Todd Bowles Hire Gives Philadelphia Eagles Heir Apparent to Castillo (and Reid)
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To think, some Philadelphians are waiting to hear what Andy Reid will say tomorrow. Or the next day. Or whenever.
It doesn't matter. He's spoken enough.
He's certainly done enough. In hiring Todd Bowles, the former Dolphins coordinator, he's institutionalized the same accountability that Eagle fans (and team owner Jeffrey Lurie) demand. It's pretty simple really: if the magic that carried Juan Castillo's defense to a reputable close to the regular season (and, it seems, spared its operator) wanes, so too will Castillo's longevity.
Think about it. The channel is already in place. At the first inkling of fear of a season-long flop, Castillo can be canned. Bowles can tap in.
That's the only reason Castillo wasn't dropped during the season, after the five blown fourth quarter leads. After the porous run defense. After the absolute underachievement of defensive mega studs (outside of Jason Babin, who's numbers, it should be noted, are pretty hollow in reality).
There was no one there to replace him.
Now there is.
The same goes for Andy Reid. If you remember, Bowles served as the interim coach for the fired Tony Sporano, who never moved Miami the way Bowles did. So again: at the first sign of crisis, and the first suggestion that it starts at the top, Lurie and Joe Banner have an out.
Do you think Todd Bowles was hired to be Juan Castillo's heir apparent?
"It's entirely possible," said NFC East blogger Dan Graziano to Mike Gill of 97.3 ESPN Radio Atlantic City. "Everyone's on thin ice there. If they have another bad year, if they don't make a playoff run, then all bets are off with Andy Reid and everybody on this staff."
That's where this thing's at. That's where Bowles takes it.
We're not talking some slouch here. Bowles -- who's also worth noting as a local boy, given his Temple ties -- interviewed for vacancies with both the Dolphins (eventually filled by the uber credentialed Joe Philbin)and Raiders (who tapped as head coach Dennis Allen, the from-nowhere "it" guy D coorinator from Denver).
Bowles also interviewed a year for the job-made-mockery Castillo currently (and probably temporarily) holds.
If Andy Reid didn't hire away his job by hiring Castillo, he definitely did it now.
The best part for Eagles fans: You think Andy doesn't know that? You think he hired an heir apparent to the defensive coordinating crony he's too loyal to fire, not anticipating that the option might seem appealing a little higher in the corporate structure that's kept him around for the same reasons?
Say what you will about Andy. But he's not naive. Arrogant, maybe. But not blindingly so.
At least not here.
What does that mean? Everybody will be on point. Coaches. Players. Execs. Consider the focus of the entire contiuum, from the lowliest of role players to the highest of the higer-ups, recalibrated.
Would you take Todd Bowles as a head coaching replacement for Andy Reid?
Be excited. Really. Especially since you have nothing to lose.
A few games, maybe, if this whole Castillo thing doesn't work out. (And we're presuming it won't, and that it didn't for reasons far beyond his conservativeness with the blitz, something that not-so-coincidentally went as the good performances came.)
At worst, you'd get an upgrade.
At best, maybe two.
And then there's the validation. Just how Eagle fans loved to watch Donovan McNabb's stumbles in Washington and Minnesota for how (you'd later argue) they proved you right, they'll love this, a pretty telling exercise for the validity of the men you've long criticized.
In said revealing will be the referendum on your criticisms themselves. And the criticizer.
How does that sound?
Still better than Spagnuolo?
It should. It is.
Accomplished and touted and revered as he was, Spagnuolo wouldn't work here. He hung his genius on stunts along the front line that wouldn't work with Babin and Trent Cole and Wide Nonsense. Barring a complete overhaul, Spags wouldn't have had the personnel he's always succeeded with.
Do you think Bowles will get the Eagle secondary playing up to par?
Did you really think that didn't matter?
That meshing does come with Bowles, who's brilliance lays on the back-end, Ground Zero for the Eagles biggest disappointments. Couple the on-the-field benefits of a turnaround with that of dollars better spent -- Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie due a combined $47 million in remaining contract monies -- and it's pretty easy to see how this was a must-have move.
If you're struggling, just wait until the Eagles do.
Maybe then you'll see.
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