Dawk: Keep Andy, But…

Posted: December 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 112 Comments »

I caught Brian Dawkins on ESPN Radio yesterday talking about a variety of subjects.  I was impressed.  He wasn’t Warren Sapp just spewing crappy generalizations.  He wasn’t Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, or Cris Carter trying to put a ton of attitude and flair into every comment, as if that was far more important than the actual content.

Dawk said good things.  He was asked about Mark Sanchez and said that he’s done in NY, but is a talented QB and could bounce back with a new team.  I totally agree.  As Dawk noted, you can just see in his body language that he’s a total wreck. This isn’t a question of talent.  The situation has just gotten to him.

Dawk talked about Sanchez making bad decisions and poor throws.  Dawk said that as a DB, he loved it when a QB put a lot of air under his deep balls.  That gave Dawk an extra bit of time to read plays before breaking on the ball.  Naturally I thought of Nick Foles.  I hope Dawk mentions to him that lofting deep passes isn’t the ideal way to get them there.

As the interview started to wind down the host asked about Andy Reid.  “If you were in charge, what would happen to him?”

Dawk didn’t hesitate.  He said Andy would stay on as coach.  Dawk then said he knew a lot of people would think he’s crazy, but that he believes Andy is such a good coach that he is the guy he would trust to turn things around.  Dawk admitted he was being loyal to his old coach, but also said he still legitimately believed in him as a coach.

Dawk quickly added a provision…the offense would need to be more balanced.  Throwing the ball 50 times a game would have to go out the door.

And therein lies the twist…we’d all be a lot more open to Andy staying if we thought he would run a more balanced offense. I just don’t think that is possible for a whole season.  Andy has shown that he wants to do things his way and that means throwing the football.

Don’t worry Eagles fans…Reid is done in Philly.  This was just Dawk being asked a question.  I am glad he still feels so strongly about Big Red.  Andy’s ability to connect with his players on a personal level is one of the things that made him so good here for so long.

* * * * *

Dawk was also asked about Michael Vick.  Dawk said that if the offense was going to be built around the pass, let Vick go.  If you change the offense and run a more balanced attack, keep him.

Could Vick stay?

Never say never, but I think he’s gone.

Let’s state the situation like this:  Michael Vick’s days as a franchise QB are over, here or elsewhere.  That doesn’t mean he can’t be a starter.  I think Vick can absolutely be a starter for a couple of more years.

The difference is that no organization is going to look at him as The Answer.  He’ll be the short term guy.  His contract would be such that the team could cut him and walk away from the deal.  If he plays well, he stays.  If he doesn’t, hit the bricks.  And be nervous every time your team is linked to a QB prospect for the upcoming draft.

Part of this is purely age.  Vick will turn 33 in June.  His body is amazingly tough, but he’s taken a pounding over the years.  I don’t see him out there at age 40 like a Vinny Testaverde.

The other part of this is that while we assume Vick could thrive in a more balanced attack, that is still just a guess.  We might find that instead of making 10 mistakes with 50 throws he makes 5 mistakes on 25 throws.  The hope is that you get him to play at a higher level and the mistakes go away, but that’s not a certainty.  I do think getting him into a better comfort zone would help.

How you judge Vick is a big part of all this.  His most ardent supporters still see this guy with amazing ability and a major star.  His detractors see an injury-prone turnover machine.  As always, the truth is in the middle.

Vick still is very physically gifted.  He has one of the strongest arms in the league.  He can throw lasers with the best of ’em.  He remains one of the fastest QBs.  He is still incredibly elusive.  You don’t find players with his raw ability very often.

The problem is that he’s started 101 games in the NFL, but that experience doesn’t always show up.  He does things that just make you scratch your head.  He’s not dumb.  He’s not lazy.  And he is coachable.  The errors come from years of bad habits when he wasn’t so coachable or hard working.  His old instincts kick in and trouble shows up.  At Virginia Tech and with the Falcons the attitude was something along the lines of “just make a play”.  In Philly it is “run this complex offense in an efficient, yet explosive way”.

Andy has broken his own rule in this case…put players in a position to succeed.  I don’t blame Reid for trying this.  Vick is so gifted that the experiment was worth it.  But at some point it became painfully clear to the world that it wasn’t working.  Reid should have adjusted.  He didn’t.

Whoever coaches Vick in 2013 needs to look at him the way that coaching staffs have done with young QBs.  This may sound a bit nuts because of Vick’s background, but that is exactly what should be done.  The Seahawks keep things simple and Russell Wilson has thrived.  The Shannys built a whole playbook around RG3 and he’s been amazing.  The Niners offense is built around the run and they tweak it for the QB.  With Colin Kaepernick, they’re mixing in more QB running and vertical passing.

