Philadelphia Eagles Inside 11: Offseason Notebook


Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin (left) hugs Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly after the game at MetLife Stadium. The Eagles defeated the Giants 34-26. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For Philadelphia Eagles fans, this portion of the offseason is terrible. Other teams – many of which we hate – are still playing, while we’re left wondering what guy we’ve never heard of will be hired by Chip Kelly as the Eagles’ new director of player personnel.

That’s not exactly exciting.

With the dearth of news surrounding the franchise and that it is, for me, way too early to write about the NFL draft, today I introduce “Philadelphia Eagles Inside 11: Offseason Notebook,” a collection of 11 Eagles-related thoughts that have oozed forth from my brain in the last seven days.


1) Too early for me, but not for others

I can’t bring myself to write about the draft yet, but that doesn’t mean others are holding back. Today at, Chris Steuber gives us 10 potential Eagles’ draft targets. Five of them are players Steuber identifies as first or first/second round talent.

Steuber has two wide receivers and a running back on his list, and I’ll just say that if the Philadelphia Eagles take an offensive skill position player in the first round this year, I’ll eat my hat. Unless they somehow trade up and grab Marcus Mariota, I don’t see the Eagles going offense – aside from possibly offensive line – in the first round. Their needs are well chronicled and those needs don’t include people who put the ball in the end zone. Draft day should be defensive secondary, defensive secondary and defensive secondary, in that order.

2) Who are these guys?

The Philadelphia Eagles are apparently interviewing some guy no one ever heard of from the Houston Texans to take the job as Chip Kelly’s top lieutenant. Yippee.

Seriously, the Philadelphia Eagles are not going to hire some big-name, big-resume guy for this gig. The way this is set up, with Chip as dictator, isn’t attractive to top-level general manager types for obvious reasons.

Whoever they land will be a guy we won’t be able to judge for a couple of years. In the meantime, it’s just a lot of noise.

3) Cody Parkey gets some love

How great is the story of Cody Parkey? The guy goes from being Adam Vinatieri‘s understudy, with no chance to land a pro job, to being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles late in preseason, stealing the job from Alex Henery and now he’s going on to the Pro Bowl.

Kickers are like relief pitchers in baseball, so there’s no telling if Parkey will be able to repeat this next year. For now, though, he’s cemented himself as one of the best kickers in the game. Good for him.

4) Chip Kelly is apparently hilarious

Check this out. The head coach of your Philadelphia Eagles is doing some spots for Tostitos, where our Chip competes with a bag of chips to be the “official chip of the NFL.” It’s absolutely hilarious.

5) Look at the NFL playoffs and see what the Eagles are missing

What do the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers have in common, aside from having won this past weekend? They all have playmakers in the secondary.

Indianapolis locked down Denver’s passing weapons, rendering a hobbled Peyton Manning completely ineffective. Seattle is just outstanding. New England came up with the key plays to, first, give its offense a chance to come back and, second, end Baltimore’s season. And Green Bay, perhaps the least talented secondary that won Sunday, at least had players competent enough to lock down on Dez Bryant and force the Cowboys to look elsewhere.

Sure, they also have Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck, but guys like Manning and Joe Flacco are going home, too. Credit those defensive secondaries that played at a championship level, something the Philadelphia Eagles are currently incapable of doing.

More from Eagles News

6) Marcus Mariota might be perfect, but it’s not happening

This story from Zach Berman details how Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota would be perfect for head coach Chip Kelly. It operates under the assumptions that Kelly wants to run an offense more similar to what he ran at Oregon and that Mariota will actually be a great NFL quarterback, neither of which are guaranteed.

Mariota might be perfect, but it’s not going to happen and, really, we shouldn’t want it to happen, either. For the Philadelphia Eagles to land Mariota, his stock would need to plummet (not good) or the Eagles would have to mortgage their future (worse). With the number of holes this team has to address, the Birds simply cannot afford to invest so much into one guy, especially when the other guy (Nick Foles) isn’t exactly awful.

7) Speaking of holes…Riley Cooper

Pure speculation here, but do you think the Philadelphia Eagles could possibly get anything for Riley Cooper?

He’s an expendable piece of the offense and the Philadelphia Eagles, as detailed here in this Inside the Iggles report, could use some more salary cap flexibility.

Assuming the Eagles resign Jeremy Maclin, add in Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff and the Eagles have three very solid wide receivers. They could either draft someone in the third or fourth round, or grab a free agent for much less money than what they’re paying Cooper, and reinvest that money into more pressing needs.

8) It’s the thought that counts, unless it smells

Robert Griffin III is auctioning off a used ankle cast that’s signed by himself, DeSean Jackson and other Washington stars. The money goes to the charity Family of 3 Foundation, supported by Griffin.

It’s a great thought and all, but for those of you who have ever had to wear a cast for an extended period of time, these are the most pleasant things toward the end. They’re dirty, they’re smelly, they’re just awful.

How about a helmet, or a jersey, or a football, or a photo, or any number of other items, Robert?

9) Checking over the roster

Jeff McLane did a review of the Eagles’ roster, with a “stay or go” label assigned to all of the Birds. No real surprises here.

I’ll throw out a surprising “go” candidate: Todd Herremans. If the Eagles are going to get younger (read healthier) on the offensive line, this is about the only place you can look and see a potential for an upgrade. At some point, the line has to begin to turn over. I’m not guaranteeing this by any means, but also wouldn’t be surprised if it happens.

10) Dick LeBeau to the Philadelphia Eagles?

News over the weekend that longtime Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was forced out resigned has led to some speculation that LeBeau could land in Philadelphia.

Put me down as in favor of this idea. I doubt it happens, as LeBeau will probably get a defensive coordinator gig somewhere, but he’d be a great coach to add to the Philadelphia Eagles. Obviously, he’s a great talent evaluator and outstanding at putting a game plan together. He’s the kind of mind that could really help the Eagles take the next step defensively.

11) Sorry, Dez, but you’ve got to actually hang onto the ball

I honestly do not understand the confusion or outrage stemming from the ruling on Dez Bryant’s “catch” against Green Bay. This has nothing to do with a “bad rule.” This is simple logic.

Bryant jumped into the air for the ball.

As he returned to the ground he attempted to cradle the ball in his arm.

His feet landed on the ground as he fell.

He fell to the ground and the ball, exposed on one side because of the way he tried to possess it, struck the ground.

The ball bounced into the air due to its direct contact with the ground.

The pass is therefore incomplete.

All of this talk about changing the rules because of this ignores the fact that the ball hit the ground. He was essentially diving for the football and did not, in his act of diving, prevent the ball from hitting the ground. Had he been able to do that, the ball would not have bounced into the air. It’s that simple.

Imagine if the NFL, as some suggest, change the rule to “grab the ball, two feet, and then whatever happens, happens.” So, a guy dives, outstretched for a ball, grabs it between his hands in mid-air, falls to the ground, taps his feet and then slams the ball into the turf and it bounces away. Is this a catch and down by contact? Is it a fumble?

The rules are fine the way they are. Catch the ball, don’t let it bounce off the ground. Seems pretty simple to me.