Thursday, February 03, 2011

On the Eagles: Arrogant Andy strikes again

By John McMullen

Philadelphia - Yeah he's a good football coach but it's time for Andy Reid to move along.

Each and every coach in every sport has a shelf life. The incompetent ones spoil as quickly as milk or bananas. Reid? He's the equivalent of a Twinkie. Big Red has had more football lives than a cat. He's the NFL's own Keith Richards. But, his latest move might finally be signaling the beginning of the end.

Moving Juan Castillo from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator is not only arrogant, it's unprecedented. Reid and the Eagles can talk all they want about how Juan is really a defensive guy since he played linebacker in college at Texas A&I 30 years ago and helped Jim Johnson with his blitz schemes. But,
position coaches jumping the line of scrimmage to become a coordinator on the other side is unheard of in today's NFL.

"I'm a defensive guy who got stuck on the offensive side," Castillo told reporters at his introductory press conference. In fact the guy who spent 14 years coaching the team's big uglies must have said "I'm a defensive guy" close to a dozen times, almost trying to convince himself.

It's a desperate move by a desperate coach, looking for someone he trusts that also happens to be no threat to his throne. Think about it -- if the unpopular Reid fails again next year but his defense shows promise under a hot, young coordinator, who do you think the Eagles' fans are going to be clamoring for to replace the bane of their existence?

By all accounts, Castillo is an extremely hard-working guy that is a solid football coach, but few offensive line coaches ever get the chance to jump to the offensive coordinator spot, never mind be the defensive chief.

Leslie Frazier, Minnesota's new head coach, is a very good friend of Castillo and many speculated that when he got the full time Vikings gig, he would look seriously at Castillo for the offensive coordinator position in the Twin Cities. Ditto for Pat Shurmur in Cleveland but Castillo never even got an interview, forget an offer.

The Eagles will spin that and insinuate Castillo's dream was to lead the Eagles defense but make no mistake, the veteran coach would have jumped at an offer from either Frazier or Shurmur.

No matter what you here from the NovaCare Complex,  Andy fired Sean McDermott with an eye on Jim Mora Jr. but the former head coach, who loves the Pacific Northwest, balked on moving his family back East.

Tired of Reid's indecision, Dick Jauron then bailed. From there the head coach interviewed a few pedestrian candidates like Dennis Allen, Jon Hoke and Joe Woods before indicting all of their credentials by tabbing Castillo.

"I'm fired up about this," said Reid. "I can't wait to get this thing rolling."

Others are not so sure. "Unbelievable," one NFL scout told me. "Reid miscalculated here. Castillo is going to be second guessed by everyone, including his players."

Arrogant Andy strikes again.

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