A coach must embrace Vick’s talent and his limitations.  Vick isn’t a plug ‘n play QB that can thrive in any offense.  He needs the right scheme.  He needs the right supporting cast.  He needs help.  Truly put Vick in a situation where he can succeed and I think he will. That doesn’t mean he’ll play at an elite level or win a Super Bowl, but he can be a good starter.   Ask the fans of the Jets or Jags how nice that would be.

Vick hurt himself with his play this year, but I think he has helped himself with how he’s handled the situation.  Vick hasn’t gone to the media to complain.  He’s been loyal to Reid and Nick Foles.  If I’m an outside coach looking in, I like that.  I see a guy who “gets it”.  He can be coached.  He can be dealt with.  Donovan McNabb is out of a job because he wasn’t coachable. He wouldn’t listen to the coaches in D.C. or Minneapolis. Vick wants to stay in the league for several more years.  He wants to play.  He will listen.  He will do things your way.

I think some coach will see the poor choices in the draft and decide Vick can be a good short term solution.  The coach will tailor the passing game to fit Vick and focus on running the ball.  It is possible this could happen in Philly, but I tend to doubt it.  Vick would have to agree to a major pay cut and Jeff Lurie would have to let the new coach know that sticking with Vick was okay.  Lurie might feel like 3 years of him as a starter is enough and going with the young guy (Foles or early draft pick) is the way to go.

I will follow Vick with interest in 2013.  I’d like to see him succeed.  The NFL needs good QBs.  Watching MNF was painful.  I don’t mind a defensive battle, but you do need competent offense.  It would be fun to see Vick go somewhere and play well, assuming it isn’t a rival team. Send him to KC or JAX or somewhere and I’ll definitely root for him.

* * * * *

There is a new Eagles site on the market called Eagles Rewind.  He’s got a few interesting posts up.  Give the site a look and see what you think.

I have to admit I was pretty disappointed.  I thought the site was dedicated to cassette tapes of The Eagles…you know Glen Frey, Don Henley, and Joe Walsh.  And Timothy B. Schmidt.  Can’t forget Timmy B.  I’m a big fan of Joe Walsh’s solo on the live version of Hotel California.  Was hoping for posts on stuff like that.

Instead…just Eagles football.  It is a good looking site and the content looks like it could be quality material.

I do sometimes miss my cassette tapes.  You could do just about anything to them and they could take it (like Vick).  I did wear out a few over the years (Led Zeppelin II, Appetite For Destruction, And Justice For All).  I will admit that I don’t miss rewinding them to find songs.

Funny to think that at a certain point there might not be vinyl, tape, or CDs…just digital.  Not sure I can handle that much change.  Me and Donovan will demand things stay the way they did back in 2004.


112 Comments on “Dawk: Keep Andy, But…”

  1. 1 Baloophi said at 12:59 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    My favorite cassettes were a BBC program on the history of Led Zeppelin that my older sister threw at me when I refused to listen to anything but C + C Music Factory (that tape served as a musical awakening), and one with Appetite For Destruction on one side, and Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits 1974-1978 on the other. That was my lawn mowing tape… Once “auto reverse” technology was introduced I rode that tape into the freshly cut ground.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 1:12 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Lawn mowing tape? Classic.

    I’ve still got a variety of recorded shows on Zep. My favorite is one that I think Westwood One did where Jeff Beck talked about the first time he heard LZ’s first album. You could hear the pain in his voice. Jimmy Page stole his idea and put it to a level Beck could never come close to. Beck swears the biggest difference was Bonzo and the sound he gave the band.

  3. 3 Mac said at 1:06 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I think a case could be made that if Foles is “your guy” then you restructure Vick’s deal and let him take the lead for about 2 years. My thinking is that then you could iron out some of the issues with Foles’ game and give him time to learn the new offense and prepare for taking the reigns in the future. With Vick as the 1st stringer you know Foles will get some game reps which could help increase his readiness when its time to make the switch.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 1:13 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    That was the old NFL. New NFL says you play the young guys.

  5. 5 Mac said at 1:15 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Dammit Tommy, you keep your newfangled ideas to yourself. Where’s Morton when I need him?!

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 2:07 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    We do need Morton at a time like this. His gloating would keep us focused on never letting this happen again.

  7. 7 Ark87 said at 4:43 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    New NFL, New Morton |/

  8. 8 shah8 said at 3:49 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    The newer NFL says you only play the awesome young guys. ?:~)

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 2:40 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    If we did get Chip Kelly, I think Vick with a restructured contract will be a better fit than Foles. At which point Vick sticks around till Chip can find a young mobile franchise QB. That dude must have wet dreams about RG3.

  10. 10 D3Keith said at 11:35 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    See I agree with this. The reason you want Kelly is to see if he can take all these pieces and make them work. Those of us hanging on to the Vick dream see a guy who would build around what Vick can do. In hindsight, we learned that turning Vick into what he’s isn’t not only didn’t work, but stunted what he does well.

