Juan Castillo met the media yesterday and right or wrong, the main topic of conversation was the young linebacker corps. Personally, after watching the tape it was clear that Casey Matthews didn't play well but the other LBs were fine and it was really the DTs that weren't eating up blocks. Of course, the Eagles were without their top two run stopping DTs... Cullen Jenkins isn't here to eat up blocks, he's here to go after the QB.
That said, all anyone wanted to talk about was the LBs and Juan said that they're a work in progress but that he's confident they'll be good enough to win with.
"The linebackers will be ready. To win the Super Bowl, remember, it takes 16 weeks, and then really whoever is playing their best during the playoffs. So when you look at it there's time to develop. You can say that there's not, but the key is, who's playing or fundamentally who's the best come week eight, nine, ten, and during that crunch time. And over the years we've been pretty good during that time, and we'll continue to do that. The young kids will get better just because they're working the proper fundamentals."
We certainly didn't see a good performance from Casey Matthews, but Juan says he is improving.
"Well you know what; he only had seven plays the first game. Sometimes I think it's important to understand, when you're looking at a game and you think ‘well it's this guy's fault,' you know, sometimes, unless you understand what's going on, well this guy it wasn't his gap. The ball goes into certain different gaps. Casey is going to be, it's his first time being a middle linebacker. He's going to get better, and better, and better. Every day he'll get better."
Here's my issue. I'm sure Casey Matthews will get better than he is now, all rookies will. I'm well aware that has yet to play even one full NFL game and that he and all rookies are far behind where they normally would be. Those are all perfectly valid excuses as to why we shouldn't be too down on Matthews... but I don't see how they're excuses as to why he should be starting if he's not the best option.