Weekend Reading: Lurie at the 20-Year Mark

Chip And Lurie
Some links to pass along. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Twenty years have passed since Jeffrey Lurie took over as owner of the Eagles. Zach Berman of the Inquirer talked to the owner about, among other things, not capturing a Super Bowl championship to date.

[H]e is obsessed with chasing the title that eludes the franchise. Eight NFL owners have been in the league longer than Lurie, and four of them also have not won a Super Bowl.

“I anticipated it being difficult, but I thought if you can get to four, five, six championship games, or get to the playoffs the majority of the years, as we have, then you’d have the luck that would transcend whatever strengths or weaknesses you have,” Lurie said. “Other teams have had that. We haven’t. If you keep the same values and the same passion to do the best you can, that’ll right itself over time.”

Those values serve as the blueprint of Lurie’s ownership. He once kept a checklist next to his bed of ingredients he thought winning franchises required: “great” facilities at which to practice and play; a “dynamic” head coach; a “very good” general manager and personnel staff, with resources for scouting and procuring ascending players; and a franchise quarterback.

Mel Kiper lists receivers Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff as rookies who could have an early impact.

Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff will both see action for the Eagles, and I expect Matthews to have the bigger early impact, although the targets can be spread around in Chip Kelly’s system.

On defense, he goes with Stanford safety Ed Reynolds.

Ed Reynolds could have gone a few rounds higher had he stayed at Stanford for another year. But his talent and instincts against the pass could get him on the field in Philadelphia early in his career.

Pro Football Focus ranked the top-100 players in 2013 based off their metrics. Evan Mathis (A PFF favorite) came in seventh.

This last season he was the top-ranked guard in the league by some distance, with a run-blocking grade of +40.2, more than twice as much as the next best guard. He has the perfect combination of size, speed, athleticism and technique and that mix of skills is even more prized within Chip Kelly’s offense that requires its linemen to work well on the move and not simply move a pile in front of them.

And  LeSean McCoy finished eighth.

It wasn’t just in base statistics that McCoy saw a big jump in play. The extra space that Kelly’s system afforded him allowed him to do so much more with the ball in his hands and the grading at PFF reflects that. He led the league with a +31.0 overall grade, which is more than three times his previous best mark over a season.

The eight additional missed tackles forced by McCoy meant that his season tally of 57 was his career best mark as well. Everybody knew that McCoy was one of the league’s most exciting running backs, but within that Chip Kelly offense he proved he can be one of the best as well, forming a formidable rushing attack for the Eagles.

Geoff Mosher talked to one AFC personnel man who believes undrafted free agent receiver Kadron Boone (6-0, 204) will snatch a spot on the roster.

Had he gone to any other college, Boone might have emerged into more of known commodity, maybe even into an NFL draft pick. But in his last year at Louisiana State, Boone played on the same squad as future first-round wideout Odell Beckham Jr., future second-round receiver Jarvis Landry and two running backs who were each last week drafted in the top five rounds.

There just weren’t enough footballs for everyone. So Boone caught just seven passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns last year, a steep dropoff in production that led the 6-foot, 204-pound receiver to fall completely out of the draft and sign a rookie free-agent deal with the Eagles.

Boone’s tumble is apparently the Eagles’ gain. Said one AFC personnel man who scouted the former LSU wideout: “He’s gonna make that team.”

 




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  • Neanderthal

    Does a gold standard go well with an ivory tower?

  • Will

    Defenses Win Championships!…after 20 years you would think you’d at least figure that one out…2004 the Eagles had the 2nd best Defense in the NFL and the 8th best Offense…and lost in the Super Bowl…

    • evanphilly

      If the Eagles D can finish in the top 20, this team will be fine. I think Kelly is about two years ahead of the curve when it comes to running an offense.

      • Will

        The Eagles will need a top 3 Defense at least…a top 20 Defense won’t get the job done…

        • evanphilly

          Eagles will have a top 3 (or better) Offense. That’s why I don’t think the D needs to be in the top 10 (or better). If the D can generate 1 or 2 more three and outs a game, that will be a big difference.

          • Will

            Denver had the #1 Offense and 8th best Defense….how’d that work out for them when they ran into the best Defense in the NFL…scored 8 points and lost…

          • MediaMike

            That makes sense in abstract, but if Denver’s o-line didn’t suck that game would have been a good deal closer. Total conjecture, but if you put the Eagles O-line in front of Manning in that game; Denver has a chance to win.

          • Will

            Denver went out and did everything they could to get better on Defense…

          • MediaMike

            As they should have. Their O-line is going to get better by default however due to the return of Clady.

          • John E. Zang

            Exactly and everyone overlooks the fact that they exposed Manning. Everyone now know he can’t throw a deep ball. They came at him aggressively and stuffed the short routes. That’s why they creamed them. I believe Denver may implode this year.

