Go Falcons!

Posted: January 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 135 Comments »

I don’t have time to write up a lengthy post this morning, but there are a few things to discuss.  We know Gus Bradley met with the Eagles yesterday.  What we don’t know is how that went.  I hope Gus nailed the interview and is now the clear favorite for the job.  His Seahawks take on the Falcons today.  That means we should all cheer for Atlanta.

May seem weird to cheer against your guy, but the sooner they lose, the sooner the Eagles could hire him.  While there is no rush to get that done, there are a couple of advantages.  A coach can begin putting his staff together and will have a bigger pool of people to choose from the earlier he gets the job.  Second, you’d love the coach and some assistants to be able to go to the Senior Bowl and study players up close.  That starts on Monday the 21st.  Eagles scouts will be there no matter what, but you would love the coaching staff to be there as well.

Ideal scenario…Falcons win 4-3.  A pair of safeties dooms Gus and his Seahawks, but the defense pitches a shutout.

* * * * *

Chris Mortenson reported that Mike McCoy is the leading candidate for the Cardinals job.  I don’t know if I fully buy that rumor, but hope it is true.  McCoy is no longer a viable Eagles target so let’s hope the Cards go for him.

Greg Roman’s offense was awesome yesterday in the SF-GB game.  Why isn’t he a candidate?  Rumor around the league is that teams are concerned about Roman’s ability to lead a team.  He’s had the most responsibility in the last few years, and that was “running” the offense.  Clearly with Jim Harbaugh there, Roman isn’t truly running the offense.  Harbaugh is very hands on.  I would like the Eagles to have at least met with Roman.  Couldn’t hurt, right?  Maybe they’ll try to talk to him this week.

There is a lot of speculation that the Jaguars will now talk to Roman.  His college roommate just became the GM for the Jags.  They have some personnel who fits what he likes to do.  Would make some sense.   If teams think Roman to JAX is a done deal, they may stay away, but he did grow up as an Eagles fan.  Who knows…maybe that’s what Lurie holds against him.  I kid, I kid.

* * * * *

Speaking of bad jokes…I gave out some awards to the 2012 Eagles.  There is a mixture of reality and “comedy”.

Feel free to add some awards of your own.

_


  • ACViking

    Re: Gus Bradley — Home v. Away / Eagles & Patriots — Home v. Away

    Bradley’s been the DC for Seattle since 2009.

    Here’s the Seahawks home v. away points-allowed-per-game numbers:

    2009: Home – 16.25; Away – 32.50

    2010: Home – 21.63; Away – 29.25

    2011: Home – 20.00; Away – 19.38

    2012: Home – 13.38; Away – 17.25

    In three of his four seasons as DC, Bradley’s defense did better at home. And by a lot, too (though less this season).

    ____________

    Here’s the Eagles from 2009-12:

    2009: Home – 22.00; Away – 20.00

    2010: Home – 20.50; Away – 26.63

    2011: Home – 22.25; Away – 18.75

    2012: Home – 28.13; Away – 27.38

    The Eagles’ defenses the past four years generally have done better AWAY than at the Linc. Just the opposite of Bradley.
    _____________

    Here’s the Patriots’ defensive points-per-game numbers:

    2009: H – 12.88; A – 22.75
    2010: H – 19.50; A – 19.50
    2011: H – 19.25; A – 23.50
    2012: H – 22.13; A – 19.58

    1 great year on defense at home and bad on the road. 1 year where the defense was perfectly balanced. 1 year where the defense was better away. And 1 where being the home team was worth the FG that “Jimmy the Greek” would have given them.
    ________________

    Seems fair to say that Bradley’s defenses have generally gotten a better home-town discount than the usual 3 pts odds-makers give to the home team.

    I’m not sure what the trend is across the NFL, but the Seattle is notoriously hard on road teams. And it shows in 3 of Bradley’s 4 seasons.

    • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

      you do know that the seahawks have one of the best home field advantages in football right? and in gus’ 1st two years the defense was 25th overrall? not untill pete carroll came did the defense start to improve. That worries me a bunch. The biggest improvement came in the secondary, pete carroll is a defensive guy, and to be exact he is a secondary guy. BOOM!

      • ACViking

        I noted at the end of my comment:

        “Seattle is notoriously hard on road teams”.

        So, yes, no doubt about that.

        The arrival of Carroll — and some excellent draft choices and FA pick ups — has made a huge difference.
        _____________

        micksick . . .

