Fast and Furious

Posted: January 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 46 Comments »

Coaching rumors are flying around like crazy.  My sources tell me the Eagles are interviewing every coach in North America and all in the next 5 days.  My sources are Twitter and Google…and they’ve never been wrong before.  If only Mort, Schefter, and La Canfora could say that.

Here is what we “know”. The Eagles are reportedly interested in:

Dirk Koetter – ATL – offensive coordinator
Mike Nolan – ATL – defensive coordinator
Keith Armstrong – ATL – STs coach

Mike McCoy – DEN – offensive coordinator

Chip Kelly – Oregon HC
Doug Marrone – Syracuse HC
Bill O’Brien – Penn State savior/HC

Howard Eskin has also reported that the team is interested in Greg Roman and Bruce Arians.

I know many of you want my thoughts on these guys.  I’m working on that stuff.  Rather than just throw out a quick “I like him” or “he sucks”, I’m trying to do a bit of research to confirm or change my thoughts.

I will put up a post on the Atlanta candidates on Monday afternoon.  I’m doing some final checking on them.

* * * * *

Bill O’Brien is the most complex of the candidates.  On a simply emotional level it is hard for many Eagles fans who are also Penn State fans to know what they want.  I lean toward him staying at PSU.  Others want him at the NovaCare.

O’Brien does have a big buyout, reportedly between $8M and $9.5M.  If an NFL team really wants him, they’ll pay it.  However, PSU boosters are willing to up his salary to stay put.  And the state of Pennsylvania just filed suit vs the NCAA to get the sanctions lessened.  If that were to happen, O’Brien could be more inclined to stay put, where he could compete for titles sooner rather than later.  The scholarship reductions that are coming for the next few years will really hurt the PSU program.

Dave Jones of PennLive.com has an article on O’Brien,  with a very interesting nugget buried at the bottom.

“A potential sticking point for O’Brien regarding the Eagles job could be their new general manager Howie Roseman. The club’s 37-year-old salary cap guru is known to be held in low regard by O’Brien’s mentor, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and by another strong O’Brien contact, former Broncos head coach and Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels.”

Jones says this in a very matter of fact way.  He might be correct, but I’ve never read anything about Belichick and Roseman.  I wonder if this is more of a rumor or if Jones does know something we don’t.

The one possibility would be the Jason Licht situation.  A few years back Licht lost some kind of power struggle inside the Eagles and was let go.  He went to the Cards, but then moved onto the Pats, where he had worked prior to coming to Philly.  We don’t know what happened exactly, but it always felt like Roseman and Licht had some dispute.  Clearly Roseman won.

That’s the best guess I’ve got for why Belichick would be anti-Howie.  Some of you might question his football background, but I actually think Belichick would respect that.  Bill is a grinder.  He loves workaholics.  Say what you want about Howie, but he’s not here on his dad’s name or because he was the star QB.  Do you guys know the Dan Marino story?  He asked to be GM of the Dolphins and was given the job.  He quit a week later after realizing that it wasn’t a 9 to 5 job where you simply talked about star players.  Most GM work involves reports on the bottom of the roster, not the top.

If the O’Brien/Belichick/Roseman story is true, Lurie would have to see if he could make it work or if he valued O’Brien so much that he was willing to fire Howie and hire someone else to run the personnel side of things.  If you really love O’Brien, you do what it takes to make him happy…love being the key word.  If you “only” like him, then you keep Howie.

* * * * *

One critical thing to keep in mind as we talk about coaching candidates is that they must interview well.  Having a great track record doesn’t mean the candidate will light it up when he sits down with Lurie and company.  The coach must be able to convince Lurie to turn over the keys to his billion dollar organization to the guy.  This is not a decision to be made lightly.

* * * * *

Andy Reid will be in Arizona on Wednesday and will interview with the Cards then or Thursday.  That would be a good job for him.  He could rebuild the OL.  He could work with Kolb.  The defense has some good pieces.  Reid also would have the chance to hire some of his old assistants (Shurmur, Childress, Castillo, Eagles guys, etc.).   We still don’t know if Ron Rivera and the Panthers coaches are completely safe.

* * * * *

A few of you have asked about the Eagles coaching staff.  Right now they are writing reports on the players.  Lurie and Roseman want the reports on each guy so that they can make offseason evaluations on who should stay and who should go.

The coaches have not been fired.  They are under contract.  The new head coach will be allowed to keep any current assistants that he wants.  There aren’t many who are likely to stick around, but you don’t gain anything by firing them now.

