Eagles Wake-Up Call: Who Will ‘Fall By The Wayside?’

Howie Roseman isn’t known for giving the juiciest of quotes, but he got some people’s wheels turning with his words on Wednesday following a panel discussion at Lincoln Financial Field. The question was whether the team is taking a wait-and-see approach to offering long-term extensions because of the new coaching staff. This was his response, courtesy of the team’s website:

“One of the things that’s hard for us and you’ve seen some of it this offseason, we’ve had players that were good players in a different scheme that we’ve invested in and it’s not going to turn over.

“For me, that’s different because we’ve been with one head coach, but when you talk with people around the league, they tell you, ‘When you change coaches, when you change schemes, there are going to be good players who fall by the wayside,’ and that’s hard for the general manager because you know it’s a good player. You know in a different scheme he’s going to be a good player, but at the same time you know it’s not a good fit for you.”

This isn’t exactly a revelation: significant scheme change is going to come with some casualties. But when you hear the general manager talking about quality holdovers who are destined to “fall by the wayside,” you can’t help but think of who might end up in that category.

The mind jumps to defense. Trent Cole and Brandon Graham are defensive ends learning to play outside linebacker. Can they make the transition?

Vinny Curry is trying to make it as a 3-4 D-end. Is it a force?

When DeMeco Ryans came to Philly via trade, the buzz was that he wasn’t a good fit for a 3-4. Any truth?  What about Mychal Kendricks?

Are the Eagles sold on Jeremy Maclin, whose contract is up at the end of the year? And then, of course, there’s the question of whether Nick Foles is truly a “Chip Kelly quarterback.”

It’s too early for Kelly or Roseman to have all the answers. But it’s a reminder that some pieces simply won’t fit, and that it could be a struggle until Kelly builds a roster that better complements his style.


With Howard Mudd and the 2012 season in the rearview, Danny Watkins seems to have a different attitude.

Sheil focuses in on the running backs in his latest depth chart outlook.

The starting safety jobs remain up for grabs.

Ron Jaworski doesn’t think Kelly’s system will translate.


 Damaris Johnson could be one player that benefits from the coaching change. From Jeff McLane:

“When I heard that Coach Kelly got hired, the one thing that just lit up in my mind was thinking, ‘Oh, man, it’s going to be a spread offense. He’s going to give guys the chance to have the ball in space, and I know that that works to my advantage.’ “

Both Andy Reid and Kelly are in an elite financial category, as PFT explains:

Of the nine pro coaches who make more than $6 million, eight of them are in the NFL: Payton, Patriots coach Bill Belichick ($7.5 million), Chiefs coach Andy Reid ($7.5 million), Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ($7 million), Rams coach Jeff Fisher ($7 million), Redskins coach Mike Shanahan ($7 million), Giants coach Tom Coughlin ($6.67 million) and Eagles coach Chip Kelly ($6.5 million).


We’ll speak to a bunch of the assistant coaches this afternoon, and will pass along what they have to say.

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  • southy

    I guess it speaks to how much Lurie wants to win, if he’s willing to take a guy out of the NCAA and make him one of the highest paid coaches in sports without having coached an NFL game.

    • eagle fan dwn south

      Every day is a gamble and t

    • JofreyRice

      My personal theory is that within the last 3 or 4 years, Lurie’s gotten impatient. He sat through almost 3 installments of Reid’s 5 year plan, and saw that Reid & Banner’s more conservative team-building model got them close, but not quite there. I think he noted the huge impact adding big ticket guys like Kearse & TO had in 2004, and wanted to go with a more aggressive philosophy in team building. After that failed, he turned to what he hopes is the next big thing in the NFL–Chip Kelly.

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

    Excited to hear from the coaches. Could you or Sheil give us some more info on them in the coming weeks? I’m especially curious about the defensive personnel groups, and what some of those coaches are emphasizing.

  • pjcostello

    One could argue that some such players have already ‘fallen by the wayside’. Admittedly, we’re not talking about All-Pro players here, but Mike Patterson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Cullen Jenkins spring to mind — decent players that didn’t fit what the new coaching staff wanted to do. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all, in my opinion.

