Coach Talk

Posted: December 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 66 Comments »

There are less than 72 hours left in the Andy Reid era, assuming he can’t pull out a Super Bowl win somehow.  I’m thinking about coaches 24/7.  Megan Fox and pudding are feeling very jealous right now and that’s something I’ll have to answer for later on.

I was doing some research on Chip Kelly when I read some comments he gave at a coaching clinic a few years back.  Boy was this interesting to read.

Do not be the coach who runs a play offense. That coach constantly adds plays that he likes and sees on TV or at a pro football game.  Before he knows it , his offense is a mile wide of nothing but plays.  He has nothing in that mass of plays to hang his hat on.Your players cannot say, “This is what we are.”  I suggest you take a long look at your program and identify what you want to be.

Yo Andy…zing!!!

Clearly Chip Kelly wasn’t talking about Reid back then (no reason to), but boy does that comment hit home.  Andy and Marty are in love with their playbook.  They are constantly trying to outsmart the other team and coaching staff.  Too often, they seem to outsmart themselves.

I’m still not in love with Kelly as a candidate, but I do love his mentality here.  There was a long stretch of time where NFL coaches brought in players and made them fit their schemes.  That has changed in recent years.  Is this the right thing?  I’m not sure.

We see RG3 and Russell Wilson playing in college style offenses.  We see Colin Kaepernick playing in a system that was adjusted for him.  Even Alex Smith played in a simplified attack both last year and this year.

More than ever, coaches are adapting to their personnel.  The question we have is whether this can win a title or lead to sustained success.  Had you asked me this summer, I’d have said no.  I thought for sure the Niners would be “exposed” this year.  That didn’t happen.

I’m still hesitant to think that the simplified offenses can work in the postseason.  Some of this is a reflection of Martyball.  No, not Mornhinweg, but Schottenheimer.  Marty S. believed in running the ball, playing defense and doing a great job with penalties/turnovers.  He played not to lose.  That style caught up to him in the postseason.  He never reached the Super Bowl, let alone won it.

The Falcons have played a similar style to this in recent years and we’ve seen that even with a gifted QB and some good weapons the team falls flat in the playoffs.  The Atlanta offense was shutout last year (the Falcons did manage a safety for their only 2 points).

Look at the number of passing attempts for some of the QBs of these offenses.  Alex Smith has only thrown 35 or more passes 3 times in the last 2 years.  Wilson has 10 games this year with 25 or fewer passing attempts.  RG3 has 7 games with 27 or fewer attempts.

Life is simple when you can run the ball and throw play-action passes.  That formula simply hasn’t worked for winning the Super Bowl in recent years.  Eli Manning was 4th in passing attempts last year.  Smith was 20th.  Think about the NFC title game.  Manning took an ungodly beating, but did just enough to win.  Smith completed just 1 pass all game to a WR.  He had to live and die with his TEs and RBs.  You can’t win like that.  With a better passing game, SF would have won that game.  Their defense was great.

Aaron Rodgers won the SB in 2010.  He was 14th in attempts, but missed almost 2 full games.  If healthy, he’d have finished 9th.  Ben Roethlisberger was the other SB QB.  He finished way down the list, but missed 4 games.  With a full season he would have been right around 10th.

The 2009 SB was Peyton vs Brees.  Both finished Top 10.

You have to go back to 2008 when Roethlisberger was 14th in attempts to find someone clearly outside the Top 10.  He had the luxury of the #1 defense (Pts and Yds).  And Big Ben had receiving weapons.  Santonio Holmes was very good back then.  Hines Ward was the workhorse receiver.  Nate Washington was a very good #3 guy.  And you had Heath Miller at TE.  The Steelers could throw the ball when they wanted to.

Has all of this changed?  Can you win with a college type offense now, where QB runs and simple pass plays complement a standard running game?

We won’t know the answer until the postseason.

