No Magic

Posted: January 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 147 Comments »

We love to analyze draft picks and free agent signings, trying to figure out who to give credit to for the good ones and who to blame for the busts. The truth is that rarely is one person to blame, or credit. NFL teams are just that…teams. Scouts do the grunt work. Personnel executives make the picks. The head coach and coordinators build gameplans. Positional assistants hone specific skills and teach players how to perform in their specific roles.

It is easy to blame Howie Roseman for some of the problems of recent years. It would be so convenient if all that had to be done was getting rid of him and the Eagles could magically go back to being a 12-4 team and title contender. That’s not reality.

The Eagles have failed as an organization.

Howie Roseman has been a key part of the personnel department since 2008. He has worked with the following defensive coordinators:

Jim Johnson
Sean McDermott
Juan Castillo
Bill Davis
Jim Schwartz

You went from a 4-3 zone blitz scheme under JJ and McDermott to Castillo’s version of the Wide-9 to a 2-gap version of the 3-4 under Davis and now to Schwartz’s version of the Wide-9. That’s a lot of change. Roseman and the scouting staff have had to find different players for all of those systems. That’s very difficult. You really need stability so players can develop.

Beyond schemes, you have personal preferences. Castillo put Mychal Kendricks at SAM and wanted him to be the key to the LB corps. Davis moved him to ILB. Schwartz moved him to WLB and didn’t play him much at all. Chip Kelly wanted tall, long CBs. Schwartz needs CBs who are supremely confident and aren’t scared to make mistakes.

There is a union between coaching and personnel where both sides help each other. The personnel department brings in the best possible players. The coaches then do their part to get the most out of the players they have to work with. The Eagles failed with Jerome McDougle, but succeeded with Trent Cole. Who do you blame for McDougle being a bust? Who do you credit for Cole becoming a star? Same scouts. Same coaches.

When we talk about how good the Eagles were from 2000-2004, there was scheme stability and Andy Reid had a great coaching staff. The Eagles could draft and develop players.

Recent years have been anything but stable. The Eagles had 3 head coaches in a 5-year span. I already noted all the different defensive coordinators and defensive systems earlier. The Eagles have had a lot of player changes. Key players like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Evan Mathis were let go while the Eagles brought in outsiders like DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso, Sam Bradford and Byron Maxwell.

The best thing for the Eagles right now is stability. Stick with the same systems. Keep most, if not all, of your assistants. You can tweak the staff, but not in a hugely impactful way. You want to let Joe Douglas, Andy Weidl and the scouts find the players to fit this team. The coaches then need to develop those players so that you have a strong core of young talent to build around.

Don’t run off every player who isn’t a star. You never know if another year could bring out more from guys like Marcus Smith, Jaylen Watkins and Nelson Agholor. You don’t want to keep underachievers too long, but there is something to be said for keeping players around to make sure one of them isn’t a late bloomer. As long as the player fits the system and you think there is potential for the guy to contribute, see what happens. Obviously money plays into this. If cutting a player will save you enough money and he’s replaceable, that changes things.

The point of all this is that the Eagles need to have organizational vision.

I thought they had that with Chip Kelly, but that proved to be false. I’m not sure who is more to blame, Kelly the coach or Kelly the GM, but he had too much of a Larry Brown thing going on. It seemed like he wanted to tinker because he had this idea in his head that made sense at the moment. The problem is that he either didn’t have good long term vision or didn’t have good discipline.

You need to come up with a plan and you need the whole organization on board. That way the scouts, coaches and personnel department can all work together to build up the roster and put together an outstanding team.

There is a notion with some people that a personnel guru can make a few picks or sign a couple of players and turn a team around. That’s just not the case. There needs to be the whole organization for things to really work. When Ron Wolf put together the great Green Bay teams, he had Mike Holmgren running the offense and Fritz Shurmur running the defense. There were great assistants all over the place.

Jimmy Johnson used the same philosophy when running the Dolphins that he did in Dallas. The results were very different because he didn’t have the same set of assistant coaches. He also had changed as a head coach. He couldn’t drive players the way he did earlier in his career. He got tired of being the relentless taskmaster who got the best from his players.

John Schneider and Pete Carroll do a great job in Seattle because they are on the same page. Schneider knows how to find the right players for Carroll. And Carroll knows how to use those guys. Both of them are also willing to take chances and fail. They have missed badly with draft picks, trades and free agent signings. They have also hit some home runs. They continue to swing for the fences and it works for them.

Howie Roseman is not the best GM in the league. Doug Pederson is not the best coach. But right now the best thing for the Eagles is to have those two men work together to build the core of this team. They worked well over the past year. They focused on the OL and getting a QB. Both areas are better now than they were a year ago.

Now we’ll get to see how Joe Douglas affects things. He and his scouts will be identifying the right players for the Eagles. It will be up to Howie and Doug Pederson to make the right choices and get this team back to being a contender.

Some of you will moan and groan about a 5-year plan and how this is all just an excuse so Howie can’t be held accountable. Look at Dallas. Look at Jason Garrett’s coaching record.

5-3
8-8
8-8
8-8
12-4
4-12
13-3

Old Jerry Jones would have fired Garrett and gone after the hot name in the football world. New Jerry is patient. He let his coach build something. He didn’t force Johnny Manziel on his team and let the personnel guys build up a great O-line. That wasn’t sexy or fun, but it has worked really well.

Dallas has used coaching and personnel stability to develop a good roster. They were smart and patient. They didn’t panic when a pick went wrong, a signing went wrong or even a whole season went wrong. And that drives me nuts. I miss the old Jerry Jones who flew off the handle on a regular basis and who drove his coaches/personnel guys crazy with his tinkering and splashy moves.

There are no quick fixes. There are no magic answers. The best way to succeed in the NFL is to build a team. That takes time and smart moves. It sounds like the Eagles are committed to taking their time and doing this the right way.

I don’t know if Joe Douglas and Howie can make the right moves, but I do know that roster, schematic and coaching stability is needed for them to have the best chance to succeed.

_


  • Cafone

    I disagree with your contention that Howie Roseman is not the best GM in the NFL. I trust that within the next 2 years you will change your mind on that.