    I admit I’m irrationally hoping for Vick to stay on board and for it to work out under some new coach. I’m not terribly sure why, as I like Vick but I’m not a buy-his-jersey-level fan. I wonder maybe if it’s just not wanting to see his talent go to waste, or the fear of a forging forth for years and years with mediocre QBs.

    I think it’s looking at this current NFL, with two styles of passers succeeding (the quick-release, read-every-defense, carve-you-up passers and the scare-you-because-I’m-a-threat-to-run-too guys) that Vick can still be the latter. I don’t think his speed deserted him as much as he didn’t trust himself … remember how the big deal early in the year was him trying to stay healthy for 16 games?

    I think Vick can still be successful, at least as long as he can stay healthy, but if it’s with the Eagles I think the new coach has to embrace the run game first, the quick passes second and make Vick realize he doesn’t have to flash his brilliance to be brilliant. Get the ball to the playmakers, and be yourself when necessary.

    I’m probably reaching. Will be sad if Reid and Vick go elsewhere and have success as we’ll always wish it came together here. But clearly it did not and they had more than one shot at it.

  11. 11 Ark87 said at 1:10 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I have a coworker here in NC, where youth baseball is king. her son does all that jazz, one of the best in the state. So i see this awesome documentary called Knuckleball! with RA Dickey in it ( dude is awesome). So I figure this is a good gift as both the co-worker and the son are baseball crazy. There’s a catch, the documentary is a view on demand download only! How do I wrap that up and gift it to someone!? GAH! The digital age blows

  12. 12 Mac said at 1:20 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Forget that… Shadowball is the way for a kid who loves baseball and jazz!


  13. 13 Ark87 said at 1:46 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Nice find! Rofl! As they sang the song, I’m like…is that…a British accent!?!? Yep! Using baseball to teach british children about baseball, racism…and jazz….wild!

  14. 14 Mac said at 1:31 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    Thanks I figured the raw absurdity of this wouldn’t be lost on you! haha

  15. 15 P_P_K said at 2:40 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    RE: The digital age blows.

    A buddy of mine says he is a Briggs & Stratton guy trapped in a Microsoft age.

  16. 16 ACViking said at 2:44 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Re: Speaking of Eagles Safeties . . .

    AR has announced that the starting safeties this Sunday against the Redskins will be Colt Anderson and Kurt Coleman — a college free agent and a 7th Rd pick, respectively.

    Anderson and Coleman join the Eagles safety tandem of college free agent Joe Scarpatti and 14th Rd pick from Indiana-U Nate Ramsey as the lowest- drafted/college-FA players to start together at safety for the Eagles since the NFL/AFL merger in 1966. (Ramsey and Scarpatti paired up for 5 seasons, starting in ’65 and ending after the ’69 season.)

    In 1970, the Eagles kept the streak low-draft-pick-and-college-FA going by pairing Ramsey with Steve Preece from Oregon State, who arrived in Philadelphia via a trade after one year with the Saints. (Scarpatti was traded even up for Preece after ’69).

    But from 1971-72, the Eagles did a 180 degree turn. HC Jerry Williams — a former Eagles DB himself back in the early ’50s — started at safety former 1st Rd pick Leroy Keyes (drafted as a RB in ’69) with Texas schoolboy legend and former U-Texas QB Super Bill Bradley, a 3rd pick in ’69.

    After the Keyes/Bradley pairing, the Eagles played 3d-Rd pick Randy Logan with Bradley. Then it was Logan with FA John “Deacon” Sanders, followed by Logan and FA Brenard Wilson, then Logan and 2nd-Rd pick Wes Hopkins. Hopkins then played with 12th-Rd pick from Ohio State Ray Ellis, who — on Buddy’s arrival — lost his job to FA Andre Waters.

    Not long after, the Eagles drafted Brian Dawkins in the 2nd Rd of the ’96 draft. He held the position though pairings of Mike Zordich (a 9th Rd pick of the Chargers in ’86), 4th Rd pick Damon Moore, Blaine Bishop (8th rounder by the old Oilers . . . and still chasing Joe Jurevicious), 2nd Rd pick Michael Lewis, 4th Rd Pick Sean Considine, and FA Quintin Mickell.

    So this Sunday, we’ll see Coleman and Anderson make some Eagles’ trivia history as the lowest-drafted-college-FA safeties to start together in 44 years since Ramsey and Scarpatti.

    I’m hoping they’re not the starters for the next 5 years, however, as Ramsey and Scarpatti were.

  17. 17 ACViking said at 2:49 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I forgot that, earlier this year, Coleman paired with college FA David Sims against the Saints.

    So this season, we have Coleman being the answer to two trivia questions.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 3:35 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    When can we expect a long piece on the Macho Harris era?

