Nick Fierro of the Allentown Morning Call is fed up with the missed tackles by the Eagles this season. He has written what may be his greatest (or at least most passionate) column ever on the tackling woes of the 2012 Eagles...
On the Cowboys' first touchdown this past Sunday, a swing pass to running back Felix Jones that went for 11 yards, safety Nate Allen, who was in charge of picking up Jones coming out of the backfield, appeared to be too deep at the snap and then moved laterally before moving toward the line of scrimmage and ended up whiffing from the outside, the first of three missed tackles that allowed Jones to make it to the end zone.
Later, when Tony Romo hit Dez Bryant with a 49-yard pass down the right sideline to set up a go-ahead field goal, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, perhaps thinking he wouldn't have deep help on that play, allowed Bryant to get outside, making it even tougher for the late-arriving Kurt Coleman (coming from the middle of the field) to break it up.
Rodgers-Cromartie is as good at using outside leverage as maybe anyone, and he used it later on what turned out to be a sensational catch by Bryant for a 30-yard touchdown. Rodgers-Cromartie was flagged for questionable pass interference on the play. But the point is that it took the kind of perfect pass from a long distance that Romo might only be capable of executing once or twice a season to make it happen.
"These are just a few of countless examples where Eagles defenders might have been able to make (or prevent) game-changing plays if they had been better positioned or coordinated--- or maybe even ridden harder by a position coach with the salty dog mentality of, say defensive line czar Jim Washburn."--- Nick Fierro.
"The previous week, on one big gainer around the right side by the New Orleans Saints, defensive end Brandon Graham's inside move at the snap created the outside opening in the first place. Now, maybe he was doing what he was told. But if so, someone else wasn't, because that whole area of the field was abandoned by the defense immediately after the ball was snapped."
"Don't get the wrong idea. Most times when players miss tackles or blow coverages, it's on them, not their coaches. It's no different with the Eagles this year. But they haven't been helped schematically or with the play calls by coordinators Juan Castillo (through Oct. 14) and Todd Bowles (the last three games) either."
The Eagles' defensive performance against the Cowboys on Sunday was their best in more than a month, yet still not good enough, according to Fierro and most observers.
"This defense has played with too low an IQ to succeed consistently. That ultimately falls on the coaches, whether it's their fault or not," says Fierro.
One thing is for sure: No way these players are as bad as they've looked, and too often — more than with contending teams — they are outfoxed by opponents who always seem to be one step ahead.
Throughout the first half of the season, when opponents would keep seven players in to block four pass rushers, the Eagles' seven other defenders (who were left to cover just three receivers) not only failed to break up passes, but failed to get them down quickly enough after catches.
"The reason is that the Eagles too often play a perplexed, confused brand of defense in which their tremendous athletes are turned into pursuers hamstrung by unfair head starts. This was not part of the plan under the late Jim Johnson."
"Reid has appointed three defensive coordinators since the demise of Jim Johnson, each worse than the one before. Now he's faced with the prospect of a locker room that's about a minute away from losing all faith in the system."
Reid, after a desultory Monday night loss to the Saints on Nov. 5, coldly stared down questions about whether his players had quit and insisted there was no way that was the case.
"He was correct," says Fierro. "It just looked that way because they were so often not quite in the right positions to make the necessary plays, making it appear they didn't care as much as they should."
"The things I saw — I saw guys playing hard," Reid said. "We've got to make plays. If guys are in position to make plays, then you have to make the plays. Coaches have to put them in a position to make plays."
Fierro's take---Reid knows it is the coaches who have failed the most on this team. They have failed the players, and the players, in turn, have failed them.
Attitude, talent and technique are not the only components that go into bringing a ballcarrier down. In many cases, even the most talented defenders can be made to look inept by improper positioning or pre-snap confusion that leads to tentative movement and uncertainty in the play that unfolds.
"This is what's happening too often with the Eagles," says Fierro. "And their struggles to get takeaways also are the result of a defense that reacts more than it attacks."
