Apples and Oranges

Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 94 Comments »

There seems to be a train of thought by some people that because Jeff Lurie didn’t make any changes yesterday, he is accepting failure.  That is largely affected by the fact that the Bears fired GM Jerry Angelo and the Colts fired Bill and Chris Polian.  If those teams don’t accept failure, why does Lurie?

Vastly different situations.  And that’s putting it mildly.  Let’s start with Polian.  First, Bill is 68 years old.  In recent years he has been trying to ease back and let son Chris take over.  Bill still made the key decisions, but Chris was involved in everything.  Bill knew he wasn’t going to stay GM forever.  That’s a grind.  Chris actually had the title in recent years, but Bill was still The Man.

I don’t know how comfortable owner Jim Irsay was with Chris getting more power.  He approved the move and said the right things publicly, but I have to believe he had some internal reservations about this.  Chris might turn out to be a good GM, but Bill is the guy with a great, great resume.

There is no question that Polian was a brilliant GM.  You do wonder if he lost his fastball, though.  The Colts roster has more than a few holes.  Manning really carried them in recent years.  LT Tarik Glenn was never replaced.  WR Marvin Harrison was never replaced.  RB Edgerrin James was never replaced.  And so on.  The Colts kept winning as long as Manning played, but the roster was eroding.

There is also a personality side to things.  Bill Polian ruffled a lot of feathers.  He pissed off media types.  He bullied random people that he didn’t like in certain situations.  He even got into an odd back and forth with Peyton Manning recently about practicing and rehabbing.

Add all this up and a nightmarish 0-14 start to the season where the Colts became a punch line and you can see where Irsay might be ready to make a move.  Irsay can hire a new GM from the outside to run his team for the next decade.  Polian isn’t the long term answer there and might not even have been the short term answer.  If a change was to be made, the time was right.

Contrast that with the situation here in Philly.  There are no personality clashes.  Andy Reid isn’t a bully like Polian.  Bill’s outbursts with people are legendary.  Andy is terse and awkward, but not a physical bully.  Howie gets along with everyone very well as far as I know.  And the timing side of things is far different.  The Eagles are a team built to win now.  The Colts are in rebuilding mode.  Making a change right now makes sense.

* * * * *

Jerry Angelo is also an older guy.  He’s in his early to mid-60s.  Jerry made some great moves in his time with the Bears (Briggs, Hester, Forte, trading for Jay Cutler, and signing Julius Peppers).  He’s also had his share of misses.  Angelo doesn’t have the kind of track record that Polian does so he also doesn’t have that kind of goodwill built up.

Angelo failed to build a good OL in recent years.  Dealing with Mike Martz’s offense didn’t help matters, but the line flat out lacked talent.  Angelo failed to have a good backup QB in place this year.  Caleb Hanie showed promise last year in the NFC title game, but Martz was never a believer in Hanie.  I’m not sure many OCs would see Hanie as a desirable backup QB.  The Bears expected to contend for the Super Bowl.  In this era of football, you must have a reliable backup QB.  The Packers have Matt Flynn.  The Lions have Shaun Hill.  The Vikings at one point this year had Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder, and Joe Webb as their QBs.  Caleb Hanie?

The Bears got off to a 7-3 start.  The team looked like definite playoff  material, although not good enough to catch GB for the division title.  Then Jay Cutler got hurt.  The team lost 5 straight games.  There was a 3-game stretch where the team failed to throw for 90 yards in any contest.  That is beyond shocking in today’s NFL.  In 6 games, Bears backups threw for 851 yards and 5 TDs.  Matt Flynn threw for 480 yards and 6 TDs in the season finale for GB.  Ouch.

Angelo also had some personality issues.  Star RB Matt Forte is mad at Angelo/the team for not offering him a good contract extension.  The Bears cut very popular C Olin Kreutz this summer.  That move may have been needed, but the handling was far from ideal.  LB Lance Briggs is mad at the team for not re-negotiating his deal.  I don’t blame them, but this situation remains awkward.  There was a botched draft day trade with the Ravens that Angelo backed out of.  That had the Ravens very mad at the time.  Things have been smoothed over since, but there was bad blood for a while.

I think Angelo also suffered from the success GB had and the swift rise of the Lions.  Chicago is a veteran team, built to win now.  The Lions have a ton of young talent.  The Packers also have more young talent than Chicago.  Bears writer Sean Jensen talked to scouts and compiled a list of the best players under the age of 30 in the NFC North.  GB had 11.  Detroit had 8.  Chicago had 6 and the lowly Vikings just 5.

Bears ownership perceived a growing talent gap in the division and blamed Angelo for that.  Rather than seeing him as the solution, he was the scapegoat.

