Offense vs Defense

Posted: January 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 122 Comments »

The search for a coach goes on.  I think the top 3 guys left are Mike McCoy, Jay Gruden, and Gus Bradley.  My preference is to go for an offensive guy, but that’s more of a guideline than an absolute rule.  Why O over D?

The NFL is an offensive league.  You are only going to win the Super Bowl if you have a good QB.  Think about recent guys: Eli, Rodgers, Brees, Roethlisberger, Eli, Peyton, Roethlisberger, Brady, and Brady.  You have to go all the way back to 2002 to find a less than star QB.  That was Brad Johnson.  And he was good that year.  He went 10-3 as the starter.  QB rating was 92.9.  He had 22 TDs and just 6 INTs.  Johnson was paired with one of the great defenses in NFL history and led the Bucs to their only title.

Without a top flight QB, you are fighting a nearly impossible battle.  You might win the division.  You might win a playoff game.  Heck, you might even get to the Super Bowl.  History says you won’t win it.

Stud QBs don’t just happen.  They must be coached and developed.  You need an offensive guru who knows how to do that.  In theory this guy could be your offensive coordinator and not the head coach, but the problem is that good OCs don’t stick around long.  They get HC jobs.

Think about some of the defensive coaches we’ve seen over the years.  Lovie Smith left the Bears with a winning record.  Marty Schottenheimer won just about everywhere.  Buddy Ryan was fired in Philly as a winner.  Tony Dungy got canned by the Bucs after putting together a really good team.  Mike Smith is the best coach in Falcons history.  Jeff Fisher did some great things with the Oilers/Titans.

What do they all have in common?  Postseason underachievers.  Fisher and Lovie got to the big game, but lost.  The other coaches weren’t even that lucky.  Buddy and Mike Smith have never won a playoff game.  Dungy did win a SB, but only after he was handed a good offense and Hall of Fame QB.  Dungy had nothing to do with developing that offense.

You must be able to score points and move the ball to in a Super Bowl.  You must have a good QB.  I’m not denying the importance of defense, but as you can see above…having an elite all time defensive guru as your HC doesn’t guarantee a ring…or even a playoff win.

You can point to Mike Tomlin winning the 2008 SB, but that doesn’t work.  He took over a team that had already been built and were already winning.  Plus, the real key in Pittsburgh sure appears to be Dick LeBeau.  He became the DC there in 2004 and the defense has been #1 in 5 of the 9 years.  That is amazing.  And even Tomlin/LeBeau are paired with Roethlisberger, who is a stud QB.  Give them Kyle Orton and I don’t think you are looking at 3 SBs in that same period.

I’m open to hiring a defensive guy if he is the best candidate, but the coach must have a real strong sense of the importance of offense and QB play.  Andy Reid clearly overdid it with the passing game, but I also don’t want a guy talking about running the ball, playing good defense, and avoiding turnovers.  That’ll get you division titles, but it won’t win a SB.  You must be able to attack on offense.  Throwing 45 passes is one extreme and playing not to lose is the other.  I want a coach who understands the importance of balance and aggression.  There is a time for each.

Whether it is Nick Foles or not, the Eagles need a QB of the future.  They need a player to build around.  The new coach needs to be able to evaluate Foles and decide the proper course of action.  That could be drafting a QB at #4.  It could be taking one in the second round.  It could mean adding a veteran and then looking to the 2014 draft.  Or it could mean letting Foles play in 2013 and then re-evaluating him next January.

The Eagles need help in developing Foles or finding a franchise QB.  They also need the defense to get fixed.  I prefer hiring the offensive HC and then a strong DC to run that side of things, ala Reid/JJ.  If the Eagles meet with Gus Bradley and he blows them away, that’s fine…as long as he is able to find the right OC.  And that’s not an easy task.

* * * * *

Where does the Eagles coaching search go from here?  How does it change?

I addressed those topics for SB Nation Philly.

* * * * *

A final thought on Kelly.  A few of you have pointed this out and I absolutely agree…if the man had any reservations about coming to the NFL, he did us a huge favor by staying put.  The disaster would have been for him to come for a year and then leave.

As nuts as this will sound…I enjoyed the ChipChase this weekend.  The Eagles last coaching search was 1995.  There was no Internet for me.  I didn’t live in Philly so my only info came through USA Today, ESPN, or ESPN Radio.

It was fun on Saturday to live and die with every report and rumor that came out.  Eagles fans were hilarious as we joked about Kelly.  Someone wondered if the long meal was simply the Eagles attempt to fatten Chip up so he could fit in Andy’s old clothes.  One guy suggested that the Eagles scared Kelly away from the Browns by showing him clips of Jaiquawn and Watkins and then telling Chip those were Banner draft picks.

* * * * *

Several of you guys donated money over the weekend to help cover my expenses for going down to the Senior Bowl.  That is greatly appreciated.  It’s an awesome trip, but isn’t cheap.  I promise to do a great job of stalking Eagles scouts and hopefully coaches to figure out who we’re showing interest in.  I’ll also try to keep Jimmy Bama out of jail, but no promises on that.

