Buying In

Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 113 Comments »

Yesterday Leonard Weaver, the star FB from 2009 who tore up his knee so badly in the 2010 season opener, said something interesting on Twitter. He said:

Today, Weaver was a bit on the defensive. He tried to explain his thoughts and left me confused. Basically, there are 2 logical conclusions that I can come up with.

Either he is talking to a couple of disgruntled players.  Or, he is reading about some players, including Vick, who he admits is a “great friend”, and is troubled by the handling of these situations and how that might affect the team.

One thing you must understand is that Weaver hasn’t been in the locker room in the last couple of years. When he left, Vick was a worshiped player. And he’s right. Had a coach treated 2010 Michael Vick this way, other guys in the locker room would not have responded well.

Vick remains a popular player, but a lot has changed. He is no longer put on a pedestal. Why? Results. Last year when Vick got hurt and Foles took over, there were more than a few players who said “good”. They wanted to see what the kid could do. Really, it is as simple as that. Vick wasn’t winning games, he was turning the ball over and the offense wasn’t scoring points.

The team didn’t splinter or anything that dramatic. The season was lost at that point, anyway.

Vick is still very much respected in the locker room. He works hard. You won’t find a tougher player in the league. But his standing has fallen. The players aren’t bothered in the least that he is in a QB competition. Frankly, they want a good QB. They don’t care who it is. Vick is tighter with some guys than others and I’m sure they are pulling for him, but not in a “if he goes, I go” kind of way.

Is Weaver hearing things from sources? Possible. Jimmy Bama tweeted yesterday that he played with 19 guys who are still on the team. Frankly, I’ve been surprised that we haven’t had more rumors about guys being disgruntled. Andy Reid was a very popular coach. Firing him and hiring a guy like Chip Kelly who has made such dramatic changes can put off some veteran players. I’ve not heard anything about guys complaining up until Vick’s comments last week, and I do think that was a lot of frustration based on the media asking about the competition so much.

I do wonder if Weaver mis-read the Cary Williams stuff at all. Williams is mad at fans and the media, but if you just read the headlines and didn’t pay strict attention you might think he was mad at the Eagles. Did he read about DeSean and think that was some major situation, because of how disgruntled DJax got in the past?

Could be that Weaver saw Williams, Jackson and Vick’s comments last week and came up with a lame opinion based on that.

I don’t know how tight Weaver is with the guys on the team right now.

Brent Celek did say in his comment to Don Banks recently that almost everybody had bought in to what Kelly was doing. This sounds more accurate to me. Weaver gives the impression that Kelly’s methods are causing major problems. Celek made it sound like a handful of guys were reluctant to believe in Kelly. Big difference.

Who are some guys that could be reluctant to buy in?

Michael Vick – Might be losing his starting job.

Clay Harbor – Was the #2 TE last year. Kelly comes in and Harbor hears how much he loves TEs. Good news, right? Then the Eagles draft a TE early and sign one in FA. They keep adding guys. Harbor might be out of a job.

DeSean Jackson – Spent time working with the 2′s and 3′s, which got his attention. Andy didn’t really do stuff like that.

Jason Avant – Not a natural fit for Kelly’s offense. I think he could be cut/traded, but Jason is saying and doing all the right things. Goes to show what a high character player he is and why we like cheering for him so much.

Matt Tennant – Hoped to challenge for more PT, but haven’t heard a thing about him so far.

Trent Cole – Defensive switch means he’ll be spending some time at LB. Could easily be frustrated with that, but says all the right things publicly.

Brandon Graham – Went from starting LDE to backup SAM. Might not stay there, but could see where he’d be frustrated after a strong finish to 2012. Words and actions show he’s doing whatever it takes to buy into new role/system.

Jamar Chaney – Has started for parts of all 3 years, but Eagles went out and signed Jason Phillips as backup ILB and now are high on rookie Jake Knott.

You have to look for players that liked Andy Reid or have some reason to not like Chip Kelly. I think a lot of players are excited by the change and ready to do whatever it takes.

Football players want to win. You know Trent Cole loves Andy Reid to death, but the last 2 years have been miserable. I’m sure Cole is open to anything he thinks will get him back to the playoffs. That goes for Todd Herremans and Brent Celek and any other long time Eagles. Embracing Kelly is no insult to Reid. Change happens. It is part of life in the NFL.

Anyone I missed that could be hesitant to buy into Kelly’s ideas?

* * * * *

Here are a couple of videos on ILB Jake Knott from his days at Iowa State. He was a special player for the Cyclones and they really, really love that guy.

_


  • Mike K

    It is likely Vick, Avant or Cole. I know he was pretty close to Avant and Cole when he played, from talking to his dad at the Dawkins retirement game. I just don’t feel like anyone should be more disgruntled than Cole or Graham. I feel bad that Avant likely won’t be here and wish they would just trade him now to save me the sadness of a last-round of cuts move will bring.

    • TommyLawlor

      We’re guessing that Avant doesn’t fit in. Could be that Kelly has a plan for how to use him. Just doesn’t appear to be a Kelly type of player in terms of size or athleticism.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

        I really want Avant to stick, but I’m having a hard time fitting him in. Which sucks as he one of my favorite players.

