Player Development

Posted: January 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 117 Comments »

Iggles Blitz commenters say some really great things from time to time.  There was a discussion the other day and some of the talk turned to player comparisons.  Imagine having Earl Thomas instead of Brandon Graham.  Or JPP instead of either of them.  Should the Eagles have taken Lavonte David or Bobby Wagner instead of Mychal Kendricks?

D3Keith made an absolutely brilliant point.  I’ve made in a more circular way, but he cut through to the very essence of things.

Everyone we got has either flamed out or just been okay.

Leading us to a hard truth here. Look in the mirror. It’s not the guys we didn’t get that the were the problem … the Eagles’ organization has become the problem.

Sad to say, but if Earl Thomas were an Eagle, if JPP were an Eagle, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t be the players they are today.

And that is why the Eagles are hiring a coach. Philly needs a guy who can get players to play up a level or two, not down.

So very, very true.

There are personnel mistakes.  Jaiquawn Jarrett is the biggest example of that.  Jarrett signed with the Jets recently, but his phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook.  Guys like Bryan Smith and Daniel Te’o- Nesheim went to other teams and even started.

Think about Danny Watkins.  He has shown that he can be a functional starter in the NFL.  Put him in a run heavy offense and he actually might be a good RG.  Ask him to pass block 45 times a game and he’s going to struggle.

The coaching staff has done a worse job at developing talent than the personnel staff has done at finding talent.  This is on Reid, the coordinators, and the positional assistants.  Everyone had a hand in the mess.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I still think some of these players can be saved.  On offense I think running a more balanced attack will help the linemen and skill players.  On defense, the Eagles need a veteran coach who has an established scheme and can teach that to the assistant coaches and the players.

Think about all the change.  The defense had Sean McDermott in 2009 & 2010.  Jim Washburn and Juan Castillo ran things in 2011.  Todd Bowles did his stuff for the final part of 2012.

Think about some of the assistant coaches in the last 5 years.  Rory Segrest left the Eagles and went to a small college in Alabama.  Bill Shuey went from LBs coach to being a teacher.  He’s now coaching at West Chester.  Johnny Lynn went to the Raiders after 2011.  I think Reid did okay in hiring Mike Caldwell and Mike Zordich, but they are new to coaching and had to teach a scheme that Castillo and Washburn somewhat came up with.  Give Mike & Mike a veteran coach/scheme to work with and I bet they’d do a much better job.

Player development is critical in the NFL.  Finding young talent is only half the battle.  You must coach them.  You must teach them.  You must keep them motivated and focused.

No matter who the Eagles hire as HC, a strong, proven defensive coach is critical to the team’s success.  I don’t care if he runs a 4-3 or 3-4.  I don’t care if he likes zone or man.  I don’t care about specifics.  He must be able to install a system, teach the players, and develop them.  He must have answers when they have questions.

Kendricks, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, and Brandon Boykin can all be good defensive players.  I still have hope that the right coach can save Chaney, Allen, Hunt, and DRC.  These are young players that can be the foundation for a good defense.  Give them the right coach and let’s see what happens.

* * * * *

The site had a weird problem with italics yesterday.  I’ve got the site back to normal on my computers.  If it still is in italics, hit F5 or refresh the page.  That should make the italics go away.

My apologies for the inconvenience.

* * * * *

I am working on a Gus Bradley post.  I read a lot about him and that led to my attempt at humor this morning.  A few of you didn’t care for the piece.  That’s fine.  Just a goofy piece of material.

* * * * *

The new MAQB column is up.  Check out Gimpy’s thoughts on Wild Card weekend and his preview of the next round.  I was shocked to see how soft the Falcons schedule was.  Gimpy has some good nuggets in there.

* * * * *

A few Eagles fans went nuts for Nick Saban last night.  I have no problem with the Eagles talking to him, but I think Nick is made for college and will stay there.

Here’s my take on Saban, the college Belichick.


117 Comments on “Player Development”

  1. 1 T_S_O_P said at 3:05 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    This seems a much better place for –

    Mike Pettine; would he be a good fit as a defensive co-ordinator?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 3:08 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Definitely of interest. Good background. Hasn’t fully run a D on his own, but I’d trust him because of his time under Rex and the success they’ve had.