* * * * *

Penn State’s Eric Shrive does great charity work.  A group called Uplifting Athletes has him in the running for an award.  You can vote for him by going here.  We’ve had so many horrific PSU stories that it feels good to support a young man that is doing what he can to make the world a better place.

* * * * *

Late Add…David Syvertsen has his list of prospects to watch in tonight’s National Title game.  CB Dee Milliner could be of special interest.  He’ll be a high pick.

122 Comments on “Offense vs Defense”

  1. 1 Ark87 said at 11:45 AM on January 7th, 2013:

    Getting that sick feeling over this coach search, Tommy. That fear of being in coach limbo for the next 10 years is growing.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:49 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Don’t panic. Only one team has hired their new coach. Early in the process.

  3. 3 DanJ3645 said at 1:01 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Isn’t it 2?
    KC & the Bills?

  4. 4 T_S_O_P said at 1:04 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    It is 2, but we could of hired one of them as we’d fired the other

  5. 5 austinfan said at 1:22 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    KC did us a favor, by moving quickly for AR, they removed one of the chairs, thus if we want someone, they’ll be more willing to pick us because there are fewer options.

  6. 6 Brett Smith said at 2:27 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    One thing that worries me is assistant coaches. I don’t want our new HC settling on Coordinators because they are already headed to coaches hired earlier in the process

  7. 7 austinfan said at 11:57 AM on January 7th, 2013:

    I’m not sure we’re just looking at small sample bias. For one thing, Brady skews everything, but Belichick was a DC, and Brady’s first 2 rings he wasn’t a top QB, he was a caretaker throwing short passes behind a great defense. Conversely, during his peak years he was thwarted twice by a red hot Giant defense. On the other hand, Delhomme came close to a ring with a mediocre defense.

    In fact, even elite QBs rarely win without at least a top 10, and usually a top 3, defense. Build a defense and you can go through a couple OCs, or bring in Gruden. If it was merely a matter of the right QB, why does Peyton only have one ring but Eli has two?

    The odds of getting a great QB are slim, if you depend on that you might as well deep six the team and hope to get Bridgewater in a couple years. Otherwise, you need to figure out how to build a team that can win with a good QB, and find a good QB who can raise, not lower, his game in the playoffs.

    Buddy – was never HC material
    Fisher – got awfully close
    Lovie – he’s an example of a DC who never understood offense, especially OL
    Mike Smith – unless they step up, reminds me of Schotty, the problem isn’t the offense, but the philosophy, conservative, designed to win in the regular season but not to step up in big games.
    Dungy – developed the defense that allowed that offense to win without a lot of talent, Freeney, Sanders when healthy, Mathis was a 5th rd pick, Raheem Brock, . . .

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 12:24 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    You really can’t use Brady/Belichick. Brady is a freak QB and Bill is a freak coach. Bill started off as an offensive assistant with the Lions, then moved to defense. He is the freak of freaks.

    I definitely agree we need a QB and defense.

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 12:35 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    This debate has gone on for a long long time. It’s really simple. Score more points than you give up. Whatever that takes. If your defense is elite enough to consistently hold the opponent below 17 points.You better make sure your offense can reliably score more than 17 points . If your offense reliably puts up over 30 points a game, your D has to be up the the task of holding opponents below that. Typically, you need to be elite on one side of the ball and at least middle of the road on the other side to have a shot at the title.

    I think the current bias for Offense comes from the rules. Simply, explosive and effective offenses are much easier to come by than an elite defense these days. So pursuing a strong offense seems to be the path of least resistance.

  10. 10 austinfan said at 12:42 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I think that may be more true in the regular season, when it’s hard to play intense defense for 16 games.

    In the playoffs, we see defenses jell and dominate, Indy the one year Peyton gets a ring, Giants 2, NE continued it’s regular season dominance as did TB and Pittsburgh. Ideally you want a great defense from game 1, but if you want a SB, at least have a defense that can rise up for 3-4 games.

    Even the top QBs have post-season ratings in the 70s and low 80s, with Warner as the notable exception. So I think it’s less about having a great QB than one that plays well under pressure – Eli is pretty mediocre if you look at his regular season career.

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 12:50 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    You do need the defense that can come together for the playoffs. But how does that happen? Where does that come from? That’s a question I’m still trying to figure out.

    Colts in 2006 got Bob Sanders healthy if I’m not mistaken and that made a huge difference.

  12. 12 austinfan said at 1:03 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    That of course is the $64,000 question!

    However, I think one answer is execution over scheme. JJ was brilliant at destroying inexperienced QBs, but good QBs would often pick his defenses apart – he schemed well but didn’t fix the holes that could be exploited. On the other hand LeBeau schemes, but he’s been doing the same thing so long I think the Steeler players could run every package in their sleep.

    The problem with scheming may simply be you’re too successful, so when you hit the playoffs you’re lulled into complacency until you get exposed. Kiffin had a simple scheme in Tampa Bay but got the right players and the execution was close to perfect. Had Dungy put together a better offense they could have multiple rings.