One can never have an intelligent argument with ATV,...as he will always change the point of discussion to something irrelevent. That is pretty much it in a nut shell. YUR GK will argue points,...but if they get off point,..there's no point. As my boy Palmetto says,..welp,.I'm done,.time for football,..on thursday nite!
@briview . I answered your question on the stock... and you went to stuttering... who exactly changed the point to something irrelevant to the question asked that I graciously answered??? Enjoy the game!
@AbeLinc64 triple crown winner... kinda had to even though Trout was pretty special
@PPW well done... 666 is yours officially!!!
Sure is a lot of fighting and name calling back and forth going on. And........as usual...........it's the same guy starting it everytime.
yep,..when that guy claims what palmetto has to say doesn't matter,.i guess that's starting sumptin,..that SOB.
@briview methinks even Palmetto can stick up for himself if need be... but since he's not a dope... he knew he didn't have to... that should tell ya sumlin... but I doubt it will be the correct thing
@briview what point?
yet another redirect,..which is yur custom,..why don't you address the point,.instead of bringing up yet another irrelevent point?
@briview ahhhh... french... you ARE Nat.... it makes so much more sense now
Apparently mine was to you,.dummy,.and I'm just returning serve. Yur not very bright,...n'est-ce pas?
@briview so my typo was a key point? I'd haha... but your grasping is getting sad... not to mention annoying Abe...
to to pick!!!!...hahaha!!!..how irrelevent!!!,..you sure can pick key argumentative points,..when substance escapes you.
@AbeLinc64 Bri... in case you're wondering... you're the sister in this scenario... no need to thank me for clearing that up : )
Bri/ATV - My mom used to tell my sister and me to go to our rooms whe we were giving her a headache after a long day at work. Please take her advice.
@briview didn't I say the EXACT same thing to you earlier today (cept cause I'm a nice guy I offered to hook you up with a good speech therapist)... but, hey if need some more help with your material, just let me know... already told ya I'm generous like that... YWIA
@briview and since you once again missed the point... what SHOULD have told you something was Palmetto's actions... had nothing to do with what I said... NEXT!
@briview sitting at 4.64... got FDA approval today... though there was an 8-5 vote on safety so it's gonna open at 1.84... prime to to pick up more shares and getter cost per average... when the FDA simply makes them slap on a warning label and they get the green light in feb... it'll be looking swwwwwweeeeet...
@PPW Also not news.
@PPW that SOB Kene!
@PPW You got hosed........it was 667.
I have some relevant f-ball stuff to say but I gots a feeling...peoples are waiting for Tom to put that new article online....so why bother..not saying WHO - just peoples.
Hope I remember what I wanted to say...........
@Palm Feathers after we get Bri help for his anger management and grief therapy... you're next sicko!
don't make me come out there!!!!!!!!!
Well..maybe that could be OK...I can smell that marvelously drawing smell..a mixture of slot machine oil, hot wiring and stale cigarette smoke.
@Tom Jackson methinks he forgot or fell asleep... NBW
@Palm Feathers doubt it will matter iffin youse don't... jus sayin
Nothing matters,..but TBT,..what you have to offer is even less than nothing. In fact,.it even detracts from things that do matter.
@briview so you want to be the best blah blah blaher now? which is it? You flip flop worse than Nat.
@briview as usual you cannot compete... this is not news.
@atvcar only you do it better,..chump.
@briview yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.... you still blah blah blahing?
@briview embarrassing yourself... but I guess you've answered that with that clever comment of yours... carry on
@atvcar done with what,.chump?
@briview ya done yet champ?
@briview and that predictable comment was which... fun or funny? surely not educational? However, TBT the 4 years olds show more class and smarts than youse... so, not an idear totally without merit.
@atvcar neither fun nor funny,..go back to yur 4 year olds,..ya fit in better,..
@briview I know I know... I'm tew generous... meh... I'm just a nice guy like that... NBW
@briview thanks... but I got confirmed at 13... I don't need anymore... give it to someone else who needs it
@atvcar as per usual,.confirmed agin.
@briview that's not a nice thing to say to Palmetto... what has ever done to you? Now Kene on the other hand...