Don’t panic.  Marty Mornhinweg is highly unlikely to be involved with the Eagles in 2013.

* * * * *

I wrote a piece on Andy Reid for PE.com.  I’ll write something else in a few days.  The coaching situation and bowl games have been overwhelming here recently.

Jimmy Bama has up a post on the lack of defensive preparedness.  Can’t wait for the new coaching staff.

_


  • Cafone

    The O’Brien/Roseman thing seems suspicious to me… And if it’s true, I’ll stick with Roseman, thanks.

  • A Roy

    Davey Jones track record for rumors at PennLive is somewhat like Howard Eskin’s. Some good…some bad…some apparently fabricated.

    • Eric Weaver

      Plus he has that whole locker deal.

  • Ark87

    Rumor mill is flying about. The Andy-Arizona rumors are red hot. “I can fix Kolb”. Eagles linked to all sorts of people I could care less about. But if I’ve learned anything about Howie…..don’t ever go by whose been in the building. Knowing Howie, he’s known the first 10 coaches that he wants in order. He’s just meeting some of these guys to see if he needs to re-order his list.

    • T_S_O_P

      He will need more than Kevlar to fix Kolb, he makes Vick look like the poster child of healthy resilience.

      • Ark87

        I assume Andy’s pitch has to be something like the intro to the six million dollar man. “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Kevin Kolb will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…stronger…faster.”

  • austinfan

    If Lurie has truly done his homework, and Howie was the best personnel evaluator in the building, including Licht, Heckert and Grigson, then he has to keep Howie over any potential HC. A top personnel evaluator is more important than a HC, just look at Pittsburgh, making a seamless change from Cowher to Tomlin, Baltimore and its musical chairs at HC and coordinators, GB, etc.

    Every HC is a crap shoot, but a top flight GM can keep a franchise competitive for decades by maintaining the talent level, a HC can under utilize that talent for a couple years, but that merely provides better draft picks to obtain more talent and setting the table for a quick turnaround with the right HC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

    I want to see Andy Reid have success elsewhere (unless he joins another NFCE team). I think he can do a better job in Arizona. I was always confused as to why the Cardinals never went out of their to way to fix that offensive line. I can see Andy rebuilding that O-Line, getting a more athletic TE, and feature an offense where their are more RB screens.

    Funny thing about Kolb is that next year he’ll be 30.

    • austinfan

      They’ve got a trio of WR with Fitz, Roberts and Floyd, an athletic TE in Housler, if Andy can fix that OL (hi Juan) he can make Kolb into a marginal top ten QB. Problem is if Horton leaves, that defense is aging and no guarantee Andy finds the next JJ (failed in Philly).

      • aerochrome2

        You think he trades up to snatch luke from us at 3?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

          Or maybe he trades us a 4th or 5th round pick for the 31 year old Jason Peters

          • Julescat

            we’ll give him Queen Dunlap and Demetrius Bell for those picks

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

        I don’t know much about that team but it will be fun to watch if coached by Reid. A lot of RB screens, end-arounds, and shots down the field.

    • Julescat

      Andy didn’t do much for our O line this year.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

        Well Herremans, Kelce, and Mathis were coming off good years. Watkins showed some promise last year. But he didn’t find a suitable replacement for Peters

        • austinfan

          It’s hard, both Bell and Locklear, the two available FA OTs, pretty much flopped. If you go around the league, there are maybe 20 capable LTs, then you have guys like Webb on Chi, whatever warm body they had in Zona, and so on.

          It also can take time to develop LTs, Beatty took three years, Baker was below par his first couple years as a starter, and so on.

      • TommyLawlor

        Injuries.

        Last year we had the best LT in the league. We had one of the best LGs. We had one of the best young Cs. When is the last time the Cardinals had OL who were among the best at anything?

        Reid drafted/signed/traded for some great OL in his tenure. I think he’ll do that with his new team to make sure the offense can function. Depth is always a risk. You never know how backups will perform, as we’ve seen this year.

        • ACViking

          Re: Cards’ O-line

          Best line in the NFL from 1973-77 . . . the Don “Air” Coryell years. Among the best ever.

          Set the record for fewest sacks allowed at 8 in a season in 1975. (Later broken by the ’88 Dolphins with 7.)

          Allowed a TOTAL of only 56 sacks from ’74 – ’77 . . . or 14 per season.

