Tag:Philadelphia Eagles
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:37 pm

Eagles' Reid says job not tied to firing Castillo

Is Reid's future in Philly contingent on dumping his defensive coordinator? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Last Thursday, the Eagles were outclassed by the Seahawks. The loss dropped them to 4-8, and in the process raised more questions about head coach Andy Reid's future in Philadelphia.

It's an odd situation for Reid; he's in his 13th season as the Eagles' coach and he's won 60 percent of the time. Only twice previously has he had a losing record. Eight times the Eagles have won at least 10 games, and that includes seven division titles and one conference championship.

But now, after assembling the Dream Team only to watch Philly lose twice as often as it wins, Reid's job security is tenuous. He hired longtime Eagles offensive assistant Juan Castillo to be the defensive coordinator (that experiment has somehow gone worse than you could ever imagine) and according to a report over the weekend, the only way Reid keeps stays in Philly is if he cans Castillo.

On Wednesday, Reid was asked about the "It's you or Juan" report.

“Nobody has approached me on it,” he said, according to Philadelphia Sports Daily. “My mind is to continue to get better as coaches and players. My mind goes no further than that. That’s where I’m at. We’re right in the middle of this thing and we have to continue to get better; that’s what we have to do.”

Reid added that he is in frequent contact with owner Jeffrey Lurie and team president Joe Banner and while the season has been full of frustrations, everyone's on the same page.

On Monday, Reid said that he hadn't had time to think about his future, but did offer an explanation for the Eagles' struggles this season.

"If you stay in one place long enough, age catches all players no matter how great they are; they're going to outplay their career and you've got to rebuild it," he said on his radio show, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McClane. "We're going through that. You look down the middle of our defense and we are young, young.

"People perceive us to be an old football team, but we're really not an old football team. We're one of the youngest teams in the [NFL]. That takes time."

On the one hand, Reid's right: the Eagles are the sixth-youngest team in the league (average age: 25.8). On the other hand, if he's going with that defense, how does he explain this: the Eagles made the playoffs last season with the fourth-youngest roster, according to ESPN's Mike Sando. (Note: Sando's list is from July 2010 and includes undrafted free agents and unsigned draft choices. Given that most of those players are in their early 20s, it artificially lowers the average. But assuming that each NFL team, on average, cuts the same number of these players before the regular season means that the Eagles were still one of the NFL's youngest organizations.)

McClane writes that the Eagles players still support Reid, including quarterback Michael Vick.

"We've had our bad breaks, games that we should have won . . . and just couldn't pull it out - whether we did it on offense or defense," Vick said. "Honestly, I just don't think Coach Reid had anything to do with that.

"We all have watched the games, we've all seen it, we were all a part of it, we know the reasons why we didn't pull them out, and it wasn't coach's fault. To hear that, it kind of upsets me."

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:54 pm

Trent Cole fined $7.5K for flipping Russell Okung

By Will Brinson

Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung suffered a season-ending injury -- a torn pectoral muscle, specifically -- in the final minutes of last Thursday's loss to Philadelphia.

As we noted at the time, Okung was injured when he was unnecessarily thrown over Trent Cole's shoulder away from the play, after the whistle.

The NFL agreed with our assessment that Cole should be fined and according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the league fined the Eagles defensive end $7,500 for the play.

"I'm not a dirty player," Cole said Wednesday. "At the time, all the stuff that led up to that, there was a lot of stuff that happened in that game. ... Watch that game closely and key on Okung and key on me and you'll see what I'm talking about."

At the time of the play, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll disagreed with Cole's notion, pointing out nicely that he didn't think the injury should have happened, because the take down was unnecessary.

"I heard his comments," Cole said of the Seahawks coach. "You all seen what happened. The guy was on my back after the whistle. He was holding me the whole game. If you look at that play he had me hooked. I'm running to the ball and he had me hooked."

In the screenshot to your right, Cole and Okung (bottom left) aren't anywhere near the play (top right). And the ballcarrier is clearly on the ground while Okung's being flipped, meaning Cole's excuse for the specific play doesn't really make a lot of sense.

While the $7,500 fine stings Cole in his wallet, it doesn't hurt him nearly as much as the loss of Okung will hurt the Seahawks who, at 5-7, aren't technically eliminated from the playoff race yet.

Though if Okung's injury has a hugely negative impact on Marshawn Lynch's revived season, that will change quickly.

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Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:34 pm

Vick on Week 14: 'I'll definitely be out there'

Posted by Will Brinson

Saying that the Eagles season is "hanging in the balance" would be an insult to all the ornaments dangling periously on our Christmas tree right now, but the Eagles aren't "technically" eliminated, so there's still some hope for 2011, however slim.

Adding to that hope is the fact that Michael Vick says he'll "definitely" return in Week 14 against the Dolphins.

"Yeah, absolutely," Vick told reporters after practice on Monday. "This Sunday I’ll definitely be out there. I feel like I’ve got to be accountable for my team. I want to be there. You know, I just want to get back to doing what I love to do, and that’s playing the game of football. There’s nothing in this world like the game.

