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Voice of Philly Sports Fan: Eagles stuck with brainless brain trust

The Eagles are a stupid football team. They make dumb mistakes on the football field.

The Eagles are a stupid football team. They make dumb mistakes on the football field, they devise idiotic strategies that benefit their opponents and they make ignorant comments after games. They have become a weekly insult to the intelligence of every fan who cares about them.

The latest example of this insanity was Sunday's excruciating loss to Detroit, a mental meltdown of epic proportions. Somehow, the Eagles squandered a 10-point lead in the last five minutes of regulation, and then completed their own suicide with a logic-defying overtime.

How mindless were the Eagles on Sunday? Well, they abandoned a plan that was stifling elite receiver Calvin Johnson, they mismanaged the clock, they called plays that resulted in a loss of 21 yards in overtime and then they explained away the defeat with crazy talk. It wasn't a day for deep thinkers at Lincoln Financial Field.

The most puzzling development in the game was defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's decision to change philosophies in the fourth quarter. At that point, the Eagles had allowed 89 yards to the second-best passing offense in the NFL, and had given up only one catch to Johnson -- thanks largely to the best performance of Nnamdi Asomugha's short career in green.

So what did Castillo do? He turned Johnson back into Megatron by blitzing more and assigning Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the elusive, powerful receiver. Asomugha openly questioned the change in tactics, which resulted in five catches and 107 yards for Johnson in the final quarter-plus. Castillo wasn't available for comment. Reports that he was speed-reading Defense for Dummies could not be confirmed.

And then there was offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg missing his own thinking cap in the climactic final minutes. After inexplicably trying two passes in a damaging three-and-out series between the two late Detroit scores, he called slow-developing pass plays in overtime that resulted in two sacks totaling 21 yards. The punt from the back of the end zone that set up the game-winning field goal was entirely Mornhinweg's fault.

Finally, there was the overseer of this mess, Andy Reid, the head coach with the longest tenure in the NFL. Watching the Birds flounder against an inferior opponent on Sunday, does anyone still harbor any doubts over why Reid has never won a championship here? In a three-minute and 30-second postgame news conference, Reid said the team had to get better 11 different times. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe they will get better. Not while no-shows Trent Cole and Jason Babin keep praising the defensive line after another sack-free game. Not while DRC and Asomugha are admitting the Lions wanted to win more than the Eagles. Not while Reid and Castillo and Mornhinweg form the brain trust for this lost franchise.

The only good news that came out of Sunday's debacle is that it brought Andy Reid one loss closer to the end, one brain-cramp nearer to the abyss. If the Eagles finish at 8-8 or less this season, Reid is gone. His departure cannot happen soon enough.

Karma comes back to bite Werth

Jayson Werth is watching the NLCS right now just like the rest of us in Philadelphia, proving once again that the world is a fair and honorable place. Never has a player deserved such a fate more than Jayson Werth.

The former Phillies outfielder who took the $127 million and ran two years ago endured one of the most horrifying losses in playoff history, a 9-7 meltdown by the Washington Nationals that ended their Cinderella season.

The Nationals were one strike away from the NLCS when the Cardinals completed a miraculous comeback from six runs behind to advance past the smug upstarts. Werth -- the hero of Game 4 who has professed his love for a D.C. fan base notorious for half-empty stadiums -- was crestfallen in the dugout after the last out.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia rejoiced. Life is good.

Washington deserved to lose because GM Mike Rizzo shut down the best young pitcher in baseball, Stephen Strasburg, after the kid had reached a totally arbitrary, completely unscientific innings limit. An entire organization lost its first chance in 79 years to win a World Series not because of a bad pitch, but because of an arrogant decision.

And Werth has spent every living moment since leaving here two years ago proving what an ingrate he is. His vow to deny our city another parade was the kind of low blow that requires an even lower one in return. And Werth got that late Friday night, when the baseball gods put him within one pitch of the NLCS -- and then kneed him right in the groin.

Karma truly is a bitch, isn't it?

Rolling out red carpet for ... Iguodala??

The new owners of the Sixers have made a slew of dumb decisions in the past year-plus, but none will rival what they currently plan to do at the season opener on Halloween night. They intend to honor Andre Iguodala.

First of all, the moment this ordinary and ornery player receives such undeserved accolades, all future honors will be devalued. Iguodala won nothing in Philadelphia, no championship and no friends. He was a glum presence who will always symbolize the yawning gap between the Allen Iverson years and (hopefully) the Andrew Bynum era.

Iguodala proved his unworthiness for any acclaim last week when he had the audacity to whine about coach Doug Collins’ orders not to shoot threes and by a fan base that exposed him to relentless criticism his last few seasons. Of course, Iguodala accepts no blame for choking repeatedly in big games and for embracing none of the off-the-court responsibilities of a well-paid team leader.

It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing way to start a new and promising season than to make a national spectacle of our distaste for Andre Iguodala. When fans are asked to endure a highlights package honoring Iguodala before the opening tip-off, the boos and catcalls will not only stain the opener, but they will once again shed an ugly light on our passionate city.

If the new owners have any feel at all for Philadelphia, they will come to their senses and do exactly what Iguodala did to the fans during his eight fruitless seasons here. They will ignore him.



-- Angelo Cataldi is the host of 94 WIP's Morning Show, which airs weekdays 5:30-10 a.m.

 
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