News vs Noise

Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 88 Comments »

Every offseason NFL fans get treated to a daily bombardment from the rumor mill.  Andy Reid will be the Chargers coach.  Andy Reid will be the Cardinals coach.  Andy Reid will be the Chiefs coach.  How do we know which rumor to trust?  How do we know what’s really going on?

The first thing I do is analyze the reality of the data.  During the Chip Kelly Watch some guy running a parody account (as CBS Sports) on Twitter put up a note that the Eagles had signed Kelly to a 5-year, $65M deal.  For half a second I bought it.  Then…wait…what?  $13M a year?  Way too much money.  I checked more closely and the Twitter account was even labeled a fake.

Often the data isn’t that easy to judge.  A lot of times we’re dealing with opinions or vague reports that can’t be confirmed.  The first thing to do in this case is judge the source.

Jay Glazer is the one guy who I have complete trust in.  Complete.  If he reports today that Bubby Brister is going to be the Eagles next coach and will sit atop a horse on the sideline to give himself a more authoritative look, I won’t question it for a second.  Jay is tight with lots of players and coaches.  He gets info directly from them.  There is no spin.

Guys like Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, and Jason LaCanfora are more difficult.  Their reports are largely agent driven.  Agents have agendas.  Sometimes you are getting legit scoops.  Sometimes the agent is trying to create a market for his client or trying to knock a competitor down.  NFL teams and executives do leak some info to these guys as well.  Sometimes there is an agenda with this.

I can’t tell you how to sort through the information to know what’s valid or not.  Each nugget has a lot of different angles.  Just like an intelligence analyst at the CIA, you must be able to gather the information and decipher what it is.  I like to think I’m pretty good at this, but I sure know that I’m still wrong plenty of the time.

I’ll offer a few quick suggestions.  Think about timing.  Is the nugget coming out now beneficial to someone?  Think about the specific words used by the insider.  Is there some word or phrase that could give away the source.  Then there’s always the good old smell test.  Does it simply feel like this is a planted item?

One of the big problems some people have is understanding information vs opinion.  NFL insiders are worth listening to for their scoops, but often their analysis is garbage.  Peter King watched N.D. Kalu up at Lehigh the summer after the Eagles signed him away from the Skins as a free agent.  Kalu had a great day.  King said something to the effect to pencil him in for 10 sacks.  Kalu had 18.5 in his 4 years as an Eagle.  He had 3 the season that King saw him up at Lehigh.

King made a dumb statement today in his MMQB column.  He started to talk about the Eagles being turned down by the 3 college coaches.  Peter questioned how good of a job the Eagles opening truly is.  That’s fine.  I can live with that.  He then covered the press release by the Eagles that explained their discussion with college coaches and followed that up by saying this:

“Fine. But would three premier college coaches say no to the Steelers? The Giants? The Packers? Don’t think so.”

Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers.  8-8, 9-7, 11-5.  Those are the QBs and records of those 3 teams.  Of course coaches would want to go there.  Those teams have franchise QBs in place and played better football than the Eagles.  Those are better situations right now.

The only reason the Eagles are looking for a coach is because things went wrong.  The team just went 4-12.  Very rarely does an NFL team in a coaching search work from a position of strength.  You don’t get to be a top franchise in the NFL because of what you did in 2004 or 2006 or 2008.  This is a fluid situation.  The Eagles are in a down cycle.  I think it can be changed quickly, but that depends on finding the right coach and QB.  Does King think he’s offering insight by saying that PIT, NYG, and GB are in a better situation right now?  Does he also want to mention that water is wet and the Sun is a tad on the warm side?

Another King tidbit of interest.  Back in 2007 he offered up a report at halftime of a Notre Dame game that sources around the league expected Kentucky QB Andre Woodson to be a Top 10 pick, possibly as high as the #3 overall pick.  Woodson was picked in the 6th round by the Giants.

Peter is a smart guy.  He’s got good connections.  But even he will say dumb things and report some things that are just miles away from being true.

The real key with the insiders is to focus on what they report as information given to them.  That’s the stuff worth paying attention to.  I do think Chris Mortensen has a good football mind.  He is the one guy that I’ll listen to for analysis.  The others are almost clueless when it comes to their opinions.