    And health matters, both Giant runs I think were triggered by getting Tuck back and playing at a high level, Sanders was the key to the Indy defense, Polamalu has been the key to the Steeler defense in recent years. But that also raises the question whether you want your defense to depend so much on one player.

    I’ve also noticed that in the playoffs, refs are more inclined to “let them play” which slows down those high powered offenses.

  13. 13 shah8 said at 7:35 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Or inept ones. Looking back at the MinnGB game, that funky sack that Clay Matthews had was actually an illegal leg whip. There also an uncalled horsecollar used to tackle one of AD’s runs. Then the crazy levels of OL holding on GB’s part. That last playoff game was fascinating, actually. I found a Chris Brown article that discussed the few QBs that have started in the playoffs with five or less starts to their names, and that illustrated the challenge, a little, when reading how futile hoping for a Vikings win was. So when you see Big Ben or Phillip Rivers hobbling around–or in the disastrous case of RG3, there is a reason for that.

  14. 14 D3Keith said at 2:05 AM on January 8th, 2013:

    I’m with Ark87. There’s no one way to do it, and what the Eagles need, IMO, is a great leader and an organized coach. I do not care one iota if his background is defense or offense or special teams, so long as it is successful.

    The current Eagles need work in all three phases anyway. If they can get one phase dominant and two above-average or adequate, they can give themselves a shot.

  15. 15 D-von said at 11:59 AM on January 7th, 2013:

    Yeah. Thats why I wanted an OC to be our HC. But Chip and Bill stayed at the college level, Jay Gruden is a big “Hell No” for me, and Mike McCoy seems like a consensus guy. Then I looked up Mike Nolan after Tommy talked about him. I liked how his defenses played. They played with a lot of fight and hustle. Then researching his background I saw that he worked with Norv Turner. After 3 stints as HC I doubt people will look at Turner’s way again. This could be the reverse of Andy Reid and Jim Johnson. Have Nolan rebuild our defense and let Turner have fiefdom with the offense

  16. 16 Tom33 said at 12:05 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Tommy – what’s the fascination with Jay Gruden all about? His track record the last couple of years with the Bengals is “ehhh”. Middle of the road in PPG and below average in YPG. That team is winning more because of their Def Coord (top 10 in points and yards the last 2 years) and I can’t figure out why he doesn’t get a shot other than I think that once you get overlooked for so long you fall out of consideration altogether.

    I think your argument that Defensive coaches can’t win could easily apply to offensive guys that could never get over the hump. In addition to 14 years close to home, you could look at a guy like Gary Kubiak in Houston or Norv Turner in any of his stops. I think it comes down to hiring a good coach, regardless of background, and teaming that with some talent (HOF QB being priority #1).

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 12:22 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Cincy’s offense hasnt been great. Look at the rookies/2nd yr guys:

    QB Andy Dalton
    WR AJ Green
    WR Mohammed Sanu
    RG Kevin Zeitler
    WR Andrew Hawkins (from CFL)
    LG Clint Boling
    WR Marvin Jones
    TE Orson Charles

    WR Armon Binns

    That’s a lot of youth. When you can take that many guys (and 3rd year TE Jermaine Gresham) and have the success they did, I think that says a lot about player development. Gruden and the asst coaches did a terrific job.

    There are going to be success and failures on O and D. There is no perfect formula. I think you’ll notice that I didn’t say anything definitive. I’m still open to a defensive HC. Just speaking of some trends that I noticed.

  18. 18 bdbd20 said at 12:30 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I’d really like to see Jay at Novacare. He seems like a workaholic. His leadership skills may be the deciding factor. McCoy may be better at the X’s and O’s, but Gruden seems made for the position.

  19. 19 austinfan said at 12:44 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Most of these guys are high draft picks, and Gresham has never developed, he’s got a very solid OL with two dependable OTs. I think AR did more with less his first few years in Philly.

  20. 20 shah8 said at 1:00 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I think what this particular line of though shows really shows is that other success and failures aside, Marvin Lewis is a good evaluator of talent, and gets the most out of what he brings in. Plus he has pulled together a good coaching staff. Honestly? For a partial rebuild, I think I’d rather have Marvin Lewis than either of his coordinators.

  21. 21 T_S_O_P said at 1:33 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    You can afford to be middle of the road PPG if your defence is ranked high in scoring defence, which Zimmer’s is. Echoes of the Eagles early in Reid’s career.

  22. 22 Skeptic_Eagle said at 5:04 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    It’s funny, because some of the stuff Zimmer does, schematically, reminds me a little of Jim Johnson. Johnson never got the call to be a Head Coach, but was clearly a fantastic schemer, and defensive coordinator. At 56 years old, is that the case with Zimmer, as well?

