Did Asomugha’s Concerns Play Into Reid’s Decision?

When the media entered the locker room after Sunday’s loss to the Lions, Nnamdi Asomugha was still sitting at his locker.

He was the only player to still have his jersey and pads on, apparently needing some time to himself after the Eagles’ defense collapsed in the fourth quarter and overtime.

When Asomugha finally addressed reporters, he seemed to question some of Juan Castillo’s decisions at the end of the game.

Considering that Andy Reid fired Castillo the following day, it’s fair to ask: How much of an effect did the players questioning Castillo have to do with his decision?

“I didn’t go to the players with this,” Reid said. “That’s not what I did. I didn’t take that into consideration. Nnamdi told me what he really meant by it [his comments] and explained that before this ever took place. So I appreciated that. He was in favor of what we did [the play calls], and he liked it… That’s not where I went. This was something that I felt I needed to do what was best for the organization at this particular time, and that’s exactly how I went about it.”

Later, Reid said he made the decision on his own and told Jeffrey Lurie about it. No one else was involved in the process.

It’s worth noting that Asomugha seems to have an excellent relationship with Todd Bowles.

“He doesn’t just know secondary stuff, he knows entire defense stuff, so he kind of gets me ready for where to fit when I’m playing inside,” Asomugha said back in August. “He’s helped me out a lot with my inside game. Last year, that was completely new to me, playing dime, playing nickel. Juan’s keeping that going this year a little bit so that’s where Coach Bowles has come in a lot with me and he’s helped me out.”

The timing of the Castillo move also came into question during Reid’s press conference. Hadn’t he seen enough last year with the five blown fourth-quarter leads to decide whether to make a move before the 2012 year started?

“I thought we were making progress. I saw us making progress,” Reid said. “We made progress through the last four games. I kind of liked the direction that we were going. I thought we started off pretty good and then I started seeing some trends come back that I wasn’t real happy about. I just wanted to make sure that we took care of those. I’m not going to go into details. There were just things that I saw that I didn’t want to go in that direction, so tough call.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • 85

    “Nnamdi told me what he really meant by it [his comments] and explained that before this ever took place. So I appreciated that. He was in favor of what we did [the play calls], and he liked it.”
    Uh huh. Nnamdi sure sounded like he was in favor of the play calls. No mistaking that.

    • Ryan

      Yea there’s no way in hell Nnamdi was in favor of having DRC shadow CJ in the slot.

  • Chris Mattocks

    hopefully this will be the end of zone coverage for the most part. Stick DRC and Nnamdi in man press (which is what they both excel at) and play safety help over top. Of course if the offense doesnt play better even the 85 Bears defense can’t help this team

  • Phillybrasil

    I think think at the end of the day A. Reid knew that Juan wasn’t going to be able to compete against Offensive Coordinaters with more experience. When and if we get the playoffs do you really think Juan is going to people to match up chess strategies with the NFL best. Hardwork rarely out does experience and wisdom. I feel sorry for Juan, seems like a great guy but the NFL is a what have you done for me lately league and this case the last 2 wks. Andy know that he has to possibly win at least 7 out of the last 10 and kill the division to keep his job. He went for on 4 th and 1 a few weeks ago, seems to me like he is going all in. They win the Eagles don’t get blown up, they lose, we start from scratch next year. Lets see. Good luck Juan.

  • alnguyen386

    When the Eagles were 3-1 the fans and sportswriter were giving props to Juan so Reid is right when he says he saw progress this season.

  • Myke Lowery

    Heres quotes from Nnamdi from last year – “Obviously we’re going to keep talking to him, because this is his first year,” “We’ve gotten to a point where we know what works. He’s been calling games alot better, he’s been growing each game.”……..”Play-calling,’’ Asomugha said. “Play-calling I think has a great deal to do with it. And that’s no knock or anything. He’s just gotten better at play calling. The right plays for this group and for the situation. I think he’s understanding that a lot more. The belief factor and the confidence in the play calling really helps.’’…………….“We talk to [Castillo] a lot because we, especially the older guys, like myself and Asante, we’ve been in the league, you know, and we kind of know what goes on with defenses and what call is good and not good at any particular time,” said Asomugha. “So we talk to him a lot but he goes out there and he still has his game plan and he makes all the calls and he’s got a better feel of when to call what.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    Funny, Last week these boards were questing Nnamdi’s play and skills. It was obvious the Eagles before Bowles entered didn’t have a clue about how to use Nnamdi and DRC together last year because they were playing them in zone. If that wasn’t a waste of talent there has never been.

  • xlGmanlx

    Not sure what NA is talking about. Juan’s scheme had him in position to make plays last year and he didn’t. He hasn’t made the same plays this year either. Whenever you point the finger at some one, you end up with three more pointing right back at you.

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      Not sure what you’re talking about – they (AR/Juan) foolishly tried to make NA into a Charles Woodson type last year, while also playing DRC is the slot. This year, NA and DRC have been talked about as being amongst the best corner combos in the league.

      • xlGmanlx

        The “Scheme” had him in place to make plays last year, he failed to do so. That isn’t Juan’s fault. It wasn’t Juan’s fault that Victor Cruz had his coming out party against NA and he wasn’t the only one to make him look foolish last year. I could understand if he was no where near the ball to make a play, he was there, in position, he just didn’t make the plays. That is what I was talking about.. Also, those “combos” haven’t exactly gotten turn overs, which is the defenses job.