Troy Vincent was looking for a player who properly represented today’s athletes.
As the NFL’s vice president of player engagement, Vincent needed someone who would be open and honest in front of a room full of coaches, scouts and executives. So he gave the Eagles a call and came up with safety Patrick Chung.
“I didn’t want the typical guy that’s doing all the community outreach,” Vincent said. “I needed a real modern… I needed an edge kind of player. He’s an edge kind of player. He came in here with his golf shirt that he just got from the facility on his way over here. He had his earrings in. But that’s the reality.”
Chung spoke on a panel with Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain. The discussion took place at Wharton School of Business and was part of the NFL’s Career Development Symposium, a workshop for assistant coaches and personnel people.
Chung’s 75-minute session (which was closed to the media) had a singular focus: Managing and coaching today’s players.
“They want truth and honesty,” Vincent said. “Players don’t mind being coached hard. They just want to be respected. And you heard that theme throughout that hour, 15 minutes. I think Patrick said it best. It is what we see in this modern day athlete: I don’t mind you getting on me. Just don’t get on me in front of my peers. You can say whatever you want to say about me, take me behind the woodshed, you can do whatever you want. Just don’t embarrass me in front of my peer group.”
Chung, who played at Oregon while Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator, was asked to compare the new Eagles’ head coach with Bill Belichick, the only NFL head coach he’d ever played for before this season.
“They want to win,” he said. “They’re almost the same. They want to win. And they’re going to do everything possible to win.
“They’re going to bring the best out of their players. They’re going to make sure you’re mentally first, and physically tough. And then we’re going to go from there. Good group of guys in the locker room. Not a bunch of prima donnas with egos. Just some good guys, and they love to have fun and play ball.”
As for Vincent, he was thrilled with the way the new Eagles’ safety opened up during the conference.
“At the end of the day, he said, ‘Just tell me the way it is. Don’t cut any corners. Don’t beat around the bush. If I can’t play, I can’t play. Don’t blame it on somebody else while I’m out on the field,’” Vincent said. “He was just honest, and that’s what we needed.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles worked out former Cowboys running back Felix Jones.
From power rankings to draft leftovers, here’s what they’re saying about the Eagles.
The latest depth chart breakdown focuses on the cornerbacks.
Be sure to pre-order the 2013 Eagles Almanac.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Brian Solomon of McNabbOrKolb.com warns to not get carried away with the whole three-TE talk.
The three tight end lineup is fantastic for one thing: the red zone. Bring a dangerous rushing threat together with a bunch of big targets and the Eagles might actually be efficient down by the goal line. But I remain skeptical that any offense will use the formation much beyond that. Two tight ends should quickly become a bread-and-butter package for this team, and with injuries and substitutions, having three “starters” on the roster isn’t a bad thing at all. But let’s not get carried away beyond that.
Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com isn’t ready to give up on Danny Watkins:
He had 2 huge issues in the past. First, he didn’t take well to Howard Mudd’s coaching style. That brought out the worst in Watkins. Second, Danny is a much, much better run blocker than pass blocker. So naturally he didn’t thrive when pass blocking 40 times a game. If Kelly does run the ball as much as we expect, that will allow Danny to do something he’s good at and should help build up his confidence.
We’ll continue to look at the depth chart and more.