The point isn’t that you must throw the ball, but rather that you have a good QB and use him as the center of your offense.  Wilson, RG3, and Kaepernick are all weapons as passers and runners.  Previously coaches feared having the QB run due to the possibility of injury.  Has that changed?  Will these offenses change over time, as the QBs get more experienced and become more comfortable as pocket passers?

I’d love to give you definitive answers, but the game of football is constantly changing and I’m not sure what is temporary and what is permanent.  Anyone with access to a crystal ball please let me know so I can tell the Eagles who to hire.

* * * * *

Set aside the question of who for a minute and instead ask: what should the Eagles look for in a coach?   That was the subject of my SB Nation Philly column.

* * * * *

Bruce Arians is a hot name right now.  Should the Eagles have interest?  Maybe.

I’m hesitant to fully buy in.  Arians has done a great job, but there are several reasons to be very cautious with him.  The Colts are 10-5, but aren’t really a good team.  They basically throw the ball well and that’s about it.  You’d love to give Arians a ton of credit, but he’s working with a special player in Andrew Luck.  This isn’t Christian Ponder or Jake Locker we’re talking about.

The team has played a soft schedule and beaten a bunch of crappy teams (BUF, JAX, KC, CLE, TEN-2, etc.).  I give the Colts credit for winning, but let’s not mistake that for them being a good football team.

Arians has been a gameday coach, but didn’t have to do the offseason stuff that can often make a team so successful.  Chuck Pagano is the one who hired the staff.  He worked with Ryan Grigson to figure out who to sign and draft.  The coaching that takes place from August to December in some ways is the easy part.  That’s just football.

The Colts do have a special vibe this year that seems to help them.  Arians would not have that in a future job.  Win one for Chuck would not be an effective rallying cry for the 2013 Eagles.  Over the years we’ve seen interim coaches have success.  Jason Garrett took over Dallas in 2010 when the team was 1-7.  They were 5-3 for him.  Since then, the Boys are 16-15.  In college, I’ve seen a coach leave for a job and one of his assistants has coached the team through the bowl.  That assistant does well and gets the full time job, only to be a disastrous hire.

Bruce Arians is also 60.  Coaches age like dogs when running an NFL team.  What kind of a toll would that take on him?

I hope Bruce does get a job and proves me wrong, but I would not hire him.  Too many things about him make me nervous.

* * * * *

David Syvertsen wrote about the prospects to watch in today’s bowl games.


66 Comments on “Coach Talk”

  1. 1 Yuri said at 1:45 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I think the “coach talk” leaves out the Defense side of the ball (could we hire a former D coordinator?). In my view the Pete Carroll/Gus Bradley Seahawks are the most interesting defensive team in the league. I don’t remember where I read the article that the Seahawks draft “misfits” on defense in terms of size/speed and make them somehow work in the scheme (or have the scheme work around them). Wonder if anyone else read it.

    Here’s one other article praising that D.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 1:56 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Didn’t have time to cover all angles.

    Gus Bradley is the defensive coach I’m most interested in.

  3. 3 Yuri said at 2:15 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Just now I re-read the original Coach Talk post and Bradley is top of D list. Well done Tommy!

  4. 4 aceandson said at 2:21 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Isn’t Lurie on record saying he’d only hire an offensive coach (and I don’t mean one of the Ryan twins)?

    Maybe I’m remembering informed speculation as fact, though.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 4:38 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Think that’s a rumor more than a proven fact, although it maybe totally true.

  6. 6 Jamie Parker said at 4:49 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    His first HC hire was Ray Rhodes, a defensive coach.

  7. 7 A_T_G said at 4:58 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I’m not sure how to read this. Does it mean he might do it again, or that he won,t make that mistake again?

  8. 8 bdbd20 said at 2:04 PM on December 28th, 2012:


    How critical is it that we get a HC quickly? Is there a distinct disadvantage to waiting until the top teams finish up their playoff runs? I imagine McCoy, Bradley, and Roman will be coaching for the next month or so.

