Only Andy Reid could make what was quite possibly the dumbest hiring in NFL history look like even more of a debacle when he fires the same guy about a year-and-a-half later.
The fact that Reid still has a job as the head coach of the Eagles after firing Juan Castillo as the defensive coordinator shows what an absolute joke this franchise has become.
Castillo never should have been hired as the defensive coordinator. It was absurd. That’s not opinion. It’s fact. Put the hiring in the form of a question on an I.Q. test – should the offensive line coach be the defensive coordinator? – and 7-year-old children get the answer correct. Yet, somehow the head coach and owner, Jeff Lurie, of the Eagles got it dead wrong.
Lurie is now just as culpable as the head coach in the Castillo situation. Everyone in the media swore up and down the NovaCare Complex that Andy had put his head in the guillotine with the decision to promote Castillo and allow him to move to the other side of the ball. Lurie was supposedly allowing his head coach to succeed or chop off his own head with the way out-of-the-box hiring.
Anyone see the head coach’s head rolling around on the floor?
Maybe Andy’s agent was right. Maybe Reid does have a job for life with Lurie. If a decision this stupid needed to be reversed this quickly and doesn’t cost the man his job, it’s hard to conceive of what will.
The reality is that the firing of Castillo comes at a curious time. According to ESPN, “The Eagles’ defense ranks 13th in scoring and 10th in yards per play allowed. Their offense ranks 31st in scoring and 21st in yards per play.”
I’m certainly not going to defend Castillo. I can’t imagine he ever had an ounce of respect from defensive players. It just doesn’t work to hire some guy with zero experience at coaching defense on any significant level of football and throw him in to coach NFL players. They had to be rolling their eyes and laughing at the guy.
People point to the last two weeks in which the Eagles lost the lead in the fourth quarter. Well, no kidding. That was the damn point from day one. Reid hired Castillo based on the superb interview he gave. We heard how prepared he was and how Andy just peppered him with questions.
That was wonderful, wasn’t it? Meant a hell of a lot when Castillo needed to think on the fly against offensive coordinators in the NFL who spent their careers gaining the necessary experience to have that job.
As the Andy sound byte goes, “Uhmmm, no.”
Yet the defense only gave up 16 points in the Pittsburgh loss. The week before they only gave up 17 in a win against the Giants. It’s the offense that is failing this team, and that is Andy’s main department.
The fact is that Reid is looking to save his own ass yet again. Despite his reputation even locally as a very nice and extremely loyal guy, this isn’t the first time he cut someone else loose to save himself.
He tied himself to Donovan McNabb until he needed to buy himself some time and dumped him. Like the Castillo firing it wasn’t the wrong move. It was just over due. Firing Castillo wasn’t the wrong move for Reid. Hiring him in the first place was the problem. But firing him now buys Reid time.
Kevin Kolb was going to need time to develop. That lasted about a half. Then Mike Vick needed time to become a pocket passer, which got delayed by the lockout. And, well, it happened for 7 games and then reality returned. But again, it bought Reid time. Speculation has already begun that benching Vick for Nick Foles is the next move, which potentially buys more time.
Now, Todd Bowles will take over the defense. The move will no doubt improve things, and the team will show just enough promise toward the end of the season to make next year the year.
And Andy Reid will survive as the head coach.