    • P_P_K

      I hope you are right. Save this post. In two years we are pouring champagne over your head or coming for you with tar and feathers.

    • BobSmith77

      I’ll say that you are certainly steadfast in your support for Roseman and have been for quite a while on here.

      My sense is that the Eagles aren’t going terrible but stuck in a band of mediocrity the next 2 years (6 to 10 wins).

      • Cafone

        When you’re right, you’re right. Why change?

        I see a future of steady improvement and at least one playoff win in year 3.

  • Greg Tulino

    The Cowgirls were 4-12 in 2015 and a laughing stock. This year they basically had the same roster and added Dak and Zeke. Two good players ( got completely lucky with drafting Dak in the 4th round) at important positions, but nobody thought they were going 13-3 and getting a first round bye at the start of the season.

    Sorry, but I do not want to wait for a 5 year plan to compete again. Heck, Even coach DP said at his end of season presser and multiple times in 2nd half of season that the team is “close” to being really good.
    I agree that we need to build the roster over time, but there is no reason this team can not get upgrades at CB and WR in free agency and then gain another starter or two with a full compliment of draft picks in this years draft in Philly.

    If we can accomplish just that then this roster can compete to get into the playoffs next year.

    Howie Roseman said 10-6 is not good enough and that the team needs to win more games than that to get a bye and have a much easier path to win a Super Bowl. Nobody will disagree with that. I can’t wait for that, but I am not going to accept 7-9 or 8-8 next season while we build this team with stability as Tommy mentions.

    I want to be playing in January as soon as next season. There is no reason with a good offseason this team can’t get back to the playoffs. If the Freaking Cowboys can do it then we can do it.

    • laeagle

      5 year plans are 3 year plans in today’s NFL. But stability is still necessary, and I agree with Howie’s self assessment that just trying to get to the playoffs wasn’t good enough.

      I think a lot of fans say “I want this” and “I want that” and I hope for all our sakes that the long term success of the team takes precedence in the FO’s eyes over the immediate gratification of what fans “want”.

      • Greg Tulino

        I am ok with building the team the right way and trying to be good for a long time, but there is no reason we can not get to the playoffs next year if we just address a few glaring needs. There is no way we can start next season with the same receiving core and CB’s. A few upgrades and we have a shot at playing in the postseason next year while we continue to build towards being an elite team over time. We can be both a playoff contending team and a team building towards a true championship contender at the same time.

    • Anders

      I dont remember the Cowbous been a laughing stock outside of LOL Weeden is your starting QB

      • Tumtum

        Yeah last year with Tony’s injuries, among others, they still played really close to most teams. They were actually kind of a good 4 win team if that exists.

    • Will Ft. Daft Punk

      The Cowboys only went 13-3 because of injuries. Romo and Dez being banged up had a lot to do with them sucking. Before that, they were in the playoffs when Dez had the most famous catch/non catch ever. Before that they were an 8-8 team for a few years, but they steadily put together a team and coaching staff.

    • Tumtum

      I am with you on all of the parts I understand.

      What I don’t understand is that you won’t accept 7 or 8 wins next season. Does this mean you will want them to jettison everyone and start over? Quit being an Eagles fan? If the first one is what you meant…just expect to be waiting for at least 5 years from now.

    • Buge Halls

      The Cowpukes spent four or five years building an O-Line that may be the best in the league. They also have receivers and othe rskill positions that are pretty good. That O-Line and the receivers are the reason Dak is so good and Elliot had the success he had (granted, he’s a beast but still, he’s a rookie). The Eagles don’t have a line or receivers like that. It will take time to rebuild from the dumpster fire left after Reid’s horrible drafts and Chippa’s destruction.

    • BobSmith77

      NFL isn’t a 5-year rebuilding cycle today. Can’t imagine Roseman/Pederson get more than 2 years (including next year) to start to show real progress nor should they.

      This isn’t a 2-14/3-13 team that has completely bottomed out and their rookie QB just played the entire season.

  • TXEaglesFan

    i’m really interested in what they decide to do at center in the offseason. If continuity and long term is the vision, then semaulo should replace Kelce, since it seems to be a given Kelce won’t be here after 2017. If they end up keeping kelce for 2017, then 2018 will be year of upheaval on the OL shuffling/replacing LT, LG,C, and RT. Maybe Kelce could fetch a decent veteran CB/WR in a trade, I don’t think we could get much more than a 6th with his contract; otherwise use the cap $ saved from his cut towards Bennie Logan extension.

    • Fufina

      Not sure i agree with the bashing Kelce gets by Eagles fans at the moment. Is he a player with a very specific set of skills? absolutely. When we play to those skills the OL looks great… not so much in other circumstances.

      Kelce very rarely gives up sacks, and while sometimes he will give up pressure to big strong NT’s we have a QB who has the tools to slide and move around the pocket. Kelce’s athleticism is actually a huge advantage when not covered by a big NT, since generally he is helping with the 1 or 3 Tech in a double team and then prehaps needing to pass off to a guard and looking to help pick up an A gap blitzer – all things he does very well.

      In the run game you cannot run successfully behind Kelce if he is matched up with a big NT. Is that a big problem? We brought in Brooks to pair with Johnson to run behind, or go let Peters blow open a hole. Where you want Kelce in that situation is him pulling and getting to the 2nd level where he can turn 4-5 yards in 20+ ones – And he is elite at doing that. He is also is great at getting the line organised and protections called correctly – helping a young QB focus on what DB’s are doing rather than his own OL.

      Do i wish he gave up less penalties this year? sure. Do i wish he didn’t sometimes have a poor snap in shotgun? sure. But in a stable OL where you have the confidence to call more complex run plays with pulling and getting to the 2nd level he is a good center.

      Not to say that we shouldn’t draft a young C in the mid/late rounds, try and develop him for a couple of years as depth and if he is decent then move on to the younger cheaper option… but you don’t need to force anything.

      • Tumtum

        Kelce is Qui Gon Jinn? I guess they both have beards. Does Kelce have a daughter?

