They were supposed to be a SuperBowl contender in 2011; in fact, Vince Young, who was the back up quarterback at the time, was moved to called the Eagles the Dream Team. The dream turned into a nightmare quickly.
The team that was supposed to win the division and march through the playoffs finished the season at 8-8. Obviously, that wasn’t what anyone expecting from the Owner to the players the coaches and the fans. In a town more impatient with their sports teams than New York, the fans were expecting a bounce back season from the Eagles yet … the Eagles finished an even more madden 4-12, that ultimately cost long time Eagles coach Andy Reid his job.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie ultimately pinned the team’s dramatic fall on Andy Reid because he fired him after 14 seasons as coach. But even Lurie explained it wasn’t all Reid’s fault, so if it wasn’t Reid’s fault, why fire him?
Some of the team’s star players had no problem pointing fingers. Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy were extremely critical of their teammates’ effort. As a high profile player Vick should have been the last to point fingers since many of his turnovers could have been considered turning points of the game that took certain victory into sure defeat.
“I think if you had to point to anything, it’s when you had as much success as we had and are so close to winning a Super Bowl, at some stage you have an opportunity to think that the next move, even if it’s not consistent with all of your previous moves, will be the one that gives you the chance to win the Lombardi Trophy,” Lurie said. “I think that in the last couple years, we’ve done things that have not been as consistent. They’ve been more scattered in terms of decision-making.”
On paper, the Eagles could have been considered the best team in their division (NFC East). Yet something went terribly wrong. Bad play by the players, bad coaching decisions, and even bad choosing of coaches that didn’t have experience in the roles they were being asked to perform in. Case in point Andy Reid moving Juan Castillo from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator, and doing it after Jim Washburn already was hired to be the defensive line coach. That combination turned out to be a disaster. Castillo was fired this past October and Washburn later in the season. The one good thing about the Reid firiing is that the next coach will bring a full staff that will be experienced in the roles they will be hired for.
That is just one part of what went wrong. The Eagles went away from their basic philosphy of building from the draft to spending moeny wildly in free aganecy to address their holes. While the moves looked good at the time it apparently had the reverse effect as 8-8 and 4-12 would suggest.
Going back to their core philosphy would be a step in the right direction for the organization. Next would be to have players that they draft produce better than they have in the past few years. It will take awhile for the Eagles to get back to where they feel they belong, but by no stretch of the imagination are they the only team with problems; even in there own division with the Giants and Cowboys finishing out of the playoffs. So maybe there is a chance that they can start winning sooner than later. But it will mean a better sense of urgency for both management and the players after the reshaping of the Eagles.