It can help to know a reporter’s background.  Schefter worked in Denver.  He’s tight with agent Peter Schaffer (who used to live in Denver…still might).  Schefter is sorta tight with Mike Shanahan.  John Clayton has worked in Pittsburgh and Seattle.  Pay attention if his stories involve those teams.  And so on.  I can’t cover every guy, but over time you can start to figure out who knows what and why.

What about the local guys?  Les Bowen, Reuben Frank, Jeff McLane, and Geoff Mosher have all broken stories.  They have a variety of sources.  Sometimes their stuff comes from agents.  Other items come from misc sources.  Some come from the Eagles themselves.  I trust all four for the most part.  McLane did get adversarial with Reid down the stretch and that had to be noted.  It sure seemed like he was getting “info” from Joe Banner for a bit.  When “league sources” ripped Reid, that was Joe sticking it to Big Red.  Now that Reid is gone, that stuff will die down a bit.  I’m sure Banner will dig at the Eagles when he can, but Reid was his primary target since the split-up.

Dave Spadaro cannot spill the beans, but is important to read him in the offseason.  He can offer hints on some situations.  I don’t have any recent examples, but every year there are useful nuggets about free agency, the draft, or just the roster in general.

Howard Eskin is a tricky subject for me.  Since I don’t live in Philly, I don’t hear everything he reports.  I know he’s been way off more than a few times, but I don’t think you can completely ignore him.  He gets a good item every now and then.

His report on Mike McCoy having a bad interview is one of the most controversial for some reason.  I believe him.  Why?  He didn’t say it in an over the top “I’ve got a huge scoop” fashion.  Also, the buzz on McCoy died down so quickly that it sure felt like news got around the league.  I know McCoy is talking to San Diego and possibly Arizona, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a bad interview with Lurie and company.  I wish I could verify this for you, but in reading between the lines, I’m guessing Eskin is right on that subject.

One huge point must be made.  This isn’t all a way to pick and choose which stories are favorable to the Eagles.  The goal is to try and find out what the truth is.  Which players are we going after?  What’s right with the team?  What’s wrong with the team?  What mistakes were made?

Reading the negative stuff and deciding what is legit and what’s not is just as tricky as everything else.  The classic example is Michael Silver’s hatchet job on Howie Roseman.  Silver called Howie a “shakedown artist” and ripped him up and down.  Well, Silver was being used by Jason Licht, who lost a power struggle to Roseman.  Howie was described as someone that other teams didn’t want to deal with.  I think Howie has made about 12,000 trades since then and gets along just fine with most teams.  Silver did a pro-Howie piece in March of 2011, just a year after the rip job.  I’m sure Howie talking to him and offering some good nuggets is what got the article written.

So the Eagles were victims of smear one year and then got the writer to do a puff piece the following year.  That’s the NFL and the spin cycle for you.

There is a lot more noise out there than news.  Hopefully you’ll have a better idea of how to figure out which is which.  If not, just trust me.  Just like Sex Panther cologne, 60 percent of the time, I’m right all of the time.


  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    Later today on PFT:
    Lawlor reports Eagles to hire Bubby Brister as HC

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

      The only reason we would look at Bubby is if Randall turned us down.

  • Ark87

    Graziano piled on a little bit in a spin off of King’s article….has no one outside of Philly considered that MAYBE we didn’t throw down an outrageous offer to hire these guys? Maybe their interviews weren’t great enough to silence our interest in other coaching candidates who can’t be hired yet, and sparsely interviewed?

    Why is it straight and exclusively to the Eagles are terrible and Philly is a cesspool of negative emotions, and nobody likes Howie, ergo the Eagles can’t get a good coach.

    • D3Keith

      The important thing is that Howie and Jeff and Don aren’t giving in to the pressure.

      The only thing worse than these articles would be if the Eagles’ decision-makers were influenced by them.

  • http://twitter.com/hotcakes_33 Glenn Jaffe

    I think you read my mind. After reading Graziano and the Philly.com crew the last few days I was beginning to feel like everyone is starting to panic and when they feel uncomfortable, they go negative. It’s the unknown that they don’t like so once they are done speculating they go negative.

    • D3Keith

      This is a good time to not read their articles.