  19. 19 bdbd20 said at 10:11 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    Man, I really was pulling for him. Loved him at VT. How great would it have been to have a Pro Bowl safety named Macho?

  20. 20 Steven DiLeo said at 10:52 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    I thought he was solid. Not starter worthy, but a decent backup to have. He did a good job of covering Tony Gonzalez in that game against ATL. I was shocked when he got cut.

  21. 21 Baloophi said at 4:26 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Ugh. Joe Jurevicious. I thought I had successfully erased that from my memory banks… thanks, AC.

  22. 22 TheRogerPodacter said at 4:52 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    i’d like to hear tommy’s thoughts on the benching of nate allen. is he really healthy? did he really deserve to be benched or is this just done to light a fire under his ass?

  23. 23 TommyLawlor said at 4:56 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I’ll cover that tonight or tomorrow AM.

  24. 24 TheRogerPodacter said at 5:28 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    thanks man!

  25. 25 Steven DiLeo said at 12:27 PM on December 20th, 2012:


  26. 26 Ark87 said at 1:25 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    it is officially PM now

  27. 27 BobSmith77 said at 4:52 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Forget how many mediocre/poor safeties Dawkins was paired with the only solid starter really being Mikell.

  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 4:56 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Mike Lewis was good in 2003-04. He made the Pro Bowl and let that go to his head. Never the same guy.

  29. 29 Mike Flick said at 6:53 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    Good stuff ACV.

  30. 30 shah8 said at 3:48 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    No QB works in every scheme. Moreover, a number of teams/coaches have plugged in an aging QB with one or three years in the tank and got to the big game or close–Off my head, Elway, Cunningham, McNair, Favre, Brad Johnson, and looks like Manning will do it this year.

  31. 31 TommyLawlor said at 4:54 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Brady and Peyton can play in any system. Elway too.

    Cunningham played with phenomenal talent around him and the team had one of the highest scoring totals of the year. Even then, RC started the year as a backup. He was on the bench for MIN the season before, learning the system. And it was somewhat of an anomaly as he struggled in 1999 and was never a regular starter again.

    Steve McNair went from 4-10 with TEN to 13-3 with BAL. Helped that he had the #1 defense in Pts, Yds, and INTs. The Ravens scored 6 defensive TDs and had 2 safeties that year. The defense held 5 opponents to 7 points or less. STs were good so the return game was a factor.

    Brad Johnson got to Tampa at age 33. He went 9-7 that year and the team then won the SB in 2002. That was one of the greatest defensive units in the history of the NFL. They were 1st in Pts, Yds, and INTs. They scored 5 TDs, had 1 safety, and held 6 teams to 7 points or less. They also had a STs TD.

    Brett Favre is one of the greatest QBs of all time. Vick isn’t.

    McNair is a pretty good comparison, but look what he needed to get back to the top: Hall of Fame LT, stud TE, stud RB, stud WR, and an elite defense. Is there a team in the league with a cast anywhere close to that who needs a QB?

  32. 32 shah8 said at 6:57 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Brady and Peyton can’t play in Shanahan’s preferred style, for example. Brady needed Moss and Dillon to be successful in a fairly Coryell-ish offense. Peyton has essentially never played in an offense other than his own after Faulk left. I’d say there’s no evidence he could play, oh, Mike Martz’ system, for example. Elway? Tommy, you’re pressing it. If anything Elway’s career has followed the same issues as Vick up to Shanahan’s takeover. Lots of coaches that used his superior athletic skills to cover gaps in their schemes, and coming up short. When Elways went to being a PART of the offense instead of ALL of it, like Vick in the ATL days and to some extent, the Eagles today, his offense got much, much harder to stop.

    As for the rest–it’s still true that football is a team sport, and good teams have difference-making players all around. Brett Favre was not particularly useful, especially when he was older, if he didn’t have a good OL, for example. Drew Brees has come to earth, somewhat, because he doesn’t have as good an OL. Both Mannings have gotten their rings in large part due to an outstanding defense during their stretch runs, only needing to contribute a little to win.

  33. 33 laeagle said at 7:53 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Wait, Brady needed Moss and Dillon to be successful? Not sure I follow, considering he had 2 SBs by the time either one showed up. Or are you saying he needed them to succeed at a Coryell-style offense? If that’s the case, you’re mixing cart and horse. They could run a Coryell-style offense when they had the players, and Brady handled that well, just as well as he handled the short, distribute everywhere game. So while you’re trying to say that Brady couldn’t do something, the facts are that he handled the switch between offenses without a hitch, proving Tommy’s point.

    You have a wonderful knack of twisting evidence to support your points of view that you seem to have arrived at independently of evidence.

