Jerry Glanville taught us that NFL stands for “Not For Long,” and everyone who signs up for the lifestyle knows it.
If you’re a coach, you’re going to get fired. If you’re lucky you’ll get another gig in another city, and you’ll move your family there and hope the stay is long enough to grow some roots. But it probably won’t be.
Given the transient nature of the profession, it is understandable that a coach would insulate himself and zero in only on the Sunday in front of him until he is told that there will be no more Sundays with his current team.
With the game tied at 17 in the fourth quarter Mat McBriar set up to punt.
The Eagles had 13 minutes and 52 seconds to decide what the conversation would be in this city Monday morning. Would people be talking about a 4-5 team that was just one game back of the Giants in the loss column? Or a 3-6 team that had lost five in a row and would be searching for a new coach in the coming weeks?
Bobby April’s special-teams unit provided the answer.
It’s natural to wonder what was going through Bobby April’s head when he heard the news that Juan Castillo had been fired.
When Andy Reid announced Castillo’s dismissal, he said he was evaluating all aspects of his football team during the bye week. Presumably, that included special teams, a unit that ranks among the worst in the league.
Five of the Eagles’ six games so far have been decided by a field goal or less.
It’s really an amazing number when you think about it. That’s why you’ll hear many argue that the Eagles could very well be a 1-5 team right now, while others make the case that they’re only a handful of plays away from 5-1.
The truth is, both parties are right. But the Eagles are 3-3 after six, and given all the bounces, calls, etc., that’s probably just about where they should be.
Given the way the offense has struggled, it’s likely that they are going to play a lot more close games the rest of the way.
And that’s why it’s time to start paying more attention to how special teams are simply killing the Eagles. The Birds are not coming close to winning the field-position battle on a week-to-week basis.
In the offseason, the Eagles made moves to address their return game, but so far, the results have been unimpressive.
Let’s start with the punt returns. Damaris Johnson has been the man through five games, and his opportunities have been limited. Johnson’s fair caught nine punts (tied for most in the league) and returned another eight. His longest return has gone for just 13 yards.
So is it time for DeSean Jackson to get a shot?
Had the Eagles lost Sunday’s game against the Ravens, Bobby April’s special-teams unit would have fielded its share of the blame this week.
Looking ahead to the matchup against the Cardinals, special teams very well could determine the difference between a win and a loss.
Let’s start with the punter. A week after making the Eagles look smart for choosing him over Mat McBriar, second-year player Chas Henry had major issues against the Ravens.
When asked who undrafted free agent Damaris Johnson reminded him of, Eagles special-teams coach Bobby April needed a few seconds to remember the name.
But then it came to him: Eric Guliford.