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Insider: Bowles promotion was long overdue

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By PFW staff

The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity:

• “(Eagles defensive coordinator) Todd Bowles has an opportunity to turn (the defense) around. The problem with Juan Castillo was that he wanted to coach everybody, and he was not qualified to coach anyone. Just because you coach offensive line does not mean you know how to coach defense. It was only a matter of time before it was going to blow up. The owner (Jeffrey Lurie) was never on board with (the hire). It was the right move and overdue.”

• “The fan base in Cleveland is going to go nuts if they cannot find a quarterback. What you have with Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy is a serviceable No. 2 and a good No. 3. There’s not a starting quarterback on the roster. That’s the first piece that needs to be fixed. They have to get their quarterback.”

• “Oakland is struggling to pick up some wins over there, but look at the situation they walked into. It’s not going to happen overnight when you inherit no draft picks and you have to cut all these guys that were drafted by Al (Davis) that have speed and no skill. It could be six years before they really have a fair chance to turn it around. … When the receivers started getting hurt, it hampered the offense. Look at their corners — you can’t win with Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer. I liked him early in his career, but how long has he been in the league now? It has passed him by. (Aaron) Curry fizzled in Seattle and he has been out. Rolando McClain has had legal issues. They are a little long in the tooth across their (defensive) front with (Richard) Seymour being the best they’ve got. You’ve got to be able to build through the drafts and fill in with a few stopgap guys in free agency.”

• “I think (Seahawks RB) Marshawn Lynch is the best back in football. He’s very difficult to defend in the zone scheme they run. … If you look at the second half against San Francisco, (rookie QB) Russell Wilson was rattled. He was awful. I think you’ll see more teams start to pressure him early. He does not handle it well.”

• “Randy Lerner made a lot of mistakes and a lot of people made a lot of money off the Cleveland Browns. From (Mike) Holmgren to Phil Savage to Eric Mangini and Butch Davis — even Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark. I can’t think of many worse owners (than Lerner). (New owner Jimmy) Haslam will be a breath of fresh air.”

• “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Mike Holmgren. He didn’t walk out on his own terms. He still wants to be part of the game — he’s not ready to fade away just yet. I’ve heard he’s got his eyes set on the big city.”

• “Everyone was talking about what happened to the Green Bay Packers. When their quarterback is on, they are unstoppable. (And) their defense stinks.”

• “The front-office situation in Philadelphia is not a good one. Scouts are not allowed to talk to coaches during training camp. You’re talking about some scouts who have known the coaches for years. Coaches coach, scouts scout and that’s the way it is. It’s not a happy environment. It’s a divisive, paranoid place, and it’s hard to grow and jell as a team in that type of setting. That’s the result of hiring a very insecure GM who does not know football.”

• “The problem that I am seeing across the league is that there are not enough good football people in positions of power. Look at the GMs now — how many have cap backgrounds? There are a lot of smart people in front offices — a lot of team owners and presidents didn’t get where they are without earning it. But you better have some good football people to sort through decisions. Head coaches have their own job to do. They need a strong support structure.”

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