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Andy Reid Foolishly Destroyed His Defensive Formula For Winning

Eagles head coach Andy Reid has got a problem on the defensive side of the football, which I don’t think he can solve this season. Say what you want about the new “Wide Nine” alignment and the Eagles success in getting quarterback sacks, but the bottom line is that the Birds have won only one game out of five while playing this “Wide Nine”.

Reid went to the playoffs 11 out of 13 years by playing Jim Johnson’s defensive system, but he foolishly decided to abandon that system. He made a mistake by listening to all the people who focus on his inability to win a Super Bowl and changed the defensive system which had been responsible for his success.

All he needed to do was improve the personnel not change the system. Last year they had a rookie defensive coordinator in Sean McDermott, but they lacked the talent in the secondary to play the defense.

Johnson always had quality cornerbacks, Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor, Al Harris, Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown and Asante Samuel to play his system, but McDermott had only one cornerback, Samuel, a year ago. Instead of tweaking the defense, Reid made some major structural changes and he’s destroyed his formula for winning. This football team isn’t going any where this year.

I’ve been saying all along that the Eagles made too many changes during the off season. They made some very important structural changes on both sides of the ball and they’re not working. If was foolish of Andy Reid to change his defensive front while also making someone as inexperienced as Castillo the defensive coordinator.

The Eagles are sitting in the same defensive alignment too much. One of the keys to Jim Johnson’s success was his ability to give the offense different looks. Rookie defensive coordinator, Castillo has helped out each offense the Birds have faced by playing the same front all the time.

You’ve got to play multiple fronts in the NFL. Sometimes you show them an under front, which shifts the line to the weak side (side away from the tight end), sometimes you show them an over front, by shifting the defensive line to the strongside (tight end side). Sometimes you have defensive line set up in a balanced 4-3 look.

You must give them different things to think about. Sometimes it requires moving up into an all-out blitz to force the quarterback to make a quick decision. There’s a rhythm to making defensive calls. I’m sure that Castillo is still learning to attack quarterback’s from a physical perspective and from a strategic perspective. At times a defense has to enforce its will on the offense.

Castillo is learning on the job, just like a new rookie quarterback would be learning. Plus the coupling of Castillo, a new young defensive coordinator and Jim Washburn, a strong-willed defensive line coach was a mistake.

The Eagles run defense is poor and inconsistent. The defensive line is always on the attack after the quarterback, which would be fine if you had an outstanding set of linebackers and safeties, but you don’t have them. They are both inept at tackling and covering running backs and tight ends.

The Birds linebackers play dumb football. They don’t anticipate screens and draws which is what everybody is going to run versus the “Wide Nine”. The linebackers should go into every game expecting. Screens and draws are what you use against a good pass rush. Buffalo ran five screens for huge yardage before the Eagles linebackers started to expect them. You can’t win playing foolish football like that.

The only way the Eagles can successfully continue playing this “Wide Nine” here in Philadelphia with their current linebacker personnel is if they play much more man-to-man with the corners playing without help over the top. They should put more pressure on their cornerbacks in pass coverage as a way of protecting their linebackers and safeties. on Facebook

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Posted by on Oct 10 2011. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Coaching Staff, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

35 Comments for “Andy Reid Foolishly Destroyed His Defensive Formula For Winning”

  1. Eagles have been ahead or have been in all the games up to the end

    It was TURNOVERS killing them

    Losing the lead in the 4th quarter wasn’t helped by not scoring points in the 4th

    If they QUIT turning the ball over they have a chance in the East since the have 5 more games against opponents in the East

    I have a feeling they will get it done if they don’t panic and listen to the critics

    Hold on to the damn ball and they would be 4 and 1

  2. I hope Washington pounds us. More losing = pressure to fire Andy. GO SKINS

  3. The Steelers preseason game was a massive red flag, and Andy and “Bozo the Clown” made no adjustments.

    “OH you’re a hater…”


    Well the results are in.

    6 pro bowlers on defense

    3 pro bowlers on offense.

    1 win. 4 loses.

    No one left for the Fat Man to fire, but himself.