So let’s compare this situation with the Eagles.  Age isn’t an issue here.  Again, there is no personality conflict.  The Eagles are one of the most respected organizations in the league.  Since the hatchet job article came out on Roseman, I think he’s made 237 trades.  He gets along just fine with other GMs.  Andy is Andy.

As for talent, there aren’t many top-to-bottom rosters in the NFL that are better.  Plenty of teams certainly played better in 2011, but in terms of sheer talent, the Eagles are among the best.  There is no talent gap in the NFC East, unless you mean the Big 3 and the Skins.

As for QB…the Eagles always aggressively address QB.  We had Donovan, Kolb, and Feeley when we signed Vick.  Compare that to Cutler and Hanie.  You cannot live and die with one QB in today’s NFL unless that guy is a freak and/or has a great OL.  Martz QBs always take a beating.  It is imperative to have a veteran ready to go in that system.  Why not have Marc Bulger there?  He retired in August, but I’m sure a call from his old mentor Mike Martz could have changed that.

Clearly Andy Reid and Howie Roseman have some work to do in order to get the Eagles where they need to be, but the notion that Lurie is accepting failure in comparison to Indy and Chicago is simply ludicrous.

94 Comments on “Apples and Oranges”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 12:15 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    “Matt Flynn threw for (…) 5 TDs in the season finale for GB”

    Make it 6, buddy.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 12:34 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Fixed. Mis-read the box score at ProFootRef.

    Amazing game by Flynn.

  3. 3 Jason A Hines said at 12:34 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Here’s the interesting thing that I haven’t seen anyone say yet. Lurie spoke volumes yesterday about how he respects Andy for protecting his players, but that Reid is candid with the players and Lurie away from the media. Considering the admiration for that tactic, why wouldn’t we realize that Lurie is using that same tact right now? I am sure he has made it clear his expectations to Reid but just isn’t going to do it in front of the press, just like Andy would.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 12:45 PM on January 4th, 2012:


    And the fact that Lurie didn’t adjust Reid’s contract tells you Andy is on a short leash. Andy knows that 2012 better be one heckuva season. Backing into a division title isn’t going to cut it.

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 4:53 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Meh, look at the bidding war for Fisher, Andy could get fired and have a half dozen job offers in a week.

    I think if the Eagles aren’t a legitimate contender in 2012, Andy won’t have to be pushed, he’ll jump. He’s smart enough to know when he’s outworn his welcome. Sometimes it’s time for a new start, a mediocre 2012 would be a pretty strong signal.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 1:00 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    hey good call. didnt think of that. i would imagine this is very true.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 12:59 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I still don’t understand why guys like Marc Bulger and David Garrard are unemployed when teams like the Texans and Bears have been in a freefall for weeks. It was only week 10 when Cutler went down. Even after 2 weeks of Hanie playing horrible there was still time to try a vet.

    Tommy, I’m interested to know what your thoughts are on drafting. There’s been a lot of criticism that we don’t draft well. I’m not convinced that this is true. I think sometimes we take unnecessary risks with lesser known, high potential guys in the first few rounds (see Jarrett, Marsh, DTO) but we mitigate that risk with draft quantity. Seeing as you pay close attention to draft prospects, do you think we’ve had less picks pan out than other top-15 teams?

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 1:14 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Garrard is hurt. Can’t play. That angle got way under-reported.

    Will do long post on Roseman/draft stuff. Didn’t want to use all my material right away. We have a long offseason and I have to keep you guys entertained/informed.

  9. 9 Anders Jensen said at 4:37 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    With the senior bowl and FA coming soon, im pretty sure you will have tons of stuff to keep us entertained 😀

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 7:43 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Senior Bowl Practises start in less than three weeks! Time to dust off the ol’ amateur scouting cap.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 1:56 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I was thinking the Bears would call Donovan.

  12. 12 Mac said at 12:11 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    Yea except almost everyone acknowledges that Don couldn’t have jumped in and run the Martz system… Seems hard to believe he would have been worse than Hanie though.

  13. 13 Jason A Hines said at 1:22 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Hey Tommy,

    I saw someone’s mock draft had us taking Zach Brown in our slot instead of Kuechly. What are your thoughts about that? Why do you prefer one over the other?

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 2:27 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Zach is a great athlete and would give us an impact OLB. He can cover, blitz, and make plays. Could play SAM in current system or WLB in any system.

    I think we need a tackler more than a playmaker. That’s why I want a MLB, specifically Kuechly.

  15. 15 James Coe said at 5:56 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    In a hypothetical world where we decide to take both an MLB and OLB prospect in the upcoming draft, would we be better off taking Keuchly and then an OLB later or Brown and a MLB in a later round?

    My gut says that there are a bunch of guys that can contribute at OLB this year but not too many good MLBs. For that reason I’d be inclined to bring in Keuchly with the expectation that he wins the starting job in the middle and then maybe pick up a couple of later round prospects that could compete with Rolle, Jordan, Chaney, Matthews and Clayton for the other spots.