  9. 9 holeplug said at 3:07 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Getting the right guy is much more important than being first to sign a new coach.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 4:39 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Not critical. Key is to identify your guy and go get him.

  11. 11 Iskar36 said at 8:31 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I agree that timing is not critical, but it is valuable. If you like a guy like Mike McCoy, it is absolutely essential that you make sure you get him. If he goes deep into the playoffs, most likely, a lot of the good coaches who are not on playoff teams will likely sign elsewhere. This translates to being in a poor negotiating position with whoever you are targeting because they are not only the best candidate but also the only good candidate available. That doesn’t necessarily mean a lot because you do whatever you need to do in order to sign the best coach available, except in the circumstance that two teams are going after that same coach. If that happens, you run the major risk of losing your target coah to another team and being left with the “leftovers.” So to me, if you go the risky route of going after a coach whose team gets deep into the playoffs, you better be damn sure you can get him.

    Also, another major disadvantage to signing a coach late is that you cannot fill your coaching staff until you sign your coach (or at least you shouldn’t fill your staff). A lot of the better coordinators will also be signed earlier rather than later. That’s less of a concern than getting a great HC but shouldn’t be ignored.

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 8:32 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    You don’t want to rush the process, but you sure can’t drag your feet. I’d love to get the hiring done quickly. Just don’t want Lurie to jump the gun without being thorough.

  13. 13 Iskar36 said at 8:50 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I definitely wouldn’t want Lurie to rush things, and I fully expect him to make a well thought out decision. On top of that, it certainly sounds as if he has already started the evaluation process (numerous rumors indicating they have talked to Chip Kelly for example) which is good, but being thorough is not an excuse for being slow. Lurie needs to be both thorough and decisive. Getting the best coach is most important, but Lurie needs to make a decision quickly because there are risks and disadvantages of acting slowly.

  14. 14 jshort said at 9:19 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    The thing with this regime, the never go in the direction

  15. 15 Ark87 said at 6:18 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I think you do need to be very quick and decisive. They’re calling it Black Monday…..there are going to be lots of teams looking for coaches. If your goal is to dance with the prettiest girl at the dance, coyly hanging back and weighing your options isn’t gonna get it done. There are lots of dudes without dates, and only one is going to get her. And only a few more will get a suitable alternative. I cannot fathom that Howie and Lurie don’t have an ordered coach wish list. I just hope they have a good plan, because the time for action is nigh!

  16. 16 Mike Flick said at 2:08 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Interesting thought about coach calling plays.

    For a while we were such a ‘Big Play’ offense where all of our scoring drives were 3 or less plays. ( or something crazy like that) then our big plays dried up.

    What do you hang your hat on when things get rough? A deep ball to DeSean? McCoy is a feast or famine RB. It is 2nd and goal our old reliable is a shovel pass?

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 4:57 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    The adage in some circles is to think players over plays.

  18. 18 Ark87 said at 5:36 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Love the saying, wish we had a Calvin Johnson or Adrian Peterson tyoe where everybody in the world knows where the ball is going in a certain situation and they still get the job done. But if someone should be that guy on our squad in 2013 it should be the shady-peterson-mathis trifecta

  19. 19 Mike Flick said at 11:04 AM on December 29th, 2012:

    I remember a Bum Phillips interview. He said with Earl Campbell, he could use plays off the back of a cereal box.

    I know this season has sucked, but Marty/Reid have been good at getting players in favorable match ups.

    Over at Gcobb, he was saying that one reason why we should not get Chip is because they haven’t had a lot of guys make it in the NFL. I would say that having success with marginal talent is more impressive than success with Megatron or Adrian.