          RT – Dan Dierdoff (HOF)

          RG – Conrad Dobler (dirtiest player ever – makes Suh look like a girl scout . . . but still a multi-time Pro Bowler)

          C – Tom Banks (all pro)

          LG – Bob Young

          LT – Roger Finnie

    • miked718

      I love Big Red and wish him success anywhere he lands. But I don’t think we, the collective Eagles fans, will be able to go on living if he wins a superbowl before the Birds do.

  • T_S_O_P

    Really nice write up on PE. Reid’s tenure overlaps the emergence of the World Wide Web and as I read, I remembered because of it. Conversations on message boards and now blogs as well as using it to firstly follow drive charts (you may never understand how much a green line suddenly appearing can signify such as 4th and 26), then listening to games live before eventually watching live. What would Reid’s tenure been like without it for me? Poorer. Lots poorer.

    • TommyLawlor

      The Reid era was a lot of fun due to the internet and our ability to share the ups and downs of the team.

      • Crus57

        Especially for those of us afflicted with the green fever who are on the other side of the atlantic, there is a sense of community online that is rarely found in the real world here – at best you’d be mixing with fans of other teams, nobody to understand the intricacies of billy mcmullen for hank baskett trades.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

    So based on Lurie’s press conference do you think the Eagles will be targeting big name free agents? It seems like he wants to return to that era of Eagles football where they relied on the draft and player development moreso than filling needs with free agency. Obviously I don’t think they should go out and spend big money on guys like Jake Long or Gregg Jennings. But I would like to see them go after guys like Michael Johnson, Louis Delmas, or William Moore

    • TommyLawlor

      Last year they traded for DeMeco and focused on re-signing our own guys. There will be more change than that due to the coaching change (new guy always wants to mix things up), but don’t expect a bunch of high price FAs. Maybe one or two and then several mid-to-low level moves.

      • austinfan

        I think Lurie has made it clear he wants to go back to the early AR years, when there was a long-term plan in place to build through the draft, UDFAs and street free agents, and limit high price FAs to “special” players, guys entering their peak years with no character issues – in fact, this goes back further.

        So I’d expect one, at most two signings of “name” FAs, ages 26-27, with no checkered history, and the rest of the signings will be low tier and SFA types.

        Vincent (1996) – solid CB at age 25.
        Everett (1997) – age 27, opps, sometimes you miss
        Douglas (1998) – trade, age 27
        C Johnson (1999) – age 27, 1000 yard season in 1997
        Emmons (2000) – age 27
        Runyan (2000) – age 27
        Thrash (2001) – age 26
        Barber (2002) – age 27 (injury history precluded long-term signing)
        Kearse (2004) – age 28
        D Jones (2004) – age 26
        TO (2004) – age 31
        Stallworth (2006) – age 26, didn’t show enough
        D Howard (2006) – age 30
        K Curtis (2007) – age 29
        T Spikes (2007) – age 31
        A Samuel (2008) – age 27
        Peters (2009) – age 27, trade but big money commitment

        E Sims (2010) – age 26, another 1 year tryout

        • xeynon

          Agree. It’s a bit of a misrepresentation to claim that the early AR teams weren’t aggressive in FA – they could be very aggressive when they saw a player who fit their desired profile. I think that’s probably the model Lurie has it in mind to return to.

        • JoeC2K

          LoL… did you really put James Thrash on the list? I’m joking ’cause I don’t know his performance pre-Eagles but he was part of the dynamic duo of Thrash & Pinkston. Hmmm…. I sort of miss those days…

    • Eric Weaver

      They should have drafted Michael Johnson when he came out.

  • Dan Hansel

    RE: “The scholarship reductions that are coming for the next few years will really hurt the PSU program” Without a doubt this is very true from a football operations
    perspective, but there’s ways to circumvent this with “academic” scholarships,
    which is what the plan is. I really don’t sense any negative effects for
    recruiting and finding the kids money for schooling. I think the X-factor for
    prospective players for PSU is the no bowl games problem. As a PSU alumi, fan
    and Eagles fan, I’m with you Tommy, I think he stays put at PSU.

  • GermanEagle

    When I read the title of this article I was assuming you were talking about the Eagles hiring of BoB, Kelly or McCoy as their fast and furious Offense minded HC.

    • 47_Ronin

      I was thinking the Tommy was writing about Vin Diesel joining the Eagles as a consultant. At least there’s the good news that the eagles are meeting with Mike McCoy. I hope he’s at the top of their coaching list.

