Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mante Te'o chooses IMG

The list of clients for the IMG Academy 2013 NFL Combine-Draft training program is out.

Manti Te'o is on it. Might not be a bad idea for the Notre Dame product to take the communication course twice in light of the imaginary girl friend scandal.

The list includes other first-round caliber picks Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M, OT); Geno Smith (West Virginia, QB); Bjoern Werner (Florida State, DE);  Matt Barkley (USC, QB); DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson, WR); Tyler Wilson (Arkansas, QB); Sheldon Richardson (Missouri, DT); Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame, TE) and Sharrif Floyd (Florida, DT).

Joeckel and Werner would be great choices for the Eagles, who own the fourth pick in the draft.
Below, first draft for Chip Kelly.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Castillo hired by Ravens

Juan Castillo, fired after a 3-3 start as Eagles defensive coordinator last year, has a chance to secure a Super Bowl title ring.

Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will remain in that capacity for the Ravens after taking over for Cam Cameron, who Harbaugh fired during the season.

Here's a rundown of what Chip Kelly and the Eagles are doing with their coaching staff, although they aren't confirming it.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shurmur coming back to Eagles?

Chip Kelly ... no slave to fashion.
This piece needs confirmation but provides interesting speculation about what Chip Kelly wants to do with his coaching staff.

Past Shurmur had the Browns ready to turn the corner but was out the door when ownership changed.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Analyst: Kelly could be biggest bust ever

David Shaw.
For pure football people there's no real middle ground right now with Chip Kelly, the  new head coach of the Eagles.

You either think the former Oregon coach can win in the NFL or, well, you wonder what happened the last time he faced Stanford, whose head coach, David Shaw, was an assistant with the Eagles way back in the day.

One analyst believes Kelly could be the biggest bust ever. Click here for his argument. 

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Eagles job all or nothing prop for Kelly

Chip Kelly 'burned the boats.'
There's a lot of talk about the low success rate of college head coaches transitioning to the NFL.

The reality is the rate is low for all coaches regardless of NFL experience. Statistics are for losers.

Chip Kelly, who left Oregon to be head coach of the Eagles, sounds anything like Steve Spurrier, the ultra-successful college coach who crashed and burned trying to right the Washington Redskins. Spurrier didn't seem to want to join the NFL fraternity, which is fine.

"I’m all in," Kelly said at his introductory news conference. "I think it was Cortes who burned the boats. I’ve burned the boats so I’m not going back. I’m in. I’m an NFL coach and this is where I want to be. If there was any indecision I wouldn’t have made the jump. I made the jump and I’m here and I’m excited to be here.”

The boat reference was to Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes, who in 1519 began his conquest of the Aztec empire in Mexico. Cortes burned the ships his team landed in to send the all-in message to the 600 or so men he brought per legend documented in this piece. 

It was win or die trying.

Now, that's urgency.

And it sure sounds like Kelly wants his players buying in on that level as well. 

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Top questions for Eagles Chip Kelly

You'd think Eagles were hiring a head coach or something.
Who's your quarterback?

All of the other inquiries will fall into place after Chip Kelly addresses this major question.

While I don't necessarily expect Chip Kelly to reveal his plan today, he wouldn't be Chip Kelly if he hadn't figured something like that out before taking the job. He knows how Michael Vick, Nick Foles and even Trent Edwards fit into his plan.

Defensive coordinator is another major question. So is the authority Kelly has on personnel.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chip Kelly talks Santa, booing, more

It's early but Chip Kelly seems to get it.

Near the end of this video he cracked a joke about being tracked on his flight over as if he was Santa Clause, then kidding that might not be such a great thing considering the history Eagles fans have - wrongfully, diehards know - about booing Santa.

"I hope they don't boo me," Kelly said.  "I'm just excited to be here. It's an exciting time and I'm ready to go to work."

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What Eagles are saying about Chip Kelly

C Jason Kelce: "He's a brilliant mind. We have a lot of weapons on the Eagles that kind of assimilates to what he was doing at Oregon."
Jason Kelce.

TE Brent Celek: “I’m real excited. It's obvious by his track record in college how good he was."