  20. 20 Ark87 said at 5:18 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    It used to be that if you were in the redzone, give the ball to shady….A LOT. He has such a nose for the endzone. For a while there it was almost a gimme. 1st goal, hand the ball to shady:touchdown! wait holding call…1 and goal on the 18, hand to shady; Touchdown anyway! We sort of got away from shady this season….he is THE guy in the redzone.

  21. 21 ACViking said at 7:02 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Shady generally followed the (gaping) hole created by Jason Peters — who, I think, would be moved around down by the goal line.

    Assuming he’s even 90 percent next year, and stays healthy, the Eagles’ short-yardage offense should be very productive again.

  22. 22 shah8 said at 8:38 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    We were not great…We really need that mauler on the right side. That bust of a fireman really, really hurts…

  23. 23 Ark87 said at 2:34 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    So Andy Reid is what…378 in coach years?

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 4:58 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    At least.

  25. 25 austinfan said at 2:41 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Think you’ve confused “simplified” offense with a running offense.

    I think when coaches talk about running a simple offense, the good ones mean they have a base scheme with a set of plays they practice ad nausem until their players execute perfectly (or are executed). So Shanahan runs the same spread cut back running scheme everywhere he goes and no one can stop it even when his RB is a late round pick or UDFA.

    Once you have installed your scheme, then you can put nuances on top of that limited set of plays, look at Indy’s passing game with Peyton, they didn’t have a phone book thick set of plays, but each play had numerous options, as a WR became experienced, they could work with Peyton at the snap to change their route.

    The advantage of simpler schemes is simple, in an age where you’re constantly bringing in 15-20 draft picks and free agents every year, and you can expect to lose 3-4 key players to injury, you want “plug and play” schemes that new players can master quickly. One problem with Mudd as your OL coach is he teaches some techniques that are so different that many players might require 2-3 seasons to get comfortable, and there’s no roster room to carry them for that long.

    Same thing on defense, you don’t want defensive players thinking, you want them reacting. With all the changes on defense the last three years, you saw a lot of players back on their heels, trying to figure out what to do instead of just reacting and flowing to the ball. Especially LBs and safeties.

    Too simple is too predictable, though that never stopped Lombardi, though it was a simple game back then relative to the present. Too complicated is hard to execute and leaves you vulnerable to injury. I think the golden mean is to have simple basic packages, then tweak them so players don’t have to memorize 300 different plays, they know the plays by heart, and just have to remember the tweaks.

    One think I like about Kelly is that seems to be his approach, he has a set of basic plays, with options off those plays. If he tries to take his Oregon offense to the pros, it’ll be a disaster, however, if he takes his philosophy of developing a cohesive offensive scheme and sticking with it, he may be very successful.

    I think the Falcons are too simple, but they’ve addressed it in an interesting fashion, instead of investing in an upgrade on an aging Turner, they invested in a great athlete at WR to go with their possession receivers (White and Gonzo).

    In the end, execution matters more than scheme. Is NE that sophisticated of an offense, or do Gonzo and Welker simply present mismatches against practically every defense they face? Everyone knows they’re getting the ball, no one can stop them. Everyone knows Peyton has lost arm strength, but he’s still able to fit the ball where it needs to go. If simpler schemes means it’s easier to execute and it’s easier to add talent, then they should beat more complex schemes.

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 3:26 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Shanny might seem to have a basic offense, but it is a bit more complicated than you’re giving it credit for. He is a big believer in running plays from as many formations as possible early in the game to see how the defense reacts and to probe for weak spots. The play might be basic, but the formations, personnel, and motions can be complex. Shanny can make things complex enough to keep the defense off balance.

    You can’t get away with a purely basic offense unless you have elite players (see Dallas 1991-1996).

    Also, when I talk about simple, part of that is a passing game with just 1 or 2 reads. Russell Wilson isn’t going through the same progression as veteran QBs. The coaches are keeping it simple so he can make a quick read and then run if he needs to.

    Andrew Luck is getting the full playbook in Indy. He’s running that offense the same way Arians would have a veteran run it.