        Anyway his psychical limitation is nothing new, and really not a major concern. No one is going to confuse him for Mack Brown, but he is what he is and physically he is fine. Last year was a blip there.

        The penalties should not be minimized though. Pretty egregious in a lot of cases.

        That being said, while I am not going to defend the guy, I really don’t think we should look to move on.

        • Dave

          A player is either ascending or descending. Kelce has clearly reached his peak several years ago and is descending. Whether you think he was just OK or bad this year, next year you really cannot expect him to be any better than he was this year.

          The question going forward is that Howie repeatedly says he wants to build around the 24 year old quarterback, is Kelce at this point more of a band-aid approach at center, or is it time to look for a long-term solution?

          • sonofdman

            So a player cannot have a down year (or even multiple down years) and then rebound and play better again? There are many things that affect a player’s performance in a given year including injuries, scheme, skill level of surrounding players, etc. It is not as simple as “a player is either ascending or descending.”

            For example, Randy Moss was clearly a descending player of two years in Oakland, but he did pretty well when he went to New England.

          • Dave

            Come on, Randy Moss was a head case. His work ethic and inability to follow rules were questioned from day 1 when he entered the NFL.

            Kelce is the exact opposite, as nobody questions his will to succeed.

            I agree a career will have peaks and valleys, but the 29/30 year old version of Jason Kelce will never again play to the level of the 25/26 year old version.

          • Sb2bowl

            Maybe not as physically as well, but experience and the mental side to his progression are traits that cannot be ignored.

            In what Kelce does well, he hasn’t slowed down (diagnose defenses, pull, double team). Kelce was never a mauler, and we shouldn’t expect him to be one at this stage of his career either.

          • Dave

            “…but experience and the mental side to his progression are traits that cannot be ignored.”

            Darrelle Revis is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but at 31, his physical skill set is so diminished that all his experience and mental aptitude playing the position are no help for his body’s physical limitations. Yes, he can move to safety and use his mental knowledge and possibly return to a high level of play.

            Kelce, on the other hand, cannot move to another position. Maybe having a higher caliber guard on the left side of the line will help him.

          • Sb2bowl

            CB is a position which the physical and mental sides of things are equal- a diminishing psychical skill set is much more noticable on an island as opposed to having a guard next to you.

          • sonofdman

            You may be right about Kelce, but I think the narrative about how bad Kelce has been is way overblown.

          • Dave

            Kelce was down right bad last year. Although we did not find out until the season was over, he played through injuries to his leg that really magnified his undersized stature. The main problem was that under Chip, there was no viable backup.

            This year, Kelce was playing for his life. With Seumalo and Wiz on the roster this year, he couldn’t afford to be a liability like 2015, otherwise, he could have easily been replaced.

            Going forward, I’d rather see a Seumalo or a 2017 draft pick take his place next season. In reality though, I understand his high dead cap number and coaches love of him will almost certainly mean he is back as the starter in 2017.

          • Tumtum

            I don’t expect regression. Sure he WILL need to be replaced. The team probably isn’t better off by doing it next year.

      • TXEaglesFan

        I’m not bashing Kelce, just thinking long term. does he just need a repeat performance of 2016 level (which was adequate but not great) next season to ensure he stays in 2018. I really doubt either he or Peters will be here in 2018. If we can get some kind of value for him now and develop a 3 year OL continuity plan I’m all for it. Even if it means taking a half step back next year for it all to come together.

      • Sb2bowl

        Our C for the future is already on the roster- Isaac will be the guy; we’ll look for a couple of guards as the year goes on. Brooks has one spot, we’ll need some depth and another starter once Isaac moves over to the center position.

        In truth, we need at least 2 solid developmental linemen this year, and potentially a third. We have some young guys being groomed on the PS, but it remains to be seen if they can turn into anything.

      • BobSmith77

        Kelce’s athleticism at this point is overrated (this isn’t the guy from 2013 who was the most athletic C in the NFL and arguably one of the most athletic OL) and the deficiencies have increased.

        Snapping issue out shotgun is ridiculous though and was an issue at times again this year. Yeah Wentz was a new QB but his size and wingspan along with his ability to pull in some of those bad snaps saved the Eagles from real trouble at times. That shouldn’t be an issue for a starting C.

        Not like he only had a few down games this year too. He has had real struggles the past 2 years now which even he admitted to playing terribly at times last year.

        He’ll be back next year but it is largely because the Eagles have so many issues to address in this roster.

    • Sb2bowl

      Kelce is here 1 more year because of his contract; after that, it’ll probably be Isaac’s turn to be the man in the middle.

      2017 $5,000,000 (base) $1,200,000 (prorated) $0 $0 $0 $6,200,000 (cap number) $2,400,000 (dead money) $3,800,000 (cap savings)
      2018 $6,000,000 (base) $1,200,000 (prorated) $0 $0 $0 $7,200,000 (cap number) $1,200,000 (dead money) $6,000,000 (cap savings)

      http://overthecap.com/player/jason-kelce/755/

      Then again, if they designate him a post June 1 cut, the numbers look much more palatable. With the current state of our team and the number of holes we need to fill, I really doubt that Kelce is gone during this off season.

    • Media Mike

      Thumbs up on dumping Kelce!

  • xmbk

    As SF and Dallas have shown, there is one key person in the construction of a team: the owner. Lurie hasn’t yet shown he understands how to put together a top flight franchise. Not sure he realizes that if he wants everyone to like him, he needs to win. No one gives a crap about Christmas parties. Send the message from the top down, focus on winning.

    • Insomniac

      ” Lurie hasn’t yet shown he understands how to put together a top flight franchise.”

      Well neither do you so…

      • xmbk

        To be fair, it’s only been proven for one of us. 😉

        • P_P_K

          I’m laughing at your response. I’ll add that it may be that Lurie recognizes his own limitations and chooses to stay out of the way, giving the reins to the guys he hires.

    • eagleyankfan

      I don’t agree with that. Lurie is trying. That’s all an owner can do. He had AR and AR time ran out. Hired an ‘out of the box’ coach and boy did that fail(but — he tried). Now he’s back to an AR mold. I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of this(not that it matters) but Lurie IS trying.

