decision facing the Eagles is what to do with wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
DJax might be getting introduced elsewhere in 2012.
In the coming
weeks the Eagles must determine if they want to apply the franchise tag to
Jackson, sign him to a new contract or let him walk when free agency begins
March 13th. The franchise tag could cost the Eagles $9.5 million – the
estimated salaries of the league’s top five salaries at the position. The
Eagles also could use the tag and trade Jackson.
The way head
coach Andy Reid was talking Tuesday, the decision appears to be in the hands of
team president Joe Banner.
through all of that right now, so we’re looking at everything right now,” Reid
said. “We haven’t come to any conclusions on anything. Again, you saw progress
there, you saw a different attitude the last five or six games there. You’ve
got to make sure you look at that part, too.”
Jackson is unhappy the Eagles spent freely on free agents and signed Michael Vick to a
$100 million pact but didn’t come through with a contract extension for him
this past season.
Mike Patterson (right) watches Jason Babin celebrate
tackle Mike Patterson is OK after undergoing a lengthy and delicate brain
operation this past Friday.
the surgery to repair an AVM – a tangle of blood vessels near the brain - that
resulted in his collapse during a practice at training camp.
“I talked to him
yesterday and he’s doing very well,” Eagles head coach Andy Reid said Tuesday. “Early on they had him
sedated pretty well. He’s doing well; very upbeat and positive. It was a very
long surgery. They had to dig in there to get to the spot and they felt like it
Reid says doctors
are optimistic Patterson should be back for training camp barring a setback.
Veteran assistant Todd Bowles is the new secondary coach.
More importantly, Juan Catillo returns for his second season in the role of defensive coordinator.
Head coach Andy Reid will be asked Tuesday why the coach with the most defensive coordinator experience (Bowles) is backing up to the guy with one year on the job (Castillo).
The addition of Bowles was Reid's hire. It also likely met the approval of team president Joe Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie.
Bowles was a standout NFL player with a fruitful stop in Washington. He's also a longtime NFL assistant with experience as a defensive coordinator.
This past season the 48-year-old product of Temple University also was interim head coach of Miami. Bowles took on the job the week after the Eagles defeated the Dolphins, triggering the firing of head coach Tony Sparano.
With Lurie calling the Eagles' recent 8-8 season "unacceptable," Reid could be on a short leash in 2012. If it doesn't work out, the Eagles won't have to look far to transition.
The Eagles hired Rick Mueller as player personnel executive.
Anthony Patch, 33, was promoted to director of college scouting.
“Anthony has been one of our top talent evaluators during his tenure as a college scout, has great relationships throughout football and is an extremely hard worker," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in a statement. "Rick brings a wealth of NFL experience while giving us a new and fresh set of eyes to evaluate incoming talent. They will both play a role in helping us prepare for this offseason of free agency and the draft.”
Mueller's brother Randy was the general manager who guided New Orleans to a Super Bowl title and works as a senior executive with San Diego.
Rick Mueller, 44, ascended to the role of player personnel executive with New Orleans in a 15-year NFL career. Most recently he worked two seasons in the United Football League - as G.M. of Omaha in 2010 and as V.P. and G.M. for all four teams in their inaugural season.
The relationship between the Eagles' front office and head coach Andy Reid has hit another ugly low.
Steve Spagnuolo's decision to accept the defensive coordinator job with the New Orleans Saints is the latest smoking gun.
Spagnuolo and Reid are represented by super agent Bob LaMonte. If Spags sees more opportunity in the French Quarter it's because Reid told him exactly how difficult it is working at One NovaCare Way these days. If the Eagles didn't pitch the job to Spags, whoever said no should be summarily fired.
Who Reid has on his staff is his prerogative. Unless the Eagles over-achieve in 2012 his loyalty to first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, who struggled last season, will cost him his job.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made it clear just days after the season ended without a playoff berth that Reid's coaching and the performance of the team were unacceptable.
At a bizarre news conference Lurie reamed Reid out on a level that made you believe he was going to ax Big Red. Moments later the owner did a (180) and said he would keep Reid for 2012.
Sounding detached, Lurie openly questioned Reid's decision to switch Castillo from the offensive line to defensive coordinator. Lurie indicated Castillo may not have been in a position to succeed.
It was embarrassing for all.