    Lurie should drop the ax, right now while the losses are fresh in the fans mind.

    Every team in the NFL would be undefeated if they…

    Just did not turn the ball over on that one drive….

    If Joe starter did not get hurt in the season opener…

    If we just did not comitte those penaltys….

    If they just made that crucial catch at the end of the game…

    And So on.

    Winners make the plays.

    Losers say “if only a couple of bounces went our way”

    You make your own luck.

    Walt Disney once said the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

    Abraham Lincoln said that “good things may come to those who wait, but only what’s left from those that hustle.”

    Winners make things happen. Losers make excuses.

    Time to hire a man to run the organization.

    This bum can’t even disipline himself(his weight) or his kids. (jail birds).

    He is not a real leader.

    He’s a pencil pushing organizer.

    Time for a real coach, with real NFL sized players, able to last a season and play in the cold.

    With a real defensive coordinator.

  4. The steelers game was a red flag? It made no sense even before that. How the hell do you let Akers, Mikell and Stew Bradley walk? Seriously? FIRE THIS LARD ASS

  5. I hope Lurie grows a set and fires Reid….then go after the Packers asst. head coach/d-coordinator, Winston Moss to coach the team.

  6. I cant believe what I am seeing. Just cant believe it. The fact that I cant look forward to the rest of the season already really sucks!.

    If you guys have been on here awhile , you know I have not liked Reid for years. I just hate his whole philosophy. I dont think he will be fired. He always has a scape goat and I think his past success prevents Lurie from firing him. We will be stuck with all this silliness for at least another year.

  7. I agree with Ozzman. My heart would like to see this hack coaching somewhere else. But my head tells me thats not gonna happen for at least another year.

  8. Things I like about yesterday’s game… NOTHING!! Oh wait, Allen finally seemed to be healthy and played faster. Things I disliked… Asante gets killed with slants all day long… Put Jarrett on the field, RIGHT NOW! what do you lose? scrap the wide Nine and get these OLD RECYCLED COACHES out of here. This is not the 70’s. I want fresh new coaches with new ideas. They didn’t even have cell phones when some of these guys started coaching.

  9. Yeah, I agree. I think Reid gets at least one more season no matter what happens with this year. They’ll use the, “Short offseason, lots of new faces, no time to prepare, etc.” excuse to keep him around. The bottom line is I think the FO is comfortable with Reid, he’s not a boat rocker, he keeps his mouth shut and toes the company line, and he keeps butts in the seats year in and year out.

    He may fire Castillo at the end of the year or he may not … depends on how badly he feels like he needs a sacrificial lamb. It would shock me terribly if he kept him on another season, though. He’s been with the Eagles a long time and Reid is nothing if not loyal.

  10. G:
    This is the price Big Red had to pay in making the defensive decisions he has. What I saw yesterday was the Bills offense toying with the Eagles’ defense. And that’s really hard to take. That’s why folks on this site are gonna roast Big Red and Juan Castillo today. Until late in the third quarter, my sense was that the defense had no clue about what the Bills were going to do – and even if they did, they weren’t going to stop them.
    Late third into the fourth, I saw a glimmer of hope. I saw the defenders making plays but it was too late…and then Parker screwed up. What’s Juqua gonna say the OT said “GO!” and he jumped? He’s a veteran. He pooped the bed, G.
    I expected struggles on defense early in the season. But if Big Red had any sense of what he was doing, so did he. Did he see this kind of struggle? I hope not, because if he did, he was already playing for next year.
    Lastly, the offense has become an out and out fire drill on every series. Rhythm? What’s that. Even Billick said it was school yard football. That’s terrible. I loooooonnnng for a consistent running game. I have for years.
    This is University of Utah Utes football I’m watching and I don’t like it. Never have. Passing for a two yard gain – I’m gagging. I hate it. I love it when it works and we win, but it’s much too like rugby with forward passing.

  11. The defensive formula for winning was buried with JJ. The inability to adequately replace him, has been paramount for the reason for this $#!tty DF. How can you expect to win a playoff game, let alone a SB, with a bad HC, an overmatched, idiotic, rookie DC, rookie position coaches, 2 line coaches on AARP, who are using schemes & game plans, that don’t fit nor work with the roster of players you have!?!? It’s asinine, & embarrassing, that they still have their jobs!

  12. This team could realistically finish below .500. I don’t see Lurie keeping Reid if that happens.

    No other coach could do so little with so much talent.

  13. I would Release Juqua Parker today..
    You have to send a message to the rest of team that this lack of focus and continual mental farts are not going to be tolerated.. but Coach AR is too soft and chicken shit to do it..A complete lack of discipline for this Team

  14. your right G, cause when i think eagles football under AR, i think D all the way…. hahaha.

    Its been a LONG LONG time since anyone feared playing our D. The last time would be when we had trot, hue, dawk, and troy. Thats FOREVER AGO.

  15. rcp- there is enough blame to go around and the billions of turnovers clearly were the main problem on sunday but….. give me a break…… this D cant stop anything. Was it the turnovers that caused the 3 long drives to win for the 49ers last week? This O looks sloppy but even worse… the D doesnt have a clue.

  16. “The only way the Eagles can successfully continue playing this “Wide Nine” here in Philadelphia with their current linebacker personnel is if they play much more man-to-man with the corners playing without help over the top. They should put more pressure on their cornerbacks in pass coverage as a way of protecting their linebackers and safeties.”

    ^^^Good article G….I been making that point for weeks…

    sad that I see and Juan doesnt… I know Im not smarter than those guys.. that just leaves the possibility that they are really stubborn..

    they deserve all the heat they get if their problem is being too stubborn

  17. Does anyone not think that DL Coach Washburn is walking all over Castillo
    and that OL Coach Mudd is doing the same thing with Coach MM..
    These old farts are some of the highest-paid Assistants in the entire NFL and have imtimidated Castillo/Mohrnerwig and even Coach AR himself…
    I really expect this Franchise to struggle just to be medicore for the next 4-6 Years and not be playoff competitive…Once they clean house (which won’t be to after 2012) it will then take a new regime at least 2 years to get new personnel and schemes in that fit their style and philosophy.. so maybe by 2015 or 2016, the Eagles can come back to be competitve… Anyone know where and when the 2017 Super is bring played.. (Probably Detroit with my Philly luck)

  18. Pman- i disagree with you about cutting anyone because that would seem as a reward for some. Getting out of here might be a blessing.

    If this were a team that was solid and playing hard and only 1 mistake then i would agree BUT….. everyone (including the players) know that Andy is 1 of the major problems. Cutting a vet like parker when the entire team “crapped the bed”.. would be a mistake. It would look like a scapegoat. it would BE a scapegoat.

    Honestly guys- it is what it is this year. They went “all in”- you cant pull some chips out when you do that. Its really all or nothing.

    we all said it from day 1- this Oline, these LB’s, this D cord- NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It is what it is.

  19. Do you suggest you simply wait to next year and then try again..
    J Parker is not in the long-range plans and this would be his final season with the Eagles anyways… If Brandon Graham is anywhere near ready, I would dump Parker and activate B Graham to see what he’s got…
    I stated a few times back in late summer that I wanted Hargrove and Landri kept over Parker and LAws to begin with.. Anyone notice how good Hargrove looks this season with the Seahawks.. He had some big plays versus the Giants yeseterday…

  20. READ THIS POST!!!!!

    pman- you cant blame this on Mudd/washburn. i actually disagree with G when he says that this D is not Andy kind of D….. think about what we know about the eagles under AR.

    1) They want to get to the qb and smash him WITH THE FRONT 4!!
    – bingo, bango. DONE! we are doing it. Finally doing what MANY MANY FA’s and draft picks were supposed to do. Think about it- McDougal, Kerse, and on and on.

    2) They want Pro Bowl corners that are fast and have good hands.
    – Done.

    3) No disrespect to J.J. but when have we EVER had good lb’s under any andy team? Fine… we had Trott… we had Barber….. but NEVER have we EVER had a solid core on the field for more than a game. IF that.