        • GEagle

          I worry about Avant as much as anyone..The athleticism is def not ideal for what you think chip would want, but he does still have some things going for him with the new coach:
          1) A solid and certainly willing blocker in the run game(unfortunately for him we added some big boy WR who can also block)
          2) Blocking on ST. he looked like Jason Peters getting to the 3rd level on Deseans miracle punt return
          3) ST hands team
          4) Reliable. Won’t blow assignments, comes up with some huge clutch 3rd down catches
          5) Not just game leadership, but also mentoring. it says a heckuva lot about a veteran who could be on the roster bubble, mentoring a young rookie like Sheppard.
          ..
          out of curiousity has anyone ever heard anyone say a bad word about Avant? I much prefer trying to trade him to a contender, then seeing him get cut. However I think at this point his Eagles funeral is still a bit premature

        • matthew Verhoog

          Our other Slot WR are not great blockers.

          • GEagle

            Cooper,Benn, maybe Momah can all block. Keep in mind that in this offense, TEs will often function as WR in the passing game, which means they can also block from the WR spot in the run game..
            This is no longer the case like it was under Andy when you carried two TE’s, Cooper and a group of speedy midget smurfs..everywhere Avant looks there is a big physical athletic pass catcher around him lol..One of my fav Eagles, but If I were him, I would be fighting my heart out this summer..

            Speaking of fighting when are we going to set odds on who starts the first training camp fight, and who is involved in the most training camp fights? Im expecting big daddy Lane to go at it this summer..Watkins better show some fight because I suspect a youngbuck will try to make a name off of him(not that it would say much at this point lol)..but I really hope to see Watkins have a nasty physical aggressive camp

  • Sean Scheinfeld

    This is impossible for us to really know, but we should probably add to the list any player who’s more interested in the personal comfort provided by the routine they’d established for themselves under Andy Reid or elsewhere. We’d like every NFL player to be totally driven to win above all else, but that simply isn’t the case. Plenty of regular civilians (us mere mortals) care more about getting through the work day comfortably than performing at a high level and helping the company do the same.

    • TommyLawlor

      This is a reasonable point as well.

    • Ben Hert

      I see where you’re coming from on this point, but I think that’s far and away the exception to the rule. There are very few players who get to the NFL without the complete and steadfast determination that would be required to reach the highest parts of any career ladder. Trying to compare it to us mere mortals is like trying to compare the work ethic of your everyday bank-teller and Gordon Gecko. You don’t get to that point without the drive to compete and succeed, and those that do, don’t usually pan out (RE: Haynesworth, Jamarcus Russel). I’d venture to say almost every player on that roster has no problem with having to do more work, and I say that mainly because I don’t see any players like that, more specifically, ones that Chip Kelly would keep around (RE: high character, leader type guys we drafted this year). Any player with that kind of attitude would be on the first plane out of Philly via the Chippah Express.

      I see any dissent in the locker room more about the change in culture than actual amount of work. Its more of an authoritative “Don’t tell me what to eat, how much I need to sleep, or tell me that I’m not running enough in practice while you track me with GPS” type thing. That, and people in positions they aren’t comfortable with, and the open competition for the entire roster.

      I think you’ve got a valid point…in very very rare circumstances, and one that doesn’t really go along with the type of players (we think) we have on this team.

      • HipDaDip

        Great points. To me, the GPS thing would be the most likely to put players off, tracking them during their time “off.” It seems like Kelly wants the players to be as involved and dedicated to football as he is, and expects them to be players 24/7, not husbands or fathers or sconce inspectors. Thinking about it more, I don’t believe Kelly would track their movement in the time off and at the same time, not be pissed that Cary missed some of the voluntary workouts. Working out in the month ahead might be “voluntary,” but it doesn’t mean Chip isn’t taking note. I think you are right, that there are definitely players out there who will make every sacrifice to win, and Kelly will probably find them and make a winning team out of them. There absolutely have to be players who think Chip’s attention to detail (to put it mildly) is overboard.

        • Adam

          I’m fairly confident that’s not how the GPS is being used. From what I understood it was something they used while training, like those Nike things you put in your shoe to sync up with your iPod to show how much distance you covered in a run. It’s not an ankle bracelet to keep tabs on where they go when they’re not at Novacare. I don’t think any player would ever put up with something like that, and the Players Union would be all over it in a heart beat.

          • James

            Yes, this. haha

          • HipDaDip

            Yeah, I worded that poorly. I think you are right as far as the point of the GPS. I stand by my point though, that Chip is in some sense asking for proof that the players worked out. It might be under the guise of helping them exercise better, but it still is very invasive and could easily piss off a player.

    • Ben Hert

      I see where you’re coming from on this point, but I think that’s far and away the exception to the rule. There are very few players who get to the NFL without the complete and steadfast determination that would be required to reach the highest parts of any career ladder. Trying to compare it to us mere mortals is like trying to compare the work ethic of your everyday bank-teller and Gordon Gecko. You don’t get to that point without the drive to compete and succeed, and those that do, don’t usually pan out (RE: Haynesworth, Jamarcus Russel). I’d venture to say almost every player on that roster has no problem with having to do more work, and I say that mainly because I don’t see any players like that, more specifically, ones that Chip Kelly would keep around (RE: high character, leader type guys we drafted this year). Any player with that kind of attitude would be on the first plane out of Philly via the Chippah Express.

