Coaching Staff Update

Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 87 Comments »

Bruce Feldman, a college football writer, reported this morning that the Eagles are going to be hiring Bill Lazor to be part of the staff.  Lazor has been the OC for Virginia for the past 3 years.  The Cavs offense was one of the worst in the nation back in 2009.  Lazor arrived in 2010 and got them up to 37th in yards.  They were 46th the next year.  Virginia fell to 62nd this year.

The team struggled to score in each of the 3 years.  That may seem like an indictment of Lazor, but he had nothing to work with on offense.  He was able to manipulate the offense schematically for much of the time, but in the Red Zone you must have talent and execution.  Ask a Penn State fan about the offense this year.  Matt McGloin moved the ball between the 20′s, but once in the Red Zone things got more difficult.

Lazor has a strong NFL background.  He worked under Mike Holmgren, Joe Gibbs, and Dan Reeves.  That is 3 different styles of offense, but 3 very smart coaches.  The one thing they all have in common is a commitment to the run game.

We don’t know anything official yet, but the smart money is on Lazor coming to Philly to be the QBs coach.  Let’s take a look at the staff and where we think people will end up:

Offensive Coordinator – Pat Shurmur (formerly HC in CLE)

QBsBill Lazor (formerly OC at Virginia)

RBs – Duce Staley (holdover)

TEs – Ted Williams (holdover, but was RBs coach)

WRsBob Bicknell

OLSean Devine

assistant OL – Greg Austin

Off Quality Control – Justin Peelle

* * *

Defensive Coordinator – ???

DLJerry Azzinaro

LBsRick Minter

DBsBill McGovern

assistant DBs – Todd Lyght

Def Quality ControlMike Dawson

STsDave Fipp

assistant STs – Matt Harper

____________________

new to Personnel Dept – Josh Gibson

new to staff as player adviser – James Harris

* * * * *

I could be wrong with some of the assignments.

It is possible that Bob Bicknell is going to be the OL coach.  His background is on the OL and with TEs.  He seems like a more natural OL coach, but was the WRs coach for the Bills in 2012.  He is a former TE and does know the passing game.

Devine has been mentioned briefly as a coaching candidate.  I’m not fully sure that he’s part of the staff.  Big time guess on this.

On defense, it is possible that the Eagles will go with 2 LBs coaches.  Minter could coach OLBs since pass rushers are his specialty.  McGovern could coach ILBs since he’s mostly worked with 4-3 LBs and is able to teach them how to play a complete game.  Having 2 LBs coaches would only make sense if the Eagles do run a 3-4, which seems to be expected.

Obviously the big hole is still at DC.

If this plays out, it is funny that the offensive side of the ball has much more NFL experience.  That is Chip Kelly’s domain, but he seems to be acknowledging that he’s got a lot to learn and isn’t afraid to have smart guys around him.  Very good sign.

I have no issues with loading up on college guys for the defense, as long as the DC is an NFL guy.  You do want some experience over there.  Over the years we’ve seen plenty of guys make the transition from college to the NFL on defense and handle it well.  Gus Bradley, Mike Tomlin, Mike Trgovac, Raheem Morris, and many others went from coaching in college to the NFL and excelled right away.

The NFL passing game is so much more complex that it is hard for college coaches to make that jump as smoothly on the offensive side of the ball.

* * * * *

Geoff Mosher reported this morning that it is likely the Eagles will add QB Dennis Dixon to the roster when he’s available.  Right now he is on the Ravens practice squad.  The Eagles can sign him away after the Super Bowl.

I like this move.  Dixon isn’t being given the QB job or anything like that.  He’s competition for Nick Foles and whoever else is added to the roster.  Dixon knows Chip Kelly and his offense.  Dixon is a good athlete.  He is a good fit.  He’ll only make the roster if he earns a spot.

Remember that when Andy Reid came to Philly he brought Doug Pederson with him to help teach his offense.  Dixon could possibly help Foles and other members of the offense as they adjust to what Chip wants.

