Lurie Goes Improv

Posted: September 8th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 193 Comments »

Jeffrey Lurie called a surprise press conference on Thursday. He spoke at the owners meetings about six months ago, but hadn’t met the media since then. It is easy to wonder if he had an agenda, but there was nothing in his 25-minute Q&A session with the media.

PE.com has the video and the highlights of the PC.

The subject right out of the gate was Howie Roseman.

“I think Howie has done a tremendous job. I have real, total confidence in Howie. The last couple years, (he has made) remarkable franchise-changing decisions. As I’ve said before, it is not easy to not tank and be able to accomplish the goals you want to make in the NFL. It’s so hard to get quarterbacks. The maneuvering, the use of assets the way we did, the identification of the one player that we had a lot of confidence in, Carson Wentz, at a time when other teams all needed quarterbacks, that’s just one of many, many key things that Howie, the player personnel department, analytics, everybody has participated in, and the coaches in a big way,” Lurie said.

“Ever since then, it’s been one domino after another in terms of smart moves. Really happy with the additions this offseason, as was last offseason.

“In today’s NFL, and I’ve said this before, it’s not simply having, ‘Okay, this is your scout or this is your GM, or whatever.’ Football operations requires enormous processing and identifying of key data. If you don’t a have great player personnel department, an excellent analytics department, really good sports science, top-notch player development, excellent teaching, you’re not going to be the team you want to be.

“Howie’s primary function is to organize that and to be the final decision-maker when it comes to the key moves we make, and also to structure contracts so that we can maximize our assets.

I know some people will hear that and throw out all kinds of angry responses. Howie is a tricky subject because he spans three different and distinct situations. He was there for the end of the Reid era, he was there for two years with Chip and is now working with Doug Pederson as his coaching career gets going.

The GM has to work with the coach to build something. The situation with Reid was weird because you had Joe Banner also involved and that created somewhat of a power struggle. The Eagles also tried to load up with veterans to take advantage of Michael Vick. And then there was the lockout of 2011. As for the Chip years, I think things kind of speak for themselves. Chip had some idea of what he wanted and kept trying to create that, but just couldn’t get it to work. Howie did what he could, but as you can see by the moves of 2015, Chip wanted to do some crazy things.

Howie is hardly just a victim of bad circumstances. He made some bad picks in that period. He made some poor signings. Howie rubbed some people the wrong way at times and that didn’t help matters.

He has been a different person since his banishment by Chip. He goes out of his way to take the blame for things. He hired a strong, independent person in Joe Douglas to be the head of the personnel department. Howie seems less interested in office politics and more focused on how to build the best possible roster.

If you really focus on the last two years, I think Howie has done a tremendous job. Getting Wentz is the key move by a mile, but the overall roster is better and there is a good mixture of youth and veteran talent.

You can absolutely argue that Lurie should have never brought Howie back. That was a risky move that is easy to question. I don’t see how anyone can look at the last two years and not give Howie credit for doing a good job. I don’t know that any other GM would be able to get the Eagles from where they started in the 2016 draft all the way up to #2, where they took Wentz. He paid a steep price, but that’s what it costs to get a QB when you’re not sitting there with a Top 5 pick.

*****

The other topic I found most interesting was Lurie talking about expectations for the upcoming season.

Lurie did not want to set a specific goal in terms of record or a specific achievement. That was smart by him. If he tells the media, “I think this is a 10-win team”, there are going to be questions to the coaches all year about that goal and how the team is doing at that specific point. Lurie didn’t even want to commit to this being a playoff team.

You can bet that he’s done some of this internally, but there really is no benefit to declaring your goals to the public.

The Eagles are better on paper than they were last year. They played better in the preseason than they did last year. But we don’t know how things will go in the regular season. The Eagles beat bad Cleveland and Chicago teams to open last year. This schedule starts off more difficult. The Eagles could be 0-2 instead of 2-0, but still be a better team.

Last year the Eagles had a 10-week stretch where they didn’t score more than 24 points in a game. Only twice in that stretch did they hold a team to less than 24 points. This team is more talented and should not have a streak anywhere close to those. You can look for things like that when trying to evaluate this team beyond just wins and losses.

Obviously the final record will tell us what kind of season the team had, but context is important, for better or worse. Who did you play? When did you play them? Where? Who was healthy? Was anyone suspended? Were bye weeks a factor? Weather? And on and on. Style points do matter.

Miami went 11-5 in 2008 because they won a bunch of close games. That team set the NFL record for fewest turnovers. You could say that they “didn’t lose games” as much as they won them. They got to the playoffs and Baltimore beat them 27-9, in part due to five turnovers. Green Bay had a terrific team in 2010, but only went 10-6 because they lost a few close games. That team was great in the postseason and won the Super Bowl.

Lurie will sit down with Howie and Pederson after the year. He’ll look at what the results were, but also how the team played. That’s when they’ll decide if 2017 was a successful season. It would certainly help if the Eagles made the playoffs and had some postseason success, but that isn’t an absolute requirement.

*****

Lurie was asked about Mike Lombardi ripping Pederson. Lurie had good things to say about his coach and ripped on Lombardi.

“I have a strong endorsement of Doug. First of all, those comments, you guys call it ‘Click Bait’ or ‘Hot Takes,’ that’s how I saw that,” Lurie said.

“But Doug, think about this, I mean, he took over a team that had some locker room issues with the previous head coach. He lost his starting quarterback (eight) days before the start of the season, and was asked to use our young third-string quarterback. He had to put together a coaching staff. My personal evaluation of the coaching staff that he put together, or inherited, but was open to inherit, is outstanding. I mean, really outstanding.

“That’s a huge credit because quarterback analysis, locker room chemistry, and the ability to put together a top-notch coaching staff, those are three real key ingredients. I think he aced them all.

“Yes, there’s going to be growing pains with any first-year head coach. We had that with Andy (Reid), we had it with Chip (Kelly), we’ve had it no matter who it is. I see him as someone who can keep improving. He’s a listener. He’s a collaborator. I think he has terrific relationships with the players. The future is in front of him, and it’s there for the taking.”

Well done, Mr. L.

