Sunday Night Coach Update

Posted: January 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 68 Comments »

Adam Schefter just reported on Twitter that Chip Kelly is returning to Oregon.

I have no problem with Chip turning us down to stay out there.  I do wish the news came sooner.  I’ll write more on this on Monday.

* * * * *

The Eagles met with Broncos OC Mike McCoy today.  I think the meeting lasted about 3 hours.  No word on what went down.  Jeff Lurie, Howie Roseman, and Don Smolenski are back in Philly tonight.

This week the team should speak to Jay Gruden and would like to speak to Gus Bradley.  Seattle won, but the Eagles can still meet with him if the schedule can be worked out.

* * * * *

Many of you have asked about OC or DC candidates.  I’m making some lists, but this would be pure guesswork.  You never know how coaches are connected as friends.  Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone are friends due to time at Georgia Tech together 15 years ago.  Finding connections like that isn’t easy.

I’ll put out a list in a few days.


  • phillychuck

    Ruben Frank with the same report.

    Maybe Kelly knows he’s a better fit in college…

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.gleklen Brandon Gleklen

    Sucks that your two top choices are gone. Quick question: why didn’t you include Mike Nolan in your last list? Think the Eagles aren’t interested? He’s my next guy up.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Mike is a longshot here. I’m not against him. Just don’t think the Eagles would be high on him.

  • D3Keith

    I can accept this, that the Eagles gave it their best shot in a nine-hour meeting, and it was supposedly either us or back to where he’s comfortable.

    He chose not to come, and as all of us would likely agree, if he doesn’t want us, we don’t want him. But at least it wasn’t the Birds dropping the ball or getting outmaneuvered by Joe Banner.

    Mike McCoy is next man up IMO.

    • TommyLawlor

      Agreed on the Eagles giving their best shot. No questions about if they should have done more.

    • Arby1

      I hope we get to interview Gus Bradley early this week too. Really impressed with the transformation of Seattle’s D.

  • holeplug

    Sounds like Kelly got some Brett Favreitis in him. Can’t decide what he wants. Glad he went back now thats its clear he didn’t know what he wanted to do. Still is odd he sat through 7 and 9 hour interviews and then decided to return again. He went through this last year with Tampa so he knew the NFL interview drill and what teams were going to offer him.

    • Eric Weaver

      There are rumors Phil knight is getting him more money to stay.

    • D3Keith

      Very odd comment.

      First, why is taking a few days to make a solid decision considered wishy-washy? Never understood why Favre got sh1t for doing that either. Dudes are deciding what they’re going to do with the next year or several years of their lives and they have to know on the spot?

      The thing I hate is when they take the job, then they back out, a la Billy Donovan, etc. And even then, if it’s within a day or two, or before the news conference, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Petrino and Saban, that’s bad.

      Also I’d say if he sat through 7- and 9-hour interviews with NFL teams, and flirted with TB last year, and still went back to Oregon that Chip Kelly knows exactly what he wants.

      So it’s not the Eagles. Big deal. We’ll be fine.

      • http://twitter.com/Jason_A_Hines Jason A Hines

        A la Brett Favre, who retired and then wanted back in. I agree I have no problem with taking some time to make a decision, I just don’t like the flip-flopping, which Favre did.

  • Baloophi

    To be fair, if I could stay in college forever, too, I would.

    • D-von

      Nothing wrong with staying. I didn’t like how long he kept the process going. Still like him as a coach.

      • D3Keith

        “how long he kept the process going”

        The Fiesta Bowl was on the night of the 3rd. He met with three teams and made his decision by the night of the 6th. On the Eagles specificially, they got an answer within 24 hours of a 9-hour meeting.

        From afar, didn’t feel like he was dragging it out or disrespecting the process or putting the Eagles in a bad spot at all. I didn’t lose any respect for the guy during the process.

        • xeynon

          Yeah, I agree. The Eagles only had time to interview one more guy (whom because his team is still in the playoffs they couldn’t have hired anyway) in that 24 hour window… Kelly’s delay will end up having precisely zero effect on their plans.

        • D-von

          I see it differently. Why spend up to 16 hours between two teams if you weren’t serious about going pro. He could have ended any speculation after the Fiesta Bowl.

          • D3Keith

            I don’t know man, why visit four colleges your senior year of high school when you know you’re only going to attend one?

            I don’t think the meetings last 7 and 9 hours if he isn’t serious. If you’re just milking them for Oregon’s dough, you surely want to get out of there sooner than that. Or you just do a David Shaw, like you said, take your extension before the bowl and end the speculation.

            The kind of coach I want running my team is a guy who takes time to explore all options then goes with his gut.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brian.borkowski.71 Brian Borkowski

            It means he was serious. Very serious. But he’s within smelling distance of a national title, he has a young QB, and he has the adoration of Oregon. So when Nike made a push, he listened.

            He did what any smart professional would do; test the waters, try it on, and then decide.

    • TommyLawlor

      Ditto on staying in college.

    • bdbd20

      Man, imagine being a millionaire bachelor in college. Life as Chip Kelly is pretty damn good.

      • Baloophi

        He can finally nail the Triple Lindy…

  • D-von

    Really wanted Chip. I’m disappointed but not angry. I would have been upset if he choose Cleveland over us. Tommy, I saw your list of top coaching prospects. I thought you were really high on Mike Nolan.

    • TommyLawlor

      I made the case for Mike Nolan. Wasn’t advocating for the Eagles to hire him. I like Mike and would be okay if they hired him, but don’t get the feeling that he’s who Lurie is looking for.

  • bridgecoach

    McCoy must not have impressed the Eagles. Short meeting, no deal.

    • D-von

      The broncos are still in the playoffs. They can’t sign him yet even if they wanted him

      • nopain23

        That’s why for one weekend only I’m going to be the biggest Ravens fan there is…Go Birds!!!

        • D3FB

          See but we need to have McCoy not completely look incompetent either…. I’m thinking Ray Lewis murders Peyton and rides off into the sunset much to the horror of Goodell and gets acquitted due to the lack of oxygen in Denver causing him to “violently hallucinate”

        • http://www.facebook.com/brian.borkowski.71 Brian Borkowski

          Honestly, I would like to see the Broncos win it all so that Peyton no longer has fewer rings than Eli. Something about that just makes me angry.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brian.borkowski.71 Brian Borkowski

        Right, I doubt McCoy got the whole week off to just hang around. That’s a pretty substantial meeting from where I sit.

        Does anyone know how long Reid’s meeting was with Lurie when he was hired? The one where he showed up with his legendary binder? Or did we not measure those things quite so rabidly back then?

    • D3Keith

      In addition to what D-von said, Chip Kelly hadn’t given his answer yet.

      Also, not sure what meetings you normally attend, but three hours isn’t short. Who knows why Chip needed 9 hours, maybe they were on the verge and had lawyers on the horn or something.

  • xeynon

    I wanna know more about Gus Bradley. That Seattle defense is made up mostly of lightly regarded mid-to-low round prospects or castoffs from other teams and he turned them into one of the best units in the NFL.. that’s impressive.

    • D3Keith

      Warming up to him too.

      Especially today, giving up two long touchdown drives, and then nothing afterward. Few things more necessary in the NFL, than knowing how to get a team to keep its composure after getting punched in the mouth.

  • nopain23

    Kelly did us a favor. His heart wasn’t in it. So we need the next couple of things to happen.
    Step 1. Denver is one and done
    Step 2. Hire McCoy as HC ASAP. Stay away from thr Grudens please Lurie.
    Step 3. Hire a DC (Horton or Lovie if they don’t get HC jobs)
    Step 4. If we hire Horton, draft Star for our new Blitzing 3-4 Defense
    Step 5.DUMP Vick,Nnamdi, Bell and sign by J.Byrd ( it was painful watching Earl Thomas making plays tonight.I really wanted that guy)

    On another note anybody see bobby wagner HIT people all night?
    I remember Tommy was high on him. Heard in the Fox broadcast that he led on rookies in tackles this year.Guess we went with the wrong LB in the draft.
    For the record I was a Levonte David fan and thought we should have drafted him in the second or Z Brown( he had a monster year for the Titans too, T.Law wasn’t a Z Brown fan). Heck maybe we should draft Manti in this year’s draft. might as well keep drafting LBers ’till we get it right someday..

    • xeynon

      No thanks to Manti. He’s a fine prospect but in today’s NFL you shouldn’t draft any middle linebacker top 10 unless his name is clone-of-Ray-Lewis.

      I’m not that psyched about switching to a 3-4, honestly… other than Fletcher Cox, none of our top front 7 personnel are real fits for it and I’m not sure the right kind of talent is available in the draft (if I’m not mistaken Star plays 4-3 DT at Utah so size and strength notwithstanding we don’t know how he’d transition to playing NT – tenacity and willingness to work your butt off busting double teams are important attributes for that position and I’m not sure he has either from what I’ve read).

      • D-von

        Agreed. You don’t draft a MLB with the 4th overall pick. I really want to see how StarCox would look at the interior of the Dline though.

      • nopain23

        I was being sarcastic about Teo for the record. But if we do somehow hire Horton then there is no question that we are switching to a 3-4. he’s a Dick Lebeau disciple. If that’s the case we need a NT to eat up blocks and a blitzing OLB. At 4 the only prospects worthy of a pick that high are Star( might be the next Ngata) and Jarvis Jones( think Clay Matthews). I miss the days of seeing our D attack the QB with exotic/confusing blitzes. We need to be a nasty defense again. Both the defense and the offense have become too predictable. Enough of this lets rush the QB with our front four.Release the hounds, let’s bring the house.Too often this year the opposing QB knew exactly where the pressure was coming from.

        • xeynon

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with the 3-4 as a defensive philosophy. Given the right personnel, I’d even prefer it. But we don’t have close to the right personnel, and it would take more than one offseason to acquire them. As such I think it’s overly optimistic to think a guy like Horton could come in and turn the defense into a feared unit next season. More likely there would be a couple of years of growing pains while we phased out guys like Graham, Cole, Ryans, Curry and Patterson who don’t fit the system and brought in 3-4 players to replace them.

          I think someone like Bradley, who runs an unconventional 4-3 in Seattle, would stand a much better chance of coming in and turning the defense around quickly. There’s more than one way to create pressure and uncertainty for opposing quarterbacks (look at all the years JJ did it here running a 4-3).

          • D3FB

            I’m not sure I completely agree with you here about lack 3-4 personnel. NT is the one major major glaring hole. Cox would make a great 5 technique. Big Cedric played DE in an odd man front in college and has the athleticism and size to play end again. As far as OLB, most people saw Graham in the same mold as his college teammate Lamar Woodley, who last time I checked does a pretty bang up job a bit west down the pike. The other OLB would probably be a questionmark, but the Indy DE’s have done an okay job moving to OLB in a 34 front this year so maybe there is hope for Cole, and a handful of people did like Curry as a standup backer (although this was prior to his terrible 40 time, whether thats an accurate time or not may factor in). Regarding ILBs, I think your fine w/ what we have in the short term. Ryans has played in it a little, granted Wade Phillips runs a slightly different brand of 34 than Horton whom you mentioned. Yes some people will say that Ryan struggled because of the 34, and I will agree that given his cost, the fact that he would likely only be a two down backer, he may not be part of the plans longer than a year or two, but in most systems only one of the ILBs is a stud and the other eats up blockers to a larger extent. This brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, our shiny new second rounder Kendricks. He played ILB in Cals 34 in college (hell he played OLB in it earlier in his career too). He would likely thrive with the right coaching.

            So in summary. DEs are set. ILBs are set. NT is a major hole, OLBs are shaky but liveable in the short-term. Use the draft to address NT, maybe a midround OLB to compete for playing time, fill out the rest of the spots with depth. Will we be the Ravens or Steelers overnight? No, but we wont be completely lost either. Also as far as “unorthodox” or “hybrid” 34′s Pettine is available and learned at the feet of Buddy’s eldest son who runs a bit of a hybrid defense himself.