      I see any dissent in the locker room more about the change in culture than actual amount of work. Its more of an authoritative “Don’t tell me what to eat, how much I need to sleep, or tell me that I’m not running enough in practice while you track me with GPS” type thing. That, and people in positions they aren’t comfortable with, and the open competition for the entire roster.

      I think you’ve got a valid point…in very very rare circumstances, and one that doesn’t really go along with the type of players (we think) we have on this team.

  • Solomon

    Been trying to follow this subject since Weaver stated this. He tried to clarify today on Twitter, one Tweet really stood out to me:

    “However I speaking about tge overall team. Trust me M.Vick is not the only player who feels that way. Usually if one player.”

    Given everything that’s come from Vick lately, this seems to be pretty telling to me.

    • TommyLawlor

      Key there is “Usually if one player”. Weaver is making a guess that if Vick isn’t happy, others aren’t as well.

      • Solomon

        And I totally agree, it’s definitely not just Vick. Maclin a possibility?

        • the midatlantic

          Not certain Weaver has any actual insider info here beyond reading into press stories, but to entertain the thought…Maclin is a good suspect Tommy left out.

        • the midatlantic

          Not certain Weaver has any actual insider info here beyond reading into press stories, but to entertain the thought…Maclin is a good suspect Tommy left out.

        • T_S_O_P

          Maclin was a big fan of Foles, and his numbers were always better when playing with the other QB. The biggest losers might be the biggest gripers if indeed Weaver’s account is truly accurate. I’d guess that Shady might be one of these as he moves from being a one and only back (Marty-style) and a guy who had his greatest season in a backfield shared with Vick.

        • GEagle

          I agree that it probably isn’t just Vick(He who I chose not to name lol), but I don’t think it’s a large pool of suspects either…Seems like weaver wanted his name our there, and he certainly knew an easy hornets nest to stir…
          I would think it would be less of a case of players hating the new methods, and more of a case of players who had cushy safe spots under Andy, who’s future is now threatened due to the change..
          ..
          if these disgruntled not bought in players really do exist, I expect them to not be very happy when cuts are made. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there are very few contracts we are married to at this point in time. it was intentionally designed to cultivate roster FLEXABILITY as well as a strong, high Charecter locker room..How many possibly disgruntled players could afford to not buy in, and still have a job in September? not many if you ask me

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

        I hate to bring up race since it’s a third rail but is Vick the “black” Brett Favre. No matter what Favre did or how bad he looked or whatever you always had the “yee-haw” good ol boys on TV defending what he did. “look at that Favre he just loves the game.” “Or even when Favre throws 5 picks “You can see how he doesn’t let it affect him or his joy playing the game.” Or you know how they all laughed when he killed a chicken and stuffed it in another players locker (you know killing animals is bad right right?) With Vick you seem to have a lot of the former Black players coming out defending him even when he looks bad. “The eagles need to do a better job putting vick in a position to succeed.” Or “Stop trying to turn Vick into a passer.” Type arguments. Not saying it’s racially motivated but you do see that a lot with former players turning analyst. They let their Friendships get in the way of being objective.

        • aub32

          So are you suggesting that players are supporting him because he’s black? Most of the league is black. Therefore, the majority of former players are going to be black. Heath came out and said he feels Vick will start. He isn’t black last I checked. This is such a terrible argument that I am so tired of seeing come from those who don’t want Vick as the QB. Why can’t it just be about football. Why can’t it be former players either played with or against Vick and feel he’s better than a guy who came in and went 1-5. I get so tired of fans making it seem like Vick only played in 2012. In 2011 and 2010 he put on a much better performance than Foles. It’s not so hard to believe he can do so again with a team that’s not literally falling apart around him. Almost every other player gets a pass about last year. Yet if fans and former players suggest Vick can be as good as he was then they are obviously blinded by skin color. Give me a break. I support Vick because I’ve seen what he can do when things are going well. He can play in a system. He can win games. He also has the ability to put the team on his back and make things happen with his arm and his legs that most QBs could only dream of. Is he small? Yes. Does he have a problem with turnovers? Yes. But so did almost every other player who touched the ball the last two seasons, including Foles, BB, Mac, Celeck, and Avant. Foles on the other hand has won one game and didn’t look all that great doing it. Yet fans are so quick to say he’s better than Vick and has a better understanding of the game. ??? He had a losing record in college. He has a losing record in the NFL. He ran Andy Reid’s system for backups and put up the same stats Kolb and the like put up before him. Yet it’s ok to project him the starter. There’s no bias anywhere. Just the other day someone compared him to Flacco. The only similarity there is they’re both big and white. Flacco is a much better athlete and has one of the strongest arms in the league. Foles ran a dink and dunk offense last season. But the race bias is clearly for Vick because he’s black and the only reason any former player would side with a decade starter who has made multiple pro bowls, took a team to the NFC championship, won the division and was in the conversation for league MVP just 2 years ago, is because of the color of his skin.

