like they cant win without him. Notice every year the team has alot of questions going into the season then the offseason has the same questions if not more? Andy has set this entire situation in motion and doesnt set this team up for the long haul and never has.. we always end up with the same questions and then some at the end of the year.. so it shouldnt be a suprise to anyone that andy is content with living and dying with juan castilo who has never coached defense in the nfl a day in his life, its obvious. Juan is no threat to andy or his job. Look down the list and does not keep guess that are threatening to him. Guys that are not he keeps. Jim Johnson, juan castilo, mudd, wash, the multitude of poor position coaches thru the years that i dont remember any of there names bc most arent coaching in the nfl.. spags and harbaugh are two that andy let go fast bc keeping them around would threaten him and could move the front office to make a move.. when they let john harbaugh go i said they should of made him DC and i said that while J J was still in place, i saw something in harbaugh and if i did and most of us on here did then we know andy did but he allowed his ego and fear to get in the way, but he makes it seem like hes just allowing guys to leave so they can get a shot as HC elsewhere but really hes just threatened by them qnd doesnt want there to be whispers of them taking his job so he ll rather let them walk then to promote them to DC other.. so again juan staying put wouldnt suprise me but if i was there i would try and get Vic Fangio from the 49ers in here to coach this defense and eventually coach this team as the HC..
Notice for the most part the new coaches did there jobs, mudd took the oline to another level and wash helped the dline to lead the league in sacks but everything juan touched broke, the LBs especially.. all coaches that are on the same team should all be on the same page so dont give me that excuse.. this team has more excuses than wins, let me repeat that, this team has more excuses than wins..and thats not gonna get it done.. johnny lynn was let go after just 1 year with the secondary, why him but not juan? You figure it out.. it had to be a fall guy bc there is always a fall guy when we all know it should have been juan instead…
RIP Joe Paterno..
Forget about last year, just answer this one question – you – any of you – are you better at something in your second year than you were in your first? I say that generally, the answer is yes. Juan can only get better this year. And frankly, if they add to the LBs, I don’t see why this defense cant be much better without changing coaches. For those of you that say mentioning the lockout/lack of otas etc…. is just an excuse. Well then the same goes for “juan was an OL coach, not a defensive coordinator” – that’s an excuse to write him off and not talk about what he did in real life. In real life, he came in and struggled as an DC but then improved. And now he’s in his second year. If you’re gonna cry ‘no excuses’, then don’t use them yourself – stick to content. They didn’t play last year, he’s still the DC (unless we’re notified otherwise), and everything else you say is just bitching and moaning. He got better, has another chance to improve, and we don’t know that the D wont.
I still say the biggest reason the team lost this year was egos. Vick, Desean, Asante, Maclin… all of them with the turnovers, and thinking ‘we have the talent, we will win’.
I vividly remember a candid moment on the sideline that the Eagles Television Network picked up in preseason – 7,10,22, 24, 25 were all sitting/standing together on the far side of the bench laughing and joking around. It was apparent that they were all talking about how nasty the team would be. It was amazing to see for me cause I too bought into the hype.
Well know they’re all humbled a bit. Lets see what happens from here on out, because when we got them all, pretty much everyone on this site thought we’d be unstoppable – which proves once again what I say every year – that we all know NOTHING right now about what will happen next season in the NFL.
So lets watch, not pretend like we know.
Good points Schiller,,
I was one of the few who did not buy into the hype last year and was chastised for not being a “good or real fan” but I will always call them as I see them..
This Off-Season, Free-Agency and 2012 Draft will be extremely important not only to the Entire Coaching Staff & Players but to the Franchise and Millions of Fans for they can bounce back and upgrade a few positions and be focused and mature and work as a team and be right back in the Super Bowl hunt, or they can remain unfocused, elfish and bring the Coach AR era to an end in which th eFranchise will have to start over with a new vision and a new leader … It should be interesting to watch their moves this off-season for I believe that GM Roseman’s seat is getting warmer too…
well shiller if that is the case wouldnt the birds ( reid) have been better off keeping mcdermitt ? this would have been his 2nd year and therefore he would have been better and our deffense would have been better and probably won
that additinal 1 game and made the playoffs !
NO IT ISN’T! But what other choice do we have now. It’s too late. We lost out with Spags & no one is coming to this sinking ship, with a lame duck coach.
McDermmot had 2 Seasons 2009 & 2010 as DC with the Eagles and he clearly was not ready. I saw many Panther games in 2011 since I live in NC, and ther Defense got torched and blew 2-3 games with his poor Defense Play calling ..Panthers lost games to the Cardinals,Packers,Falcons & Titans where their Offense had put them in position to win, but his 4th Quarter Defense’s and untimely Blitz calls blew them (just like the Eagles did) but the Panthers did lose 4-5 Defensive Starters in the 1st month of the Season so I will give him the benefit of the doubt..