  16. 16 Eric Weaver said at 8:46 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    There never seem to be that many good MLB prospects.

  17. 17 Mac said at 12:13 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    What if we trade back a little, take Brown, and then jump back into the first round and take Kuechly? Do we have the ammo needed to pull something crazy like that?

  18. 18 James Coe said at 12:33 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    According to the old draft value chart (I know it’s a load of BS, but anyway) our 2 seconds should be enough to trade up to about 20th in the first – might just about be high enough to get a shot at both those guys…

  19. 19 Mac said at 2:41 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    Thanks for checking that out! I think its a pretty interesting possibility and would really make a splash.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 3:10 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    Looking at the LBs in the draft, sometimes you have to ignore OLB, MLB labels. Some OLBs can play MLB in the pros, DeMeco Ryans (who appears to have a lot fans on some Eagles’ blog sites) was an OLB at Bama, or even hybrid LBs like B. Urlacher who was a DB/LB in UNM’s 3-3-5 defense. If you’re scouting LBs don’t compartmentalize MLBs as the only LBs that can play MLB in the pros. If some of promising underclassmen come out, 2012 could have a good crop of LBs.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 1:37 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    KC are to interview Joe Philbin, what are your thoughts on this guy. If he fails to land the KC job, could he be the guy next year?

  22. 22 Brett Smith said at 1:54 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    One thing that concerns me about Joe Philbin is that he is already 50 yrs old and he is just getting interviews.

    Sounds to me like he is popular because of Rodgers/McCarthy success rather than being that good. I could be off base but it seems a bit reactionary to interview him.

    Personally I hope Andy kills it next year and we get to the SB and bring it home. I am not sure I want to live through the rebuilding the Colts are getting ready to live with.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 2:30 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Not sure what to make of Philbin. Doesn’t look like a HC. I’ve never heard him speak. He’s part of a great team, but I’m hesitant to get too excited over him. I’d love to find out more about the guy so I can have a more informed opinion.

  24. 24 Jack Waggoner said at 1:45 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Castillo will probably be back. Yes, it was a mistake to hire him in the first place, but he is an experienced coach with proven prior success, and has by most accounts grown into the job, though not soon enough. Plus, any new guy will want to bring in a new scheme, and that would probably take longer to implement. Just get a superior linebacker to play behind the Wide 9 guys and it can make a huge difference.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 1:58 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Like in poker, sometimes you’re deep enough into a hand, with some chance of success, that it does make sense to go all in. It better work out, though, otherwise you end up leaving the table broke.

  26. 26 Brett Smith said at 2:00 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    We need LBs. Story of the last 13 years…

    I think that no one is convinced that Juan is going to be good next year based on the last 4 games. I know I have some questions.

    Do OCs next year look at film from the last 4 games and expose whatever we fixed?

    Also if the Offense can hang 30 on teams without turn overs how good does the Def need to be?

    Does a Rookie MLB come in and help right away (cause we don’t have time for learning on the job)?

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 2:33 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    A rookie MLB can play right away, but it has to be a guy that isn’t a project. Casey came from odd circumstances. Team played with huge leads. Blitzed a lot. Hybrid 3-4/4-3. A guy like Luke Kuechly is a straight up MLB that played in a conventional 4-3 and should be ready for Freddy.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 4:56 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Another thing that Luke has going for him is BC isn’t that good.
    It’s easy to overestimate a player when he has great talent around him covering his weaknesses, when you’re not getting a lot of help both your strengths and weaknesses get exposed.

    Or Jerome McDougle is one of many draft flops from that Miami DL, where only Wilfork turned out to be pro material.

    Landri is a good example of circumstances, as a starter in Carolina, he impressed no one, but as a backup in Philadelphia, he’s already got his own cult with Tommy as high priest (can I help with the virgin sacrifices, where we cover them with chocolate pudding then . . . )

  29. 29 Jack Waggoner said at 10:30 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I think that the attitude about LB’s as a less important position has to change and will change because this particular brand of defense won’t work right without them and this has become obvious to everyone. And yes, I think a rookie LB, with enough talent, could be an answer there.

    I think the offensive turnovers were as much if not more of a factor in this season’s failures than the Castillo defense.