    I’m not a fan of Jay Gruden. He’s got the benefit of a guy that you can just throw it up to, and will come down with the ball. Dalton has stalled in his development somewhere between “below-average” and “mediocre”. Gruden doesn’t manufacture offense, either. It’s pretty much AJ Green or bust. The Bengals got nothing from their run game, and abandoned it pretty early. They were miserable on third downs. Hate to be a prisoner of the moment, but he’s laid eggs in the playoffs for two years straight, coordinating the offense to 1 TD in his first 8 quarters of the playoffs. I can’t speak to his ability to be a C.E.O., but as far as his C.V. of on-field achievement, he leaves much to be desired.

  23. 23 Mark Sitko said at 12:19 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    How do we donate Tommy?

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 12:51 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    There is a PayPal button over on the right hand side of the site. Says “Donate to Iggles Blitz”.

  25. 25 Ty-Philly said at 12:23 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I’ll take McCoy, Bradley or a dark-horse yet to be interviewed. Arians is too old. I don’t want any part of Gruden; I think he’s overrated due to playing with a tough D in a low scoring division where Offenses aren’t overly potent. I don’t think he deserves a ton of credit for Dalton either, who is basically Kolb with a better OL.

  26. 26 lonfident said at 12:33 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Agree about Gruden.

  27. 27 McMVP said at 12:45 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I would go defensive coach for the same reason…’because’ its an offensive powered league. I want someone who can fight that trend…or at least win more battles than he loses on an unbalanced field (current NFL).

    I hear your point, Tommy, on the importance of offense and mainly QB. My take on that is either you have a QB that can win it or you don’t. If you don’t have one, you’re out of luck. But if you do have one, then he will make many an OC look good. If that’s the situation, I’d like to have a defensive HC to balance the team.


  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 12:53 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Fair argument.

  29. 29 shah8 said at 12:54 PM on January 7th, 2013:


  30. 30 shah8 said at 12:56 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Actually, now that I think about it–first round OL busts are profoundly more damaging than busts at other positions. Chicago’s inability to draft OL is a big part of what doomed Smith, not to mention Cutler’s gunslinging ways…

  31. 31 A_T_G said at 5:42 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Getting good Olinemen is incredibly important. Other positions you can have sub packages to play to a guy’s strengths and minimize their weaknesses, but OL needs to be well rounded.

  32. 32 xeynon said at 2:15 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    The thing is, when you are trying to develop a young quarterback to see if he can be a stud, coaching matters. Look at David Carr. All the talent in the world, flopped as an NFL starter, at least partially because of lack of good coaching. Or Alex Smith. Everyone thought he was a bust his first several years in the league because he was playing for coaches (Nolan and Singletary) who didn’t know anything about offense. Pair him with Jim Harbaugh and all of a sudden he’s an above average starter, if not a star.

    Whether it’s Foles, Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, or somebody else, the Eagles’ next QB is likely to be a young, still developing player – if we hire a defensive-minded coach, we’d damn well better get the quarterback coach/OC hires right.

  33. 33 T_S_O_P said at 12:47 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    If we don’t point to Tomlin it is because of of LeBeau? How is that an argument of an offensive minded HC. It would seem that the Steelers are just the exception.

  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 12:53 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Because you need a defensive HC and one of the all time great DCs, plus a stud QB. Trying to copy that set-up is near impossible.

  35. 35 T_S_O_P said at 12:58 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    They have always been defensive with a ground and pound running game for an offense. Even their great QB seems to be defensive in that he wears down DEs by one helluva a tuff son of a gun. I just dton’t see them fitting in with this analogy. Moreover, if they were searching for a coach, I doubt they’d move to far from their formula of looking for a defensive guy.

  36. 36 xeynon said at 2:12 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    The Steelers haven’t been a ground and pound offense for several years. This year they finished 26th in rushing offense. Even in 2010, their last Super Bowl year, they were only middle of the road – 11th in rushing yards, 18th in yards/carry. Their offensive line has been weak for several years and of late they’ve lived and died with the passing game. They get away with it because Roethlisberger is a unique talent. I think Tommy’s right, what they’ve done is not an easily repeated blueprint.

  37. 37 T_S_O_P said at 3:02 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I agree (‘Steeler just the exception’) and their blueprint is unique, who else has had only 3 headcoaches (all defensive) in the last 44 years?

  38. 38 DanJ3645 said at 1:03 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    If we did go for Gus who are the potential OC’s he could get?
    Is there a JJ/Dick LaBeau type who could lead the offense for 5 years?
    And I don’t want Mike Martz!!

  39. 39 DanJ3645 said at 1:11 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Or another OC with MM as his initials!

    Is Childriss a possible? Does he still have legitimate HC ambitions?
    Is he good enough?

  40. 40 Tom33 said at 1:16 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I can’t believe I’m writing this, but MM does have a superior track record as OC to a lot of the other guys being mentioned, and maybe a defensive-minded coach could influence the run/pass ratio a bit.

  41. 41 T_S_O_P said at 1:29 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Which MM; or both?

  42. 42 Tom33 said at 1:31 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I was referring to Marty – not really interested in the soap opera that is Mike Martz, although his track record as on OC isn’t bad either.