As for Pederson, we still don’t know if he’s going to prove to be a good coach, but he has done a fine job to this point. The team feels like it is heading in the right direction. We’ll have to see if Pederson can get it there.

Someone asked about Lurie meeting with Howie and Pederson. He mentioned talking to Howie a couple of times a day and said they have all sorts of issues to discuss. That was a simple answer.

Lurie was a bit more confusing when talking about Pederson. He mentioned them talking about the gameplan and then later went back on that comment, but then explained the situation by they discussed the kind of things that make up a gameplan. It was kind of odd.

I didn’t read much into it. I took it as “I’m the owner and I want the coach to come brief me on what’s going on this week”. I guess you could wonder if this is Lurie’s way of being more hands on by making the coach explain what they’re going to do. This isn’t about Lurie trying to call plays or anything like that, but it is fair to question if Lurie would do this with a proven, successful coach.

*****

Overall, I didn’t come away feeling any better or worse about the team. I didn’t learn anything groundbreaking. Lurie is excited for the season. That’s what having a QB does for you. It gives you hope.

Lurie did refer to Matt Ryan as “Matty Ice” so I guess that did make the PC a success in my mind.

Style points matter.

_


  • Anders

    Holy cow twitter is now overreacting to Hunt’s performance claiming Howie should have done a thousand things different and draft RB x instead of doing Y

    • Insomniac

      Pumphrey hate has evolved into insanity. Who would have thought.

      • Sean Stott

        Let’s just hope that he looks better when they have a game plan on how to use him. Let’s hope, because holy shit he looked bad in the preseason.

        • Anders

          So did all of the rbs except Wendell who the coaches love

      • TO BLACKS

        Pumphrey stinks and can’t play, but Hunt looks like a feature RB after one game. Score one for Andy and nothing for Howie.

      • greenblood0118

        Pumphrey was a bad pick. Classic Howie reach-for-midget-super-guy…

    • SteveH

      I mean, we drafted Pumphrey a round later than Hunt, so it’s not like we took Pumphrey INSTEAD of Hunt. Dude did look like a baller though not gonna lie.

      • Anders

        He was also drafted before Douglas and seen people say we shouldn’t have traded for jernigan etc.

  • Ray888

    It would be hard to articulate, but these are never my fondest moments with Eagle’s coverage. I guess they seem awkward. Thankfully there shouldn’t be another till after the season.

  • GermanEagle

    What did we learn from last night:

    – Chiefs will go 19-0
    – Patriots will have the 1st overall pick in next year’s draft
    – Alex Smith wins MVP
    – Justin Houston wins DPOY
    – Kareem Hunt wins OPOY
    – Big Red will sign a contract extension until 2033
    – Eric Rowe will be traded to the Eagles

    I am looking forward to watching meaningless games on Sundays.

    Merry season, my friends!

    • teltschikfakeout88

      In other words…you learned nothing of real value…

  • Insomniac

    After a long time thinking this deal out while pumping gas, I think a 1st and a 2nd from the Patriots for Kendricks would be a fair deal after seeing their LBs get destroyed.

  • Ray888

    Remember part of AR’s modus operandi is to spend a good part of the off-season practicing against the schemes of the opponents on their schedule. Typically this was concentrated on teams within the division who would be faced twice a year. But with NE up first and AR’s history with them, I bet time was found to focus specifically on NE. Other teams will “go to school” on what worked; unfortunately BB will adjust.

    • or____

      Sure, but the NE defense was awful and had a lot of new guys who barely knew the scheme starting. They explained it on the broadcasting. That was pretty major. Then they had the Hightower injury… Give Reid credit, sure. But NE played pretty poorly.

      • RobNE

        their defense often looks a little shaky early in the season.

    • Ark87

      Preparation is definitely his strength. He got his job with the Eagles on the strength of his plan. We all know is infuriating weaknesses on game day. Dude just can’t think on his feet when something isn’t working (or managing a game clock and time outs). But if you give him enough time, he can meticulously script plan A, B, C, D, and E.

      • Gary Barnes

        Chiefs made several key halftime adjustments and smoked the Pats in the 2nd half – they were down 17-14 at the break, then out-scored them 28-10. One of the myths about Reid is he cannot make effective halftime adjustments – that got disproved again last night.

        • Ark87

          that was plan C from something he thought up at a BBQ pit back in May

          • Gary Barnes

            lol, he looks like he lost a bunch of weight which is good to see.

        • daveH

          The myth won’t die because there are to many examples .. if he finally did make an adjustment doesn’t exonerate, it’s just long overdo

          • Gary Barnes

            The myth is he is totally incapable and has never made effective adjustments. That is blatantly untrue as he has done it many times. If he could never make adjustments, he would not have lasted as a NFL HC for this long.

            The other issue is most folks fixate or only remember the negative examples and ignore/avoid counter evidence that conflicts with their narrative. Confirmation bias is a real thing.

            What one can say is Reid has struggled at times during his HC career to identify and/or make effective adjustments at halftime or during games. That is a true and fair statement.

          • daveH

            Thank you for ” confirmation bias” .. awesome phrase. Wins.

        • Julescat

          good clock management in the first half too

  • Dave

    A few things stood out to me last night:

    – Brady looks his age, but fortunately for him he is playing in the worst division in the NFL.

    – I did not realize how good Kelce is compared to Ertz. Hands-wise and route running abilities seem similar, but holy ish, Kelce breaks tackles like a running back. That shovel pass that was blown up by the Pats defense was just an outstanding show of skill not to be dropped for a loss in the backfield.

    – Alex Smith throwing the ball downfield absolutely opened up their offense. He’s still a dink and dunk QB for sure, but when he airs a few out like he did, it kept the defense on their toes. I wonder how much that has to do with their gunslinger heir-apparent Mahomes waiting in the wings.

    – Did I mention Brady looks old.

    I heard after the game, Brady bought everyone in the organization Apple watches and he himself will wear one from this point forward during the games;-)

    • Fufina

      Don’t think the loss had much to do with Brady. Putting up 25+ points should be enough for the Pats to beat KC.