  30. 30 Eric Weaver said at 8:48 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    I think Tommy is definitely correct in the assumption that the Eagles will take Kuechly if available. However, I doubt they try to jump a team or two in front of them if they have the vibe they may draft Kuechly. Whereas they’d definitely jump teams for a QB, WR, LT and DE.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 3:22 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    A propos of the Grandpa avatar, I keep thinking that some part of our problem with Castillo is ageism. If he were a fresh-faced (McD?) 30-year old, we might consider him an up-and-coming coordinator with a high ceiling who finally was getting the hang of coaching the D side of the ball. But since he’s got gray temples, we don’t assume as much potential and figure if he were that good, he would already have climbed higher.
    I still think he was a caretaker in a year when no good DCs were available. Just I’ve no idea for Castillo’s ceiling as DC. Maybe no one does.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 4:44 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Great point about Castillo’s ceiling. I’m not sure what that is. And the fact he’s older definitely affects things.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 6:25 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Your statement about Juan’s ceiling is something I hadn’t considered. Good point. At the same time, we might not know where the guy’s floor is, either.

    I disagree about ageism, though. Never once did I think about his age. I think most people just want a guy who can get results, regardless of how old he might be. JJ was no spring chicken and when Mudd was on his crutches he looked like Father Time. I don’t care if a guy is applying for his driver’s permit or his AARP card, just so long as he produces.

  34. 34 Brett Smith said at 10:07 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    +1 I am just afraid Juan has a “Learning moment” in a big game next year and it costs us.

    I think my biggest concern is that the “Window” that we all used to talk about closing is finally just a crack.

    Not for the team per say but for Andy. It really seems like he might have one or two more shots at this and be done.

  35. 35 AveryC said at 2:12 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    here is a link that goes very in depth analyzing Andy Reids drafts in relation to the rest of the league its a great read that shows how the eagles are better than league average

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 2:16 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    This is the only place I feel like the writer or host makes any sense. Radio shows just try to stir things up, I guess to keep people calling and listening, most of the Philly radio hosts r not even eagles fans. It feels like ur not cool if u back the eagles organization in Philly.

    Mike Tomlin has success and that’s cuz he is amazing, Reid has success and thats cuz of Jim Johnson? Mike Tomlin has the best D Coordinator in the game. Coughlin is amazing cuz he won a SB, Spag had that d playing lights out but everyone gives the credit to Coughlin. Dungy had Peyton. Saints have breese. Pack have Rodgers and a great D Coordinator. Bellicheck has Brady. Why is that when Reid does something good, people look to give credit to something else but they give so much credit to other teams coaches?

  37. 37 Mac said at 3:14 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    Andy is the Redheaded stepchild.

    Real Eagles fans love him, people who like to complain aren’t afraid to complain about the winning-est coach in team history.

  38. 38 Mac said at 3:31 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    I would also like to make a comparison… between Andy Reid and The African Honey Badger.

    Howard Eskin doesn’t like the promotion of Juan Castillo to DC… Andy Reid doesn’t give a shit.

    Ray Diddinger thinks the Eagles should run the ball more… Andy Reid doesn’t give a shit.

    Thousands of fans swarm onto the Eagles message boards stinging Big Red with comments about the loss of Dawkins and Mikell… Andy Reid is so badass he doesn’t give a shit.

    Andy Reid just doesn’t give a shit. He’s like a tank, he gets bit by a cobra and just lays down to take a nap. Other coaches like Spags and McDaniels hang around waiting for Andy Reid to kill something so they can get the scraps (Dawk, Buckhalter, Mays, Mikell, Gibson)… but Andy Reid doesn’t give a shit, he just goes out and takes the new players that he wants.

    Andy Reid is a badass just like the Honey Badger.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 2:23 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Also please stop saying that Reid held back shady. Not this site, I mean stuff I hear elsewhere, U can say he doesn’t run enough if u want but he uses shady enough. I read shady played more snaps than any other RB in the league. And had the 5th most carries in the league. So Reid is using shady alot. I actually think Reid uses him perfect.

    To win a SB I think u need a great qb or a very good qb AND a great d. We have never had both. Look at past SBs. U either had a great qb or a really good qb with a great D.

    I think it’s time to move on from Juan, I just don’t feel he can make the D great. We can’t wait two three years for him to develop. Go get spag

  40. 40 Anders Jensen said at 4:40 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    2004 had both, just bad Patroits had a better combo that day.

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 6:48 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I agree. Really good qb and great d, but like u said we played great qb

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 2:59 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I had a dream last night that the Eagles were picking in the draft at 15…Luke was sitting there, and in my dream Goodell said, “with the 15th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles select (in my dream it was some made up player that was clearley a HUGE reach for pick 15)….Everyone in my family looked at each other stunned, Goodell even looked confused. It literally woke me up, upset. What a nightmare!!!

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 3:09 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    That is a nightmare. Good sign that you’re dreaming about the draft, though. We need that kind of focus.

  44. 44 Sjampen said at 3:13 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I always imagined that you didn’t sleep Tommy? How the hell do you manage to watch that much tape and sleep, while writing these awesome things?

  45. 45 the guy said at 3:44 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Hate to say this, but when was the last time the Eagles did what people expected them to do in the 1st round of the draft?

