We’ve got a lot to talk about. Rather than try to tackle everything at once, let’s just go over some key stuff in a simplistic manner.
* Andy Reid will be fired in January. I know there are a few people who think he should stay because of his track record. I understand where you are coming from. Here’s the deal. Reid is still a good coach. The problem is that he’s no longer the right coach for the Eagles. His bag of tricks is empty. The things he used to do to get teams to respond…they no longer work. This isn’t about him “losing the locker room”. The players still love Andy. For whatever reason, something isn’t clicking. It is simply time for a change.
* Jeff Lurie has a huge decision to make. He has to decide where to go from here. Who will be the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles? Does he go for a Jon Gruden type? Does he roll the dice on a college coach? Does he go for an up and coming NFL assistant?
* Lurie also must decide how Howie Roseman factors into all of this. Should he help pick the coach? Is he just going to have to live with who Lurie picks? Should Howie keep his job?
I want to jump in on this angle and talk about something. The Eagles biggest problem is not a lack of talent. Roseman is far from perfect, but he’s not as bad as his harshest critics make him out to be. The Eagles skill players (Vick, Shady, Bryce, Havili, Celek, DJax, Mac, Avant, Cooper) are up there with the best in the NFL as an overall group. The OL was good last year. Jason Peters might be the best LT in the league. As of Sept. 1, we thought we had the best DL in the league. DeMeco Ryans is a good MLB. Mychal Kendricks looks like a good OLB. The CB trio of Nnamdi, DRC, and Boykin played very well back in September. Alex Henery is a very good young PK.
The problem is that the talent is under-performing. Vick has had a bad season. Maclin is all over the place, partially due to injury. Celek has had a bad case of the drops. The OL is injured. Danny Watkins showed minimal progress and Todd became inconsistent. The DL is a mess. Nnamdi is a major disappointment. DRC looked outstanding for a month, but has since become a question mark.
What is more likely…that these players with strong track records suddenly forgot how to play football all in the same season or that they’re underachieving for a reason? When you have this many guys “slump”, I think you need to look for a common denominator. The coaches. Something the staff is doing isn’t working, in terms of scheme, communication, and motivation. The same players make mistake after mistake, but don’t seem to get punished. Where is the accountability? There is way too much a sense of entitlement with this Eagles team.
Before you think I’m putting on rose-colored glasses (what the heck are those anyway?), I do agree that personnel changes need to be made. You don’t go 3-8 if the team is loaded. Some guys who are under-performing need to go. This isn’t the time to get into names. That is worth a separate post. The point for me is that I think this team has a good core. You make some changes and make some upgrades and this team can be pretty darn good…if the right coach is in charge and he’s able to figure out the QB situation.
Howie Roseman is part of the problem, but I do think he can be part of the solution. He’s coming off his best draft. He does a good job with contracts. There is value to keeping him and the majority of the personnel staff together.
* What kind of a power structure should the Eagles have? Do you hire someone to be a President and oversee the coach and GM? Do you give more power to the coach? To the GM? Do Lurie split it evenly and then act as the tie-breaker?
* Lurie needs to figure out what he wants the Eagles to look like. He can take a look around the league and figure out which teams he wants to steal ideas from. I would advise him to check out the Packers, Giants, Steelers, Falcons and Ravens. Do not look at the Patriots. Bill Belichick is a freak. Tom Brady is a freak. Copying them is fool’s gold.
I would look at the Niners, Texans, and Seahawks, but with some sense of caution. Those teams are doing well now, but most of that success is in the last 2 years. I prefer studying something that has lasted for 5 years or more. I would study these teams to see how they went from bad or average to turning things around. That is absolutely worth figuring out.
* Lurie needs to have a good plan. What are his expectations for 2013? For 2014? And 2015? If he wants to win right away, a certain kind of approach is needed. If he is thinking more about the big picture, he can be more patient. The plan and the actions need to match up.
We have had sustained success since 2000. Life has been good.
If Lurie chooses the wrong coach and/or the team doesn’t get a good QB, the Eagles could be in for some bumpy years. From 1988 to 2000, the Buffalo Bills had only 2 losing seasons. 9 times they won double-digit games. Since 2001, the team has only had one winning season and that team failed to make the playoffs. Their sustained success went away and they have been in a wilderness of suckitude ever since. They make bad decisions and have bad luck. They might be getting ready to fire another coach and have the team go into rebuilding phase #37.
Lurie has done a very good job of hiring people in the last 15 years. He needs to make the right hire now for this team to get back on track and avoid becoming another version of the Buffalo Bills.
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NFL Gimpy posted a new MAQB column yesterday. He’s got all kinds of interesting info in there.
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A mentioned this a few weeks back, but with all the talk of Christmas shopping, it seems appropriate to bring it up again. One of our fellow Eagles fans is an author. His new book is The Bro Code For Parents.
Matt Kuhn writes for the hit show How I Met Your Mother. He has now put out 4 books, written in the persona of Barney Stinson, the character played by Neil Patrick Harris. Matt is a hilarious guy, in person or in print. If you need a good laugh, check out The Bro Code For Parents.
This book is Barney’s information on how to get pregnant, what do to during the pregnancy and then how to be a parent. Some of my favorite parts:
* There is one section of the book done in the form of a comic book – The Adventures of Human Conception. ”Our hero races against time through the treacherously narrow caverns of fallopia…and saves Princess Egg seconds before she falls to her doom down Tampon Alley!”
I now cannot get the phrase “tampon alley” out of my head. Classic.
* You’ll find out key information on home pregnancy tests: ”The good news is that the significantly more affordable home-based kits are approximately 75% accurate, or when used by people who understand that only the woman is supposed to pee on it, 96%.
* There’s great advice for helping the baby during the pregnancy: ”Studies have shown that exposing your child to music at an early age may increase his/her intelligence. Since you want to give your child the biggest advantage possible, I recommend jamming a speaker against your stomach and cranking up Van Halen’s 1984.” Brilliant, especially Hot For Teacher.
* I love the Baby’s First Cocktail section. My favorite is the Irish Diaper Bomb, which consists of root beer, formula, and Jameson’s whiskey.
* Barney offers a list of songs to help the baby relax and go to sleep. Here are some:
Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
Suicide is Painless – theme from MASH
Mad World – Donnie Darko soundtrack
Sounds of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
What infant wouldn’t love those light-hearted classics?
If you want to support a fellow Eagles fan and get some good laughs, buy a copy of The Bro Code For Parents. You can buy it for yourself or give it as a Christmas gift. All Eagles fans need something to pick up their spirits right now. Matt’s book has had me laughing quite a bit in the last month, which is more than I can say for our beloved Eagles.