To win, you've got to be bold and make winning bets. Andy was bold in getting Washburn and Mudd but placed the season losing bet on that defense (both Castillo and players). Jeff Fisher should be made coach of the Eagles today.
I lived in Nashville and, as an Eagles fan, could objectively watch this man coach. He is one of the NFL's very best. He did not have an owner that would spend the money that the Eagles do. The defenses under him played "JJ tough"...Reggie White, Hugh Douglas, Brian Dawkins tough. I am telling you, Eagles fans would love this man's style of play. His players played tough or not at all. His teams would beat the Colts when they were at their best. His teams would beat the Steelers 13-7, the Ravens 10-7. He never had much offensive talent but he got the very most out of them (see Eddie George, Steve McNair who are no Shady/Vick combo) and when he did, he took them to the Super Bowl and damn near beat the "greatest show on turf" Rams as big underdogs. AND his teams do not get a lot of penalties....wouldn't that be nice? They don't need Fisher for offense, they've got a SB level offense (provided, of course, that they don't league the league in Turnovers which is as prerequisite for winning the SB as "making important kicks").
Bringing back Spags, while a huge upgrade, isn't enough. Reid will still be coach and he has developed Schottenheimer syndrome. He can't put it all together and get over the hump. The Eagles need attitude and aggression at the very top. Roseman, Banner and Reid together are less aggressive than my teenage sons. Reid will win plenty of divisions but he struggles mightily in big games. His teams depend on too many planets lining up to win. Take for example, that he tried for years to win a SB without being good at clock management or a 2 minute offense - you can't do that. Take for example that it took him too many years to figure out when to throw the red flag. Most of us ordinary fans, watching replays, could have talked into his headset and had better success there. A SB coach fixes that in one game - not in 5 years. Consider that our last two DCs had a combined 0 years of prior DC experience....you're trying to win the SB and trying to do it with rookie DCs....honestly?! I read where Norm Schwarzkopf in Desert Storm, decided to attack Iraq with his unproven reserves - because they'd earned his loyalty and, you know, just to see if he could do it.....a first year West Point student would have advised against McDermott and Castillo.
Yes, there were too many turnovers and key times when the offense could not stay on the field. But as sober Eagle fans know, that offense was the most balanced and most capable in decades in Philly. The simple truth is, that this team that could flat out RUN the ball. Howard Mudd is Eagles coach of the year. They didn't run only after establishing the pass. Or Run but only outside the red zone. Or run successfully, but never on 3rd and short. This team RAN the ball. Shady off tackle from the two was one of the best plays we had ! This was all driven by Howard Mudd. Who he'd replace ? Who was that again ? Juan Castillo, the guy who was PROMOTED despite never having a balanced offensive line. Westbrook's best runs were passes. Add Vick and the passing offense, even with DeSean going mental and Maclin dropping too many balls, and it was still the best offense in years. And one, that if, IF, they hang on to the ball are Super Bowl caliber. No changes needed. Especially now that Mr. Vick has introduced himself to Mr. Celek.
The "duck my head and hope for a tackle" safeties will be gone. Fisher would have cut them in training camp...better, not drafted them. The "you mean, you want me to stop both the run AND the pass?" linebackers will be gone. Rolle can play for Fisher and so can Clayton (young and actually like to hit and what they lack can be taught). Fisher would have started a veteran at MIKE because he knows you can't start a rookie with no offseason...holy crap, just think about that!. He will turn the CBs loose to do what SB corners do, jam you up, play rough, get inside your head, coverage. If the other team's WRs are not pushing and shoving after the play, your DBs are playing too soft. When is the last time our opponents WRs got an unsportsman after the play because they were frustrated with being pushed around?! Look at every SB winner, the corners play Jeff Fisher - Jim Johnson style....not like we've seen for 3 years. The LBs are punishing or they don't play...everyone on the defense hits...HARD. Even if you beat them, you get beaten up and no offense wants to play them (see Ravens, Steelers this year). Softest Eagles defenses I've seen in many a year and it's disgusting. Fisher would not take the field with them. If you're going to give up 24 pts/game during the first 12 games of the year, for god sake, at least hit somebody and give the opponents watching tape something to think about ! Even some of the best WRs and RBs of all time, got alligator arms and slippery cleats when they feel what's coming.
If Jeff Lurie, REALLY wants to win a Superbowl, he will take a lesson from Irsay who had Manning and that offense but a porous (see 2009-2011 Eagles) defense and got himself a head coach who brought what that team most lacked - smart defense. The Bucs won the SuperBowl because Gruden brought what they most lacked - a cocky fiery attitude. The Yankees won when they lacked attitude and brought in Billy Martin. They Yankees won when they had too much attitude and brought in Bob Lemon. You solve the puzzle..You add what you sorely lack. Mark my words - the Eagles add Jeff Fisher, they win the SB in two years, maybe next...after he cleanses the defense of guys who play like Quentin Demps and Jarrad Page.....