          • MediaMike

            I don’t think Manning was exposed at all, he just had scary hit-squad dudes in his face all day. No QB plays well under those circumstance. There isn’t a QB alive who can beat Seattle’s D if they’re winning up front like that.

          • John E. Zang

            The o-line had their share of the blame as well but if they didn’t have a statue at qb that can’t sit longer than 1.5 secs in the pocket with an offense that’s designed for that, I think Denver would’ve had some plays to make. Take nothing away from Seattle but I’ve a feeling Denver doesn’t look so hot going down the stretch this year.

          • MediaMike

            They could fade a little bit as well, but I’d take the statue with pinpoint accuracy and great decision making over any of the scramble bums who can’t read a D and do nothing but shorten their own careers through imbecilic and gratuitous running, bad INTs, and generally dull football.

          • John E. Zang

            Totally with you on that. I like pocket qb’s but manning is the extreme of a pocket qb. Foles has some ability to side step a pass rush. He has a better arm at this stage of his career as well. Manning simply isn’t accurate enough down field to hit the big plays. Richard Sherman said it before the Super Bowl. That was their game plan and man did it work.

          • MediaMike

            I guess I like Manning (P) better than you do, but I see that we’re in general agreement. I think a Big Ben / Rivers / Foles type foot mover is a good way to be.

          • paul from nc

            True. And you might say the same thing about the Eagles. Except we have Kelly and a lot of different options for Foles

          • paul from nc

            True, but the O line is a part of the offense, so that kind of defeats the argument.
            We will never win a super bowl with a bottom 10 defense, no matter how good the offense is. You can never “outscore” 3 good playoff teams in a row. The defense needs to get off the field on 3rd down.
            I agree it depends on the combination of O & D. And with our offense, I still think you need a top 5 to 10 defense to win it all.

          • evanphilly

            Welp…you are correct. You win. Eagles need the #1 O and the #1 D to win the SB. So….why even bother watching the games then? Have any ideas on what to do on Sundays?

          • Will

            #1 Offense a #3-5 Defense and a great PK to seal the deal…

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

            Enough will with These singular anecdotes. Stop making such sweeping generalizations

          • MediaMike

            I got you’re sweeping generalization right here Rob; the Eagles sweep the NFC East this year with a 6-0 record!

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

            I can live with that one

          • MediaMike

            I can’t live without it. F Dallas, F Washing, and F + Kill New York.

          • Will

            Currently the Eagles are #3 on Offense and #24th on Defense…that’s being very generous but that’s where the team is…and one and done in the play offs…

          • MediaMike

            You realize that they’d have been a very live team to have played in Seattle for the NFC title game if Alex Henery didn’t suck at life.

          • Will

            Well hate to say it but the Eagles did little to fix the place kicking situation…

          • MediaMike

            Murder Leg Murder Leg Murder Leg!

            But yeah, not getting a better kicker was a failing (thus far) of this offseason.

          • Will

            Strong leg to hit the end zone but 81% accuracy on FG’s not cool at all…

          • MediaMike

            He’ll get a chance to kick with a better long snapper and holder here than he did at Vandy. We’ll see if that, along with NFL level special teams coaching, can help him improve. Although he did already play for the best head coach in college football at Vandy, so perhaps Murder Leg has already maxed his talents.

          • paul from nc

            Why is everybody saying he has a strong leg? The stat I saw when they brought him in was his kickoffs avg’d 60.4 yds. Doesn’t that mean they come down on the 4?

            If you look at that highlight film of his great tackle, his kickoff came down at the 10.

          • Eagles1018

            That and a bit more comp at ILB. I can live with the OGs and Barbre backing up most of the line

          • MediaMike

            O-line is a bit scary in terms of depth, but Barbre was solid when he played. If they go down two starters, it’ll get bad.

            They must really love their backup ILBs, so we’ll see what shakes out as the season starts. You really can’t get better everywhere all at once, so the 2015 off-season is also going to be (and hopefully that last one) one where there will be some major roster turnover in play.

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

            Yea, chip said they had a huge drop off in talent after Mosley. I can live with that

          • paul from nc

            Actually the offense threw away 2 or 3 scores in the 1st half against the Saints. That was the difference, we should have had a double digit lead, and their score at the end would have been moot

          • Matt

            You realize that Henery wasn’t the reason that they lost that game right? NO could have easily scored a TD if Henery made that FG.

          • Maggie

            That was last year, not Week 12 or 13 this year.

          • Will

            A Good Defense trumps a Good Offense….

          • tommy_the_k

            I propose an experiment:Let’s put Chip’s offense against the best defense in the league, and see what happens. I wonder how we can arrange this?

          • Eagles1018

            They play each other like week 12 or 13

          • Will

            Week 14 we get to play Seattle at home and we will see exactly where we are as a Team….Sweeping generalizations a side….