          • Neil

            I think he’s saying Vick is a mistakeprone QB with a strong arm that most fans and media types vastly overrate. Not sure what being black has to do with that, though.

          • aub32

            If he said only that I would be fine. I can even look past the “black Farve” comment, which could have easily been stated a Farve like player. However, the part in which he says “With Vick you seem to have a lot of the former Black players coming out defending him even when he looks bad.” can’t be overlooked. Too many fans are of this opinion that black people can’t see past skin color, and it disrespects the opinions of those of us who actually take the time to make valid points. That way of thinking has no place in an actual civilized discussion.

          • TommyLawlor

            @ aub32…

            I don’t agree with Stempo’s comments, but I don’t think they are over the line. That’s why I didn’t delete them.

          • aub32

            With all due respect it is an ignorant and offensive thing to suggest. I get you and others may think I am over blowing it but it’s an opinion that takes the argument away from the football field and discredits anyone who may have a diffence in opinion just because they happen to be the same race as the much debated signal caller.

          • TommyLawlor

            @ aub32

            I don’t think you are overblowing it. Your reaction is your reaction.

            I just wanted to let you know why I hadn’t deleted the comment. I don’t like to do that unless I sense malice or think someone has clearly gone too far.

          • A_T_G

            I am glad you left it up. This is a wonderful example of a measured, heart-felt disagreement on one of the most emotional topics possible.

            Both sides shared their opinions and their reactions to the other’s without assigning motives or questioning their sincerity.

            Certainly we don’t want the conversation to wander in this direction often, but if these readers can have a civil discussion about how race factors into things, I’d hope the rest of us can follow their example when discussing our QBs in general.

          • GEagle

            Good stuff ATG

          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            Again, Maybe it’s just my frustration at people I work with. Let me give you an example. There are two people I work with 1 of them hates black QB’s I mean really hates them, he’s an imbecile. He rants on Randal cunningham all the time and how awful eh was etc etc. Another guys I work with thinks RG3 is just Michael Vick. Which is dumb as they’re not even on the same planet football IQ wise. Another person I work with adores mike Vick (white kid) and the more the other 2 guys hate on him the more he defends him. Listen I’m not saying that the people on TV are racist. Or that everyone who supports or hates Vick is racist or that race even enters into it. It is something worth noting though. And it is something that is real. I don’t personally feel that way and I don’t discredit EVERYONES opinions because of it but it is out there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            Let me be clear it’s not that the players or analysts are racist. But let’s be honest Vick is and always has been a bit of a third rail when it comes to this. Racism is just specifically stupid tribalism. It’s the one of us argument and yeah it is ignorant.But A lot of people do hate Vick because he is black, or their opinion of him is affected because of it and the stereotypes around it. That’s dumb. I agree.

            I think a better way to have argued it was that a certain segment of analysts see Vick as “one of them.” The same way that A lot of analyst saw Favre as “one of them” and it made them averse to criticizing him but not so much averse to criticizing the people around them. If you want to use the term “hip hop community” or “came from a rough background” fine. I just think that’s semantics. Favre got a lot of slack from “Beer drinkin, fly fishin, hunters.” If you prefer those terms to others fine. I don’t think it’s causation if that’s what your trying to infer. I actually take offense to that inference.

            Last thing i’ll say on this. The rest of your point “that some people believe that black people can’t see past skin color” really isn’t a discussion for this board.

          • aub32

            It’s not about the teminology you use if you’re going to imply the same meaning. Does race play a factor in some people’s decision of who they want as QB? Sure it does, but it’s not a football reason and shouldn’t be brought up without cause, especially when brought up as an accusation of former players. You can’t just throw assumptions like that around without offending someone.

          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            I agree it’s not a football reason and shouldn’t be brought up. Preaching to the choir. I’m probably more sick of seeing it factored into peoples opinions than you are all things being equal.

          • GEagle

            I swear one of my biggest pet peeves in sports is when I hear Eagles fans who clearly factor race into their oppinion…It’s just maddening to me how in 2013 anyone could care at all about that. How could you not want the player that gives you the best chance to win?
            ..
            it’s very sad to me, to know that this still does exist in our sports and I really have a hard time comprehending it because I Genuinly don’t even know what it’s like to factor how similar someone looks like me into my oppinions and rooting interests. It’s soo odd to me because I really never once cared I just wanted my team to do what was best for itself in the short and long term

          • Søren

            this is basic social psychology; we prefer people who we look alike – which obviously includes collor of your skin. Nothing racist about that

          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            No not particularly because he’s black, no. Though I think it’s dumb to ignore that aspect of it. It’s more of a cultural thing. I personally like Vick I like his story. He’s not on the same level as RG3 and it’s not even close. I think it’s reverse though. I think alot of people see the hatred of Vick as Something racially motivated (which sadly is partially true and it’s disgusting, I work with a lot of people who want to get rid of Vick because he’s black and to quote “a black QB has never won a superbowl” even though 1 has. It’s a stupid argument.) I see a lot of people support Vick as kind of an insult to the racist argument. Yes. That does happen. It should be about football I agree, and as I stated yesterday. Vick is Tim Tebow but faster. I agree he can win you games, and I agree he can be electric. When he looks bad though.. he looks really really bad.