  43. 43 Anders said at 6:45 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I wouldnt mind Childress or Turner. Hell I even take Marty if we get a defensive minded coach (its not going to happen, but Marty’s track record is very very good)

  44. 44 T_S_O_P said at 1:28 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    If Dungy is to credit for the offence he inherited, should Gruden credit the defence he inherited? Dungy strikes me as a coach similar to Reid in terms of the respect he is held in and how he treats his players. Mike Smith reminds me of Reid circa ’99 – ’05. I think successful HC have something that does not matter what side of the ball they are from. A perfect example would be the Harbaugh brothers.

  45. 45 bdbd20 said at 1:31 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I think most people do give credit to Tony Dungy for building that Tampa defense. Gruden was able to run a competent offense and that was enough to win. It’s very interesting that these two guys will always be tied together because of their similar paths to the Lombardi.

  46. 46 Kristopher Cebula said at 1:37 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    tommy, tonights championship game had me thinking, how come no talk of Brian Kelly as a HC candidate by any teams? from what i can tell, he has turned programs around everywhere he has gone. is it a lack of interest from NFL teams or it is a lack of interest on Kelly’s part in going to the NFL?

  47. 47 Brett Smith said at 3:58 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Brian Kelly says leaving Notre Dame isn’t an option

  48. 48 austinfan said at 5:10 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Why would he take a demotion?
    He answers to Touchdown Jesus, Lurie would be a letdown.

  49. 49 A_T_G said at 5:38 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    We are not prepared to have another Kelly break our heart by shunning us for the minor league.

  50. 50 D-von said at 1:52 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Hey, Tommy do you think the Eagles will keep Danny Watkins on the roster or try to trade him for some later round draft picks? I know its only been 2 years and may just need different technique for him to excel in, which the knew coach could bring. However, by mid-season next year the guy will be 29 years old and I don’t believe he will make any significant progress with the Eagles.

  51. 51 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 2:16 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    people over the years have gotten so used to the supposed axiom that defenses win championships that they have failed to notice its the exception rather than the rule that non-top offenses win championships as well. That fact of the matter, as someone stated, offense has become so much a part of the game that just relying on defense is insufficient.

    In terms of Eli and the Giants, we often forget that their defense in 2007 was in fact quite mediocre until the playoffs came along. Even last year their defense wasn’t anywhere near elite. They pressured the quarterback extremely well, but weren’t great in any other area.

    Tom Brady was a “caretaker” during their first super bowl winning season. He was legitimately a QB you could rely on very quickly after that. He only appeared to be a caretaker when judged by the standard that he, Manning, and Brees soon after set for QBs. Just because you didn’t throw for 4000 yds and 30 tds prior to 2004 doesn’t make you a caretaker.

    My point is you can’t get hung up on one way being better than another in today’s game. You must be able to do both well.

  52. 52 ACViking said at 3:02 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Belichick did a great job developing Brady.

    According to Eric Mangini, when Brady came to New England in 2000, he immediately showed great leadership, the players responded to him, he worked as hard as the coaches in learning the offense, and he never stopped trying to get better.

    The Pats kept 4 QBs in 2000 on their roster because they saw — in Mangini’s retelling — that Brady had everything you’d want in a QB but a big arm. So they kept him at the expense of another position.

  53. 53 xeynon said at 2:22 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I was thinking Bradley as a top choice after watching how that defense played yesterday, but you make a very good case for an offensive guy Tommy.

    Developing the long-term answer at quarterback (whether it’s Foles or someone YTBD) is the #1 priority for this team over the next few seasons – if an offensive-minded coach is necessary to do that, that’s the direction we should go. I think it’s easier to do a quick fix on a bad defense than on a bad quarterbacking situation. Ideally we re-create what we did in 1999, with a coach of one persuasion who has a smart, capable coordinator to run the other half of the team but isn’t ready/eager to jump to a HC position himself.

  54. 54 ACViking said at 2:57 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    If you watched Bradley’s defense in ’09 and ’10, you probably wouldn’t feel the same way.

    The key to Seattle’s success has been the incredible productivity they’ve had in the past three drafts and in free agency.

    Great talent will make any coach look good.

    I’m not against Bradley. Just saying that talent makes a big difference — especially at CB and safety, as the Eagles have proven the past two seasons.

    Wouldn’t Earl Thomas look great in Eagles’ green?

    And I can’t wait for next season to see if Kendrick passes Bobby Wagner on the OLB scale.

  55. 55 xeynon said at 3:02 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    That is a fair point, but Thomas aside it’s not as if that defense is swimming with blue chip talents. Sherman and Browner are big, slow cornerbacks. Chancellor was thought to be too slow to be a starting SS in the NFL. Bryant is a nose tackle playing DE, Mebane is a guy who never did much until now, etc. He’s done a great job turning players who weren’t highly regarded into a top unit.

  56. 56 ACViking said at 3:05 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    By the clock, Seattle’s DBs (expt ET) are not No. 1 picks.

    On the field, those guys beat the crap out of receivers and — in terms of paying Bradley’s scheme — they seem excel.

