If you haven’t noticed already, Juan Castillo has the annoying habit of using an Andy Reid-like Schtick ala “I have to do a better job.” However, Juan’s is “work hard, hard work, etc.” This obviously has been beat into our heads over the last several months since Castillo was mysteriously given the defensive coordinator position. Rich Hoffman covered this very topic in this morning’s Inquirer:
As you can note in the article above, Castillo uses the “hard work” theme at least 15 times in one paragraph. Also, he goes into an impassioned defense of Reid, touching on Reid’s hard work, and suggesting he works 22 hours a day. First, I imagine working 22 hours a day is humanly impossible. I know these coaches are crazy, but come on, that’s just nonsense. So, he is effectively sleeping 2 hours a night? Not to mention, studies show that after a certain point your effectiveness and attention drop off a cliff after you have done a certain amount of work in a day, so maybe you should just call it a night and catch some Z’s big guy. Believe me, I’m well aware after logging full days in the library studying for the BAR exam back in the day.
But, assuming all of this “hard work”, here’s what I cannot figure out: How do insanely simple things keep slipping through the cracks that even the most elementary football mind would notice immediately? For instance:
1) Not using McCoy at all in the 4th quarter of last week’s game with a lead (Not to mention abandoning the run the last two weeks after having remarkable success with it in the previous two wins);
2) Similar point: last year in the playoffs against GB, the Packers were the worst team against the run in the league and had an explosive offense the Eagles needed to try to keep off the field. Everyone and their Grand mom in this city was talking about how they needed to commit to the run in this game. Well, not surprisingly, they proceeded to pass 50 times, McCoy only got 12 carries, Vick was being sacked by a very good GB pass rush and generally running for his life all night. Nice game plan;
3) How about continuing to not use players as they should?, eg. not matching Asomugha on Fitzgerald last week or primarily locking down the other team’s best WR each week. Continuing to use DRC is the slot despite seemingly no ability or desire to cover there. Or, how about not blitzing or changing looks on defense despite being beaten over and over again (eg. the Bears game)? Or, taking 4 weeks to abandon the Wide Nine after being thrashed by the run for several weeks effectively giving away 3 or 4 games to start the season?
4) What about the constant failures in the red zone that doomed the Eagles in the first several weeks headed by the failure to run simple running plays near the goal line?
Anyway, I think you get the point. Simply put, what the fuck are they working on exactly when these tremendously simple concepts keep missing them? It is perplexing to say the least.
Also, no offense Reid and Castillo, but could we please stop referring to this as “work”. Coaching a football team, watching film and game planning all day is every guy’s wet dream. So in essence, you are “livin’ the dream” as they say. Work is digging a friggin’ ditch, scraping paint off windows 100 ft. off the ground (as the workers are doing in my building right now as I write this), or perhaps even reading and editing a 50 page statement of work that is so dry and boring it forces your eyes to roll back into your head. Anyway, enough with the “hard work” nonsense. Everyone in the NFL works hard. All of these guys are in essence multi-million dollar executives. This would be like such a person saying to a Board of Directors: “Look guys, I know our company is going completely under, but god darnit, I’m working my friggin’ tail off.” Something tells me this wouldn’t go over too well, and guess what, it isn’t.