Mobile Monday

Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 83 Comments »

I’m down in Mobile this week.  I’m stalking coaches and scouts.

The big news in Eagles World is the assistant coaches.  Sounds like Pat Shurmur will be the OC.  Some like that, some don’t.  Here’s the deal.  This will be Chip Kelly’s offense.  Shurmur will be here to help with the passing game and to help with adjusting to the NFL.  Shurmur was a good assistant with the Eagles for years.  He did a good job with Sam Bradford in St. Louis and that got him the Browns gig.  Things didn’t go well in Cleveland, but Shurmur is a good assistant coach, at the very least.

The other key angle here is that Shurmur is more conservative than Kelly.  He’ll be a good sounding board for when Kelly wants to do something.  Pat might only talk him out of 2 or 3 moves a year, but if they are the right ones, that is good enough.  Shurmur can also learn from Kelly’s aggressive nature and could help him if he gets another shot to run a team.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that Shurmur excites me, but part of that is because no OC would.  Again, this is going to be Chip Kelly’s offense.  The OC needed to be a smart, veteran coach.  Shurmur fits the bill.

You never want a staff that all thinks the same way.  Andy and Marty both loved to pass.  Brad Childress believed in the run.  He was a good counter to Andy’s style.  Marty was gas on the fire.

There were reports about Bill McGovern becoming the LBs coach.  That would be a great move.  The Eagles have had less than mega-awesome LB play since 1804…or at least it seems that way.  McGovern made BC into a LB factory.  They didn’t all become great pros, but they were outstanding college players.  Luke Kuechly and Mark Herzlich were the star pupils.  I love the thought of adding someone who knows how to teach and develop LBs.

There was a report mentioning some other names.  I don’t have strong opinions on the guys listed.  Rick Minter was one.  He would be interesting.  He recruited Trent Cole to Cincinnati.  He also had Rex Ryan working for him as the DC and they ran the 46 defense back in the late 1990s.  I don’t know what Minter would do, but he’s got a very good defensive background in college football.

* * * * *

Here is a post on some Senior Bowl guys of interest.

I’ll be focusing on QBs and DBs.

I’ll let you know each and every Eagles nugget that comes my way.


  • Ark87

    Will any Eagles coaches be in mobile checking out players, Tommy?

    • Chip Chip Hurray will be in Mobile. And some of the staff as well. But as the Eagles will only confirm all Coaches at once, my guess is that they will stay in Chipedelphia till all deals are done.

      • RC5000

        Please stop with queer nicknames lol

    • nicolajNN

      Les Bowen said on twitter that both Duce and Ted Williams was on their way to Mobile

      • Ark87

        That coaching duo is great. I hope the really work on ball security this year though….and…you know what, Shurmur better make that the #1 priority for the whole offense, not just the RB coach.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve already seen some coaches and scouts.

      • Ark87

        Figured the scouts would be out there, with the coaching staff still being a work in progress, wasn’t sure if we’d see any of them. I figure Chip couldn’t have possibly painted a picture of what he’s trying to do here to his coaches and chip himself looking to fill out his coaching staff, wasn’t sure we’d see any Eagles coaches. But apparently they will be present after all. Pretty exciting.

  • Any thoughts on Duce being promoted to RBs and Ted Williams shifting(back) to Tes coachs?

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i dont know if it is or not, but i would guess that moving from RBs to TEs would be a demotion. if they are going to keep Ted around, keep him at RBs. aside from recent fumbles, the RBs have been pretty great under his tenure.

      • Ted was TE before! No demotion. Just another position. The way to keep Duce!

        • Iskar36

          I view the move the same way you do. Moving from coaching one position to another is strictly a lateral move. If they had stripped him of some type of title or added a title to his job, that would have been a demotion/promotion, but to my knowledge this is strictly a lateral move and allows the Eagles to keep a seemingly great coach in Ted Williams who has flexibility in coaching a couple different offensive positions as well as keeping a younger, promising coach in Duce Staley.

          In reality, this move really is a promotion to Duce and a demotion to (firing of) the previous TE coach.

