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New-school Eagles resisting Mudd’s old-school style

Danny Watkins, Howard Mudd

Philadelphia Eagles first round draft pick guard Danny Watkins listens to offensive line coach Howard Mudd during an NFL football training camp, at Lehigh University Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, in Bethlehem, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


When dissecting the offseason decisions made by Eagles coach Andy Reid, most of the attention focuses on Reid’s choice to move Juan Castillo from offensive line coach to defensive coordinator. Apart from the challenges Castillo would face in changing to the other side of the ball (especially during a season in which a looming lockout threatened to -- and ultimately did -- reduce the window for preparation), the move forced Reid to hire a new offensive line coach.

Reid hired Howard Mudd, who most recently coached the offensive line in Indianapolis from 1998 through 2009. Though Mudd has a great reputation and years of experience and accomplishments, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us that some of the players on offense aren’t embracing Mudd’s methods.

As the source explained it, it’s a classic old-school/new-school generation gap. The players on the Philadelphia offensive line, along with the rest of the offense, are predominantly young. Mudd, 69, has been involved in the NFL since before all of them were born. Then there’s the fact that the unit is struggling, which serves only to create and/or increase tensions between the position coach, the offensive linemen, and the other players on offense.

Complicating matters is that Mudd and the players have had limited time to get acquainted, due to the lockout. They’ll been together for roughly 2.5 months, and the team’s struggles surely have made it hard for everyone to come together they way they should.

Our advice to the Eagles players? Buy quickly what Mudd is selling. The guy knows what he’s doing, and if it’s not getting done, it’s not because his techniques and strategies don’t work.