Bird Is The Word: Week 7 (Bye Week)

Posted: October 21, 2012 in Eagles

A Look at the Philadelphia Eagles

It’s Week 7, the Eagles bye week.

The Eagles enter the bye week with a disappointing 3-3 record, and a wide array of questions left to be answered.

They easily could have been 5-1 going into the bye, but I am not going to get into “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” because the fact of the matter is they are not 5-1 they are 3-3 (and they are lucky to be 3-3). At the rate things are going now, the season is only going to get worse. Changes definitely need to be made (and some already have).

Adios Juan

For the first time in his 14-year tenure as Eagles head coach, Andy Reid made a major change in the middle of the season, firing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo (pictured).

The biggest change this season happened just a few days ago when head coach Andy Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. While the defense has not been the biggest problem this season, Castillo’s firing does not come as any surprise. No disrespect to Juan Castillo, but let’s be honest, he should have never been defensive coordinator to begin with.

Castillo’s hiring (as defensive coordinator) surprised Eagles fans everywhere. Personally, I was completely flabbergasted by the hiring. While he served as Eagles tight ends coach and offensive line coach over a span of 15 years, Castillo hadn’t coached on the defensive side of the ball since he was the defensive coordinator at Kingsville High School (Texas) back in 1989. Why Andy Reid though that someone who is that inexperienced coaching defense would make a good defensive coordinator is beyond me. While some may argue that the Eagles defense has not been that bad (they rank in the top 10 in many categories this season), this move needed to be made. Castillo was not the right person for the job plain and simple.

No Offense…

Michael Vick has been frustrating in every aspect of the word. To simply say he is struggling is not good enough, he has been terrible thus far. Too many bad turnovers (17 this season). Obviously, that needs to improve (tucking the ball in completely once you cross the line of scrimmage and decide to run wouldn’t hurt either Michael, just sayin’). Reid is right to stay with Vick (for now). Just because they are 3-3 does not mean the season is over. There is still time to salvage the season. (I am very optimistic by the way).

As bad as Vick has been (and he has been BAD), the most frustrating thing about this team has been the offensive line. (And no, the irony of Juan Castillo being the former long time offensive line coach is not lost on me). The fact of the matter is an offense can not function (at least not properly) without a solid offensive line. This year, the Eagles offensive line has been about as solid as Cheese Whiz.

The Eagles have struggled this season both in passing and receiving. The problem is they have no offensive line. Michael Vick has absolutely no time to get rid of the ball and gets hit way too much (some of which have been questionable). Does he hold on to the ball too long sometimes? Yes. But he would be much more productive if he had an offensive line to protect him.

Not only that, but the running game has not been great. LeSean McCoy is one of the best running backs in the NFL, but he is not producing like he can be. The one common thing that many of the top running backs have in common is that they have a great offensive line that creates holes for them to run to. The example I like to use is Steve Slaton during his time at West Virginia University. He is an amazing running back, but his offensive line was one of the best I have ever seen and the holes he had to run through were unbelievable.

The King Of The Bye Week

Andy Reid is a remarkable 13-0 coming off of the bye week. As bad as things have been this season, a win against the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons (who also have a bye week) is not that hard to imagine. I am still optimistic about this season and there is still time to save the season. It will not be an easy game by any means, but it is a winnable game.

The Eagles have an extra week to prepare before returning to action next Sunday at 1 pm against the Atlanta Falcons.

Until then: E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!

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