Schiller, paulman, If thats the case then why fire Johnny Lynn? The man was only on the job for one year with this team, sorry guys it doesnt fly!
Jon Hart, again you are completely clueless dude. John Harbaugh got the head coaching job for the Ravens with an established GM in place and a talented defense. why would he turn down a HC job to be a defensive coordinator? why would Andy Reid replace one of the games best defensive coordinator in Jim Johnson with the teams special teams coach? Reid didn’t let Harbaugh go, he had no choice.
as for Spags, again, he’s not going to fire Jim Johnson for a LB coach who might be a good defensive coordinator. Spags got a promotion to be the DC for the Giants.
Ravens now up 17-16 late in the 3rd Period
Story of the game is the Patriots are 1 for 4 in Red Zone Scoring Chances and had to settle on 3 short FG’s instead of getting TD’s
Red-Zone Offense and Red-Zone Defense continue to be critical factors of any game, along with Turnovers to determine who Wins or Loses ..
Does andy have time to keep living and dying by juan? Do u guys want a coach that doesnt do whats necessary to win? Keeping juan is another painkiller for andy. It may work for alittle while but will not solve the problem long term. He does stuff like this every year. Juan is no different. Why make a oline coach a defensive coordinator just before the season starts? It made no sense and still doesnt. But i already analyst that and came to the proper conclusion about that.. another painkiller for andy while we sit here and watch other teams in the afc and nfc champ games..
Sadly this article hits it dead on.. God knows why Andy Reid goes on vacation right after the season is over every year.. Especially when there are so many changes that need to be made to the coaching staff.
We could have brought Spags in, but good coaches go fast when the season is over!.
Is there any coaches out there that run the Wide9? Defensive coordinators? I know the Lions run the Wide9 but is their LB coach ready to be a defensive coordinator? are the eagles willing to move Juan to Linebacker coach? or CB coach
And someone said “stop talking about last season”.. haha what else sre we gonna talk about? Were still in the losing season as we speak. I dont moan or complain about this team. Im always positive but i state the obvious and im honest and unbias.. this coaching staff is a mess and after all these off season moves theyve made they still have holes.. thats what this upcoming offseason is for yes but one wouldnt think we would have more questions now than we did to start the year..
Wow ridiculous ending to that Pats-Ravens game…can you imagine if Lee Evans made that drop at that time in an Eagles Uniform or if our kicker chocked like that at that moment to go to the Superbowl..
Feel bad for Flacco, made the game winning throw to go to the SB and your receiver screws you like that.
PAHLEASE stop telling me about how the defense played so friggin well and finally got anything together against 4 craaappy teams when the game before this remarkable turn-around was a loss against the woeful 7-9 Seahawks and the week before was a complete dismantling against the Pats.
Just stop already!
i think the gints can beat the patriots i just dont know if they can beat these niners
I think way too much is made that AR goes on vacation after the season is over.. He’s gets away and out of Philadelphis to avoid the distractions, the media & the fans so he can put together whatever changes and strategy he will make for the upcoming season..You guys really believe that he’s laying out on a beach for a week instead going over film, free-agent lists, draft and scouting reports, and talking to perspective coaches,working the phones,,etc,etc…
He will let the media and fans know something when he has something to say.. He does this every season so why do fans and the local media get surprised or upset that he gets out of town…This is what he does to gather his thoughts,plans and make contacts on Coaching Staff Changes….
nev86 – I think both the Giants & the 49ers can beat the Pats. I’d give the Giants a better chance against the Pats. Manning has been playing so well all season and can probably perform better against the Pats D LIne.
As far as the Patriot Game, they are very lucky to win, they have 2 chances to put the game away and failed to do so, terrible pass by Brady on the Int on the deep route that was clearly double covered.. The play that killed the Ravens was the driver before the final one where on a 3 & 1 then ran a delay hand-off to Rice who lost 5 yards and took them out of FG range and made them have to go for a 4th & 6 or 7 YArds to go, then a terrible play call where 2 Outside Receeivers are running 25 yaerd deep routes nad Flacco basically had 2 options which were both covered.. You need 6/7 YArds, why run 2 Receivers deep.. Pick-up the 1st down and keep it moving..
Then of ciourde WR Evanas having the ball knocked at as he catching a potential game winnign TD pass.. Great play by the defender but Evans you have to make that play and to make matters worse, Cundiff pulling a 32 Yard FG to the left.. Did anyone else notice that the entire FG play was rushed big time from the FG Team lining up, to the Snap, to the Kick.. This was after a Called TIme-out I believe so whats the rush.. the whole play looked helter-skleter when it didn’t need to be.. HC Harbaugh has to take some responsibility on the poor clock & slow play-calling coming in fron the Sidelines on their final 3 drives.. They still had 1 Time-out left too…
I think the NFC has moved ahead of the AFC now..