    It has no doubt happened and I’m just not remembering it, but they have a tendency to surprise everyone.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 4:20 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I think this year they realize LB was the huge hole on this team. I am hoping they use two of three top picks in LBs. if we move Asante, who knows maybe Howie will make magic happen and get another second. Even if he got a 3rd we would have a 1st, two 2nds, and 2 3rds. That could be 2 Lbs, a WR, a DT and a safety. Cant wait for FA and the draft!!

  47. 47 Anders Jensen said at 5:47 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    This year when we took Watkins (everybody said OL) and when we picked Graham?

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 11:39 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    Not Graham, even as we were moving up the commentators assumed we were taking a safety.

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 9:42 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    and two fourths

  50. 50 James Coe said at 1:43 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    Hmmm, okay, lets have some fun with ridiculous scenarios:

    Kuechly is available at 15, so we take him.

    We trade Asante and our 3rd to the Lions for their 2nd and then trade 2 of our 2nd round picks for a 1st and pick up Zach Brown.

    We use our other 2nd to take Mohamed Sanu who for some reason drops to the middle of the second round.

    Then, we trade our two 4th round picks for a mid-3rd and pick up Kendall Reyes

    In the 5th we can get Safety Duke Ihenacho (No idea if he’s any good, but he’s got an awesome name)

    Overall, I think this would be a successful draft :p

  51. 51 Sjampen said at 3:00 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    – Tommy

    The defense obviously improved the last month, no doubt about that, but one thing that pisses me of to no end is that Juan still makes the same mistakes. For instance it seems like he still tries to play Nnamdi in the zone and even sometimes in that Charles Woodson role. Have you notices some of those things?

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 3:11 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    We’ll always play a mix of man and zone. OAK is literally the only team in the league that is almost pure man coverage.

    Nnamdi played inside vs TEs a lot and at one point the Eagles were #1 in the league in defending the TE, partially due to that. Not sure about final stats.

    Nnamdi is good enough to move around, but does need to mostly play RCB and press. That’s his strength.

  53. 53 Liam Garrett said at 3:21 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    When can we expect a DGR for the ‘Skins game, Tommy?

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 4:12 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I’m working on it. Will get done. Bowl games are killing me at night. I keep waiting for a blowout where I can stop paying attention, but instead they go 4 hours and are fun to watch.

  55. 55 the guy said at 1:27 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    Looks like you got your wish. I’m not sure whether you should thank WVU or Clemson though.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 4:09 PM on January 4th, 2012:


    If Manning wasn’t injured this year, I think it’s fair to say the Colts would be at least 10-6 and in the playoffs — with the Polians likely keeping their job.

    If Vick had been hurt in the preseason and Reid had Vince Young starting for all 16 games, what do think the Eagles’ record would be: 4-12? 5-11, 2-14? This Eagles team, no less than the Colts, has holes — the biggest one at back up QB . . . just like Indy.

    So, would Reid have lost his job in my scenario? Or Roseman?

    I’m not advocating the should have. Just trying to go apples to apples — since it sounds like Polian’s probably been a jerk since his Buffalo days. And winning is great tonic.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 4:15 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Reid has won with backup QBs multiple times in his career. The Eagles would have figured some things out if Vince was the full time starter. Remember, he did win his first start. His losses were vs the Pats and at SEA on a short week. That’s hardly something to be embarrassed about.

    Colts haven’t won jack squat without Peyton. That’s kinda the point. He’s covered up their weaknesses for the last few years. That team was star laden back in 2004, 2005. Not so much anymore.

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 4:31 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    He was also an int machine, let’s not kid ourselves outside of that one drive against the Giants he wasn’t that great in that game either. With the way he was playing the thing they would have figured out with Young would have been to bench him.

  59. 59 Anonymous said at 4:47 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Vince has won more than 60% of his games as a starter. I’m sure the Eagles would have adjusted the offense to him and figured some things out. He did throw too many picks. No disputing that. Just don’t assume that those picks would have gone on all year. Garcia got off to slow start in ’06 before things clicked and he got hot.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 5:01 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Sorry Tommy, VY was just a cluster f—.

    I’m a UT fan and the guy playing for the Eagles stole VY’s face and put it on McNabb’s 36 year old body. No mobility, a lot of arm strength gone, slow release, slow recognition.

    I don’t think anyone can turn him into a starting NFL QB anymore, I’d go with Rex Grossman first.

    One name to consider, Jason Campbell may not get any starting opportunities, if so, he’d be ideal as the backup QB, young enough to sign to a multi-year deal, probably happier to sit behind Vick than Palmer, and he’d love to beat the Redskins twice a year. And behind Vick, you know you have the chance to play and start for a winning team.

  61. 61 Liam Garrett said at 5:17 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Don’t you think Campbell is looking for a starting job?

