The Philadelphia Eagles finished out the 2012 season giving up a pathetic 27.8 points per game allowed to their opponents, which largely contributed to their 4-12 season of misery, led to the firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and ultimately to the firing of 14-year head coach Andy Reid.
Major changes must occur for this team back into the win column atop the NFC East. It remains uncertain as to who the Eagles will have coaching them next year, but they would be wise to bring in a tough defensive coordinator who can wake these guys up.
Mike Singletary is a perfect candidate for the soon-to-be vacant position. Singletary is a former-linebacker with experience as a head coach, with the San Francisco 49ers. He currently assists the linebackers on the Minnesota Vikings. He is familiar with both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive packages.
Singletary is notorious for his tough style of coaching. A little firepower on the sidelines can a go a long way in motivating a unit. There has not been that presence on the Eagles to fire up the team.
The Eagles certainly didn't have that in Reid and his staff. Andy Reid was certainly not the gung-ho, firebrand who yelled and pumped up his players through his energy.
A house cleaning is obviously necessary.
Castillo and Todd Bowles were unable to utilize the talent that the Eagles defense has. Trent Cole is getting older, but still has plenty left in the tank. DeMeco Ryans is one of the top linebackers in the league.
On paper, the Eagles have all of the names but, when they are sitting home in January evaluating their coaching and personnel options, that means nothing.
Nnamdi Asomugha may be the most overpaid corner in the game. But what likely hurt their defense the most was the lack of talent at the safety position. Kurt Coleman bites more on play-action fakes than any safety in recent memory. Nate Allen has been mostly unable to stay healthy and, when he is, he proves to be a bust of an NFL player.
So, aside from making a run at Singletary, which truly does seem necessary, the Eagles must target a safety or two this offseason. There are some great safeties available in the year's draft such as Eric Reid from LSU and Matt Elam out of Florida. They could potentially make immediate impacts with the Eagles.
Not many major changes need to be made with player personnel. They do have the talent, but lack the tough commander running the troops that Singletary could be for them.
Stay tuned. Happy New Year.