* * * * *

Mr. NFL Gimpy has his Super Bowl preview column up.  He’s got some interesting thoughts on the game.  I haven’t really thought much about the Super Bowl.  I’m more focused on draft study and the Eagles coaching staff.

_


  • BobSmith77
    • TommyLawlor

      The Eagles have quietly done some of this stuff in recent years. Not sure what the plans are under Kelly.

      Not all NFL teams are comfortable with publicizing this for fear of being labeled Moneyball wannabes. I think it is just smart to gather as much data as possible and see what you can learn.

      • ACViking

        My understanding is the Eagles’ choice of D-Teo in 2010 was the product of this approach.

        T-Law, I think you wrote that someplace.

        • D3FB

          Hal 9001 was having a bad day, leave him alone we all make mistakes even the evil computer at novacare.

  • teltschikfakeout88

    Tommy your analysis on Lazor and his time at UVA is spot on. While he did a dang good job with questionable talent at QB (by that I mean, I question whether the QB’s were D1 arm talent) his RZ scoring issues left a lot to be desired….

    • TommyLawlor

      The UVA offense has lacked top talent for a few years. Shouldn’t. Go recruit Tidewater area and there should be plenty of talent.

      • D3Keith

        And London should make a killing there, as he has broad appeal as a leader of men and deep ties in the state. But at the same time, Virginia is Virginia … not as easy to get players to go there. Al Groh had a couple killer recruiting classes but other than that they never really have cleaned up, as far as my not-that-close observations can tell.

        • Cliff

          And the fact that Virginia Tech has “Tidewater” locked down. I live in Hampton Roads. If you’re not going to Tech, you’re probably good enough that a SEC school is trying to recruit you and if that’s the case, you wouldn’t choose UVA anyway.

          • TommyLawlor

            After 2012, I’m surprised you’re still claiming VT has a football team. Rough year.

          • Cliff

            What a frustrating season. I was fortunate though – my daughter got really good at soccer and we became super involved in those games and tournaments last year. We picked a good year to miss a bunch of VT games. Haha.

          • D3Keith

            ODU is cleaning up in the 757 as well. I’m not sure they’re taking top prospects from UVa or VT, but they’re diluting the overall pool and making it harder for the big schools to wait on guys to develop. I can’t believe they’re going from no program to Conference USA as fast as they have.

          • Cliff

            ODU has been exciting to watch. They really started the program out the right way. I hope they can keep up the success.

          • aub32

            Should be no surprise. They’ve wanted a football team for so long and had boosters dying to pony up the cash.

      • aub32

        The problem is bigger and better schools take that talent away.

      • laeagle

        Ahh, the glory days are long past. I was there in 92 when we were #1 in the country for 3 weeks, only to lose to the eventual co-champion, Georgia Tech. Most depressing sporting event I’ve ever been at. We had the “triplets” of Sean Moore, Herman Moore, and Terry Kirby. Wasn’t until after I left that Tiki took over.

        Back then, we used to trounce Tech pretty soundly on a regular basis. How things have changed.

        • TommyLawlor

          Shawn Moore. Odd note…there was a time when Dan Reeves tried to mix Shawn into the offense in Denver…while Elway was in his prime. Crazy.

          • laeagle

            I remember. I also remember Herman Moore showing up at one of the gyms to play basketball the year after he graduated with his fat Toyota 4 Runner with a big ass Lions decal on the back.

            It’s funny but I wonder what people would make of Sean Moore if he graduated today. Coaches would be drooling, I think.

    • Mac

      Tommy’s laser like analysis on Lazor comes as no surprise to someone who’s had his in home lasik surgery 5 times.

      • TommyLawlor

        One of my best customers. Mac has seen the light…quite a few times.

  • Anders

    I would love if we picked up Dennis Dixon. He is the perfect Chip Kelly QB there is available. Ofcourse RG3 is THE perfect Chip Kelly QB.