    This is more than just running the ball, but I certainly agree that focusing on the run game is a big part of it.

  27. 27 shah8 said at 5:24 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    In genuine passing situations, Wilson is clearly making full reads, not 1-2 reads. There are a ton of passing situations where he does make one read, deliberately, before running–generally some flavor of play-action. And let’s not get too quick about Luck, they say that about every “pocket” QB. Said that about Smith and Fitzpatrick most famously in my memory. That doesn’t mean they actually have full command of the offense, or can actually run a full offense, which Luck isn’t totally great at, yet. That being said, any real inspection of their college careers will show that Wilson is the more refined student of the game. Ran a more complex offense in both schools, and at NC State, was pretty much responsible for making plays in a way that Luck did not. Luck did make plays, but he was rarely repeatedly ask to make something out of nothing.

  28. 28 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:10 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    i wasnt a huge fan of chip kelly, but with that quote, i think he just jumped to the top of my list. i love the idea of a coach that can actually scheme things based on what he has and then what he sees of the other team instead of a coach that comes up with lots of plays that don’t work as soon as there is an injury to a key player and takes too long to adjust.

  29. 29 Ark87 said at 4:01 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Talk is cheap. The man is the running incarnation of Reid. He spends tremendous amounts of energy innovating scheme and plays. To the point that Bill Belichick, the one mad scientist to rule them all, wanted to pick Chip’s brain.

  30. 30 bridgecoach said at 12:56 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    So look at his actions: Kelly runs the ball. He does so with 4 plays that the players have mastered after running them 10,000 times. His WRs are blockers too – and the innovative lineups are there to facilitate the run or burn the defense for not respecting the pass. The scheme isn’t a gimmick or a trick – what sets him apart is his philosophy – run more plays per minute of possession and value metrics. Mathlete!

  31. 31 shah8 said at 1:35 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    Soooo, how fast would Maclin enter the doghouse next year?

  32. 32 D-von said at 3:17 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Don Banks from S.I. seems to believe that Chip Kelly would not come to the eagles because he would want full personnel control. Bank doesn’t believe that would happen with Howie Roseman at the helm, but I disagree because Howie’s a contracts guy and would probably get whoever the new coach wanted in the draft and in FA

  33. 33 bridgecoach said at 12:50 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    I agree. I think Howie stays as an effective bulldog to hustle after whomever the coaches identify as targets.

  34. 34 A_T_G said at 3:47 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I think you answered the question in the first paragraph – hire Megan Fox as HC. Put her in those black, tight outfits like Reid wears and the tool belt. Let her assemble her team of assistant coaches in her image. Tell me the players wouldn’t give 100% to have a happy coach give the post game lockerroom speech.

    While you are at it, you could make pudding the OL coach.

  35. 35 TommyLawlor said at 4:02 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Chest bumps would take on a whole new meaning…as would getting a slap to the butt.

  36. 36 nicolajNN said at 4:12 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I believe everyone would be extremely pleased to see Megan Fox getting soaked in ice cold gatorade

  37. 37 A_T_G said at 4:16 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Good point – make it white, tight outfits.

  38. 38 Ark87 said at 4:21 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Brandon Boykin’s Rookie Diary on
    “I’ve learned so much this season. I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned this year is just not to take losses so hard. Knowing that if you lose two, three, four games at a time you can still be in the playoff hunt.”

    I really like the kid, but it terrifies me that this take-away of the season may be an epidemic in our locker room. Losing multiple games in a row is unacceptable, plain and simple. No dude, because you lost “two, three, four games at a time” we were mathematically eliminated weeks ago. Sure NFL losses aren’t as crushing as they are in college, where 2 can eliminate you from a significant bowl game, but you still can’t be O.K with it.

    Definitely time for a new culture.