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 9:22 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I would be overjoyed if we signed Jason Campbell. I don’t think he will get a starting opportunity. He seems like he has great mental strength, great attitude. Perfect backup quarterback IMO.

  63. 63 Gregory said at 5:56 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Any chance we get a comp pick from VY in 2013?

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 6:26 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    If he signs a big deal and we don’t add many FAs, sure. Don’t know how likely that is.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 4:36 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    The backup QB or lack thereof seems to have played some part in both the Colts and Bears front-office realignment (not necessarily saying a huge part, but still).

    With that in mind, and given Vick’s fragility, surely the Eagles will look to improve the backup QB situation, right? And don’t call me Shirley.

    Do they think Kafka can fill the role, or do they need to bring in a vet? I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a QB taken earlier in the draft than we expect, but that might really put us in a vulnerable spot next season if Vick goes down…

  66. 66 Daniel Suraci said at 5:40 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Off topic: Am I the only terrified we may hire Spags? Completely new system that we may not have the personnel for and he had *one* good season with good defensive players and was abysmal otherwise. I do not understand the fascination with him other than “He’s not Juan.”

  67. 67 Anders Jensen said at 6:48 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    He was the driving force behind the Giants upset over the Patriots and he made a crappy Giants defense to a top 5 unit there feel apart again after he left. Also I think his ties to JJ, make some fans miss JJ crazy blitz schemes.

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 6:53 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Yeah it would be the 4th defensive coordinator in 5 years. I’m on the Castillo bandwagon, I think he’s earned another year and also I would hate for them to get rid of Washburn.

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 7:48 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I can see the logic to both staying the course or hiring Spagnuolo.

    The reason I think it’s unlikely is because the prized defensive mind around here is Washburn. If he wanted the DC job, we would have given it to him, but he wants to coach D-Line, and he wants to do it his way. Juan will work with that. Spags may not want to.

    I think the expected improvements at linebacker, and at cornerback — we all love Asante, but DRC and NA seem more likely to play within a scheme — aren’t far-fetched, and can have a big effect on what has the potential to be an adequate defense.

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 11:44 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    “… The potential to be an adequate defense.”

    Ah, so those are kind of phrases you read on a football blog after failing to make the playoffs.

    Maybe if things get dull in February, we can start a flame war with some Cowboy blog arguing who is more likely to be close to adequate first

  71. 71 Ace said at 2:35 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    If Spagnuolo wants to get back a HC job, he should be pretty flexible on defensive scheming.

    It may not fair to look at Belichek, he’s an all time great, but look at how his defensive and offensive schemes to suit the personnel (both players and staff). Even Reid’s offense has underwent several changes based on what he has and what works.

    If Spags isn’t willing to retain the Wide 9s he wouldn’t be all people think he’s cracked up to be. It’s worked great with this personnel any coach worth his salt would build around it, not tear it down.

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 6:49 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Picking up on the Chi-Town writer’s “Best 30 Under 30 in the NFC-C” list . . .

    Now ’bout an NFC-wide 30-30 list:

    OFFENSE: McCoy, Kelse, and probably Herremans (who turns 30 in 10/12). Anyone else?

    Maclin is behind Calvin Johnson, Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson, and maybe Marques Colston [although the Rodgers and Brees factor may account for the last 3]. But Julio Jones, in the 2nd half of the season, looked awfully good. Better than J-Mac.

    D-Jax, either because of Daunta Robinson’s hit last year or his contract, wasn’t the same this year. He makes the list last year. But now, I don’t see it.

    Celek is very close. But I think he’s behind Vernon Davis, and Jimmy Graham — who are bigger, faster and more athletic.

    Maybe w/ an off-season Watkins jumps way up the list.

    DEFENSE: T-Cole. That’s it, I think.

    And T-Cole, like Herremans, turns 30 next October. Anyone else? I just don’t see it. The only starters under 30 right now are Mike Patterson and the LBs and the safeties. Only Patt had a very good year.

    But with an off season, maybe that changes for Allen, DRC, and Brandon Graham.

    Right now, most of the Eagles’ best players will be 30 or older by mid-season in 2012. (Vick, Peters, Mathis, Herremans, Cole, Babin, Jenkins, Nnamdi) This off-season is huge.

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 6:55 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Kind of wish we would Have picked up ray horton. Was Spag really bad other than SB year? I never really paid attention to how he did. U get us a great d coordinator and we will contend

  74. 74 Brendan Gephart said at 7:00 PM on January 4th, 2012:


    This is a bit off topic, but it is something that I have been meaning to ask you regarding the perceived arrogance of Andy Reid. This year, there seemed to be a real strong sense of “us vs. them.” In this case, I think the “us” is Andy and the players of the team and the “them” seems to be upper management, the press and, unfortunately, the fans. I get the sense that behind closed doors, Andy gives a lot of, “they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about” speeches.