      • xmbk

        I can’t agree that trying is all that matters. Some owners are clearly better than others at establishing a winning culture. Some of Lurie’s actions run counter to what seems to work. My main point was that this article overlooked the importance of ownership in the equation.

    • Buge Halls

      So I guess you’ve already forgotten all the success of the Andy Reid era (before he went downhill)? Perennial contenders (four Championship appearances and another year one game short of the Championship) and you say he can’t put together a “top flight franchise”? Memories sure are short in Philly!

      • xmbk

        No. Clearly Reid is a great organizational coach. Do you really think Lurie deserves the credit for those years? He seemed to do a good job of staying out of the way and letting Reid and others do their job. But the last several years make me question whether he truly understands how to establish a strong foundation. Just because lightning struck once for him doesn’t make him a genius. He’s no Martin Luther.

        • Buge Halls

          I’m sorry, who hired Reid again? Was it Santa Clause? Was it Bill Clinton? No, it was Jeff Lurie. The owner who went against all commonly held wisdom and hired an assistant with no head coach experience (sound familiar?). You can’t have it both ways. You said Lurie couldn’t build a successful franchise, yet when I showed you how he did indeed do it, you claim he doesn’t deserve the credit. Typical no-nothing Philly fan!

          • xmbk

            Santa Clause? Umm, ok. Hope you have a Mig Bouth for those Buge Halls. 😉

          • Buge Halls

            auto-correct can be a pain in the butt sometimes – glad that’s the only point you took out of it

          • xmbk

            Sorry for the cheap shot, couldn’t resist. Seriously though, did you have a real point? You kind of ignored what I said, then congratulated yourself. Lurie has given little indication that Reid was anything other than luck. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    • unhinged

      I think Lurie needs some love. There is a bit of socratic wisdom to the man. He knows that there is a lot he doesn’t know, so he doesn’t make himself “the man”. I think he’s learned from his business successes that who he trusts is critical to his chances, and the NFL is probably unlike any other investment he’s tested. Locker rooms, NFL franchises and billionaires (who are your competition) can be invisible to anybody from outside, and when Lurie bought the Eagles, he didn’t appear to have a friend on the inside. He depended greatly upon the talents of Joe Banner who familiarized himself with NFL contract rules way more effectively than he knew public relations or talent evaluation. Banner excelled at cap management, and Lurie applied himself to finding a credible HC. The synergy that emerged from Andy Reid on the sideline and Joe Banner as franchise president brought some long needed credibility to the Philadelphia Eagles. Both, however were probably accorded too much power in their respective roles because of Lurie’s unfamiliarity with NFL ways. Assuming that the right FO exec or the right HC is the key to winning a Lombardi is simplistic, and hopefully Lurie has learned that.
      Lurie’s dependency on Banner lessened as Howie Roseman took on more of the latter’s roles in the front office. Roseman impressed Lurie enough that Lurie’s childhood friend, the guy who he first hired after purchasing the franchise, became expendable.
      I believe that right now Lurie is in a delicate position as a franchise owner. He had hitched his wagon to Banner and then Reid, saw fantastic growth on his investment, and some reasons for believing that a Superbowl victory was within reach. Now those guys are gone, and Howie is the guy that Lurie depends on. The Chip Kelly era saw HR get put in the corner, but that doesn’t mean that Lurie lost any trust in him. Hopefully, it means that Lurie will be aware of his tendency to trust too much in a guy, and realize that he, himself, is the only guy that he can trust 100%.

      • xmbk

        Good stuff. It’s worth noting that Socrates was almost certainly an insufferable bastard who likely believed the opposite of what he said in this case. I do think you are correct in your analysis of Lurie, though. I envy the other PA team for it’s franchise stability.

        • unhinged

          If you’ve never seen this, you may enjoy:

          http://www.theboobirds.com/lurie.htm

          • xmbk

            Good stuff. Can’t say that I don’t like Lurie, just don’t think he is a good owner. I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

          • unhinged

            My view is he’s far from the worst, and we’ve had a string of pretty bad ones. After the Steelers, I cannot name an owner that I admire. Paul Allen may be one, but I don’t know enough about him. The ones we hear a lot about seem mostly to be jerks.

      • ChoTime

        Lurie went south by trusting and shielding Roseman too much. The guy may or may not be a good GM, but as the Eagles have fallen from relevance, and coaches and have players have been shuffled off to no effect, he has been the one constant, and untouchable factor. Secrecy and failure is not a good combination.

        • unhinged

          Well it certainly would not make sense to fire HR and hire somebody with whom he has no history. Stability, being the subject here, Lurie has had a degree of success by his character assessment. Remember that the peak of success for the Eagles came when there was a franchise QB. You can hone in on Roseman, but McNabb’s departure left a dim light on Reid and Joe Banner who received credit for taking the franchise upward. The hiring of Kelly and every other HC, and the promotion of HR are all on Lurie. He can tell HR to remove himself from direct GM decision-making, hire a GM and just be VP of Football Operations. If HR is as smart as Lurie believes him to be, he can handle detaching himself, if that is what is needed.

      • BobSmith77

        Socratic wisdom and Lurie aren’t what come to mind at all when I think of his personal characteristics. If anything, I have a tendency to believe he pursues the ‘shiny object/latest fad’ a bit too much because of his eagerness.

        He spends money & wants to win which is what you hopefully have in an owner. Also has generally not been meddlesome into football affairs during his tenure here although there are some conflicting reports about that including in the past year.

        Eagles have been generally successful during his tenure here but the last several years have been marked by a lot of dysfunction in the front office. Lurie obviously isn’t the sole reason for that but he is a key player in what has transpired.

        • unhinged

          Yeah, well I used “Socratic” in the context of 31 ego-maniacal geniuses who were born on third base and think they hit a triple. Of course that description doesn’t fit them all, but you get my drift. He knows what he knows, and probably has gotten a better idea of how much he doesn’t know. The general success you acknowledge came with the arrival of a franchise QB and the stability that surrounded him. Since TMAC left, there has not been a franchise QB, and I believe that explains much of the dysfunction. From what he has stated publicly, I believe that Lurie has gone from thinking that simply hiring the right HC can yield success, to recognizing that coaches and front office execs are dependent, in large part, on having a franchise QB. If CW is a franchise QB, Lurie knows he has to have stability and accountability from his coaches and FO. I expect we will hear from the owner soon, so he will undoubtedly address that.