  3. 3 T_S_O_P said at 3:18 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Good background = Eagles fan? 🙂

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 4:05 PM on January 8th, 2013:


  5. 5 CalSFro said at 3:34 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Something about the idea of Lovie Smith as a possibility for the new coach really intrigues me…but I don’t know if that’s just because I bet we’d literally see a complete 180 in terms of personality and scheme from Big Red, and I’m dying for a steadier offense and a more opportunistic defense.

    He’s got his faults, but with the right offensive coordinator…I dunno. It just kinda makes sense to me.

  6. 6 Ark87 said at 3:45 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    The dude has to get a real OC. I don’t know if he imposes a blah philosophy through overall scheme or with his OC hiring. He got his hands on a capable QB, top tier RB duo and that unit horrifically under performed. No more conservative minds, old school guys or what have you.

    The profile I’m thinking of to fit with Lovie is young, innovative, still “balanced”(close to league average pass:run ratio from the lower side) though.

  7. 7 CalSFro said at 3:58 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Their offensive line was, and had been, garbage. And Jay Cutler, as good as he is, makes a lot of stupid mistakes. Those things are Lovie’s fault of course, but I guess I think, like Reid, he may just need fresh scenery. It just helps that I see his strengths as matching up with our weaknesses.

    He just needs a strong OC. Pair him with someone like Ben McAdoo from the Packers (who is young, granted, but deserves a chance), and I’d say you got a pretty good coaching set up.

  8. 8 Ark87 said at 4:07 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Agreed. It’s all about the OC hire for me. As you alluded, the O-line was garbage, but not for lack of draft investment. I don’t know enough about the Bears to know why it was so bad and how much of it was Lovie’s fault, but that needs to be better. We know the guy can get a team to the Superbowl. We know he can run a formidable D year in and year out. Those are huge pluses that few other candidates can boast.

  9. 9 ceedubya9 said at 4:13 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    As much as I really don’t want him here, Marty could stick around as the OC if Lovie was hired. He has run top offenses here over the years, and is already familiar with the players and organization. He would just need to call a more balanced game. Of course, I’m still all for a change there and if a better option is available then so be it! This all, of course, is based on if Lovie was hired as the HC.

  10. 10 Anders said at 4:17 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Based on pure statistic, Marty is the best OC available

  11. 11 ceedubya9 said at 4:20 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Yeah, exactly. I mean, it wouldn’t be the worst thing possible. Who knows, he could be totally different without Andy around.

  12. 12 T_S_O_P said at 5:37 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Like in Detroit? Except that he was no different, in fact the longer he was here the more we resembled them Lions.

  13. 13 T_S_O_P said at 5:36 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Lies, damned lies and statistics.

    Check Marty’s and Andy’s playoff wins with the statistically great O and measure it against our playoff wins before he arrived from a low powered O. Marty feasts off the poor.

  14. 14 TommyLawlor said at 6:30 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    You’ll be happy to know Jeff McLane said on Twitter that Marty is out.

  15. 15 ceedubya9 said at 6:56 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Ha. well, we aren’t really endorsing him to stay. If better options are available then we obviously want the better option.

  16. 16 jshort said at 6:59 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Lovie is also on Monte’s mind

  17. 17 Ark87 said at 4:23 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    In response to you and Anders: your words burn me! It’s tough to hear haha.

    My big thing is, can MM turn Foles into a franchise QB? I feel like he has the best chance of doing so at the moment, which is a huge deal for this club. I wouldn’t mind keeping Marty and Nick around for a year to see what happens. If it isn’t good, MM is gone and Nick is a back-up in what will hopefully be a better draft class in the 2014 draft.

  18. 18 Anders said at 4:27 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    MM was QB coach (he had that position before AR) for some bum named Brett Favre, he was also OC/QB coach for Jeff Garcia in SF and have been the OC for the Eagles when they have had the best production on offense in franchise history.

  19. 19 jshort said at 6:50 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I was alluding to this fact when I posted yesterday, but I didn’t want anyone to think I was crazy. All of the quarterbacks under Marty’s tutelage always seem to be able to handle the situation with the exception of Mike McMahon, and possibly Vick, if you can blame the turnovers on Marty. I do believe he is the best OC, QB coach out there. I would like to see Lovie and MM teamed up ( like Ark87 said) for a year to see what happens.