"I put my heart and soul into it, man, and I just wish I could have been out there the last three weeks, but it just hasn’t panned out that way. We’ve got to keep our heads up and keep moving in the right direction."

Everything's obviously not all roses in Philly, as the Eagles are 4-8. Plus, Vick says his injured ribs still aren't fully healed.

"I won’t say they’re 100-percent, but we’ve still got a week to go, I get better each and every day," Vick said. "Still working hard in the treatment room to try to get better, but I went out and had a great practice and I feel good."

It doesn't make much sense to bring Vick back unless he's actually ready, but the Eagles have been pretty patient by keeping him on the bench over the past three weeks as they went 1-2 with Vince Young struggling under center.

And while there's no reason to get any hope up about a potential run to the playoffs, it is still possible. All the Eagles have to do is win out (4-0, obviously) and have the Cowboys go 1-3 and the Giants go 2-2.

That scenario is made difficult by the fact that the Cowboys and Giants play each other twice -- someone has to win ... but someone has to lose, too! -- but I suppose weirder things have happened.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 11:52 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 11:53 am

Report: Reid could keep job by firing Castillo

Does Reid stay around if he dumps Castillo -- the guy he hired in the offseason? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Eagles are the most disappointing team of 2011. This is not up for debate. In August, they were the dream team. Now, 13 weeks into the season and sitting at 4-8, they're a nightmare. It's gotten so bad that head coach Andy Reid, who has won 60 percent of the time during his 13 years in Philly, could be out of work in January.

One way Reid could save his job: a league source tells ProFootballTalk.com that Reid will need to dump defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. (Also known as the former long-time Eagles offensive assistant and the guy Reid inexplicably hired to replace Sean McDermott as the team's defensive coordinator.)

"Reid’s future will hinge on his willingness to admit that it was a mistake to shift Juan Castillo from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator," PFT.com's Mike Florio writes. "If Reid concedes that he erred, and rectifies the blunder by firing Castillo, Reid will stay. If he refuses, Reid will be gone. "It’s an easy way for Reid to get out with a buyout, if he chooses to dig in his heels. And we’ve seen other head coaches refuse to fire assistants, setting the stage for a termination."

It's an amazing turn of events for Reid, whose team looked primed for a deep playoff run just three months ago. Now, with key players injured (Michael Vick, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jeremy Maclin) or underperforming, and the defense getting outplayed on a weekly basis, the Eagles are in last place in the division behind the hapless Redskins.

It could be worse, however; Reid could be Norv Turner.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:32 pm

Marshawn Lynch runs for all the Skittles Thursday

Posted by Will Brinson

During Thursday night's game -- a 31-14 Seattle win over Philadelphia -- Seahawks running back provided Marshawn Lynch provided an incredible highlight with a Beast Mode-y 15-yard touchdown run.

Even if he somehow wasn't the biggest story to emerge from the game, Lynch's touchdown run, and the ensuing Skittle snack that followed it, drew a ton of attention. But not just on Twitter -- Skittles themselves took notice and decided to offer Lynch a gigantic taste of the rainbow.

According to Darren Rovell of CNBC, Skittles is offering Lynch a 24- month supply and a customized Skittles dispenser for his locker room thanks to the exposure he gave their brand on the NFL Network.

Lynch's Skittle habit borders on addiction; the running back said later he's been eating them ever since he was a kid, because his mother rewarded him for touchdowns with the delicious, multi-colored mini sugar bombs.

If Lynch keeps playing like he has so far the past five games -- 591 rushing yards and five touchdowns in that span -- Skittles is going to have to send more candy.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 8:47 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 8:49 pm

Russell Okung out for year with torn pec muscle

Posted by Will Brinson

Russell Okung, the Seahawks top draft pick in 2010, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle during Thursday's win over Philadelphia.

The team confirmed the news on Friday evening, and Okung will require six months of rehabilitation, which means if the tackle suffers any setbacks, he could potentially miss some of 2012 training camp.

Okung's injury is the third season-ender the Seahawks have dealt with on the offensive line in the past few weeks, as both James Carpenter and John Moffitt suffered season-ending knee injuries recently.

Not helping matters for the Seahawks is the fact that they believed it was dirty play by Trent Cole that knocked Okung out for the year.

"He got thrown down after the whistle, really blatantly," Carroll said Friday. "Stuff like that happens in the game sometimes, but this was most unfortunate because he was damaged by it."

In the picture above, via NFL.com's Game Rewind, you can see the play in question: on the bottom left of the screenshot, Okung's being flipped over Cole's right shoulder as Cole ducks down and yanks him by the arm.

The result was the season-ending injury for Okung and it's a shame, because it came with less than two minutes remaining in a game that was most certainly over, on a take-down that, as you can see, wasn't anywhere near the actual action on the play.