        Your comment actually raises the more recent *age-old* question . . . does a HC need to have been a coordinator?

        • TommyLawlor

          I’ll be addressing some of these issues in my Gus B post.

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

    Hey Tommy, I know that the coaching search has taken up most of your writing (and rightfully so) but are you going to put up any stuff this week before and after the Shrine game? Obviously our positional needs and targets will depend on our coaches and scheme but there’s a few spots like safety where we need an upgrade no matter what we’re running.

    • TommyLawlor

      I won’t be at the Shrine Game, but I’ll be following the practices and absolutely will watch the game. Haven’t missed one since…1994?

  • ACViking

    Re: The Interview

    T-Law:

    When you talk about *nailing* the interview, what do you believe ownership is asking and what kinds of answer hammer the nail in?

    Tony Dungy was a notoriously weak interview. Spagnuolo was a ball of fire.

    So what is it you think sways ownership?

    • TommyLawlor

      This isn’t just about having a magnetic personality.

      Nailing the interview means answering the questions and selling the team that you have the vision and skill set to be a HC. Reid’s blue binder helped him get the job. Guys can’t go with that now, but they understand that level of foresight and planning is what Lurie wants to hear.

      Content > style

      At the end of the day, Lurie is asking himself if the candidate someone he’s comfortable turning his billion dollar franchise over to.

      • ACViking

        T-Law wrote:

        “At the end of the day, Lurie is asking himself if the candidate someone
        he’s comfortable turning his billion dollar franchise over to.”

        Sounds like it’s as close to *marriage* as you can get.

        Thanks, T-Law, for — I think — nailing the process!

      • deg0ey

        I think part of it is showing that you actually want the job. Reid’s binder showed that, before even getting to the interview, he’d already put in considerable effort that related specifically to the Eagles. You don’t do that if you’ve only got casual interest in taking the job.

        • ACViking

          I continue to believe that Binder was the invention of Bob LaMonte.

          Every coach keeps notes of what they learn.

          LaMonte made sure his clients brought the notebooks to the interviews.

          That’s the story I heard . . . and I’m sticking to it!

  • eagles2zc

    I have not read any news regarding McCoy out as a HC candidate, but that seems to be the conclusion at which many have arrived. Is this all speculation or something I missed in the past week?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1514128048 Kristopher Cebula

      Eskin says his interview went poorly

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    Surprised that Todd Bowles didn’t get a look at “Most Disappointing”.

    On a related note, I think Juan Castillo clearly won the “Et tu, Andy?” award.

    • TommyLawlor

      What does that mean? I don’t speak Canadian.

      • Dirty Harry

        it means “And you, Andy?”

  • teltschikfakeout88

    Tommy any thoughts on Armon armstead?

    • TommyLawlor

      Will cover him in a post.

  • SteveH

    The most likely to complain to an official after an incomplete pass award goes to… *dramatic pause* JEREMY MACLIN!!!

    The Asante Samuel tackling technique award goes to… DOMINIQUE ROGERS CROMARTIE!!!

    The power crazed cancerous coach award goes to… JIM WASHBURN!!!

    The puzzling use of political terminology award goes to… JASON BABIN!!!

    Congratulations to all our winners!

    • TommyLawlor

      Isn’t it fun to reward greatness?

  • ACViking

    Re: Possible Gus Bradley’s OCs

    I wonder if Ken Whisenhunt’s going to step back for a year. Or take a job on someone’s staff — maybe as OC.

    Same with Mike Mularkey.

    Both were OCs for the Steelers — Mularkey followed by KW — from 2001 – 2006. They usually fielded some pretty productive offenses (save 2004) with QBs as diverse as Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, and Big Ben.

    Mularkey also served as OC for the Falcons from 2008-’11.
    ____________

    While at AZ, Whisenhunt’s teams didn’t do particularly well against Bradley’s defense — except in 2009 when Kurt Warner was still there.

    Mularkey’s Falcons’ teams, though, hung 34 and 30 on the Seahawks in 2010 and 2011.

    ____________

    Another name to watch may be Greg Olson . . . who, as OC for the Bucs, put up 24 and 38 on the Seahawks in ’09 and ’10. Olson’s been an OC for Detroit, the Rams, and Tampa, and served as JAX’s QB coach this year under Mularkey.