    The chemistry on that defense is excellent right now.

    Yes, you’re right . . . Bradley’s done a great job making the pieces work. (Let’s see what happens w/ out Clemons.)

    Seattle, like I said, made some great personnel moves that under Bradley, have been turned into a great *unit*.

    That’s more impressive to me than just looking at the numbers his defense put up this season.

  57. 57 xeynon said at 4:08 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Right, but a guy who can scheme to make physically limited players excel is a good coach.

  58. 58 ACViking said at 4:44 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Darius Heyward-Bey v. Anquan Bolden

    As John Madden would say, Bolden’s a football player — while DHB just runs fast.

    Those Seattle guys are football players.

    I’m not sure I’d go with “physically limited” when describing Sherman or Browner or Chancellor any more than I’d call Bolden “physically limited.”

    Kurt Coleman is “physically limited.” Short, light, slow (relatively speaking). Those guys in Seattle are big, physical, and fast enough.

    Regardless . . . Bradley’s worth a look, to be sure.

  59. 59 A_T_G said at 5:36 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Agreed. I think he is my new favorite.

  60. 60 xeynon said at 5:48 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Well, they’re physically limited in the sense that they lack the kind of elite measureables (size, speed, whatever) that usually get guys drafted really high, and that usually result in exploitable weaknesses on the field – but Bradley has devised a scheme that plays to their strengths and covers their weaknesses.

    It would be interesting to know how much input he’s had in the Seattle draft room over the past few years – if he was pushing for guy like Wright, Chancellor, or Sherman because he knew they could play for him, that’s a point in his favor.

  61. 61 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 4:11 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    it’s quite impressive how many of those guys are “home grown.” Bryant, Mebane, Hill, Wagner, Wright, Sherman, Chancellor, Thomas all drafted by the Seahawks on D. Along the Oline they drafted Okun, Moffit, Sweezy, Giacomini, Unger, obviously Wilson and Tate on O. Then the few FA they bring in are hugely productive guys like Clemmons, Lynch and Rice. The last 3 years worth of moves in Sea have been as good as any in the NFL

  62. 62 pkeagle said at 4:45 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Don’t forget Irvin who many felt was a big reach and has played well in a situational role in his rookie season (8 sacks)

  63. 63 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 5:03 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Ah, yes. I was just thinking about starters. Irvin has been fantastic for them as well.

  64. 64 T_S_O_P said at 2:28 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Anyone else watch ARs presser?

  65. 65 Ark87 said at 4:07 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Wanted to, thought seeing Reid in Chief’s regalia would be just too weird. Decided against it.

  66. 66 T_S_O_P said at 4:19 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Philly media were there too, AR said he’d meet with hem after and appreciated them coming. He wore a red tie with very small KC arrowheads on it, very little regalia.

  67. 67 Ark87 said at 4:34 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Ever break up with a girl….and she ends up with someone before you do. And she’s all happy about it. Pshhh deleting Andy from my cell phone once and for all! Screw it, c’mon Eagles fans, lets go get drunk!

  68. 68 A_T_G said at 5:32 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Wait, Reid’s number was in your cell phone? And you didn’t call him and make him stop the insanity months ago?!

    I think we can all hold you partly responsible. It is going to take a lot of sunglasses to make up for this. Start selling.

  69. 69 xeynon said at 5:43 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Yeah but in this case, the ex hasn’t exactly upgraded, and we’re out there playing the field with the hottest single ladies around… no need to worry about what she’s doing or settle down too early.

  70. 70 Ark87 said at 8:12 AM on January 8th, 2013:

    But the ex DID watch Chip spend 9 hours with us and do the equivalent of turning lesbian on us so….screw it lets go drink this hangover away

  71. 71 RIP Worms said at 5:20 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Do they make Hawaiian shirts with arrowheads? I guess we’ll find out in April.

  72. 72 tad said at 3:19 PM on January 7th, 2013:


  73. 73 Anthony Hart said at 4:09 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Tommy’s getting classy in preparation for his trip to Mobile, Alabama.

  74. 74 Iskar36 said at 4:11 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Whoa. It wasn’t earlier for me, but now I am seeing it all in italics as well.

  75. 75 RIP Worms said at 5:18 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    In a subtle homage to the recently departed Reid, Tommy is trying to out-scheme his fellow bloggers by putting a new slant on things. (Ha! get it?)

    Seriously, though, Tommy. Just go back to a standard typeface. You can out-execute those other guys every day of the week (and twice on Sundays).