      What i found shocking and far more worrying for the Pats (and exciting/good for the rest of the league) was the fact the patriots DLine got mauled. They couldn’t stop the run which i am sure sent Darth Vader insane, and they couldn’t get any kind of consistent pressure either. If you cannot do anything to affect the game with your DL and are getting gashed in the running game you are going give up a lot of points.

      • RobNE

        There have been so many years where an early loss (remember the absolute beat down from the Chiefs a couple years ago) that in the end, meant nothing. I would take very, very little from this game.

      • meteorologist

        Yeah it had to do with Brady. He has some ridiculous record in shootouts but couldn’t get it done.

    • Someguy77

      Ertz is paid like a Top 5 TE and he isn’t. Probably is a Top 10 but you can even debate that too because of his shoddy blocking, being nonexistent in the red zone, and his YAC.

      I would take Jordan Reed in a heartbeat over Ertz.

      • Stephen E.

        Who would you take to cover the 4-10 games Reed is guaranteed to miss every season?

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Don’t throw logic around “availability is the best ability” in the discussion…you will confuse people…LOL…as soon as I read Jordan Reed I thought…did the NFL shorten the season to like 4 games or something…

    • A_T_G

      Doesn’t everyone in the organization having Apple watches open up the possibility of some rule-violating communication taking place?

    • CrackSammich

      Game featuring two best TEs in the league: Our TE isn’t good enough because he isn’t one of the two best in the league!

      • Dave

        Never said that, just was in awe how good Kelce is.

        IMO, its like comparing Maclin to Julio Jones. Maclin is a great receiver, Julio is out of this world good.

  • unhinged

    The hope implicit in acquiring a franchise QB is tempered by the uncertainty of the premise. Nobody wants to write off CW at this point, but his development and ascent to consensus elite status will not occur in a vacuum…if it ever occurs. Doug Pederson’s status as a HC is similarly dependent greatly upon the viability of Wentz. Regardless of how these two roles, QB and HC shake out, HR gets good marks for engineering the acquisition of the QB without blowing up the franchise to do it.
    But what if DP is actually a good HC who has a #1 QB that never plays to his potential? Or what if Pederson is the reason that Wentz doesn’t shine? I think Lurie is entitled to feel satisfied with HR’s performance, but what nobody knows at this point is, do the Eagles have a franchise QB? And do they have a good HC? The answer to both is on Jeff Lurie more than Roseman, I think.

    Having a guy like Wentz does make it easy to feel optimistic, because he’s smart and dedicated and competitive. He now has WR’s who look ready to deliver, but play calling and the running game are less definitive. Pederson has a calm presence that players need, but how much do they respect him? Is he as credible as AR was in addressing accountability and holding errors to a minimum? There seems to be a stark contrast in coaching styles between Pederson and his DC, Jim Schwartz. I think the latter is definitely respected by his players, and maybe possibly feared as well. I claim no insight , but I don’t get that vibe from the HC. I am reminded of Leo Durocher’s famous line.

    • Gary Barnes

      Very good post, exactly how I feel.

      We are still in the “we’ll see” portion of the organizational and roster rebuild process.

      Many things have to work out well for us to know how good Pederson, Wentz, Roseman et al. are in their roles. This season will provide more of those answers – we’ll see what happens.

      • unhinged

        If Roseman has assigned talent evaluation to Joe Douglas, which looks to be what has happened, and his job is to broker the player contracts and navigate the draft, I think he gets a passing grade. The post-Chip Kelly HR seems more humble, and more purposeful than the Banner-mentored FO attention magnet. And I think the decision to specifically go after Wentz and to hire DP was surely Lurie’s, ultimately.

        • Gary Barnes

          It could be, but again “we’ll have to see” because Douglas only arrived this year and we have no idea if that hire was a good one or not yet.

          Roseman was heavily involved in the hiring of Chip, Pederson and Douglas and the drafting of Wentz. If Lurie gave his approval for Roseman to go ahead, that is understandable, but it is still Roseman’s “plan” of action.

          • unhinged

            I think Lurie is very involved in momentous decisions. He has Roseman around to “make it happen”, but it’s his baby, and he may love Howie, but I think you may be attributing more autonomy to Roseman than actually exists.
            You may be correct, but Lurie is not a hands-off owner from what I can gather. You state that “Roseman was heavily involved in the hiring of Chip and Pederson” – yeah, logistically. Now JD may have been completely HR’s doing. But betting the kitty on CW? I seriously doubt it.
            Anyway, we’re not flies on the wall, so much of our back and forth is steeped in perception and speculation.

          • Gary Barnes

            It was always reported he was hands off with Reid, but maybe he has changed his approach over the years.

            I agree it is speculation. I guess I hope Lurie is not making the football decisions and trusts his guys like Roseman to do more than paperwork etc., but it could help explain the continued failures if true.

          • unhinged

            I honestly have no clue, Gary, but if you take the long view, Lurie as Eagles owner seemed from the get go to be searching for a maestro to put his franchise in the winning column. This perspective may well have been fed to him from one Joe Banner, but Lurie bought in. He hired Ray Rhodes who had a great reputation as a defensive backfield coach and DC for the perennial champion 49ers of the 80’s, and when he had early success, Lurie looked poised to give him a longer contract. But then Jon Gruden wanted no part of the QB merry-go-round, and he left shortly after being named the OC, and Rhodes looked out of his depth, and Lurie canned him a couple years later.
            Then in his meticulous search for a new HC, Lurie is bowled over by Big Red’s preparedness. Andy Reid may not have been charismatic, but his nuts and bolts approach to being a HC gave Lurie a big shot of hope and confidence. And with gradual, methodical improvement on the field, Lurie seemed very certain that AR was the answer.
            So this experience of searching for the magic bullet and believing he had accomplished exactly that all transpired before HR ever set foot in Philadelphia.
            But I believe that Lurie began to question the very belief he had adopted, i.e. , finding the franchise savior. Over Reid’s tenure, Lurie handed Reid more power, with diminishing results. Without the genius of Jim Johnson, Reid was overwhelmed by the challenge of being a hands-on HC for both the offense AND the defense.
            Toward the latter quarter of Reid’s tenure, Banner, having groomed HR in cap science, and administrative office manners, flew the coop. I don’t think that Lurie would have permitted that if he was not already deeply familiar and involved with off-the-field football operations. And when JB left, HR was still pretty green as an executive. But Lurie valued his brain and, above all else, his loyalty.
            So when Lurie grows impatient with AR’s spiraling mediocrity, my impression is he was the main dog in the HC hunt. He wanted a coach from college that had fresh ideas and a record of success. He had HR to arrange meetings, to woo his target with numbers and do a little sucking up, and to deal with Chip Kelly’s agent. By this time Lurie may still have been content to sit back, but the HC as savior model had to undergo a serious reexamination when the college genius began pissing on the owner’s rose garden.
            Stipulating my complete speculation, I believe that the hiring of Doug Peterson is a signal from the owner that he wants a HC that is competent and unconcerned with acquiring more executive powers. So Lurie wants his franchise poised to endure a sudden departure in the HC chair. The best franchises have demonstrated that quality (Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New York…Giants). Again, I could be full of sh*t, but my sh*t holds together.

