Youth is to blame for some of the Eagles’ big problems, coach Andy Reid says.
Asked about a blocked punt against the Bengals on Thursday night, Reid said that the problem was rookie receiver Marvin McNutt getting beaten by his man so badly that he was pushed into the path of punter Mat McBriar, who ended up punting the ball into McNutt’s butt. Reid also said that a rookie was to blame for the Eagles’ punt team not having the correct personnel on the field on that play: Ryan Rau, a rookie linebacker, wasn’t on the field because he was with the defense on the sideline instead of being with the punt team.
“Rookie mistake,” Reid said about Rau, via the Courier-Post.
Reid also said inexperience is to blame for fumbles. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles and rookie running back Bryce Brown had a misconnection on a handoff, and Brown has had a number of problems with fumbles, losing three in his first two NFL games. Reid said that’s just a matter of inexperience on the part of Brown, who is not only in his first NFL season but doesn’t even have much college experience, with just 104 carries in his entire college career.
“He needs to play,” Reid said of Brown. “That’s why I haven’t sat him down because of the fumbles.”
The Eagles have a lot of rookies getting a lot of playing time, and so it’s not surprising that Reid would cite that fact in explaining his team’s struggles. Unfortunately for Reid, he won’t be around to develop those rookies beyond the next three weeks.