Eagles coach Andy Reid said he has no plans to scrap the "wide 9" defensive front that defensive line coach Jim Washburn brought to the team this season. Reid also affirmed that Juan Castillo will remain defensive coordinator.
The Eagles are among the worst teams in the league against the run, and were gashed early against Buffalo.
"You obviously saw it worked the second half very effectively," Reid said. "Anything new, you have to work with and work out the wrinkles and get it right. They players have to learn it, the coaches have to learn it. it’s a joint effort there."
Asked what the Eagles did better in the second half that allowed them to improve against the run, Reid said, "We tackled better. I thought the defensive ends and tackles did a better job up front. I thought Juan did a good job of getting the players in a position that we wanted."
Should the Eagles fire head coach Andy Reid before the end of the season?
Bills players were dismissive of the scheme and of the Eagles, marveling over how easily they moved through the Birds.
Reid repeated the mantra that his 1-4 team will keep working hard to get the problems they are facing corrected. He stressed fundamentals, particularly in relation to turnovers, which have kept an explosive offense grounded. The Birds have a minus-10 turnover differential.
"We’re going to work our tail off to get it right," Reid siad. "We’re not backing off a lick. That’s our approach."
Sports Illustrated's Peter King, in his Monday Morning Quarterback feature today, called the Eagles "sloppy and dumb." King analyzed the play where Michael Vick threw an interception to Nick Barnett that Barnett ran in for a touchdown. King said rookie center Jason Kelce ran past the blitzer who forced Vick to unload, in order to double-team a defender who was already being blocked.
Asked about his team having that image, Reid said, "Everybody can have their opinion. We don’t worry about those things. We worry about getting better and fixing the situation that we need to fix. It’s America. Everybody can do that. We need to make sure we focus on the things that we need to get better at."
Asked whether the team is still listening to him, Reid said, "I think all the guys are in."
"It's my football team," he said. "I've got to get it right. We'll do this thing as a football team. You talk to the guys and some of the coaches, everybody is being accountable. We've just to work through it, and get it right. That's the best thing about football. It's a team sport."
On the injury front, safety Jarrad Page has a stinger. Reid said he was being checked out.
Defensive end Trent Cole and left tackle Jason Peters did not play Sunday and Reid said it would be a stretch for them to be ready against Washington. He said both players were making progress.
Asked whether he thought the players were pressing, Reid said, “Do they want to win a game? Absolutely, so do the coaches and everybody else. There is a certain process you can through and you go through it. I wouldn’t say a tipped ball is pressing. I don’t see that as a problem with the turnovers.”
Overall: “There are some good things we can do to take out of this game. I explained this to the team when things are not looking good in people’s eyes. I thought the effort was good. And as the game went on, we got better. The thing that has to change is the obvious is the turnovers. You don’t turn it over, you get better results … You can’t give good football teams 10 points off of turnovers … With that, we’ll go back and work on those things and we’ll get better as we go forward and maintain the intensity level we had particularly through the second half. I thought we did some good things there.”
Asked how he can correct the turnover issue, Reid said: “I’ve said this before, it’s important from my seat to make sure I evaluated to put the players in the right position to make plays and if the player is put in the right position that he makes the play. I would like to go that evaluation first. I go through with the coaches on both sides and I do the same things with players as do the coaches. You go back and eliminate turnovers and, ‘Are we concentrating? Are we moving our feet or whatever it might be that is causing the turnovers?
On personnel changes: “I haven’t done anything today.”
About making changes during the bye week, “I’m glad we have a chance to play the Washington Redskins this week and I don’t worry about anything after that week.”