Don't be surprised if the league decides to take some action (read: a fine) with Cole. Unfortunately, that won't bring back Okung, who will have missed 10 of 32 possible games by the time he finishes the second season of his career in Seattle.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 3:09 pm

Reid takes issue with media portrayal of Jackson

Reid says he's 'proud' of the way Jackson played Thursday night.  (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The blowback following DeSean Jackson's three-catch, 34-yard effort against the Seahawks Thursday night was swift -- and expected. Jackson had been benched earlier in the season for missing a meeting, and last week, he was on the sidelines for the fourth quarter of the Eagles' loss to the Patriots after he dropped two touchdown passes. At the time, head coach Andy Reid suggested that the move was to give "other guys an opportunity" but added that Jackson "has to do a better job."

DeSean's forgettable season
On Friday, hours after the Seahawks systematically dismantled the Eagles, Reid defended his enigmatic star wide receiver, especially after NFL Network showed Jackson several times on the sidelines staring blankly into space as quarterback Vince Young talked to him.

"You can take a camera and make it look any way you want to make it look." Reid said at his day after news conference, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "I am telling you, that kid was all in last night and wanted to win that game as much as anybody."

That wasn't evident by watching the telecast. And even one of Jackson's teammates, asked if Jackson was completely in the game, said "No, he's [messing] around."

Still, the shot of Jackson appearing to ignore Young was the biggest topic during the post-game media session.

"There was nothing on the sidelines, no commotion with him and Vince," Reid said. "There is nothing there. Nothing. I am not sure they know who's talking to who and so on and what the conversation is about. Not knowing the language, I don't know how you are able to go into that stuff ... This is petty stuff."

Ironically, the NFL Network's Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin and Steve Mariucci -- all former players or coaches -- agreed that the media treated Jackson unfairly Thursday night. (Below left: Jackson tires of silly questions. Below right: the NFL Network crew defends Jackson.)

Unlike previous weeks, Reid had no issue with Jackson's effort against the Seahawks.

"That kid was all in and I was very proud of him."

It's a nice sentiment but the Eagles are 4-8. And if things continue down this path, both Reid and Jackson could be elsewhere in 2012.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:20 am
Edited on: December 2, 2011 12:27 pm

Teammate thinks Jackson is '[messing] around'

Jackson isn't interested in talking to reporters about the current state of his game. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The big story this morning isn't that that Marshawn Lynch has come out of nowhere to be one of the league's best running backs this season. Or that "the plan" Pete Carroll referred during training camp really does include Tarvaris Jackson, who has played well in recent weeks.

DeSean's forgettable season
Instead, as is often the case anytime the Eagles play, the big story is DeSean Jackson, the mercurial wide receiver in the last year of this rookie contract who plays with all the urgency of a shorts and t-shirt minicamp workout. Following Philly's latest loss, a 31-14 effort against the Seahawks on Thursday night, Jackson admitted that he's "frustrated with losing," but when one of his teammates was asked if Jackson was completely in the game he said, "No, he's [messing] around." 

If the plan is to sleepwalk through the current season for his current team and alienate the 31 others that might've had interested during free agency then mission accomplished, DeSean.  Otherwise, we have no idea what Jackson's doing and his "plan," unlike Pete Carroll's, is not only ill-conceived but it's going to cost him a lot of money.

Against the Seahawks, Jackson finished the game with four catches for 34 yards. Alone those numbers don't mean much. Without watching you might think that the Seahawks double-teamed Jackson, or that maybe the game plan was to feature LeSean McCoy. And at times, both were true. But Jackson's performance is mostly about his apparent unwillingness to … well, try.

"Actually there were quite a few plays called for him," head coach Andy Reid said. "They were making an effort to double him and move a safety in."

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote Friday morning about Jackson staring into oblivion while quarterback Vince Young tried to talk to him on the sidelines.

"If that's what they saw, that's what they saw," Jackson said of the cameras, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I don't have to sit here and answer them questions. My teammates know what it is."

And during pregame warm-ups, Jackson was hanging out with the defensive ends as the other wide receivers worked together.

"I'm not answering none of that type of question," said Jackson. "If you're going to ask something about the game, do that. . . . Next question."

Two weeks ago, Jackson told NFL Network's Michael Irvin that he's in the Larry Fitzgerald-Calvin Johnson range when it comes to his worth. Fitz makes $15 million this season, Megatron almost $9 million.

"I think right in that range," he said at the time. "Maybe top-5 in the NFL. ...My playmaking skills and abilities, my punt returns, and the ability to get the ball and score on any play. I mean, Fitzgerald, he's a special receiver -- don't get me wrong -- but he doesn't play special teams so that adds an extra edge to it."

In theory, yes. In practice, Fitzgerald has been just as dangerous on special teams this season as Jackson. And much more consistent at wide receiver, and that's with John Skelton throwing him passes.

NFL Network's Marshall Faulk got it right two weeks ago: "Showing up to any meeting late is definitely not a good way to handle (things) when you want money from a team."

Not showing up at all is even worse.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com