          • Gary Barnes

            Good post, it does hold together and causes me to be even more depressed 🙂

    • Bert’s Bells

      Hey now, Mr. Thesaurus, I don’t see nothing about big guys beat little guys in there.

    • Mr. Magee

      Wentz is very much a franchise QB.. His development may be uneven – no two QBs take exactly the same path – but as a talent, Wentz is almost a known commodity at this point.

      Doug is certainly a question mark. I would feel A LOT better if he gave up play-calling duties. This season is big for him.

      Schwartz is the guy I have the least confidence in, which is odd because he came in with the best resume of the 3. The D virtually quit on him for a stretch last year, and if I were Lurie (the de facto decision maker in the Eagles organization), he might not have made it back this year.

  • RobNE

    I was in a bar in Cambridge after our softball final (we lost, thanks for your condolences but a good year). And I’ll just say something, it’s just sportsball people. I’m too old for the bsht where people (your friends) find way too much joy in making fun of you b/c some sportsball people on their team are better than yours. I’m not from here, the right answer when someone says “I like team x b/c I am from there” is just, “that’s cool.” I actually like sports less since I moved here. I hung out till close to halftime so my neighbor (who I drive home) could watch the first half. I didn’t watch the 2nd half (too late) but was happy to see the score this morning.

    So when the Eagles are SB winners, try to be nice to fans of other teams.

    Yes, I am older and will go yell at a cloud now.

    • Ark87

      I was wondering where you were last night. Thought you might be blitzed, dancing in the street. Pats had the fight kicked out of them, it was great!

      • RobNE

        I was getting abused during the banner raising.

        • Ark87

          Raising Superbowl banners in the last 10 years is more common than them losing with a half-time lead in Foxborough. Got to celebrate what we can!

    • Bert’s Bells

      I agree.

      Except for the Cowboys. Fuck Dallas.

      • P_P_K

        You beat me to it.

    • or____

      Which bar? I used to live there and am reminiscing about being a proud cheatriots hater while still having plenty of friends who were fans of them…

      • RobNE

        McCabe’s

        • or____

          Oh ok. Never heard of it.

          • RobNE

            it’s the kind of bar your whole softball team can fit in and grab tables, so you can conclude maybe it’s not a super popular one.

          • or____

            Fair enough.

    • ChoTime

      People were giving you shit because you’re an Eagles fan?

      • RobNE

        yes that’s how it works in NE.

        • ChoTime

          Sorry. Here in Phoenix, no one cares. It wasn’t that long ago that half the people in the stadium wore silver and blue.

      • Ark87

        Happens in NC too. There are enough Giants fans, Cowboys fans, Redskins fans…generally everyone hates Eagles fans everywhere anyway. So, NFL Sunday Ticket, no more Buffalo Wild Wings for me!

        • Mr. Magee

          BWW is the worst – food inedible, service almost as bad. How does it stay in business?

    • jshort

      I’m older now and get my joy from yelling at kids on my lawn….hehe

  • Dave
    • Ryan Rambo

      I love the trade now. Never would have discovered it otherwise!! I remember a RB we traded had some health issue be discovered as well. Can’t remember his name at the moment.

      • Dave

        The trade will be voided as this is a pre-existing condition. But I absolutely am thankful he was traded now.

      • ACViking

        RB Jerome Harrison – traded by the Lions to Birds for Ronnie Brown.

        Trade voided when a brain tumor was discovered during his physical.

        • RobNE

          welcome back (kotter)!

    • RogerPodacter

      buried in the twitter comments:
      (from an eagles fan)
      “Well thank god we traded him because this might have been found too late if it wasn’t for the physical. Truly a blessing in disguise”

    • Bert’s Bells

      Wow is right!

      Dorenbos probably has the highest ratio of good:horrible luck in the world.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Saints placed LS Jon Dorenbos (heart) on the reserve/non-football injury list.
    Dorenbos was taking a physical when the doctors discovered an aortic aneurysm in his heart. He needs immediate surgery, and the discovery of the issue likely saved Dorenbos’ life. In an aortic aneurysm, the aorta is literally tearing and could burst and cause death at any moment. Dorenbos was just acquired last week. This likely ends his career. We wish him a speedy recovery.

    • Tumtum

      Holy shit. So glad we traded him….for his own good.

      • D3FB

        Just like the Ronnie Brown for Jerome Harrison trade when the Eagles discovered Harrison had a brain tumor.

  • CrackSammich

    Howie has now gone full Hinkie, trading injured players.

    • Sean Stott

      No way they knew about Dorenbos’ issue, but they might have known about Jmatt?

      • Anders

        Jmatt got injured during first practice

  • GermanEagle

    Eric Berry done for the season. Luckily he and his family are now sorted out for life financially…

    • Tumtum

      Man. That dude is so good and so unlucky.

      • GermanEagle

        Yes agreed. He had to overcome so many (health) obstacles in his life…however financially he has had big luck signing this $78m contract just this off-season.

        • Tumtum

          I would bet a guy like that is more concerned about being considered the best ever than the money. Sure he is having some first world problems. A guy like that though, in this age of offense. Sad to see!