          • Fly High

            Offense and defense rank are just numbers, and that is not what wins playoffs. It comes down to, can you game plan to disrupt a certain opponent when you are on D, and can you keep on your track and adjust when you are on O. Seattle’s D had an executed a great plan against Denver. The saints O and D outsmarted us some in that playoff game, although we were really close.

          • Fly High

            Our D will definitely be better this year. Everyone has another year in the system. We added Jenkins, Carroll, and the rookies. Wolff is healthy.I think the way we played the 2nd half of last year is our floor (unless we have big injuries) and our ceiling is bottom half of the top 10. Great corners and one great pass rusher is what we need to go above that.

        • knighn

          Why are you making up these numbers? As long as a team is complete enough Top 20 Defense has been good enough for multiple teams in the last 10 years. See: Ravens (also had 4th worst TOP that season); Giants; Colts just for starters. This has been demonstrated multiple times here in the last year alone. You think this changed because of the Seahawks and Peyton Manning’s chokefest? Stop being ignorant. It is not the 1990s. I am super pissed at you for making me type this with my left hand (car accident on Wed broke right wrist. Stop Signs mean Stop, People!)

          • knighn

            More on Peyton Manning: how can a QB run a no-huddle offense that should have been in hurry-up mode and consistently get the ball snapped with fewer than 10 seconds on the clock?! Way to keep a good defense on its toes, Peyton! Manning was such an idiot choker in that game. I was pissed off at him watching that game and I’m still pissed thinking about it.

          • Eagles1018

            Not bad typing for a lefty.

          • knighn

            Righty and not at all ambidexterous. It’s a bit irritating to do everything, including typing. Still Thankful to God that I was the only one hurt and not worse!

          • Will

            Yea that suks ,,I’ve had a few near misses look both ways now…beside stop signs , red lights too…anyways don’t be pissed we want the same thing a Super Bowl win I just think to get there the Defense needs a little love…last 10 years have been good Offensively yet we have no Super Bowl wins. A truly Great Defense I think is the way to Win a Super Bowl….just my opinion I’m hoping this Defense is much improved over last years squad in year two of the Billy Davis era…

          • knighn

            Stop and really look. This guy must have hardly looked. I thank God I was the only one hurt and really not that bad. The guy had his family in his Mini-Van.

            Offenses have been over-rated for the Eagles from 2005-2012. Lots of yards but stalled in the Red Zone. Lots of boom and bust. Take away the big passes and you slew the Eagles. 2009 Season ‘boys got that. In the last game of the season and playoffs they moved safeties up and CBs back. Gave the ‘boys better defense against the run and McNabb was not great on some short / timing passes. Shut McNabb down for back-to-back games. ‘Boys used the same strategy in both games and Reid / Eagles couldn’t figure it out.

            I am also hoping that the Eagles defense is better but I do not believe that a top D is necessary or preferable in an era when all of the rules / officiating favors the offense. The NFL doesn’t want to watch 7-3 games and will keep adjusting until high-scoring is more of the norm.

          • Maggie

            Yup. The League has been changing the rules ever since they said Night Train Lane couldn’t remove heads anymore. Then the Mel Blount rule. etc.

          • PaoliBulldog

            At least he didn’t post a 2015 mock draft.

          • Will

            lol…way too early for that …lol…out of all the picks the only one the Eagles got I had was Jordan Matthews…which I hope he works into a Super Star WR for us…

          • knighn

            I would rather have everyone post mock drafts for the next 5 years than to watch one more person mistakenly type:
            Defenses Win Championships

          • NickS1

            Everyone knows the white outline means that the Stop is optional :)

          • PaoliBulldog

            Woke up today and saw a story about a young motorcyclist killed by a 16 year old girl who disregarded a stop sign. Sheesh.

          • knighn

            Yeah. 16 year-olds shouldn’t be driving. The risk-reward mechanism in the brain is so poorly developed at that point. Such a shame.

          • Maggie

            Sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you’re not having any nightmares about the accident! Agree on stop signs!

          • knighn

            No nightmares, just a slightly more nervous passenger. Keeping Proverbs 17:22 in mind. Think you posted that one as a joke, but it is good advice! Thanks!

          • IAteLunchToday

            Your problem is that you’ve been reading too much about the Eagles and Chip Kelly. You are always thinking about offense. But you need to drive defensively. Defense wins champion… I mean defensive driving saves lives (and wrists!).

          • knighn

            I am a numbers and logic guy more than anything. I can see which way the Football winds are blowing. The direction is more scoring (Fantasy Football / NFL Red Zone) and more safety (notice those rules tend to favor offense too?)

            Man, I can drive defensively, but if I can’t even drive the Speed Limit safely then we are in a truly crazy world. Maybe it’s time to say “F Fuel Economy” and start driving a Hummer!

