I continue to be impressed by Mike Groh’s ability to say nothing at all.
The Eagles’ first-year offensive coordinator mastered the art of coach speak quicker than Uma Thurman learned that secret martial arts move in Kill Bill. He’s reached the very pinnacle, the mountain top of word-weaving and verbosity. Every Tuesday, he descends from the summit to treat the plebes to a smorgasbord of cliche, misdirection, and non-answer, the ephemeral prowess taking on a more corporeal form.
Today Mike Sielski asked the following question to start off the presser:
Question: Mike, can you explain, to those of us who aren’t the room, when you guys are putting a game plan together or calling a game, what is different in what you guys do when Nick is the quarterback, vs. Carson?
Now, of course Groh is not going to answer that. He’s not going to say, “well Nick takes what the defense gives him and Carson tries to string out plays with his feet.” He’s not going to give you anything specific and he’s going to keep trade secrets private.
He’s going to talk around it, and here’s what he came up with instead:
“Well in terms of putting the plan together, you know, we had a bit of a philosophy before we even knew anything about Carson’s injury or who was going to be playing the game. We tried to put the best plan together that we thought would be effective against the Rams. And then every quarterback is different. Some guys gravitate towards certain plays, so we try to put (in) certain plays that one guy may have a certain comfort level that another guy may not. There’s some of that tweaking that’s involved, but you know, you may like the color blue and somebody else may like the color green, so it’s just kind of one of those things, a personal preference, and some of those concepts. So we just try to maybe add or subtract where we think that’s important.”
Yeah? Some people like the color blue and some people like the color green? That’s compelling stuff.
Of course a natural follow up would be to ask Groh what Nick Foles prefers specifically vs. what Carson Wentz prefers, but most of the guys on the Eagles beat just sort of shout over each other to get their questions in, so there’s never a natural follow-up on a question.
Sielski tried to get Groh to expand on the topic much later in the presser when he asked this:
Question: You said in the beginning that you try to cater an offense at least a little bit to what a quarterback does well. Whether it was over the course of the playoffs last year or even the beginning of this season, have you learned anything about Nick that suggests he could do more than what you guys gave him, or has he just sort of been doing what you guys want him to do based on what his strengths already are? Or has he shown you something to say, ‘oh ok, we can also do this.’?
“I mean, I think every time he’s had the opportunity to play he’s been really effective. We always are trying to build on things. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Nick and what he does well. We just keep going there and we’re gonna focus on the Texans and trying to put another good plan together and play efficient football and have another balanced attack. Nick has proven himself over the course of time as an excellent quarterback in this league and we’re lucky to have him.”
I’m impressed. I really am. That’s 88 words of nothing at all. He really doesn’t want to divulge anything about game plans or strategy or how the coaching staff goes about its business.
Here are some more Groh gems from today and the last two weeks, with the cliches and coach speak highlighted in bold. These are full quotes and are not truncated, after the jump: