You know me, I'm big on conspiracy theories... and I also believe in ghosts.
But I'm not the only one who thinks the hiring of Bowles as secondary coach (who technically reports now to incumbent DC Juan Castillo) is really the cornerstone to the next wave of new coaching leadership for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Juan saves face along with his coordinator title...for the time being...
But here comes the young ex-Temple phenom Todd Bowles (on the right, above, humoring his former defensive guru Rex Ryan), whom the Dolphins denied permission for the Eagles to interview last year... Suddenly Bowles is the heir apparent not only to the DC as he fills in for the vacant defensive secondary coach slot--- but he also becomes the Vegas favorite for next head coach of the Eagles if Andy Reid walks after 2012...
Of course, the surface news reads like this: former Miami Dolphins interim head coach Todd Bowles has been hired to coach the Eagles' secondary.
Bowles, a 12-year NFL coaching veteran, was 2-1 as Miami's head coach after Tony Sparano was fired. He replaces Johnny Lynn in Philadelphia. The move was announced yesterday (January 30, 2012).
Bowles previously served as the Dolphins assistant head coach/secondary for three seasons (2008-11). Bowles has also coached for Dallas, Cleveland and the New York Jets. Bowles was a defensive back at Temple and played eight seasons in the NFL with Washington and San Francisco.
But what's really going on here?
Matt Hammond, who produces a sports talk show for ESPN 97.3 in Atlantic City, gave me the ultimate heads-up on this story...
Matt tells it like I see it, and how I saw it about two weeks ago when we featured Todd Bowles in this very column...
"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 defensive 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 of the 2011 regular season (and, it seems, spared its coordinator) 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, whose numbers, it should be noted, are pretty hollow in reality)... There was no one there to replace Castillo."
"Now there is."
The same goes for Andy Reid. If you remember, Bowles served as the interim coach for the fired Tony Sparano, who never moved Miami the way the charismatic Bowles did. So again: at the first sign of crisis, and at the first suggestion that it starts at the top, Lurie and Joe Banner have an out.
“It’s entirely possible,” said NFC East blogger Dan Graziano to Mike Gill of 97.3 ESPN Radio South Jersey, “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 about 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 ago for the job-made-mockery Castillo currently (and probably temporarily) holds.
"If Andy Reid didn’t hire away his own job by hiring Castillo, he definitely did it now," says Hammond.
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 a similar option might seem appealing to those a little higher in the corporate structure that’s kept Reid 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 and now, in this current situation..
What does that mean? Everybody will be on point. Coaches. Players. Execs. Consider the focus of the entire continuum, from the lowliest of role players to the highest of the higer-ups, as recalibrated.
"Be excited. Really. Especially since you and I have nothing to lose," says Hammond.
"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 more aggressive as the good performances came.)"
"At worst, you’d get an upgrade. At best, maybe two."
"And then there’s the validation. Just how Eagles 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 or invalidity of the men you’ve long criticized."
"In said revealing will be the referendum on your criticisms themselves. And the criticis...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."
"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."
Personally, I'm not going to paint the conspiracy as dark as Matt Hammond might seem to do... For all I know, Bowles might be a one-and-done in Philly if the Eagles go on to win their division in 2012 and host a first-round playoff game, and maybe then some...Bowles would be automatically high on the list of head-coach interviews for other franchises. Andy Reid would probably receive at least a 2-year extension past 2013 if his Eagles finish big in 2012.
But anything less than a big contender profile in the 2012 playoffs will mean Todd Bowles is your heir apparent to take over the helm in 2013. It is the way it's being written before our very own eyes here and now. And it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Hmmmmmm ....... KP 67 was hoping for a nice #1 from Lupes for his 45th Birthday pressie ..... Alas was not meant to be as it is nearly commute time ..... Work on my birthday ....... BAH!!!!!
a9//I....just coveredmy back porch in vomit....gonna go warsh it aooofff
todd bowels...yeah baby.....
hey...who do tyoue have in dthe st6th:
i just tyurned 23, bni 49, bi 49=,'''3bi=,,,,,bi=,,,bb,,n,n,,,ni =,,no 49,,,b=,,no,.,49=,,b=,,no40.
I'm not even serouous,...i just omited oall ofver my bmy back paorcyh,.....bRB bhonnnal of warch it off.
You know what...Slap 4 years $28 millz down on the table and tell DJax to take it or leave it...If he leaves it, franchise his ass anyways and shop him while he mulls over the contract offer again, if he doesn't accept before draft day, then trade him for the best offer...
Kene, here's a name to watch: Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafeyette...6'6", 237 lbs., runs a 4.7 40...Very good reciever who presents mismatches with his speed and size...Could stand to add a bit of muscle to his frame...
@Blasphemizer That's the guy I want. Just looked at the list. We will draft a TE this yr at the usual 4-5 rd range
@Kenemeka Kene. Shut up. Spies everywhere
I'm not too keen on reading nothing from Walter.......he's been upsetting me with his picks for us......fellows from schools Ive hardly heard of not to mention the guys themselves Doesn't even know what our needs are
Frankly, I dunno why we didn't draft Aaron Hernandez when he came out...He really seemed like our type of player...oh well...
@Blasphemizer We grabbed Clay, and they look like the same player. We haven't used Clay nearly enough
Here's a good run-down of the TEs: http://walterfootball.com/draft2012TE.php
Kene, there are some serious athletes at TE in this draft in the mid-to-late rounds, the key is finding the most natural receiver...
If we can't get Lamichael, we should go for Isaiah Pead in da forf or fiff...That would be a nice pickup...
@Blasphemizer I think Dion can do a lot of what Pead does. I will just go for a better KR/PR guy, like Adams or Boykins
I like Pion but his size always irks me, I just don't think he'll ever be able to make up for it and be a consistently viable second option... @Kenemeka