The Philadelphia Eagles were one of the great train wrecks of the 2012 season. With that kind of black mark, all the Eagles coaches who got fired should have had a harder time finding new jobs. Yet Andy Reid, Marty Mornhinweg, Todd Bowles and now Jim Washburn have gotten chances to start over anyway.
Washburn became the latest ex-Eagle to get picked up, as the Detroit Lions made him a defensive assistant on Jan. 22, according to the Detroit Free Press. Although he was unceremoniously fired by the Eagles in December, and his “wide-nine” scheme as defensive line coach was a failure, the Lions weren’t scared off by his lack of success.
The Kansas City Chiefs were hardly deterred by Reid’s ugly finish in Philadelphia either, as they quickly made him their new head coach anyway. In addition, Todd Bowles and Marty Mornhinweg got new jobs with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets this past weekend, despite their failures as the Eagles’ defensive and offensive coordinators this season.
Even Juan Castillo was picked up by the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens, as John Harbaugh announced on Jan. 21 that he will be their run-game coordinator next year. Despite this demotion, Castillo gets to work for a potential Super Bowl champion, and manage a running game led by Ray Rice. In many ways, he made out like a bandit despite all his problems as the Eagles' defensive coordinator.
Reid, Mornhinweg, Bowles and Washburn aren’t starting over with teams like the Ravens, however. The Chiefs, Jets, Cardinals and Lions were all disasters in their own right in 2012, like the Eagles were. Yet in spite of their own personal disasters in Philadelphia, these old coaches are still being trusted to turn themselves and their new teams around.
Those in Philadelphia who were frustrated with Reid and Mornhinweg’s offense, as well as Castillo, Bowles and Washburn’s defense, may wonder why they were so in demand anyway. But if they revive their careers with their new teams, it will only make it more puzzling why they couldn’t win with their old one.
Are the Eagles fundamentally flawed to the core, or will Chip Kelly and his new staff succeed with them where Reid and his staff failed? At the least, the Chiefs, Jets, Ravens, Cardinals and Jets seem to be convinced that Philadelphia’s recent problems weren't the coaches’ fault.