  34. 34 shah8 said at 2:49 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    That’s intended to be a very small slice of data. Not saying Brady is bad or even mediocre. Really trying to say that the further you go along the axis away from core skillset, the better the talent you need around the QB. During all that time Vick was in some wierdo Knapp-devised option-zone-WCO, his best receiver was TE Alge Crumpler. Never mind that Vick has had trouble reliably throwing short passes with touch, he had problems similar to young McNabb in that WRs don’t do a good job running correct routes.

    Hell no, Brady is not mobile enough, not today at any rate, to do play-action like the way Shanahan would want. And I was not thinking RG3. I was primarily thinking of Jake the Snake Plummer, and to a lesser extent Jay Cutler. Even so, Schaub (for all that he’s fragile anyways) gets dinged up taking the extra hits that’s implied (and an extra kick to the balls). Can Brady run faster than Nick Foles? He sure can. Can he do playaction? He sure can. However, if there’s one thing that makes Brady mortal, it’s that hitting him works. It’s a major reason why NE has not *won* a Super Bowl after the big time defenses went away, and NE started trying to outscore people. They usually run up against teams with a pass rush and some saved up surprises. As it was, the last Super Bowl had Brady at his best, despite the pressure, and he was still pretty responsible for losing the game.

    And Peyton Manning? Don’t confuse him with his brother, man. Dude would be as happy running a Shanahan offense as a hammerhead shark in a Chinese restaurant. He probably can do it, but I rarely have seen him in Indy trying to do playaction. I can’t really recall him ever being inclined to roll out. If the play is dead, he takes the sack and doesn’t try to make something of it. I’ll have to pay attention to the next time I see him play.

    The sort of playaction stuff that you see with zone blocking running teams, like in Chicago or in Houston work better if the QB is relatively athletic. In Houston, it’s meant to give Schaub bigger windows deep so he can get it there safely. In Chicago, it’s meant to help Cutler have time to allow real routes to choose from. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady both have better arms than Schaub, and they both have far more adequate lines than Cutler.

    No QB truly can or wants to be able to do it all. And do you know what? Most of the QB who are proven can generally demand a good fit via input. QBs like Big Ben isn’t the happiest without Arians–but the offense that he’s asked to run is precisely because the same issue that has bedeviled most deep passing teams–he does not have the OL to give him that time, and defenses are very, very, willing to let the run game beat them, and give up the short passes out of the shotgun–figuring that somewhere along the way, a bad sack or a terrible penalty will kill the drive. Didn’t happen for the Eagles, but hey, that’s the thought.

    One last little point. The year Peyton won the Super Bowl, he threw a total of 7 interceptions in four postseason games. Wasn’t really quite the hero. Or that broadly, Peyton has thrown a *ton* of interceptions in the postseason. Face it, both Tom and Peyton owe their rings to exemplary defenses during their postseason runs.

  35. 35 TommyLawlor said at 8:24 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Shanny’s preferred offense isn’t what you’re seeing now. He’s adpapted. He would love the offense you see in HOU. And Brady and Peyton are mobile enough for those bootlegs.

    Brady has won with average WRs, star WRs, big guys, fast guys, quick guys, small guys. He can adapt to them. He’s loving a 2-TE offense now. He can go hurry up. He can go pass heavy or run heavy. Brady can truly do it all.

    Part of the reason that these QBs could rely on D to win titles is that they didn’t turn the ball over. Can Vick protect the ball? He had a good stretch of games in 2010, but there was some luck with dropped INTs in that stretch.

    We’ll see where Mike goes and how he plays in 2013. That’ll settle a lot of disputes/questions/whatever.

  36. 36 NoDecaf said at 3:58 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    [the “five-point plan”]

    Mike Damone:
    First of all Rat, you never let on how much you like a girl. “Oh,
    Debbie. Hi.” Two, you always call the shots. “Kiss me. You won’t regret
    it.” Now three, act like wherever you are, that’s the place to be.
    “Isn’t this great?” Four, when ordering food, you find out what she
    wants, then order for the both of you. It’s a classy move. “Now, the
    lady will have the linguini and white clam sauce, and a Coke with no
    ice.” And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down
    to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.

  37. 37 TommyLawlor said at 4:54 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I hope most readers know Fast Times.

  38. 38 The_Reddgie said at 2:14 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    Can you see Big Red going into Lurie’s office and just busting into his best Spicoli: “Relax, all right? My old man is a television repair man, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.”

  39. 39 laeagle said at 7:47 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Cue “Kashmir”. One of the most obscure, but best, jokes in movie history.

  40. 40 Cafone said at 9:44 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I never understood if that was intentional or if it was some kind of studio mess-up. I’m glad I’m not the only one that noticed it.

  41. 41 laeagle said at 9:50 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I’m pretty sure it was intentional. An awesome statement of how that guy couldn’t get anything right.