    ____________

    I only mention this because if I were interviewing Bradley, I suppose I’d want to know which offense game him the most trouble.

    Sort of how Andy Reid ended up hiring a LB coach, and former DC, named Jim Johnson . . . his Colts defenses frustrated the Packers.

    I’ve no doubt he’s been asked that question by the Eagles’ brain trust.

    So I’m kicking around some names.

    • TommyLawlor

      Was thinking last night that Mularkey could be interesting OC. Developed pocket passer Matt Ryan. Foles isn’t anywhere near as good, but is a pure pocket passer like Ryan.

      • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

        A lot of Falcons fans was very happy he left. Apparently he calls a horrible game, and although he had his part in developing the offense, they felt they needed another guy to take them further.

    • deg0ey

      Following on from Mularkey’s Falcons team giving the Seahawks trouble in ’10 and ’11, Bradley’s boys don’t seem to have much answer for them tonight either. How much of that is on the OC and how much of it is the personnel is up for debate, but I certainly wouldn’t object to Mularkey as OC.

  • Iskar36

    So here is my question. Since the assumption has been that the interview significantly outweighs the resume (a strategy I support btw), why was Bradley assumed to be among the leading two candidates prior to his interview yesterday? Seems to go against the strategy.

    • Ark87

      I hope more than assume. I have to hope that the Eagles aren’t THAT bad of a place to land a HC job. Chip Kelly, Bill O’Brien, Brian Kelly, and so on. My hope is we did serious interviews and decided to not hire because we were still too intrigued by assistants still in the playoffs. The hope is our guys asked them to hang on for a week and the college coaches just couldn’t afford to hold on for a week due to recruitment and all that. It terrifies me to imagine that all the college coaches talk to our guys and go right back to school. But if the college coach’s didn’t have good enough interviews to launch to the top of our hire board, that’s better.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think that was a loose description and not hard fact. You can look at a menu and think you’ll love a restaurant, but you won’t know until you eat the meal.

      • jshort

        The meal may look and taste great, still once it’s paid for there is always a chance of botulism.

  • jshort

    Tommy, you are getting boned. I was just reading an article on philly.com. Ed Rendell is now a contributor! That surprised me when I scrolled back to see who had written what I thought was an inferior article, compared to the information that is posted on this site. I commend you for your reporting and well written articles, and those who comment on this site .

    • TommyLawlor

      Thanks for the kind comments.

    • Ark87

      As far as depth of content, nobody even gets close imo. Most beat writers are trying to contribute a unique nugget or angle which isn’t necessarily accurate, but people eat it up. Tommy researches like a fiend. Looking at Tommy’s bibliography on his Brian Kelly post…yeah he leaves no stone un-turned. I always come here to form a basis of knowledge on a topic. It helps put all those little nuggets and angles into context when I read elsewhere.

      I’m here now hoping him and Jimmy do an H2H to discus some of the action and games and assistants of the most recent playoff games.

    • BobSmith77

      Rendell’s got the time on his hands especially since he got left out in the cold by the Obama administration and he’s more than a token piece at Greenhill & Co.

  • ACViking

    Re: Big Receivers / Tampa 2 defense

    Thank you, Gus, for visiting.

    Can we get BIG receivers, please!

  • miked718

    My recall is not great, but any chance the Eagles can get a coach and turn it around quickly just like the Niners did after Singletary? I know there are A TON of differences but if the Eagles get a coach who can squeeze every last bit of talent out of the roster rather then wasting it then perhaps we could take a weak NFC East next year. January dreams anyway…

    • TommyLawlor

      Anything is possible. Need QB to avoid turnovers and make some key plays. Need defense to play well and get some takeaways. Also helps to stay healthy.

  • Ark87

    So I’m stuck watching the playoffs, but it’s actually really good. I’m watching defenses…play defense. swarming good physical tackling (I had forgotten what that looked like). I did get to see Denver play the Philly prevent at the end of regulation though. That was refreshing to see someone else’s secondary handle an obvious passing situation so idiotically.

    The other thing I saw was Kaepernick torch Green Bay on the ground. Being an Eagles fan i wanted to whisper in Dom Capers’ ear “stop blitzing the edge, just maintain the edge and blitz the middle, it ruined Vick”.

