No method to Eagles' madness in seeking defensive coordinator

Andy Reid: mute button
Andy Reid: mute button
Posted: January 27, 2011

I RESPECTFULLY disagree with my colleague, Paul Domowitch.

In yesterday's Daily News , in his column about candidates for the job of Eagles defensive coordinator, Domo wrote that despite appearances, the Eagles have a method to their madness.

While I'll accept that president Joe Banner, general manager Howie Roseman and coach Andy Reid aren't the Keystone Kops, I'm with the growing mass that believes this is an organization currently flying by its pants.

Nothing the Eagles have done since they lost to the Green Bay Packers at home in the opening round of the playoffs indicates they have a mapped-out plan with contingencies to accomplish what they want to get done.

A lot of that is because the Birds have pretty much been on mute mode and aren't taking questions or giving explanations.

There are two ways to look at that: Either the Eagles really are guarding secrets vital to our national security, or they haven't said anything because they really don't know what to say.

I know Eagles management can be aloof and treat every little matter as if it is on a need-to-know-basis, which you and I don't need to know. But I don't think that's the case in this prolonged search for a wizard to magically fix their flawed defense. I don't think the Eagles know what to say beyond the limited basic statements they've given concerning the overhaul of the defensive coaching staff.

I think Reid or Roseman or whoever is calling the shots is bunkered down tight because any question beyond the basics would leave the Eagles responding like deer in headlights.

I mean, really, who guts a defense without answering questions about why it was done?

What head coach hires one of the most revered defensive line coaches in football, Jim Washburn, and doesn't show his face to pat himself on the back a little?

I'd say it was someone who is afraid to answer the inevitable questions concerning what the heck is going on.

I haven't always agreed with the moves the Eagles brass has made, but I always knew they were the result of a strategy that was well thought out.

It just doesn't feel as if the Birds are operating like that right now.

I believe the Eagles know who they want to be their next defensive coordinator; I just don't think they have a Plan B in place if it doesn't work out.

The Eagles would tell you to trust them. They would say that, even though they don't feel the need to provide any information, you should simply accept that they know what they are doing. I'm sorry, but the "In Andy We Trust" bandwagon rolled out of town a while ago.

There is no doubt the Eagles have been highly successful during Reid's 12 seasons in charge, but it is also fact that he has failed to bring home the ultimate prize. Each failed attempt gives more credence to the notion that the Eagles will never win a Super Bowl under Reid's guidance.

The Phillies, who have won a World Series, gone to another and played in the National League Championship Series over the last three seasons, have earned the right to say, "Trust us, we know what we are doing."

The Eagles have not, but they still operate as if they have.

They tell us they know more than the Carolina Panthers, who apparently decided the issue with the Eagles' defense wasn't Sean McDermott when they hired him almost immediately after it was announced he had been fired.

The Eagles tell us it doesn't matter that the venerable Dick Jauron was hired off their staff to be defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, because he wasn't good enough for them anyway.

The Eagles tell us that even though highly regarded former New Orleans secondary coach Dennis Allen is the only person they have brought in for an interview, it was fine to let him take Denver's coordinator position.

The problem with the Eagles always walking around as if they know so much more than everybody else is you better pass the algebra test or be ready to take all of the ridicule and criticism.

If the Eagles' primary target is unavailable because he is on the staff of the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers, they better lock him up as soon as the Super Bowl is done. If they do that, they can legitimately claim that this was the plan all along.

If, for whatever reason, they can't, then whomever they do hire will be viewed as a desperation pick.

I think the Eagles have an idea, but I don't think they have a plan.

I don't think they are clueless, but they are definitely facing that way with a need to turn in the other direction. *

Send e-mail to smallwj@phillynews.com.

For recent columns, go to

http://go.philly.com/smallwood.

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