Todd Bowles might not be able to fix the Eagles defense, but at least give him credit for accurately analyzing the situation.
The Eagles replacement coordinator described last night’s numerous coverage busts as “a messed-up situation,” as succinct and accurate a description as possible.
Of course, that’s also another way of saying it’s the players’ fault and not his own, but that’s beside the point.
“The first one was high school cover-3,” Bowles said, via Sheil Kapadia of Phillymag.com. “The ball was thrown down the middle of the field. We gave up a touchdown. Inexcusable. The second one was inexcusable too.”
Of course, the all-alone touchdown to Panthers tight end Gary Barnidge was just one of the problems, as free receivers were running downfield all night.
“The second long one was a bust,” Bowles said. “It was inexcusable. Shouldn’t have happened. Everybody knew where they were supposed to be. They weren’t there.”
Asked why it was happening, Bowles replied: “I wish I could tell you.
“They can’t happen. Not at this level, not at this stage of the game, not after what we’ve been through. And everybody has to own up to their responsibility.”
Of course, bad players poorly coached is one possible explanation.
In the five games since Bowles went from secondary coach to coordinator (after Juan Castillo was offered up), the results have been ridiculous.
The Eagles have allowed 75.2 percent completions, for 9.7 yards per attempt, with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. Castillo’s defense led the league in opponents’ completion percentage (52.3).
The entire Eagles organization has reached the “what good’s it going to do” stage, and players said wholesale changes aren’t going to fix it.
“You stick with those people or those groups and you coach them harder,” cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. “And those players obviously have to take it more – I don’t want to say seriously because they’re taking it seriously – but obviously have to be mentally focused a little bit more than they have been.
“Obviously what Todd has done, I’ve supported, we support. There’s some things that mentally we need to be sharper on.”
Either that, or do what Bowles is doing, and create an alibi to offer your next employer.