          • aceandson

            Eagles RBs have all shown great improvement as blockers from their rookie campaigns and Bryce Brown aside have been great at protecting the ball. Those are two things we know good coaching can correct -which shows even casual fans that Williams is a good coach.

            I’d look for the same improvements in the TEs this season, especially in protection and run blocking.

    • TommyLawlor

      Ted is an older guy (70 next year). Duce could be a good RBs coach for the next decade. Shifting Ted to a position he already knows works just fine with me since the Eagles like both guys.

      • its good to see chip didn’t just dismiss them, I wonder if mickey zordich will stick around

        • goeagles55

          Jeff McLane said on twitter that he ran into Zordich at the Senior Bowl and he will not be back with the Eagles.

  • P_P_K

    Does Shurmur’s hiring point to having Foles as our qb? Pat has a background in devloping qbs. If not for Nick, perhaps for some future draft choice. Or, at least as an indicator that Vick is gone?

    Have a great trip, Tommy. Just don’t get stuck inside a Mobile with the Memphis Blues, again.

    • JulzPE

      I very seriously doubt the coaching hire has any bearing on who our QB will be. Mostly because there’s no way Chip has had enough time to evaluate all the options properly yet, and I doubt he’d do anything like that, at least make decisions on it, without a full coaching staff in place to confer with.

      It’s just a sound hire in the sense that Shurmur has proven he is really quite good at developing QB’s, whoever the QB is, chances are in the next couple of seasons we’ll have a young QB who needs to be developed.

    • TommyLawlor

      Shurmur is here as part of the big picture. Kelly wants the right staff around him. Wouldn’t affect QB in 2013.

      • But you gotta love that Shurmur had Bradford doing his best work when he was the OC and previously not only made a QB out of McNabb, but was able to get us competitive with different QBs when McNabb was injured. Could be a great guy for every QB on the roster.

        You have to think that, with the offense being run by Kelly, the OC will have that little bit of extra time to teach the face of the franchise a little more than normally. I quite like if we hire Shurmur. Good fit with Kelly, good around QBs, good assistant and seems like a smart guy. Not a sexy hire, but a simple and good one.

      • PK_NZ

        I’d imagine Shurmur having some HC experience will also be valuable to Chip if he can point out some mistakes he made…

  • BobSmith77

    Yeah the days of Joyner-Evans-Thomas at LB do seem like they were quite a while ago now.

  • xeynon

    I actually quite like Shurmur as an OC pick, for all the reasons you suggest. People were saying Chip needs veteran assistants who aren’t just yes-men adherents to his philosophy and who have NFL experience and understand the league, as well as somebody with a track record of developing QBs… Shurmur fits the bill on all three counts. Glad to see Ted Williams and Duce sticking around as well, one as an old hat, the other as a promising young coach.

    Have a great week in Mobile Tommy – looking forward to reading all your reports.

  • Rick Minter would make me sick. Nothing was better than to see him get fired from Kentucky. He installed a hybrid 4-3/3-4 defense and it just didnt work.

    • TommyLawlor

      He’s got a good background. Things didn’t go well at UK, but that does not make him a bad coach.

  • McMVP

    I’m ‘meh’ on Shurmur, but I agree…it’s not going to be his offense.

    Looking forward to Senior Bowl news….but does this mean no H2H podcasts this week?

    • TommyLawlor

      We’re going to try and do shows. Worst case scenario…Thursday night.

      • McMVP

        Make it no later than weds….or I’ll not ship the case of chocolate pudding down to Mobile.

      • Ark87

        I noticed the H2H picture had been redone, very nice, but strangely I was actually a little sad to see the MS paint picture go.

  • JulzPE

    I’m pretty happy with this hire, as happy as you can be with an OC hire under and offensive coach.

    I think most of us knew that as exciting as the Chip appointment is the key to success here is the entire coaching staff, a guy like Shurmur isn’t a ‘glamorous’ option, but he is solid with a good background as an assistant coach.