      • GermanEagle

        Give me either McCoy (the real one, not Matt though!), B’oB or Kelly, paired with a veteran DC and I am a happy boy!

      • TommyLawlor

        I wish I could hire Jordanna Brewster to assist me in anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.stover.3 Jeffrey Stover

    I was thinking this morning about the firing of Reid and the search for a new head coach. I was excited, then I remembered something. We have been freed from Darth Sidious (Reid), but Darth Vader (Marty) is still here! With him still here there will never be balance in the force (or run vs. pass ratio). Tommy, promise me you will do what you must in order to assure us that Vader will be gone too! I don’t want to have to destroy the Death Star (Nova Care Complex), but I don’t want any lose strings either!

    • TommyLawlor

      I will lead Seal Team Six to remove Marty if the Eagles don’t fire him.

  • NoDecaf

    Tommy, apologies but I have to ask – Are you restricted from scooping when you hear something? Are you constrained by the increased outlets that could provide you information?

    • TommyLawlor

      Some things I can share. Some I can’t. I do my best and let you guys know what I can.

  • Eric Weaver

    I think this whole idea that BOB didn’t know what was going to happen is silly. The argument is being made that he assumed everything was a civil matter. Really? Everyone and their brother knew the NCAA would make it more than that. Besides, BOB’s wife was a Boston attorney. It’s not like she wouldn’t have an idea of what might happen overall even if he didn’t really think about it.

    By the way, interesting story of how they met. There’s another college coach there that may be an NFL head coach. Small world.

    “Bill was a lowly graduate assistant coach on the Georgia Tech football staff, and Colleen was in town for the weekend when mutual friends introduced them at an Atlanta sports bar hangout of the Yellowjackets coaching staff.

    Bill says it was love at first sight. Georgia Tech was fresh off a thrilling overtime win against North Carolina, and the coaches were celebrating the victory at their regular watering hole.

    Colleen was there as a guest of Bill’s friend, tight ends coach Doug Marrone. Marrone was dating Colleen’s college roommate, Helen Donnelly.”

    And while I’m a Penn State fan, I’m not entirely sold on him as a head coach just yet. There were times in the Ohio St and Nebraska games that he made some very odd decisions, especially in the OSU game, that I felt could have really hurt their chances at a win.

  • Eric Weaver

    Tommy, what do you think happened with Reid or whoever when it comes to UDFAs?

    In the early years they had guys like Mikell and JJackson. Where did they start going wrong?

  • GermanEagle

    From ESPN:
    “On Wednesday, the Falcons announced that Koetter would not pursue a head-coaching position this offseason.”
    So are the Eagles interviewing Koetter to become their OC???

    • GermanEagle

      Apparently Koetter signed a contract extension with the Falcons today. You can cross him off the list then!

  • SteveH

    So the Cards want Andy now too huh. First we give them Kolb, then we give them Reid, maybe they’ll give us a 5th for Nnamdi?

    • Crus57

      If they get Reid, knowing his Jedi mind tricks we’ll be giving them a 2nd for Kolb next year.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I don’t question his football background; outside of managing the salary cap & contract negotiating for the Eagles, he has none. He was never a player, never a coach, and never a scout. Now, his lack of football experience is not necessarily a fatal flaw, and may not even be the source of Belichick’s dislike for him, but unless Howie’s got some huge secret stretch of years in his bio, the fact is, the guy was a lawyer that had a passion for the draft as a fan, hired as a cap assistant. It’s not a smear–I’m a fan with a passion for the draft, as many of us are. There have been some success stories of guys without any background in football coming in and having tremendous success. The current crop of GMs of top franchises are dominated by former scouts, but Howie’s lack of football background doesn’t necessarily preclude him from being a good GM.

    Perhaps he showed real ability at identifying talent as he was promoted upwards in the organization. Perhaps it’s true that we should credit him with every good pick, and blame Andy and Joe Banner for every bad one, as Lurie seemed to intimate in his PC; however, this is a bit of an awkward fit when looking at the history of Reid & Banner’s history here. I guess the bottom line is that I’m willing to accept Lurie’s story about Howie, and evaluate him from this year’s draft & offseason, going forward. Besides extending Trent Cole and failing to address the safety position, it seems like it’s pretty solid, in terms of personnel moves. This is going to be a big test, considering how much of the team–starter and depth positions–that will have to be rebuilt, let alone acquiring players for scheme & philosophy changes.