    • TommyLawlor

      FakeWIPCaller would tell you that we should trade Nnamdi for RG3.

      • Anders

        Had it been 10 years ago, we might actually been able to pull that of :)

        • TommyLawlor

          Yep.

          • Mac

            Did Banner have a premonition that he was going to be on the way out of town back in 2011? Did he then, based on those suspicions, orchestrate the most over the top free agency period in Eagles history by signing Nnamdi, Babin, VY?

            They say vengeance is a dish best served cold… but what do you call it when you serve vengeance before the event that triggers the vengeance?

        • deg0ey

          Because 10 years ago Nnamdi was still good and RG3 was 12?

          • TommyLawlor

            Leave your facts out of this!

  • Mac

    I think it was IanNo2 who was first on our discussion board to mention Dixon coming here.

    • ian_no_2

      Thanks Mac. Though I don’t know what Mosher means by “strong indications,” does that mean he’s heard something or he thinks it’s a neat idea. Dixon is preferable to a lot of options for QB. His strength and accuracy are not optimal at this point but he has the potential to make the throws as well as many starters. He has the intelligence to make the calls on a hurry up offense and has familiarity with Kelly’s thinking. If he gets hurt then Darron Thomas comes in (or Trent Edwards, Troy Smith, Josh Johnson, etc.)

      • deg0ey

        Foles and Dixon competing to start and Thomas as QB3 sounds pretty ideal to me.

      • D3FB

        Johnson spent all but one week of last season in the UFL after his old college coach Harbaugh cut him. Thomas is currently in the CFL. Honestly unless they are going to bring one of the more predictable vets to compete for the job i.e. Flynn, Garrard, Moore, Henne(?) I would expect it to be Foles, Dixon, Edwards.

        • ian_no_2

          I have a feeling that Foles will be traded, because some team will want his experience, potential, and contract and he’s not suited to read option. Luckily the internet wasn’t invented for people to say “Warren Moon is currently in the CFL.”

          • ian_no_2

            I should say the point I’m making is that read option QBs have been passed over because of team’s schemes, not necessarily because they don’t have potential. Josh Johnson is more of a flier: when he came out of college he was a sleeper with very few INTs, and I’ve seen the ball sail on him a few times in the NFL. Kelly has a good idea one way or another of what Thomas can do.

          • holeplug

            They would have to get at least a 2nd and probably top half of the round to consider it.

          • Neil

            Exactly. And I think Chip is intrigued by Nick, not looking for the first opportunity to dump him. He doesn’t care if we can run the option; he just wants a gazillion points.

          • aub32

            Do you really think Foles is worth an early 2nd even in this QB plagued draft. I don’t know. There are only so many teams that need a starting QB. Assuming Vick gets cut before the draft, he Alex Smith, and Flynn are all better options at QB than Foles. Then looking into the draft, I think teams would choose Geno, Barkley, and Wilson over Foles. I alson think Glennon would go before Foles, as he’s been touted as a more polished version of Nick Foles coming out of college. Foles value would’ve been much higher had he strung together some wins. However, he we 1-5 in a system designed by Reid to hide his biggest flaws. After the Cardinals got burned, you have to get the feeling teams aren’t going to keep falling for Reid’s backup QB illusions, in which he gets them to be just good enough to make people wonder.

  • ACViking

    Re: Dennis Dixon . . . Time Traveler

    Dixon coming aboard? Sounds like a plan.

    But I think the argument that Dixon’s a good addition because he knows CK’s scheme is a bit over-sold.

    Dixon hasn’t played a down of Oregon football since November 2007 . . . that’s 5 seasons ago.

    CK was in his very first season as the OC for Oregon in 2007.

    I’m guessing his offense has evolved quite a bit since then. I sure hope both he and his offensive scheme have.

    And I haven’t a clue what’s happened to Dixon’s game in the past 5 years, except he couldn’t find a job on a single one of the 32 *active* NFL roster.

    That said, I still like the idea. I mean, why not, right?

