"I think we started running the same stuff over and over and not switching it up as much," Graham said. "A lot of time we ran the same coverage, stuff like that. I listen to the calls every play - ‘Coach, why do we have this play? Why do we have this play,' and it was always pretty much the same stuff."
That is Brandon Graham's assessment of why the Eagles defense has continually struggled in the 4th quarter under Juan Castillo. In short, he's saying they were predictable.
"I think we started running the same stuff over and over. We're not switching it up as much. You could hear it on the sideline -- a lot of times we run the same coverage."
And as Ruben Frank points out it can't be denied that the Eagles defense has been at its worst in the 4th quarter during Castillo's time here.
The stats certainly bear out what Graham is saying. Under Castillo, the Eagles allowed a total of 450 points in 22 games, and 36 percent of them (160) came in the fourth quarter, as opposed to 89 in the first quarter, 127 in the second and 74 in the third.
Despite that, it is still surprising to hear a player say it out loud and you have to wonder whether there are more guys than just Graham who had become frustrated with Juan in charge? It would seem pretty unlikely that he's the only one.
If that's the case, he may also not be the only guy happy to see Todd Bowles in charge now. Graham says that the first thing Bowles stressed when he took over was being less predictable in crunch time.
"That’s what he talked about, not being predictable in the fourth quarter, because by the fourth quarter everybody knows what we’re going to do, and that’s how we get beat," Graham said.
"Now that we’ve got Bowles, I feel like he’s going to help us out a whole lot."
Graham says he's looking forward to this week of practice because with Bowles in charge, he thinks "everything we run in practice we’re going to actually really run in the game."
That point seemed to really bother Graham. That the Eagles would practice a lot of different plays and looks during the week, but on Sunday they would simply run "the same stuff over and over."
The proof will be in the results. We've seen the stat from Roob about the Eagles in the 4th quarter under Castillo. It's ugly. If those numbers improve as we also happen to notice some wrinkles being shown in the 4th under Bowles... that will probably be pretty compelling evidence that Juan was a major part of the problem.
Then again... what is things don't turn around?