Category: Eagles (page 2 of 272)

ESPN The Magazine, Which Ranked the Phillies Dead Last in Their Use of Analytics, Ranked the Sixers First

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In the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine — actually on newsstands now — ESPN ranked every professional sports team based on how much their approach is “predicated on analytics.” We already told you that the Phillies were dead last at 122, but we got the magazine today, and the Sixers finished first.

In the short paragraph that accompanies the ranking, it reads:

When Philly hired Sam Hinkie in May 2013, the team became a test case for the GM’s plan: dump overvalued mediocrity, lose (a lot) with cheap role players and load up on picks. With five staffers devoted to picking apart the CBA, mining player health and minting theories on roster construction, Hinkie has topped his former boss, Rockets GM Daryl Morey, as the NBA’s most ardent analytic master. “He has a vision,” says Sixers forward Robert Covington. “We’re going to turn this around.”

And that was all written before yesterday’s deals.

Only the top ten and bottom ten are ranked by-number, but the middle teams were all throw into categories. The Flyers are under the “One Foot In” category, while the Eagles are named “Believers.” Cool?


Bruce Arians Takes a Swipe at Chip Kelly, Says His QBs Aren’t Real QBs

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that’s not a real hat, Bruce.

Though the Eagles aren’t (pointlessly) talking to the media at the combine, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians did, and he had some stuff to say about up-tempo offenses.

The question was posed to Arians — in regards to Marcus Mariota never running a “pro-style” offense — if pro vs. college offenses even matter at this point. His answer? Uh … yeah:

“So many times you’re evaluating a quarterback who has never called a play in a huddle, never used a snap count. You hold up a card on a sideline and he kicks his foot and throws the ball. That ain’t playing quarterback. There’s no leadership involved there. Now, there might be leadership on the bench, but when you get them now and you give them verbiage and they have to spit that verbiage out, use a snap count, change a snap count, they are light years behind. Light years behind.”

To be fair to Arians and his stupid hat [Editor’s note: and glasses], some of what he says makes sense. A lot of the playcalling and leadership does come from the sideline. There are no Peyton Mannings in these offenses. But also, “you hold up a card on a sideline and he kicks his foot and throws the ball”? That’s football. If you substitute “hold up a card” for “call in a play on the headset,” it’s the same thing. It’s just done faster and a little bit gimmicky, but it’s really not all that different. How often do quarterbacks come out of college with tons of experience using and changing the snap count anyway? These aren’t fully-formed game managers. What you need is a talented passer and a smart guy who you can mold into the best quarterback for your system. If anyone knows that, it should be the dude who started Ryan Lindley and Drew Stanton last year.

25 Comments Doing Their Best Sal Pal


Guys, it’s about time we give up on the dream of getting Marcus Mariota unless, you know, there’s a way we could get Marcus Mariota. Keep hope alive/hope is dead.

It’s a rare opportunity when you’re able to look into a crystal ball and see exactly what your next five months are going to be like. This is that crystal ball.

H/T to reader John


Audio: Mike Missanelli and I Debate the Media’s Whining over the Eagles

Voila_Capture 2015-02-18_08-02-33_PM

Mike Missanelli had me on his show today to debate the whole Eagles not talking to the media thing. He took issue with this post (in which I basically called Reuben Frank a whiner) because he feels it’s the Eagles’ duty to communicate with fans.

Here’s the audio:

Courtesy of 97.5 The Fanatic

I have no issue with any of Mike’s points, even the misguided stuff about bloggers feeling the need to chop down mainstream reporters because we’re “jealous.” It’s his opinion. I think he’s wrong, but it’s his opinion. Reporters do deserve scrutiny, especially the ones who do little more than lazily transcribe press conferences and write vanilla stories based on canned quotes (which I’m not accusing Frank of, by the way). And while some bloggers absolutely would kill for some of those big boy jobs, or have used blogging to get into the mainstream, that’s not everyone. It’s not me. I’m as interested in the running a business thing as I am the writing about sports thing, and I’d take doing this – for many reasons – over being a beat writer or newspaper columnist 100 out of 100 times. That’s not to disrespect other bloggers or reporters– it’s just not me. So I think he’s generalizing when he says bloggers bash mainstream reporters out of jealousy. Often, when we bash them, it’s because they suck.

As for the Eagles not talking thing– I agree they should have to answer questions at some point. But bitching that they’re not doing it now, when we’re more than half a year away from football season (GAHHH!), is stupid. If older reporters put half the effort into actual reporting – like some of the newer-school guys – that they do into complaining about the curious absence of low-hanging fruit in the form of succinct soundbites, and used their access to cultivate some sources, God knows what we’d learn about the Eagles’ front office situation. Certainly, it would be stuff we won’t get from any press conference.

These are all points I could’ve made if the guest’s audio didn’t duck under the host’s and I was able to finish a goddamn thought with Mike.


And Another Eagles Beat Writer Complains About Front Office Silence

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Must be February.

Reuben Frank, generally vaccinated against these sorts of whiny articles (consider Les Bowen an anti-vaxxer in this case), went hard after the Eagles today, complaining about lack of access to management after “one of the most significant front office changes in franchise history,” not because it would make his job easier, but on behalf of you, the fan:

This isn’t about disgruntled media not having access to the owner or coach. We’ll find other stories to write. We’ll find other people to talk to. We’ll still be able to do our jobs just fine.

It’s not about us. It’s about you.

It’s about a football team that charges about $100 per average ticket, ninth-highest in the NFL, but refuses to explain its thinking to its loyal and die-hard fans, many of whom have supported the team during its half century without a championship.

The Eagles don’t believe it’s important to communicate with you and your friends and family, and that’s their right, but it’s a real slap in the face to fans who spend thousands of dollars a year in tickets, parking, jerseys, food and merchandise a year to support their team.

Right, right. Got it. Us– the fans. But here’s the thing: no one cares. Roob ticked off a list of questions that he would ask (more on those in a sec), few of which would elicit an honest answer. Whatever Lurie, Kelly, Roseman or the new guy, Mayonnaise or some shit, would say in press conference setting would be highly scripted. Most reporting on the matter has unearthed that Chip and Howie didn’t get along, and when it came time to choose between the two, Lurie decided on the guy who is reinventing football.

Further, the same thing happened last year with DeSean Jaccson. The beats complained because it would be X months before Chip would be forced to answer questions about reports of DeSean’s impending demise. After the release– same deal: WE WON’T HEAR FROM HIM UNTIL TRAINING CAMP, OH NOS!

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But… we will hear from Kelly and Lurie. Who cares if they haven’t talked in a month? Who cares if Chip won’t be forced to talk until late March, at the owners meetings? We’re seven months away from football season (ugh), and between now and Week 1, Kelly and Lurie, and presumably Roseman and Hellmann’s, will all speak to the media at some point. We will, in fact, hear from Lurie, like we do every. single. summer. during the pompously-nicknamed State of the Team address. The Eagles’ reasons for not wanting to talk right now, for not wanting to tip their hand on the draft, quarterback position and defensive plans, are obvious.

But, since Roob has so many questions (which served as his lede), I’ll do my best to answer them, probably more accurately than Lurie would:

What makes Jeff Lurie think Chip Kelly can handle complete control of personnel just two years after getting his very first NFL job?

Probably because he’s 20-12 after his first two seasons in the NFL with Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez at quarterback. Because he’s widely credited with reinventing the game. Because he went from coaching at New Hampshire to four-straight BCS Bowl Game appearances at Oregon. Because Bill Belichick sought his advice on running an up-tempo offense. In short, because he seems like he knows what he’s doing and his former boss was apparently fighting him on every move.

Why did Lurie reassign Howie Roseman and pay him nearly $2 million to not be involved in personnel?

Because he’s loyal and rich enough to do that kind of thing to assuage strained relationships.

And what exactly will Roseman do on a daily basis to earn that roughly $33,000 he’s earning per week?

Go through the mind-numbing process of managing the NFL’s crazy-confusing salary cap. And process all maintenance requests on workout equipment.

What makes 30-year-old Ed Marynowitz the right guy to be Kelly’s top personnel assistant?

Because he’ll bring out the best in Chip.

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Where did things go wrong with Tom Gamble? And if Kelly had been given complete personnel control a few days earlier, would Gamble still be here?

OK… now that’s a good question.

Why was Kelly so adamant about creating a front office where Roseman, the Eagles’ GM for five years, was no longer involved in evaluating and selecting players?