    • shah8

      Problem:

      If the blitz is picked up, you’re very, very, screwed. SF OL /= P OL

      • xeynon

        Yep. That SF O line is monstrous. Any halfway decent QB, whether a scrambler like Kaepernick or a traditional dropback passer, would be effective behind them, and they were just physically dominating the Packers’ defense toward the end of that game. They are a classic illustration of the wisdom of building from the O line outward on offense.

      • Ark87

        Such is the reality of the blitz.
        Kaepernick is still a young guy. The prayer is that if the blitz doesn’t get home, at least there would be pressure with no escape on foot. This inevitably raises the likelihood of an ill advised throw.

        Don’t get me wrong, Kaepernick was red hot last night so the packers were probably boned anyway….but I’d still rather force the inexperienced kid throwing with pressure rather than see running lanes so wide that there is only a pair of db’s, (each with blockers on them due to man coverage) between him and the endzone.

  • Zeke Gorges

    Tommy, wondering why packers OC Tom Clements isn’t getting more attention as a viable candidate? Very smart, accomplished coach who’s now also very available for interviews…

    • TommyLawlor

      Don’t know what the deal with Tom is. He’s tried to get head coaching jobs in college and NFL. No luck. Maybe he’s got rep of good asst, but not a guy who can run a team.

  • Crus57

    Boy, they eagled the crap out of that end of half drill.

    • TommyLawlor

      How dare you say that! (so true…)

    • bdbd20

      Well, Bevell was OC under Chilly. I guess that’s where he learned his 2 minute offense.

  • Chris

    Hey T-Law,

    Random observation I noticed yesterday about coaches in the playoffs…

    Of the teams still competing for the super bowl, Patriots, Falcons, Ravens are all run by defensive minded coaches with the others 49ers and Texans being run by offensive minded coaches. Moreover, Denver was a defensive minded coached team as well. Do you believe an offensive minded coach is fully essential or just a preference most NFL teams covet?

    Personally, I have always desired a defensive minded coach simply because it seems more difficult to find a great defensive coach than offensive coach in today’s NFL.

    What are your thoughts?

    • D3Keith

      Tommy wrote a post a couple weeks ago about how it takes an offensive-minded coach to win in today’s NFL. I don’t necessarily agree, but if you search for it, it’ll answer your question.

  • ACViking

    Re: Mike Nolan

    You have to love how the Falcons defense is making TE Zach Miller of Seattle look a HOFer.

    Seems so Eagle-esque.

    • deg0ey

      I believe that’s called ‘putting him in a position to succeed’

    • bdbd20

      Totally agree. It’s so hard to buy into these guys.

  • shah8

    Evaluating the ATL-Seattle game. Bevel had a bad game in the first half. Or perhaps Wilson wasn’t making good decisions on the read, but there were way too few QB keepers. If there was a spy for that, then there’s a hole somewhere else that’s not really being taken advantage of, or perhaps it is, will all the TE catches.

    With all the rushing-capable QBs out there, I think the one true thing is that the run option is not compatible with a full field read. Trying to ask the QB to allow plays to develop and then scramble when everything has gone bad just doesn’t work that well. You have to commit: either straight draw, option, or 1-2 quick read and take offs. This was an issue with the Eagles as well.

    The Seattle defense is missing Clemons like nobody’s business, and it seems to have affected the run defense more than the pass defense–is Irvin being a major liability?

  • Rellihcs

    Gus – LOVE the proactive approach. Already deciding to accept the Birds offer to be next HC, he’s calling wrong D plays to lock in the loss andf speed up coaching staff hiring process. (I’m gushing over the extra effort – lubing up Lynch’s gloves)

  • deg0ey

    So does this performance put anyone off of Gus?

    I know you’re not supposed to get hung up on one game, but it’s pretty hard to watch his D being carved open at will like this…

    • shah8

      Not his fault. Pass rush is nothing.

      • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

        Suddenly the D got hot, now Seahawks is in a position to take the lead.

    • Anders

      No, they flew from Seattle to DC back to Seattle to Atlanta in about a week and at the beginning of the game, there offense wasnt helping them by staying on the field and not coughing the ball up.

      • deg0ey

        Very good point. I tend to forget about the effect of travelling between games. I guess that happens when the longest road-trip in my country is just over half the distance San Diego have to travel when they play in Oakland.

  • T_S_O_P

    Off topic: how many other kickers other than David Akers have appeared in 7 championship games?

    • ACViking

      Cleveland’s Lou “The Toe” Groza.