    • TommyLawlor

      He can help with some of the fundamentals of playing for Chip. The pace of the no-huddle attack. How to make good reads on the read option. Dixon had a great season for Chip. They fit together perfectly.

      Dixon isn’t likely to pan out as a QB for the Eagles, but if any system was going to bring out the best in him, this is it. Again, I’m not trying to project him to be a starter, let alone good player. We’d be lucky if he could become a good backup for us. But as Eagles fans know from tons of QB injuries over the years…good backup QBs can be very valuable.

      • ACViking

        See your points clearly.

        Make great sense.

        Low risk – high reward.

      • shah8

        Dennis Dixon is a better player than Foles–the issue with him is the health of his knee. He also doesn’t have a particularly strong or accurate arm. Suspect he’s a threat to take the backup job.

        As you know, I want Joe Webb. Starter grade tools, just very raw. However, if Kelly thinks he can coach him, he’s probably the cheapest best option.

        • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

          Joe Webb was interesting when they beat us on that Tuesday night game.

          But did you see him in the playoff game after a year of coaching? Yikes he regressed.

          • aub32

            I agree. I thought he we be worth looking into prior to that playoff game after seeing the success of Wilson, RG3, and Kaepernick. In fact 3 or 4 plays into the playoff game, I am sure many people were thinking the same as he gashed the Packers on some really solid read option runs, but then he threw the ball, and it was back to the drawing board.

          • shah8

            Nobody is going to grade him on an outing where he was given essentially two hours notice with no game plan, no game play in the regular season, no nothing. Even so, take a look at the garbage time passing, he threw some pretty sharp passes.

            As far as Foles being a real pocket passer, my standard grading sez no. If he can’t make all the throws from the pocket, he ain’t a pocket passer. Webb has three appearances better than any but perhaps Foles’ second Washington game and the Tampa game, and practically speaking, he was the dominant offensive player in all three games, and he has the larger bank of great throws and a huge bank of absolutely dominant play on the ground in relative terms. By and large, he also plays calmer and at NFL speed in his head than Foles.

          • Neil

            I think Webb is an intriguing prospect, but only because this is a year devoid of real QB prospects. I think you consider trading for him for no more than a 6th. Nice throws and nice legs, can he be the rest of a QB? Not throw it fifteen feet in the air rather than take a sack? True, he had less than ideal preparation (but not none) for the game, but this is fair to ask about him. How many other backups would make such a horrible decision in the exact same circumstances?

          • austinfan

            Yeah, right.
            I’ve seen him twice, and I’m still waiting for a NFL QB to line up for the Vikings.
            Nice RB, but a QB?

          • shah8

            Oh, the Vikings are going to go with Ponder again, next year. So wait another year. I do wonder if this attitude doesn’t make it impossible to land good offensive talent or retain talent, so I’m going to watch the FA season, and see if key guys like Loadholt stay or that they can land somebody better than Carlson, Driver, or some other has been/never was.

            One last little thought about trading for backups with high grade physical talent. Brett Favre looked horrible in Atlanta, and had drug abuse problems, from what I understood. Didn’t stop Holmgren from trading for him, drying him out, and getting him to perform at a high level without taxing his rather low quality mind…

          • Neil

            I don’t think he regressed. I think being an unplanned starter on a funky tuesday when the eagles were kinda out of rhythm and riding a VICK IS THE SAVIOUR! HE’LL TAKE US ALL THE WAY! high (we see how true that was) was why he beat us. They didn’t score more than 20 points in that game, did they?

        • austinfan

          What, you mean a mediocre QB with the mobility to run 5 read option plays a game is a better QB than a real pocket passer who can actually run an offense?

          Maybe Chip has watched a few NFL games?

          Maybe he noticed that guys like Kaepernick and Wilson spent more of their games passing from the pocket than running the ball?

          Eagles don’t have Oregon state on their schedule.