    Pman- Mudd was begged to come here. He got here and he has 2 quailty guys on the line and loads and loads of crap. He’s had NO TIME to pull this together. Blame andy for making the switch this year. Dont blame Mudd.
    Washburn was brought in to smash the QB. He is doing just that. He mght be the only brigh spot on this team right now. AND…. as far as bullying goes….. over and over again Juan has said- “we have a plan and it will work” that “PLAN” is the wide 9. it is what it is boys- “ALL IN”.

  21. pman- yes i do.

    Vick threw 4 picks on sunday (i realize not really his fault but-he did) you gunna cut him?

    Avant blew it!! TWICE!! Gunna cut him?

    on 1 play- 5 missed takles. Are you gunna cut half the d? (dont answer that)

    you want to cut a guy who has given his all to the eagles for YEARS?? simply because he jumped off sides? I didnt like the play… he blew it. But honestly….. Parker has DONE everything he can to help this team. He has prolly worked harder than anyone during the off season. We have NO D leaders… and the 1 guy who has been here FOREVER… the 1 guy who buswts his butt- you want to send off pcking as a scapegoat to motivate the other guys? Stupid.

  22. as i see it boys- AR has 2 choices……

    1) Fire Juan and BRING IN the D cord of the future. Tell the team that u made a huge mistake and that as head football coach this is your only option. Tell them that you honestly think you can save this season. That there really is a chance.

    2) Get everyone together- even the flipping ball boys- get the office staff in there- maybe evebn custodians…… put them in 1 room and say-

    “Look- this blows. We all know it. the media knows it. The fans know it. I could cut guys. I could fire guys. But i wont. We are a family… and right now… someone else has come in here. Someone hasburned our house down. We can all point fingers…. we can all complain. OR….. we can go down fighting. NONE talks to the media. NOONE. Not a word. Dont read the print. Just come ready to work and wewill fight through this”.

    If im andy- i do option 2.

  23. I think Coach has tried Option #2 the last 2 weeks and it’s not working…
    and Option #1 will be done after this Season is over.. It’ s too late to bring in a new DC.. You really need an entire off-season to implement new schemes..
    which is part of Castillo’s problem to begin with.. He doesn’t have the experience to fall back on really how to evaluate,game plan and coach players and work with his Postion Coaches.. It was almost an impossible task if you really stop to think about it, now granite, Castillo has done nother to impress me as Coach, but he was put in pretty poor position to have any early success… Should have kept McDermott for another years and given him the talent they got for Castillo..

  24. G:
    I think that Steveo is right about the remainder of this season. I also agree with him about the scheme and with what the D is left. Circle the wagons here and ride it out. What do the Eagles have to lose? If it continues this way, we get a new HC. If it improves we enjoy some NFL football. Either way, let’s meet at the end of the season and discuss our options then. I don’t like the deal but it’s the cool-headed, prudent move.
    We’re already in the middle of the battle here gang. Let’s continue to fight the plan with the commander in place. If we lose the war this year, then heads roll.

  25. you want to send a message…. make some BIG changes on the attitude of this team…demote Castillo to secondary coach and let secondary coach Johnny Lynn run the defense….you have nothing to lose and he was a coordinate with the 49ers and has the experience..
    the NFL trade deadline is 10/18….. move Samuel to the Seahawks for LB Curry…move DRC into the starting CB role….release Jerrod Paige….let Coleman and Allen get experience and play out the season…. release WR Steve Smith…. move Riley Cooper into his role and let him play…. the guy is 6-4 and might be able to help in the red zone….