          • IAteLunchToday

            I’ve had to watch driving safety videos in the past and they always repeated “many dead drivers had the right away.” So that’s what I was joking about driving defensively. I’m glad you’re (mostly) fine, though.

            Also, I was just joking about the defense wins championships. I was just making a parallel between my initial thought about your accident and the previous discussion on defense. One, I don’t think Chip ignores defense as much as people like to think he does, and two, I’m all about watching offense. Defensive struggles bore me.

            I, too, think Chip is reading the tea leaves and is going to take advantage of the opportunities to score (and win). Chip just wants to win. I don’t think he really cares how. He’s a smart guy and is going to do what he thinks will give him that opportunity.

        • John E. Zang

          Every year is different. Yes having a great defense doesn’t hurt but remember colts/saints? Or Green Bay/Pittsburgh? I think you have to be exceptional at one thing be it offense or defense and be strong across the board in all phases. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. This year was defense next year could be a prolific offense .

          • MediaMike

            Be strong on both lines. Have a QB who can make big throws w/o making mistakes, and have solid special teams.

            Not easy to do, but I agree with you that there are a few ways be champs.

          • Eagles1018

            Remember the Rams and the greatest show on turf? Awesome offense and Mike Martz was a great play caller. BUT…if you listen to Kurt Warner and some of the guys on offense, when the team struggled to score they were grateful to have their defense keep them in those games by slowing down other offenses. Hence….defense wins championships. I wholeheartedly believe in this concept. And I know CK wants to just run up the score and win 48-35 every game but it’s not realistic. This defense better step it up. They played very well but layed some eggs (Den and Minn come to mind) and when you look at games like the first Cowboys game we put up 3 points…defense will need to contribute much more. Top 5? Maybe not necessary. I’d like a top 15 and just get off the damn field on more 3rd downs than not

          • NickS1

            We cut our 3rd down (in)efficiency ratio by a third or (hopefully) half, and we’re talking about a top 15 D, IMO.

          • John E. Zang

            Sure no one denies you need defense. But history has proven that you don’t need the greatest defense in the league to win it all. Same can be said for offense. Like I said bottom line is you need to be great at one thing and not have any glaring weakness in any other phase. Quality depth and to be exceptional on one side of the ball gives you a good chance.

          • knighn

            Well said,

      • paul from nc

        I’d say top 5 to 10. In order to have a realistic shot against the better level teams. The offense should be top 3 this year if they all continue as last year.

        • cliff henny

          depends what stat you go by. if yards, eagles wont ever be top 10, kelly just plays too wide open of a game. turnovers and redzone, eagles get top 5-10 in that, be a lot of W’s.

    • MediaMike

      They’re building that element of things. They just need to upgrade ILB for 2015 and that D will continue to improve. I think they’ll be better at DE, OLB, and S this year!

      • Will

        We get to play Seattle week 14 this year and we will know exactly where we are as a football team…

  • Reasonableeaglefan

    Totally off topic here. I was impressed to see Malcolm Jenkins already having a presence in the community when he participated in a local football camp for high school players yesterday. The camp was hosted by Jenkins former teammate, Jahri Evans (Saints OG), a local guy who runs this camp every year at his former high school, Frankford in NE Philly. Just wanted to take a moment to recognize those who give a little bit of their time.

    • Will

      Totally cool love to hear when the player’s take time to give back to the local community leaves a positive impression on those kids that lasts a lifetime.

      • Reasonableeaglefan

        It is a really cool thing for these kids. A few years ago I was there when Evans and Charles Grant, who was playing DE for the Saints at the time, took a group of these kids bowling afterwards. It was nice to see these guys taking time, even though it didn’t get a lot of play in the media.

        • Dominik

          “even though it didn’t get a lot of play in the media”

          That’s sad, on the one hand. On the other hand, it shows TRUE commitment by those guys if they are doing it without calling the media. That means they do it because they want to, not because they want good PR.

          • Maggie

            It follows that we don’t know half of the commitments that various athletes make to the community at large.

    • Bird of Prey

      Great post.

  • MediaMike

    I enjoy having Lurie own the team. He’s in it to win it, but without the horrific meddling and disgusting neo-fascist political contributions of Ed Snider.

    I haven’t paid for a Flyers ticket since Snider subjected the fans to a Sarah Palin campaign appearance by having her drop the puck at a game in the middle of the 2008 campaign.

  • Eagles1018

    If Kadron Boone can flash some of this and beat out a Demaris Johnson or Jeff Maehl I think we’d have a solid 5 receivers from top to bottom:

    • MediaMike

      Special Teams contribution would be key for him. If not, he could creep on the practice squad for a year and take over Maclin’s roster spot for 2015 when Maclin becomes an “unnamed source” in another city.