          • aub32

            The real pocket passer didn’t have much success from what I remember. The offense he ran was a watered down version of the original playbook and featured a plethora of screens and short passes designed to cover his flaws. I get your going to use the rookie excuse, but don’t be so certain he can run a real offense until he actually does it and wins games.

      • D3FB

        Could also be a good intermediary if their are any conflicts of personality between Chip and QBs.

  • nopain23

    Been doing a lot of draft watching lately( this whole ..who will be our next DC???? is kinda boring now). If the Eagles do switch to a 3-4 as expected we should be able to draft a stud at 4 .D. Moore, J.jones or Star should be the pick. In a 3-4 i think rush OLB is more crucial than NT.

    Can’t wait for the Lawlor draft preview.

    • ACViking

      One thing I believe T-Law will say is that UGA’s J-Jones will S-L-I-D-E down in Rd 1 because of his health (spinal stenosis).

      I feel confident on this point because T-Law has in fact already written it somewhere.

      If you want to know what Kelly’s looking for, check out the Oregon rosters from 2010-12 for the size-weight combos at the various positions.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        Maybe we could pull a Packers, selecting our NT Lotulelei first, and then get back into the first round to select our pass rusher in Jarvis Jones or Dion Jordan… B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews helped them transition smoothly from the 4-3 to the 3-4

        • deg0ey

          I’d do it the other way around. Jordan (my preference) could very well be gone in the top 10 and there are 3 or 4 solid NT prospects in the first round; at least one of them’s gonna slide.

          • Anders

            Im all for that.

    • eagles2zc

      Moore is a very intriguing prospect if the Eagles switches to 3-4. He is the best fit to play the joker position out of all the top prospects in this draft. He has the size to pass rush standing upright or with hands on the ground, and he’s fluid in coverage. Plus, he seems to have the instinct and ‘length’ to translate well to the pros.

      If Eagles resolve the OLine issue satisfactorily during FA. Moore can become very enticing

  • bdbd20

    I’d rather stay away from Rob Ryan. He had great talent and couldn’t put together a decent defense. I’d be more accepting to Monachino. That system is proven.

    The Dennis Dixon thing is interesting. Maybe Chip really likes Bridgewater and Dixon will be a stopgap.

    • Anders

      Mariota can come out next year if I remember right.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        I would be SO happy to land a franchise QB next year, and not settle with an average starter in this years draft. Bridgewater, Mariota etc is fine by me.

      • ACViking

        Anders . . . you are correct, sir.

      • D3FB

        As is Johnny Football. If Pachall at TCU has kicked the whole “I do a shit ton of drugs” thing and performs up to his ability then he certainly has a massive ceiling as well. Next years draft has QBs on QBs on QBs.

        • D3Keith

          Jokes and jokes and jokes.

          Spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti.

          I miss Chappelle’s Show.

    • TommyLawlor

      There appears to be a much better QB class in 2014 (Bridgewater, Boyd, McCarron, Fales, Murray).

      • ACViking

        T-Law:

        You just like McCarron because of his girl friend.

        C’mon. Be honest.

      • http://twitter.com/ezgreene ezgreene

        Isn’t Mariota the plum of the 2014 class, if he comes out as a 3rd year Junior.

  • ACViking

    Re: Cliff Harris (from ORegon)

    T-Law . . .

    Do you think Harris gets another shot with CK?

    Or did Harris burn that bridge?

    (My assumption here is Harris isn’t getting constantly stoned and driving at NASCAR speeds these days.)

    • TommyLawlor

      My guess is that the Eagles organization isn’t real happy with Harris and that he’s done here.

    • Anders

      Cliff Harris is currently signed by the Jets. I dont think his legal trouble has burned any bridges with Kelly, I mean Barner and Kyle Long both had runs in with the law.

      • TommyLawlor

        My reference was to Harris and the Eagles organization, not Kelly.

    • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

      When we first hired Chip, Harris tweeted that he was so happy he was no longer with the Eagles so he wouldn’t have to deal with him. I don’t think those 2 are eager to reunite.