          • xeynon

            Kendricks I agree might make a nice 3-4 ILB. Ryans struggled in the 3-4 in Houston though. I think it’s overly optimistic to consider Cedric Thornton a starting quality 3-4 DE, and beyond him none of these DTs are potential 3-4 fits so there’d be no depth. I also think you’re being a bit rosy in assuming Graham, Cole, and Curry could transition to rush linebacker. Cole was moved to DE coming out of college partially because he lacked the coverage skills to be an NFL LB, Graham lacks explosiveness and appears to be most effective playing as a 275 pound power end whose primary weapon is the bull rush, and Curry is, as you mentioned, not the fastest guy in the world. None of those guys sound like ideal candidates to play rush LB. Yes, Freeney and Mathis made such a transition, but they didn’t do so all that well (Indianapolis’ defense was pretty bad this year and neither player was as dangerous or disruptive as they used to be as 4-3 DEs). I think transitioning effectively to a 3-4 would be a multi-year project and given the screaming needs this team has in other areas (OL, DB) using draft/FA resources to replace what is already a serviceable front seven group would be counterproductive.

    • http://twitter.com/3amDan Dan

      Kevin Minter is a better LB prospect than Te’o.

    • D3Keith

      All the LBs we didn’t get were beasts this year. Kuechly killed it, Wagner killed it, etc. Although the free agents that signed with the Saints, that ended up being historically the worst defense of all time.

      All the safeties we didn’t/couldn’t draft (Thomas, Berry, etc.) have been great.

      Everyone we got (Asomugha, Babin, Ryans, Jenkins) 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 had 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.

      • D-von

        Ryans has been pretty good for us

        • D3Keith

          I like him, he’s definitely back, not gonna quibble with you over that or any individual guys. Nobody this year raised their individual level of play so much that the group followed suit. Whatever the reason for that, I think that sometimes we focus too much on acquiring the personnel and not enough on what’s done with it once it’s here.

          Especially in the Eagles’ case, when the past two years you have on-paper contenders who lack something on game day … would be great to get a coach who can win with the players we have, plus a few.

      • nopain23

        Sad but true. You are 100% right.The next coach has a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a long offseason

      • xeynon

        Good points. The decline in our defense wasn’t just due to the loss of JJ. I think the loss of quality defensive position coaches (Brasher, Harbaugh, Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera, etc.) over the years really hurt as well. In the early Reid years this team actually did a really good job of turning low-round and undrafted players or bargain basement free agents into solid defensive contributors or even stars (Trent Cole, Rod Hood, Akeem Jordan, Quintin Mikell, Darwin Walker, etc.). In recent years they haven’t had nearly as much success.

  • http://twitter.com/3amDan Dan

    I was all aboard the Chip bandwagon.

    For me, no. 2 option is Mike McCoy. Maximized Orton. Maximized Tebow. Got to work with Manning. Adapts to his personnel. Young with a lot of upside.

    Question is, is he ready to run an organization and all the additional responsibilities. Only the interview could reveal that.

  • D-von

    Does anyone know if the Eagles received permission to interview Jay Gruden?

    • TommyLawlor

      Cincy lost. Don’t need permission.

      • Arby1

        But isn’t he still under contract?

        • TommyLawlor

          When you hire someone as HC, that can’t be blocked…as far as I know.

  • Baloophi

    Possible 1930′s gangster name for our coquettish friend from Oregon? Chip “Blue Balls” Kelly

    • TommyLawlor

      Ha! That’s certainly appropriate.

    • Arby1

      Possible 1930′s gangster outcome for the coach post-decision: into the wood chipper kelly!

  • nicolajNN

    I never really really liked Kelly as our HC, I wanted him because he seems to have been Lurie and co’s top candidate and I do trust them in this, and of course I didn’t want to lose out on him to Banner and Cleveland.

    Doug Marrone on the other hand I had warmed up to and come to like, a shame we didn’t get him.

  • http://twitter.com/n3th3rman Christopher Miller

    Would still be happy with a Gus Bradley w/Norv Turner in tow or Jay Gruden w/Romeo Crennel in tow option. I would love to see what Norv could do with our guys, so I lean in that direction.

    • xeynon

      I like Bradley/Turner. Can’t say NO loudly enough to Gruden/Crennel. Wouldn’t touch either of those guys with a 20 foot pole.

  • http://twitter.com/n3th3rman Christopher Miller

    Also, NFL hype machine in effect with headlines like Eagles must start search over…this is why I hate mainstream media.

  • goeagles55

    I think it says something good about the type of guy they are going after, if their top two choices have chosen to stay because of loyalty to their current players and jobs.

    Despite the raise Obrien got and Chip may have gotten, they did leave money on the table.

  • GermanEagle

    Like I said (numerous times) I am glad that Chip Kelly is not going to the Eagles. Who knows if he had pulled out after one year in the pro’s to go back to college, since his head and commitment has never been 100%. After pulling out twice now (Bucs last year, Browns/Eagles this year), he won’t get HC interviews in the NFL any time soon though, that’s for sure…
    As for the Eagles HC candidates I am hoping for Gus Bradley, with McCoy a close second. Jay Gruden I wouldn’t mind, but his hiring wouldn’t get me excited either.
    At least the Eagles’ next HC will have NFL experience…

    • pkeagle

      This
      Bradley & McCoy are my top 2 choices as well for different reasons:
      Bradley because our D needs a major upgrade in scheme and an infusion of energy
      McCoy because he has proven to be good at molding average/below average QBs (Orton & Tebow) into decent players and can adapt his scheme to suit personnel which was Reid’s biggest fault in his final years here.

  • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

    Well that wasnt quite the satisfying news i was hoping to wake up too. On to Bradley or McCoy. At least we can look at it this way. We won the NFL battle for Chip Kelly, sadly we lost to college cheerleaders in the Coach Bowl.

  • Anders

    Tommy, have you any idea why Greg Roman hasnt been interviewed at all? He was my 2nd favorite after Kelly.

  • SteveH

    Could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe Kelly wouldn’t work as a pro coach. Whatever happened to Mike Zimmer as a HC candidate? I really like his body of work and philosophy on how to handle players.

  • BobSmith77

    Never really understood why Kelly was all that interested in Philly to begin with given the fact that Roseman was going to have a key role in all aspects of player personnel, he has no ties to anyone in the organization or area, and the Eagles have 2 QBs in place who doesn’t fit his scheme & its a really poor year to draft a QB in the 1st round.

    Only way I think it made sense for Kelly to take the job in Philly is if Oregon gets hit with significant sanctions including a bowl ban for a year or two.

  • BobSmith77

    Curious to see during the next week if the Eagles have a clear 2nd choice or if they have 2-3 guys they might like.

    If they have another 1-2 candidates pass them by, that’s a pretty damning criticism of what candidates think of Roseman and the current operating structure that’s in place.

    • xeynon

      Marrone didn’t even interview with them, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume the reason he took the Bills job was anything to do with the Eagles. He got a good offer from his home team and took it. Not that surprising. As for Kelly, he clearly didn’t have his heart set on leaving the college game. If he had he was going to pick the Eagles over the Browns though.

      I think it’s reading too much into things to assume that Kelly and Marrone were the first and second choices because they were interviewed early. Part of that is just scheduling interviews when guys are available (McCoy interviewed the same day Marrone would have, and Bradley and Gruden weren’t available before because their teams were playing this past weekend). The Eagles’ first three scheduled interviews were with the three Atlanta coordinators, but nobody assumes those guys were candidates 1, 2, and 3 just because they were numerically first.

      • BobSmith77

        I wasn’t really considering Marrone nor the Atlanta candidates who were more prep interviews since an organization’s favorite candidate is almost never the 1st or 2nd interview if they have several people lined up.

        • xeynon

          OK, well.. I still think you’re assuming too much if you think that Kelly passing them by is an indictment of Roseman. The Eagles are the third team he’s teased in the past two offseasons; it’s clearly a pattern with him.

          • BobSmith77

            Understand what you are saying. My later point is only relevant if they have another 1-2 coordinators pass on the job & I don’t think they will.

            I would be pretty stunned at this point if the Eagles don’t go the NFL coordinator and brought in a retread like Smith.