Posts Tagged ‘Jay Gruden’

Philadelphia Eagles uninspired, undisciplined in critical loss to Washington Redskins

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog

 

 

 

 

(Sanchez Inaction Figure, via @RobTornoe of the Inquirer)

(Sanchez Inaction Figure, via @RobTornoe of the Inquirer)

There are few times when I am rendered speechless, but the Philadelphia Eagles’ 27-24 loss to the lowly Washington Redskins – with absolutely everything on the line – has left me as such. As RG3 , DeSean Jackson and Jay Gruden yuk it up, celebrate the win and agree to let bygones be bygones, Philadelphia has some serious soul-searching to do. The lack of discipline has cost the team its third-straight game and revealed an uncomfortable reality: this is not a very good team. While we shake our heads at the frustration of being Philadelphia sports fans, this is a team that is very lucky to have a winning record. But, the luck seems to have finally worn out.

But don’t cry for the Eagles. They’ve done this entirely to themselves. Perhaps the Cowboys will lose to the Colts tomorrow. But it likely won’t do much for the Birds. To win the NFC East now, Philadelphia needs for Dallas to then lose to the Redskins in their final game. Then, the Eagles need to win against the Giants. Say what you will about Eli Manning, but his passing attack can be potent. And he has a receiver that you may have heard a little something about – one Odell Beckham, Jr. Do you trust this secondary to diffuse that potentially deadly combination? Didn’t think so.

You know who is thrilled with his Sanchez inaction figure under the tree? Nick Foles. Controversy? What quarterback controversy? But while we make fun of Sanchez, this Eagles defense is a real problem. Billy Davis’ inability to react to the limitations of his secondary is an indictment of the coaching staff as well as the players.

My one-year old son kept walking up to the television and turning it off. While frustrating at first, it turns out that he wasn’t being bad. He was trying to spare his mother and father the pain and humiliation of a loss to Washington. The kid already knows what it’s like being an Eagles fan.

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Interview Brian Kelly and Lovie Smith; Any Closer to Naming a Head Coach?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly
(Image via unhd.com)

The Philadelphia Eagles have ended their second week of the search for a new head coach, and the landscape seems more muddled now than ever before.

This past week’s surprising revelation is the news that the Birds interviewed Notre Coach Brian Kelly.  Is anyone else surprised at how much interest Philadelphia has demonstrated in college coaches with no previous NFL experience?  Particularly those having the last name Kelly?

Could the Notre Dame coach have been yet another Kelly using interest from the NFL as leverage to get something more from his current institution?  The coach is currenty out of the country but is scheduled to speak to the Eagles once again after he returns.  In the meantime, we will all wonder about the nature of that next meeting.

In other news, the Eagles interviewed former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith on Thursday at the NovaCare.  Surprisingly little is known about that meeting, even its duration, with the team only finally confirming that yes, they did indeed speak with Smith.

Smith is at the other end of the spectrum of possibilities for the Eagles.  A candidate like Kelly represents someone untested and unscathed by the NFL.  Fresh energy and perspective.  Smith is on the other end of the scale – a proven NFL coach with a winning record.  Not an easy accomplishment, but with his experience is he the breath of fresh air that Lurie seems to be seeking?

Other coaches currently on the Eagles’ radar are Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and Bengals OC Jay Gruden will interview with the Birds next week.  As Gruden has already said he has no interest in leaving Cincinnati and is speaking with teams simply to get them off his back, don’t have any high expectations to come out of that meeting.

What twists and turns will this week hold in the continuing search for the next Philadelphia Eagles head coach?  Could there maybe, possibly be another coach named within that period of time?

Yeah, I don’t think so either.  We’ll just look on and continue to wonder as, by comparison, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs start to build their coaching staff.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Look to Lovie Smith as Head Coach Search Continues

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

Lovie Smith, the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles?
(Image via Lehigh Valley Live)

 

It’s only been a little over a week since the Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with Andy Reid, but somehow it feels much longer.  Perhaps the fact that Reid was signed, sealed and delivered to Kansas City within the same week he found himself out on the street in Philly provided a somewhat unrealistic measure of comparison.  After all, of seven head coaching vacancies in the NFL, only two have been filled.

 

The Birds’ coaching search took a surprising turn on Tuesday when it was announced that they will interview former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith on Thursday.

 

Has this been part of the plan overall, or are the Eagles in panic mode?

 

Smith was fired from the Chicago Bears after finishing 10-6 this sesaon and failing to make the playoffs.  Like Reid, Smith is viewed as a good coach in the NFL with a good overall winning percentage (.563), but failed to deliver the ultimate prize to his city after taking them to the Super Bowl.

 

Unlike Reid, Smith is known as a defensive guy.  The Eagles have seen a steady decline in the production of their D since the death of Jim Johnson in 2009.  Though it’s widely speculated that Lurie seeks more of an offensive mind, it’s hard to imagine that a proven defensive mind wouldn’t be of some level of interest to Philadelphia.

 

Another name that has appeared on the Eagles list, Jay Gruden in Cincinnati, doesn’t seem to be a feasible option, as he has reportedly stated that he plans to stay with the Bengals but is interviewing simply so that teams will stop calling him.  Um, eww.

 

If Philadelphia is serious about their interest in people like Atlanta’s Mike Nolan and Seattle’s Gus Bradley, in addition to Denver OC Mike McCoy, they may have to wait a while for their man as these teams progress through the playoffs.  And if their top choice makes it to the Super Bowl, then the Eagles could be head coach-less until February.  An unsettling thought but one that could easily become the team’s reality.