    My assumptions come from Asante’s “the guy’s upstairs”, Mathis’s threat to the fans earlier in the year, his most recent tweet (FUCK, I hate that word) and pretty much every single Andy press conference…ever. I know there were a few other instances this year where I kind of scratched my head at player/coach responses to questioning, but they currently escape me.

    I have a few questions regarding the topic:
    A) Did you notice it more so than in years past?
    B) Do you think it was on purpose to motivate the players?
    C) When a team that was picked by a majority experts to at least make the playoffs, instead goes 8-8, wouldn’t it make much more sense to appeal to the fans rather than, at best, act condescendingly towards them?

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 7:51 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    It should never be in the coach’s best interest to appeal to anything other than the players, or whatever it takes to motivate them to win. Winning is the only thing that really impresses us anyway.

  76. 76 Brendan Gephart said at 11:10 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    I get that and totally agree that winning is all that matters to us, but when you circle the wagons and wind up 8-8, isn’t it time for some humility? Not, “…we didn’t get to the playoffs because we were 8-8 and other teams had a better record.” You also run the risk of creating a culture where the players are more willing to blame outside forces than they are themselves, something we saw quite a bit of this year.

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 11:54 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    That is the truth, though. I think you are misinterpreting it if it sounds like a reason to look for outside factors. To me, it reads as we didn’t win enough games and any excuses are a waste of time.

    I think the fans can lament, rationalize, blame, and hope without Andy’s help. He doesn’t do the team, or the fans, any good by doing so at the podium. Would you feel better about not playing this week if Reid had offered excuses?

  78. 78 Brendan Gephart said at 4:31 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    This may never get responded to as most of Iggles Blitz will have moved onto Tommy’s new stuff, but no, I don’t think it would have made that much of a difference if he had offered up any excuse other than, “Well I just suck, I should fire myself, I can’t manage the clock…” because that’s all the Reid haters want to hear.

    I just wanted to put it out there that it seemed like a really strange year all-around regarding Bird to Fan relations. When we finally do win the Super Bowl, if it is under Andy Reid, do you think he would respond to the question, “Why did this team win the Super Bowl?” with, “Because we scored more points than the other team”? I doubt it, I think it would go something like, “The guys did a heckuva job this year and we really banded together as a team…” So why, when asked a simliar end-of-the-year question, do we get a bullshit response?

  79. 79 Anonymous said at 9:42 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    Because a good leader always publicly gives credit or takes blame, whichever is appropriate.

    When they win the players did a heckuva job, not his schemes.

    When they lose he needs to do a better job, not the execution.

  80. 80 Anonymous said at 9:51 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    It’s a pretty common circle the wagons, rally the troops football move. You try to create a number of external forces for the players to rally against and “overcome”.

  81. 81 Anonymous said at 12:56 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    Andy is willing to use the us vs. them thing on occasion. The bunker mentality served the Eagles well when Donovan was hurt in 2002, 2006.

    The Asante thing is complicated. As I recall, Andy was trying to let him know that he wasn’t being shopped, but rather that teams were calling the Eagles. I don’t think Andy tried to pass that off on Joe/Howie so much as Asante failed to get the distinction the first time around. Andy approves all trades and that is no secret so I don’t think he’d try to get one over on Joe/Howie with a player. Doesn’t make much sense.

    As for Andy not going into why the team didn’t make the playoffs…he’s said all year that turnovers were the main factor and he’s dead on. He never named names in regard to the turnovers. Part of that was to protect Vick and part was because the whole friggin team was the problem (Shady, Djax, VY, Avant, Maclin, Curtis Marsh, Ronnie B, etc.).

    Andy isn’t going to name names. He truly does that to protect his guys. I think he expects that smart fans who watch the games can see what’s going on. We all know that Vick’s INTs killed us this year. To rip him to the press would just open a can of worms.

    Andy could do himself a world of good by just working on his PCs a bit, but he will never be an open book…nor should he.

  82. 82 Anonymous said at 7:52 PM on January 4th, 2012:

    Re: the Colts, it is a brilliant time to move on. What GM candidate wouldn’t want to have a No. 1 pick, low expectations after a 2-14 seasons, potentially Peyton Manning as his QB or as a trade chip?

    That’s a very desirable job at this time, IMO.

  83. 83 Anonymous said at 5:00 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    I’d sit down before you look at this Tommy but we may not be waiting for Luke Kuechly’s name to be called this April..

  84. 84 Eric Weaver said at 9:07 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    I would say those advisers are probably right. With Te’o staying, Burflict dropping rapidly and the uncertainty of draftees next year; his time for coming out is definitely now.

    I get him wanting to stay and enjoy the college life or even feeling some loyalty to his teammates, but if he feels coming back for another season will resurrect BC football, I think he’s kidding himself. While he would be a key cog in the Eagles defense, a MLB just isn’t going to win and lose games for BC.

