Going For Greatness

Posted: August 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 48 Comments »

I’ve watched parts of several preseason games this weekend. The more I look around the league, the happier I am that the Eagles were able to hire Chip Kelly.

Jeffrey Lurie was interviewed during the Eagles game and mentioned that one of the reasons the Eagles were so interested in Kelly is that they wanted to go for greatness. There are good NFL assistant coaches hired every year. There are even proven winners like Jeff Fisher, Mike Shanahan and Andy Reid on the market on a semi-regular basis. The Eagles had little interest in those guys.

Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski wanted change. They wanted to find someone unique. Andy Reid was an out of the box hire back in 1999. He had never been a head coach at any level. He hadn’t been an offensive coordinator in the NFL. Lurie and Joe Banner saw something special in him when they met Reid and the rest is Eagles history.

If you want true greatness, you have to risk failure. The Eagles did that by hiring Kelly, someone with no NFL experience whatsoever. Lurie will be the first to admit that this could blow up in his face. Lurie spent time with Kelly and came away convinced that he was the right guy to take a chance on. Like Reid, Kelly is a big picture guy. He isn’t just coaching the team, he is building a football program. That’s a huge part of the equation. Lurie wanted someone with that kind of vision.

I think Kelly is utterly fascinating to all of us because he’s unconventional, but pragmatic. He wants to know why you do something. If it makes sense, do it. If not, find a better way. Kelly is on the cutting edge with his use of sports science ideas and methods. He also believes in some tried and true ideas, like running the ball and having bigger players because they are more likely to beat up on smaller players.

Kelly is complex, yet simple.

He can explain his ideas and theories. He doesn’t think he’s smarter than you. Heck, he’s happy to steal a good idea from you. Football coaches love to compare the game to chess. Kelly understands that football is both checkers and chess. There are times to have elaborate strategies, but there are also times to do the obvious. You don’t need a recipe to boil water. But I’m sure Andy Reid has one in his Big Blue Binder.

That binder helped build the Eagles into a powerhouse for a decade. Reid was a great coach and did some brilliant things, but he was more dogmatic than pragmatic. I’m sure Kelly’s willingness and ability to explain his ideas had to be one of the big selling points for him. Lurie might be the Eagles owner, but even he has to answer to Eagles fans. Some of Reid’s unconventional ideas were tougher to deal with as the years went along. They were based in twisted logic. That made for a tough sell. Even when I disagree with Kelly, I can see where he’s coming from or why he’s doing things. So far, anyway.

Kelly’s lack of NFL experience is exactly why you did want to hire him. Don’t get someone who thinks outside the box. Go get someone from outside the box. Kelly isn’t beholden to the standard way of doing business. He will do things his way. That’s how he went from New Hampshire assistant to being the hottest coach in all of football in less than a decade. He’s confident and bold. Kelly isn’t afraid to fail.

He’s also not so naive as to think he can waltz into the NFL and be an instant genius. Let’s call that Spurrieritis. Kelly hired a lot of veteran NFL assistants to help him with the transition. If there are proven NFL ways of getting something done and they make sense, stick with ’em. Again, Kelly isn’t afraid to steal an idea. If the wheel works, don’t try to re-invent it.

I’m excited to go on this journey with Chip Kelly. I think it will be a lot of fun, but I’m also prepared for things to go awry and I understand there is a possible future where I’ll be lying on a floor, surrounded by empty PBR cans, and screaming at the top of my lungs “Why didn’t we hire Mike McCoy!?!?”

For now, I’m ecstatic that Lurie and company did what they did and we’re all on the Chipper Express. Next stop…greatness.

* * * * *

New podcast is up. Jimmy and I talk about the offense.

Shows have been few and far between recently. Jimmy is at camp everyday. He doesn’t live right in Philly so he’s doing a lot of driving or staying with friends. When camp ends, we’ll get back into more of a normal schedule.

With no H2H site, some of you have asked about having the shows archived in one place. I’m working on that.

We still need to fix the levels of the show. I think we know the problem. Unfortunately, we’ve not had a chance to try out some fixes since we’ve both been so busy due to camp.

* * * * *

The Eagles signed DE Eddie McClam. They list him at 6-5, 265. NFLDraftScout says he was 292 at his Pro Day back in 2011. I have no idea what the real answer is.

McClam played for 3 years at Old Dominion. He had 7.5 sacks and 7 blocked kicks. He was a 4-3 DE, both on the right and left sides. McClam  has a bit of initial quickness, but is not a pass rusher. He doesn’t have that kind of burst. He uses his hands well and plays with good pad level. I think he is best suited as a 3-4 DE where his job is to play the run. He does have an excellent frame. He looks like he could naturally carry 285 pounds.