    This is a very good article, Tommy. When Andy addressed the Philadelphia media, he said that he hoped the new coach would be given a few years to turn things around. He knows that there are a lot of fixes to be made and pieces to be moved. He knew that the time ran out on him and he wasn’t going to be afforded the time to mend the problems. I’m thinking we might be on a bumpy road for a little longer than we think.

  20. 20 jshort said at 6:55 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    meant MM and foles. Lovie was on my mind

  21. 21 D3Keith said at 7:35 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    “I’m thinking we might be on a bumpy road for a little longer than we think.”

    I hope not. I would hate to waste the prime of LeSean McCoy’s career.

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 4:05 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I’ll write up some thoughts on Lovie. Big thing is that he must be able to explain what wen wrong on offense and how he’d fix it this time around.

  23. 23 nopain23 said at 3:37 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Why hasn’t McCoy generated more buzz with the Eagles Tommy? Do you think he interviewd poorly?
    And I said it before the draft…we should have taken LaVonte…..or Z Brown. they had much better rookie seasons than Kendricks( but it could havge been a scheme problem and not a player problem)

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 4:04 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Coaching buzz is fan and media driven. Eagles may love Mike McCoy and can’t wait to hire him.

    Bradley is getting attention because we just watched his defense on Sunday and he’s got the Youtube video out there with him screaming at his players. Fans love that stuff. Doesn’t mean he’s a better candidate than McCoy or that the Eagles like him more.

    Right now the Eagles are truly doing research. They’re meeting these coaches and trying to see who would be the best guy to lead the Eagles going forward.

  25. 25 Iskar36 said at 4:10 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Interesting article on Saban. I think you presented a great case for why Saban should want to stay at the college level. I fully agree with you that he still has plenty of motivation and things to accomplish there. Having said that, I’m not sure I read anywhere that made a strong case of why the Eagles should not want Saban. If they could convince him to go to the NFL, it seems to me he would be a very intriguing option. Would he have to make adjustments? Absolutely. Is he a guaranteed great coach at the NFL level? Absolutely not. But I think the adjustments he would need to make would be incredibly less concerning from the Eagles standpoint than the adjustments CK would have had to make, and I think the risk factor for Saban would be a lot less than it would have been for CK based on what I have read about the two coaches.

    To me, the issue with Saban seems that it would be difficult/next to impossible to take him away from college football, and that some of his talents would be wasted at the NFL level (recruiting). Lastly, I can see the concern of him burning out with his desire for perfection, but again, I think that is more of Saban’s concern than it would be the Eagles. The idea of playing against perfection to me sounds like a great pitch to make to the owner if you are looking for a job, not a negative.

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 4:18 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I have no problem with the Eagles calling Saban. I just don’t think he’ll listen. He’s said publicly that he’s staying. That could be for recruiting purposes, but I don’t get the sense he’s tired of UA or CFB. We’ll see what happens.

  27. 27 Iskar36 said at 4:21 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    This is the part I fully agree with. I get the sense that the Eagles (or any NFL team) has no chance of getting Saban. Still, I think it makes a lot of sense for teams looking for a coach to at least find out if they can.

  28. 28 Anders said at 4:22 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    What about calling just to pick his brain?

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 4:36 PM on January 8th, 2013:


  30. 30 Steven Dileo said at 5:08 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    And we all know that when Nick Saban says something publicly, he means it.

  31. 31 Arby1 said at 5:45 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Good one.

  32. 32 Ark87 said at 4:18 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Eagles signed some WR’s today. What’s the deal there Tommy? My main concerns is…shouldn’t the FO be a little too occupied to be signing camp bodies? Secondly, shouldn’t we wait to have a scheme before handing out contracts? Does this mean the FO and Lurie will be looking for a coach to fit their personnel?

    Then again they did sign 2, one with decent size (6’2″)….the other (5’9″)…..better have wheels….so maybe they are hedging their bets.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 4:21 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    The new coach can come in and cut whichever fringe players he wants. The Eagles are signing players they had a good grade on coming out of college. There is nothing wrong with this.

    As for coach search, they have time restrictions due to Bradley being in the playoffs. They are being methodical in trying to find the right guy. No reason to worry. If the search is still going on in February, that’s a concern.