      • Eagles1018

        Ha

        • MediaMike

          All hate all the time with Maclin!

          • Brandon Boykin, LOL

            Every time you bash Maclin I like your post. Don’t get me wrong, I hope he has a great season. But I hate the love he gets. He’s got the name self tacklin Maclin for a reason!!!

      • Dominik

        I think the AFC team which spoke to Mosher might grab him from the PS.

    • PaoliBulldog

      That shouldn’t be too difficult, actually.

  • MediaMike

    If Lurie really wants to prove that he’s that good of an owner he should bring in the Lambda Lambda Lambda boys to engineer a football kicking shoe to compensate for Alex Henery’s limp legged kicking style.

    MURDER LEG!

    • laeagle

      I can hear the whistling sound the ball makes as it wobbles through the uprights…

    • Maggie

      Who was the kicker with half a foot, Tom Dempsey? Had half a shoe, too. Held the NFL record for longest field goal for many years.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        So are you saying that we should contemplate Henery cutting off his toes to improve his kicking distance?

        • Maggie

          Was actually referring to MediaMike’s reference to engineering a different shoe, but……Wouldn’t work with a soccer style kicker, though. Maybe he should take some aerobics classes. They work on the adductors and abductors all the time. Would make for a stronger sideways kick, wouldn’t it?

  • Will

    Mind blowing Super Bowl Stats….after 20 years of trying…go get a #1 Defense…

    Better regular-season offense or defense?

    The team with the better regular-season offense (yards per game) is 22-25 in the Super Bowl, while the team with the better regular-season defense is 30-17.

    There have been 21 Super Bowls in which one team had the better offense and better defense; those teams are 13-8. There have been 26 Super Bowls in which one team had the better offense, but the other team had a better defense. In those games, the team with the better defense is 17-9.

    This season, the Broncos finished the regular season with the NFL’s best offense, while the Seattle Seahawks had the NFL’s best defense.

    • knighn

      In the past 5 seasons, when two teams faced off in the Super Bowl, the team with the better regular season defense lost 4 out of 5 times. Stop looking at 20 years ago and look more recent. Fantasy football reigns supreme now. The NFL wants offense. If teams can’t provide enough, NFL will change rules / officiating until it gets more high-scoring shoot outs.

      • Will

        The stats simply show that the team with a better Defense wins more often than not…Having the #1 Offense does not bode as well…so to improve your odds of winning a Super Bowl you are better off with the Best Defense…Defenses Win Championships…

        • knighn

          Just look at the last 5 seasons. Tell me the O and D ranking (scoring / yards) of the two teams involved. The 2014 Eagles are not playing in 1974, 1984, 1994 or even 2004. They are playing in 2014 (and in 2015). The changes in football make the last 5 years much more relevant than the last 40.
          EDIT: granted, I currently don’t think the Eagles are ready for a Super Bowl yet, but they’re heading in the right direction.

          • Will

            Seattle #13th Offense, and #1 Defense…Denver #1 Offense, and #6th Defense

            Seattle and today are what matters…week 14 this year we will see how we measure up…we play the Seahawks at the Linc..

          • knighn

            I’d say tomorrow matters more. I think the 2015 Eagles are what we’re looking for. You seem to be all about the #1 defense. So question: are you talking yards, scoring, PFF ranking? And how many times has the #1 D made the Super Bowl in the last 10 years? In the last 5? I can’t do the footwork right now (broken wrist and all) but shouldn’t that be every year?

        • Max Lightfoot

          True. To a large extent last season, the Eagles’ defense played over their talent level. That cannot be sustained in the playoffs. Playoff teams play a more conservative, defense-centered game, which can throttle or at least limit a high-scoring offense like Chip Kelly’s.

          And it takes time to build a great defense: It took three years after Seattle’s best defensive draft to win a Super Bowl. But at least we are on the way and it will result, I believe, in at least one playoff win this year.

          • NickS1

            They played well in the playoff game. Got hurt in the run game, but our perceived biggest weakness, the pass D, played outstanding ball.

          • paul from nc

            Our offense let us down in the first half, leaving 2 or 3 scores on the field. The D actually did pretty well. That game was there for the taking, and we blew it.

          • Max Lightfoot

            What I wrote is not a knock on their defense. In some games they were magnificent. I was astonished at how well they responded in the second half of the season, and, as you say, showed outstanding pass D in the New Orleans game. The problem was that they could not sustain a solid, overall defense, due to a lack of talent, deep into the playoffs.

            This draft has really helped address the run and the passing defense, so hopefully Billy Davis’ defense won’t need to “play over their heads,” talent-wise. They are getting there, but it does take a few drafts and T-I-M-E. I think Chip and Billy are building something really significant here. Go Eags!