Why add him when the DL is already looking good ? Great question.

This could be a sign that the team is disappointed in Joe Kruger and/or David King, although I think the Eagles knew both guys were projects when they picked them. Could Kruger move to OLB? I guess that is possible.

It could just be that McClam came in for a workout and impressed the coaches/scouts.

* * * * *

I’ll post the offensive part of the DGR late tonight or in the morning.


48 Comments on “Going For Greatness”

  1. 1 Jack Waggoner said at 11:10 PM on August 17th, 2013:

    Or maybe he really wanted a McRib and ordered McClam instead.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:17 PM on August 17th, 2013:

    Damn you!!! Now I want a McRib.

  3. 3 GEagle said at 7:16 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    I have had enough Mc’s for the weekend…I was loving the launch of fox sports 1, the UFC fights were awesome..then I’m waiting for them to unveil there new sports highlight show….and who do I see, McNabb..UGH! Literally couldn’t stomach looking at him for more than 30seconds…FS1 started off with a grand slam, then ruined it with a dud…so dissapointing

  4. 4 Jack Waggoner said at 11:14 PM on August 17th, 2013:

    And I couldn’t agree more about Kelly. It hasn’t been this much fun to watch preseason Eagles games in years. Maybe ever.

  5. 5 Arby1 said at 9:42 AM on August 19th, 2013:

    Fans are always excited this time of the year. What’s different this year is that the players are really excited. It’s hard not to catch that excitement in the air.

  6. 6 SteveH said at 12:26 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    “If you want true greatness, you have to risk failure.”


  7. 7 GermanEagle said at 3:58 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    I have been watching other pre season games as well (thanks to the pure greatness of the NFL gamepass) and came away rather impressed with Brent Grimes and Sean Smith. Let’s hope that our two new corners will make some plays soon…

  8. 8 GEagle said at 7:17 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    I haven’t been that impressed with Fisher….announcers keep telling me how great he is playing, then they show highlighted him not blocking anyone lol….anyone really know how he has played?

  9. 9 Anders said at 10:15 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Johnson is the best LT in the draft so far and Kyle Long is the best interior lineman.

  10. 10 Media Mike said at 10:24 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Kyle Long >>>>>>> Justine Puke. Nice draft pick loser Giants. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  11. 11 Anders said at 10:33 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    but but they got DaMonster (who mainly played against scrubs)

  12. 12 Media Mike said at 10:51 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Da Monster? More like Da bust. That guy has no dedication to working out, improving his craft, typical NY hype machine at work.

  13. 13 Anders said at 10:53 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Damonte Moore nick name is apparently DaMonster.

  14. 14 Media Mike said at 10:54 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    How about da-moniated by Peters and Johnson!

  15. 15 GEagle said at 12:44 PM on August 18th, 2013:

    Lol I coulda told the giants that…lol

  16. 16 nathalie a said at 6:43 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    at some point though, chip will have to decide upon what his goals for this franchise are. win now, or edify for the future. i wish these two aims were compatible, but i’m not sure they are, and i certainly wouldn’t like to be in his stead. to chose, is to renounce.

  17. 17 GEagle said at 7:19 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Great post. I’m also concerned about this dynamic.

  18. 18 Jack Waggoner said at 12:20 PM on August 18th, 2013:

    Assemble the team for the future. Game plan to win now.

  19. 19 nathalie a said at 6:43 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    i think my vocab is a bit off. pfff. sunday morning tough.

  20. 20 Tom from Hungary said at 6:57 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    I agree with everything you said about Kelly and I’m more excited about the Eagles than I have ever been since 2005. On a side note: If I had to pick one of the newly hire head coaches to be out of a job in a few years, I’d go with Mike McCoy. I may be wrong on this, since I don’t really know what he is doing in San Diego and neither of us can see into the future, still, I was glad we did not hire him. I just don’t feel like he is good HC material. Maybe he is.

  21. 21 GEagle said at 7:21 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Same. Very happy that we didn’t end up with any of those assistants, I wanted Gus, but he isn’t. Program builder like the Chippah….

  22. 22 D3FB said at 8:07 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    My money would be on Chudzinski in Cleveland. With the ownership of the team in limbo, a new owner will probably want to have his guy.

  23. 23 GEagle said at 7:41 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    With the unveiling of the 4TE sets, what does that mean for the 53 man roster? many of were expecting 3TEs…

  24. 24 Media Mike said at 9:15 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    I think it means we’ll be keeping 4 TEs. Should only be 5 WRs or 3 RBs now.