      • Ark87

        He has my kind of luck. Once I was traveling down I-95 going past DC, after a snowstorm that did a number on PA, but they do a competent job cleaning up the highway. So, they must have 2 plow trucks and no salt in DC, because it quickly goes down to 2 lanes. I soon find out, 1 of those trucks goes down the off ramp and up the on ramp of every exit, leaving the over-pass 1 lane. Now traffic is moving, the first one, I barely merge, but get my right tire caught in the slushy muck, spins me out and into a snow bank. And I’m staring into my rear-view with tons of big trucks frantically merging to not hit me. As it turns out, No one kills me, my mazda 3 that wasn’t good in snow, manages to back out of 8 inches of snow after an uncomfortable amount of time waiting for a break in traffic, And the car was completely undamaged, what I thought was smoke was steam coming off the ABS.

        Which is all to say, I felt very unlucky and like the luckiest man alive all at once. Eric Berry got cancer, very unlucky. Eric Berry survived cancer in good enough shape to be one of the best Safeties in the league. Luckiest cancer victim ever, perhaps.

        edit: He worked very hard of course, I don’t want to diminish that.

        • Tumtum

          Interested to know which year’s storm! 2 or 3 years ago we got hit so many times in short succession they not only ran really low on salt, but ran out of places to put the snow. That was fun… Usually the snow removal is really good, not like way up north of course, but not half bad.

          I’m with you though, but considering what his potential is, it is sad to see so many hurdles for him. I don’t think anyone doubts that he will be back to being one of the best there is next year though.

          • Ark87

            Lets see, the car was a 2008 Mazda 3 that I bought in January of 2009. I want to say it was the winter after that. Perhaps sometime around the holiday season of 2009, visiting friends and family. It was a really bad storm by DC’s standards.

    • Ark87

      That sucks. Legitimately great Safeties are so rare they’ve become a league treasure.

    • Sean Stott

      He didn’t look to be in virtually any pain last night, it was weird. I would think an Achilles injury would hurt like hell

      • CrackSammich

        1. adrenaline

        2. I assume every player on the field is playing through pain every single snap of their careers.

      • Ark87

        I’ve heard it hurts like a bitch, unreal. Says my co-worked who popped his playing ultimate Frisbee of all things. I was encouraged because he looked to be moving it around. Maybe a partial tear?

  • GermanEagle

    Can we trade Jason for Travis somehow?

    Is surely would feel good to finally end up with the better half of a brothers tandem…

    • Insomniac

      Kelce + Ertz + Pumphrey for Travis Kelce? I wouldn’t say no but I’m sure the Chief’s GM would give you a millisecond before hanging up.

      • GermanEagle

        Throw in Kareem Hunt and we have a deal..

        • Insomniac

          We can just throw in our entire practice squad for Tyreek Hill at that point too.

      • D3FB

        Veach internal monolouge: “Wait, this guy does know that Mitch Morse >> Kelce, Kelce >> Ertz, and DAT>>>>> Pumphrey… Did I do acid yesterday? Do I need to go to rehab? Is this what a mental breakdown feels like?”

        • Insomniac

          I just want those guys gone so logic does not apply here smarty pants.

    • Anders

      Brian Westbrook was the better brother so was shawn Andrews

  • Sean Stott

    Could anyone tell who asked about Howie at Lurie’s presser?

    Really felt like a loaded question, and also a stupid question.

    In my humble opinion, Howie Roseman should not be questioned. How many ridiculously savvy transactions does he need to oversee before people realize he is a top GM in the league?

    • myartz04

      I agree with you. Some of these trades and signings he has pulled off have been incredible. However, it’s all about the W’s and L’s and so far, Howie has been very mediocre in that regard. It might take some more time but I feel like he’s going to pile many more W’s to his record in the coming years…

      • FairOaks

        He’s had one season with a rookie coach when it was really “his” team. And that one season had a massive hit when Lane Johnson got suspended, which the team didn’t know about until well after the major moves had been made. He did not plan for that, especially as the OL had rotted since Lane’s pick itself. That was probably the difference between 7-9 and 10-6 last year.

        Some may disagree, but the awful end to the Reid regime I don’t think Roseman was really in all that much control. Banner somewhat and Reid especially had a lot of control then. As an owner, you wouldn’t keep Howie if he was truly the driving force between some of those awful drafts.

        Hard to evaluate with Chip — he was trying to get players Chip wanted, but they obviously did not get along after a while. And Chip did well with the talent he inherited, but less well once he had more personnel authority. No way, no how was the DeSean move Howie’s.

        So… as a full GM, there isn’t much track record. The Wentz move will define him — if he’s good, Howie will get some more years to put a team around him. If he’s a bust, that may be hard to recover from without some dumb luck.

        • Gary Barnes

          The LJ suspension was floated publicly way before it was announced officially – Roseman knew there was a strong chance LJ would be suspended well in advance yet did little to adjust or make contingency plans.

          Lurie bent over backward to give Roseman full credit for the 2012 draft while excusing him from any blame for the rest….it was absurd then and still is now. One cannot have it both ways.

          He helped evaluate, recruit and hire Chip – if he really hated the move, he gave zero indication and has never since. Folks could say he is just a good soldier and went along with Lurie to keep the boss happy, but, if true, that makes him less admirable than if they all made mistakes in judgement and fooled themselves into believing Chip was the messiah coach. Plus, in Chip’s first two years, Roseman had final say.

          • FairOaks

            The reporters got wind of Lane’s suspension in early August — Aug 9 or so. Way after the draft, free agency, etc., and after training camp really. Couple days before the first preseason game. You are not likely going to get a starting OT at that stage. We had already signed Brooks, and did not have much draft capital or cap space left. He may have pulled off something of a miracle with Darby, but that is pretty hard to replicate at OT short of giving up future 1st round picks, which we already had for Wentz. That was a body blow to the season, and I thought it would be the instant I heard about it. Anyways, one season is no way to judge a GM, either way. By the same token, I’m not going to give Howie tons of credit for 2013 either, as a lot of that was Chip.