  26. Riley Cooper is a stiff, as is LB Matthews, LB Clayton, DT T Laws, TE Harbor
    and probably don’t even make 75 % of NFL Rosters

  27. I dont think Andy needs to cut people or send any messages….

    He simply needs to sit down with Juan and have a serious talk about what this defense will look like going forward… they need to snap outta their fantasy world they live in where they outsmart everyone on their way to the super bowl with cute plays and over complication of the game…

    Man up the corners and protect the middle of the field… practice against screens and draws, load up the box, and bring out tackling dummies in practice until this defense gets it right

    I do believe the players when they say they are trying too hard.. Towards the end of the game, the receivers looked like they were trying to break one to the house everytime they caught a pass.. Avant’s first fumble is good evidence of a player trying to do too much… Vick getting hit & throwing the ball when he had no idea who was out there is another example.. Just take the sack… Avant needs to just go to the ground… J.Parker needs to settle down and play like the veteran he is… DONT OVER THINK THE GAME AND TRY TO WIN IT ALL IN ONE PLAY

    the biggest problem here is Juan and the defense… Andy or someone needs to sit down with Juan and come to a realistic solution on how to improve this defense… If they can settle that down? they can still turn it around.

    Im not saying I have any faith in this team, because I really dont.. they play way too dumb and sloppy and most of it I blame on Reid & juan… there isnt a a game they cant lose with their poor playcalling and stubborn ways…

    the offense devolves into streetball after a few qtrs because Vick has the balls to try and do whatever possible to pull a win out.. I remember McNabb being in the same position for years… the difference was that McNabb stopped trying to win no matter what….. he just the team fold rather than improvise and run and do whatever he could in his power to win anyway despite the problems with the play calling

    but I do think they are plenty talented enough to turn this around….

    If they somehow win the next game and make it to the bye without another loss, then get serious on their week off figuring out ways to fix their problems, they could still make the playoffs and be a much better team by january..

    I dont have much faith in it, but it is a possibility

  28. Coach AR is as clueless on the Defensive side of the ball as Jaun is..
    You could film the movie sequel “Dumber and Dumberer in the NFL” with these 2 guys… It’s ridiculous as the Eagles have become the laughingstock of the NFL
    (just like the Cowboys of last year)

  29. Look, the D is bad. They look bad, and when I see the other team’s O march into the Red Zone, I think there’s 7 points gone. There’s no doubt about it. I’d also like to see Castillo gone, as it seems fairly obvious that if your players are making mental mistakes it’s because they don’t take you seriously. They may say one thing to the press, but the field is where the truth lies.

    With that said, the additional press of the LB’s and Safeties seemed to work for the most part in the 4th. Samuel played off, and it coughed up a 20 yard gain, but other than that we were fairly sound. Not great, but good enough to cause 3 and outs and a number of TFL’s when not jumping offsides.

    Also, if our Red zone D is so bad, why in the hell are we giving the ball to the other team’s D where they only have to get a few yards to get into the Red Zone. I’m not absolving the D, but holy crap this is ridiculous. The players paid extra attention to it, so we had 33% of this year’s turnovers in one friggin game?

    I don’t care for this coaching staff much right now, but I can’t blame them all for this. Castillo was a mistake, all the adjustments were not a good call with the way the offseason played out, but so what? The offseason’s over, players have to stop the entitled feeling, start playing with discipline, and stop the games. Go out and win the rest and show us that you’re one third as good as you think you are.

    Vick, please please please stop the “it’s all me” sh*t. Your predecessor didn’t do that, and we hated him for it, but we never lost four in row when he was our starter. Take a sack every now and again, it’s better than a pick.

    Coaches, please pass this along: if you don’t try, it won’t be good enough. Nothing will ever be handed to you, and acting entitled will force everyone to want to kick your fanny to the curb. If you try too hard, it won’t be good enough: you’ll force yourself into a mistake. If you’re not mentally calm, you’re done.

    People are at their best when they’re confident in themselves and what they’re doing. The Eagles players are not playing at their best, the coaches aren’t performing at their best, either. Confidence is something that comes from the top down. Do the math.