    • Warhound

      Given the changes in rules/officiating how about just the last ten (or maybe 20) years? NOTE: I’m more a “D” guy – I want my team to win 4-3.
      EDIT: knighn beat me to it; and points out another reason to hate the existence of Fantasy Football (Not those who play it – and if I did play I’d be all in – but the way it has changed the coverage of the game and is impacting the league rules).

  • Bullwinkle

    The Evan Mathis story makes me wonder about how many talented players never make it in the NFL due to lack of opportunity. In addition to having talent, sometimes success is a matter of perseverance and being in the right place at the right time. Evan Mathis and Kurt Warner are 2 excellent examples.

  • Will

    The bottom line the Eagles will go as far as the Defense allows them….Seattle has the #13th Offense and the #1 Defense…The Eagles have the #3rd Offense and the #24th Defense…that’s the facts…

    • PhillySean

      Are you upset about the Byrd thing?

      • Will

        No Byrd was too high priced…just stating my belief Defense wins Championships…

        • PhillySean

          I think it takes longer to go from a 4/3 to a 3/4 than it does to take the offense in a new direction.

          • Will

            Yup hoping they have a blue print to build this defense…Ryan took the worst defense to #4 in a single season…so having the right Coach, Scheme and player’s all matter…The Eagles defense flashed greatness till they ran into teams with winning records…think the eagles Defense will be better this year…

          • Warhound

            Should be better. At the risk of being Obvious Man: 2nd year of scheming for the DC, 2nd year in the scheme for the players and better play at S should take the Eagles up to the 12-16 range if not better.

          • Will

            Thinking the same.. spot on…maybe a few surprises from unknown players being contributors to a better Defense this year…

          • paul from nc

            That would be a good improvement, and fairly realistic goal for this team. They might win 1 or 2 games in the playoffs if they can achieve that and the Offense stays at last years level.

          • Warhound

            Especially a true two gap 3-4.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I think it’s more a matter of a defense being able to make big plays in big moments. Last season I think the Achilles heel for our defense was 3rd down. With additional help for the secondary and pass rush, that area should improve. I see the defense making strides this year to being ranked in the middle of the pack. But ’15 is where I see the defense becoming a formidable one that should become a top 10 unit, to go along with an already top ranked offense. I don’t think we’ll ever really have a juggernaut (top 2-3) defensive unit, but we’ll have a respected unit that will make those big plays in big moments.

    • knighn

      You get an A for effort. I give you that much. You sound like you love D more than O so I hate to break this to you: if the Eagles D gets even a little better, the O should rack up even more points and yards. D is going to get little love in this City!

    • NCBiRDMann22

      Our defense rank doesn’t really tell the whole story. By years end the unit was playing more into the 12-15 range if you ask me. They progressed greatly over the year and with the new additions to the squad they should have no problem moving up the ranks.

  • PhillySean

    ‘a “dynamic” head coach’

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that we have this. In (fairly) recent times we’ve had two very accomplished coaches who seemed to be fixated on concepts or approaches to the game at the expense of winning at the highest level. No need to bash Reid, I think we’re all familiar with the various ways that he was stuck in a rut. Buddy Ryan (as much as I loved watching his teams) failed to evolve and it took Bud Carson to take that D squad to the next level. I’ve seen zero indication that CK would cling to an idea while the world passed him by. If anything, he’s far more like Bud Carson (always evolve, demand smart play from smart players) than he is like Ryan or Andy.

    • Will

      In fairness to Buddy Ryan who suffered the Fog Bowl in Chicago, the death of Jerome Brown and being fired…left alone and given more time I think he would of gotten it done…just the thought of Rich Kotie sickens me…

      • Warhound

        He did a better job on the Off side than most people give him credit for. He might’ve gotten it done if he would have gotten Randall some decent coaching.

    • Will

      Well as much as CK loves ST.I am bewilder by his response to PK Henry and wonder how important that position is to CK? So many games in the NFL are very tight contests decided by 4 or less points in the final minutes…every FG matters when your Offense gets bogged down….

      • Maggie

        It’s the middle of May. The Front Office and Head Coach could have their eyes on a dozen possible kickers, after the first cutdown, for all we know. And maybe Chip thinks that having people on ST who can STOP the opponents’ runbacks, or create longer runbacks for the Eagles, might be more important.

      • EagleDuck

        Kicker was always Kelly’s Achilles Heal at Oregon… Didn’t seem to matter much then (except for a painful USC loss), but it’s definitely going to matter now. I sincerely hope this doesn’t become the chronic problem it was at Oregon (pun totally intended)

      • Matt

        I think its because he actually understands kicking, and realizes that Henery is not a problem.

  • Will

    The old adage is that “defense wins championships.” As discussed last week,
    that cliché seems more and more like a vestige of the past with each
    passing season, as the NFL becomes more and more focused on offense
    ahead of defense.