  42. 42 Kushan Patel said at 9:35 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Comment of the year nomination. Winner, obviously, in my opinion

  43. 43 SteveH said at 4:27 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I don’t think Vick has top tier athletic ability anymore, and I think thats part of the problem. Once you take away Vick’s wheels what do you really have? The less teams feared his running ability, the less resources they needed to commit to stopping his scrambling ability, the worse his play got. It all started going downhill on that tuesday night game against the Vikings, when the whole world learned that you could blitz him without fear, he no longer was “starship 7”, sure he could burn you here and there still but nothing like he used to. At that point all you’re left with is a pocket passer with a big arm, but no anticipation and obviously poor ability to read coverages.

    If I was a NFL GM I would look at Vick as a backup, but I’d be real hesitant to see him as “the guy” even in the short term, because his athleticism is just going to continue to decline, it won’t get better. Even in a weak QB draft class its definitely worth it to take a 2nd, 3rd, 4th round QB and get him in there to see what you’ve got with him. If he doesn’t have it put Vick in to babysit it.

    As I’m typing this you know who might make sense for Vick? Baltimore. Joe Flacco has moments where he’s good, but for the most part he’s consistently average. They brought in Anquan Boldin and got Torrey Smith and Ray Rice, Dennis Pitta is pretty good too, and he still isn’t getting it done, its not like he lacks weapons. so if I was them I’d say cut the cord on that one. Is Vick a better choice than Flacco? I’m not sure but if they are quickly out of the playoffs this year it could be worth a shot, while they go searching for a long term answer.

  44. 44 shah8 said at 7:12 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Let me offer a counterproposal. If teams are increasingly willing to utilize delay blitzes–that meant that the defense is playing 10 man defense for one or two seconds. Delay blitzes are fundamentally a scheme issue rather than quite a recognition issue. However, you can badly, badly burn them–like what we did to the Giants in 2011, particularly in the second game. Vick guestimated a ton of good gains for Shady when he thought there was a bit o cheating going on in 2011. The fundamental issue is that Reid and MM were just far too committed to the passing game (with only a run check and no/few hot reads) and they routinely asked Vick to buy time and make plays. That’s why delay blitzes work. Delay blitzes are also called against Rogers and Brees as well (tell yourself to check for it next time you watch them)–and they work when called at the right time. You generally call them against *anyone* who’s trying to hang onto the ball by being elusive in order to pass it deep. That’s why you see GB do their best to establish that “hey, we run the ball, yes we do, yes we do” despite poor RBs.

  45. 45 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 3:56 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    You can blitz Vick with any scheme you want; double A, delay, seondary, overload….they ALL work against him! You don’t need to be tricky to beat Vick. His recognition and pocket awareness for an 11 yr vet are shameful. All it took was a few games worth of take in an Eagles uniform before the league re-wrote the book on Vick. It is still quite an easy book to read.

  46. 46 BobSmith77 said at 4:48 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Vick is still probably good enough to start in the NFL but I don’t think he is an elite/gifted athlete anymore nor do I think he has more longer in the league (say 2 years max as a starter).

    Simply commits way too many turnovers and can’t stay on the field. Any team that invests in him even on a multiyear deal this offseason is making a mistake.

  47. 47 ACViking said at 5:14 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Re: Chip Kelly in the News

    The news is, among all his assistant coaches, only one has any NFL coaching experience and that was 15 years ago.

    D-Coordinator Nick Aliotti, who spent 3 seasons with the Rams (’95-’97) coaching special teams and serving as a “defensive assistant” [unspecified] under Rich Brooks — who’d jumped from Oregon to the NFL Rams. Brooks lasted 2 years with the Rams and was replaced by Dick Vermeil. Aliotti had one year with Coach Vermeil and then returned to Oregon.

    Kelly’s staff looks like its loaded with career college coaches.

    Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford staff, however, had several former NFL coaches.

    So, hypothetically, if Kelly comes to the Eagles and brings his staff along (as Harbaugh for the most part), Kelly’ll have no one with any NFL experience to speak of in the past 15 years.

    That’s not an exciting prospect.

    Here’s a link to Oregon’s coaching staff:

  48. 48 TommyLawlor said at 5:18 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Chip would have to hire new coaches. This is where his connection to Bill O’Brien and Bill Belichick would be crucial. He’d need their advice for hiring possibilities.

    Chip knows he would need a big time DC in the NFL.

  49. 49 ACViking said at 5:20 PM on December 19th, 2012:


    I hope you’re right. And that Kelly leaves just about everyone on his current staff in Eugene.

  50. 50 TommyLawlor said at 5:39 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    These coaches know each other from old jobs, coaching clinics, etc. Sometimes it is just by game tape or reputation.

    Andy never met JJ until he hired him. That worked okay. Andy knew McD, JC for a decade and both guys had serious issues.