Because Roseman was gestated in a business school spreadsheet and has no concept of how to build a winning football team. Also probably because he’s a dork.

What involvement, if any, will Roseman have on draft day?

“Do you want one cream or two in that coffee, Mr. Kelly?”

There, wasn’t that easy?


Nate Allen’s Ordeal Sounds Pretty Horrific

Poor Nate is gonna have the worst SEO terms attached to his name– even worse than “torched,” “beat” and “touchdown.”

Les Bowen reporting:

Allen said as he began his drive home, he called a friend and former high school football teammate. They chatted for quite a while, and when the police cruiser pulled Allen over, he said he figured he was being flagged for talking on his phone, or maybe for not wearing his seatbelt.

Allen said the officer asked if he had ever been arrested. “I said, ‘What? No.’ Then he said, ‘are you sure?’ And then he said something about a girl saying I’d made a pass at her. I said ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ ”

Allen said eventually, a woman sitting in the back of another police cruiser ID’d him and he was taken into custody, still without knowing what he was alleged to have done.

“I had no idea,” he said. “I sat in a holding cell for 4 1/2 hours. I seriously thought I was being punked, at first.”

He wasn’t. He was being accused of “masturbating while making faces” (as if there’s any other way) at the woman or women from inside his truck.

So now the next question: Was the whole thing made up by the accuser(s) or is there a serial, Red Lobster-scoutin’, masturbatin’ man on the loose. This is Florida… so I’m gonna go with the latter.


New York Daily News Slinger Hops on the “Foles to the Jets for Mariota” Train

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

So far, only Sal Pal (and Angelo Cataldi) have been obsessed with trading up in the draft for Marcus Mariota. I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind the “doing the deal” — others wouldn’t want to “mortgage the future,” or another zingy catchphrase — but only Paolantonio and Cataldi have made it their one and only charge. In this slow sports season, they’ve latched on to it like kids who want the newest hot thing for Christmas but aren’t going to get it because they won’t stop pestering their goddamn parents about it. You’ll get what they get you and you’ll like it.

But the New York Daily News‘ Manish Mheta, a student in the Sal Pal school of shit-slinging nonsense, is now hopping on the train with his own unsourced theories stated as fact– speculating about the Eagles trading Foles to the Jets for Mariota, who hasn’t yet been drafted by the Jets:

Kelly would prefer to use Foles to supplement (and thus lighten) the draft-pick compensation package needed to move up for Mariota, who might not throw at the scouting combine this week due to a sprained right shoulder suffered in the National Championship game …

A win-win for the Jets and Kelly: The Eagles give up 2015 and 2016 first and second-rounders for the No. 6 pick.

Of course. Kelly would prefer to use Foles to trade up for Mariota. How do we know this? Did Chip Kelly, or anyone who knows Chip Kelly, say this? Nope. It’s based on speculation and what Mehta and Sal Pal would do if they were Chip Kelly (and his job was to sell papers and get ratings?). But they’re not Chip Kelly, as evidenced by their careers made throwing shit at walls to see what sticks.

In reality, it works very much like that kid’s Christmas: We’ll get what we get and we’ll like it, and Sal Pal will move on like a moth to a flickering light to the next hot take.


Nate Allen Was Detained by Police and Accused of Something Ridiculous

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Allen has likely escaped the long arm claw of the law.

Allen was detained by police in Fort Myers, Florida last night after a 16-year-old girl accused the Eagles safety of exposing himself outside a Red Lobster, according to Derrick Gunn. The accuser’s story didn’t hold water, however, and Allen was let go by police, thrown back into the sea of humanity commonly referred to as modern civilization.

More from Gunner:

However, after the accuser changed her story several times, police concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Allen and released him.

Another source told Gunn that Allen returned to his home in Fort Myers and is “shaken and embarrassed” by the ordeal.

Via text, Allen told’s Geoff Mosher that “someone definitely lied” and told Gunn that he vows to clear his name.

Initial reports referred to Allen as an “NFL star,” but that descriptor was apparently stricken from the record after local reporters learned that he even had trouble corralling the live crustacean earmarked to be his entree in the “Pick Your Own Lobster” tank.

We’ll have more if it becomes available. Meanwhile, Mike Florio already has a piping hot take about how this shows the pitfalls of the NFL’s new personal conduct policy. Obviously.

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