      12 Title Games, including 10 straight.

      All 4 in the old AAFC, then 6 straight after Cleveland joined the NFL (’46-’55).

      Then 2 more (’57, ’64).

  • ACViking

    Russell Wilson . . . I’d just love to know the discussion among the Eagles’ draftnicks about him before the draft.

    The kid . . . who’s shorter than Vick . . . NEVER seems to have a pass batted down.

    Maybe it’s the deep drops coupled with the excellent pass-pro.

    But what a dynamo.

    I know Reid liked him.

    But not enough.

    • T_S_O_P

      I know one guy who didn’t like him.

      • ACViking

        I don’t know if Reid liked him.

        It’s been reported that Reid liked him.

        Watching the Senior Bowl, though, he looked like a project.

        So I get it.

        BUT HOLY COW . . . what a change in 1 year.

  • TommyLawlor

    Reuben Frank just reported on Twitter that the Eagles interviewed Brian Billick on Monday. Awful announcer. Up and down coach.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/BillBr0.htm

    • ACViking

      T-Law:

      How do you read the Eagles interviewing Billick?

      His offenses — without Randy Moss — were mediocre at best. And that may have been because of the incredible defense Ozzie Newsome kept piecing together.

    • bdbd20

      Rumor is that they were picking his brain as how to develop a young QB.

      They play to do the complete opposite.

  • T_S_O_P

    I’m intrigued by Mike Smith’s availability as a HC, though this topic would need to read ‘Go Hawks’

    • ACViking

      Lou Groza may be available

    • TommyLawlor

      Mike’s not going anywhere.

      • bdbd20

        Smith is not, but Nolan will have some answering to do.

  • ACViking

    Mike Nolan may be available after this game.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    I’ll be very interested to read you reaction to what’s transpired in Atlanta.

    • ACViking

      Including Matt Ryan’s comeback!

      • shah8

        look at TonyG

  • ACViking

    The “ICE” play NEVER works.

    • deg0ey

      Those of us that had money on Seattle to win are really annoyed with Pete Carroll right now.

    • deg0ey

      Pundits on UK TV are now saying that the reason Carroll was pissed off is that he called the time out in enough time for the play to be stopped before Bryant had his practice kick. Is there a penalty for continuing to play after a time out has been called?

      • Crus57

        I imagine there would only be a penalty if significant contact was made between players.
        Carroll has been around long enough to know that it takes more than 2 seconds for play to stop once the whistles are blowing.

  • ACViking

    Botched 3rd down play at end of the 1st half doomed Seahawks.

    Botched kickoff may doom ATL

  • xeynon

    Don’t like to see the Falcons in the NFC championship. That team is a fraud, and I think Seahawks-49ers would have been a better matchup.

    On the plus side, maybe we’ll get to watch Asante get steamrolled by that 49ers running game next week.

    • BobSmith77

      I wouldn’t say they are ‘total frauds’ but agree that a Seahawks-49ers game would have been more entertaining.

      • xeynon

        They’re not a legitimate Super Bowl caliber team IMO. Ryan is a good quarterback, not a great one, and they get the yips in tight spots in a big way. Only some real luck and bad execution by the Seahawks saved them from an epic choke in that game.

        • deg0ey

          Well let’s hope SF don’t do what they did for the Giants last season to let them into the SB, then ;)

  • phillychuck

    Seahawks coaches screwed up so many times in this game–Atl should have lost again. Including the final two plays–where was the 15-yard pass and FG attempt? They had 2 TOs left.

    • shah8

      I thought they would have thrown to the middle, too…

    • Baloophi

      I think the Seahaws had 6 seconds on the clock when they ran their first down play. They wound up with 2 seconds on the clock after an 8 yard out… down the middle for 15 yards would’ve been the end of the game.

      They lost the game giving up a 25 yard completion on the first play of Atlanta’s last possession. It’d be nice to ask Gus Bradley about that play-call…

      • Arby1

        Apparently, Gus was caught thinking about one of the trick questions Howie threw at him the night before.

  • Iskar36

    The good: The Bradley is now available.
    The bad: He is coming off a game where the defense allowed 30 points, had 32 seconds and field position to seal the win and failed.

    I don’t think a single game defines a coach by any means, but all the hype that he earned last week is diminished by the struggles he had this week (of course, the rest of the season speaks for itself, and he did a good job coaching the defense).

    • Crus57

      I like that his D got tougher in the second half, started to more accurately predict the Falcons playcalls.

      • ACViking

        In the immortal words of Howard Cosell . . .

        “Too little, too late. The Falcons go on to win.”
        ____________

        Perhaps Gus’s defense would have fared better if the game’d been in Seattle.

        • shah8

          60 yards, 15 seconds. That defense really didn’t do it’s job at the end…

    • ACViking

      Bradley’s benefitted from the Seattle home rule.
      ____________

      I believe T-Law will cover that at some point.

  • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

    Looks like we might hire a HC tomorrow.

  • ACViking

    All things considered, I’d rather have Lovie Smith than Gus Bradley.

    On what basis, exactly, are we to believe that Gus Bradley has any more clue about putting together an offensive staff than Lovie Smith.
    _______________

    During the game, Bradley was pacing the sidelines like Buddy Ryan used to do . . . and that’s not a compliment.

    • ACViking

      Just hire someone who’ll run the ball more and insist on a B-I-G wide receiver.

      • jshort

        Right now for me, Lovie or Chucky

    • jshort

      Bradley should have punched Bevell in the face for scoring to fast.

      • ACViking

        That’s a Bingo

    • Baloophi

      I don’t think there’s any specific basis choosing between Lovie Smith and Gus Bradley when it comes to potential offensive incompetency. Though, the argument would be that you know Lovie hasn’t been able to do it, whereas you don’t know if Bradley can or can’t.

      On top of that, if we’re to take Lurie at his word, he’s looking for a leader. Smith failed in several different ways in Chicago (and I’ve also heard he’s a jackass from a Bears’ fan).

      RE: Bradley
      - You’re really digging into the homefield advantage angle… which is certainly interesting. That said, I wonder if the door doesn’t swing both ways. You always hear that when teams travel coast-to-coast they suffer… so wouldn’t that help explain – to some extent – the disparity for the defense on the road? In other words, if you’re going to factor in the “away” field and travel against opposing offenses, don’t you also have to factor in travel and “away” field for the Seahawks defense on the road?

      • ACViking

        Great points.

        Well taken.

        To a good degree, I’m just making the argument for the “defensive devil we know” vs. the one we don’t.

    • BobSmith77

      Me too. I don’t understand the love Bradley gets either. After seeing the last 2 weekends of playoff football, I would rather have an offensive-oriented coach but I wouldn’t mind Lovie Smith.

  • camouflagedmonk

    The thought of Billick coaching here is borderline disturbing. How can management waste any of their time with this clown…

    • ACViking

      FOA — friend of Andy?

    • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

      I think i will go into a coma if we hire Brian Billick. Im warming up to Jon Gruden, but for the sweet love of the almighty one, DONT HIRE BILLICK!!!!!!

    • D3Keith

      I never understood why Billick has gotten zero burn since the
      day he hung ‘em up yet people sweat Cowher and Gruden like Gods. All
      three of them have won Super Bowls, and while Cowher had a bunch more
      near-misses, Billick and Gruden have also had other years when their
      teams were good.

      Certainly Billick was fortunate to coach Moss and Ray Lewis, but he also tied his future to Kyle Boller and busted on that. He’s had good and bad luck with players.

      I’m not saying he’s my first choice, but I don’t know if this would be a
      disastrous hire. Certainly wouldn’t be much better or worse than Gruden,
      who has virtually the same resume, both in coaching and TV, over the
      past 10-12 years.

      The Eagles need a leader. Period.

      My concerns with Billick would be how connected he is after five years out
      of the game, and if he could lure good assistants. Maybe being in TV
      has actually been a good thing as he has studied the entire league and
      broken down film (he did that NFLn show for a while) on various schemes.
      Maybe he’s very familiar with the league’s current coaches, but I doubt
      he has good relationships with many of the young coaches.

      Still, with Lovie, Whisenhunt, Mularkey on the market, the older available OC/DCs for hire might not be all that terrible.

      Billick would have some legendary dust-ups with Philly media though. Lol.

      • D3Keith

        From the AP story on Billick:
        Billick assembled quite a coaching staff in Baltimore. Six of his
        assistants became head coaches, including Mike Smith (Atlanta), Marvin
        Lewis (Cincinnati), Rex Ryan (New York Jets), Mike Singletary (San
        Francisco), Mike Nolan (San Francisco) and Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville).

        Hmm. I wonder if this says he has a great eye for assembling a staff, or put together a once-in-a-lifetime group that was the basis for his success.

