Flipping on Flip

Posted: January 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 37 Comments »

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.

Jeff McLane has an update on the story that Lurie was the driving force behind the Eagles refusing to let John DeFelippo interview for an offensive coordinator job.

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 Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie stepped in and rescinded the original consent, according to four independent NFL sources.

Lurie’s obstruction was first reported by ESPN, but Inquirer sources provided more detail of how the Eagles owner stepped in, and more important, why he pulled rank, as he had never done before.

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.

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 did finally get my notes posted on the South’s final day of practice.

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.

_


  • Greg Richards

    I have no problem with Lurie blocking move IF Pederson and Roseman hadn’t promised him they wouldn’t block him leaving as McLane claims. He’s under contract and accepted the security of a multi-year deal vs. taking a 1-year deal. But if they actually promised that he’d be free to take an OC job from another team when he agreed to be QBs coach and then Lurie overruled them then I don’t think that is a great sign.

    Ultimately what I think happens is that DeFilippo gets the OC title and pay here and Reich is elevated to something along lines of asst HC/offense.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Why do you feel it isn’t a great sign…pederson has been a QB coach before and could backfill or probably find another guy….heck maybe DP is really the guy who is the reason the Wentz development…

      • Greg Richards

        I think it’s a bad sign when the owner is overruling the people he’s entrusted to make these decisons. And fundamentally if you make a promise to an employee, that promise should be kept.

        • Dave

          I think it’s hardly a bad sign when a business owner tells an employee “we value you too much to let you out of your contract early”. If DeFilippo wanted the ability to get out of his contract early, then he shouldn’t have signed a 2-year deal. Isn’t a contract signed by an employee a promise the employee has made to the employer?

          This is a Jeff McLane special…make up drama for the sake of getting page clicks.

          There is way too much speculation on this topic. Did Fip want to go to the Jets interview in the first place? Did Lurie offer to block the interview because Fip didn’t want to burn any potential bridges within the league?

          • Greg Richards

            McLane’s reporting doesn’t suggest that is the case. If McLane only had 1 source, then I’d be more likely to discount it as 1 source with an ax to grind(probably from the Jets). McLane claims to have 4 independent sources.

          • Ray888

            Does MSFT let an engineer under contract go to competitor SAP? That would be “NO”! Not different here – it’s business.

          • Dave

            McLain has 4 independent NFL (not Eagles) sources telling him Lurie blocked Fip’s interview. Mike Florio made it very clear in the past that many owners have done this at the request of the coaches themselves.

            McLane has written so many one-side hatchet jobs on Lurie and Howie over the years, this seems like more of the same. Otherwise, he would have put in the article that Lurie may have been acting at the request of Fip. McLane rarely ever gives a counterpoint to his argument.

            One last point, I’m a little taken back that people seemed to think its a bad thing for an owner to put the team needs before an individual’s needs.

            We’ll just have to disagree on this.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            @dave…your first point is how I see the upside in this situation…it’s one thing when howie or Doug are in your corner as to your internal or in this case external career path…its a whole other ball of wax when the man who cuts the checks comes down and says you are valuable to this organization and you are not going anywhere…this last point is conjecture but I would expect that if Lurie blocked this then he had a conversation directly with flip about it…I would not be a fan of messaging like that to come through Howie or Doug…

          • Dave

            Unless somebody close to Fip can tell McLane matter-of-factly that Fip wanted to interview with other teams and Lure blocked him, McLane’s article is conjecture too.

          • teltschikfakeout88

            Agreed and regardless of how it all went down…I think it is a good thing for all involved if the owner takes special interest in a particular persons responsibilities…if flip can develop wentz into a pro bowl caliber QB…he will have his pick of OC jobs out there…

          • Dave

            If flip can develop Wentz into a pro bowl caliber QB…Reich may be in line for a head coaching job, leaving Fip the ability to step into Reich’s OC role in Philly

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Just becuase Lurie has entrusted these decisions to people does not mean he is required to be hands off all the time…I am certainly not suggesting lurie behave like Jerry Jones but there are times when those people you trust don’t always make the best decisions for the organization…no one is perfect…this feels like it might be one of those times when it was prudent for Lurie to say hold on…”I get that we generally rubber stamp approvals like this but now is not the time for us to be looking for another QB coach when we have a young QB that was succesful but needs to be developed…regardless if you (Doug or Howie) think you can figure out a way to live without flip. Sorry but you need to focus on personnel upgrades not filling unnecessary vacancies. I am blocking this shit. Get back to work on improving the team please.” If this is reflective of what happened…not saying it is…but if it is…I can see the logic in this and it is not a bad thing…promises or not….

    • GordonGekko

      Why do you care? Get a job, you loser bum

      • Greg Richards

        Sorry, they gave me Saturday night off. I’ll get back to the salt mines.

  • teltschikfakeout88

    Interesting dynamic where the owner stepped in and blocked the interview…not knowing the full story on this I am torn about this but it shows the owners interest and appreciation of the job done by the QB coach which is a positive….how many people on this board get personally noticed by the CEO or CFO of the company they work for???

  • Insomniac

    Thank you for always going down to Mobile Tommy, its something that I look forward to when football season is over.

  • Fufina

    I still think this was a case of DeFelippo not wanting the Jets OC job, and asking the Eagles to reject the request. I have seen 0 leaks that claim that DeFelippo is angry/frustrated etc.

    Jets OC job is not a recipe for success – no QB, bunch of developmental guys with flawed games who the team needs to make huge strides. Lack of weapons and poor OL makes there no base to build around either. A head coach who just had to fire most of his staff to keep his job. But we need to talk about stuff and this is one of the deadest few weeks in the NFL outside of senior bowl.