  39. 39 D-von said at 4:22 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Yeah thats scary

  40. 40 TommyLawlor said at 4:41 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Understand that he’s coming from Georgia where 1 loss means the end of the season. Brandon went 11-2 and 10-3 his final 2 years. Both were considered disappointing.

  41. 41 Ark87 said at 5:07 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    That’s what I was eluding to. but the two, three,four losses at a time. Sure a loss ain’t the end of the world in the NFL as it is very competitive, you don’t have to be undefeated to be considered the top team in the league. But how many times in the last few year have we as fans watched the Eagles…moderately high stakes games, just not play with “urgency” as they call it. You see a young player on a bad team say, losing streak? no big deal! It’s just like oh it all makes sense now.

  42. 42 pkeagle said at 5:35 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I agree with you Ark87 – can you imagine a Belichick-coached player coming out with something like that?

  43. 43 Ark87 said at 6:05 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Yes, but the hypothetical patriot also gets cut before he finishes the statement in said fantasy haha

  44. 44 shah8 said at 5:16 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I do believe Vick and the Falcons in 2002 and 2004 are the only gimmicky team offense to make any noise in the playoffs since the heydays of the run and shoot era. The 2004 team was one of two of such teams (’91 Detroit Lions) to crush anyone in the playoffs. Albeit the Bulger Rams were a sorry excuse for a playoff team.

    This is obviously based on the predication that a Mike Martz offense isn’t gimmicky. I think it sorta is, but that doesn’t seem to be a broad perception.

  45. 45 shah8 said at 5:16 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Oops, scratch 2002, more of a conventional offense with a lot of QB runs.

  46. 46 TommyLawlor said at 7:57 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    You can win a game in the playoffs with a conservative/simple offense. We’ve seen that plenty of times.

    Question is if you can win a SB. We’re also seeing teams build offenses like this intentionally, around franchise QBs. Haven’t really seen that in the past. It might work. I’m curious. As I said, football is always evolving.

  47. 47 austinfan said at 12:29 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    Ask Jon Gruden.

  48. 48 EaglesHero87 said at 5:31 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Hi Tommy and fellow Eagles fans,

    I have been a long-time
    Eagles fan and was recently introduced to this blog a few months ago by my brother. Tommy, I have to say that I have been a daily reader of yours and thoroughly enjoy hearing yours and the others’ insights and opinions. That being said, after reading this latest post, I feel compelled to write my first post and ask a couple questions:

    Assuming Reid is gone, where does that leave Marty? I have never been too crazy with his offensive play style, but if both Reid and Marty share a similar offensive mindset, wouldn’t it make sense to dismiss Marty if Reid’s gone, too?

    2) I found it interesting when you stated how coaches are adapting to their team’s personnel. I don’t know too much about Chip Kelly and the offensive players he specifically adapts to, other than that he focuses on the running game, correct? I’m not on the Chip Kelly bandwagon…yet, but would each potential coaching candidate want to consider what kind of team personnel we have before officially becoming hired?

    I don’t expect you to reply back and answer my questions immediately, but any other answers shared by other Eagles fans are certainly welcome.

  49. 49 T_S_O_P said at 5:40 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    It would be a nightmare on top of a nightmare if Marty stayed. Seriously we’d have been better off with the 2012 prophesy than a 2013 with Marty. Oh gosh no!!!

  50. 50 TommyLawlor said at 7:56 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    I almost want Marty to stay just to see your reaction. I think you might break the internet.

  51. 51 bridgecoach said at 12:49 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    I hear Verizon breaks the internet faster than Xfinity…

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 7:37 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    You have a very smart brother.

    Marty is gone. Lurie will want a different offense in 2013.

    When coaches look for jobs, some have the freedom to choose the right spot. Some young guys have to take the first offer since they don’t know if there will be a next one. A few years ago Jason Garrett was a very hot coaching prospect. If Dallas fired him, I doubt people would be going after him as a HC.