      As one of two (formerly three) Eagles fans in the main area where I work, I often get asked for my take on the team’s moves, which are measured and often at odds with whatever they are reading on PFT, ESPN, etc. … I think sometimes they’re stunned by how I’m not playing into whatever the sensational angle du jour is.

      That said, I don’t always see the worst in the team. I didn’t see 4-12 coming this year, until about the Saints game.

      Re: The writers going negative, I think sometimes it’s more that they jump to the simplest conclusion, rather than really thinking it all the way through. Sometimes if it’s someone who only has a rudimentary knowledge of the team because they cover 31 other teams, it just happens that way. It’s annoying, but it’s reality.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    So in regards to Eskin, Tommy, I guess what you’re saying is:

    “Just like Sex Panther cologne, 60 percent of the time Eskin is right all of the time.”

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Howard would take that as a compliment.

  • http://twitter.com/BleedingGreen BleedingGreenNation

    I’ve always felt like Eskin was more plugged into Andy Reid than to anyone else in the Eagles organization. So I takes his Reid reports very seriously. Everything else with some skepticism.

    • TommyLawlor

      Good to know.

  • NoDecaf

    Good insight Tommy. For the most part, I believe in the process. You start compromising your plan of action, you will find yourself lost.

  • austinfan

    The LaCornfed article slamming Howie sounds like another hatchet job. I doubt Howie is the make or break for any coach, people around the league know he didn’t have control until 2012, that he had a good draft and Lurie kept him when he jettisoned everyone else. Doesn’t mean they trust him, but no one has turned down an interview, I’m sure they want to question Howie and his personnel philosophy as much as Howie wants to question them. But that would hold for any GM not named Ron Wolf or Ozzie Newhouse or a couple others.

    The “football guy” comments sound like sour grapes from Licht or Heckert. Haven’t read anything about Grigson being upset with Howie, of course Grigson left for a promotion.

    The bigger issue, which Lurie has made clear, is that no HC gets control over personnel, Lurie has seen Rhodes and AR screw that up, twice burned . . . That’s a problem with big ego college coaches and guys like Gruden, but not most candidates. Lurie is right, because if you choose wrong in the coach, but built up the talent level, the next coach can quickly turn it around, if you let the HC do what he wants, he can strip the franchise with bad decisions. Or Ray from 1995-1997 before Broadhus saved the 1998 draft (much like Howie in 2012).

    • D3FB

      The best part is at the bottom of the article LaCanfora mentions the Jets GM search and how they are just doing “due diligince” and bringing in both Cap side and scouting side candidates, although I’ve heard a few reports that nobody wants that job and looking at the job they would be inheriting that should be much more of a story than the Eagles coaching search.

  • Pingback: Random thoughts from around the NFC East: DeMarcus Ware in the 4-3, and some Shrine Game notes – Blogging the bEast

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy
  • BobSmith77

    No analyst or writer is going to be right anywhere close to 100%. If they are even nailing 60-70% of the rumors they report, they are an incredibly valuable source to pay attention to.

    It’s gotten popular on the Internet to call most columnists ‘idiots’ and selectively site instances where they reported something that turned out to be a complete dud or doesn’t happen. It happens especially in today’s world where unless a journalist is truly doing investigative reporting (outside of ProPublica/NY Times it’s pretty much nonexistent) to 2 independent and credible sources for a story.

    This was a nice article & recap Tommy. Keep it up.

    • Ark87

      The intense pressure to be the first to break a story has definitely led to reporting of every color to be based on less and less reliable sources. Most end up just spreading rumors (usually supporting the story that they want to report rather than the actual story).

    • Iskar36

      I fully agree with you on this. Having said that, I am curious about any report that Glazer has gotten wrong. I agree with Tommy on this that when he reports something, it can be considered fact. I’m not so sure he reports as many rumors or “breaks” as many stories (as in reporting breaking news on something that may or may not be true), but if he states something, I can’t remember a time it was incorrect (I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some, just that I don’t recall any).

    • Steven Dileo

      Sometimes you can tell when a reporter is full of shit. Guys like Skip Bayless and Sal Pal are media whores. They will say whatever they can to create controversy and then back up those claims by declaring “unnamed sources”.

      I don’t mind reports from guys like Jeff Mclane or Adam Schefter even though they’ve been wrong a few times.

  • xeynon

    Maybe the real problem is that Howie keeps wearing Sex Panther to the interviews.