    • Howie Littlefinger

      I mostly agree but U can’t really say lack of weapons ….
      Brandon Marshall, Enunwa, Decker, Forte, and Mangold are all upgrades for us and would start here

      • D3FB

        Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg.

        • Howie Littlefinger

          yet Fitzmagic did alright the year before.

      • Fufina

        Forte, Marshall and Mangold are all declining players who took a step back last year. Enunwa/Decker are nice no.2/3 type WR’s but are not the kind of players who can carry an offence.

        Eagles OL as a unit is a lot better than Jets, and we have a far better QB prospect. If you can find a genuine no.1 WR this off season then a pass catching unit of No.1 WR, Matthews, Ertz, Sproles is quality set of 4 passing weapons.

        • Howie Littlefinger

          I won’t disagree they are declining but like Sproles they are still very good at what they do.

          They have better skill position players than we do. We have an OL and QB.

  • Insomniac

    The DeFelippo thing doesn’t really bother me. I’m going to use the Super Bowl teams as examples. Look at Matt Ryan, he had a career year in his second year with Kyle Shanahan/Matt Lafleur (QB coach). Brady has had McDaniels for a long time and they work very well together. Continuity and stability is key for QBs, especially for young ones like Wentz because you don’t want to be the Browns.

    Also why would you want to go to the Jets? Their QBs stink and the organization stinks.

    • anon

      Shanahan is probably just a good coach

  • Insomniac

    Slowly going through the WR breakdowns on draftbreakdown. WR Wishlist so far.

    Mike Williams
    Corey Davis
    Dede Westbrook
    Isaiah Ford
    Zay Jones
    Taywan Taylor
    Amara Darboh
    Cooper Kupp
    Josh Reynolds
    Jalen Robinette
    Stacy Coley

    • Mitchell

      Couple things on Reynolds: 1. What round do you see him in? I have a tough time because he flashes some damn good ability at times but then is pretty silent on others. Only being 190 is gonna hurt him especially at 6’4″ but he can sure hold his own at the college level. 2. He runs screen plays better than Jordan Matthews….. 3. Very interesting target in the red zone and he seems to use his body pretty well to wall off defenders. Looks like a bit of a plodder but again I saw many a time he got deep and used his size to make the catch.

      • Insomniac

        1. He was 6’2 197 pounds at the Senior Bowl, I would like to see him between 205-215 pounds at the combine. He has that really lanky build like AJ Green does so he’ll never look big. I see him as a fringe 2nd round guy right now. I knocked him down a little since he just doesn’t show up in some games, had some easy drops, and doesn’t have good RAC skills. However he could easily rise with a good combine and I have the feeling that he’ll be a better pro than college player.

        2/3. He’s a long strider and seems to struggle to get off the line when he gets jammed/pressed. He does use his body well but I can’t get a feel if he can make sideline catches assuming that he’ll be an outside WR.

    • D3FB

      Williams, Davis and Ross are in a class of their own.

      I’ll be shocked if Westbrook is on the board. Major character flags, major medical flag, and he turns 24 in the middle of next season.

      Generally agree overall though.

      • Insomniac

        I’m still on the fence on Ross, his hands still bother me to put him in the same class as Williams/Davis. I would hate him at 14/15 but I don’t think he would be there in the 2nd round for us.

  • Iskar36

    The DeFilippo stuff definitely raises some significant questions, but to me, “LURIE … is prepared to give Wentz the skill position-players he lacks” is also a concerning sentence to read. We have already read that Lurie is trying to get more involved. I’m ok if that is from the standpoint of a “managerial role” as Tommy put it in this article last week: http://igglesblitz.com/2017/01/the-l-word/

    But the way McLane phrased this, it raises concern of whether or not Lurie will be doing more than that. This is the kind of sentence you hear when talking about Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder. I don’t think we have often heard it phrased like this when regarding the Eagles. I understand Lurie wants a Superbowl like we all do as Eagles fans, but I would have much rather seen that sentence as “Roseman and/or Pederson are prepared to give Wentz the skill position-players he lacks” and not imply that Lurie was potentially going to play a more hands-on approach in aqcuiring talent.

    • Dave

      Here is what Howie said last week:

      “We gotta make sure that we don’t sit here in Philadelphia 5, 10 years from now and say, ‘You know what? We did a disservice to Carson Wentz.’ We take that very seriously,” he said. “We wake up every day, we come in and we talk about making sure we surround this guy with the right talent, to give him a chance to play in games like (Sunday’s conference championships).”

    • ChoTime

      Hey, how do you know that Lurie isn’t better at the jobs he hired Roseman and Pederson to do? Respect!

  • Fufina

    Interesting point i would like to point to in the McLane story… He cites 4 “NFL” sources. Generally if he has an eagles source he will say “Team” or “Eagles” source.

    If the information for this story is coming from outside sources, then you could have a very different reading on this. Pederson and Howie need to maintain working league relationships, and blocking coaching hires is a way to undermine trust both within the team and other NFL teams/staff. By using Lurie to block the deal it pushes the blame on to him, not Pederson/Howie – who can still go out and make deals with the Jets and other teams without it being an issue.

    • Greg Richards

      I get your point and I considered that too. But I don’t see how outside sources could know what the Eagles promised DeFlippo. Besides DeFilippo’s agent and associates. I don’t think sources connected with other teams would have that information.

    • Bert’s Bells

      I really don’t see a functioning team having “hard feelings” and scuttling a trade which would, from their perspective, benefit them. The Jets, on the other hand…

  • GordonGekko

    Who gives a flying F U C K

  • Tumtum

    Mixed feelings on this one. Really hope he doesn’t try to make dream team part 2.

    Really hope John was given a healthy raise as well.