    Chip Kelly has a strong enough background and reputation that he can choose where he goes. The Eagles have good enough offensive players that I think he’d be willing to come here. The QB situation isn’t ideal, but that can be changed in the offseason or next year. Coaches think in terms of 3 or 5 years, not just the upcoming season.

  53. 53 ACViking said at 7:14 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Re: “Not critical. Key is to identify your guy and go get him.”


    You wrote the quoted sentences in response to a question below about the importance of moving quickly on getting a new coach.


    What about assistants — in the following context?

    Let’s say the Birds try for Kelly but he goes to Carolina because Panthers owner Jerry Richardson gives him the kind of complete control over personnel that Jerry Jones gave Jimmy Johnson in 1989. (Jones last good decision.)

    So, boom, the Eagles nab Denver’s OC McCoy — assuming the Broncos have a bye next week.

    McCoy comes here on Wednesday for the presser. Then heads back to Denver to start game planning a bit around his potential opponents.

    When does he have time to get the assistants he wants?

    Some, I assume, will be planning for their own playoff games. Others will be available if on a fired staff.

    I’m posing the question on the premise that the NFL’s tampering rules count for something. And sometimes, when a team makes a stink, they do.

    For example, let’s say McCoy wants Jets’ DC (in title) Mike Pettine to be the Eagles new DC. But Pettine’s contract doesn’t expire until 01/31/13. The Jets’ owner Woody Johnson — because Pettine refused an extension — may have a tantrum about anyone contacting him.

    On the other hand . . . I’m assuming that a young guy like McCoy has a back-channel to his contemporaries around the league. And so will his agent. So he could work around the some of the formal limitations.

    But I circle back to time. How much time does a coach have to pull everything together?

    And at what cost does hiring a guy — even during the bye week — have when his team goes on a run to the SB?

    Thank you. And good night.

  54. 54 TommyLawlor said at 7:32 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    Agents are the real key. Coaches talk to each other, but can go through their agents to discuss jobs without speaking directly and leaving a trail of phone calls. Many coaches share the same agents.

  55. 55 bridgecoach said at 12:47 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    Earlier is much better to hire a new head coach earlier rather than later. You want your guy to have as much time as possible to bring in assistant coaches, to evaluate the roster, meet with key players and formulate an off season game plan with the player personnel guys for FA, the Draft and workouts.

  56. 56 Ark87 said at 10:58 PM on December 28th, 2012:

    TOMMY! JIMMY HAS BETRAYED YOU! He is moving in on your turf!!!!!
    Time to send Jimmy a message (text?)

  57. 57 TommyLawlor said at 12:17 AM on December 29th, 2012:

    I’ll take care of that…with a beatdown in the showers.

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  59. 59 Wilbert M. said at 12:08 AM on December 29th, 2012:

    Tommy – I think you answer a lot of your own questions. A great coach has a structure to get to the playoffs and then can branch off that for the playoffs. You set the table using your strengths through the season and then attack knowing the opposition will be stacked to stop your strength. I know it sounds simplistic, but it is what Belechick and Coughlin do. Andy’s problem, all the time, is he wanted to be three steps ahead instead of two, when two would have worked. I think McCoy is one of the best names on the table. He won with Tebow. That’s amazing in itself and shows he adapts to his talent. I hope we stay away from Kelly and college coaches in general. Too much risk.

  60. 60 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 7:47 AM on December 29th, 2012:

    If Kelly is the next coach, Foles is all but done as the potential starter in Philadelphia. I don’t see how you hire a guy like Kelly and not allow him to do what he wants, and that’s what he currently does at Oregon. I think it would be a waste to hire him only to have him come and implement something slightly different than that which you are basing your hiring decision. If that’s the case, then Foles should almost certainly not be Kelly’s choice, correct?