  25. 25 A_T_G said at 9:42 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Ertz and Harbor kind of blur the TE/WR line. And Casey and Emil blur the TE/RB line a bit. Tucker, Shepard, Harbor, Momah are going to make for some interesting choices.

  26. 26 Media Mike said at 9:43 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Momah and Tucker would be p-squab bound if I was in charge of the 53. Emil would be as well.

  27. 27 A_T_G said at 9:55 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    As long as you aren’t making room for Felix, that seems reasonable.

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 9:56 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Shame I can’t like your comment twice. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  29. 29 GEagle said at 12:44 PM on August 18th, 2013:

    Liked it for you mate

  30. 30 GEagle said at 12:47 PM on August 18th, 2013:

    I think harbor is safe

  31. 31 D3FB said at 8:11 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Who is the scout for the CAA? We’ve now had two Stony Brook, and three Old Dominion guys on the team in the last six months. Granted the talent level in the CAA is probably on par with the Sun Belt conference but still, could be a scout who has some say in the organization who could be someone to keep an eye on in the future.

  32. 32 A_T_G said at 9:06 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    So, if McClam and Cox run a stunt, Cox will circle around McClam and try a surprise penetration of the next hole? A move like that could really catch someone off guard.

  33. 33 tball_man said at 9:14 AM on August 18th, 2013:


  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 10:39 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    ATG…I think your account has been hacked by Baloophi.

  35. 35 Arby1 said at 9:29 AM on August 19th, 2013:

    Said an opposing offended offensive guard: “That stinks!”

  36. 36 Media Mike said at 9:13 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    I love how the subject of pragmatism is mentioned here. The fact that Chip Kelly hired a top notch football mind like Pat Shurmur (who also knows the city well!) really shows how Kelly isn’t coming in to be bull headed on every single element of his system. What I think ultimately killed read was that he had a staff full of disciples and yes men (Duce, Juan) who were never really willing to ask tough questions or were so imbedded in their own world (Washburn / April) that they didn’t care to mesh their unit with the full team. In either case I agree with Tommy, I loved the Reid era and look forward to the Kelly era.

  37. 37 HazletonEagle said at 9:20 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Dogmatic/Pragmatic…whats with the big words in this column? Am I going to have to go find a different football website that I can actually understand?
    Nice job on the new vocabulary words Tommy.

  38. 38 A Roy said at 9:25 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    IT’s simple. Automatic means you don’t have to do your car manually. Dogmatic…same thing.

  39. 39 A_T_G said at 9:34 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Vocabulary? Understand? 10-letter words? This no cricket sight. Football longest word here! 8 letters, and 2 double. Makes easy spelt.

    LOL, alot, Kendrick’s all good ones too!

  40. 40 Dominik said at 10:05 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    There’s science behind that.

  41. 41 TommyLawlor said at 10:40 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    This was my tribute to Nnamdi.

  42. 42 A_T_G said at 9:24 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Andy’s recipe:

    1. Arrange 5 protective elements to safely protect the water while heating.
    2. If any, or all of the elements are damaged, replace with the next one up. No further adjustments should be needed.
    3. Follow the 7-step, dropping in water procedure.
    4. Be patient.
    5. Launch water, see if it was hot.
    6. Repeat.

    Note: If any element(s) seem unable to protect the water long enough to complete the 7-step dropping procedure, check with Marty. Likely, additional attempts will be the best solution

    Note: Some people boil by running water through the use of a back element to reduce the pressure exerted on the 5protective elements. This should only be done after at least 6 successful boiling following the steps above. The back element is how you protect the boiling water, but the 7-step procedure is how you get it to boil.

  43. 43 GermanEagle said at 10:14 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    It is kinda ironic and funny at the same time that you posted something about water’s protection while my pregnant girl friend’s water might have been broken today…

  44. 44 A_T_G said at 10:38 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Congratulations! (I hope… girlfriend and girl friend usually have different connotations, a significant other vs a friend that is a girl.)

  45. 45 GermanEagle said at 11:36 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    She’s my GF or partner. So all good in the hood. 😉

  46. 46 TommyLawlor said at 10:41 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    That’s great news, as long as she’s on schedule.

  47. 47 GermanEagle said at 11:37 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    Thanks. The timing could be a little bit better, as she’s 34 weeks. However twins come usually earlier, so it should be fine! 🙂

  48. 48 TommyLawlor said at 10:41 AM on August 18th, 2013:

    How on earth did you get Andy’s secret recipe?

    You’ve got serious connections.