Eagles Wake-Up Call: Gamble Hire In Line With Kelly Philosophy

Look closely, and you’ll see a pattern forming that speaks directly to Chip Kelly‘s plan of attack.

Offensive line coach, assistant offensive line coach; tight ends coach, assistant tight ends coach. Defensive line coach, assistant defensive line coach. And so on. There is a strength and conditioning coach, and a sports science coordinator to complement him. Kelly himself has former head coach Pat Shurmur on his wing.

Even the pair of linebacker coaches might not be all about the expected switch to a 3-4.

As defensive coordinator Billy Davis puts it: “We have two guys for every position.”

And now, Tom Gamble enters the fray to double-down on the personnel side in a big way.

It is true that Howie Roseman has been looking for a replacement for Ryan Grigson since he left, and spoke with Gamble last year about coming aboard. It is also true that the Gamble hire falls right in line with Kelly’s design. This is a coach that puts a heavy emphasis on efficiency: in meetings, in practice, in coaching, in games and in player evaluation. Now he has Gamble —  a proven talent that played a part in San Francisco’s rise to the top of the NFC — to ensure the personnel vehicle runs on time.

“When you’re Vice President of Personnel, maybe you can watch 350 college players,” Howie Roseman explained. “You have to get it narrowed somewhat when you  are the GM of the team. I think having guys that you trust in the building to narrow it down and help and have these discussions, it does allow you to be able to do other things.”

Roseman will have less on his plate, in other words, enabling him to do other aspects of his job better. Just as he funnels players to the coaches, so too will Gamble funnel players to him. The process is streamlined, to borrow Jeffrey Lurie‘s term.

Even though Gamble is quite accomplished, the plan is for him to report directly to the young general manager.

“He’s not an ego guy,” said Roseman. “He wants to be part of building something, and building it with the Philadelphia Eagles.”

The “no ego” theme has been a recurring one. Kelly just talked about that at his press conference on Monday when announcing his staff.

“No one has an ego,” said Kelly. “We all have the same goal and the goal is for us to win, not only win on the field next season when we start, but to win today.  To come to work every day with an energy and an enthusiasm about how do we take this thing to different spots and that’s what we’re charged with.  How do we do it better than it’s ever been done before?  And we’ve got a group of guys that really understand what that’s all about.”

Smart football men (and plenty of them) working together to get the machine to hum. Divide the work up, define the roles and the plan, and then execute. That’s the idea.

The addition of Gamble should help considerably in the effort to reach high efficiency.


A little more on Gamble.

As we get closer to free agency, a look at the safety market.

Duce Staley says LeSean McCoy can be “the best to play the game.”

On DRC and the secondary questions.


Pat Shurmur favors more of a two-back system. From Reuben Frank:

“I think it’s important that you use more than one running back,” Shurmur said. “It’s a long season, and a guy can run out of gas quickly.

“If you have guys who are different, you can use them in different ways, and you try to play to their strengths. I think that’s important.

“I’ve always believed there’s a place on the roster for two good running backs. You have your starter, but the other guy needs to play so they can all get through the season.”

Plenty of Eagles fans have asked about Percy Harvin. Keep in mind that Harvin, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, may be thinking incredibly big when it comes to his next contract. He is reportedly ready to hold out if he doesn’t get a new deal, and may be placed on the trade block. From ESPN:

The high-ranking Vikings source told Anderson that Harvin classifies himself among the NFL’s top wideouts.

“[Harvin] is a star player in our league, but I would imagine that he sees himself in the class of the top wide receivers in our league,” the source said. “I do know at his production, when he was healthy, he was producing along with the Larry [Fitzgerald’s] and Calvin [Johnson’s]and those guys. I could see Harvin’s agent making the argument that he deserves their type of pay.”


The busy offseason continues. At this pace, September will be here in no time.