 

Colts coach Bruce Arians is also in the mix, but at 60, his possible tenure with the Birds would be limited, which doesn’t seem to appeal to the Eagles.

 

So again we sit and we wait.  Will other top prospects for Philadelphia be snapped up by other teams or decide to stay put where they are?  Probably.  As reminded by CSNPhilly’s Reuben Frank on Sports Rise, Andy Reid was the Eagles’ fifth choice when they last embarked on a head coaching search.

 

So there’s always that.

 

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

 

Chip Kelly to Stay at Oregon: Who’s the Next Target for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

It was an eventful weekend in the NFL’s coaching carousel that ultimately left the Philadelphia Eagles exactly where they started – still in need of a head coach.

On Friday, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was said to be close to a deal with the Cleveland Browns, but everything changed when he met with the Eagles brain trust for a lengthy nine-hour meeting on Saturday.

(Image via SportsGrid.com)

Was Jeffrey Lurie about to steal the #1 choice of his once close friend and former business partner Joe Banner and the Browns?  It seemed like it could happen.  But Kelly never hid his lack of enthusiasm for joining the NFL, and ultimately the trio of Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski knew that any decision would have to  outweigh Kelly’s love of coaching at Oregon.

For the second year in a row, that did not happen.  On Sunday, Kelly decided that he would stay in the college ranks.

So what now?  The Birds were all-in on Kelly.  Who do they turn to now?

The Eagles had requested an interview with Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, but that won’t be happening as he was signed on to coach the Buffalo Bills.

After the lengthy meeting with Kelly on Saturday, the Birds held a three-hour interview with Mike McCoy, the Broncos’ offensive coordinator on Sunday.  Philadelphia will also speak with Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator of the Colts as well as Gus Bradley, the Seahawks defensive coordinator this week.  The Eagles have also requested permission to speak with Jay Gruden, the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.

While rumors about interest in Kelly by the Eagles swirled for months preceding Andy Reid’s firing, I was surprised that the team truly had so much interest in a candidate with  no experience in the NFL.  Mike McCoy and his demonstrated ability to effectively adjust his offense to the abilities (or lack thereof) of a given quarterback would be quite an asset to a team like the Eagles with more questions than answers surrounding the QB position.  Will he now move to the top of Philadelphia’s list?

As we move into the second week of the search process, one thing is for sure – there is never a dull moment.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

 

Philadelphia Eagles: Who Will Replace Andy Reid?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

Who will replace “Big Red”?
(Image via voxxi.com)

 

With Andy Reid out as Philadelphia Eagles head coach, the major question facing the franchise now is who will replace him.  The speculation has swirled for months, as Reid’s fate was sealed further by each successive loss.  Here’s a look at some of the possibilities.

Chip Kelly

The name that has been tossed around most in relation to the Eagles head coaching gig is University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly.  His innovation and reputation as an offensive mastermind certainly has to peak the interest of the Birds — and many other teams.  However, he is untested in the NFL.  Philadelphia has worked hard to establish itself as an elite franchise in the NFL and taking the plunge with someone with no league experience following Reid’s success is quite a gamble.  Add to that a desire for control that team owner Jeffrey Lurie will likely not surrender.  According to SI’s Don Banks,

“League sources say Kelly is looking for near complete control when it comes to personnel decision-making power, and that doesn’t appear to be available in the Eagles’ organization, where general manager Howie Roseman is expected to be in charge of the roster in the post-Reid era.”

Jon Gruden

The ESPN analyst has avoided questions about any interest to return to coaching.  He spent a brief period as an Eagles assistant coach before head coaching stints with the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Bucs, where he led the team to a Super Bowl victory.  Someone who has reached the promised land and gotten a ring previously has to intrigue the Birds, even though no head coach has been able to win a SB with two different teams.

Mike McCoy

Currently the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, McCoy will garner a lot of interest this offseason.  He has shown great versatility as coordinator, adapting wildly different systems in successive seasons to accommodate Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and now Peyton Manning.  Yes, having essentially another coach in Manning doesn’t hurt, but neither do Denver’s 11 straight wins.  What’s one of the biggest complaints of Eagles fans about Andy Reid over the years?  His stubbornness and a seeming inability — or unwillingness — to adapt to the realities of his players and what was happening on the field.  With an uncertain quarterback situation facing Philadelphia and a coach who has proven an ability to adjust to multiple ability levels, McCoy has got to be of major interest to the Eagles.

Bruce Arians

Arians took over as Colts head coach while Chuck Pagano underwent treatment for leukemia and lead the team to a 10-2 record.  He spent five years as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and, bonus, Arians has roots in Philly — he was Temple’s head coach for five years in the 80’s.  Certainly an intriguing possibility.

Jay Gruden

Jon’s younger brother, this Gruden has served as OC for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past two years.  What may work against him is the lack of notable credentials on his resume.  Prior to Cinci, Gruden was head coach and GM for the UFL’s Florida Tuskers and prior to that served as HC of the Orlando Predators.  Will he prove to be too much of an unproven commodity for the Eagles?

Bill O’Brien

The current Penn State head football coach took on the position in the midst of a nightmare and came out as Big Ten Coach of the Year.  His NFL chops include four seasons with the Patriots, in roles ranging from wide receiver to quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator.  Any team owner has to admire the Patriots organization and O’Brien’s experience and ability to successfully lead PSU under the most difficult of circumstances has got to intrigue the Eagles.  However, O’Brien reportedly has a hefty buyout that may limit his interest in leaving the team after only one year.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports