Learn From the Best

Posted: July 24th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

Chip Kelly left the Eagles with a winning record.

So did Buddy Ryan.

Ray Rhodes made the playoffs twice and even won a game in the postseason.

But these are not the former Eagles coaches to study. You could certainly learn from their mistakes, but the coaches you really want to study are Dick Vermeil and Andy Reid. They each built consistent winners and got the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

Pederson spent time with Reid when both were in Green Bay and then played for him and worked for him with the Eagles. He knows Big Red up close and personal. I don’t know if Pederson ever studied what Vermeil did as the Eagles coach.

I wrote about the similarities between the trio for PE.com.

I think one of the keys is that all three wanted to build something. Vermeil came to Philly from UCLA and understood how it could take a few years to build a team. Instead of strong recruiting classes, he needed good draft classes, as well as some pro personnel moves. That’s exactly what happened and the Eagles peaked in 1980, going 12-4 and making it to the Super Bowl.

Reid came in with his blue binder and a 5-year plan. The Eagles went 13-3 and made it to the Super Bowl in his sixth season.

Both coaches embraced young players and gave them a chance to succeed. Or fail. Not all young guys are going to work out. You have to be willing to let them play, even though you don’t know how it will work out. Pederson could have signed some vagabond to play RT last year, but gave Big V a chance. He was a mess at first, but got better each week and showed the potential to be a future starter.

Not all of this is Pederson’s doing. Lurie and Roseman certainly have a strong influence on how this team is built and run. But I think you have to give Pederson credit for embracing young players and trying to make it work with them. Coaches want to win every single game. It goes against their nature to sacrifice for the future. Reid, in particular, showed great discipline with the way he embraced ascending players.

Think of this as saving money for the future. Sounds obvious and a great idea, but it is hard to do that when you have a small paycheck and there are bills to pay. It is easy to forget about the future and focus on the moment. That was Rhodes biggest fault. He loved veteran players and relied on them too much.

While Pederson has shown the ability to be patient with young players, he’s also willing to be realistic. The Eagles tried to develop their young WRs last year. That didn’t work. The Eagles added veterans this year. They just recently cut DGB. While Nelson Agholor had his issues, effort was never one of them. He’s back and has a chance to redeem  himself. DGB was an underachiever who did have some effort and toughness questions. Those issues cost him his job.

Vermeil and Reid each had better records in Year 2. That means the Eagles should go at least 8-8, but Pederson has already publicly said his goals are higher than that. He didn’t get into coaching to go 8-8. He didn’t put specific numbers out there, but I don’t think he meant 8-7-1.

It will be interesting to see how things go for Pederson and the Eagles this year.


57 Comments on “Learn From the Best”

  1. 1 A_T_G said at 9:07 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    Welcome to training camp! We should all now line up.

    On one end we will have the guys who see the potential in every new name and want to clean house of every guy over 25 who doesn’t have a jersey in our closets.

    On the other end we will have the guys who value proven production and begrudgingly accept minor tweaks to roster spots in the 50s.

    As we prepare to call everyone on one side of us pessimists and everyone on the other dreamers, remember we will all be wrong as often as right.

    Happy football honeymoon time everyone!

  2. 2 D3FB said at 9:31 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    Strap em up, it’s gonna be a long 5+ months boys and girls.

    We’ll all make it.

    Especially if we all just remember, I’m always right and if you disagree with me well then your just a $*@#(@&$&(@(!*$**%*#*@!*%

  3. 3 P_P_K said at 10:51 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    Yup, you are always right… as long as you are agreeing with me.

  4. 4 Sb2bowl said at 11:18 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    I for one am looking forward to your rants and raves when we hold on to Matt Tobin again for some unknown reason.

  5. 5 D3FB said at 5:18 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Tobin is screwed for sure this year. I’d still rather keep him over a Josh Andrews though. At least Tobin can play 4 spots.

  6. 6 Sb2bowl said at 10:21 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    I forgot about Andrews. Thank you for that on a Tuesday morning

  7. 7 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:48 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I wish these 5 months lasted longer than the 7 months without Eagles football.

  8. 8 Ark87 said at 10:57 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    In a small community like this and you start recognize most members, I would say we aren’t the 2 camps type so much as the 12 Eagles fans-64 opinions type.

  9. 9 or____ said at 11:17 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    Whoa, that’s some serious moneyball future stats stuff right there.

  10. 10 Ark87 said at 11:31 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    We’ve accumulated a ton of Sparqy guys that can really produce at the next level

  11. 11 Dave said at 6:30 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Count me in as a dreamer!

  12. 12 Jamie Parker said at 6:53 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I’m a pessimistic dreamer.

  13. 13 Bacon & Iggles said at 12:49 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    “You use your tongue prettier than a 20 dollar w**re.” ~Taggart :~)

  14. 14 kajomo said at 9:16 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    I have been torn on how i see the eagles this year.

    The optimistic view:

    The Eagles lost 3 games that they simply gave away with mistakes or bad luck. 2 of those we against division rivals.

    1. Fumble against Detroit
    2. Fumble/dropped INT against Dallas
    3. Long snapper issues against Washington

    We have drastically improved at the WR position (one of our 2 glaring weaknesses) and have improved in the trenches on both side of the ball. With Carson taking a step forward we are a 10 win playoff team.

    My Guy Feeling:

    Looking at the schedule I see us as an 8-8 team. I recently looked at the PFT power rankings where they rank us at 18. I think that is a pretty fair ranking and lands us squarely in the 8-8 territory. Obviously these are very subjective ways of predicting our record this year, but that’s what a gut feeling is all about. Also our schedule and division are as tough as it gets.

    I think most fans have the optimistic view of this team. August is a time for optimism, but I cannot shake the feeling that this is an 8-8 team. That said we are a team on the rise. I think we can be a much better team this year without a huge improvement in our record. I also feel that this team is not set to make a deep playoff run until at least year 4.

    So while it’s ok to be excited and optimistic, I encourage you to judge this team on their performance more-so than their record. If we can play seattle and KC tough in their stadiums, but lose, I view that as an improvement. If Wentz takes the step he needs, if Alshon plays like a #1, and our young players begin to look like long term solutions we will have had a productive year. To me DP is not on the hot seat unless this season is an absolute mess. Small steps and continuity are what it takes to build this the right way.

  15. 15 P_P_K said at 10:57 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    With the opening of training camp, I am hopeful the Eagles will be 16-0 and win the Super Bowl. Looking at the roster and the schedule, I see the team going anywhere from 8-8 to 10-6. The major factor is Carson. The team is going to rise and fall on his shoulders. If he gets off to a good start and gathers momentum, maybe this team is better than you and I are predicting. If he is good enough, the team will be good enough to overcome the weakness in the lineup on both sides of the ball. If he stumbles coming out of the gate, if the Eagles fail to get off to a good start, it could be a long season.

  16. 16 Dave said at 6:29 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I’d be happy with a Wildcard spot and some playoff experience to build on…

  17. 17 P_P_K said at 8:52 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Me, too. My best scenario is 11-5, while going 5-1 in the Division. Sweep the Redskins and Giants, split with the Cowboys, be the East champs and win one playoff game.
    A boy can dream.

  18. 18 Buge Halls said at 2:48 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I’d bet that DP has this year and next at least.

  19. 19 ColorSgt said at 3:00 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Optimistic me says this is a ten win team. Philly fan me says a few injuries will kill that dream due to lack of roster depth.

  20. 20 Seth S. Scott said at 10:19 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    definitely will be interesting. I still have a lot of excitement for Doug, I dont think he’s perfect and I know you feel the same but I think he’s quietly putting together a great team with a great culture. If Wentz continues to improve year after year, we could see this team competing to maybe get to the Super Bowl in the next 5 years. Once you have a solid QB who continues to improve even when they are elite you can compete to get deep in the playoffs each year as well as make the players around you better and better (see: Packers)

  21. 21 SteveH said at 11:06 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    I think anything less than 9-7 would be disappointing this year. Alshon alone last year might have been enough to get us to the playoffs.

    That is of course barring catastrophic injury situations. That’s the big X factor in this game we love.

  22. 22 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 11:21 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    We also have an awful CB scenario. I think the team falls somewhere between 7-9 wins

  23. 23 P_P_K said at 11:59 AM on July 24th, 2017:

    We do have an awful CB scenario. Here’s hoping the O is so successful that they sustain drives and put big points on the board, forcing other teams to throw against our weak secondary, enabling to D line to pummel their qb and cause turnovers.

  24. 24 Dave said at 6:27 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I’m not sure awful is the word… inexperienced, yes. It’s the time of year where I’m hopeful a few guys step up.

  25. 25 or____ said at 1:42 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Well that’s like totally your opinion man…

  26. 26 Sean Stott said at 1:51 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Here’s to hoping Rasul Douglas can play, Sidney Jones makes a fast recovery, Jalen Mills isn’t required to cover, and CJ Smith’s absence was the real reason for the loss streak last year.

  27. 27 Bert's Bells said at 2:05 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Shit. Dallas signed a new weapon.


  28. 28 Sb2bowl said at 3:12 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I hear he’s good at slicing through defenseless victims.