    • TommyLawlor

      Brilliant.

  • Fred

    I for one can’t stand Peter King. Comes across as arrogant and fawns
    over the big-to-huge market teams (i.e Dallas, NY, Patriots). On the
    subject of the Eagles coach search- is anyone else enjoying this as much
    as I am? I mean, i’m 22 years old and I can’t remember the last time we
    changed coaches so i’m kinda making the most of it and taking it all
    in. I suppose it’s a bit like the draft, where you get to evaluate which
    players we could potentially sign except that it’s coaches instead and
    you don’t know when the next time this could happen again is.

    • eagles2zc

      The uncertainty is tiresome for me, but I understand the FO needs time for a decision as important as this

    • miked718

      He used to be pretty Eagle-friendly (seemed like he was close with Andy) but since about the middle of last season I stopped being able to read his column. He sounds like an old man on his porch telling stories.

  • Jason

    What has gone relatively unremarked in the LaCanfora column was this nugget:

    “Sure, things had come to an end with Reid, and, trust me, he
    wasn’t going to stay in Philadelphia with this crew no matter what
    the Eagles would have wanted.”

    What kind of credibility does this assertion have. Every reporter close to the Eagles was reporting that Andy wanted to stay. Plus Reid has been pretty fulsome in his praise for Roseman, unlike his studied silence when Banner’s name is raised.

    • TommyLawlor

      Reid and Banner were the guys who grew apart. I don’t know of any issues with Lurie or Howie.

  • Steven Dileo

    I BELIEVE EVERYTHING THAT SAL PAL SAYS.

    • TommyLawlor

      I just assumed we all did.

    • Steag209

      I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile. Kudos to you sir

    • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

      I love the all-caps! I can’t really put my finger on why, it just seems fitting.

    • BobSmith77

      Thread winner.

  • bdbd20

    **Jason La Canfora ‏@JasonLaCanfora

    Eagles interviewed former Cards HC Ken Whisenhunt today. Whisenhunt also had a recent strong interview with the Chargers**

    This is starting to get a tad bit ridiculous.

    • D3Keith

      I keep looking at the angle Tommy mentioned. With no must-have guy, what’s the harm in talking to everyone who would possibly be a candidate?

      The only reason we hate them being thorough is that we’re eager for an answer. When we look back at this move, if they’d rushed it and botched it, we’d be even more critical.

      It’s tough to be patient and let it play out but I’m glad for their thoroughness.

      • bdbd20

        I totally agree with you. It just seems that they are interviewing every available coach out there. It’s getting harder to take these interviews seriously.

        • D3Keith

          Well I don’t know what to make of all of them either. They can’t all be serious candidates, but even if they’re doing it just to rule certain candidates out, that’s fine by me.

          Unlike the people who think this means they’re scrambling and have no idea what they’re doing, I think it means they are being very deliberate and thorough. When it gets to a point where they’re the last team out there and the new coach can’t assemble the staff he wants, then it’s an issue. But this week I’m still on the “get it done right, don’t get it done fast” no-impulse-buying bandwagon.

          • bdbd20

            If they’re pretty much set on Bradley, I do wonder if some of these guys are being considered for OC.

      • 47_Ronin

        Re: Must have candidates

        On that angle when is there ever a must have HC candidate. The closes thing I can think of is Jim Harbaugh, and he wasn’t a sure thing coming from Stanford. To me it seems that the concept that occasionally there are slam dunk coaching candidates is akin to a white whale.

        • D3Keith

          Maybe. I thought Chip Kelly should have been given anything he wanted except autonomy/power over Roseman. After him, I don’t think there was a candidate, based on what I know, that is head and shoulders above the rest. Which makes the Lurie-Roseman-Smolenski thorough search for the leader who best fits the Eagles intelligent, IMO.

    • Iskar36

      I don’t want any part of Jon Gruden, but with all the coaches they have interviewed and the strategy of “leave no stone unturned,” it seems weird that they haven’t interviewed Jon Gruden (as far as we know).

  • D3Keith

    As someone who, by profession, has some idea how sourcing works in pro sports, I say this is a pretty on-point piece by Tommy.

    The only things I can really say here are that, by rule, reputable organizations are supposed to have multiple, independent sources before they go with a big scoop or an angle so that they are not easily influenced by one person with an agenda.

