It Was Time

Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 54 Comments »

Tommy asked me to write a little bit about my take on the departure of Joe Banner. My feelings on this are complex and are not likely to be well-expressed in this post, so I apologize in advance. Understand, I have been following Banner for nearly 20 years. I honestly believe he was one of the best executives in the league and had a profound impact on the team’s success. But, in my view, his departure will be a positive for the team on the field.

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The DeSean Dilemma, Redux

Posted: February 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 92 Comments »

Tommy had a post yesterday on DeSean’s future; I want to follow up with some ideas that I set out in the comments and on Twitter, but want to expand on a bit.

The view on what to do about DeSean depends largely on what your personal view of his future is. I could see that falling into several buckets of reasonable analysis, which I will discuss after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

The Missile That Missed

Posted: December 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 92 Comments »

Tommy and I will be discussing solutions in the days to come. But first, I want to dwell for a moment on the mess that we have.

I once heard the CEO of a major company tell the following story. His first job was as an engineer at a defense firm, and he was assigned to a team that was designing the guidance system for a long-range missile. After a ton of work, they took the missile to the desert and tested it. Bang, the missile hit the target exactly. A perfect hit. There was much celebration.

They then moved on to the next phase of development, another component to the missile, and added that on. This time, the missile missed the target. Literally by miles. Only then, following the disastrous test, did they go back and really look a the test data from the first launch. The guidance system had been a total failure then too, and it was sheer luck that they had hit the initial target.

The lesson from that story is clear: we are easily misled by the end result. Long term success requires being as critical of apparent successes as you will be of apparent losses.

As we go through the rubble of this epic disaster of a season, there is a great deal of evidence that this team’s figurative guidance system has been broken for some time. More bluntly, the team’s front office philosophy and personnel appear to be fundamentally flawed. And when we think about how to fix this franchise, it is the front office that needs the most immediate attention. Even before we think about what the implications are for the coaching staff.

This isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about this particular subject.  There are a lot of difficult questions to answer. But to help us identify the magnitude of the problem, let’s catalog some flaws that have been long-standing — flaws that are immune to the “it is just one bad year” line of thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

State Of The Franchise

Posted: October 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 66 Comments »

I have much stronger feelings about the current state of affairs than Tommy. In fact, I believe that starting today, Jeffrey Lurie faces one of the biggest tests of his tenure as the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. After yesterday’s debacle against the 49ers, an organization rife with failure has floated to the top of the bowl. And it is Mr. Lurie’s job to fix it. The hardest question he has to ask is where to begin.

There are still 12 games to play this year, and the team and organization should do everything it can to try to win as many of those games as it can. It is not unheard of to come back from a 1-3 start to make the playoffs.

But it is hard to imagine this team doing so. The weaknesses are everywhere, starting most blatantly on defense, but the offense and special teams are each serving up their own steaming piles of ineptitude. That said, I can imagine scenarios where the offense and special teams improve.

I hear the calls to replace Juan Castillo, but I can’t imagine a way that the defense improves this year. How can a new coordinator implement a new scheme, especially within the confines of the Wide 9 which we are wedded to thanks to the presence of the one outstanding coach on defense, Jim Washburn? And more importantly, where does that coordinator find enough NFL-quality players at linebacker and safety to actually run any scheme effectively? Castillo is surely in way over his head, but I don’t know if the mess can possibly be fixed by changing coaches in October. It’s worth a try, if the right guy is out there, but I don’t expect much to come of it.

What this makes clear is that even if the season can somehow be turned around, if the offensive problems can be fixed and we just outscore opponents in high-scoring games, the organization needs a serious and thorough review from the man who owns it.

The questions that Mr. Lurie must answer follow the jump.

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This Is Mike Vick’s Team

Posted: August 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 24 Comments »

With the signing of a 6 year, $100 million contract with an impressive $40 million guaranteed, Mike Vick is the Eagles QB for the foreseeable future. Vick’s cap hit was reportedly lowered by $1.8 million in 2011 to $14.4 million.

It will be interesting to see how this all breaks down, but there are some thoughts before seeing the details.

  1. He is probably here for three years minimum. The guarantees are likely a combination of signing bonus and guaranteed salaries in the first half of the deal. The math works such that it is pretty unlikely that you can cut him for savings until the fourth year of the deal. Not that the plan would be to cut him or anything like that, but the point is that Vick is the guy, no matter what, for at least that long (got that Mr. Kelce?). Also notable is that Andy Reid’s contract expires in 2013. My guess is that if the Vick/Reid combo fails, the salary cap decks can be cleared after that year.
  2. Vick now accounts for 12% of the cap. That is assuming the $120 million unadjusted cap, but it’s a pretty precise figure. By comparison, Donovan McNabb’s mega deal in 2003 was pegged at about 10.5% of the cap. (A $7.86 million 2003 cap hit on a $75 million cap.) Thanks rookie cap!!
  3. That percentage could be constant. Again, we don’t know how the deal increases in the future yet, but its average annual growth rate is 5.8% per year, and if the cap increases at the same annual rate through the end of the deal (which seems reasonable), then the deal will have roughly the same percentage impact on the cap each year.
  4. Behavior clauses will be interesting. He seems like a different guy, but he is also a convicted felon. He won’t have much if any leeway with the law. It will be interesting to see what clauses his contract contains to make sure that the Eagles are protected there.
  5. I never thought this would happen in 2009. And I still can’t believe the amount of change to this franchise in the past 24 months.