            I don’t think Lurie was absurd at all. Howie may well have argued heavily against the worst picks in 2011 etc. and been overruled. Or recommended other players who did well with other teams. Unless you actually think that Lurie likes Howie so much that he’d keep him as GM after he had proven to recommend terrible players in the draft, thereby crippling the team in the future. That makes no sense, whereas keeping him based on the track record of players Roseman wanted to draft would make at least some sense. 2012 was the first draft where Howie really had final say. Previously he was more there to negotiate contracts, which got done much more smoothly than with Banner, but Reid still had control of personnel.

            He has made mistakes, for sure. He was reportedly behind the idea to bring in Washburn, even though we had no DC yet. That was a massive mistake, but Reid should have vetoed that. The coaching talent was awful, so it made sense on some level, but you have to hire a DC first. I’m sure he was aboard with Nnamdi and the other free agent signings that year. He was a big part of bringing in Chip, true. That was a swing for the fences, and blew up in their face. It’s possible Chip came in with a preconceived bias against Roseman as well, and things went downhill from there. I’m sure each had plenty of blame for that relationship going south. Marcus Smith was certainly a Roseman pick.

            Roseman has proven pretty adept at handling agents and getting trades done. The draft has had some good signs — his main ones have seemed to go pretty well — but there aren’t many outright stars, and the results on the field haven’t been there. Jury is still out. We will see how Wentz and the rest pan out.

        • ChoTime

          Wait, what? You think losing LJ was a 3-game swing?

          That is absurd. Only a QB could possibly be worth that much.

          • FairOaks

            With the way the team was constructed last year, yes that could have happened. Eagles were close to a good team; it doesn’t take much for a big swing in that range of wins, and he may have been the greatest discrepancy between the starter and the backup last year, at least of those positions where the starter went down to injury or suspension. (Thinking Lane could take a 10 win team and make it 13, goodness no. And an injury run at LB may have sunk them as well, the way it did the year before.) If the Eagles had drafted some half decent backups since Lane had been drafted, it may have been completely different of course. Or if the Eagles had better WRs, maybe Wentz could have compensated. It will hopefully not be the same situation this year — Vaitai will be much better than he was as a raw rookie, etc. It just so happened that he was the guy we could least afford to lose, as it turned out in the end, made all the more frustrating because it was an avoidable mistake.

            Lane could play all 16 games this year and the Eagles could be worse, if a similar discrepancy turns up in another position which bites us, or some of the new guys we assume are good turn out to not be, of course. (Darby getting injured, or turning out to not be all that great, for example.)

          • ChoTime

            Okay, but respectfully I strongly disagree. Teams lose important players all the time and make do. If losing your RG torpedoes your season, I don’t think you were a good team, or even that close. I say this with the understanding that mediocre teams can win 9-10 games if things fall their way.

          • FairOaks

            Right, but it matters who the backups are. The Eagles lacked depth on OL, and especially at OT, and so that hit them harder than it probably should have.

            I would agree that the Eagles really weren’t a good team last year — a definite lack of depth at several positions, and some positions where the starters were really bad. But they did have several things break their way early, really weren’t that far from getting those 10 wins. Johnson was a particularly bad one to lose since they didn’t have many answers behind him. Good teams probably aren’t in that position to begin with, or at least have other quality starters at other positions on that side of the field so they can compensate better, but last year’s Eagles could not. It did feel like we were ones of those mediocre teams which could have gotten to 9-10 wins but Johnson probably sunk that.

            I may be projecting a bit because my enthusiasm for the season took a permanent hit when I heard about his likely suspension, which seemed to play out. Given the Eagles’ record with and without Johnson, I don’ think it’s all *that* far-fetched though. Another season, completely different story and we could likely weather it better. He just happened to be at the tipping point of the difference between decent and mediocre. Roseman seemed to gamble that Johnson would be OK last year and shored up other areas instead.

      • Insomniac

        Gotta be patient. Some teams with established rosters can rebound in a year but this hasn’t been an established roster since 2014.

    • Gary Barnes

      No one is above questioning and rightfully so IMHO. Myartz04 is correct, the results Roseman has delivered so far have been underwhelming and that is the bottom line.

      One earns respect and thus leeway or extra rope by delivering excellent results consistently. When Roseman starts to deliver those results, folks will give him the benefit of the doubt and have more confidence in him. Most of the moves he has made in this latest stint as GM have improved the chances of those results arriving, but nothing is guaranteed.

      • Sean Stott

        But the results that he’s on the hook for are delivering a quality roster, managing short and long term cap space, and creating an environment where the team can attract top tier talent. Remember how hot of a commodity Chip was in 2013? Howie went and got him. I don’t know if it’s fair to lay Chip’s results at Howie’s feet.

        • Gary Barnes

          Howie was GM from 2010-2014 (Reid had final personnel say until he was fired, Roseman had it for 2013 & 2014)

          Chip was given final personnel say in 2015. Roseman regained it after Chip was fired and has had it ever since. He was also given a promotion & new title of Executive VP of Football Operations.

          The 2010 team (10-6) made the playoffs and lost the WC game. The 2013 team (10-6) made the playoffs and lost the WC game. The other seasons the team missed the playoffs and ranged from 10 wins in 2014 to 8 wins in 2011 to 7 wins last season.

          Everyone gets judged on the results and Roseman should not be any exception. That is the nature of life and the NFL. Fair has nothing to do with it. These are highly prized and important positions for a multi-billion dollar business run by an owner who (thankfully) puts a strong emphasis on winning. It is put up or shut up.

          In reality, Roseman was fortunate Lurie did not can him when Reid was fired and again when Chip was given control. The fact Lurie did not look elsewhere and brought him back as top dog after Chip was fired was another stroke of luck. Lurie is loyal; we’ll see if that is good or bad in this case.

          • DrGeniusPhD

            We all were fortunate Lurie did not can him. Roseman gave all Eagles fans the gift of optimism when he got Carson Wentz.

      • ChoTime

        Agree completely. The gee-whiz maneuvers mean nothing unless they are used to get superior talent.

        • DrGeniusPhD

          He made the biggest trade in Eagles history to get a guy who has the talent to become the greatest QB in Eagles history.

