More need to go for the Birds

While lurking in the shadows of another lost season, Eagles coach Andy Reid did something smart and dynamic over the weekend. He fired defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and clueless DL coach Rory Segrest.

We can only hope this is the beginning of a major purge of the many Eagles who ruined 2010. McDermott was so inept even Reid’s famous blind loyalty couldn’t save him after two horrific seasons overseeing a defense that dishonored the memory of its creator, Jim Johnson. The
oft-stated notion two years ago that a total unknown like McDermott could replace a legend was absurd then, and it’s even more insulting today. (For an analysis of the Segrest firing, see the accompanying item.)

All you needed to know about McDermott was that his system was responsible for the worst red-zone performance in a quarter-century in the NFL. Sure, the talent was lacking — and injuries definitely compounded the skill shortfall. But the worst in 25 years? On a
playoff team, no less? There is simply no defense (pun intended) for that performance.

Rumors are already rampant about McDermott’s successor, but those who waste time on such idle speculation are missing the point. The first order of business should be a thorough housecleaning of the many others responsible for the 50th consecutive season without a championship.

At the top of that list should be the defensive line, which recorded a pathetic 39 sacks this season — down from 48 in Johnson’s final year — and managed to be no better than mediocre against the run at the same time. In other words, Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson need to go. Neither has ever performed near the level of their hype as top draft picks. They are both undersized — unable to provide any push up the middle and roadkill against big run-blockers.

And while Reid is finally admitting his many draft flubs, he should dump right tackle Winston Justice, too. Any player so incompetent that he requires benching during the biggest game of the year is not worthy of a roster spot, let alone protecting the blind side of Michael Vick.

Linebacker Ernie Simms whiffed more than Ryan Howard did across the street. Cornerback Dmitri Patterson had one of the worst seasons in Eagles history. Goodbye to both. And they should take with them whoever was responsible for instant-replay challenges and whoever is working with Reid on what to say after games.

The coach has a lot of work to do this off-season. With the departures of McDermott and Segrest, he’s off to a very good start.

Segrest out: Good

As badly as Sean McDermott coached this season, he was not the worst performer on the Eagles staff. That dishonor goes to Rory Segrest, who also lost his job in the weekend purge.

How bad was Segrest? The team ranked 21st in points allowed and 32nd in the red zone. The sack total dropped to 39 from 44 last season and 48 in the final year under Pete Jenkins.

Trent Cole dipped from 12.5 sacks to 10 this season, and top-draft pick Brandon Graham had only two before getting hurt in the 12th game.

Even more damning is the fact that Chris Clemons and Jason Babin had spectacular seasons once they escaped Segrest.

Before you dismiss all of the above as the opinion of a know-nothing talk-show host/columnist, please understand that the above analysis comes from one of the best DLs in Eagles history, Hugh Douglas.

My colleague at WIP, Douglas has pinned the failings of the 2010 defense squarely on the shoulders of Segrest — more so than even McDermott. Douglas said the pass-rushers lacked a refined technique and the interior linemen were not nearly aggressive enough.

Statement on the DC

Why does Andy Reid hold news conferences? Is there any logical reason for them other than to provide an almost daily insult to Eagles fans?

For the past two seasons, the Eagles coach has gathered the media and blatantly lied about his intentions for the team. Last year, he said Donovan McNabb would be his quarterback in 2010, just a few months before trading him to Washington. Last week, he said Sean McDermott would be back as his defensive coordinator in 2011 — before firing him two days later.

Week after week, Reid defended McDermott, citing the coach’s amazing work ethic and intensity — even while players were openly complaining about confusion and lack of adjustments.

Reid didn’t even issue a statement explaining his change of heart.

Well, please allow me to issue the statement for him: “I fired Sean McDermott because he was totally incompetent. I lied about his performance all season because I don’t have enough respect for the fans to tell them the truth. That’s why I always say ‘I’ve got to do a better job’ after losses. Because I don’t care enough to provide honest answers to fair questions. … By the way, the time is not yours. It’s mine.’”

–Angelo Cataldi is host of 610 WIP’s Morning Show, which airs weekdays from 5:30-10 a.m.

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