            It’s also not about former players believing he’s better than Foles I’m fine with that argument. It’s about former players believing that Mike Vick is being held back and that if we just let him be Mike Vick be Mike Vick we’d all see. It’s the same tired argument I saw all the time with Favre. It’s just Favre being Favre. Well Favre being Favre lost the packers more playoff games than it won them. I see Vick as the same thing minus a superbowl won by the players around him. A player who cam free-wheel and make exciting plays but is incapable of adjusting and is incapable of buckling down and learning from his mistakes.

            The 1 year Vick looked good was the one year Andy seemed to get him to actually sit back and play QB and trust the players around him.

            Vick and Favre two players who will put up great numbers, make amazing plays, look like potential hall of famers and will in the end, lose you as many games as they will win because they just don’t get it.

          • aub32

            Like I said, I have no problem with you comparing Vick to Farve. I just find the notion that former black players support Vick inherently due to his race offensive. I don’t want to go on a race tangent but most black people I know have dealt with racism, myself included. You get over it and realize that’s other people’s ignorance. I will not excuse Vick’s play over the last 2 years because he’s black. He didn’t do enough. However, given the landscape of QBs, he is who I would trust my 2013 with. If Rodgers or Luck were available, I would glad call Vick and wish him goodbye and good luck myself, but that’s not the case.
            I do appreciate your explanation but ask that you don’t bring up those types of opinions in this particular forum. I comment on this site to have friendly debates and possibly have my eyes opened to a different way of looking at things. Please don’t taint that with non football reasoning.

        • TommyLawlor

          @ Stephen Stempo,

          Please avoid the topic of race unless you have specific evidence that it is relevant to the discussion. You are totally guessing on this and that is awkward with such a tricky topic.

          You are correct that former players do swoon over Vick. However, this is because of what he did, not the color of his skin.

          Are these players going on and on about how Byron Leftwich got a raw deal? Or Jason Campbell? Or JaMarcus Russell?

          Vick was a special player and that’s why other guys worshiped him. He did things they had never seen before. Skin color is largely irrelevant.

          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            again sorry Tommy I meant to make the correlation that “Rednecks” seemed to support Favre no matter what he did and that a certain segment seems to do the same to Vick. Again both very talented QB’s I agree. I didn’t mean to say that it’s because he’s black. It is a tricky topic though and perhaps it came across wrong as I typed it.

          • TommyLawlor

            You can mean well with the topic of race and still have it go wrong. Best not to mess with unless it is clearly pertinent. In this case, I don’t think it is.

          • GEagle

            learned that the hard way..lol I do want to add that in regards to Vick being highly respected by his peers, I think more of the love comes from a pop culture stand point then it does from the actual race. because I have seen a ton of players of all different races love him. In 2010-11 Vick was the hottest thing in the NFL..I think I see race (not pop culture) play more a role with some ignorant fans then the players…I always felt like the younger pop culture generation adored him, and the older players who have been around for a while kinda stopped caring about anything but winning

        • jshort

          right. Right? Stephen be careful with your punctuation; it could cause controversy.

      • aub32

        I don’t know Tommy. You seem to be guessing that Weaver’s source is Vick or that he is referring to media headlines. We don’t know that. He may very well be getting his info from any number of players and just stating what they can’t as none of them have secured a spot on this roster. I think just assuming Weaver is making statements on behalf of the known headlines is a bit of a reach by you or anyone else.

        • TommyLawlor

          I said that he could be talking to disgruntled players.

          I think he is way overstating things, though, when he says “does not look promising”. That would mean he would have to know that a substantial group of players are anti-Kelly. That is simply not the case.

          My take is that Weaver is combining something he’s heard with something he’s read and is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. If Kelly had serious resistance, we’d have found out about it by now.

      • ohitsdom

        Which makes sense from the locker room he knew.

  • ACViking

    Re: Infinity x Infinity

    T-Law:

    I take it as an article of faith that regardless of what they’re saying to the media, there are hold-overs from the Reid years who are not happy with what they’ve seen of the Kelly regime so far — maybe for the same reasons, maybe for different reasons. True here. True in JAX. True on every team.

    This same sort of thing happened when Dick Vermeil replaced Mike McCormack.

    Vermeil was coming off a Rose Bowl victory with UCLA (though he’d coached in the NFL for the 3 seasons for the Rams’ George Allen).

    He was the “College Guy.”

    McCormack was a “players’ coach.” His guys loved him. Unfortunately, they didn’t play particularly hard. Nor did McCormack particularly push them very much during his 3-year tenure.

    So five days into training camp, back when the season was just 14 games and TC lasted abt 2 months, Dick Vermeil cut RB Ron “Po” James, who’d been an Eagle and with McCormack for all three years (plus one before he arrived).

    Message sent.

    Vermeil relentlessly drove that ’76 team during TC and during the season to weed out the Po James-types. Without apology.

    Chip’s doing everything with a smile. But I’ve no doubt he’ll be as relentless as Coach Vermeil was in reconstructing this team. He’ll find the guys who aren’t buying in. He’ll find them and send them packing. With a smile.

