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D-line scheme hurt Eagles? That excuse won't wash with Bowles

TODD BOWLES would not take the bait.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles watches from the sideline as the
Philadelphia Eagles play the Cincinnati Bengals at Lincoln Financial
Field in Philadelphia on December 13, 2012. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles watches from the sideline as the Philadelphia Eagles play the Cincinnati Bengals at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on December 13, 2012. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)Read more

TODD BOWLES would not take the bait.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha suggested this week that if certain changes in the defensive scheme (say, the ones that resulted from firing defensive-line coach Jim Washburn) had taken place sooner, the 4-10 Eagles' season might have been saved.

Did Bowles think that way, as well?

"No, as a football coach you go every week, and every week is a different week . . . you can't look back at the season until after the season," Bowles said Thursday. "Things happen during the year that you have to adjust and adapt to, and you just move forward."

How about the bye-week decision to make Bowles defensive coordinator? The take recently, reinforced by Bowles Thursday, has been that he wasn't able to make all the changes he wanted to make right away (or until Washburn was gone). If Bowles had been in the job from last spring, would the defense be different?

"If I knew the answer to that, I'd be sitting here with a turban and a crystal ball," Bowles said.

The past two games, the Eagles held the opposing quarterback below an 80 passer rating, after allowing six successive 120-plus ratings, including the perfect 158.3 Robert Griffin III posted the first time the Birds played the Redskins, at FedEx Field Nov. 18. RG3 completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for 84 yards on 12 carries.

"Hopefully, over trial and error the past few weeks, we've gotten a little bit older, a little bit smarter, play a little bit wiser, and play a little bit harder," Bowles said. "Hopefully, this time around we put up a better fight [against] him."

Bowles said Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson get the nod at safety this week over 2010 second-round pick Nate Allen, because "Nate needs to be a little bit more vocal, a little bit more decisive."

Bowles used the words "savvy" and "instinct" in describing Anderson's play the past two games, when Coleman was out with a bruised sternum. We haven't heard him describe Allen in those terms.

"Colt has been playing well, and we really didn't want to sit Kurt down. It was a tough choice," Bowles said. "Nate is going to play, but Kurt, going into the game, probably from an experience factor, knowledge factor, is just a little bit ahead of him."

Anderson, by the way, was voted the team's Ed Block Courage Award recipient, for his comeback from a torn ACL.

"It was all tough," Anderson said, when asked the toughest part of his rehab, after he went down last Dec. 1 at Seattle. "Just the mental barrier of being able to trust your knee, trust the cuts."

Anderson said he was "shocked" to get the award.

Special-teams coordinator Bobby April recalled that when the team was looking for a special-teams ace in 2010, general manager Howie Roseman showed him preseason tape of Anderson, then on the Vikings' practice squad.

"I just said,'Geez, this guy can play for anybody in this league, and he's playing for nobody. Absolutely, why not get him? What are we waiting for?' He can just play. He's underappreciated," April said.

This end up

Seems very likely tight end Evan Moore, signed Thursday after having been released by Seattle, will get on the field this week, backing up Brent Celek.

Moore (6-6, 250), who formerly played for the Browns, was a teammate of backup quarterback Trent Edwards at Stanford. Edwards was a groomsman at Moore's February wedding in San Francisco. Moore flew here overnight Wednesday, practiced Thursday without benefit of sleep, he said.

"I'll be ready if my number's called," Moore said. "I'll try to learn as much of this offense as I can in the next 3 or 4 days. If they feel comfortable enough to put me in the game, I'll be ready."

The Eagles signed Moore to a 2-year deal after he cleared waivers, indicating they have some interest in him going forward.


Marty Mornhinweg was emphatic about the problem with Nick Foles' third-quarter interception against the Bengals being more about footwork than about Foles not being able to throw a good deep ball. "Doggone it, he's got plenty of arm," said Mornhinweg, who said Foles just needs more practice reps to smooth out such problems . . . Todd Bowles on no interceptions in the last eight games: "I wish we could just get about 20 of them [at once], but that doesn't happen like that. You try and you fight for the ball every time and you just keep going for the ball, and hopefully it bounces your way. You work at it, you do drills at it, the guys are aware of it, I'm aware of it, everybody else is aware of it, you just have to make it happen and keep plugging" . . . Bobby April on poor special teams: "Probably I've asked the guys to do something that they are not capable of. Maybe it's not being communicated properly. Maybe it doesn't fit their skill set, because obviously, we haven't performed well." April said he is opposed to "bailouts," players need to be responsible for their work, but "I like our guys. I've said it a bunch of times, I like our guys. I don't put anything on them."

" @LesBowen