    • Jamie Parker

      I’d say 2000-2008 was pretty top flight. Sure ’05 and ’07 weren’t the best and we didn’t win a SB, but that was a Hell of a run. And 2008 was the last time before this year our QB started every game.

  • Tumtum

    Not new Jerry. New Jones. Stephen to be exact. Is sounded like they had to strap Jerry to a chair to not screw up their draft the last few years. Not unlike the wolfman does before the full moon.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      They blew a golden opportunity to draft Johnny Football and provide me with hilarious entertainment. I was soooooo hoping for that at the time. F U Jerry for not sticking up to your son. Dallas sucks.

  • eagleyankfan

    50/50. Agree with the stability of ‘most’ of the staff. But not the underachievers. You simply can’t ignore all the dropped passes AND all the penalties and expect them to go away. Dropped passes was an issue before 2016, now you’re saying, give it another year? 100% on the plan. Rebuilding encourages changes. Rebuilding doesn’t mean keep everybody and hope they all turn into stars. While 2016 was the start of rebuilding, there are still good AND bad things that happened. Here’s to hope they were evaluating current players to see who fits/who doesn’t fit moving forward. (if they aren’t doing that, we’re in for long years as fans)

    • truehaynes

      Yeah I personally feel we don’t have a single wr on this team who should still be here in two years unless dgb realizes his potential. I’m done with Matthews, people can hype up his work ethic as much as they want but hes a soft player without soft hands

      • truehaynes

        I think resigning Matthews sends the wrong message to the team

        • BobSmith77

          Depends on what he wants and things we don’t know about including how teammates respond to him behind closed doors.

  • aron

    in the 69 my humpty nose will tickle your rear

  • Tumtum

    Anyone else going to be disappointed if the Gus Bus pulls into DC?

    • anon

      no defense always sucked in jacksonville

  • Iskar36

    ” You really need stability so players can develop.”

    There is no question that stability is helpful for a team, but I think the logic of maintaining stability in order to improve the team is completely backwards. Stability is valuable if you have the right pieces in place, but if you don’t, stability gets you nowhere and lets the pieces you do have get wasted.

    The Eagles have to first make an evaluation on what pieces they have in place to begin with. Is Doug the coach they believe he would be. Is Howie the right GM for the team. Do they have the right scouts. Is the chain of command setup efficiently. Each one of those things, you have to asses individually first. If any of those answers are no, stability is an incredibly poor excuse for inaction. Some of these assessments are incredibly challenging, given what you said earlier that the Eagles are an organization and must work as a team, but that is exactly why those in charge have critical roles on the team. A weak link in the organization can hurt the entire team.

    I’m very much in favor of keeping the majority of the pieces we have in place and I do believe at least at most of the critical positions (Coach, GM, QB, Defensive Coordinator) we have a valuable guy in place. But stability is a byproduct of picking the right guys to begin with. It should not be what leads the charge in decision making.

    • Dave

      “Stability is valuable if you have the right pieces in place, but if you don’t, stability gets you nowhere and lets the pieces you do have get wasted.”

      You know which teams generally have stability, those with franchise quarterbacks.

    • Tom33

      I had the same initial thoughts here. Without stability it is virtually impossible to be successful (changing schemes so often that you can’t build a roster to match your scheme), but stability itself doesn’t guarantee anything. Look at Cincinnati as a prime example. At some point you reach the definition of insanity where you keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

      It’s a fine and difficult line to walk – which I guess is why not many teams have been able to do it successfully.

      • BlindChow

        Cincinnati plays in a difficult division yet still routinely made the playoffs (until the wheels came off this year); sure, they choked on the big stage, but at least they were competitive during the season. Avoiding huge changes made sense there.

        A better example would be Jacksonville, where they kept the Gus Bus going, even as he struggled to get to 5 wins (happened once when he was there).

        (I don’t expect stability to matter much if Doug ends up looking as bad as Bradley did in his 2nd year.)

        • Tom33

          I guess it depends on what your goal is. If it is just to make the playoffs every year, then sure, Cincy has had a good run. But we’ve seen that movie before.

          I was thinking Indy as another example of stability without success.

          • ChoTime

            We’ve seen that movie because 31 teams fail to win the Superbowl every year. You put together the best squad you can, you get to the playoffs with a strong team, and have a chance. You fail, you try again next year. Luck (that, is the toss of the dice) is the enormous X-factor in all of this.

            Blowing up things willy-nilly is fan-think. That’s how you get yourself further away from the Superbowl.

          • Tom33

            I get that and don’t disagree. I would love to go back to the years the Eagles were in the NFC Championship game every year – even if it meant missing out on the eventual prize. Just like I’m sure most Bills fans would love to return to the early 1990’s success, even if it meant falling short each and every year.

            And by no means am I advocating changing “willy-nilly”. But that being said, at some point, if your goal is to win the whole thing, you have to consider the entire operation. Can Cincy win a SB (assuming that is their goal) with Marvin Lewis and that staff? Denver clearly didn’t think they could win with John Fox, so they switched to Kubiak and Phillips and brought home the trophy.

            Certainly luck, officiating, and a bunch of other factors play into this, but the point is, stability doesn’t guarantee anything.

          • ChoTime

            I don’t know that John Fox couldn’t win a Superbowl. He came within 3 points of one with the Panthers.

            So did we. And we just missed cashing in a few more times.

            I don’t know that Cincy could win a Superbowl when Tom Brady or near-prime Peyton Manning is in the game, or Denver’s putting together an all-time defense, but it sure could if those guys have off years and they catch fire.

            I guess I’m not the type that thinks blowing up a good situation is how you get to the next level. I think the evidence is that you build, year upon year. Blow up a terrible situation, sure.