    • EaglesHero87

      You, sir, are a beast when writing these pieces. I have no idea how you’re able to recollect memory after memory of Eagles history. I have a question about Po James. Do you know why Vermeil cut him? Was it because he wasn’t working as hard, or didn’t buy in Vermeil’s system?

      • ACViking

        Vermeil swore it was strictly a matter of competition and if the choice was between James — a veteran — and a rookie, Vermeil was keeping the rookie.

        He said James was sixth out of the six RBs on the squad — two of whom were rookies [Mike Hogan, Herb Lusk], one was acquired in a trade by Vermeil [Bill Olds from the Colts], and one was his UCLA star RB James McAlister. The fifth RB was the starting HB, Tom Sullivan.

        Anyway, that’s what Vermeil said.

        I’ve always wondered if there were other issues. In 1982, James was arrested for cocaine possession. Three years earlier, Hogan and another Eagle from the McCormack era, DE Will Wynn, were also popped on drug charges.

        Anyway, that’s my understanding of things.

        • GEagle

          I’m actually recording a podcast with Mr. vermiel for school…any ideas for any cool questions I can ask the man to try and connect his past with our present times? I have 45 minutes so I’m shooting for a blend of hearing about his time as a coach, as well as hearing his interpretation of the new chip Kelly era. Appreciate any thought provoking questions that I could add

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

      This sounds remarkably like when Reid Took over in ’99 And he had Hegeman Pushing the sled up and down the field as punishment only to cut him a week later. The Reid sent messages, and I firmly believe that Reid wouldn’t have put up with the last 2 years.

    • Anders

      Andy Reid also started out that way, but somewhere turned soft.

      • holeplug

        lot easier to start out that way than it is to continue it for a prolonged period

  • Buge Halls

    I would think the team is disgruntled with Vick when, after the season last year, he (Vick) blamed the rest of the team for not trying as hard as he did.

    • TommyLawlor

      Those messages were aimed not at the team, but at a couple of CBs.

      • Buge Halls

        True…I guess they are gone

      • ACViking

        T-Law:

        I thought the Eagles played last season without any CBs. No?

        • TommyLawlor

          Sure seemed that way.

          • atb124

            Poppycock. If there were no CBs, who is that we saw pointing at the safeties all the time?

      • Buge Halls

        Although this quote is what I had in mind – he was pretty nebulous about who he was referring to:

        ““I give 110 percent effort,” Vick said. “My body is scarred up all year. I’m hurt, I’m bruised, get up after every hit and still try and fight and push. I do that for my coaches. I do that for my teammates. And I would expect the same thing in return.””

        • TommyLawlor

          Trust me. I was told by reliable people…he was talking about the CBs.

          • Buge Halls

            I believe you – probably a LB/S or two as well!

  • hotcakes33

    I hear that Jason Babin is pretty upset with all the changes.

    • TommyLawlor

      I say we cut him.

    • D3FB

      It’s all the Philly socialism

  • Greg

    I’m sure Drew Bledsoe was pretty disgruntled about being replaced by Tom Brady, especially on the heels of a $100m contract. It sucks but a lot of our favorite players are going to be wearing different uniforms next year (maybe even McDonald’s ones) becuase they just don’t fit the system. This happens pretty much every time a new coach takes over.

  • Corry

    I wonder how Maclin is dealing with the changes. Hes being asked to do a lot more than what Reid probably asked of him while still on his rookie deal.

  • barneygoogle

    We should remember that this team lost 11 of the last 12 games last season (one play away from 12 in a row). In 50 years of watching the birds, this was the “softest” eagles team I ever saw. Well, the flag football d-backs are gone, but I do wonder if D. Jackson and J. Maclin are seen by Kelly as soft too. If they can’t stay on the field after a hit, and don’t stick their noses in their blocks..I think one or both, could be gone in 2014. Salary could be an issue, too.
    I figure Ertz, Casey, and Benn are going to take catches away from them this season. They can’t be happy about that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

      I don’t think Kelly sees Jackson as Soft at all. I’m pretty sure Jacskon put that talk behind him with his play last year (for those of us who noticed, some people still stick to the desean is soft argument for some reason). Maclin on the other hand might be in that camp since he does seem more averse to contact.

      • barneygoogle

        Did Jackson really play that well last year? Plus he got hurt (again). I think his contract takes a big bump up next season.
        He needs to put up big numbers this year, and play 16 games. I think Ertz will replace him on many plays inside the 20, and he’ll sulk. That’s been his history.

        • Anders
          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            That’s basically the play I was thinking of, there’s others too. The whole Desean is soft argument is so silly and old.

          • A_T_G

            Yeah, but it was just Ed Reed bearing down on him…

            It amazes me how many times DeSean has done things that should have put the soft and immature labels to rest, but they live on.

          • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

            he’s the Cole Hamels of the Eagles.

        • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

          Yes he played very well last year considering the circumstances, he made catches in traffic even if he was going to take a Hit;.

        • aub32

          Jackson was on his way to almost a 1200 yard season when he went out. This is despite the fact he was overlooked several times when open down field. He also got hurt running the ball, not exactly what I call soft. I can’t wait to see him in this offense. I think he will be the last guy we have to worry about.