    Yet it’s pretty clear that writers are human and allow themselves to be influenced. I think even if you make yourself have two sources, that if you get the idea planted by one person, you can make yourself find a second story to fit your preferred narrative instead of letting the truth drive you.

    This is slightly less important in sports than it is in, say, government accountability reporting, but it’s still a guiding principle of good journalism that seems to be ignored a lot in today’s fast-paced, scoop-driven era.

    Also I wonder what percentage of readers actually care who gets scoops anymore since we all have the same article up within a half hour of it getting released/tweeted/etc. … Journalists care a lot. Not sure how much readers do.

    Also you’d be surprised who some of the “league sources” are. I know of a former GM who would shoot straight as long as he was credited as a “source close to the GM.” In my opinion that’s dishonest and you’re supposed to be transparent with the reader, but if it’s a sacrifice you make to have direct access to the guy making decisions as opposed to cobbling together hearsay from third-hand sources.

    Also Shefter is still good with Shanahan. For a national guy, he gets a lot of Redskins insight. Great point to look at where the national guys have worked prior to becoming national guys.

    In the end, all the writers are human and relaying stories they hear and original thoughts they have … the best guys have multiple sources and corroborate it before going live with it, but the contract they have with us and we with them is that we trust they are being honest as long as they don’t have to reveal where the info came from, and that’s tough because it’s necessary to keep the information flowing, but requires a lot of trust from the reader.

    • BobSmith77

      You really think that good journalism largely exists outside of select efforts? I think Twitter and modern social media has largely obliterated it with a few exceptions. Philly Inquirer is pretty much a rag at this point.

      We are back to a world (basically pre-WWI) where where are so many print sources struggling to get attention that you have to print post early and titillate to draw attention to yourself unless you are a rare source who actually can write and develop good content.

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

      A lot of it depends on the topic.

      I remember Peter King talking about Danny Wuerful would be his 1st pick in fantasy football followed by Randy Moss (who flamed out that year). He looses credibility for his analysis on those types of comments.

      On the other hand, GCobb was talking about how much Kearse was looking like crap, and spent his off-season partying it up while everyone else was talking him up. Since that, I put more stock into what he says as an independent analysis.

      The other thing you tend to notice is parroting of information especially around draft time. Which is why I started really paying attention to what Tommy said because his analysis often conflicted with conventional wisdom.

      If I am hoping the Eagles sign a specific coach, or player. I will believe even a bleacher report saying that it is as good as done. But for Bubby signing on, I would have to read the contract myself.

      • D3Keith

        Definitely a lot of parroting and pack-mentality writing. Especially now that “biting” — as they would call it in hip-hop — is okay so long as you throw a link to the original source in your blog post.

        In a way, as easy as it is to play someone for a fool these days, it’s a wonder there are not more high-profile missteps.

        I’m like you, I enjoy when someone swims against the group-think grain, so long as it’s well thought-out and not just saying something different just to do it.

    • Cvd52

      i would doubt they actually wait to have multiple sources. now a days i would think you just have to run with it and hope for the best. as long as the one source u have is decent. everyone wants to be the first with a story

      • eagles2zc

        As exemplified by Ian Rapoport’s breaking of Chip to sign with the Browns story. Some media members are way too trigger happy with ‘news’ sometimes

      • D3Keith

        It’s true, not many wait to get it corroborated anymore, but that’s a dangerous game to play. If there are no consequences with your employer or with credibility being lost (say, if you’re a rumors site that has very little to begin with), then you can do it more freely.

        For people/organizations who have carefully built up their reputations, they sometimes have to allow themselves to get scooped because they only have it from one shaky source. In those cases, it can be worth it to protect credibility.

        Tommy’s example of Glazer is a great one. I don’t know exactly how he works, but he’s universally respected and rarely wrong, so he must have a very careful or dogged way of vetting and double-checking before he reports something. Which makes him stand out in this day and age.

    • TommyLawlor

      Great stuff Keith.

