Tuesday Thoughts: Not Juan’s Fault
Two things keep pulling me back to the Eagles 21-17 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. One issue that won't go away is Andy Reid's inexcusable refusal to use his best player, LeSean McCoy.
It really is not rocket science to think the Eagles could have won the game by pounding the football rather than throw to a convoy of receivers that included Steve Smith and Riley Cooper as main targets. I'll give Reid a break on the Michael Vick treatment - sort of. It was clear he was unaware how bad Vick's rib problem was, so he continued on with his gameplan.
The other issue was basically the defense as a whole, although we can break it down into this question: What the hell were they thinking in covering/not covering Larry Fitzgerald?
Far and away their most potent offensive threat, the Eagled D allowed him to run around with free reign for the better part of 60 minutes. Fitz helped make John Skelton look like John Elway against the supposed strong suit of the Eagles defense; the secondary.
That brings me back to the beginning of the season and how this, too, should be an Andy Reid issue - NOT a Juan Castillo issue.
You can liken it to your everyday job. Let's say you're in the restaurant business; you have been with the same place 20 years, and it's a 4-star joint. In your first year, you spent it as a line cook in the kitchen before moving out to the floor, waiting tables and tending bar. You've been doing that the last 19 years. The restaurant now has an opening for sous chef (a notch below the head chef) and without scouring the area to find the finest culinary artists, they settle for the guy who hasn't picked up a spatula in two decades: you.
That's where we are with Juan Castillo. Sure, he got a good look at defenses by battling against them as an offensive line coach for many years, but that doesn't mean he's cut out for actually running one. That bartender has probably seen everything on the menu in that restaurant for the last 20 years and may know it inside and out, but that doesn't mean he can cook it.
So, let's deflect our blame away from Castillo. He was given a job that he probably couldn't handle. To be fair, he has shown some signs of being a good coach, and from all reports seems like a good guy. But this isn't the National Good Guy League.
At this point, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to let him finish out the year and see if he can turn some heads and make people believe he's an actual defensive coordinator. But, again, put most of the blame on the decision makers, Reid, Joe Banner, and Jeff Lurie, for allowing this move to be made. So, before I rip Castillo for having Jaiquawn Jarrett covering Larry Fitzgerald during the biggest play of the game on Sunday, I'll push my fury elsewhere.
We all know the food can taste good - the ingredients are there - we just need someone to put them altogether.