        • Anders

          That staff is even greater than the Eagles staff during there best years: Chilly, Spag, Rivera, Frazier, Shurmur

          • D3Keith

            Put John Harbaugh on the Reid list as well. He’s got six too.

            Same time, I can’t say for sure if all those guys were ever on the Ravens at the same time. Lewis was the DC when they won, then Nolan was for a time, then Ryan was.

            And after he left, Chuck Pagano was.

            Can we just pluck a branch off the Ravens’ tree?

          • Anders

            you are right, cant understand why I forgot him.

            In the 2000 season everybody but Nolan and Singletary was a part of his staff. Nolan was apart of the 2001 staff, but as a WR coach.

          • D3Keith

            Thanks for looking it up.

            Back to the original question. Do we think Billick has a knack for hiring coaches, or was that just dumb luck?

            If he can assemble a staff, given some of the guys that are on the street right now, I could more get behind his hire. Even though I’m not sure he’s really the guy.

          • Anders

            For me Billick’s situation reminds me of both AR’s situation here and Lovie’s in Chicago. Billick lost alot of great assistance over the years and he could never find a good OC to complement his great defense.

            Basicly, if he can hire the right OC, he will be fine, else he will be gone quickly.

  • ACViking

    So interesting watching the Patriots.

    Their offense has evolved so much in the past 8 years.

    A lot of it is about what Brady lets them do.

    But the team is very creative in getting players involved. Maximizing their skills. And adjusting the scheme accordingly.

    When Randy Moss was there, it was bombs away. Now, they attack the middle zone.

    • xeynon

      Belichick is clearly head and shoulders above any other NFL coach as both a strategist and a tactician. He understands that the best overall strategy is not to use any particular system but to use whatever plays and in-game tricks you can to give your players their best chance to perform, and he’s got a great command of the tactical X’s and O’s to do that. Combine that with a great, equally smart quarterback like Brady and you get a dynasty.

      • P_P_K

        Andy Reid is the anti-Belichick, he’s so attached to his system he fails to perceive the skills and limitations of his players.

        • SteveH

          This. Reid tries to make the players fit the system rather than matching the system to the players. One thing I like about the Patriots so much is that their offense is evolving constantly. Year to year and sometimes even week to week the kinds of formations and personel you see being used is so different.

  • GermanEagle

    Hiring Billick would be just the icing on the cake, after this Eagles season. Don’t you think, Tommy?!

    • xeynon

      Billick is a bad, lazy announcer. Doesn’t mean he’d be a bad coach. (Not that he’s my first choice, just saying).

    • camouflagedmonk

      This would definitely be rock bottom & dark times for this franchise for the foreseeable, imo.

  • BobSmith77

    Now Billick is a key coach for the Eagles’ job after this interview today? Ugh. More and more I do think the Eagles had no real idea on how they really liked & wanted as a coach after Kelly turned them down.

    Some will the viewpoint that the Eagles are interviewing so many different people of varying backgrounds to ‘get free information.’ My experience is that when companies do that for a high-level position they did a pretty poor job at the outset of outlining the specific experience, qualities, and accomplishments they wanted to establish an initial set of candidates.

    • D3Keith

      I might agree with you if they hadn’t come out and said from the start that they wanted to take their time. As it stands though, I couldn’t disagree with you more.

      It seems wise, IMO, not to rush into something as important as a coaching hire, which is going to define your franchise for the next several seasons. Why would you want to make an impulse buy on something that important?

      Sure you can do pre-prep and outline as many guys as you want, but until you actually fire your current coach, then interview the potential replacements, the process hasn’t really started. Maybe you can do background in advance, but the fact that it takes two or three weeks to make a franchise-altering decision, and they are “leaving no stone unturned” is a good thing.

      I’m glad the front office has more patience than the fan base at-large.

      Look also at the market this year. There was one slam-dunk hire, and that was Chip Kelly. They went after him aggressively. The guys hired so far, as AC Viking or A_T_G or one of those guys keeps pointing out, are Reid, who we just fired, Marrone and Chudzinski.

      As someone else pointed out, at this time last year, there was only one coach hired.

      And right now, the Chargers, Cardinals, Bears and Jaguars also have HC openings.

      It would be nice to have the perfect candidate fall into the Eagles’ laps. But the fact that that hasn’t happened, and they are doing due diligence instead, is not at all a bad sign.

