• December 3, 2022

The Eagles Should Have Been Benching Players Long Before Now

The release of starting defensive end Jason Babin is a rather erratic move this late in the season.  But the move exposes the fact that the Birds should have made some changes at the defensive end positions and/or elsewhere on the defensive side of the ball much earlier in the season.

There’s talk that the Eagles may start benching defensive players after their pathetic performances of the last five weeks.  It’s much too late for that to matter.  The season is over.  They should have benched a number of players to send a message much earlier.

This football team and especially this defense has too many “nice guys”.  Former Troy Vincent said this team lacks leaders and that’s true.  Nobody wants to upset anybody.  Somebody on the roster should have treated this season like they were caught in a burning building and expressed the sense of urgency to get something done.

I asked DeMeco Ryans last week whether he felt somebody should get in the face of the team’s defensive players and demand that they play better and he said, “No”.  Ryans is without a doubt their best defensive player.  He shows up ready to play each week, but that isn’t enough, he should have demanded the same from his teammates.  Maybe he will do it next year, but that’s too late for this year.  That’s one of the dangers of comprising a team of mercenaries.

At least Ryans has led by his play, but other veterans like Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Trent Cole, Nmandi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have come up missing.   Every NFL team has to have veteran player step up with their play and demand of the same effort from their teammates.

The Eagles used to get leadership from the cornerback position with Vincent,  after him Sheldon Brown, then Asante Samuel, but Asomugha and DRC give you nothing.  I know some of you might be surprised for me to mention Samuel, but he made big plays for him the entire time he was here.  He competed with the receivers in practice and in the games, which made them better and more competitive.

Kurt Coleman has some leadership qualities and he gives maximum effort, but he’s not good enough of a player to make much noise.  He’s not a Brian Dawkins.

Andy Reid and his staff treated this team as if they were one of his earlier teams with bonafide leaders on the roster.  They let the entire season go up in flames without benching anybody on the defensive side of the ball.

This defense has underperformed drastically on historic levels, but they haven’t benched anybody on the defensive line, linebackers or secondary.  They’ve allowed five quarterbacks in a row to throw for at least 120 quarterback rating.   How do you explain that?

A lot of times on the defensive side of the ball, hustle and “want to” is just as important as talent.  I remember Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie saying something earlier this season that bothered me.  In describing then secondary coach Todd Bowles, DRC said, “He’s laid back just like me”.

One of the reasons that some one as talented as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was in a trade at the prime of his career was because of his nonchalant attitude.  He was too “laid back”.  He’s still too laid back.  Arizona was unable to put a fire underneath him and Bowles has let him remain laid back, when he should have been threatening to bench him if he didn’t improve his play.

During training camp I said that DRC has Hall of Fame talent, but he needs somebody to keep a foot in his butt.  There are some players who you can be nice to and they will perform, but there are others who need a foot in their backside.  This collection of players need a foot in their backside.

Bowles has let this collection of nice guys on the Eagles defense sabotage his coaching career.

Here you have a defense that’s not performing on an NFL level, yet they have refused to bench anybody.  Reid fired the defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, which is something that is a very drastic measure, yet he and his staff have seen this team lose seven consecutive games and not one player has been benched during the seven losses.

This has been the problem with this football team.  Players have been able to perform poorly yet not suffer any consequences.  Players don’t usually play their best football when they’re too comfortable.  A football coach must push his players.  There’s need to be a threat apparent if the players doesn’t perform well enough.

The coaches on this football team have allowed this group of “nice guy” players to be comfortable while underperforming and for that every coach in the organization is going to be fired.


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November 28, 2012 10:41 am

This has been a Problem with the Eagles for the last few Seasons G-Man
The Constant “Coddling/Got your Back/Need to put Players in Better Position” from HC AR and on down his Staff takes the onus off the Players to be Accountable or play with any consistent Sense of Urgency..
We have seen this since 2010 in my opinion and has steadliy gotten worse as the Excuses contniue to get louder and louder (the Lock Out, This is Vick’s 1st Off-Season as a Starter, D-Jax is Happy now with his big Contract,
Trent Cole and Asmo didn’t like playing for Castillo, on and on and on we hear the excuses and now it will be the “injuries” as an excuse..
I am soo long tired of these excuses it as most of the Fans are as well.. I have tried to call things as I see them and I have been harping for over 2 Years now that this Eagles Team is simply not all the good and surely not as good as they and many in the media and fans think they are..
I remember back to last Season when they were about as injury-free as a Team can be, only losing Starter DT A Dixon, with a Season-Long Injury and as one of the healthiest Teams in NFL History still only managed to be 8-8 which told me our Starters are just simply not that good..
Now fast forward to this Season where the Eagles do incur injuries (that every team will get) and that simply go in the Toliet in a hurry..
I recall stating numerous times when the Eagles were 3-1 the first month of the Season that this was a bad team and a few plays away of really being 1-3 and everyone scoffed and called me a hater or a non-fan, but the point is, there was major flaws on this Team that some of us stated since Summer Time that were not addressed that have come back to haunt this Team and Franchise.. I bitched about carrying 5 RB’s when the Team doesn’t Run the Ball 35% of the Plays and still lacks a big-physical WR who can make a difference in the Red-Zone where the Eagles Struggles have been most critical and a real issue for about 5 years now or why carry 11 DL when we have no real Safety’s on the Roster or why have unproven Return Players when D-JAx is one of the best in the NFL.. (Doesn’t Devon Hester continue to be the main returnman for the Bears.. Why… Because it’s what he does best and still makes big plays..) You sign D-Jax to a big contract and then ask less of him.. I just don’t understrand it….on and on I could go…