Brent Celek.
DT Cullen Jenkins: “He’s a successful person. He’s had a lot of success and anytime you have somebody like that and his desire, he’s going to do whatever it takes for us to be as successful here as well."

WR DeSean Jackson: “Let’s get it! Congrats Coach Kelly, Eagles.”

DE Brandon Graham : “Happy to have Chip Kelly!! Now it's time to get to work!”

S Kurt Coleman: “Welcome Chip Kelly to the Eagles family. Can't wait to see what he brings to the team in 2013!”

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Chip Kelly lands in Philly tonight

A welcome like no other for Chip Kelly.
The news conference to interview new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is tomorrow.

But he lands in town tonight.

And we'll be there to greet him, as will others.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eagles talks with Bradley end for night

The Eagles and head coaching candidate Gus Bradley ended at 10 p.m. Tuesday night per the Eagles.

While there was no announcement a deal had been struck, there was no word that the Eagles had been stiffed and Bradley would be packing up his stuff and flying on the Jaguars' dime to Jacksonville. That interview was scheduled for Wednesday. Oh, and thanks, Joe. Appreciate it.

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Jeff Lurie shows Gus Bradley the estate

Tireless Action News 6 executive producer Mark Meany  provided this photo of the Eagles' future.
Lurie Estate.

It's the private jet Jeffrey Lurie sent for head coaching candidate Gus Bradley, defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.

Best offer over $20 million could net this estate.
The Eagles and Bradley  initially convened at Lurie's exclusive Wynnewood residence (formerly the Annenberg Estate).

Then again, Bradley isn't easily impressed. Seahawks owner Paul Allen lives on an island in Washington featuring an airstrip.

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What Eagles learned from coaching search

Talk not enough to get O'Brien, Kellys.
Unless we've all missed something the Eagles are poised to make Gus Bradley, the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator, their new head coach.

There must be some type of agreement of principle in place as Bradley visits the Eagles in Philly for what the team is calling a second interview, but really is not.

So what have the Eagles discovered about themselves after an exhaustive interview process in which they were snubbed by the best coaches on their list? A process in which they vowed to turn over every stone but obviously haven't or Jon Gruden would have interviewed?

The Eagles really are as difficult to work with as we know they can be. And the Gold Standard, as we knew it, is no more.

To avoid turning this process, if you will, into a common practice it would be a good time to adopt a management model giving a coach like Bradley a fighting chance. That's going to require a thorough, honest outside evaluation, not a meeting in the company board room for lunch.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Gus Bradley-to-Eagles report shot down

Happy to hear job still open.
A Philly area radio talk show host said Monday that Sirius radio reported the Eagles had reached an agreement to hire Gus Bradley, the Seahawks' defensive coordinator, as their next head coach.

The Eagles declined to confirm Bradley was the guy, deferring questions to SiriusXM.

On an otherwise routine day, SiriusXM Sports Media Relations spokesman Andrew Fitzpatrick checked with his people.

"I can tell you unequivocally it’s not true," Fitzpatrick said. "It doesn’t happen too often. Every now and again it does and once it picks up speed on Twitter people think it must be true. That's the world we live in. We didn't report it."

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A national media guy rips Eagles' coaching search

Jason La Canfora really stuck the landing with this piece about the Eagles' bizarre search for a head coach.

La Canfora blames the now national failure - Chip Kelly, Brian Kelly and Bill O'Brien pulled themselves out of consideration after lengthy interviews - largely on a front office situation in which he claims general manager Howie Roseman is drunk with power ... something like that.

"I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me one esteemed coach or another advised one of the Eagles' top candidates not to take the job precisely because of Roseman's presence there," La Canfora wrote. "Roseman isn't the general manager they should tie their wagon to. It's clear Chip Kelly wasn't leaving Oregon for anywhere unless he had a large measure of control over the organization, and owner Jeffrey Lurie has already entrusted that to Roseman. There has been trepidation by some candidates to go all-in given the questions about the existing power structure.

"The rumblings about Roseman lacking nuance and foresight, about him turning people off with how drunk with power he's become only grow louder as his coaching search grows stranger."

It's a powerful piece based on reality, not the Eagles' perception of reality.