          • barneygoogle

            DeSean Jackson is a very good deep threat, to Reid’s liking, maybe not to Kelly, who seems to like shorter stuff. DJack is NOT elusive in traffic; he is a weak blocker; his hands are only fair–and he disappears when he’s not the featured guy. Many shortcomings. Maclin is the better player, but is always getting banged up.
            I don’t make the mistake of over-rating these players: this team was 4-12 last year…..remember? These guys ARE NOT that good. I doubt Kelly can make them better.

    • Duracell

      Obviously things could change when the pads go on, but from all the practice reports I read, it sounded like Maclin ran pretty much exclusively with the 1′s throughout camp. It’s hard to judge if a guy is soft when there’s no contact, but if Chip thought Maclin was soft from watching tape or whatever, I think it’s more likely that he would have tried to send him a message like DJax.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

    Honestly I think this is Weaver having just read some of the comments and articles from Williams and Vick and drawing a conclusion. Aince in his first tweet he says there is a lot of speculation and never uses any phrase like “I have it from a source, or I’ve heard, or it seems to me etc etc.” Just that there is speculation.

    Here’s my 2 cents. Waver has probably asked players he knows on the team about it, gotten the diplomatic answer from them, but read Vicks and Deseans minor stories and has extrapolated from that that there must be some discontent that he isn’t hearing about

    Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar, and sometimes a player being frustrated is just a player being frustrated. It doesn’t automatically mean that they don’t “buy in” That’s Weaver making that jump.

    Crhis Carter made the same ridiculous comments about Jackson the other Day on NFL live when he read two lines from the Desean running with the 2′s and 3′s. He either didn’t know or ignored the part where Desean went to Kelly asked and had it explained and felt a little better. He just saw that Desean was being demoted or punished and said “you need desean jackson and while that may work in college you have to treat star receivers special.”

    Yeah, sure.

  • aceandson

    If players are a bad source of information, ex-players must be even worse.

    • TommyLawlor

      True.

  • Telmert

    Coleman could be disgruntled, since he finished ahead of Allen last year. I could also see Boykin for not getting a *real* shot outside. If I’m Vick I’m pissed at Weaver for fingering him. You’d want Leonard to score out and say “based on his comments” so it doesn’t sound like you’ve been griping to him. Similar to that wacky tweet by Vick’s brother a ways back.

    • TommyLawlor

      Kurt is happy to have a job.

      • Solomon

        He likely won’t have it much longer, unless he can kill it on STs.

        • TommyLawlor

          A lot depends on Kenny Phillips.

    • GEagle

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Chip had a convo with Boykin, I recognize that you can probably play for us on the outside, but I’m gonna need you to man the Nickle until we find someone capable enough to replace you in Nickle. For example, if Poyer was here and looking really good(long shot but possible in the Nickle), I think we would be talking about Boykin on the outside a whole lot more. But unless Poyer can play right away, I don’t see anyone I would feel comfortable handing over the Nickle spot to. plus, I like Brad and Cary jamming WRs, and could cover up deficiencies if our pass rush gets after it on 3rd

  • TommyLawlor

    Les Bowen wrote a good piece on the situation.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/dneagles/Riding-with-the-Chipper.html

    • Solomon

      Les showing his age with the use of the word “fanny”.

  • Mike Flick

    How about Todd Herremans? He finally made it to tackle and played well, now gets pushed back to guard.

    • Iskar36

      The point of moving to tackle is to get paid better. He got the contract he wanted, so moving to guard shouldn’t be an issue for him at all because he will be making tackle money.

      • Anders

        Actually Todd is just been paid top guard money. Evan Mathis makes the same kinda of money.

    • TommyLawlor

      Todd didn’t play well last year. He was healthy and making bonehead mistakes. Don’t know why that happened.

      • GEagle

        e, it’s very difficult to play well if you are stuck next to an Incompetant guard

  • Cafone

    Intentionally or not, Weaver is putting out a great audition for the national sports media: make attention getting claims that seem somewhat plausible even if you have no real information.

    • A_T_G

      That was my (cynical) first reaction too. I’d like to take him at face value, but it seems a bit like he sees the former players in nice suits in front of the camera and thinks, “Hey, I could do that.”

  • Kevin

    I don’t think it’s Cole. I read the other day about how he was saying that he was really excited about being able to rush the QB as an OLB – how he’s taking on more RBs and TEs than OTs and so he can just run them over. He acknowledged the coverage responsibilities, but he seemed pretty pumped about having a chance to be a pass rusher from the OLB position. Doesn’t sound like a guy who’s harboring feelings of discontent to me.

  • Mortong

    I would be pissed off too if I was the best defensive player on the team (Graham) and I was being treated like a street free agent backup just because Joe College has an inherent bias for tall players.

    Fact of the matter is that great players come small and big. John Randle was Graham’s size and had a HOF career. Graham has shown more talent the past year than either Cole or Barwin or any other pass rusher on this team and should be the de facto starter. If Chip keeps treating him like a red headed stepchild just because of 2-3 missing inches, it will be clear that Chip is a fool wedded not to talent but to “system” and he will flame out in the NFL.