November 28, 2012 10:47 am

The LT postion was never properly addressed during SUmmer Camp when it was very apparent the D Bell was not the Answer…
It was apparent with Cooper on the Mend that the Eagles had no Target taller than 6ft to play WR on their Roster and therefore had no Red-Zone Threat from the WR Position, again , this was not addressed..
The TE position lacks any big plays or Yards after the CAtch from it’s Receiveing Corp though we saw in SUmmer Camp Barrett make lots of plays and cut him and instead choose to carry 5 RB’s (McCoy,Lewis,Havilli,Brown and Polk) even though the Eagles pass 65% of their plays and McCoy is one of the Top 3 RB’s in the entire NFL, so they contintue to carry Lewis/Polkl and zippo production from them while their WR,OL and TE positions struggle

November 28, 2012 11:48 am

Atleast Jaun Castillo was fiery and the D was ranked #8 before he got a boot in his backside. To large extent there is a failure in coaching. Barry Gardner seems like a nice enough guy, but why weren’t one of the more vocal Eagles retired defensive veterans retained for that coaching position? (J. Trotter, Ike Reese?) Deuce Staley is arguably doing a great job with the RBs. Brian Dawkins is probably comfortable in his beautiful cliff side mansion in the mountains, but the Eagles could snatch him from Colorado with enough effort. He arguably would have done a better job at motivating the safeties or keeping a talented guy like Phillip Thomas, who had character issues, in line. Dawkins may have even pushed for Curtis Marsh to play safety which is something no one on the staff seems to have guts to bring up.

November 28, 2012 11:50 am


I’ve railed ag’in you, but you’re right about this. This defense has not earned their money and lots of these guys should have been disciplined much sooner than now. Namdi needs to keep his mouth shut and play, although he apparently can’t. Trent Cole can no longer get credit for how hard he plays. He has needed to produce! And he does not do so. Cullen Jenkins’ name is heard at the home games rarely. Is that the best he can do? DRC has had a decent season. I like Kendricks alot. Landri does what he can. Patterson has been as good an addition back from injury as anyone could have been. I would like Graham to step it up. Ryans still worries me because he doesn’t concentrate early in games. That’s not acceptable. The fact that this DL is not dominant is another, and possibly main, reason Big Red should be fired. It’s where he has concentrated both Free Agency acquisitions and the draft. He was correct in doing so, but has misfired too often. AYE, YIE, YIE, G! Future looks bleak.

November 28, 2012 11:55 am

Paulman has called for Curtis Marsh to get reps at Safety since the Summer Camp, He has the physical tools, the size and speed to play the position and why after last season going into the Off-Season he could have bulked up a bit and start learning the Position and could have hit the ground running in SUmmer Camp is beyond me..
The Other change I would have made was leave Boynkin as an Outside CB and not in the Slot for he;’s too small and gets lost in traffic..
Let him play outside where he bleongs and therefore can use his best asset which is his Speed and Ball Hawking Abilitiy.. Another Blunder moving him to the slot and try to take on bigger,more physical Receivers in the middle of the field… Let Brandon Hughes be the Slot CB…

November 28, 2012 12:51 pm

Very difficult to “bench” high priced players. Doing so incurs the wrath of the owner who is shelling out multi-millions for league minimum results. Benching high priced players, especially FAs also difficult because the coaches/gms that do the cutting are basically announcing to the world that their choices suck. For the most part, these are proud, arrogant guys who do not like admitting their mistakes.

I’d like to think, that while not benching them earlierwas a problem, the brining in/resigning of many of these “me first” front runners was the real mistake.