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

    A good example of Spadaro was when he knew Cory Simon was going to be drafted. He later admitted he knew, and he wasn’t discrete in that knowledge.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnM1977 John Michael

    This year in particular, it seems harder to to decifer what’s real and accurate vs what’s just being tossed out there to see if it sticks.
    I do think based on the reports that have come out in the last 24 hrs, that someone(s) has an axe to grind againt Howie and by assocation the Eagles to push the national media writers to push these opinions/stories. What purpose, aside from riling up the fan base, is beyond me at the moment.
    And Nice job with the Anchorman clip…can never go wrong with those..

  • Mac

    Monday Obfuscations: Scrutiny won’t settle on shaky reporting.

  • Steven Dileo

    Cleveland is reportedly switching to the 3-4. If Dick Jauron becomes available for DC, would you want the Eagles to go after him?

    • TommyLawlor

      I’d rather pass. Competent coach, but nothing special.

  • SleepingDuck

    Where would Caplan fall?He usually offers a few good nuggets on Twitter and on Eagles Live. I remember that he said the Eagles would have traded back if Cox was off the board and targeted the LB/DE from Boise State. He was about to give another target before Dave cut him off.

    • GermanEagle

      I like Caplan.

      • SleepingDuck

        So do I. He actually answers fan questions and has an awesome sense of humor. He has answered quite a few of my questions actually.

        • P_P_K

          I like him, too. It’s cool to know he’s a good guy.

    • TommyLawlor

      Adam is a very interesting guy. I spent some time with him at the Senior Bowl last year. He knows everybody. Agents feed him lots of info. Also has coaching buddies. Drew Rosenhaus made sure to come say hello to him and let Adam know that he follows him on Twitter.

      Adam is definitely trustworthy. I won’t put him in the Glazer category, but he’s very reliable. And a genuinely nice guy.

      • Kevin_aka_RC

        Lawlor/Caplan draft specials on philadelphiaeagles.com in April? Ratings.

        • Anders

          Caplan+Tommy on draft day would be awsome

          • D3Keith

            Philadelphiaeagles.com needs to make this happen. Stat.

          • A_T_G

            Stat: 100% of respondent strong support this suggestion. How’s that?

  • Iskar36

    So this is sort off topic, but I have seen it brought up a ton of times. Lurie stated that the head coach will answer directly to him, as will the the GM. This seems to have been translated to the Eagles changing their balance of power so that the coach doesn’t have final say. Do you think that is actually true? Have the Eagles restructured the balance of power in the organization?

    To me, it seems that Lurie’s comment may have been misinterpreted/over-analyzed. When AR had “final say” I always assumed that meant that he would discuss moves with the GM, the scouts, and the coaches. They may have had differences of opinions but ultimately, they would find a way to come to a consensus. If that wasn’t possible, AR would have final say, but still had to answer to Lurie. Lurie simply took the position of trusting AR with the decision, but wanting to be involved and aware of what was going on in the organization. To me, his statement seems to suggest he wants to continue that structure. Sure, the GM will talk to Lurie as well, but Lurie expects Howie to work with the coach, and as long as the coach has Lurie’s trust (something I assume is a prerequisite for the job, both before being hired and until he is fired), it is not going to be a situation where Howie has power over the coach that is hired.

    Am I wrong in that thinking? Has Lurie changed the power balance?

    • A Roy

      I think Lurie’s saying that before, if AR and HR could not negotiate to a concensus, AR won…where now, if there’s no concensus, Lurie’s the decision maker.

      • Iskar36

        I guess what I am saying is that I am not sure that is truly different than what the setup was before, at least from a functional standpoint. I think if AR and HR disagreed, AR got final say, but that’s because Lurie would differ to him on those decisions. I think Lurie is a smart owner in the sense that he understands that he has hired the coach and the GM specifically because they are more talented at making these types of decisions than he himself is, thus it seems it would make most sense for him to defer to one of those two guys. To me, the setup of going directly to Lurie is in place because he doesn’t want either the GM or the coach to simply overrule the other. He wants them to attempt to come to a consensus, thus neither is given a title placing them above the other. Still, if it came down to one vs. the other, I think Lurie would defer to one of them to make the decision, and I would think that would go to the coach. Of course, maybe AR earned that role because he was so successful and because he earned that trust from Lurie, so I could be completely wrong.

