Andy Reid admits he goofed at linebacker and safety last season

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When the Eagles started 1-4 last season, there was a lot of criticism about the decisions the Eagles made on defense during the offseason.

Chief among them was the choice to go with young players at linebacker and safety, a move that led to lots of big plays up the middle of the defense. Andy Reid defended the decisions — and new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo — at the time, but he was singing a different tune at the owners meetings on Wednesday. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer shares some self-critical comments from Reid.

“We had young guys there, and so I knew that going in,” Reid said. “The plan that I had I didn’t execute it very well. Right? Thaty’s my responsibility. I goofed on that one, right? I expected the young guys on defense to get where they’re getting by the end of the season sooner, particularly the middle of the defense — linebackers and safeties. I expected the offense to carry it through. So that part didn’t take place. But to tell you, yeah, your linebackers — the more gaps you open up, the more physical they have to be. That’s how it is.”

The Eagles moved to rectify that problem with the trade for DeMeco Ryans earlier this offseason and other moves they made as 2011 rolled along helped lead to better defensive results. As Reid mentioned, the offense wasn’t able to do enough to carry the team while the defense found its way and that meant the early struggles wound up sinking the Eagles’ season.

46 responses to “Andy Reid admits he goofed at linebacker and safety last season

  1. Andy Reid has goofed on linebackers and safeties ever since Trotter and Dawkins left. Ryans is the first real LB we’ve had in years (sorry Stew).

  2. Andy, glad you figured that out now. Because just about everyone else noticed there was something wrong with this list of players expected to play 3 positions under a new (to defense) coordinator.

    Moises Fokou – 7th Round 2009
    Jamar Chaney – 7th Round 2010
    Casey Matthews – 4th Round 2011
    Brian Rolle – 6th Round 2011
    Keenan Clayton – 4th Round 2010
    Akeem Jordan – Undrafted

    Linebacker, “we’re fine there”

  3. “Andy Reid admits he goofed at linebacker and safety last season”
    Should read; “Andy Reid admits he goofed at Def Coordinator”

  4. Draft mark baron at 15 and pick up another ILB in the 3rd or 4th. Go birds!


  5. He also “goofed” at both QB and backup QB. He apparently hasn’t realized that yet though. Last season things went as shouldhave been expcted at QB. An aging, injury prone running QB…no matter what you think of his skill set.

    Then Young at backup, that just cemented for me that Reid was making terrible decisions and cannot be trusted to put together a true contender. It’s like he falls so in love with the plays he can draw up with an athletic QB that he ignores an imporant question, Can these Qb’s actually execute what I have drawn up. The answer has for years been, No. Which is why guys like Garcia and Feeley have had success. People like to say he changes the offense for them, when all that really happens is, they properly execute the offense. Which people are not used to seeing from his starters.

  6. Well, I am thrilled that Reid has admitted what all the rest of us (not head football coaches) saw before the season even started. They still need help at Line backer. Desperate need for a strong side backer. However (at safety) being fair, the kid from Temple is a big hitter and needs a camp and experience to see what he has. My bet…..He’s a winner. Great column Josh Alper fair and balanced….Bottom line…The Pep Boys are starting to look like The three Musketeers.

  7. Refreshing to hear – yet still dumbfounded at how long this realization took. Good thing Reid’s contract-for-life excuses poor judgement and talent evaluation.

  8. They will probably go for a run stuffer with a lot of potential on the DL at 15 to really fix this defense. Brockers makes a lot of sense. He can learn to develop as a pass rusher and he will be there to spell Jenkins and Patterson. Fletcher Cox would be alright too, but he’s not very big. Best defensive player available besides Mark Barron (already have 2 early draft picks over last 2 years on safety) should be taken at 15.

    I know the Eagles really screwed up last year when they miscalculated the effects of the lockout while acquiring several new players and implementing a different defensive scheme. But with a full season playing together and an offseason to prepare, I expect the Eagles to be able to hang with the best of them this year

  9. What a bunch of saps the national media are. Andy Reid didn’t goof LAST YEAR, his system doesn’t even favor the LB or S positions. As a matter of fact, he thinks he can play a pro football with 5 high school guys at those positions. That is his arrogance. He think he is so smart that he can buck the conventional wisdom and still win. You may be able to do that for a while, then everyone begins to solve you after you have been around for 13 years. No real football coach or GM says that the only important positions on defense are the line and corners and your grandmother and her bridge buddies can fill in at LB and S. That is just crazy. If I was an owner and my coach told me that was the scheme he intended to play with on Sunday, I would fire him, thinking he was nuts.