On another note….that “8th ranked D” of the first few weeks did get to feast on Wheedon’s first start, Flacco on the road, and Inept Arizona….not exactly a murderer’s row.

November 28, 2012 1:10 pm

I agree Vinnie,
But there was no reason to open the Season up with 11 DL and 7 of which are DE’s… Tapp should have been moved in the SUmmer and heard that PAnthers,Vikings were both interested in him for a late Round Draft Pick (6th Round) which they should have jumped at.. You had Graham,Hunt and Curry who were all smoking hot in the Pre-Season and basically shut 2 of them down when the Season started to pllay COle,Babin,Tapp more snaps which made no sense to me..
I’ve stated this numerous time and will again for the final time
Coach Ar’s biggest mistake was not in hiring JC as DC, it was hiring DL Coach Jim Washburn first without having a DC in place which eventually tied his hands and was unable to hire anoyone else for most DC’s do noty like the Wide-9 Scheme as a Base Defense.. Now Castillo got stuck and had to try to work with it which didn’t quite come quick enough for many but to be honest with you, Castillo I thought was doing a pretty decent job considering the Soft Secondary, Poos Safety Play and the crappy LB Corps he was dealt with last Season, but this is all water under the Bridge..
Washburn Coaches one way, me or the Highway type of mentality which is why many in the Defensive Circles don’t like to Coach with him for he’s very inflexible as is Mudd as is Coach AR.. See a Pattern here.. this entire Staff is made up of Coaches too damn set in their ways and not have the ability to adjust and change things up which has contributed to their collective downfall

Gotta Luv It
Gotta Luv It
November 28, 2012 3:00 pm
Reply to  paulman

Kinda goes against the “Andy only hires Yes Men” proclamation
so many like to use…don’t ya think?

November 28, 2012 4:55 pm
Reply to  Gotta Luv It

How is it NOT?!

Reid wanted a wide 9. So he hired a guy who lives and breathes wide 9. Would Washburn ever tell Reid, “hey, let’s run a 3-4”? Would Washburn ever say, “hey, our offense should run the ball more.” Of course not.

A ‘yes man’ isn’t only someone who takes dictation. It’s someone who will never go against the orders / philosophy of the ‘leader.’ Washburn just wants to dick around with defensive lineman in a wide 9 – that’s all. He doesn’t care about anything else at all. So he fits Reid’s management philosophy perfectly.

November 28, 2012 1:50 pm

as i’ve been saying for years now…. i look forward to when the Eagles bring in a DC. It will be refreshing.

November 28, 2012 3:43 pm

“The coaches on this football team have allowed this group of “nice guy” players to be comfortable while underperforming and for that every coach in the organization is going to be fired.” …GCobb

Fired…Music to my ears….

Vick started throwing interceptions after he got his big payday.

Before that, he was another Donovan McNabb. Not throwing picks.

He got reckless after he got his money.

DJax at least his sorry behind started stinking up the joint before he got paid, which is why I keep saying he was not worth a dime. No character.

These guys have no character.

Celek, Ryans, Avant, Coleman and a few other I would keep. I would gut half the roster, and do what Dick Vermeild did. Get guys with hustle.

Every draft “Fat Boy” would say that each draft pick had a high motor. It would appear “Fat Boy” knows as much about motors as Ellen Degenerate knows about a dress.

November 29, 2012 12:16 am
Reply to  bsmvideos

“The Eagles Should Have Been Benching Players Long Before Now”‘

I’ve always believed players are a mirror image of their coach. Nothing illustrates that any more vividly than in the case of the Eagles. Reid is soft and laid back and so are his players. There doesn’t appear to be a mean one in the bunch. You won’t find any Ndamukong Suh’s among this crowd. Not intending to be mean but, Reid’s the classic Pillsbury Doughboy here. Warm, fuzzy, and easy-going. No sideline flare-ups, no passion. Just silent, stoic, deadpan. I watch the younger more active coaches like Jim and John Harbaugh. They’re energetic. They interact and get involved with their players. I watched Jim Harbaugh in a film segment on NFL Network playing pitch and catch with Alex Smith. I even watched Belichick making corrections with his players and coaching them up on the sideline. Reid…nothing.