        • A Roy

          What you say makes sense. At this point, Lurie will not have enough trust in either of them to defer without intervening. AR had built up a lot of goodwill along the way and Lurie probably deferred to him regularly. Wonder if that’s how Banner was pushed aside/out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.a.thomas.50 James Aaron Thomas

    As a Kentucky fan, you made me sad with that Andre Woodson comment haha. He was at worst a 3rd round selection until senior bowl practices where Mike Martz changed up his mechanics. I really wanted to see him do well because he hailed from the same county as I.

    • TommyLawlor

      Andre got drafted about where he was supposed to go. Great numbers in college, but not a great pro prospect.

      He’s now coaching at Morehead St. Maybe he’ll make it to the NFL as a coach.

  • The_Reddgie

    One thing we should remember is that getting scoops CORRECT isn’t the ultimate goal with these reporters, it’s getting page views and twitter RTs and being potentially the 1st to break a “supposed” story, even if the 9 “breaking scoops” prior were all wrong. Sensationalism attracts the masses and achieves their desired end result. Very simple.

    • D3Keith

      Yes and no. Nobody I know gets paid per page view, but you can certainly build your personal brand and your company’s brand by attracting eyeballs.

      The catch is, why are you attracting them? If your aim is to be a rumor site, or a slide-show site, or tabloidy or a talk-show host/paid troll, that can be profitable, but also extremely limiting as far as a career goes. Meanwhile, there will always be a market for beat reporting and solid, fact-based, put-in-the-work analysis.

      Personally I think in this day and age the competition is doing more harm than good, and media sources worry too much about being first, when the bottom line is followers still flock to who’s best (most insightful/truthful/accurate).

      Readers have more choices than ever, so you’d think competition would raise everyone’s game, but it hasn’t always worked that way, as you so deftly noted.

  • shah8

    I thought this post was wierd, but woosh! There is all of a sudden a real negative vibe about the Eagles on the web.

    One quick idea I think is worth passing on, is that coaches might simply be wary of GMs with too much power in general, rather than Roseman in particular. Just from following the Vikings, it is very evident that Spielman is, in effect, dictating who plays on the field, and Frazier has to suck it up, and take his star WR’s fury on live TV when the negative consequences (like a QB that really just needed to sit, for Christ’s sake–in the Seattle game) are apparent. No coach worthy of his whiteboard would ever willingly tolerate this situation. More than that, the Vikings are probably dead in the water as far as getting attractive free agents, too. That whole farcical situation with Tannenbaum trading for Tim Tebow, and having to trade a competent backup in Drew Stanton away (While Rex can’t do bleep about his QB situation when his starter needs to sit). This last year was a disaster wrt to all powerful GMs, come to think of it.

    • TommyLawlor

      The whole GM vs coach thing is really team to team. Each situation is so different. And sometimes it is owners forcing the QB on the coach and the GM. If he signs your check, you do what he says.

      • shah8

        but Tommy, what good coach would sign up for that situation? Is that genuinely and truly the norm for quite what happened this year?

  • ACViking

    Re: Timing of Coaching Hires for This Year’s Final 4 (reposted)

    Ravens: Hired John Harbaugh on 01/18/08

    Patriots: Hired Bill Belichick on 01/27/00**
    ** The Patriots actually hired Belichick 30 days earlier, but the Jets contended he was under contract as its head coach. After a full 30 days of negotiating with the Jets, and monitoring Belichick’s own lawsuit, the Pats finally secured the right to hire Belichick as head coach for a 2001 1st-Rd pick plus several lower-round picks.

    Falcons: Hired Mike Smith on 01/23/08

    49ers: Hired Jim Harbaugh on 01/07/11
    ________________

    All in all, the front office doesn’t seem to be lagging based on the foregoing sample set . . . and the fact that several other teams also are still searching for their HC.

    • TommyLawlor

      But (insert crazy Eagle fan rage here) !!!

    • D3Keith

      Actual facts > _______________

  • xeynon

    Eagles interviewing Whisenhunt, according to CSN. Not sure how to feel about that. On the one hand, he got his former team to the Super Bowl, no small feat when you’re talking about an organization run by the Bidwills. On the other, he never had any success without Kurt Warner and showed absolutely no indication that he’s capable of either building an offensive line or developing a quarterback, not good things for an offensive-minded coach. What do you think of him, Tommy?

    • shah8

      Stinks of Jon Gruden, that’s what I’ll say!

