A sad and maybe symbolic scene unfolded in the Eagles locker room just before reporters were ushered out late Sunday night. A pained Kurt Coleman, who needed assistance getting his shirt off moments before, walked up to Nate Allen and asked if he would be able to put his deodorant on for him, as he was unable to lift his arms and do it himself. Allen sustained a shoulder injury in the game and was also limited. But using his good arm, he dutifully performed the task for his fellow safety.
Officially, Coleman was listed with a chest contusion. But he was hurting bad, and it wasn’t all physical.
“It’s a little bit of everything right now,” said Coleman, his voice unable to get above a whisper.
“This sucks. It just sucks. I can’t piece one thing — it just sucks right now…We knew what we were doing, we knew what they were doing. It’s inexcusable really. We’re trying as hard as we can but that’s not enough, we have to be able to execute all the time.”
“We have possible lineup changes, and people compete everyday,” Bowles said. “There are no spots set in stone. We’re playing our best guys. If there was somebody that was stepping up to play better, they would be playing.”
Bowles didn’t mean it as a slight on the Eagles’ depth, but his comment spotlights the team’s lack of young talent at cornerback and safety.
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That’s why when Andy Reid decided to fire Juan Castillo and promote Todd Bowles, it made sense on some levels. Bowles, after all, was the man in charge of the secondary. At the time, the Eagles led the league in opponents’ completion percentage (52.7) and were tied for the second-best mark in yards per attempt (6.2).
Results have not been so good in the last two games, as the Eagles have allowed five touchdowns and come up with no interceptions. Matt Ryan and Drew Brees did whatever they wanted, completing a staggering 76.8 of their passes while averaging 8.9 yards per attempt. So what’s been the problem?
Everyone in this town knows the tale backwards and forwards. Every win and every loss is a piece of a larger mosaic. We know where it fits and what it signifies. Do trade acquisitions and free-agent signings, plucked from one culture and plopped into another, appreciate what this all means? Do they understand the magnitude of this season?