  34. 34 Ark87 said at 4:39 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Makes sense. No damage that a new regime can’t undo.

  35. 35 Iskar36 said at 4:24 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    The FO is clearly busy focusing on finding a coach. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a little time to still find quality players. None of these guys are likely to be significant contributors or even make the team, but if there is potential talent available, might as well sign the guy while he is available and let the new coach cut him if they don’t fit the scheme. Otherwise, these guys they are signing may get picked up by other teams who have their coach already in place, putting us at a further disadvantage.

  36. 36 Patrick said at 4:27 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    And im guessing that Howie Roseman didnt fly out to sign them along with Megan Fox and Brian Dawkins. The chain of events was probably the WR coach, a WR scout and an assistant calling an agent.

  37. 37 Ark87 said at 4:36 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    True enough. No evidence that making the signings is doing any harm. Why not. Just feels strange.

  38. 38 D3FB said at 1:38 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    These signings are probably being spearheaded by the pro personnel people in the front office, they will have very little to do right now besides reviewing game film of the season and trying to get the roster ready for the draft and the 90 man camp roster.

  39. 39 Steven Dileo said at 5:00 PM on January 8th, 2013:


    This is probably the most frustrating aspect of the Eagles in the past 5 years. This is the major difference between the Eagles and the Giants. We may have had the better front office, the more talented players, and better schemes but their players were more disciplined and well coached.

    There’s a reason why Martelius Bennett went from being a bum to a decent player and why they can take guys off the street like Cruz and Stevie Brown and make them good players.

    Andy realized this in 2010. It’s why he

    1. fired guys like Rory Segrest

    2. went after veteran coaches like Mudd, Washburn, and April

    3. drafted high character seniors like Graham, Watkins, Allen, and Kendricks

    4. signed veteran free agents known for good character, i.e Asomugha, Jenkins, and etc.

  40. 40 D3Keith said at 9:08 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I guess that too is why I think this team could contend (for a playoff spot) right away with the right coach and some shrewd moves, rather than go through a full rebuild.

    You hire a coach for the long haul, not for next season, but Lovie style, utilitizing McCoy and Brown and Foles avoiding mistakes, and recrafting the defense … I think because so much attention was paid to character and youth they could be a 10-win team again.

    I could get on board with Lovie because I think if you can handle Chicago you can handle Philly, and the Eagles need a leader more than anything.

    But greatness being the ultimate goal, I’d wonder what McCoy or Bradley has in store.

  41. 41 Steven Dileo said at 5:05 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I was looking up info on former Eagles draft picks. Interesting note on Joe Mays-

    “On September 25, 2012, Mays was suspended for one game and fined $50,000 dollars by the NFL for his hit on the Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub that took off Schaub’s earlobe.”

  42. 42 Arby1 said at 5:43 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    And both Mays and Mike Tyson have each donated earlobes where they are now on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in DC! Fact!

  43. 43 goeagles55 said at 5:12 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    The reason people didn’t like the last post was it reminded them too much of the Washburn-Babin relationship.

  44. 44 TommyLawlor said at 5:18 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    You mean it wasn’t bad writing?

  45. 45 austinfan said at 5:20 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Just say no to Lovie, he had 9 years to fix the offense, 6 OCs. The man has no clue and isn’t going to develop one b/c he was fired.

    As far as salvaging players, it’s not just talent but fit.

    Just say no to DRC, why, because he’s a tease, you might even get a pro bowl caliber year out of him, but it’ll come sandwiched with two mediocre years full of stupid penalties and matador tackling, he couldn’t cut it in Arizona, he pulled the same shtick in Philly, after 5 years, what you see is what you get, and it ain’t worth a franchise tag. Run like cheetah, play like chimp.

    Watkins is a motivation issue, I think his confidence got destroyed, if he’s willing to pay the price he could be salvaged in a more balanced scheme.

    Allen is almost certainly a confidence issue, while Coleman is a scheme/”trying to do too much” issue. Both could play a lot better (we saw in 2010).

    Graham is “why did it take so long to get me on the field issue.”
    Kendricks is “it took 12 games to figure out no one can play SLB behind the wide 9?”