    One thing that I really like about this is that Shurmur is a guy who understands the NFL passing game, and various people who know Chip’s scheme from Oregon (including Chris Brown of Smart Football) believe that if there’s anything he needs to work on and develop it’s his passing game. Having a veteran guy like Shurmur inspires a lot of confidence in Chip and his ability to identify weaknesses in his own schemes/understanding.

    • D3Keith

      I’m right there with you.

      It’s funny that everybody wanted a DC with head-coaching experience to guide chip, but the reaction to Shurmur seemed lukewarm. I think this is good for a few reasons: The head-coaching thing, the passing-game/QB development thing, and the fact that Shurmur doesn’t operate like Kelly, so he’ll be a guy that — as Tommy mentioned — will be more than just a yes-man.

  • bridgecoach

    If you are dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you are smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

    • TommyLawlor

      I surround myself with Jimmy Bama. I’ll let you guys judge which category he falls into.

      • Ark87

        You surround yourself with us…..categorize yourself carefully!

    • A_T_G

      Great quote. Is that from something?

  • Eric Weaver

    Do you think Kyle Long may be a target of Kelly’s in the 3rd or 4th round?

    • Anders

      I really like him as a development OT for us.

    • Eric Weaver

      I guess I should read your scoutsnotebook first before asking that. haha

    • TommyLawlor

      Definitely possible.

  • Baloophi

    Tommy –

    Please find us an Anquan Boldin clone who also plays safety… oh, and make sure other teams don’t see him. Thanks.

    • TommyLawlor

      I found 3 and have them locked in my hotel room.

  • D-von

    Jim Herrman has taking his name out of consideration for the Eagles DC.

  • GermanEagle

    You still wouldn’t trade for Flacco…?!

    • TommyLawlor

      Let me know when he wins a playoff game.

      • GermanEagle

        Maybe next year?!

    • Ark87

      Sure! See anything you like…?

      • GermanEagle

        Lol. I knew dr pepper was in superman’s lunch box…!

    • shah8

      Not really. Flacco vs Ryan is a classic case of:

      talent is talent is talent, more specifically, the arm! Other than his arm, Flacco isn’t a particularly good QB. Jim Cauldwell, on the other hand, is minting himself some money and respect for what he’s getting out of Flacco.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Totally Agree! If I’m the head coach of the Ravens, I’m naming Tyrod Taylor the starter during the first day of Media week. He’s much quicker, more elusive, better out of his breaks, has a lower center of gravity, is fleeter of foot, is able to follow blockers through the hole better, is faster, has better lateral agility and balance, doesn’t go down on first contact, is speedier, can go up for the jump ball in traffic, and is faster. Also, I’d have a package where Anquan Boldin played Quarterback–maybe only for like a quarter or two. Maybe even mix in a few plays of Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice throwing bubble screens back and forth to each other for awhile. I mean, what really qualifies Flacco to be the starting QB, anyway? The ability to throw the ball to his teammates with velocity and accuracy? Other than that, he’s just a big tall goof.

        The Patriots added Josh McDaniels during the bye week last year, I’m wondering if the Ravens can possibly bring in Joe Webb as some kind of QB coaching guru, to possibly teach Flacco how to win a game, if John “Hardheadbaugh” wants to keep trotting him out there to humiliate himself again.

        • A_T_G

          Wait a minute, I’m starting to think maybe you didn’t agree with Shah8 at all.

          • Ark87

            He’s real subtle about it.

        • Mac

          You forgot to mention that Tyrod worked out with Vick prior to his rookie year.

        • ceteris_paribus1776

          LOL! You must be some sort of QB guru!

        • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

          Oh, I thought it was AR/MM’s master plan pitched to Ravens ownership after they were fired!

  • SHough610

    Is there any indication on a timetable for when a DC should be announced?

    • Ark87

      I’m wondering if we have any interest in any assistants on the Superbowl teams. The Superbowl is sporting some very good defenses this year. I would hope we have our staff more or less finished up by say….February 10th.

      • I’ve seen the Ravens DB coach pop up every now and then about DC openings. Maybe him.