          • ChoTime

            Appears to have the talent. If he turns out to be a bust, and the first four games of his rookie year were the best of his career, was it a great trade? Did he actually have the talent to be better than guys that, you know, took their teams to the Superbowl?

          • DrGeniusPhD

            He’s not going to turn out to be a bust. His ceiling is Hall of Fame and his floor is a better Donovan McNabb.

          • ChoTime

            Ah, yes? Sure… (slowly walks away with a placating smile)

    • Dave

      Roob asked about Howie with the very first question. I’m surprised he didn’t follow up with a “Howie must be held accountable” article.

    • DrGeniusPhD

      Some people will never give him credit. Some are those who live to be miserable about Philly sports and there’s also some antisemitism involved.

      • Neil

        Wait, Howie is a jew?

  • Ark87

    If Hunt is anywhere near what he looked like last night, Andy is some kind of Running Back rain man. Which is kind of tragic in a Shakespearean kind of way.

    • or____

      But really Reid has been heavy with the run since getting to KC. His reputation as a pass first, pass second, pass third guy seemed to inaccurately follow him to KC. At least that’s my impression.

      • Ark87

        he’s definitely evolved into a nifty west coast/spread hybrid offense. Hasn’t been about the vertical game for a while now. But a lot of that is using what he’s got. He’s done well to manufacture offense there imo.

        • Anders

          Let’s hope Doug has learned well and will be stealing once he get the pieces. I could see the next draft really focused on Doug getting more of his guys on offense

          • D3FB

            No speed options though.

          • Insomniac

            He did try to get faster with Smith, Gibson, and Treggs though.

          • D3FB

            speed option as in the play, as opposed to a triple option or load option (FB leading)

          • Insomniac

            Ohhh ok

          • Tumtum

            Well you brought it up… so I am gonna ask. Break those down for us plebs? 🙂

          • D3FB

            Speed option (this is what you tradionally would think of as option, just QB and RB, run like hell to get edge, pitch made by reading unblocked edge defender)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF3VRDEJQHU

            Triple Option (About a zillion variations of this. traditionally run from I-form or wishbone/wingT, now can be run as RPO or even out of 2 back gun sets. There’s typically a dive element, QB reads unblocked edge, if he pinches you pull the ball and get wide with the option to keep or pitch)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESw7vLs76fo

            Load Option: (similar to speed option, but you’ve got a fullback leading out in front)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESw7vLs76fo

          • Tumtum

            Thanks DFB!

      • Anders

        15 years ago Reid was very pass happy compared to the average offense but he was just on the forefront of football evolution and now he is in the front again with his mix of spread and option football

        • Tumtum

          and playing to the strength of his team. Remember when Don was young and we had Duce, Buck, and West…that was a run/defense team. The Kelce spread look last night, should def go on the shelf though!

        • PacificPurl

          Who was in the forefront of spread and option football?

    • Tumtum

      Is AR a HOFer? He is in my book.

      • Ark87

        I’m a huge fan. As much as it’d hurt to see him win a superbowl somewhere else, I’d like to see him win one to put the cherry on top of a pretty incredible career

      • ChoTime

        I think so. Kind of a Marty Shottenheimer kind of coach.

  • GermanEagle

    OT:

    This is my second time at the US Open and even though i was gutted to not see Federer tonight I am really looking forward to see Nadal vs Potro.

    These guys play so fast in real speed, that’s just amazing!

    • sonofdman

      I love going to the US Open, but I didn’t get to go this year. Nadal v. del Potro should be a good match with a fun atmosphere. Have a great time!

    • daveH

      Its great just being on the premises ..see if your Wentz jersey gets boos

    • Bert’s Bells

      Several years ago a pal of mine got in by wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie and carrying a clipboard while pretending to “work”. Nodded at the ticket takers and walked straight through.

      • GermanEagle

        LOL. I got free tickets for the stadium. From a client.

      • Tumtum

        lol! Reminds me of the kid that got on the floor with the national champion ncaa basketball team a few years ago. Having to work at events like that from time-to-time, I can tell ya, you get all these credentials, but when your obviously working no one bothers to check them.

    • Gary Barnes

      It is a great match so far!

      • GermanEagle

        Yes. So it’s the atmosphere.

        Potro’s forehand is awesome.

      • GermanEagle

        Not so much anymore…

  • GermanEagle

    Sullivan and McAllister waived with injury settlements?! Wtf!!!

    • D3FB

      Maybe the team doesn’t like them, but I’m not so sure that’s the case.

      They did the same thing with Grymes last year.

      This actually gives them some more flexibility, because they can resign the players after the length of the settlement. Meaning they could both practice or play this year as opposed to IR where they can’t.

      So say they both got 6 week settlement. That means they got paid to go home and rehab for 6 weeks. 6 weeks from now the roster or 53 could have holes, the team could be over some of the PS guys or some of the PS guys have been called up due to injuries on the 53.

      Another team might come poking around because they are FA, but they don’t know the playbook and have been on the couch for 6 weeks.

      If I’m right it’s a clever ploy to hide developmental players from waivers but still get them actual development later in the season.

      OR they could just be done with them. But these two don’t feel like that

      • GermanEagle

        Great explanation. Thank you.

      • FairOaks

        Yeah. Being on IR means you can’t practice, so your skills can really suffer. It’s not the best “stash” mechanism unless the big problem is filling out or changing your body in some other way. McAllister was on the IR last year, so a second full year may have hurt him that much more. It was one thing when IRed players could practice, but teams (especially the Redskins) abused that extensively for roster depth, so the cannot-practice rule was put in.

        They have to be on IR until healed, but once they are ready to play, it’s kind of a disservice to them to be on IR, other than the income. Giving them a settlement means they can come back this year, either for the Eagles or another team. Practice squad is better than IR for a lot of players.

        Eagles have done things like rotate players off and on the practice squad, so they could do that again, unless other holes open up as mentioned.

      • A_T_G

        So you are discounting the possibility that Howie read my comment questioning if there was ever a successful player to start a career with two years of IR and said, “Holy hell, he is right.”

        To me, this sounds like the most likely reason.

  • Ryan Rambo

    Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has been granted a temporary restraining order from a Texas district court.