    Kelly is “let me settle in at RT, run the ball and chip with the TE until I’ve got a little experience with NFL pass rushers”.
    Deon Lewis “is give me the mf ball”
    Cooper is “why are you sending me deep every other play when I’m 6’3 222 lbs?”
    Harbor is “why do you throw dump offs to a TE who runs 4.62 but has mediocre RAC skills instead of sending me down the seam.”

  46. 46 TommyLawlor said at 5:30 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    By my count, 4 OCs: Shea, Turner, Martz, Tice. Who’d I miss?

  47. 47 Steven Dileo said at 5:50 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    It’s seems like every desperate HC tries to hire Mike Martz as their OC.

  48. 48 austinfan said at 6:31 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    But forget to add Marshall Faulk, Orlando Pace, Terry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

  49. 49 D3FB said at 1:34 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Kurt Warner

  50. 50 austinfan said at 5:53 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    So I exaggerated, like you with Megan Fox.

    Point is he inherited a mess on offense, and has never fixed it, they were in the top 10 in points once (2006), mostly off defense and STs (Hester had 5 TDs on returns and the defense 3), and only broke the top 20 in yards once in 9 years (15th, again in 2006). This can’t just be the OCs, it’s like Buddy Ryan redux, “we don’t need no stinkin’ offense.”

    He didn’t need to build a great offense, he did need to build a competent one, with that defense, any decent offense would be in top 10 in scoring just off turnovers and field position.

  51. 51 TommyLawlor said at 6:29 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I don’t dispute Lovie has serious offensive issues. Thought maybe you knew of some in-season changes that I didn’t.

  52. 52 ACViking said at 6:30 PM on January 8th, 2013:


    Take Brady away from Belichick.

    Wouldn’t Belichick quickly develop a case of “offensive issues”?

  53. 53 Steven Dileo said at 6:31 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Matt Cassel begs to differ

  54. 54 ACViking said at 6:32 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    You wrote before I could edit.

    Cassell was the beneficiary of Randy Moss.

  55. 55 holeplug said at 7:12 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    You could say this about any team with an elite QB

  56. 56 Steven Dileo said at 5:48 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I really like Geno Smith. He has some few problems with his mechanics but they can be fixed. I think he can be a good player. Not good as in top 5 pick worthy but I think he can be better QB than Freeman, Flacco, Cutler, or Wilson. I think Andy can develop him into a decent QB.

  57. 57 Arby1 said at 6:01 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    He looked awful in his bowl game. I doubt Andy drafts him. Andy’ll probably take Luke Joeckel. Then take the Syracuse QB in the 2nd.

  58. 58 ACViking said at 6:12 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    If Reid doesn’t want Geno, then — unless Joeckel or someone else is head and shoulders above the rest — I think AR trades down for more picks.

    Joeckel’s not in the class of Tony Boselli coming out of college. And it’s a close call whether he’s as good as Joe Thomas coming out of college.

    But there’s time, still.

    I just think that unless there’s a non-QB with potential HOFer stamped on his forehead, you trade out of the No. 1 spot if you can.

  59. 59 Arby1 said at 9:26 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    A trade down is probably what he’ll do and it’s way too early to talk about the draft but I do think Geno hurt his stock with that performance and some people are calling Joeckel the best LT in a decade.

  60. 60 Kevin_aka_RC said at 9:17 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Reid is taking a QB with his first pick. There’s no way he won’t take one given what he learned from Ron Wolf and what he’s done in Philly. The only question is whether he trades down and gets one (unlikely he takes that risk IMO).

  61. 61 A_T_G said at 8:36 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Pssh, what could Andy do with a Syracuse QB?

  62. 62 Arby1 said at 9:23 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    You’re right, silly me.

  63. 63 Arby1 said at 6:03 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Another one bites the dust. Jay Gruden says he’s going back to Cincy, but he’ll honor us with an interview. How nice of him.

  64. 64 ACViking said at 6:07 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    If Gruden does the interview, maybe 1 or 2 things is going on.

    1. Gruden has no problem being part of Lurie/Roseman’s adoption of the “Al Davis Approach to Interviewing” — which means talking to every coach willing to speak about all kinds of neat stuff.

    2. Jay’s steering clear for his brother Chucky, but keeping the man with the final say happy about the Gru-dogs.

    I honestly think his family is happy where they are.