  51. 51 ACViking said at 5:55 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I know you’re right about the “Network.”

    I wonder, though, if the hiring process for Asst Coaches is different in kind when a College HC moves to the NFL versus when an NFL assistant assumes a HC position.

    Where does loyalty play in the mix?

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 6:39 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Good question. Look at Tampa’s staff:

    Greg Schiano – Head Coach

    Bill Sheridan- Defensive Coordinator

    Mike Sullivan- Offensive Coordinator

    Jimmy Raye- Senior Offensive Assistant

    Brian Angelichio- Tight Ends Coach

    Bob Bostad- Offensive Line Coach

    Jay ButlerHead – Strength and Conditioning Coach

    Earnest Byner- Running Backs Coach

    Ron Cooper- Defensive Backs Coach

    Bryan Cox- Defensive Front Seven Coach

    P.J. Fleck- Wide Receivers Coach

    Bob Fraser- Linebackers Coach

    Phil Galiano- Assistant Special Teams Coach

    Bob Gilmartin- Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

    Jeff Hafley- Assistant Defensive Backs Coach

    Bob Ligashesky- Special Teams Coordinator

    Steve Loney- Assistant Offensive Line Coach

    Tem Lukabu- Defensive Assistant

    Kevin MacConnell- Director of Football Operations

    Ben McDaniels- Offensive Assistant

    Randy Melvin- Defensive Line Coach

    Ron Turner- Quarterbacks Coach

    Joe Vaughn- Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

    Schiano has NFL OC, DC,. STs guys. He has former college HCs in Turner, Cooper. Raye has been in the NFL for years. There are former NFL players in Byner and Cox.

    Greg did bring several Rutgers guys, but tended to make them lower level assistants so they could learn and develop in the NFL.

    The TEs, WRs, and LBs coaches all came from Rutgers, but those aren’t critical positions so going with college guys is okay. Fleck, the WRs coach, already had gotten a HC job at the college level.

  53. 53 ACViking said at 6:46 PM on December 19th, 2012:


    Schiano’s handling of his Rutgers’ guys reminds me of how AR handled Brad Childress when they all started here.

    Chilly was a very successful O.C. for Wisconsin. Came here as the QB coach and was groomed to be the OC after Rod Dowhower’s retirement.

    That worked well.

    Then Marty came along . . . .

  54. 54 D3Keith said at 10:25 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    That’s a ton of guys. Wow.

  55. 55 Mike Flick said at 6:59 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    I am amazed the Brian Cox is in coaching. All those reports about him being a head case….

    It is interesting how some guys are reported and portrayed where the truth is often the opposite both good and bad.

  56. 56 Iskar36 said at 5:55 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    I know Kelly is the exciting name, but he terrifies me as the potential next head coach. It sounds like he is an incredibly intelligent coach, but his current scheme (which I am not arguing he couldn’t adapt, but also don’t know with any certainty that he can), his lack of NFL experience, and now this comment, on top of the history of college coaches who struggle to make the transition to the NFL, all scream to me that Kelly would have significant challenges making the transition. If he ends up being the coach, there is no question that I will be intrigued by the possibility of him being a quality, if not special coach, but I will probably be more concerned than anything that he will fail at least in his first NFL coaching stop.

  57. 57 ACViking said at 5:58 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Ray Didinger believes the Eagles — i.e, Lurie and Roseman — are very interested in Kelly. Very.

  58. 58 Iskar36 said at 6:42 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Yea, I saw that… I guess we’ll see what happens. I will say, Kelly seems like a coach you absolutely need to check out and assess as a possible replacement for AR. I do agree with Kelly supporters in the sense that it’s too simplistic just to ignore him because he doesn’t have the NFL resume. That being said, I also don’t think you can simply ignore that fact either. As I said above, if Lurie and Roseman do decide to hire him, I will be intrigued but also very skeptical.

  59. 59 holeplug said at 8:10 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    other interesting thing he said is he thinks Lurie will never hire a defensive guy again

  60. 60 ACViking said at 8:19 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Interesting. I wonder what his *rational* reason is for that? (I get that Rhodes, a D-guy, didn’t work out.)

    Looking at recent SB winners, contenders, and winning coaches, you have the following:

    Defensive coaches: Belichick, Tomlin, L. Smith, John Harbaugh (STeams, DB coach), John Fox, Cowher & Dungy (both retired), Rex Ryan (2 AFC title games in last 4 years), Mike Smith, Pete Carroll [on a roll]

    Offensive coaches: Coughlin, McCarthy, Payton, Jim Harbaugh

    So why not defensive guys?

  61. 61 Anders said at 6:59 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    Dungy never had a good defense with the Colts, he won all those games because of Manning. Belichick havnt had a good defense for several years. Atlanta hasnt had a really good defense before this season under Mike Smith.