Take the Giants/49ers/Packers & Saints over the Pats/Ravens/Texans/Broncos..
Everyone keeps counting the 49ers out as if they arent a very good team.. they have the very best defense in the NFL and have had that all year long, i laugh ever time someone says what they think the 49ers cant do or what alex smith cant do… this isnt the same 49er team people.. they have a new attitude, new formula, new coaches , new players, new everything… Look out for them. If they make it to the SB i pick them over the pats…
I see the 49ers winning this game against the giants and will hold brady to 7 points in the SB… 21-10 49ers
paul u are very right ! andy does not lay on the beach ! there are sightings of him the last 6 years in the medditearaen at clock management seminars .
if the niners win this game i just like brady / belecick against a rookie coach and qb smith just saying !
Would you guys take Victor Cruz over Desean Jackson at this point? I wouldnt but im sure most on here would now… haha
Play calling is everything. After watching Victor Cruz basically run down the field turn around and catch the ball you wonder why Andy Reid has Desean Jackson run 50 yards 15 times a game. Its basically play calling. You can not tell me Maclin and Jackson cant run 10 yards down the field and turn around and catch the ball. Victor Cruz would come to Philly and catch 30 balls. We would have him running 50 yard routes.
I wouldn’t either Jon. DJax is a sure fire HR hitter plus he returns punts!
Dag I agree…I think Reid blunders a lot when it comes to the use of D-jax. I feel like he could put DJax in motion much more to free him up and cause havoc an confusion for opposing defenses. If I was coach I would have Djax in motion all day even if it was just a decoy to run Vick or Mccoy the other way. I don’t think Victor Cruz is as good as his number say but the way they use him make him tough to cove…he moves around all the time.
BTW, i keep think this #10 is Djax on the 49ers…kinda plays like him too
Dag,Rocko,Pheags i agree with you all and great points.. andy and Marty do not use Desean properly, look at how the giants use cruz, look at how the patriots use welker.. they move these guys all over the field and use there speed to there advantage in the routes there create for them… Id still keep desean and desean IMO is better than cruz and i agree that cruz is a product of the way they use him… when desean gets the chance he does not disappoint, yes he can be a diva be what wr isnt in there own way? Desean is still my guy and i hope they can sign him…
Patrick Willis is a monster and is playing like a man out of his mind… I love the 49ers LBs, each and every one of them.. they can tackle, there instinctive,there fast from side line to side line…
Do you guys see why I want Vic Fangio here in philly, look what hes done to the 49er defense… they are a disciplined group that is solid at every position on that field and this is a team they have full control of… I like that every player on defense knows there assignment, noone is confused out there at all.. it helps too that they have smart smart players..
Did the eagles really draft brando graham over Jason pierre Paul? … smh
Pats and Giants always seem to get the lucky plays on their side…seriously its BS.
2 muffed punts + Lee Evans/Cundiff choking = Brady tuck rule + Tyree one in a million catch
Teams just get lucky
Giants are back in the SB! Yes coughlin is Better than reid – to whoever posted that question yesterday. 8 years and 2 SB for coughlin; i’d take him over reid any day.
The 9ers should have won that game.. they deserved the win.. tough fought game..
Gotta hand it to the Giants, they earned it man!
I’m pickin’ the G Men over the Pats.
Giants go to the superbowl and will win. Don’t worry guys because the draft is coming. We’ll pick another fastball to “OCT” (Occupy Cold Tub).
Come on Jon, I wanted the niners to win too but, they didn’t deserve it or earn it.
Juan Castillo is our defensive coordinator for 2012-2013…
Now, don’t that put a smile on your face?
The thing that’s important to recognize about the 49ers is that very little of the actual on the field personnel changed and there were no changes in critical skill “star” positions so all the players knew their teammates, knew what their teammates speed and tendencies were. There wasn’t the awkwardness of being in a locker room with a bunch of unpredictable strangers not knowing what they will do on the field of play in a given situation and having to figure all of that out in process. There also wasn’t the whole situation in which the coach was trying to figure out the system and incorporate something completely different on the fly.
Eh…Gints in the Superbowl. Why am I made to endure such torture!!!!!
Those players have been together for several years (for the most part). The important change was the coach.
And to think Coughlin was on the hot seat.
I’ve heard every excuse in the past years. Journalists and fans alike have actually blamed the offense for the five5 4th-quarter losses. Wasn’t our defense built to play with a lead? This is the kind of spin that drives me nuts.
The bottom line is that Reid sucks! Next year, it will be something completely different.
Right, you are! Play-calling and scheme are everything!
Didn’t our defensive scheme make perennial pro bowlers look as if they couldn’t play Division III?