    But that’s not to say stopping the opponent isn’t important. After
    all, some of the best offenses in NFL history weren’t able to lead their
    team to a Super Bowl victory.

    Dan Fouts and Air Coryell never lifted the Lombardi Trophy. The 1999 Minnesota Vikings came up short, as did the record-setting offense of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots
    in 2007. And just last season, Peyton Manning’s high-powered attack in
    Denver was bested by Seattle’s swarming defense in the Super Bowl.

    So while the league may be trending toward offense, defense is still
    important. Stopping people is still a part of any championship formula.- per Cover 32 staff

  • NickS1

    Thoughts on the Sixers trying to make a move for Kevin Love after the draft lottery happens? I’d trade the second 1st rounder this year, two second rounders this year, and the next first or two to get him here and have him play with MCW and Parker/Wiggins. Let’s go Hinkie!

    • cliff henny

      depends, better be a sign and trade, if so, dump everything but 1st this yr, within reason.. cant see him wanting Philly. even if Wiggins and Noel play up to MCW rookie level, still 3 yrs away. Love has been in NBA wasteland for too long, bet he wants to win ASAP, so he’ll saddle up with another star or 2..

      • NickS1

        I agree. I just meant from the Sixers’ perspective, though. The roster and the possible addition of Parker (or Wiggins) and Noel coming back is certainly enticing, though. The sign and trade is a must, obviously. But I think the Sixers would have a decent shot given all the assets that Hinkie has assembled through brilliant tanking and salary dumping. In the end, I agree with you from his perspective. Definitely wants a contender. I’d think GS is the most likely.

        • cliff henny

          i doubt sixers would be that interested. even with Love, 3 yrs out, mostly cause LeBron needs to age some, see if OKC implodes roster andit simply takes longer in nba than nfl. if i were Hinkie, i’d just draft 2 top 12 guys, wheel and deal with those 2 early 2nds (more euro-stash), thad, and roster space for more high end draft assets, plus keep ’16 cap open. eat money in ’14 and ’15 for assets, groom kids, then go buck wild in FA when Noel, MCW and hopefully Wiggins and Gordon (did you hear the whatever they call nba combine, dude outjumped the jump test…you know Hinkie shot off a pant-rocket) are seasoned. remember, sixers make playoff in’14, they loose 1st rd pick. think they’ll be 1 more yr of tanking. not so obvious, just playing extreme youth that has moments, but cant quite close games.

          • NickS1

            I just googled the Gordon vertical. 39 for a PF/C is the 3rd highest all time, behind my Dukie Miles Plumlee and Tyrus Thomas. Nick Johnson’s is 41.5 which is sick. That’s nuts. You make a good case against it because of LeBron, but we all know LeBron can’t win w/o Wade, who’s done in a year or two. So there’s that, but in the end, probably right. Like I said, GS is a good possibility, but I don’t know that they give up Thompson to do it.

          • cliff henny

            Gordon is also 7footer w/ 7’6 wingspam, lordy, it’s crazy. Noel is near that too, MCW is like 6’6 with 7ft wingspam, and Wiggins has similar to MCW. it’d literally be impossible to pass over or thru sixers. not even sure there’s getting past. big issue is those 4 combined might weight 850lbs, need to unretire a rick mahorn to lay some people out
            .
            i’d give up about anything except Curry to get Love, cause those 2 would attract others.

          • NickS1

            Gordon is 6’9″, but yeah, if the Sixers got him and Parker/Wiggins, the length is great and helps the D big time. Curious to see what Hinkie does, or if he even gets involved in any trade talks with MIN…. Yeah’d I’d probably give up Thompson and a first or two. Love’s one of the few players I can stand to watch in the NBA just because he plays excellent fundamental ball and is just so damn smart on the court. Plus, those Pepsi commercials with Irving are great.

          • cliff henny

            yup, you are right. dont follow nba like nfl, just going off libertyballers. some measurements might be exaggerations.

            http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Aaron-Gordon-6458/

            thought he was 6’11, know he has insane wingspan, which is way more important. only 7ft wingspam. cant shoot freethros to save his life, but oddly doesnthavebad stroke and made good percentage of 3’s considering ft%. think brown can fix him.
            .
            my guess is Hinkie is going to be a 3-way king. drafts picks to eat salary, and toss thad in. guy needs to get to winner, he’s done his time in philly.

          • NickS1

            I only knew his height from having just looked up the combine jump. I thought he was like 6’6″ before I saw it haha…. you saying you think Hinkie is moving on soon?

