I don't like to pick on the Eagles and Cowboys too much, unless it's football season... or off-season. WTF is going on with the Eagles???? They were nearly everyone's preseason favorite to win the NFC East in a walk, maybe a slight jog, and they have completely fallen apart. Even those that did not cede them the title at least said that they have by far the most talent in the division and the only reason they did not excel the year before as the dream team was that the melange of stars that they compiled needed a year to work together and form a cohesive team. Well, I guess not.
The latest shocking news is that they cut DL-man Jason Babin, who I thought was playing reasonably well for them. Last year he was near the top of the league in sacks, getting 18. This year his numbers are down, but it's still rather a quick hook for a guy that signed a big FA contract going into the 2011 season.
It seems clear that (1) Reid has lost the team, (2) the coaches are not well managed by Reid, if at all and that he does not have his finger on the pulse of the team (3) the team has thrown in the towel and is not trying hard and (4) the owner recognizes that the team is going nowhere and is shedding salary wherever he can to at least save some money here and there. In addition to saving the rest of Babin's salary, the owner fired some advertising, promotional and marketing guys from the front office. That seems really nickel-and-dime-ish if you ask me. I think it has implications for them being able to attract FAs in the future, because players, while they always go for the money, also go for an organization that they think has some class and that they can trust. If they see that they will be cut at the first sign of trouble, that goes to their pocket book also.
The mess with the coaches and specifically the DC was just horrible. First, he hires Castillo as DC who never coached on the defensive side of the ball. Then when Castillo finally figures out the defense after a year of trial and error, and how to call a game, they fire him when the defense is playing fairly well. They promote a DC from the staff, who also was never a DC but at least has been a defensive coach. Almost instantly, the defense went from decent to absolutely horrid and the new DC is taking whacks at his team for being amateurish and uncoachable, surely not something that reflects well on Reid, who took a chance to promote him. Sheesh, what a mess.
As far as Reid himself, I think the feeling about him among the players (and surely the fans) is the same thing that was sometimes said about Herm Edwards: From Monday to Saturday, he's the best coach in football. Seems obvious that he's gone after this year.
If you take a look at some of the personnel decisions that they made, most of the big ones went sour.... big time. They made a big commitment to Vick as the QB and while he is a great athlete, he is a terrible QB. Asomugha looks like a complete bust and they spent a fortune on him. He also had a corollary effect on ruining the secondary, because to make room for him and adjust the style of defense (less zone, more man) that would be more consistent with his skills, they traded Assante Samuel to open things up. Problem is, Asomugha looks like he can't cover anybody and is making Rex Ryan look very smart (or very lucky) for not taking him to play opposite Revis on the Jets. My only guess is that in Oakland, the whole defense stunk and the CB on the opposite side was worse than Asomugha, so opposing offenses never threw at him. I can't prove this, but there seem to be no other plausible explanation, because he was so highly regarded by all experts. Finally, the character in that locker room was awful with a bunch of prima donnas and a collection of high priced FAs combined with home grown players that were underpaid and surely resented some of the divas.
They're going to blow this up at the end of the year and it probably needs blowing up.