  76. 76 Steag209 said at 11:16 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Good it’s not just me, I thought I had to fix something on my computer

  77. 77 Arby1 said at 3:33 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Roob presents his case for a defensive head coach saying the D is more broke than the O:

  78. 78 Reader Dan said at 3:36 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    It’s the greatness of the QB that wins the Super Bowl, not whether the coach has a defensive or offensive background. Belicheck and Tony Dungy had defensive backgrounds, but had great QBs and they won Super Bowls. And by far the biggest argument against an offensive background is Andy Reid – like Schottenheimer or Fisher he made the playoffs a ton but did not win the big game. I don’t think the next coach has to come from one background or the other to be a success. However, if anything, I lean a little more towards a defensive background – I think you can find guys who can run a great defense with mediocre to good players (Lovie Smith, for example) but you can’t find an offensive coach that can run a great offense unless he also has a QB that is at least good, if not great. Hiring a defensive guru type would at least get the D up and running and make the Eagles possibly respectable while they search for a franchise QB.

  79. 79 Eric Carranza said at 3:46 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    so andy reid is saying some of his staff from philly will head with him to KC? so who exactly is he gonna take with him

  80. 80 Brett Smith said at 4:04 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Don’t hold me to these as these are all Twitter rumors but here is the list I have been following on Twitter

    Possible Eagles Coaches joining Reid:


    Complete Rumors (No clue if they go):

    And the shocker…

    Non Eagle Names:

    Kiffin (DC)
    Pat Shurmur (OC)
    Brad Childress

  81. 81 Brett Smith said at 4:07 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Eskin (cough) believe if you want says Eagles won’t let Duce Staley leave.

  82. 82 T_S_O_P said at 4:25 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I hope that is true

  83. 83 xeynon said at 5:40 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I don’t know how good a coach he is, but Duce is a lifetime Eagle to me. One of my all-time favorite Eagles players.

  84. 84 Eric Carranza said at 5:19 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    hope we can keep burkholder here

  85. 85 D3Keith said at 6:58 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I wouldn’t mind keeping him and Chung.

    Kiffin would be a good get for Andy. Shurmur or Chilly Chill is almost a guarantee to be there. Castillo too.

  86. 86 A_T_G said at 3:46 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Similar to McMVP’s comment, I think I prefer a defensive mind as head coach because it is an offensive-centered league. It seems like it is easier to assemble a good offense. A good OC and QB coach should be enough. Our defense needs a lot of attention. I want a coach that will give that attention.

    I certainly don’t know enough about the candidates to know which ones will have a good plan for a DC, but if we go with an offensive-minded guy, that would be very important.

  87. 87 Eagles1991 said at 4:14 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Does the Italic font mean you’re overhauling the site for another sunglasses sale Tommy?

  88. 88 bridgecoach said at 5:49 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Nods – please return to the usual style book.

  89. 89 TommyLawlor said at 10:43 PM on January 7th, 2013:


  90. 90 Sifter said at 4:30 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    My pet theory is that the head coach we hire should be the opposite of the one we just fired ie. If Reid’s coaching was the thing that dragged us down last year, then shouldn’t we try the opposite style of coaching this year? (channeling some George Costanza logic here…) That means a defensive guy. It means a guy who isn’t afraid to go nuts on the sideline, compared to Andy’s more measured approach. Maybe it means a guy who’s played in the NFL before. Or maybe a svelte, black man… Just putting my theory out there.

  91. 91 austinfan said at 5:12 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Ray Lewis is available, he fits all your criteria.
    That would certainly be worth the price of admission.

  92. 92 bridgecoach said at 5:49 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I would highly endorse offering Ray Lewis a position as a LB coach…

  93. 93 TommyLawlor said at 10:43 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Love the Costanza theory.

  94. 94 Mark823 said at 4:33 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    “The Eagles need help in developing Foles or finding a franchise QB. They also need the defense to get fixed. I prefer hiring the offensive HC and then a strong DC to run that side of things, ala Reid/JJ. If the Eagles meet with Gus Bradley and he blows them away, that’s fine…as long as he is able to find the right OC. And that’s not an easy task.”

    I don’t think it’s an easy task finding the right DC either. Reid struggled to replace JJ. I think the key is to just get the best guy, which is easier said than done of course. But Zimmer and Bradley are definitely worth interviewing in my mind.

  95. 95 jshort said at 5:19 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Ok. How about this. You people are going to think I’m crazy, why not hire the dc head coach, keep MM, just tone down the passing game. Also if possible bring in Oregon OC as QB’s coach and assistant oc.( to lazy to look up his name right now.) Just something to mull over on a slow day.

  96. 96 T_S_O_P said at 5:24 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    What make you think he can tone it down? I’ve yet to see evidence. Goodbye and good riddance to him.

  97. 97 Iskar36 said at 5:24 PM on January 7th, 2013:


  98. 98 A_T_G said at 5:26 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Double yep.

  99. 99 pkeagle said at 6:13 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Triple yep. Leopard, spots, ….

  100. 100 GermanEagle said at 5:27 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I think you’re crazy…

  101. 101 bridgecoach said at 5:47 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    OK. I’m officially OFF the Paul Casey “Gus” Bradley bandwagon. If hiring him in any way leaves a door open for Morningweg to stay in any capacity, I want no part of it.