November 28, 2012 3:58 pm

If you take away the first game vick only has 5 interceptions

November 28, 2012 4:31 pm

If you take away the 1st Game, the Eagles only have 2 Wins this year Larrwd
and you should probably take the Ravens Game too for a game that should have been in the loss Column with a puss Offensice Interference Bad Call when Asmo was burned a 2 times on a 3rd & 14 Play by HOF Receiver Jacoby Jones which would have sealed the game for the Ravens..
Take these garbage wins away and the Eagles have 1 Victory, 1 good Game they have players all 2012 and that was versus the Giants
Now look at the lopsided losses like the games against the
Arizona,Saints,Falcons,Redskins which were all over by halftime and even by the end of the 1st Quarter and then to have the 2-8 Panthers roll in on Monday NIghday at the LINC and Score 2 easy TD’s on their 1st 2 Drives to go up 14-3 with a struggling Offense and wide-ass open pass Plays exposing these terrible secondary again… This Teams a joke

November 29, 2012 12:25 am
Reply to  paulman

Unfortunately Paul, it won’t get any better this week. I’ve learned to keep my blood pressure down by anticipating a loss every week rather than EXPECTING a competitive performance by the Eagles. I think we all have a good read on them by now. If not, some of us have been living under a rock. So, with that, up next, ‘Boys, Bucs, Bengals, ‘skins, Giants. Do you see what I see? Yup! Three and Thirteen.

November 28, 2012 5:20 pm

This team is a reflection of Andy Reid.

Andy Reid traded out of the 1st round more than 1 time.

He stockpile draft picks like the future was never today.

He offered Brad Childress a job, like he was running a coaching safety net program and was never going to get fired.

Once he finally realized he was under pressure to win, he responded like the loser I have always said he was. You could look in his face at the end of any close game and see the panic and fear in him.

He did a good job of surrounding himself with a good coaching staff in the beginning and drafting a franchise QB. But the more power he got, the easier it was to see that he was baffoon. His play calling was the most predictable in the NFL. Once coaches caught on to his shtick, it was only a matter of time.

Tampa Bay and the New Orleans Saints have won superbowls on his watch.

The original bag teams.

He is pathetic and nothing that has happened this season is a surprise.

I hope Gcobb will run the article I wrote 3 years ago, why Andy Reid would never win a Superbowl.

Yes, I told you so.

November 28, 2012 6:28 pm
Reply to  bsmvideos

Andy fooled us all, he was the freaking QB coach in GB, he comes here goes 16-16 his first 2 yrs, then goes 11-5 and beats a fraud 13-3 bears team in the div rd in the playoffs AND THEN GETS FULL CONTROL OF THE TEAM. Andy has never evaluated personel in his life. AND THAT WAS OWNERSHIPS BIGGEST MISTAKE. Andy had the NFC conference for the taking 2002-2005 and he didn’t get it done, he chased Modrak along with some other good football men outta here. AND IM VERY CONCERNED WITH HOWIE ROSEMAN RUNNIN THE SHOW IN THE FUTURE

November 28, 2012 6:36 pm

Tom Donahoe is around to help Roseman, actually Donahoe will probably handle the Player Personnel/Drafating and Scouting and have Howie focus on
Salary Cap and COntract management which is what Roseman is good at

November 28, 2012 10:19 pm

Mike Singletary – for D Coord? Not sure Where he is at now – But he’s an intense defensive Minded Coach Who will tell you like it is and demands you give your best, and dosnt care if you are the star or not, if your not performing your not playing – He sent Vernon Davis back to the locker room during a game and probably was one of the best things for him. I think he could be a good addition on the defensive Side of the ball for this team.

November 29, 2012 12:37 am
Reply to  LavelCrow21

“Cannot play with them… Cannot win with them… Cannot coach with them… Can’t do it!!
Mike Singletary

Yeah.that’s who I think about when I think of a tough, no-nonsense Defensive Coordinator. Currently Mike is Linebackers Coach/Assistant to the Head Coach with the Minnesota Vikings. I believe a challenging DC position with the Eagles would be an attractive step up. And we’d be getting someone with passion who’s not afraid to show it. That’s the one thing I liked about Castillo. He wore his emotions on his sleeve and displayed it unabashedly. And it slowly became contagious and spread among his players. The Eagles could use tons of passion by the truck full.

December 1, 2012 8:41 pm

Looking back, firing Castillo was a mistake. He was respected and worked hard. His problem was inexperience at calling the defense during games and that cost him late in close contests. But, his teams were competitive and improving. Bowles has done nothing. This D has no heart, no leaders. When is the last time the D made a game-altering play? 2010?

December 1, 2012 8:56 pm

When Castillo was coordinator the Eagles were in every game.. The guy improved so much. Andy Reid fired him in desperation and it was the wrong thing to do. He couldnt fire his white buddy Morneweig . The Mexican had to go .

December 1, 2012 10:23 pm

Exactly larwd, I have been stating te same for weeks, if Castillo were black or white he would not have been scapegoated, no Hispanic support in the nfl, plus that shit asso put in a bad word, now juan is gone, but he was far better than Todd bowles