  62. 62 RIP Worms said at 1:13 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    Offense fills stadia? Just a guess. Of course, winning fills a stadium better than anything else.

    To simply write off defensive HCs from the start is an illogical exercise that someone as seemingly shrewd as Lurie is highly unlikely to make.

  63. 63 ACViking said at 6:29 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Re: Oregon Offense/Defense Tutorials

    Here’s a link to a series of tutorials, using coach’s film, on the current iteration of the Oregon offense and defense.

    Apparently, Chip Kelly changed his offensive scheme in 2010.

    Also, the defense — during the 2010 season — apparently switched from a 4-3 to what the Duck’s DC calls a “Hybrid 3-4” because the D-linemen use both 1-gap and 2-gap technique, slants, a variety of formations, and lots of overload blitzes . . . right out of the Rex Ryan Playbook.

    Really interesting material.

  64. 64 holeplug said at 8:08 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    If i’m Kelly I would probably look at Carolina before any other job.

  65. 65 Anders said at 6:35 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    I think Carolina would be stupid to fire Ron Rivera. Yes they started bad, but the defense seems to be better down the stretch and Cam Newton is playing lights out right now. Its the same in Cleveland, the offense is finally moving in the right direction and only giving a coach 2 years is kinda short sighted.

  66. 66 bdbd20 said at 12:24 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    Great call. That would seem to be a perfect fit. That offense may be downright scary if Cam stays healthy. Maybe he brings a Darrin Thomas/Denard Robinson as the backup.

  67. 67 Anders said at 6:35 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    I would love Chip Kelly as HC with Rex Ryan as DC and then draft Dion Jordan in the first round (I think he is the perfect hybrid defender for Rex Ryans scheme).

  68. 68 Cafone said at 9:42 PM on December 19th, 2012:

    Re: Reid making adjustments.

    Unfortunately, Reid’s inability to make adjustments has been his Achilles Heel throughout his entire tenure. I agree that he is a great coach. He is at least a great team manager if not a great gameday coach. But he has never been able to correct mistakes that were obvious to everyone and he just kept making them year after year. Maybe he had too many “yes men” surrounding him and there was nobody to point out out where corrections needed to be made.

  69. 69 Anders said at 6:39 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    I think MM and AR share the same philosophy, where Brad Childress liked to run it more and could therefor persuade AR to run it more.

  70. 70 aub32 said at 2:09 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    Tommy I am curious as to why you don’t think it’s likely Vick could be kept on, at a lower salary, to compete for the starting job. There doesn’t seem to be many better options out there, and I think Foles would need a balanced offense in order to succeed as well. Have you seen enough from Foles to think he deserves the starting job out right? I still have my doubts and would like to see him have some competition, and I honestly don’t know if there are many options better than Vick to compete.

  71. 71 Skeptic_Eagle said at 11:12 AM on December 20th, 2012:

    Yeah, I have much bigger issues with Andy Reid’s overall team management than just his run/pass ratio. Reid was a bit of an outlier with his run/pass ratio when he took over the team, but at this point, quite a few teams run pass heavy offenses, just as unbalanced as the Eagles. Didn’t you write about how his familiarity w/the players led to a breakdown of discipline & accountability? That’s a much bigger issue for his overall suitability as a coach, especially if you’re talking about him coaching a bunch of “talented” young guys into winners.

    Reid’s made a series of mistakes in terms of his choices for assistant coaches, player personnel moves, gameplans, etc. This is why I’m vigilant about pointing out his shortcomings. He’s had a fair shot to do things his way, and has produced diminishing returns since 2008. He’s not being unfairly railroaded out of town by grunting hordes of irrational, ungrateful Eagles fans, brandishing pitchforks. I’m not totally sold that he’ll be as highly sought after as everyone is assuming he will be, but if he is, I can honestly say I do not have fear of watching him hoist a Lombardi somewhere else; it could happen, but I seriously doubt it.

  72. 72 Todd B. said at 12:37 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    Listened to the new podcast on the offensive line this morning. The line up of Peters-Mathis-Kelce-Herremans-Kelly is what I was thinking.

    And I like your thoughts on Watkins. So here is a question: can Watkins play RT IF a run based system is used under the new coaching staff?

    I know it sounds unlikely but wanted to get your honest take. He hasn’t played a lot of football and his position in college was tackle, not guard. He is also a better run blocker and he is athletic for his size (even if we didn’t see that too often at RG).

  73. 73 TommyLawlor said at 3:02 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    I do not think Danny can play RT in the NFL. Don’t see that kind of athletic ability.

  74. 74 Anders said at 1:16 PM on December 20th, 2012:

    Tommy, what are your notes about Evan Moore? I know he hasnt done alot in the NFL, but he seems like a guy with tons of potential.

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