  85. 85 Anonymous said at 10:47 AM on January 5th, 2012:


    trade for Demarco Ryans and draft Zach Brown instead. And do please re-sign Desean!

  86. 86 Anonymous said at 10:13 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    Any chance of a Spags comeback Tommy?

  87. 87 Zachary said at 11:11 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    I still disagree with you Tommy…

    It’s not apples to apples – but if I do a poor job at work, I’m going to A – get written up, and B. get placed on Probation, – a short term period to improve my job.

    Lurie said this teams play was unacceptable, but yet he accepted it.

    Lurie – said Reid is staying
    Lurie – said Howie is staying
    Lurie – said Juan’s staying is up to Reid
    Lurie – said the rest of the coaches staying is up to Reid

    So basically Lurie said – nothing changes on the front office side. To me, that is accepting the failure. Maybe he feels like he can’t improve on that group, and that’s fine, but he is at the end of the day, sticking with a group that largely failed to meet expectations across the board this year.

    As for the Bears & Colts – I think their owners had more of a reason to keep their guys as they had significant injuries cause the downfall of their teams, and yet – they made changes.

    When looking at the Eagles downfall, you can blame pretty much everyone – and that’s why there should have been more than a looking over everything, there should have been a action. When you have that many players come up small, that many poor decisions, I think you have more issues than you can fix just by “coaching up” a squad. You all can be fooled by a 4 game winning streak against 3 back-up QB’s, but I’m not gonig to be.

  88. 88 Anonymous said at 11:30 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    Your analogy about your job evaluation may be accurate, especially if you take it one step forward. Your personnel file is confidential, no one except you and your boss knows what your evaluation says and what your future may look like. Lurie was speaking in public, so there’s a good chance he didn’t present the full story of what is going down between him and his employees.

    It’s tough to know for sure what is going through Lurie’s mind. The season was obviously unnacceptable from a competitive point of view, but from a business perspective the Eagles are still highly profitable. It might be hard to tell what might be the “gold” in his “gold standard.”

  89. 89 Anonymous said at 11:47 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    I c what ur saying but I don’t think blowing everything up is always the right answer after a bad season. The thing I like most about lurie is he never seems to fold to public opinion. I think Juan def should go tho and I think he will. Vick needs to play better and we need a better d coordinator. Vick isn’t good enough to do it on his own like Rodgers and breese, he needs a good D.

  90. 90 Anonymous said at 12:02 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    To me, I think the situations are very different, and I think Tommy did a great job at making a good argument for that. However, while he argued the situations are different, I’m not sure he effectively argued whether or not Lurie is accepting failure, at least based on his press conference. Fans reacted to Lurie’s press conference because he came out and said this season is “unacceptable” and there is no excuse for it. When something is unacceptable, the logical next step is to determine accountability. Lurie failed to do this. In fact, he went the exact opposite direction and praised every part of the team. He spent 10 minutes building up and selling AR to the fans and media. He talked about how amazing of a person Castillo is (although said AR has final say on him). He talked about how Roseman was coming back without any hint of hesitation or suggesting that there was any debate. He also praised the talent on this team.

    To me, I think when Lurie said that this season was “unacceptable,” it was an overstatement on his part, and that is why fans are saying Lurie accepts failure. I don’t question that Lurie is angered by the season and that he was very disappointed, but I don’t believe he considered this season truly unacceptable. If he had, someone would be held accountable. At the same time, I think from a PR standpoint, he had to come out and make it clear that he was upset about this season and prove to the fans that this is not the type of football he expects. Like I said after the press conference, I liked what Lurie said because I do think he made it clear that AR is on a hot seat and that something needs to happen, but I do understand how fans can take what Lurie said and interpret it as him accepting failure.

  91. 91 Eric Weaver said at 12:16 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    The business/job world most of us live in daily is not analogous to the football business world. I just don’t think you can apply your or our life experiences to anything that happens in a pro football organization. They are on a completely separate plain of business and existence.

  92. 92 Anonymous said at 2:48 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    You mean you werent a first round draft pick by your company? HA well have fun waiting until free agency to get a big raise.

  93. 93 Eric Weaver said at 4:24 PM on January 5th, 2012:

    I’d be happy if my company fired me and put me on a team’s practice squad.

  94. 94 Anonymous said at 11:51 AM on January 5th, 2012:

    Tommy does the fact that Vick is on the short side worry u at all? It seems like his balls r always getting tipped and I’m sure he had trouble seeing the field unless he takes a deep drop. He doesn’t seem to have a great way of stepping up and moving around in the pocket the way breese does. Vick always seems to want to run outside instead of stepping up, and he runs right into a sack instead up stepping up and avoiding it