    • Ben Hert

      Wait…Morton?

      • the midatlantic

        No, you idiot. This Morong, his mutant 50′s-monster movie brother. Three hands, four eyes, all brain stem no brain.

        • A_T_G

          If it was THE Morton, it would be MortonOG complete with a teardrop tattoo for each interception Earl Thomas has collected.

    • Ark87

      this is a good point. Anyone being undervalued due to their measurables, especially dimensions, isn’t going to be thrilled with the situation.

  • Tumtum

    Names not really mentioned of who I think could be feeling this way are The Todd Father (though his named was there not really in the context), Jason Peters, and Jeremy Maclin.

    You would think it would be a guy who was there while Weaver was there or just after he left. He played on the same unit as the guys mentioned above, and also spent time in the training room with JP. Not for the achilles but for his normal nics and bumps. Didn’t he miss 1 or 2 games in 2010? Think he spent time there a bunch for that injury even when he was playing.

    Speculation aside this is something you would expect. Like Tommy said Chip is way different than A.R. The fact that he is from the college ranks also means he used to a whole different culture. You hear about it all the time. Most recently with guys like Schiano in Tampa. Kellen Winslow really threw light on the differences with his college style compared to what he was used to in the NFL. Just google it and I’m sure you will see some articles if you are not familiar. Under A.R there were quotes from rookies that were almost in awe of the freedom in the pros. They acknowledged that you were expected to do all of the extra work on your own, but that there was no one breathing down your neck about it. Chipper seems a little more regimented than that.

    On top of the college to pro transition for the HC there is the whole culture change aspect. If you think Chip isn’t aware of the diva mentality that helped to greatly cause a loser mentality on this team over the last year, I think you would be selling him short. A.R was very lax on his older guys in the last 5-6 years. Remember the over 30 club? More established guys might have come to expect a different level of treatment. Well Chip has knocked those guys down a peg, and looks at everyone the same now. This is really exciting to guys like Dennis Dixon, Bradley Fletcher, and Vinny Curry, but probably not so exciting for guys like Peters and Herramens.

    In my opinion this was bound to happen. It NEEDED to happen. Guys will eventually buy in or they will be shown the door. You would expect for any new FAs to not be behind this, and certainly no young guys. With a 4-12 team there are not many people who can really pout about the changes and expect anything other than a pink slip. Todd and Jason are probably the only 2 that I would really cringe to find out were hating life. Lets hope its not them. If it is lets hope they change their tune soon. Those two guys are corner stones as far as I am concerned and just about anyone else is replaceable for the greater good.

    • TommyLawlor

      Schiano actually had his share of pissed off people at Rutgers. Not a great example. He ruffled feathers everywhere due to his abrasive personality.

      For better or worse, Kelly is a nicer guy.

      • Tumtum

        Didn’t realize that he had the same rep in college. Rutgers guys, cmon!

        It still seems as if Chip is much more heavily involved in the guys preparation round the clock than A.R was. He wants to tell them what to eat, how much to sleep, and I am sure much more. It seems to me to be more a college mind set. I think it has the potential to be very good, but its still much different than A.R ran his house.

        • TommyLawlor

          Agree about Kelly being more hands on than Reid. For now, that’s okay. If the team starts losing, it will be called “intrusive”. All about the context. :)

      • Dan

        Ya Schiano was supposed to be really anal about how scouts viewed his players from what I remember.

    • xlGmanlx

      So an entitled punk speaks for the NFL? Winslow is a punk and history has shown that.

  • xlGmanlx

    Who cares if they are disgruntled or not? They went 4-12, nobody has any room to declare the “old way” as the proper way. If they don’t like it, get rid of them. This is a culture change and they are either on board or gone. There isn’t a shortage of players looking to take their spot. What have the igg’s done in the last 3 years that make them think they are above changing?

    I hope Weav doesn’t turn into a FB #5

    • Tumtum

      A team that buys in to a system and gels as a unit can over achieve. At least as much as a talented team that does neither of those things. I think everyone here will agree that the Eagles were not lacking in talent the last two years. So lets hope that disgruntled rumors and feelings are only temporary.

      • xlGmanlx

        You are what your record says you are. I think the problem here has been exactly what you said, the belief that this team is talented. Not only do I believe that, the owner agreed, which is why the previous head coach is no longer here. So one former players speculation on twitter equals disgruntled? I say good, they are probably the same that were coasting last year or are no longer here.

        • Tumtum

          Yep. Bad records go with bad teams. Bad teams usually have unhappy players.

  • GEagle

    I heard about this weaver mess, but I literally avoided reading anything about it since knowing a post would be coming out on it..good stuff

  • rob_dc

    My guess is that it’s Jason Peters. Highest paid player on the team. Established vet, but doesn’t need to prove anything. Linemen don’t like to run. Seems to have a bit of a rebellious streak, and was absent for latter part of OTAS. And obv was just arrested while clearly not getting the recommended hours of sleep.

    He’s a great player, but he didn’t suffer through 4-12 as much as the other guys. May have been a huge Reid guy as well, since his career took off when he left Buffalo.