    • bill

      You also have to allow for the possibility of growth, though that doesn’t completely negate your point. You just have to be able to identify who is likely to improve, whether you can wait for that to happen, and whether there is a definite improvement available. All of which is much easier said than done – that’s supposedly why all those management MBAs make the big bucks (and, if you read the literature, generally fail).

      • Iskar36

        Oh, absolutely. I don’t disagree with you at all. Growth is important and a key part of team building. I just argue having the starting point of team building being “stability”. To me, there is an essential balance of letting guys walk and moving on from players/coaches with holding on to guys who can grow and develop. Obviously it is near impossible to get all those decisions correct on who to hold on to and who to let go, but my point is simply that not letting people go who you should has damaging effects, regardless of the stability it may provide. Therefore the critical step starts with the independent assessment of each player/coach/gm within the team with the ultimate goal being to have a team that has the right players that can allow for stability. Not the other way around.

    • Fufina

      I think stability is really important – it means you are drafting players for the right scheme, players and coaches learn consistent culture, you do get supplemental draft picks because you don’t need to churn your roster for short term fixes. Drafting improves because there is a clear picture of the types of players that fit, and over time iterates towards players to successfully fufil those roles.

      Now you need things in place to help build that – good coach/FO/QB to keep things steady and make sure no one gets fired… hopefully with Wentz we will get those 3-4 years of stability to really build a foundation and team.

      • Iskar36

        Sure, but to accomplish all that, you have to be successfully adding good players and coaches to the team. BlindChow used a great example of Gus Bradley and Jacksonville. Chip Kelly has been fired twice in the time it took him to get fired once. At least at the coaching level, they were way more stable than we were. But clearly I would rather be in our position than theirs.

        • Fufina

          But the Jags did the correct approach – give a set up time to develop and evaluate them after 4-5 years. Think we should do the same with Wentz/Doug/Howie and if in 2020 we have made no progress clear house and start again.

          • Iskar36

            I guess here, I disagree. These decisions are certainly not easy to make, but hanging on too long is just as harmful as not giving it a chance. Time has value as well, and for any players that could have had added value to a team, time wasted is a resource that is lost.

            With Chip for example, I think it became incredibly clear that he was stuck in his way of thinking and was not a coach/gm who was going to be successful here. Firing him allowed us to have a longer window to work with players like Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Jordan Hicks, and other guys who theoretically are in or entering the prime of their careers.

          • Fufina

            Oh i agree on getting rid of Chip, if the plan was to let him be king they should have done it from the start… the situation we ended up with was untenible moving forward and he was loosing the locker room.

            Think Doug/Wentz/Howie can stick this out 3-4 years as long as things don’t implode on year. Doug is not in a position to make powerplays and as long as Wentz develops all 3 should be safe and working together.

            On advantage the current eagles set up has is they are all in this together – no one is surviving a failure this time.

          • anon

            2020? They won’t last another year if they take a slide like they took this year.

          • Cafone

            What slide? They were 7-9 in 2015 too.

  • BlindChow

    I have no problem getting rid of Greg Lewis and Corey Undlin. I think the argument for them is that our WR’s and CB’s suck so bad, there was nothing they could do, but I don’t buy that.

    Any coach can look good with a stud playing for them. The great coaches will get the duds to at least look competent. Since we apparently can’t sign or draft well at either position, let’s at least try to find a coach who can do something with these duds. I mean, even another bad coach couldn’t do any worse?

    • Bert’s Bells

      Lewis is probably playing a little above his head this year. He doesn’t have a lot of coaching experience. I’d give him the benefit of the doubt for now that he might be able to get better production from players as he’s gained more experience on the job.

      • BlindChow

        Honestly, if we had veterans who were performing well, I would be more sympathetic to the idea of using the spot as a training ground for a novice coach.

        But at this point I’d much rather get someone who can motivate our guys enough to understand basic rules of football (not to mention trying to get to the bottom of their drop issues).

        • Bert’s Bells

          Good point.

    • Iskar36

      A great coach would never be able to make me a serviceable CB. I don’t care how outstanding of a coach he is. Obviously, that’s a very extreme example, but not every dud player can be tapped by a great coach to become a quality CB. On top of that, different coaches will be able to get the best out of different types of players.

      With Greg Lewis, we have no track record of him make a WR overachieve. While I think the talent he had to work with was poor and likely never going to be a competent corps, I also have no evidence that Greg Lewis is a particularly good coach either. With Corey Undlin on the other hand, we do have a track record of success. On top of that, Undlin seems to have the respect of the coaches around him. As I said in a post yesterday, as fans, I think we lack the information to rate positional coaches because there are far to many variables that go into their success when rating them based on player’s productivity. With that said, I will trust the Eagles know way more than we do and make the appropriate decisions moving forward, whether that is keeping or firing Greg Lewis. Still, based on the information we DO have, I would lean to believing at the very least, Undlin does in fact know what he is doing but has had a weak group of players to work with.

      • unhinged

        I think you are touching on one of the trillion responsibilities of a HC. Parcells hired Bellichick and Coughlin. He knew the qualities he wanted in his players, and he saw in those position coaches the ability to get the most out of the players. If Lewis is failing to connect with his WR’s, or if the WR’s are the problem, DP needs to address it. Parcells had little to do with personnel decisions, but his GM was well respected and gave the coach enough pieces to have success. If DP believes in Lewis, then he has to communicate that support to HR and tell him to get him WR’s who can shine. When you get an anomaly like Agholor, who has ability that is not materializing in games, there is no sure-fire approach. But I do think the fate of position coaches reflects greatly on the HC.

      • A_T_G

        I bet he could teach you to look back for the ball, though…

        I agree that fans can identify only the outliers – incredibly good and bad coaches. There is a whole lot of room in the middle where we just do not have enough information.

      • RobNE

        true your lack of straight line speed would hurt but maybe safety.

      • BlindChow

        “It’s the players that are bad! He just needs more time!” is how Gus Bradley got four years of employment in Jacksonville.

        I just hope the Eagles FO looks very closely at the units where the entire group performed at a “worst in the league” level. I’d hate if uninspired coaching is excused because they put the blame solely on the players.

        If different coaches do indeed get the best out of different types of players, as you say, then perhaps they should find one who can do so with our guys, right?

