Twitter Mailbag: On Fans, Bowles And the Costanza Wallet

Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach Todd Bowles.

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @riggitty: Why did Todd Bowles have such a rough first game at dc with so much time to prepare?

His promotion may have happened during the bye week, but I definitely don’t look at it as him having a lot of time to prepare. Just take Juan Castillo, for example. OK, so he was coming from the offensive side of the ball, but it took an entire season for the defense to get comfortable with his scheme. The beginning of last season was total chaos on defense.

The learning curve won’t be nearly as steep for Bowles, especially since he worked closely with Castillo and this unit up through the first six games. There was some obvious confusion early in that Atlanta game, though. Players were scrambling pre-snap trying to figure out exactly where they should be. They were caught out of position and were not sure-footed. It looked a lot like 2011, to be perfectly honest.

It should not come as a surprise that a change that big threw the ‘D’ off-kilter a bit. New voice, modified approach, new wrinkles. Maybe the defense will ultimately be better under Bowles, but it has to happen fast.

From @a_rizzo23: with most of the eagles starters under contract nxt yr, how can a new coach bring in his “own guys”?

A few things on this:

One, just because a player is under contract does not mean you have to keep him. The Eagles can part with Michael Vick after this season with minimal financial repercussions, for example. Seems likely they would cut ties with Jason Babin as well. You’re obviously not going to purge your entire roster. But just think about how different of a feel this team would have with those two moves alone.

A new coach would likely change most of  the staff as well. That probably means no Jim Washburn and no Wide 9. New coordinators. New approach.

Then there’s the philosophy shift. Every head coach has a style all their own, and will try and identify players that will best fit with that style. That doesn’t happen overnight, granted. There will be some weeding out and some building via the draft. But there are certainly ways to change the identity in fairly short order.


It’s true. Costanza’s got nothing on this bad boy:

Mike Missanelli did a bit on this once. During a commercial he asked to borrow a dime for the vending machine and I pulled this puppy out, started digging through it, and fished out the coin. He went back on the air and talked not only about the monstrosity above, but the fact that he cannot trust a man who carries change in his wallet.

And yes, it does throw my equilibrium off.

From @EClarke1: Why do Eagles players every year turn against the fans? are we too hard, or are they too soft?

Loaded question. My favorite.

In case you missed it, Jason Babin spoke Thursday about a faction of the fan base that was chanting “vile” things at the players and coaches during the Falcons game. Also this week, DeSean Jackson talked about how it feels like the fans are sometimes against them.

I look at it on a case-by-case basis. There are times when fans cross the line, like a few apparently did Sunday. No excuse for it, and it makes everyone else look bad.

It is rarely a good idea for a player to challenge the fans publicly, however. Telling a paying customer how to behave, particularly when the product is poor, is ill-advised. It never comes across right, even if well-intentioned.

The type of player that thrives in Philly is one that not only understands but appreciates how the fan base is wired. They are crazy and demanding, but only in the name of passion and frustration and caring. If you dig that, then you will look at these fans in the proper light. And you will know that calling them out only wounds them unnecessarily.