      • TommyLawlor

        Interesting. Didn’t know that.

        • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

          Here’s his tweets:

          @KashHarris
          Chip Kelly to Philly??? #WOAH Glad i’m about to be a JET!!!

          ‏@KashHarris
          @Spencerj05 I’m not a hater on Chip Kelly wish success I wish him the best of luck in the N.F.L. but would I like to play for him again? No

          • Anders

            That is the first report from a player not wanting to play for Kelly again. Seems he is very butthurt about getting thrown of the team

  • P_P_K

    “If this plays out, it is funny that the offensive side of the ball has much more NFL experience. That is Chip Kelly’s domain, but he seems to be acknowledging that he’s got a lot to learn and isn’t afraid to have smart guys around him. Very good sign.”

    Yea, a very good sign, indeed. Speaks volumes about Chip’s mindset and professionalism. In any organization, a leader who is confident enough to surround himself with strong people has every reason to expect success. This is the antithesis of the Andy Reid way of hiring.

    When Abe Lincoln was President, he was viewed much of the press corps of the time as not being especially bright. He was once asked, did he ever consdier that ever member of his cabinet was more intelligent than him? He answered, I hope they are.

    • aceandson

      That’s an unfair critique of Reid. Of course a 12 year history of hiring will show mixed results, but even some his glorious failures (Washburn, McDermott) had strong personalities. Some of his “successes” too -Childress, for example.

      • P_P_K

        Respectfully disagree. There are exceptions to the rule, like Brad, but recently the rule has ruled. Marty was like a drinking buddy who laughs at everything you say becaue you are buying. Wash & Mudd shared the same characteristic as Andy, they seem convinced they are the smartest guys in the room. And when we are old men, everyone will still be asking how an NFL Coach could possibly promote a OL guy to become his DC. When I say strong people, I don’t mean arrogant people. I mean men who can stand to have their ideas and beliefs challenged, and perhaps even change and grow. Reid seems to be a fine man, but I’m betting he’s about to replicate his errors in KC by continuing to surround himself with a staff that won’t challenge his blind spots.

  • aub32

    I just heard that the 3 million guaranteed to Vick 3 days after the SB has a bit of offset language to it. From what I understand, even if the Eagles keep him past Feb. 6, but choose to cut him later, they will not be responsible for the money if he signs with another team. It is unlikely that Vick goes somewhere else for less than 3 million. Does this mean there’s a pretty high probability that Vick makes it to camp so that the team can see how he adjusts to the new offense? Also, if we sign Dixon, keep Vick and Foles going into camp, what does that say about the likelihood of us drafting a QB? This past TC Edwards received a rep and a half each day, if that? Maybe, the way CK is planning on running camp will allow more reps, but it’s hard to imagine them entering TC with 5 QBs, all of which would be in contention for the starting position.

    • holeplug

      “Does this mean there’s a pretty high probability that Vick makes it to camp so that the team can see how he adjusts to the new offense? ”

      Probably not because if he gets injured anytime after the Feb 6 deadline at the team facility then all his $15.5 million will have to be paid. Something similar happened with Steve McNair awhile back and the Titans actually banned him from the team facilities just in case he got hurt there.

      • aub32

        I didn’t think of that, but you would have to think that they at least want to see him in minicamp in this system. Otherwise, why keep him after the Feb. 6th deadline? I doubt anyone else wants to take on his current contract.

  • http://twitter.com/bonez2088 Zach Reese

    I find it interesting that Bicknell has experience teaching OL, but many have him slotted in as WR coach (where he served with the Bills). We know that Chip Kelly demanded his WRs to be willing, fundamental blockers at Oregon. Perhaps Bicknell’s OL experience can be an asset in coaching some blocking execution out of our softer WR corp.

    • Anders

      Gonna be fun seen Maclin give an effort in blocking

    • A_T_G

      Plus, his background makes him a good contingency plan for DC.

      • P_P_K

        Ouch!

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