  29. 29 P_P_K said at 5:20 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    He probably can’t help players find gloves that fit.

  30. 30 or____ said at 6:02 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    No, but if Paxton Lynch ends up starting for Denver, he might have some tips for him on how he can be a (white) Bronco on the run…

  31. 31 Sb2bowl said at 10:21 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    I saw an article yesterday that stated Simpson’s lawyers had him stop taking his arthritis medication which made his hands swell; this in turn made the gloves small enough to be viewed with reasonable doubt.

    Never heard that before yesterday, and if it’s true that’s a damn good strategy.

  32. 32 P_P_K said at 11:34 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Wow, and I was just trying to be funny.
    You’re right, that would have been a brilliant strategy. On the one hand, I guess it’s the duty of an attorney to give his client the best chance of acquittal. On the other hand, it’s disappointing our justice system is based on clever legal strategies rather then truth. I mean this in a general sense, not specific to OJ.

  33. 33 P_P_K said at 4:54 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    His title: Director of Convict Personnel.

  34. 34 or____ said at 3:14 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Another day, another cowboy arrest..ha.

  35. 35 Someguy77 said at 3:27 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Who is the best bet to get the annual ‘Na Brown’ camp award?

  36. 36 Sean Stott said at 4:28 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Mack Hollins

  37. 37 Dave said at 6:24 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I hope not, that means he was a wasted 4th round pick.

  38. 38 or____ said at 4:53 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Marcus Johnson. Or Greg Ward.

  39. 39 or____ said at 4:55 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Or Adam Zaruba.

  40. 40 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:55 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Sean’s call for Mack Hollins below is probably spot on. I agree he’s the early favorite. But Pumphrey might steal it from him. RBs often look good in camp and then vanish in the regular season. See Booker, Lorenzo.

  41. 41 CrackSammich said at 8:25 AM on July 26th, 2017:

    I’m not sure you understand the concept of the Na Brown award. those two are locks for the roster. Na Brown is the guy that will never make the team but is a camp favorite. Paul Turner last year was a classic example.

  42. 42 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:51 PM on July 26th, 2017:

    Hmm. That is not the definition of the Na Brown award I recall. I refer here to Jimmy Kempski definition


    …which differs from yours, but perhaps there are other interpretations.

  43. 43 Gary Barnes said at 3:29 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Great time of year. Hopes run high and everyone (well, except for Jones, Allen and Hicks) is healthy and ready to roll.

    Go Eagles!

  44. 44 unhinged said at 4:55 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Your referencing Lurie and Roseman is apropos. When you look at the working models among NFL franchises, Pederson could be a Tomlin or a Coughlin or a Kubiak. If the Eagles owner learned from his Reid era, he will trust his front office to create the environment that a reasonably talented HC can thrive in, and avoid getting space happy and pampering his HC at the first signs of success.

  45. 45 Dave said at 6:23 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Life is so much easier for a GM and head coach with a franchise QB at the helm. I hope we can definitively say that at the end of the season.

  46. 46 P_P_K said at 5:24 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Kempski’s 10 best stick figure gifs: http://www.phillyvoice.com/my-10-all-time-favorite-ms-paint-drawings/

  47. 47 daveH said at 6:36 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    I don’t know if we have a good team.
    Thers a bunch of players i like and am really rooting for. . I do hope Ags STFD’s me and proves me wrong and has a nice career, saves his money, sells everyone in Phila a self driving car and we all use his Gino’s. .. .

  48. 48 Gary Barnes said at 10:22 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Outside of TO, you nailed it!

  49. 49 daveH said at 10:38 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Thank you

    Thank you Zeke’s Elliot for your confusion that I’m listening to on nfl live right now)

  50. 50 Dave said at 8:05 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Lucky Whitehead is the Cowboy’s version of Josh Huff.

  51. 51 A_T_G said at 9:13 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Except he might have been the only Cowboy not doing illegal shit. Apparently ther are airline tickets that prove he wasn’t there?

  52. 52 Dave said at 9:24 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    That doesn’t absolve him for failing to appear for a court hearing.

  53. 53 A_T_G said at 12:35 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    No, it doesn’t. That wasn’t mentioned in the Cowboy bashing I read.

  54. 54 Dave said at 11:58 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    I stand corrected.


  55. 55 A_T_G said at 2:59 PM on July 25th, 2017:

    We should sign him.

  56. 56 BobSmith77 said at 8:24 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Looking forward to the crazy over coverage of training camp including the inevitable article from ESP that breaks down Wentz’s throws during a scrimmage or 7-on-7 drills.

  57. 57 Dave said at 8:57 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Why all the secracy with JMatt’s knee? It was originally injured in training camp last year and he’s still not healed.