  65. 65 austinfan said at 6:34 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    It doesn’t hurt Jay to network as long as he’s up front about wanting to stay put until his kid(s) are out of High School, that’s actually a plus, since it means he’s a decent human being and won’t commit until he can give the job his complete focus.

    Who knows, Marvin Lewis gets fired next year and Jay is looking for a job. Doesn’t hurt to talk to people.

  66. 66 ACViking said at 6:35 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Absolutely agree. Smart business.

  67. 67 Iskar36 said at 6:17 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    To me, this seems like Gruden trying to leverage himself better in contract negotiations. I just don’t think you take an interview if “you know” you are going back to Cincy. That’s incredibly unprofessional, and if he is being honest with that statement, I want no part of him (I already don’t really like him as a candidate, but that’s besides the point).

  68. 68 Arby1 said at 9:21 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Read the piece – he says a bunch of goofy things. I would think any potential employer except his present one would be turned off.

  69. 69 ACViking said at 6:04 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Re: Nick Saban

    I don’t think he could do anything to get on Lurie’s radar if only because he’s 61 and — more important — a complete jerk.

    PFT’s rumortalk ran a great anecdote that captures Saban.

    Back with the Dolphins, Saban arrived at the facility early one morning just as the equipment manager showed up.

    The EM opened the door for Saban and said, “good morning, coach.” Saban said nothing.

    A day or so later, Saban’s toady (a guy named O’Brien) told the EM, “don’t ever speak to Coach Saban again unless he addresses you first. Never.”

    It’s one thing for Saban to walk past the EM and say nothing. Maybe Saban’s deep in thought about some new play or whose butt he needs to kick. No problem.

    But to tell a member of the staff to treat him like the King of F’ing England . . . too much for me.

  70. 70 D3Keith said at 6:57 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Wow. There’s not enough money in the world for me to want to deal with that. Dolphins equipment manager might have been the guy’s dream job, but I’m fairly sure I would have quit on the spot.

  71. 71 Michael Winter Cho said at 7:16 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    But then no free paperclips…

  72. 72 D3Keith said at 7:49 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I’m sure the guy toughed it out, outlasted Saban and has a drawer full of team-issue teal-and-orange boxer briefs.

  73. 73 TommyLawlor said at 9:20 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Good story.

  74. 74 T_S_O_P said at 2:44 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Ahem, King of France please.

  75. 75 Cliff said at 2:54 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Seems a little far-fetched. Saban came from a college background where it’s not uncommon for coaches to be seen around campuses and small college towns. I’m sure he was used to lowly commoners talking to him. LOL.

  76. 76 pkeagle said at 4:11 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Ahem, emperor of France if you don’t mind!

  77. 77 Baloophi said at 6:13 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I VERY much enjoyed the Monte-Gus love story. I hear the forthcoming screen adaptation is already an early favorite at Cannes.

    Keep the humor coming, sir, and please don’t be discouraged by a few, snarky comments. It’s much easier to call a piece “not funny” than it is to actually sit down and write something original… especially if you seemingly have no idea what punctuation is and are likely living in your parents’ basement.

  78. 78 tad said at 6:47 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    This. Keep it light, and don’t be bothered by these sad little people.

    [goes upstairs, asks mom for more lasagna]

  79. 79 TommyLawlor said at 8:05 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I want some lasagna too.

  80. 80 Michael Winter Cho said at 7:14 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Yep, write, write, write; let the chips fall as they may.
    (on the other hand, once the writing is done, perhaps the humor pieces belong on an alternate site that is all-italics. There is something very quaint and grandmotherly about all-italics, like something that a 60 year old lady who made her own site with Frontpage when the www first started out)
    Lots of 🙂

  81. 81 aceandson said at 7:39 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I like to think of the 2012 season as humor piece in all italics.

  82. 82 D3Keith said at 7:47 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Some day, when we stop sobbing uncontrollably, we’ll all look back and laugh.

  83. 83 Ben Hert said at 8:33 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    After Chip Kelly leads us to 11 superbowls? Oh wait…

  84. 84 A_T_G said at 7:27 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    You know, maybe if you put the light-hearted writing in italics so people know what to expect…

    I agree, have fun with it. Reading something that one knows the author enjoyed writing is always more enjoyable. That comes through in the deep analysis as well as the fun stuff. My only criticism is that if you are going to mention a hot wife, a NSFW link is pretty much mandatory.