  • Cvd52

    I knew King just runs his mouth the first time i heard him talk about fantasy fball. im no genius but i would love to play in his league. he has no clue what he is talking about but he says it with such conviction that it seems like he knows what he is talking about
    I also remeber him being in LOVE with Danny Watkins

  • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

    This whole issue of the media and reporting is so interesting because we, and thus the concerns surrounding it, are constantly changing, making it difficult to really nail down the point of contagion for shifts we see in cultural constructions like journalism and news. I personally would point to inventions like Twitter which make it so that people have come to expect up to the second updates, leading to otherwise (hopefully) credible and reliable journalists falling into the habit of reporting as fast and furiously as possible without giving much, if any, concern to credible sources or, most hilariously of all, whether they’re even right or wrong. It seems like being right has been trumped by being first. Which could start a whole other conversation about the collective state of mind here in our beautiful country, but I digress.

    LaCanfora’s article reeks of personal dislike. Howie may very well turn out to be a terrible GM. But to rip the Eagles so fully for their “meandering” coaching search, but not the Bears or even the Jets for their “Couldn’t give it away for a million dollars” GM search is ludicrous. It’s telling only a portion of the story, and as a journalist that’s darn near irresponsible (Ok I know it’s just football, but short sightedness is frustrating).

    Especially considering, and I think this is really important, Howie is new to his position and/or power. The NFL is always evolving, but the guys at the top don’t change. Nepotism and the need for a certain amount of comfort with and knowledge of a guy, especially one you’re going to work with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, have made the league a place where who you know trumps what you know a lot of the time (I know this is true everywhere, but not to the extent that it is in the NFL). So a lack of familiarity with Howie is immediately seen as a negative. Basically, you’re nothing til you’re something. And it sure seems from the outside looking in that this is driven by nothing more than Howie being the new kid on the block trying to establish himself, and probably, accidentally or otherwise, stepping on a few toes along the way.

    As for Peter King, I think he’s a smart guy and a talented journalist, but there’s no denying that everything he says and talks about is steeped in a hefty NY/New England bias.

  • ACViking

    Re: Whisenhunt

    He took over as Pittsburgh’s OC the same season Big Ben arrived (2004) — succeeding Mike Mularkey, who’d been hired as the Bills HC.

    In Ben’s rookie year, Whisenhunt scaled back the Steelers’ offense and the team went 15-1 — losing in the AFC title game to the Patriots. (My understanding is that Whisenhunt simplified Big Ben’s reads by giving him just half the field to focus on. Belichick apparently figured this out and that was that.)

    In 2005, his second year as OC, Whisenhunt fed more of the offense to Big Ben — and the Steelers went 11-5 with a SB win.

    That same year, Big Ben missed 4 starts. The Steelers went 2-2 with Charlie Batch and Tommy Maddox as the subs.

    So in that light, it could be argued that KW did a nice job managing a young QB.

    That said . . . in 2004, the Steelers had the No. 1 defense in points and yards. In 2005, the Steelers’ defense came in at No. 3 in pts and 4th in yards.

    In 2006, the Steelers slumped to 8-8. Big Ben slumped to 17 TDs and 23 INTs (after going 17-11 and 17-9).

    • TommyLawlor

      Good stuff. I’ll write something up on Whiz. I honestly don’t know if I like him or not.

    • D3Keith

      I think we could do worse than Whisenhunt or Lovie Smith as far as retreads go.

      Also would like either of those guys on staff under a different leader.

  • austinfan

    Stole this off the Eagles Blog on the EMB:

    Dan Klausner ‏@dklausner

    @mike_e_kaye @BrandonLeeSBN MT @InsideIggles: Reports from SiriusXM suggest #Eagles, Gus Bradley have deal in place to be HC

    Not sure how credible it is, but bears watching.

    • tad

      What does Eskin have to say?!

      • austinfan

        It didn’t come from me, I had them hiring Buddy Brister.

    • Iskar36

      Jeff McLane
      ‏@Jeff_McLane

      Spoke to Sirius XM spokesman, who said there was never
      a report from them that there was an offer on the table from #Eagles to Gus Bradley.

  • Arby1

    Get on the damn bus, Gus, already. (2nd interview).

  • http://www.facebook.com/13cope Sebastian Bilche

    Hat tip for the Anchorman reference! Great article