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Thursday, November 15, 2012
Todd Bowles isn't doing so great

By Dan Graziano

The firing of Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo a month ago was clearly, even at the time, more about sending a message and doing something than it was about fixing this year's team. Coach Andy Reid felt a season slipping away as it hit the bye week, and he had, he believed, a capable replacement on staff in Todd Bowles. So he ditched Castillo, a converted offensive line coach who probably never should have had the defensive coordinator job in the first place, likely in the hope that it would fire up the team.

Well, the team hasn't won since, and it's allowed 96 points in the three games it's played since Bowles took over control of the defense. Not all 96 are specifically the defense's fault -- the Cowboys scored two defensive touchdowns and one special teams touchdown against the Eagles on Sunday -- but it's fair to say the defense has played worse since that move was made. Which kind of makes it look like a bad move.

The Philadelphia Inquirer looked at some stats and found, among other things, that:

The three-game sample size is obviously too small to do Bowles any favors, and too small to allow for a fair assessment of his abilities as a defensive coordinator. Should the Eagles play excellent defense over their final seven games, it likely will be reasonable to assume it took them three games to adjust to the change. And anyone who's watched the Eagles over the past two seasons knows they don't adjust quickly to change.

But when you fire a coordinator mid-season, you do so with the hope that you'll see something resembling instant results. To this point, the Eagles have seen quite the opposite.