Meanwhile the Eagles put Reid's end of season news conference on hold until the coaching situation was squared away. Oh, and Johnnie Lynn was axed as defensive backs coach to open the door to bring in a defensive authority like Spagnuolo, who, knowing Reid and having the same agent obviously wasn't interested.
Did we mention that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is bailing? He's interviewing for a head coaching position in Oakland.
What's clear is the Eagles are at odds internally, Reid is a lame duck and the 2012 campaign only is delaying the inevitable - the end of the most successful era in the modern history of the franchise.
Follow Bob Grotz at Twitter.com/bobgrotz. (Below, like Andy Reid, Mike Vick's days with Eagles also may be numbered.)
Embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo remains a part of the Eagles' staff, per a source.
That's the only hard news the Eagles have right now about their coaching staff.
Considering how secondary coach Johnnie Lynn was let go before head coach Andy Reid went on vacation, it's an indicatation Castillo will be a part of the staff when the Big Guy returns to work.
The NFL Network reported that Steve Spagnuolo, fired recently after a 10-38 tour as head coach of the Rams, "is expected to be back in Philadelphia by the end of the week."
Spagnuolo would be back, if you will, to speak with Reid about a coaching job. Spagnuolo was an assistant with the Eagles until the 2007 season, when he exited to be defensive coordinator of the Giants. The Giants won the Super Bowl in his first year on the job, defeating the unbeaten Patriots.
The Eagles couldn't confirm if Spagnuolo would get together with Reid later this week, much less speculate on what role he might fill.
That said, reports of Spagnuolo's iminent hiring are premature.
Among the candidates for the Colts' general manager job is Ryan Grigson, player personnel director for the Eagles.
Also the Eagles cut ties with veteran defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn.
NFL.com also reported owner Jim Irsay was considering Jim Popp, GM of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, Cowboys assistant director of player personnel Tom Ciskowski and David Caldwell, Falcons director of college scouting.
The Colts fired Bill Polian, widely considered one of the best general managers in the league after a 2-14 season. The Colts are looking at a major overhaul.
Unable to beat DeSean Jackson at his game, the Eagles are praising him.
Chairman Jeffrey Lurie plugged the diva receiver Tuesday.
Welcome back ... on the right terms.
“I think his
attitude and his whole approach in the final month of the season was terrific,”
Lurie said. “I think he started to realize and get it. So I would
welcome him back. I think if the right terms develop he would be welcomed back.
We have the leverage of obviously we can do what we choose to do and control
Head coach Andy
Reid, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and special teams coach Bobby
April all got the same memo, if you will. They’ve said basically the same things about
Jackson, although not nearly as smoothly.
But Lurie awkwardly danced around the painful issue of whether he supported Andy Reid's decision to turn the offensive line coach into a defensive coordinator this season.
Castillo was in tough spot.
“What Andy did is he made – and I can’t
speak for him - but I know in our discussions that he made a list of all of the
top people that he was looking at to replace Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator," Lurie said Tuesday. "And things happen, circumstances
happen and if changes don’t happen on other teams than certain coaches aren’t
available. And he became very, very interested in Juan because he knew what he
could accomplish. Whether he could accomplish it fast enough is an interesting
question and he didn’t, the whole team didn’t, in terms of early in the season.
"So I think when you analyze any
decision of who’s going to coach that there’s a lot of hidden background in
terms of where did that decision come from, the reason for it, what was the
search process, who was truly available, and then move forward. And look, with
Juan Castillo I will just say anyone who’s known this man for 17, 18 years as
we all have. Incredibly impressive man, incredible family, incredible coach. And
was he put into a situation where he couldn’t succeed early in the season?"
fate of embattled defensive coordinator Juan Castillo could be revealed.
appears defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who has two years left on his
contract, might be on his way out. Internally Washburn's wide nine defensive alignment came under scrutiny as the defense was vulnerable to the run.
If he's still on the job Reid likely will
get it on with the media Wednesday. He’s beaten down all questions about his
future, even with two years left on his contract.
Eagles wide receivers really, really would prefer their fans find a way other than booing to express themselves.
There were boos, for example, when the Eagles had the ball and called timeout just 51 seconds into their win over the Redskins Sunday at the Linc.
Jackson clearly is sensitive to the criticism.
“It’s a young
team,” Jackson said. “I think the energy here is very exciting. Hopefully we
can just get our home fans to not boo us. That’s hard when our home fans are
booing us. Like, come on, man. This is our home stadium. Besides that, I mean
everything else is good. Go Eagles!"