        • Iskar36

          I think you and I just look at the solution from different sides of the same coin. My view is that I hope the Eagles FO don’t fire a coach for the talent level being poor while you are hoping that coaches don’t get excused for the talent being poor. To me, I knew going into the season that we had below average talent at both WR and CB, therefore I find it hard to really know how much a role the coaches had in those positions being exactly what I anticipated them being. But that’s not to say that certain coaches can’t be successful at making players overachieve.

          As for your point about finding the right coach to help our guys… again, I don’t think we have guys that I am basing my entire position corps around. I just want the best coach. For now, we have ‘just guys’ at WR and CB that are fairly replaceable, so I’d rather go out and try to find talent at the positions than making a below average player serviceable with a coach hypothetically more suitable for these guys.

    • Ryan Rambo

      Yes. Rod Marinelli does this consistently with the Cowboy’s D-Line. No name players that play past their limits and actually succeed.

      • Dave

        It’s much easier to play defense when your offense is rolling up the points in every game. The first month of the season, our defensive line looked unstoppable when Wentz and the offense were in-sync.

        • Ryan Rambo

          True. He’s done it for years……i think he was in Chicago before coming to Dallas. Wish we still had OUR “old man”…RIP Jim!

    • Cafone

      Is it just coincidence that the Eagles’ two biggest positional
      weaknesses are positions that face each other? Might we say that the
      lack of competition in practice is hurting them?

      • A_T_G

        It is an interesting theory, particularly since coming into the season the DL was a strength and many would say the OL was the unit that showed the most growth this year.

      • BlindChow

        There was a story earlier in the year about how the starters (WR’s and CB’s) were going to start playing each other during practice, whereas they usually only went up against the scout team. [Is this the usual practice on other teams?] They speculated this would help get both sides ready for game day.

        (It didn’t.)

        • Dave

          I’m sure Ags and Mills had some good battles in practice.

          Ags would put a move on Mills and get open, only to drop the ball. Mills would then give Ags the Motumbo finger wag letting him know that it was his superior coverage skills that caused him to drop the ball.

  • Greg Richards

    Jerome McDougle seems to be the go-to guy lately when talking about Eagles’ busts but the guy suffered countless injuries including being shot in the stomach. Yes in retrospect he was a bust but we don’t know how good he would have been if he was never injured. I don’t know if he should be used to criticize the Eagles drafting at the time because it’s very difficult to impossible to project guys who will be injury-prone.

    • A_T_G

      Well, we all hope that Howie learned the lesson not to draft players that are going to get shot in the stomach.

      • Cafone

        There’s no way a Florida alum would have been fooled by that Miami defensive line.

    • Cafone

      I thought that was an awful pick when it was made. He arguably wasn’t the best lineman Miami had that year and he was old for a draft pick. It was a positional reach rather than BPA in an area of need.

      Here is what I want in a GM: a guy that doesn’t make us say “OMFG what the hell is he doing??! WTF???” when he makes a move. Sort of Chip Kelly made us do every time he made a significant move. Or like Vikings fans should have been doing when they traded a 1st round pick for Sam Badford.

      Howie makes us say either, “Nice move, I see the sense in that” or “OMFG how the hell did he pull that off??! genius!!!”

      Sure, not all those moves are going to work out in the long run, but that’s life.

      • Dave

        Bad things happen to NFL players that live in Miami in the offseason.

        • Media Mike

          And Atlanta. And Vegas.

          All 3 cities need to be banned as permitted off-season living locations.

      • unhinged

        I think quite a few of the drafts where Banner and Reid were the primary deciders were like that. Jim Johnson wanted nothing to do with space eating DT’s, and Banner/Reid were at 14, ahead of Baltimore in 2006, in need of a DT. Ngata was the best DT in many a draft, and I think Baltimore was afraid that the Eagles might take him, so they traded up with Cleveland at 10 or 11, took Ngata and we ended up with Bunkley. If we were intent on getting the best DT in round one we could have offered Cleveland more given our higher position, but we drafted for position, and we paid for it.

        • Media Mike

          Bunkley will always be the lazy fat pig who missed a team flight because he had to go get chicken.

      • RobNE

        3 words: Jon Harris

      • laeagle

        OMFG was all I heard in response to the Hicks pick. It was the dumbest thing many of us had ever heard of. And there are a lot of “amazing” picks we felt great about that never turned out to be worth much.

        Just saying that immediate reaction to draft picks isn’t how I’m judging a GM. There’s a reason they say you can’t judge a draft until later. The Cox draft looked AMAZING right after. And the next year. But while it’s still a pretty good draft, it’s not quite as amazing now that Foles has Folesed out, Boykin is out of the league, and we’re lukewarm on Kendricks and Curry.

        • Cafone

          Well, one way I think it is justified to criticize is if players are chosen much earlier than the general consensus. There’s no reason to take a player in the 3rd round if everyone knows he’s not going to be touched until the 5th or 6th round.

          Let’s take Josh Huff for example. Pretty much everyone had him as a 5th-6th round pick. You could make the argument that nobody really knows, and maybe someone else had him as a 3rd round pick and if you waited you might have lost him. But if you are going to take that consensus 5th-6th rounder in the 3rd round you better hope he doesn’t play like a 6th rounder, because if does then everyone else was right and you were wrong.

          I think one of Roseman’s strong points is his feel for the draft boards in other draft rooms across the league. He’s not perfect (Russel Wilson) but he seems to have a very good handle on that aspect of drafting.

          • Media Mike

            Hence why I didn’t think they needed to take Hicks in the 3rd.

        • Tom33

          If the general consensus on players was correct, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (and their like) would be paid a whole lot more by NFL owners than they are by their current employers.

          I remember Dallas getting killed for drafting Frederick in the 1st round a few years ago. All he did was make the Pro Bowl this year.

          • D3FB

            I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

      • Sb2bowl

        Smith looked like a better prospect than Witten did coming out- more athletic, a lot of “nift” (thanks ACV) with the ball in his hands; we picked the wrong guy.

