Nick Foles posted one of the highest QB ratings in NFL history back in 2013. There were a lot of factors, but the work of QB coach Bill Lazor certainly was one of the things that helped Foles. Lazor was hired by the Dolphins to be their offensive coordinator so Foles got a new QB coach for 2014, Bill Musgrave. Foles didn’t play as well. OL injuries and inconsistent WR play were bigger factors than the coaching, but it probably didn’t help to have a new coach. That was Foles third season in the NFL and he had a different positional coach each year. Stability can be key for the development of young players.
I don’t think that lesson was lost on Jeffrey Lurie.
Earlier this month, the New York Jets asked to interview DeFilippo for that very job. Pederson and Roseman, true to their word, signed off on the request. NFL teams can’t block assistants from auditioning for head coaching vacancies, but they can prevent them from interviewing for coordinator positions.
It’s unclear whether DeFilippo would have gotten the Jets job or even wanted it, but he never got an opportunity to toss his hat in the ring. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie stepped in and rescinded the original consent, according to four independent NFL sources.
While the why is obvious (Carson Wentz, duh), Lurie’s blocking of DeFilippo represents his passion – some called it his “obsession” – with making sure the young quarterback has all the tools necessary to thrive. That meant retaining the assistant who played a significant role in Wentz’s rookie season, and that means acquiring skill position talent this offseason.
I have mixed feelings on this. Assistant coaches have to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. When they have a strong reputation and other teams are showing interest, I don’t blame them for looking at promotions.
At the same time, an owner has to answer to his fans. Carson Wentz is the future of the Eagles. If Lurie wants him to succeed, he needs to do everything he can to help Wentz out. Stability on the coaching staff is a big part of that.
McLane brings up the point about Lurie’s move possibly undermining Doug Pederson. It is possible that future coaching candidates will think twice before taking a job with the Eagles. If the Eagles pay well, have a competitive team and coaching stability, I don’t see this being a huge issue. There are only 32 teams. Jobs are hard to come by.
If Lurie is weighing the importance of developing a franchise QB versus possibly losing a positional assistant in the future, I’d say he made the right choice.
McLane also had this note in the piece.
Lurie, per sources familiar with his thinking, is prepared to give Wentz the skill-position players he lacks. It’s little surprise that the Eagles know they need to upgrade at receiver and running back. Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas said as much here. The question is to what lengths will they go?
Does that mean going after Alshon Jeffrey?
I’m still not sold that going after him is the wisest move. Jeffrey is very good, but is he worth huge money?
One of the names mentioned in Mobile was Kenny Britt. He was an inconsistent, trouble player early in his career, but seems to have settled down off the field and gotten better on the field. He just had his best season ever, 68-1002-5. Britt is not a great receiver and wouldn’t cost huge money. He would be a major upgrade on the current receivers in place.
You could also then consider adding a young, mid-level player like Robert Woods, Markus Wheaton or Marquise Goodwin as well. Draft a WR in the middle rounds and you’ve got a serious talent infusion at wideout.
No matter what the Eagles do, the key is to not count on one player to fix the situation. The Eagles need multiple pieces at WR. The only reliable player they have right now is Jordan Matthews.
Several WRs played well in the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
Zay Jones was outstanding. He got open, caught the ball really well and made plays. He had 2 TDs taken away, but still finished 6-68-1.
Josh Reynolds also played really well. He was 6-96 and hauled in a long TD.
— Colin Deaver (@KAGS_Colin) January 28, 2017
Fred Ross, who quietly had a good week, was 5-66.
Jones and Reynolds are probably 2nd to 3rd round type WRs. We need to see how they run in Indy. Ross is a notch down.
I’ll be writing a lot more about the Eagles and the Senior Bowl in the next couple of months. Way too many thoughts to get everything out in one week. Lots of good targets for the Eagles down there.