          • CTAZPA

            AZ Hoops lover here. Gordon measured 6’7 1/2″ at the combine. He’s sick athletically. Can defend point guards all the way to power forwards. He even shut down a stretch center against Oregon State. He’s amazing on the break and is all about winning and team. Good shot blocker, decent rebounder. The shooting is crazy. One free throw after the next looks great, but they clank. I admit, he did have some bricks thrown in as well, but I could see him hitting 70% instead of the 42% he produced last year. He’s young and has a HUGE upside. It would be so great to see the Sixers get him at 10. I expect that he’ll be gone though.

            For Philly/AZ connection, I’ll have to content myself with rooting for Nick Foles.

          • NickS1

            Oh wow, I thought I saw 6’9″ but I’ll defer to the AZ fan. As I said below, I thought he was like 6’6″ from watching him. Kid is a great talent and definitely has a lot of upside. He’s definitely not making it to 10. Might be top 5.

    • PaoliBulldog

      I have read stories claiming that Love wants to be a Laker. I can see why.

  • Rick H

    IMO the Eagles need to go 4 and 2 in the first six games before the bye. If they manage to go 5 and 1 and have the same health as the previous year then it could really get exciting.
    However on the other hand if the Eagles come out of the gate 3 and 3 I for one am not going to panic at all. The Eagles coaching staff in my opinion is now one of the best in the NFL. That is a huge advantage because great coaching throughout the staff leads to really good teams.

  • paul from nc

    Lurie says … “if you get to (several) championship games… you’d have the luck that would transcend whatever strengths or weaknesses you have.”
    And that my friends is why we have no super bowls.

    Spending some of that extra cap money each year, might be better than hoping for luck.

    • PaoliBulldog

      That’s never been the Eagles’ problem:

      http://goo.gl/TOl75S

    • Maggie

      Some people here keep insisting that the Eagles lost to the Saints last season because of one play by one player. Just watched part of the Super Bowl game replay between Pittsburgh and Arizona. Ben gets so much praise, yet he overthrew Holmes so badly the last two plays it was ridiculous. The one fluke winning play by one WR won that game. Everything else before it didn’t matter, apparently. Not game planning, not defense, not offense, not coaching. According to some on here. In reality it is not the only playoff game which was seemingly decided on one fluke play.

      • paul from nc

        I’m not sure if you’re agreeing or not. But I’m saying Henerey was not the main reason we lost that Saints game. The offense missed several scoring chances that would have made his bad kick, or the penalty, irrelevant.

  • JosephR2225

    Bought the team in 1994 for $185 Million, a record at the time. Current estimates have the team value at $1.344 Billion. That’s good work if you can get it.

    • A Roy

      That’s only $50M per year increase in the value of the franchise. Of course they need two more games to make ends meet.

      • Corey Dawson

        Averaged 10.4% annual growth rate over that time. Stock market did 8%ish. Not a bad investment.

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

    Tommy has a good article up about the draft, and linked to one FFL writer who really liked Matthews, and thinks he’ll contribute (i.e., score) immediately.

    In reading the article, I loved his addendum:
    Note: As an organization, the Eagles are leaving the New York Giants in the dust.

    say what now? When I realized it’s a buy site, I saved the article as a .pdf for the crowd

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xacqs2n9z0abnlv/%E2%80%9CFu__ing%20Gain%20Yards.pdf

    ***another good one by him, looking at Sammy Watkins and Jordan Matthews against common opponents–

    http://rotoviz.com/index.php/2014/04/this-week-in-blasphemy-comparing-sammy-watkins-and-jordan-matthews-versus-common-opponents/

    • knighn

      These are excellent. Please post them again!!

      I didn’t like ODB for the Giants because Eli Manning tends to miss high. That’s part of what made Burress such a good fit. I thought a taller WR made more sense for them, even if the Giants had to wait until Round 2 for that WR. If I knew that, as an Eagles fan, how can the Giants front office NOT know that? I had heard about the size / scoring disparity but didn’t realize it was that extreme. Also like the Jordan Matthews stuff. Once again: These are excellent! Please post again! Thanks!

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

        thanks for the kind words. I’ll keep an eye on his writing during the season (as I’m a huge FFL fan/player). Not that I agree with everything he says, but I always appreciate an opinion supported by some relevant data and open to interpretation/discussion. Better than many of the hacks out there.
        Hope your wrist heals up soon!

    • Amar

      Thank you, very interesting reads.

  • quentin smith

    Not to be a complete homer and change the subject, but our Quarterback, Nick Foles, is in the Hall of Fame. Another weapon. Yea, he’s ours.

    Jacked for the Season!

    A GREEN Blooded Eagles Fan.

    E-A-G-L-E-S!!! EAGLES!

  • Kev_H

    Overall, Lurie has done okay, but I always thought his plan to be kind of good and hope for luck would be one that resulted in his team being kind of good but never winning it all. It didn’t help that he tied his hopes to a kind of good, but undisciplined coach with a complete lack of urgency for 15 years. Hopefully Chip brings the urgency to push them over the top rather than relying on luck.