  10. Makes me angry as an Eagles fan. Everyone in this area was talking about the LB problem months before the season began and while Stephen Tulloch was still on the market. What do the Eagles do? Sign Ronnie Brown and Vince Young. I hope DeMeco works out but his injuries worry me.

    How about committing to a running game, Andy? After 13 seasons without a super bowl do you think you might want to try running the ball like every other team?

  11. I understand he’s trying to protect his players but the “young” excuse is ridiculous. How about not talented enough? That’s why they were available in the mid to late rounds of the draft. What was Demeco Ryans doing when HE was young? Playing like an MVP. Because he’s talented.

  12. They need to take on guards that weigh over 300 lbs and are coming downhill, because nobody’s on the line in front of them, Andy.

    The “Wide 9” is a joke.

  13. How about committing to a running game, Andy? After 13 seasons without a super bowl do you think you might want to try running the ball like every other team?

    Especially when you got Lesean McCoy, that Pats will take him if you don’t want him!

  14. Picked a whole bouquet of oopsy-daisies last season. 🙂 however, they did sell a slight used Kevin Kolb and made a fortune so I guess you win some lose some huh.

  15. This was the “Dream Team”, and so much more was expected. I guess yo really dropped the ball there, Andy. I question the quality of your coaching and your decisions in light of this.

  16. That’s not the only thing you goofed on, genius. How did all those overpriced free agents work out for ya? Nice defensive coordinator that you hand picked and of course your stupid fan base that drinks more kool-aid than the kool-aid guy himself. And thinking Casey Matthews is Clay.

    Andy Reid…blah blah blah, where’s the buffet blah.

  17. Reality check- 4-0 last 4 games. We will get Beefed up on “D” in rounds 1 and 2. list of LB’s on the roster presently WILL benefit tremendosly from this offseason and the addition of Demeco Ryans. Keep in mind that the Birds could have won at least 5 of those losses by not turning the ball over or incompletions at the end of those games. Reloading takes a bit of time. Watch out for the Eagles in 2012!

  18. “This one is on me”. “I’m responsible”. Same old story. Sooner or later it’s not on you Andy. It’s the owners fault.

  19. Stick to cooking Lynn, the “stupid fan base” is more critical of Andy than anybody and gets reminded of how good they have it by the national media on a daily basis (At least you didn’t say Dream Team).

    The only reason Andy admitted anything is because Rueben Amaro admitted a mistake in trading Wilson Valdez given the Chase Utley situation and the Eagles hate to be outdone by the Phillies on anything.

  20. The only reason Andy admitted anything is because Rueben Amaro admitted a mistake in trading Wilson Valdez given the Chase Utley situation and the Eagles hate to be outdone by the Phillies on anything.

    Wow! that is dead on. I was just going to post the same comment. The problem with the ealges is that they are competing with the phillies for the city and its headlines and have lost track of the other teams in the NFL who are better than them. They need to get back to football and not the backpage of the daily news .

  21. Remember 2010 draft, eagles traded second round pick to cowboys who then picked ILB Sean Lee, from Penn State.

  22. It’s always nice when King Andy opens up to the national media, but when the locals ask similar questions the only answers given are coughs, throat-clearings, mumbles and double-talk.

  23. Did Andy finally realize what EVERY Eagle’s fan already knew, or has he finally gotten to admit what we all know? The Eagles are so poor at PR they might be taking a new tack…maybe learning from the Phillies (our NEW Gold Standard!).

  24. And the Eagles organization continues to roll him out there despite all the mistakes he admitted during post game pressers and now that he kept his job he admits something every knowledgable fan knew at the time? What a brilliant front office the Eagles have. AR will do it all over this season and all the moves that have been made will have been a waste of time and money

  25. dohpey28 – (125 to 46). Points for and against in final 4 games. 5-1 in the division. I think some fans can realize, that is cause to be optimistic. That and the fact this FO has all but Shady locked up long term (That will happen soon), 15mil and change under the cap, 9 (soon to be 10) picks in the draft and a defense that will be much farther along then last year.

  26. Andy’s goofed at more than just safety and linebacker. Watch the last two minutes of a half or game- Andy’s use of timeouts and clock management borders on the absurd.

  27. And there you have Andy Reid in a nutshell:

    “I expected the offense to carry it through.”

    And you wonder why their defense has been soft since Johnson passed away and they let Dawkins walk.

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