    Foles I think can at least buy you a couple of years QB play. A new coach will certainly want to evaluate him next season, which will be his first in a new offense. Then you’d probably want to see if he improves on that in his 3rd year, or the new coach’s 2nd. Developing Foles, then, can save you a major QB investment decision for at least two years while you bring in the other talent you want around him and the rest of the team; re-build the Oline, sure up the secondary and you should have a pretty solid team to bring a new QB into if Foles doesn’t develop the way you want. That seems almost like the most idea situation if you ask me. That’s why I want be overly excited if Kelly is the coach. Plus, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest his style offense can last long-term in the NFL. I can’t wait to see where we stand on this subject in the next two years

  61. 61 austinfan said at 8:03 AM on December 29th, 2012:

    If Kelly can’t adjust to Foles, he’s probably not the coach to hire. Because it means he’s rigid, wedded to a system, and will struggle to adjust to the pro game. Brady is smaller and just as immobile, yet Belichick incorporates some of what Kelly does, as well as other spread concepts, etc.

    You hire Kelly because he has the organizational and leadership skills to be a top HC, not to implement a “gimmick” college system that probably won’t translate well to the pro game (what college system has ever translated well, not pieces, but the whole system).

  62. 62 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 9:45 AM on December 29th, 2012:

    I don’t really know what it means to have the organizational and leadership skills to be a top HC. That’s very nebulous. You hire Kelly because you think his philosophy on building and running a team will win. You have to imagine that in any HC interview the owner/GM is asking what you do you see in our team, strengths weaknesses; what is your vision, how will you implement that; what identity to you see taking shape with what you plan to implement, etc. You can be assured that how Foles fits into what Kelly wants will be a very high priority in that discussion.

    There is no way Lurie and Roseman sign off on Kelly without knowing what is carrying over from college and exactly what he plans on doing differently in the NFL. He’s an offensive guy and his blueprint will be on the offense. I don’t see how much of what he does in college won’t be incorporated into what he would want to do in the NFL. You may not be hiring him to create the Philadelphia Ducks, but it’s probably with the idea of creating the Philadelphia Fowls or Pheasants or Swans; something along that line!

    What Belichick does with Brady is not that related to what Kelly does in Oregon. Brady isn’t running the IZR to set up the OZR and play-action. The only things that are similar is the idea of spreading the defense out and picking apart holes. But that idea isn’t a Kelly brain-child.

  63. 63 austinfan said at 12:28 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    One reason Reid got hired is he went into his interview with a notebook detailing everything he planned to do as HC.

    In the same way, what I’d want Kelly to be able to explain is how he’d make his offense work with Foles at QB or why he’d be willing to expend a lot of resources on a mobile QB, and what he’d do if that QB got injured (i.e., the way Shanahan was able to plug in Cousins for RGIII). What is his vision for the defense, and so on.

    My point is you don’t hire Kelly to run the Ducks offense, or some variation there of, you hire him if he shows that he understands the pro game, how his schemes translate, the limits of those schemes, the adjustments he’d make and so on. If he hasn’t already done extensive planning and analysis of these issues, he’s not ready to be a NFL HC.

  64. 64 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 3:40 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    I agree, but I don’t think he wants to run his version of the offense with Foles, which is why he makes me nervous as a candidate.

  65. 65 bridgecoach said at 12:44 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    I disagree. Foles possesses many of the skill sets Kelly covets in a QB. Smart and decisive, tough and durable, skilled at reading a defense and making the right adjustments. While he won’t win any accolades as a playmaker with his feet, he is no statue and not a liability when running the ball to keep defenses honest.

  66. 66 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 3:58 PM on December 29th, 2012:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree then. The traits you’re describing any coach would want in the quarterback, not just what Kelly wants in the quarterback. The most important things Kelly needs in the QB at Oregon are athleticism and quickness. His quarterbacks have to make a relatively simple reads. They need to be able to see what couple of defenders are doing on any given play. There are certain cues they look for to exploit a whole in a defense. What NFL quarterbacks do in an Nfl passing system is much more complex.