    • Ark87

      freaking hell, I’ve heard it could talk all year to sort that out legally. So for all intents and purposes he is playing the whole year.

  • Insomniac

    https://twitter.com/FieldYates/status/906233762236833794

    Oh god Belichick has lost his mind after the game last night.

    • Gary Barnes

      Its just a mind fuck for the team. Bill loves doing that as motivation

  • TO BLACKS

    Let’s see? Andy Reid drafted RB Hunt in the third round, but Howie drafted up to take a midget RB in the 4th who can’t play and doesn’t belong.

    • bobeph

      Im gonna punch you in the nuts one day

      • TO BLACKS

        Crybaby.

  • Ark87

    Going to need an ACViking post to help us understand how the hell Zeke got out of his suspension, or at least get it postponed indefinitely

    • ACViking

      Under the CBA, the union agreed the commissioner had the authority to impose up discipline on players for violation of the NFL’s player-conduct policy through arbitration. So far, so good.

      All arbitrations are required to be fundamentally fair. So what does that mean?

      The appeals court in the Brady case ruled that fundamentally fair is a remarkably light standard in labor arbitrations. Which means the commissioner has huge discretion in evaluating evidence.

      But the Texas judge ruled that fundamental fairness requires more than blind faith in the commissioner’s judgment.

      The short version is the Cowboys’ judge bought Elliott’s arguments that Goodell screwed up by not personally interviewing the NFL’s internal investigator about her impressions of the victim’s credibility, and the appeals arbitrator screwed up by not allowing Elliotts lawyers to cross examine Goodell and the victim. Those errors, he ruled, denied Elliott a fundamentally fair arbitration.

      On that basis, the judge entered an injunction barring the NFL from imposing discipline on Elliot. The NFL now has the right to immediately appeal the injunction willing to the federal Court of Appeals that covers Texas. Generally speaking, that appeals court is very conservative, anti-labor, and pro-arbitration.

      • SteveH

        Hehe, the Cowboys’ judge. It was not lost on me that the judge in this case was from Texas.

        The NFL handled this suspension situation like shit, they seem remarkably incompetent for being in charge of one of the worlds most lucrative sports leagues.

        • P_P_K

          I share both those thoughts.

        • Bert’s Bells

          I think the shoddy NFL policy is more a factor than the judge’s keeper league squad.

          • SteveH

            You’re probably right but I can’t help but wonder.

      • P_P_K

        Good to hear from you, AC. Just in time for the season.

  • PacificPurl

    While Howie has done some good deals, he owes most of it to Teddy Bridgewater’s ruined knee. And the sort of 3-way this year was actually initiated by.Buffalo.

    • Fufina

      Bradfords contract was always designed to be tradable and like it or not the 20th best QB in the NFL on a sub $20mil contract always movable.

      I imagine after not being able to move Bradford after the draft Howie probably was not expecting to be able to move Bradford until 2017, and then get a 2nd round pick return. The Bridgewater knee injury managed to allow him to get maximum value, but the difference between a 1st round pick and a 2nd/3rd is hardly paradigm shifting.

      • Dave

        Yup, the contract was key.

        If Bradford would have played well for the Eagles last season, he would have been in high demand this past off-season. Even if he would not have been traded in the off-season, Miami could have been interested when Tannehill went down.

    • Philadelphian

      When you get down to it “luck” is often the reason a team is successful. After all, how lucky were the Patriots with Brady and the Cowboys with Prescott?

      • anon

        Think any gm would tell you that it’s strength of evaluation

        • Dave

          Only those GMs that have a franchise QB.

        • Philadelphian

          Evaluation can only go so far, especially when you get to the later rounds.

    • daveH

      Injuries in the NFL , BET ON IT.

    • CrackSammich

      You say it’s all dumb luck you can’t name a few other GMs who would have screwed that situation up completely.

    • laeagle

      Howie had Bradford signed and still made the move for Wentz, so it’s not like the whole thing was random. He was stockpiling assets.

  • Nailed It!

    It’s rumor season baby. Schwartz apparently is a usurper. Ridiculous all from some blowhard who flamed out as GM.

    • Philadelphian

      I read that story and always wondered if this was the reason Schwartz took took the job. Also, if true one might ask if Roseman hired Schwartz just in case he wanted to move on from Pederson.

      What bothers me most is this is the type of situations that can tear up a lockeroom.

      • CrackSammich

        Schwartz was always taking this job as a chance to get another crack at a head coach gig. I think that’s been understood by most. After this article, it’s impossible that he gets that chance here, though.

  • CrackSammich

    Headline News! Local Man Doesn’t Get Along with Coworker!

    And there it is. Philly Media hits peak off season at jusstttt the right time.

  • CrackSammich

    Here’s my hot take for the week: If you compare Pumphrey to Kareem Hunt, you’re stupid.

    • SteveH

      That’s not that hot of a take. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

      • A_T_G

        It shouldn’t be…and yet…

    • laeagle

      Yeah, that post on BGN was all kinds of bullshit. I posted my feelings there. I think it is good to share feelings.

  • P_P_K

    This time tomorrow we’ll be watching Eagles football!
    Oh, sorry GermanEagle…

  • kajomo

    Irma is such an a-hole. That is all

  • SteveH
    • Insomniac

      McLane is always trying to create some sort of drama. No wonder Howie hates him.

  • Nailed It!

    Do I start derrick Carr or Carson tomorrow?

    • Nailed It!

      I have Alshon so that could be a sweet combo tho

    • or____

      Go with Carr son.

      • ChoTime

        Negadel–never mind…

        • or____

          Well played sir

    • Fufina

      Carr. Oaklands defense is awful and they will need to throw to keep up with the Titans. Wentz is a great QB2 in fantasy this year if things are going well and Carr has a tough defensive match up. But i would go with the proven QB and offence unless the match up is a lot better with Wentz.

  • A_T_G

    If the Oregon Ducks QB – Herbert – makes it to the pros, young people are going to give us funny looks when we pronounce it “A-bear.”

  • TO BLACKS

    If Schwartz is itching to take over the HC job over Peterson, then Howie is a dumbass for hiring him in the first place. He sucked as a HC.

    • bobeph

      shutup dick face