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  • 1.) WHY is Howie in charge of ANY talent evaluation, streamlined or not. Gamble is a great hire as he has a PROVEN TRACK RECORD for drafting talent…where Howie does not

    2.) Does it seem like having SO MANY coordinators that their could be a CLASH of ego’s/ideas/etc….it seems to me that the most successful teams (Pats, Steelers, etc) are more dictatorial style of leadership…i mean they have their coordinators but its more of a Head Coach influences every decision.

    • Damien

      The Eagles of 08-12 was a dictatorship… That worked out well… Andy used to have ALL the power. Also this guy isn’t a GM. He is for sure under Howie unless Howie is fired.

    • I disagree. It’s been made known that the drafts in previous years (except ’12) were ran by Banner and Reid. Howie had his first shot at running the board last year and a lot of experts say it was a fine class. Time will tell for sure but it does look that way.

      If you mean dictatorship as in the Head Coach influencing every decision Chip will do that as well. But when you’re a guy like Tomlin and you’ve got Dick LeBeau and Todd Haley I doubt your forcing much on them so I would hardly call them dictatorships. A lot of assistant position coach =/= a lot of coordinators.

      And Belichick is a cheater and hasn’t won diddly squat since Spygate so he can suck it

      Can you tell I’m still bitter over SB 39?

    • theycallmerob

      go ahead and explain how Dick LeBeau does not have much say in running the Steeler’s defense.

  • dislikedisqus

    This is a good insight but I wonder how efficient the teaching will be when the members of the large staff have never worked together. Someone has to make sure they all are on the same page. When they are, it will. Work well. Initially, i would expect some confusion and hesitation.

    • theycallmerob

      a lot of the coaches do have history together, be it old stops in college or even the weird ex-OC/QB connection (Stoutland/Lazor). I think that the question you asked was featured heavily in the interview process, and might explain why some of the bigger names (and bigger egos) were scared away from coming here. Let’s hope this staff can form like Voltron.

      • knighn

        Great, now I’m picturing Chip Kelly yelling out:
        “Form… Blazing… Sword!”

        • theycallmerob

          If I were ever an NFL coach, that would be my playcalling system.

          “Mega-thrusters, Zarkon-post, 52 middle. Blazing sword on 3.”

  • borntosuffer

    Based on the anecdotes we are hearing about Kelly, he appears to be a cerebral coach. He is constantly thinking about what he can do to get an edge and wants to be surrounded by other coaches who can add a perspective that he doesn’t have. The problem with the “dictatorship” coaching philosophy is that very, very few can do it all well. Most of those guys start violating The First Law of Dirty Harry – A man’s got to know his limitations. Surround yourself with smart people and listen to them. Your wisdom can lead you to the correct decision where your personal knowledge alone would not. I like his approach. We’ll see how it works out.

  • HiddenCharacter

    I love hearing Tim McManus talk. I recall hearing him on the radio, mocking Howie as a lawyer trying to run a football team. Clearly a lawyer should never talk about sports. Ever. Nope. And the worst would be if there was a lawyer, talking about sports…on the radio!

    Here’s a thought. How about you give credit for a front-office hire to……the guy running the front office! Here’s another thought. Maybe Chip fits Howie’s vision, and not the other way around? Perish the thought!

    In short, Howie is just another executive. You can question the decisions, support or decry. But the BS about track record and all of that is just standard sub-average sports IQ Philly fans and writers.

    • 1972

      damn good post.Ive been a little negative this off season. Time for me to get ready for the draft and free agency. So far so good howie

  • xlGmanlx

    Sheil/Tim – Please bust Julie La Confruble’s stones for being so out of the solar system on Roseman. Could it be any more idiotic?

  • zbone95

    Everyone bashes Howie for a lot of this roster’s faults but as a GM, he has been really good. We aren’t in awful cap situations like the Jets, Steelers. We could land anyone we would like in free agency, coaching. Howie works his butt off to bring a championship to this city and I think it’s time to start appreciating him for his hard work.

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    Great. His Dad chose Kotite over Jeff Fisher. Don’t blame it on Braman. The Bowden book puts it on Harry. For all of you Howie apologists, please go read the stockholm syndrome because you’re caught in one.