Andy Reid: Visionary

Andy Reid: Visionary

So says Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, a Reid disciple of nine seasons, but the Eagles' former special teams and defensive backs coach wasn't simply heaping praise on his old boss. In a conversation with Geoff Mosher of the Delaware News Journal, Harbaugh defended last year's controversial decision to promote Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator.

“Knowing Juan all these years, I just know Juan is a great football coach and I wasn’t surprised at all when Andy made the move.”

“I think it takes kind of a visionary; it’s a little bit of a visionary-type choice. I can see where people wouldn’t understand it.”

Andy has been called a lot of things lately, but that's the first time in awhile -- perhaps ever -- somebody chose the word 'visionary.' Harbaugh was also confident the Eagles' defense will be 'great' next season.

“You never want to count Juan Castillo out. Never.”

Harbaugh's outspoken backing of Castillo is not exactly a surprise. The two coaches worked together in Philadelphia for 10 years, and it's not the first time Harbaugh offered strong support of Castillo. Last year, he predicted there is much more to come.

"I think he'll be a head coach in this league someday. I just think he's a special guy."

Harbaugh has enjoyed tremendous success in Baltimore, amassing a 44-20 record during the regular season, and winning at least one playoff game all four years of his tenure, though he wasn't exactly a traditional hire either. He spent nine seasons as the Eagles special teams coordinator, and one as their defensive backs coach before accepting the Ravens job. Prior to his NFL experience, Harbaugh coached special teams and various positions at the NCAA level.

It's not quite the same as jumping from offensive line to defensive coordinator, but even Reid was never a coordinator before becoming head coach of the Eagles. Just goes to show you can't always judge a book by its cover. If he's as great a coach as his peers believe, Juan Castillo will make it work in 2012.

>> John Harbaugh lends support to Reid, Castillo [Delaware News Journal]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.