Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What they're saying: Eagles a train wreck?

In case you missed it from earlier, here's Mike Check, taking a look at whether Michael Vick is regressing as a quarterback.

What they're saying: Eagles a train wreck?

Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy sit on the bench during the final seconds of the Eagles´ loss to the Bills. (David Duprey/AP)
Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy sit on the bench during the final seconds of the Eagles' loss to the Bills. (David Duprey/AP)

In case you missed it from earlier, here's Mike Check, taking a look at whether Michael Vick is regressing as a quarterback.

Now on to the roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:

Don Banks of SI.com has the Eagles 21st in his power rankings:

Blaming Juan Castillo for all that's wrong in Philadelphia is scape-goating to the highest degree. But you can't make the case that Andy Reid's big gamble on his new defensive coordinator hasn't been part of the problem. The Eagles play soft on defense, have next to no identity and little intensity, and the Philly secondary apparently believes it's against league rules to tackle.

ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas says QB decisions have not worked out for the Vikings, Cardinals or Eagles so far:

In the case of Vick, the Eagles didn't have to give any player or draft-pick compensation to keep a player already on their team, but they invested a ton of salary-cap room at one position for six years.

What are they getting in return? Not much. Vick, who was better than he's ever been while starting 12 games last season, has been dreadful since leading the Eagles to a season-opening win against Baltimore. Through five games, he's committed 10 turnovers. All last season, he had nine. Vick has put coach Andy Reid on the hot seat for putting all his eggs in one basket.

Former player Matt Bowen says in a National Football Post piece that hiring a consultant is not as effective as it sounds:

There's no question the Eagles have to play a better brand of football under Castillo and I commented on that after the loss to Buffalo on Sunday. But let the Philly coordinator make the adustments, some possible personnel moves in the starting lineup and put this defense in a better position to win (and get back in the NFC East discussion). That is the right move for Reid and the Eagles, because "consultants" aren't always a quick fix.

The Eagles are 21st in ESPN.com's power rankings. Here's Dan Graziano's take on the Birds:

I mean, I've seen four of their five games in person. They have plenty of athletic talent, but they just don't play the game of football especially well. And I really think that's going to hold them back. John Clayton still has them up at 18, which inflates this ranking a bit. But right now they're down there in the bottom third, and they've earned their way there. I'll be interested to see their ranking next week. If they play well and by some miracle win in Washington, I wonder if the voters will bump them way up thinking "they're back." And if they lose and fall to 1-5, they'll have to be down right there at the bottom with the other absolute worst teams in the league. No matter how much athletic talent they have.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 21st:

The Eagles are like witnessing a train wreck; while it is hard to watch, you just can't seem to pull your eyes from it. They are up and down the field, but keep turning over the ball in the scoring zones. Defensively, they played hard but still can't seem to tie the front and back ends together, and have way too many missed tackles. Either one will get you beat.

Jason La Canfora also calls the Eagles a trainwreck:

Philly's trainwreck start rolls on, in what is now a vital divisional game against first-place Washington. The Redskins are coming off a bye and need to see more of "good" Rex Grossman, because "bad" Rex has been creeping up far too often.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 21st:

Is Andy Reid in trouble? You have to ask the question. The offensive line is getting Mike Vick killed.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 21st too:

Philadelphia's pass rush didn't get many sacks Sunday, and the linebackers -- as a group -- produced nine solo tackles. Much-maligned coordinator Juan Castillo's defense didn't allow many big plays in the passing game, but produced only one turnover and continues to be hampered by general suckiness. Meanwhile, the offense was a giveaway machine with five turnovers. The Eagles are still good on paper, but you don't win too many games with a minus-four turnover differential. In fact, well below 10 percent since 1970.

Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports takes a look at what's wrong with the Eagles' defense:

To me, this is a simple case of the coaching staff trying to superimpose its ideas about scheme onto personnel that really isn't built for it. Castillo is asking his stationary players to be motion-versatile, his style-point players to be scheme-transcendent, and his star players to act like his rotational guys. In other words, the Eagles bought a bunch of expensive furniture in the offseason, and they have handed over the interior decoration to Wal-Mart. You may also note that I haven't mentioned Rodgers-Cromartie, who hasn't been much of a factor at all.

The Eagles are failing to maximize the attributes of their most talented defensive players, and until that changes, there will be major problems on that side of the ball in Philly.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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