  102. 102 shah8 said at 7:40 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I don’t think Marty’s scheme was bad. What happened was that there couldn’t be an offense given our line injuries. In any event, what was problematic about MM’s schemes was mostly about *when* to run, rather than *how much*. And MM, like Musgrave Sat night, tends to feedback cycle to passing attempts, when he probably needs a few nice run plays in the book, and try to establish the run, even when down.

  103. 103 SteveH said at 4:40 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    What happened to Mike Zimmer as a hot candidate? Gus Bradley has leapfrogged him the last couple weeks which is fine, but why has the luster come off of Zimmer lately? If we’re going to go defensive minded guy he’s the one!

  104. 104 T_S_O_P said at 4:42 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    10 years possibly? Zimmer is in his fifties and Bradley is in his forties.

  105. 105 ACViking said at 4:44 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Not just his 50s. Zim’s in the second half of his fifth decade here on earth.

  106. 106 T_S_O_P said at 5:26 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I think they are 56 & 46 respectively.

  107. 107 Neil said at 6:08 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    I think the point about excellent OCs becoming coaches is key. For the sake of the QB, stability and continuity on the offense is more important than on the defense. And I think a topflight DC is slightly less of a risk to be hired away to be a HC.

  108. 108 bridgecoach said at 6:35 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    OC-HC: Jay Gruden’s extensive logistical experience running successful football teams combined with the huge NFL connections/resources he can draw from, makes him really compelling to me. He has developed young talent and knows how to light a fire under his players. My concern is play calling – he looks to be cut from the Andy Reid pass too much, rush too little school.

    Mike McCoy, knows enough to adjust his offense to the abilities and skills of his players; so I like the idea of him as a playcaller and as a guy to assess our young talent. But what kind of staff will he bring, how does he run practices, how does he handle all of the minutia outside of his usual realm? Huge concern about that.

    D-HC: Gus Bradley seems like a great guy and a terrific DC, but is he ready to be a head coach. Even defensively, he seems to only know his “out physical” the other team scheme. What will he do with the not physical Eagles? Will he overhaul the oline again, looking for Castillo sized behemoths instead of our smaller athletic guys? He just seems like a guy who will need to impose his scheme in order to do his thing, has he seen enough to run things differently to get the most from our personnel?

    WInston Moss is the defensive name I want to get back into the mix. He has worked closely with LeBeau, run 3-4, 4-3 and hybids and was responsible for transitioning the team from one to another. He has worked under offensive HC Mike McCarthy and has been asst HC for several years. This is a young defensive mind that can shape an organization and understands that this is a QB league. No question he will get the right OC and DC and staff. Really well respected, if we are going for a defensive minded guy, I’d like to go with him.

  109. 109 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 6:51 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    To be honest, the Eagles need more size and toughness on D. I’d have no problem with a guy who comes in and takes a few years to add some cavemen to the roster.

  110. 110 bridgecoach said at 9:11 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    And I agree with that sentiment and highly value a DC that will give us a formidable defense, but we are talking Head Coach. Tommy hit the nail on the head when he warned of relying too heavily on an OC since they will likely be lured away. We need a head coach who understands and values the offensive game. Gus is a defensive guy who has worked under defensive HC, which isn’t the best recipe for Championship success.

  111. 111 Malcolm N Jacinta said at 8:03 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    winston moss is the guy I covet as well and maybe with him we can steal ben mcadoo as offensive coordinator and then go after mike pettine as d coordinator….. probably wont happen but thats my dream team of coaches

  112. 112 D3Keith said at 6:58 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Is it just me and/or my local settings, or is Tommy’s site suddenly in italics for you all too?

  113. 113 Anders said at 7:02 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    same here

  114. 114 Corry Henry said at 7:06 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Same here. Makes it seem high class.

  115. 115 TommyLawlor said at 7:11 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    For some reason, the site is coming up in italics. I have no idea why this is. I’m working on it.

  116. 116 tad said at 8:01 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Tell the typeface gods we’re sorry

  117. 117 TommyLawlor said at 10:41 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    It’s all your fault!!!

  118. 118 D3Keith said at 2:02 AM on January 8th, 2013:

    It’s always a stray /div tag!

  119. 119 Malcolm N Jacinta said at 8:09 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Tommy, why is no one chasing after WInston Moss, who has done work under Capers and is assistant head coach basically being groomed to be a head coach somewhere. Oh yeah he also specializes in a area weakness of ours Linebacker. My thought Process is we can snatch GreenBay’s up and coming QB coach Ben Mcadoo and then grab Mike Pettine, Lovie, or Ray Horton to run the D.

  120. 120 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 8:55 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    So far I’ve seen two big runs up the gut, one of which went for a score, and a wide open receiver sneak in behind Teo. Think I’ll pass if this is the sort play he brings to the table…

  121. 121 The_Reddgie said at 9:45 PM on January 7th, 2013:

    Tommy, what’s with the italics? Are you trying to tell us you aren’t straight? . . . Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  122. 122 TommyLawlor said at 12:49 AM on January 8th, 2013:

    There are only 2 men I find sexy. Wayne Gretzky and Marlon Favorite. Their athletic grace overwhelms me. And Gretzky’s mullet.