  85. 85 Ark87 said at 10:06 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Seriously, this guy was not entertained AT ALL! Needs to ease up.

  86. 86 Baloophi said at 6:16 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    There are many reasons why Saban would be a terrible choice for the Eagles head coach, but I know my biggest reason is that I’m married to an Auburn fan.

  87. 87 ACViking said at 6:16 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    It’s not Saban’s fault that Auburn couldn’t buy another QB after Newton left.

  88. 88 D-von said at 8:11 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    That was perfect

  89. 89 TommyLawlor said at 6:27 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Now that would make life hard on you.

  90. 90 SteveH said at 6:26 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I think it might not just be poor player development, but also a dysfunctional atmosphere. Mychael Kendricks I think is the best example of that. From day one he looked like a pro out there, and played like it too, all the way up through the first few weeks of the season. I find it hard to believe that a player with his skillset could suddenly forget how to be a good player as the season wore on. I think as much as anything the sort of circus atmosphere that was the Eagles this year probably hurt peoples performances.

  91. 91 A_T_G said at 7:22 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I could easily see this play out. With a change in DC and then the line in front of him, he finds himself beginning to second guess his instincts and what he drilled in training camp. Now he is a step late in coverage or a step less momentum taking on a full back. And all the fans sees is he is not making the plays anymore.

    I think the two are one in the same. That dysfunction retarded the young guys growing instead of developing it.

  92. 92 D3Keith said at 7:43 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    What’s weird is the year before, we were convinced it was the lockout and lack of offseason responsible for the poor development.

    I’d like to see these young defensive draft picks under a principled defensive teacher. Potential, sadly, is all we’ve got at the moment.

  93. 93 SteveH said at 10:38 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    We just need to get the guys playing with confidence again, I mean the whole teams confidence basically looked shot by halfway through the season and it never really bounced back.

  94. 94 D3Keith said at 7:02 PM on January 9th, 2013:

    That’s a fair assessment. Confidence in themselves, but also the system that they’re running, and that they understand it.

  95. 95 ACViking said at 6:28 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Re: Lovie and Gruden

    It’s almost like the Eagles are in a 4-corners, killing the clock until the guy they already know they want is done with the playoffs.

    If the Eagles add some more names next week, then I think they’ve already picked their guy and that guy’s still in the playoffs.

    And as for Gruden . . . all he said is he has “every intention” of returning to Cinncy — unless he’s offered a HC job that he likes, I assume.

  96. 96 GermanEagle said at 7:30 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Who do you have in mind from the remaining playoff teams?! Winston Moss from the Packers maybe?!
    Just please don’t tell me the Eagles may be interested in Josh McDaniels!!!

  97. 97 ACViking said at 6:46 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Re: Lovie Smith

    I think, where ever and when ever he lands a HC job, he’ll bring along Houston QB coach Karl Dorrell — former UCLA head coach.

  98. 98 A_T_G said at 7:14 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I’m not surprised to see Keith was able to express things in such a clear, concise manner. He has a knack for that. I just hope he remembers all us little people when he moves up to become D2Keith.

  99. 99 D3Keith said at 7:46 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Lol. I’m just glad I made a useful comment. Yet you should know that, like Saban preferring Alabama to the NFL, I wouldn’t exactly consider that a move “up.”

    Wait, did I just compare myself to Nick Saban? That came out totally wrong …

  100. 100 Arby1 said at 9:18 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    It’s OK to compare yourself to Saban but please, say Hi when we open the door for you.

  101. 101 D3Keith said at 7:03 PM on January 9th, 2013:

    Don’t reply to a comment of mine unless I address you first.

  102. 102 D3FB said at 1:25 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Mount Union > Valdosta State

  103. 103 Garp said at 7:23 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Lovie Smith or JON Gruden? Who ya got?

  104. 104 Patrick said at 7:56 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    I’ll take Lovie for DC and Gruden for QB Coach, maybe OC if the HC really love him and make him promise to stay the guy from Gruden’s QB camp and not the guy wanting 35+ players allround.

  105. 105 Mark Sitko said at 7:39 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    Love story was hilarious…and creepy as hell – carry on sir

  106. 106 SteveH said at 10:40 PM on January 8th, 2013:

    o SNAP, Shanahan might have messed with RG3’s career! look at this!–rg3-suffers-torn-lcl–surgeon-says-return-for-next-season–not-the-norm–030202476.html

    What a dope he is!

