The Walrus held a rather interesting day-after press conference yesterday. Having fired Defensive Line Coach (and apparent asshole) Jim Washburn on the flight home from Dallas Sunday night, Reid faced the media Monday morning and “explained” the move.
While we (obviously) weren’t there, CSNPhilly.com’s Geoff Mosher was, and we want to share Mosher’s thoughts on Reid’s comments. Take it away, Geoff:
Just before he walked away from the podium to abruptly signal the end of his own press conference, Eagles head coach Andy Reid made a stunning admission that he had fired the wrong assistant coach.
Reid shouldn’t have fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo on Oct. 16 when he sought ways to improve his foundering 3-3 team, which had just blown a 10-point lead to Detroit in the fourth quarter and lost 26-23 in overtime.
He should have retained his longtime and loyal assistant and parted ways with defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who had become an unpopular and divisive figure inside the NovaCare Complex, according to several team sources and other sources familiar with the situation.
“Listen, it’s not how you draw it up,” Reid said when asked how the team could recover from losing its defensive coordinator, defensive line coach and Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin — a Washburn disciple who was released last week — all within an eight-week span.
“I’ll end it with I think Juan Castillo is a great person and a fine football coach. Juan will have a long career in the National Football League, and rightly so.”
Reid refused to elaborate on his reasons for dismissing Washburn but acknowledged that the move wasn’t exclusively football-related.
“I’m not going to get into all that stuff,” Reid said. “I will tell you there were just things that I was disappointed in and, as time went on, that I knew. I just thought [firing him] was the right thing to do right now for this football team.”
As always, stubborn Andy admits to being wrong without directly admitting to being wrong. He is the master of spin. But an even larger issue seems to have been brought up by Washburn’s dismissal. As Mosher suggests, and Reuben Frank confirms, Jim Washburn was fractious to the locker room and habitually undermined Juan’s coaching. Per Frank:
Washburn operated apart from Castillo, running his own little defensive line fiefdom and often either ignoring Castillo or derisively calling him “Juanita” in front of his players, the veteran defensive player said. He was condescending and confrontational and embarrassed Castillo frequently in meetings and at practice and also went over the line criticizing his players at times.
As Roob claims – and we wholeheartedly agree – hiring Washburn was a mistake from the start… Especially the fact that Andy brought him in BEFORE hiring a Defensive Coordinator. That move seemingly gave Washburn carte blanche to do as he pleased and ignore whoever was put in charge of him. While the thought of Washburn’s “Wide-Gaping-Hole-9” was nice, it obviously was a failed experiment. And the fact that he was a polarizing, disruptive force inside the NovaCare Complex makes the decision to keep him this long eye-opening. What the hell was The Walrus waiting for?!
And good to know Andy allowed that to go on! It’s no wonder the Defensive players don’t give a shit; they’re too busy watching a petty pissing match between a bunch of old guys. And as we learned back in the halcyon days of the T.O. experience… when there’s a divide between one group of players and another, things go south QUICKLY. This is now the second time in Andy’s tenure (that we know of) that he allowed the locker room to become irrevocably split. How is that NOT a fireable offense?!
Seriously, this whole mess is Andy’s fault, and HE needs to be held accountable… Not Washburn or Babin or Castillo or anyone else he decides to fire over the next four weeks. Again, Jeffrey Lurie has NO BALLS. He’s the only one who can hold Reid responsible for his mistakes, yet he sits in his owner’s box with a grim look on his face and DOES NOTHING. Stop counting your money and wake the fuck up, Billionaire!
It just goes to show… Once Jim Johnson got sick and left the team (and sadly passed away), there was no blueprint for the Defense and Andy was completely, utterly lost.
As NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi points out on yesterday’s B.S. Report with Bill Simmons(*), JJ made all of the personnel decisions and masterminded the entire Defensive side of the ball. Which (more than) basically confirms everything we’ve been saying for the last however many years. The Eagles of the 00’s were Jim Johnson’s team, not Andy’s. Sure, Dramavan was the face of the team, and Andy, the team’s considerably hefty torso, but Johnson was the heart, the brains and the soul of the Eagles.
(*)Listen to the first eight minutes of the podcast, as Lombardi makes really great points about the Eagles’ lack of talent, the firing of Jim Washburn and the majesty that is Wawa. Also Bill and Mike recount a great tweet that compares the final days of the Andy-era to the final days of the Nixon Whitehouse. So, there’s that.
How do you make an eight game losing streak look worse? By admitting that the people running the team don’t know what they’re doing. Forget the “Fool’s Gold” standard. The Philadelphia Eagles can’t even live up to “tin foil.”
What a fucking disgrace this franchise has become…