      • SHough610

        I would be absolutely ecstatic if we got Vic Fangio. I was touting him for HC.

    • SteveH

      You know its funny, if it weren’t for what happened the second half of last season I would have had Todd Bowles as an obvious step in from DB’s coach to DC. Shame how things played out there.

      • SHough610

        I wondered how different the season would have been if Andy had fired Jim Washburn instead of Juan. Granted, I wasn’t surprised/sorry to see Andy Reid go (the best quote I heard about him was in one of the last games, “Andy Reid will only be out of work as long as he wants to be but it’s time for a change with the Philadelphia Eagles”) but I can’t help but wonder if the team rallies behind Juan.

        • Ark87

          Hard to believe the Eagles beat the Ravens…and it’s not like the Ravens were bad at the time. It very much was 2 marquee teams playing physical football…I have no doubt that Andy could have atleast gone out with dignity if he stuck with Juan. You just don’t take a struggling team, and can the leader of the only respectable unit on the team. It’s no wonder that the defense collapsed like a bargain folding chair.

          • A_T_G

            My thoughts exactly, both of you. After all his years, enthusiasm and team-first attitude, Juan got a raw deal. And it hurt the team.

          • D3Keith

            Not that Juan had many staunch defenders at the time, but it quickly became clear he was the glue holding that thing together.

            I wanted him to get a defensive job in the NFL, but landing with the Ravens is probably even better.

  • Steag209

    I’d like to point out, even with 4 wins we still have a chance to have beaten the SB champs this year

  • D-von

    Hey Tommy, Geoff Mosher tweeted that Ed Donatell is a candidate for DC. Got any thoughts on him?

    • ACViking

      Just one for me . . . 4th & 26

      • D-von

        Wow! Rather have Jim Herrmann now

        • RC5000

          Herrman’s only been a LB coach in Pros, Donatell has a lot more Pro DC experience which is what Kelly probably needs. Donatell also on Harbaugh’s staff which might help.

    • Mac

      I don’t want a Ninja Turtle running our defense.

      • Ark87

        Frankly if we can only have one, it should be Leonardo, brains are fine, but we need LEADERSHIP (and swords).

        • A_T_G

          But Raphel has the attitude. Really, if we are switching to a 34, what we need is Rocksteady and Beebop competing for the nosetackle spot.

  • pkeagle

    John Harbaugh does his fellow former Eagles coach a solid – brings Castillo onto Ravens coaching staff for Superbowl.
    Classy move and I’ll be rooting for both of them in 2 weeks’ time.

    • A_T_G

      Dammit, now I am conflicted. I wanted to root for the 9ers.

      • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

        Why…because of the Akers angle?
        (And didn’t we all cringe when he hit the post on Sunday?)

    • Ark87

      I liked the 9ers team better, But the elder Harbaugh is waaay classier (former Eagle’s coach, obviously). Jim is a great coach, but the tantrums are a little wearisome. This news throws it over the top, Juan got hosed, the dude is well overdue to catch a break….go Ravens…just this once, god I can’t wait for this season to be officially over.

  • RC5000

    So what’s the deal with your reports from Mobile. Is there any timetable? nightly, real time, whenever? just wondering…

  • BobSmith77

    What are the chances that the SB comes down to Akers and that he shanks 1-2 kicks to cost the 49ers the title?

    • Mac


      • BobSmith77


    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      Give the guy a break. If you didn’t catch the report on Sunday, he had a DOUBLE hernia operation in the off-season and then re-tweaked it back in November.

      • BobSmith77

        Yeah and how does that change the fact that he is a huge liability right now for the 49ers?

  • Some reports today that Ed Donatell (Secondary Coach of the 49ers) is in the mix to became the Eagles DC.

    Would be a good hire??

    He will always be remmember for this:

    • D3Keith

      One of the many times I was like “That just happened! The Eagles are a team of destiny, they’re going to win the Super Bowl, I can feel it.”

      [gets rugged pulled out, slips on banana peel, Lucy moves the football]

  • Flyin