      • BobSmith77

        You make a lot of good points. I don’t mind that they have hired a coach. Kelly just did turn them down about a week ago too.

        Just seems to be little rhyme or reason to their search so far from the candidates interviewed after Kelly. More a semantic point than anything.

        I would be really surprised if they don’t have a coach in another ~10 days or so from today.

        • D3Keith

          True. At a certain point, we can go ahead and panic.

          Part of the reason it seems like there’s little rhyme or reason is because if there is some, we are not privy to it. What we get are drips and drops — agent leaks through Glazer or Florio, and people guessing at things like ‘if Lurie’s plane is in this city then it means we are interviewing this candidate.”

          Certain guys have been confirmed interviews, but as we’re finding out with this Billick thing from a week ago, there may be other interviews that we don’t know about.

          And it doesn’t really benefit the team to say how serious any particular candidate is. I’m glad the Eagles interviewed Keith Armstrong. Even if just to rule out that he’s the next John Harbaugh.

          This is a frustrating time to be a fan.

          But we have to keep in mind it’s more important to get this right than to get this done ASAP. We can either be frustrated for a few weeks now, or frustrated watching this team play for multiple seasons.

      • A_T_G

        Also, keep in mind, they have turned over, what? 10 stones? It is not like they are holding open auditions.

        • Iskar36

          I think this is the part I don’t fully agree with. I actually think “10 stones” seems a bit excessive. I fully support them not hiring a guy that they feel did not have a good enough interview, but the number of interviews they are having seems as if they don’t have a clear resume review process and have resorted to interviewing every possible candidate.

          We don’t know how interested they were in Marrone, but you could argue that if they were in fact seriously interested and had a better triage process, they may have had an opportunity to hire him. Instead, the Eagles interviewed the Falcons coordinators who from the start never seemed like serious candidates.

    • xeynon

      I also disagree. As D3Keith said, Lurie stated clearly that he intended to be thorough in his search. In addition, he has a pretty good track record hiring coaches – Rhodes was a moderate success and Reid, while considered a second-tier candidate at the time, turned out to be one of the best coaches in franchise history. It seems unlikely to me that Lurie has forgotten what worked and didn’t work with previous coaches as opposed to merely taking his time to find the guy who has the qualities he’s looking for and wants to coach in the pro game.

    • camouflagedmonk

      If Billick really is leading the charge, or even being seriously considered, then we are in deep trouble cause Howie really is clueless.

  • BobSmith77

    Tommy – How many teams have passed on Billick the past 5 years? I remember him being mentioned a ton in ’08-’09 for possible HC jobs but not so not much the past 2 years.

    Has there ever been a coach who has been out of the league for at least 4 years who has come to have real success too?

    • holeplug

      Dick Vermeil

      • D3Keith

        Joe Gibbs took the Redskins to the playoffs two times in four years, which I know doesn’t qualify as “real success” but might also be an example of how you don’t just forget how to lead.

        Art Shell is the main disaster I can think of. Much of that was probably on Tom Walsh’s ancient 7-step-drop offense, or so the story went at the time.

  • D3Keith

    “Ideal scenario…Falcons win 4-3. A pair of safeties dooms Gus and his Seahawks …”

    That would have made him a perfect fit. We know all about being doomed by a pair of safeties.

    • goeagles55

      Great.

    • A_T_G

      Wow. Well done.

  • ian_no_2

    I’ve read a couple columns saying that the problem with Bradley is that he’s a defensive coach. ‘He’ll have to hire an offensive coordinator.’ Really?

    Some defensive coaches that became head coaches:

    Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, Mike Smith, Jeff Fisher, John Madden, George Allen, Don Shula, Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, John Fox, Leslie Frazier, Marvin Lewis.

    • Anders

      Look at the scores in this weekends games: 28-30, 28-41, 38-35, 31-45 and that is with some of the best defenses in the NFL playing.

      • D3Keith

        I had a similar thought. Maybe gives credence to the whole “it’s an offensive league” idea. Or elite teams win by scoring a lot. But then again, last week’s games were fairly defensive, so perhaps it’s too small a sample size.

      • ian_no_2

        3 out of four coaches that won those games were defensive coaches before being head coaches.

  • P_P_K

    Tommy, great job on the awards piece. I’m trying to think of some witty award to add, but right now I’m too sick to my stomach thinking about Asante going to the NFC title game.