        Hard to foresee that a 3rd round TE from Tennessee is going to have a HOF career, but that’s how the draft goes sometimes.

        LJ was the better athlete, had better combine numbers overall, and genuinely seemed like the next generation of athletic TE’s in the NFL. History would show this to be incorrect

        • Cafone

          Witten was taken 8 picks after Smith. I disagree it was hard to see that an All-SEC tight end would perform better than some stiff from a 1-11 Rutgers team. I certainly saw it at the time and I’d bet Howie Roseman, an SEC alumni, saw it too.

          • Sb2bowl

            You should probably apply for a job with the Eagles in their scouting department if that is the case. And considering it was 15 years ago, the time line on your career is slowly ticking away.

            Dude wasn’t a stiff- they identified a target who had better athleticism than Witten; that’s what they were going for at the time.

            Witten was a home run, no doubt about it. But revisionist history isn’t going to help the task at hand.

  • GermanEagle

    Go Packers. That’s all.

    • Media Mike

      F the Giants

      Newton’s 3rd law!

  • Bert’s Bells

    Might you say the Eagles are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im2_NY9W9Ug

    ?

  • anon

    Cowboys WLB Sean Lee, RB Ezekiel Elliott, LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, and RG Zack Martin were all named first-team All-Pros on Friday.
    Dallas led the way with five first-team All-Pro selections, followed by the Chiefs with four. Lee played all but three snaps this season before being rested in Week 17 and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2-ranked 4-3 outside linebacker.

    • Bert’s Bells

      I’m glad that it’s not just the Eagles Sean Lee seems to dominate.

    • Sb2bowl

      Lee was remarkable this year, and stayed remarkably healthy (see what I did there?)! He’s one of the best pure LB’s I’ve seen play in the modern NFL era; getting him on the weak-side of their defense so that he is free to flow and make plays was an amazing adjustment by Marinelli. I hope some other team persuades him to be their HC, but I’m afraid he’s a DC that we will have to face for years.

  • anon

    Revens are letting Rick Wagner go, what a luxury to be able to let pro bowl caliber oline walk in fa.

    • Tumtum

      Cap issues?

  • BobSmith77

    Is there any possible con which could possibly work to get some team to trade for Daniel this offseason?

    • Dave

      Nobody is going to trade for an unproven, 30-year old, career backup QB with a $7M salary for the next 2 seasons.

      • Sean Stott

        My gut says that Howie factored that into his contract somehow, and will be able to get an out if necessary.

      • anon

        he’s proven – proven to be terrible.

    • D3FB

      No

      • Tumtum

        Yeah, when Sammy blows his knee out it will be the preseason. One more purple first and we are set.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Always enjoy these…..

    https://youtu.be/b7VRUJIfAdA

    • Dave

      Your link, is down, but that is an awesome video. Wentz seems to really have fun playing football.

      • Ryan Rambo

        That’s one of my favorite things about him! A true love of this game will seemingly take you really far…..especially when you add some natural God given talent and the right coaching. #GoBirds

  • Ryan Rambo
    • Tumtum

      Awesome I never saw this miced up. You know despite that being the year Desean under preformed and was a little whiney cus for who knows why…I REALLY enoyed that team.

      • Tdoteaglefan

        Yup loved that team and that season..if we won the superbowl that year…the “americas game” episode about us that year would’ve been epic…so many great moments and storylines in that season..Vick getting the starting job and having a “comeback player of year”type of season…the “monday night massacre” ..”the miracle in the meadowlands 2″ etc.

      • daveH

        No one moves like Vick .. like a race horse. No one tosses the most perfect spiral like Vick.

    • Cafone

      Pretty cool, though I don’t like it as much as the one with the dramatic music:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvYFnElisL4&t=10s

      But once I click play on either of them, I’ve never been able to stop without watching the whole thing, usually several times.

      • daveH

        I’m driving West on Interstate 80 to a friend’s funeral. She grew up in Ardmore, me in Radnor. ..
        There’s a bad accident with some deaths so it was bumper-to-bumper for miles. .. since Newark actually.
        .. and I got to hear this whole crazy thing play out on the radio .. I literally pulled over and had to jump up and down i was sofa king insanely ecstatic. and everyone in traffic was honking at me giving me the finger because they knew what i was jumping for .. and i was one weird dude as excited as they were pissed.
        Unfortunately .. that was our Super bowl

      • daveH

        Oh God is so good yeah we love that but man the risk-reward of DeSean tossing that ball around for the last 30 yards it just makes me so happy and pissed me off so much at the same time I can’t get over there either

  • CrackSammich

    We certainly don’t need another DT, but if talks with Bennie don’t go so well, I’d love to get Solomon Thomas out of Stanford in the first round. I’ve been following him since high school, since he was my ex’s cousin. Absolutely great kid, has family in the area, and is already drawing Aaron Donald comparisons.

    • Fufina

      I love him as a prospect but i think he is best used as a LDE in a 4-3. at 270lb and already pretty well built i am not sure he can get to a size where he is going to be able to play on a consistent basis as a DT on non pass rush downs. Get a double team on him and you are going to be able to run right at him at the NFL level.

      Now we could use further reinforcement up front but skill set wise he is similar to a Graham/Curry type player… and perhaps in the short term anyway we need more of a speed/agility rusher to make plays on 3rd down. Having said all that if we are going to take a more Joe Douglas approach he has such a Ravens type feel about him that i think if he is there at 14/15 then we might pull the trigger.

  • Dragon_Eagle

    Obliviate!

  • Jamie Parker

    Stability at QB should be a #1 priority. And O-Line goes a long way for that to happen. When Wentz started the last game, it was said that it’s first time since ’08 that our QB started all 16 games. Well in fact, it was just 6th time in the last 27 seasons that our QB started every game. 1990, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008, and 2016. That’s insane! Meanwhile, Eli has started every game since he took over for Warner in 2004.

    • Tumtum

      What a great and sad point.

  • Greg

    I hate when Maclin gets lumped in with the rest of those guys as getting let go. He was an expensive FA that got paid more than what he was worth in my opinion and I was glad the Eagles didn’t keep him at that price. They did however, fail to replace him which is the problem.