The Eagles are at the turning point. For whatever reason, they cannot see the big picture. 

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Report: Eagles spent 8 hours with Billick

The Eagles interviewed Brian Billick for their head coaching vacancy according to this report citing a source.

The get-together lasted more than eight hours, or about the time it took the TV commentator to defend the 14-year coaching reign of Andy Reid, who was fired because he couldn't win and the Eagles got tired of him.

Billick once intimated the next Eagles head coach wouldn't be as good as Reid. If the Eagles hire Billick, he will be reminded of that each bad move he makes.

The offensive-minded Billick won a Super Bowl title with the Baltimore Ravens behind a suffocating defense many argue is the greatest of all time.

But Billick couldn't quite seem to find a quality quarterback during his tour with the Ravens. And that was supposed to be his strength.

The Twittersphere was full of innuendo that Billick merely had done what three college coaches had, which was to interview with the Eagles to leverage his bosses for a raise.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Report: Eagles interviewing Bradley today

Gus Bradley.
The Eagles are interviewing Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley today for their head coaching vacancy per an ESPN report.

The Seahawks are in Atlanta to take on the Falcons in the divisional round of the playoffs at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Check out Bradley around 2:12 on this Seahawks video:

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Eagles need to make a splash ... or the marketing people will wind up feeling like this

Friday, January 11, 2013

Jay Gruden interviewing Monday

A suggestion for Jay Gruden during that awkward moment of the job interview when the employer asks, "Do  you have any questions?"

... How come you guys aren't interviewing my big brother?

Gruden, the Bengals offensive coordinator, can pop the question when he interviews for the Eagles'  head coaching vacancy this Monday. 

Assuming, of course, the Eagles don't strike a deal before then with, say Brian Kelly.

Meanwhile his brother, Jon Gruden, who won a Super Bowl, has put out feelers in the hope of returning to the NFL yet can't even get a lunch date.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brian Kelly unsensored

What is Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly really like?

Judge for yourself based on the answers he gave about his interest in an NFL head coaching job.

Kelly's remarks were made before Nick Saban and Alabama laid a 42-14 whipping on the Fighting Irish in the BCS championship game. Kelly said all of his focus was on that game.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chip Kelly just couldn't commit to Eagles

Mr. Nike wanted Kelly to return.
You knew Chip Kelly had commitment issues before The NFL Network put this video together.

Kelly decided to stay at Oregon rather than take a job with the Eagles or the Browns. Someone suggested Oregon's big win over Kansas State last Thursday with fans chanting "four more  years" was the difference.

Others are convinced Kelly does whatever Nike CEO Phil Knight wants. Knight is a Ducks booster.

All it means is the Eagles won't get the guy at the top of their short list, although they'll never confirm it.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Andy Reid's live K.C. presser at 2

Betcha he tunes in.
If you're just a little curious about the face Andy Reid puts on for his new employer tune in here at 2 p,m, for his news conference streamed live on

You  also can comment interactively during the news conference viewed largely by Chiefs fans, giving your Midwest contemporaries an idea of what they can expect for the next five years.

Extreme civility guarantees an abundance of wide-ranging comments. There also should be polls.

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Podcast: WIP Morning Show

Podcast: Find out who Eagles writer Bob Grotz believes will be the next Eagles coach -

Whisenhunt could be part of Eagles decision

Going back to Oregon.
The Chip Kelly flirtation is over.

He's sticking around Orgeon.

But not forgotten.

Kelly would have shaken the Eagles up philosophically. They need a culture change. It’s going to be difficult for this team to win right away anticipating the dramatic changes ahead.

On the other hand Kelly clearly got cold feet. The guy obviously talked a good game in those interviews.

After coming up short on the top pick of their shortlist, the Eagles  are on to Plan B ... and possibly Plan C.

Colts assistant Bruce Arians is the most qualified coach on their list. He seemed like a great idea until his unfortunate illness landed him in the hospital on the eve of his biggest game. The Eagles have yet to interview Arians.
The Eagles did get together with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who likely will bring deposed Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt with him wherever that may be. McCoy has thePeyton Manning seal of approval.

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