Eagles head coach Andy Reid spoke in an official capacity yesterday for the first time since the end of an incredibly disappointing 8-8 season. The usually tight-lipped coach was surprisingly candid with the media gathered in Philadelphia. Reid started the press conference by saying that he “thought it was important that I step back and, particularly coming off an 8-8 season, take a thorough look at things, in particular starting with myself and the job that I did this year, then the coaching staff, the players, the direction we might decide to go in free agency and begin on the draft”. This was his explanation for waiting so long to address the media amidst all of the speculation regarding the Eagles coaching situations.
He then went on to discuss the oft-rumored coaching situation and reaffirmed his commitment to defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, despite the fact that he thought the combination of Castillo and Steve Spagnuolo could be “dynamite”. When asked whether he was open to the idea of hiring a new defensive coordinator when he was talking to Spagnuolo, Reid responded: “I never really…I just thought the two of them together would be tremendous. They have a great relationship, it’s the same defense, so you have two great coaches; that’s how I felt.”
Speaking about newly hired secondary coach and former interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins, Todd Bowles, Reid said: “…And the one thing Todd has is he does have experience and he’s a sharp guy. Juan and I were able to put him through an interview process and he did a nice job with that. [And] the recommendations from guys like Bill Parcells and the guys that he’s worked with are phenomenal, the [Tony] Sporano’s, Mike Nolan’s, all of the guys that he’s worked with carry this guy at such a high level”. It was clear that Philadelphia needed to make some changes on the defensive side of the ball, but just what those changes were going to be, and who was going to be the scapegoat finally took shape with the hiring of Bowles and some of the other under less publicized moves that the Eagles have made so far this offseason.
Reid, who is not known for sharing very much information with the media, was astonishingly open with the throngs of reporters gathered for his “state of the team address”. One cannot help but wonder if this new, candid Andy Reid is the result of any discussions he may have had with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, or if he has decided on his own that changes need to happen and this is one small way he is going about implementing them.