Head coach Andy Reid wanted to take a step back after the Eagles' 8-8 season, one that he admitted wasn't "good enough," and take a thorough look at a myriad of things ranging from his own performance, the coaching staff, the players and the direction that the team will take moving forward in free agency and the draft.
Reid cut to the chase in his opening remarks and answered the question that fans wanted to know immediately after the season ended. Reid confirmed that Juan Castillo will return for a second season as the team's defensive coordinator. In fact, Reid said that neither Castillo's job title nor his status was ever discussed in the past month. Reid was also surprisingly candid regarding the speculation that the Eagles were interesting in adding former Eagles assistant and Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo to the staff.
Once Spagnuolo was dismissed from St. Louis, Reid offered him a spot on the coaching staff "with open arms." However, no titles were ever discussed. Spagnuolo decided to become the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.
The Eagles had one coaching vacancy and it was filled Monday when Todd Bowles was named the team's secondary coach replacing Johnnie Lynn. Bowles joins the Eagles after four years as the assistant head coach/secondary coach in Miami. Bowles was the interim head coach at the end of the 2011 season and won two of his three games.
Bowles interviewed for the Miami and Oakland head coach positions this offseason and was offered other coordinator jobs, but the Temple alum and New Jersey native wanted to return to the East Coast. Reid believes that Bowles will be a "nice fit" who orchestrated Miami's secondary in a similar way that the Eagles did. Bowles will also provide a veteran mind that Castillo can bounce ideas off of. Outside of the addition of Bowles, the responsibilities among the defensive coaching staff will remain the same.
On offense, Reid wanted to look at the five games that the Eagles lost after leading in the fourth quarter this season. Certainly, those five games made the difference between making the playoffs and being home now. In those five games, the Eagles only scored three points. Obviously, the team's 38 turnovers cost the team dearly in 2011. Reid thought that the team made progress during the course of the season which culminated with the team's end-of-the-year four-game win streak. The coaching staff on offense will remain intact for 2012.
The coaching staff on special teams remains the same as well, but Reid admitted that the return game must be more explosive.
Shortly after the season ended, Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie expressed his disappointment over the 2011 season. Reid said that he had no issues with anything Lurie said and the "bottom line" is that the team has to do better.
Looking ahead, Reid intimated that the team would be aggressive in free agency and the draft even though just a year ago the Eagles hauled in one of the most impressive, all-star free agent classes in team history.
PhiladelphiaEagles.com will have more on Reid's end-of-the-season press conference throughout the day.
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