  107. 107 GermanEagle said at 6:36 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    what are the chances that Jay Gruden – should he become the Eagles HC – will hire his older brother Jon as the OC?!
    Personally I wouldn’t mind this brother duo…!

  108. 108 GermanEagle said at 9:49 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Ignore the question. I just read that Jay wants to return to Cincy…

  109. 109 Sean said at 8:44 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    How do we feel about Rob Ryan as DC?

  110. 110 ChaosOnion said at 8:57 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    I would love to have him, but he will probably be gone before the Eagles can interview him. I do not think the Eagles can hire a DC without having a HC in place. It undermines the HC. We had a mini-situation *just like that* with Washburn hired before Castillo was installed as DC.

  111. 111 Sean said at 9:00 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Good point. Here’s to hoping we pick a HC before all of the good coordinators are swallowed up.

  112. 112 Alex Karklins said at 9:51 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    A DC whose units are consistently below average? Sign me up! Sorry for the snark, but Rob would be a terrible choice. He’s not Rex. Not even close.

  113. 113 D3Keith said at 7:08 PM on January 9th, 2013:

    Hell no. Rob and I have coordinated the same number of outstanding NFL defenses. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up as a position coach for a few years.

    Rex I’d take in a heartbeat.

    So basically what Karklins said.

  114. 114 Penn7980 said at 8:55 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    This speaks volume on how AR ran the show here. If he keeps all his buddies around who aren’t the top coaches, we can’t expect the players get developed and the team to do well. His last few seasons of bringing on new coaches may be under pressure to change. But those changes did not bear fruits, maybe due to lack of time or cohesive structure, which led to AR’s end of tenure. Will he repeat the same at KC? We shall find out soon.

  115. 115 BC1968 said at 9:00 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Interesting article on Bill Cowher. So you’re saying there’s a chance.

  116. 116 bridgecoach said at 10:01 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    The decision has been made – rightly – that we want no part of retreads. We don’t want to repeat whats been done and hope to get back to where we were; we want to put ourselves on course to do better and go further.

    That is why Chip Kelly was such a high priority. He had the vision, experience and (dare I say it), the logistics to get us on a more successful track. I’m glad he was vetted and completely agree with the way that we went after him.

    Except for one thing. I think we should have requested separate interviews with Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich. I think a little prisoners dilemma would have proven more effective.

    I’m sorry that Chip Kelly wasn’t ready to make the right move. By staying at Oregon, he is delaying the advancement of his deserving coaching staff that have proven to be outstanding developers of talent. Some would have gotten big opportunities by following Chip to the NFL, while others would have been promoted at Oregon. By staying, that professional progress is undermined.

    Which is why I think we should have set up a meeting with Mark Helfrich as well. He was ready to take over the reigns at Oregon and holds the confidence of the team, the school, the boosters and the coaching staff. Is he ready to be an NFL coach? Lets see. Personally, I’m thinking about him as an OC or QB coach – mostly I want that perspective in the room. But Jay Gruden was able to turn a meet and greet to see about a QB position coach opening into a coordinator gig – why not Helfrich? If not Chip Kelly, why not heir apparent? Would Mike McCoy, Jon Gruden, Gus Bradley or Winston Moss benefit from that experience and point of view? I definitely think so. Would they be open to such a thing? I hope so – unless they really have a much better candidate in mind – which I’m sure Roseman and Lurie are very interested to find out.

  117. 117 Brett Smith said at 10:20 AM on January 9th, 2013:

    Well every time a good DC is hired another good DC is fired. Thank you Mr. Jones for being a complete idiot.

    While I think Rob Ryan did an “ok” job in Dallas I would also point out the fact he was working for one dysfunctional organization where the HC is a puppet and the players answer to the GM/Owner. He did a much better job in Cleveland (another dysfunctional organization). I am willing to say that in the right town Phili with a strong Offensive minded coach Rob Ryan will be fine at DC.

    I can not believe I just said that… I am also not feeling very good about our HC search.

    I think Buffalo might have got the right HC/DC combo… not sure about the OC hire as he seems like a good kid but lacks experience in the NFL.

    Time is yours Lurie.