  30. Starring a fattened up Will Ferell as Coach Reid and George Lopez as Juan Castillo… I can’t make this stuff up anymore, it just flows off my fingers…

  31. I watched some of the games like the Patriots vs Jets or even the Falcons and Packers and I say to myself, there is no freaking way the Eagles can compete with these teams… hell even the Saints,Steelers,Ravens,Chargers,Lions, will tear this Eagles team apart.. They are not a good team right now..
    I expect the Redskins between R Torrain/A Hightower and R Helu to Rush for 200 yards combined against this Defensive Front 7.. Then once in a while, Rex Grossman can play action and hit a wide open TE/WR over the middle whenver he chooses too.. Redskins are rested and ready to avenge last years record breaking performance by the Eagles at fed-Ex Field… believe me, the Redskins nad Coach Shanahan will not have any sympathy for the Eagles that the Bills did, they will not take their pedal off the metal..

  32. Andy’s biggest mistake was hiring Juan as DC, the incredible amount of arrogance that he has towards football fundementals is now the noose that’s around his neck. The ball is in Lurie’s hands and let’s see how this all plays out.

  33. Paulman, I agree.

    The Redskins will pound the hell out pur little front seven on defense.

    Also, I have said before teams are taking away to long ball and daring the Eagles to come over the middle where they intimidate, strip our recievers, or make our offense methodically work without allowing them the end zone.

    This team is Philosophically flawed. Andy’s way use to take defenses by surprise by passing on early downs but now teams play primarily nickle in their base packages against us.

    We paid and traded for corners that are obsolete because our linebacker and safeties are absolutley atrocious, and with the wide 9 the defensive line runs practically out of position regularly.

    You just can’t attack the QB at the expense of leaving your middle open to be exploited by opponents tight ends, runnungbacks, and motion recievers.

    Teams don’t need to challenge our corners because they play 10 yards off.

    Teh memo is out on Andy’s team. They are soft!

    He released and let players walk with heart only to replace them with less, soft, no hear talentless, bums.

    There’s a reason Ed Reed and Ray Ray still play in Baltimore. Yes there’s younger players who might cost less, but they bring leadership in the middle of the defensive unit that can not be easily replaced.

    When we let Dawk walk, we let our heart walk and toughness walk. You can’t replace a Dawk with a weak player like Nate Allen.

    Sheldon Brown would have been the perfect candidate to move to Safety with his jaw moving hits…and he had experience in the secondary. He even called Asante out for not playing up and challenging recievers.

    Sheldon wanted more money …they trade him away.

    Q Mikell was the last of the Moheekans…Had some grit in the middle with experience…just let him walk away. We though the Linebackers would be improved with Chaney in the middle and an healthy Stew Bradley ….We let Stew walk away.

    I’ll tell you Andy have no respect for the defensive side of the ball. He beleives his offense is so prolific that a defense should just know how to rush a passer to protect his precious leads in his prolific world.

    Well Andy?

    You have took the toughness out of Philly harnosed footbal and it have now come home to bite you in the rear end.

    You can not keep disrespecting Veterans like you did with Bobby Taylor, Troy Vincent, Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Dawkins, Hugh Douglas, Later did the same thing to Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown, even throwing you franchise quarterback under the bus for a bum named Kevin Kolb.

    This destroys team Chemistry and force players to lack trust in an organization who just dont respect the players that turned the organization into one of the best in all sports.

    Andy you didn’t get to where you are by yourself…But now you’re on an island by yourself.

    The Island you have voted everyone else who mattered off.

    And in this crazy game called survivor you lose…it’s a shame because the Eagles Fans who have been behind this organization before there was an Andy Reid losses with you.

    Andy have destroyed a perfect opportunity for us to get mutiple Superbowls with his haggleing. If this front office care about their fans then use your vote to get Reid off the Island to salvage a once proud organization who mave have lacked in the Superbowl department, but kicked teeth in every week, win lose or draw.




  34. Great stuff Songs and I agree with your analysis of team getting “Soft” and not replacing the “Leadership” and “Heart” of players who were kicked to the curb

    I also expect the Bears,Jets,Pats,Cowboys and Giants to also ram the ball at the Eagles front 7.. Probably even the Cardinals too with Beanie Wells..

  35. songs, that post was poetry, I am with you brother, even if we didn’t win, we punished them, our team has been hijacked by an owner, a coach, a general manager, who have little respect for real football, real football players, no respect for us, the real fan base, f them all, especially Reid, keep posting reverend songs

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