    • David J Daniels

      I agree…the players have already fallen by the wayside…including Nnamdi, Landri, and Akeem Jordan. Everyone that is here now can play in this system; competition will determine who stays and plays.

    • illadelphia21

      Think he meant more about the current roster w/ chip here rather than last years roster. And Cullen was an excellent schem fit. Chip wants versatility and Davis is switching us to a 3-4 hybrid. Jenkins could play the 3 or the 5 tech, he can 2 gap as a 3-4 DE and could play DT.

      • pjcostello

        Yes — I understood. I also referred to players from last year’s roster who were not thought to be a fit on this year’s squad. :-)

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    As long as Chippahs salary doesn’t count against the cap I couldn’t care if they paid him a billion dollars. The tab is on Jeff so drink up.

    • Bdawkbdawk

      Same here. I believe it was Bill Barnwell over at Grantland who said something to the tune of- because the NFL is a league of outstanding parity and there are such strict rules on how much you can spend, who you can spend it on, and practice limitations, the best thing an organization can do is overspend and outmaneuver on the uncapped or unrestricted parts of the game. That means state of the art complexes, training staff, medical staff, and coaches. Keep spending Jeff! I’l take ever advantage we can get.

    • cliff henny

      well, the 6.5m is coming from somewhere, and i doubt it’s being written on money off the Lurie Family Trust Fund.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        It’s coming from the Eagles revenue (who are highly profitable), has no affect on the cap, which is really the only financial number that matters as far as the competitive ability of the team goes. It’s chump change to the organization. They make over 50 mill on tickets alone, which is dwarfed by the billions in shared revenue from licensing, merchandise and TV deals.

        • cliff henny

          i know it’s not cap related, and lurie has alwaysed paid coaching staff well. it’s coming from fans pockets, commercial endorsers cause we keep the stands full. Lurie isnt cutting personal checks out of the kindness of his heart. to say it’s Lurie’s tab isnt true, it’s out of his pocket, which he getting from us and our undying support…all the money is off the backs of fans. hey, win a SB, double kelly’s salary, fine by me.

  • illadelphia21

    I think the 1st quote from Howie is more telling than the 2nd. It’s a give in that players will fall by the wayside in a scheme change. But the part that’s sounds off the loudest is when he says, it’s not going to turnover.” That puts us in the present tense and to me, signifies that there are players on this current roster who have already been judge, weighed, and found lacking. I could just be reading to much into it tho. Yet if not I am curious and anxious to see who.

  • Max Lightfoot

    I love my Birds but I suspect that there will be at least a handful of p[layers who don’t or won’t fit into Chip’s system (whatever that is). One thing I know is that it’s going to take two years to turn this team around. YMMV

  • Dominik

    Not an Eagles topic, but where is McCarthy on that coaching list? Has to feel a little bit underpaid if he sees a guy like Fisher making 7 million/year and he’s under 6.5 (at least if you trust that list). The guy has a great record over several years.

    Nothing against Chippah, but McCarthy also has a better record than him. 😉 Although I hope in a year or two we can say: not anymore. 😀

    I’m guessing the next contracts for the Harbaugh brothers, especially Jims contract, are going to be in the same region that the one mentioned above. And the Patriots could pay Belichick 15 Millions and still get value out of it. :) The dude with the hoodie is a genius, period.
    Can’t overstate the importance of a good coaching staff, imho, and the HC is the most important part of that staff.

  • HowieDon’tKnow

    Let’s hope Howie falls by the wayside. It would be nice if the Eagles got a front office man who knew what he was doing and was not clueless. It’s particularly interesting that the G-men, a far better run team, picked up Jenkins and Patterson.

  • morgan c

    I’m thinking about Oline too – maybe Herremans will struggle. As long as one of Watkins, Johnson, or Kelly picks it up though, we’ll be okay. Because you just know Kelce Mathis and Peters (assuming his foot is right which apparently it is) will be fine.