Report: Andy Reid Wants Nick Foles All to Himself

Now that Michael Vick is back for good, and Chip Kelly product Dennis Dixon has been signed too, presumptive Eagles starting QB Nick Foles may be expendable. Ever eager to relive those 2011-2013 Eagles glory years, Chiefs HC Andy Reid wants his man back. USA Today reports:

The Chiefs and new coach Andy Reid are interested in acquiring Foles if he becomes available, according to a person informed of the team’s thinking. The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs haven’t discussed their thoughts publicly, said the team is working on plans to add a quarterback and considers Foles a possibility.

It could be spurious, but given Reid’s fondness for the chap, in addition to his stubbornness and refusal to abandon a bad strategy, it makes sense too. [USA Today]

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Importance Of the Billy Davis Hire

The void Jim Johnson left when he passed away back in July of 2009 has not yet been filled.  The Eagles went  through three defensive coordinators in the last four seasons, and they all fell short. It is one of the biggest reasons why Andy Reid is now coaching the Chiefs.

The importance of assistant coaches can be lost to a degree when so much focus is on the head man. Chip Kelly is the story, he is the draw. He is also nothing if his staff can’t pull its weight.

We have seen the sharp contrast between the early Reid years in Philly compared to crashing end, and how vital his support system was to his success. There was Brad Childress, Steve Spagnuolo, Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera and Pat Shurmur (who is now Kelly’s offensive coordinator). But most of all there was Johnson.

Reid seemed perfectly comfortable leaving that side of the ball almost totally in Johnson’s hands. No need to meddle — that may only mess things up. That appears to be the way Kelly would like to have things as well.

“Specifically on game day, I don’t believe you can have someone micromanage it. When I was an offensive coordinator, I was fortunate that the two head coaches that I coached for allowed me to work,” said Kelly. “We’ll have discussions during the week about where we’re going with things, but on game day, those guys have to be able to not worry about who is second guessing them and who is over their shoulder. If I do have to second guess them and I do have to look over their shoulder, then I hired the wrong person.”

There is an image from last season that I often think of that might speak to this. Prior to a special teams unit taking the field, I noticed Reid regularly going up to the huddle towards the end of the season to count and make sure there were 11 men present. Maybe I just never noticed it before, but it struck me as symbolic of a coach’s fading trust in the men he chose to surround himself with.

With Johnson he had the field split in half. Sean McDermott, Juan Castillo and Todd Bowles could not offer such luxuries. He was forced to peer into the huddle.

Can Billy Davis provide a similar sense of confidence for Kelly that Reid enjoyed in his early years? Impossible to say for sure. But as Kelly mania gives way to the reality of life in the NFL, we’ll be reminded that the answer needs to be “yes” if Kelly plans on achieving true success.


The Eagles finally have a defensive coordinator. And a pretty noteworthy offensive line coach.

Get to know Davis and his preferred approach.

Sheil puts the entire coaching staff into focus.

In the latest Twitter Mailbag, we look at why Kelly and Nick Foles have yet to have a sit-down.

One national reporter says Kelly likes Foles, but “he’s not as high on Foles as some believe.”


ESPN the Magazine takes a further look at DeSean Jackson and his involvement in the music industry.

One week into the new year, Jackson is in a positive mood at a Burbank studio. After a six-week stretching regimen, he declares his ribs healed. He’s open and loose, draped on a couch, but tenses when asked if his career is out of balance. “Everyone has their opinion,” he says. “I’m acting. I do commercials. I do charity work almost every week. There’s so many things where you could be, Why is he doing this? Why is he doing that? I’m just living my life.”

With that he heads to the control room where the engineer is tweaking a mix, a work in progress in which he touches on a recurring theme: hater management. Jackson’s voice booms through the speakers: “And I ain’t the jealous type / I’m just livin’ my life.”

Donovan McNabb believes that Vick is a fit for Kelly.

“He fits in it very well, if you look at it from afar,” McNabb said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” on Wednesday. “If you look at just the 2010 season, when they were playing very well, the offensive line was healthy, and they were making explosive plays. Explosive plays from 30, 40, 50 yards, and that’s what Chip Kelly has been doing at Oregon.”


The staff will likely be announced soon. We should have a chance to talk to the assistants in the coming days.

Reid Still Haunting Eagles; Andy’s Old Pal Tapped to Lead Birds’ Offense

Andy Reid just won’t go away. Just as the Eagles were breaking free from a good relationship gone stale, new head coach Chip Kelly has hired back a member of Reid’s braintrust to run his offense: former quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur. Shurmer’s spent his last two years coaching the Cleveland Browns, and before that, was O.C. for the Rams. The stats, as Birds 24/7 notes, aren’t overwhelming.

The Browns ranked 30th and 24th, respectively, in scoring offense with Shurmur at the helm. The Rams ranked 32nd and 26th with Shurmur as the offensive coordinator.

The Eagles will also reportedly hire fan favorite Duce Staley to coach running backs, while Ted Williams, who occupies that position now, will coach tight ends. Plus ca change… [Birds 24/7]


How Gruden, Reid Helped the Eagles Land Kelly

Chip Kelly had been speaking for fewer than three minutes when he brought up a familiar, albeit surprising, name: Andy Reid.

“One person that I really want to thank in terms of advice with this whole thing was Andy Reid,” Kelly said, sitting next to Jeffrey Lurie in the Novacare auditorium Thursday afternoon. “And the fact that Andy reached out to me and told me about his experience here just told me what this organization is all about. There’s not a classier guy. When Andy texted me yesterday when I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill, and in typical Andy fashion, he said, ‘Just be yourself and you’ll be fine.’ So I want to just publicly thank Andy, because that really right there spoke to me about what this organization is all about.”

But Reid wasn’t the only person who Kelly talked to during the last couple weeks.

A concern with Kelly is that he has no NFL experience. He’s never been a head coach, coordinator or position coach at the professional level. Has he made enough connections to put together a staff? Does he know enough people?

Kelly alleviated some of that concern when asked who in the league helped him during the information-gathering process.

“Everybody was great,” Kelly said. “I didn’t talk to anybody that was coaching because they’ve got jobs to do. Jon Gruden’s a good friend, and Jon spent time here. Tony Dungy’s son was on my team at Oregon. I’ve always had a chance to talk to Tony. Dick Vermeil and Andy. …And a lot of times, it was questions about the NFL. Other times, with Gru and Dick and Andy, it was questions about Philadelphia.”

The grouped served as an intermediary of sorts. Lurie thought Kelly was definitely a fit after the nine-hour meeting in Arizona. And Kelly liked the Eagles. But during the process, both were speaking to third parties to make sure they were making educated decisions.

“It’s ironic,” Lurie said. “We spoke to a lot of the same people, not knowing the other one’s talking to the same people. I know he’s close with Tony Dungy. I know he’s close with Jon Gruden, and we all are. I talked to Jon a lot and am very close to Tony as well.”

If you’re wondering whether Lurie interviewed Gruden himself for the coaching job…

“No, I don’t think Jon’s coming back to the NFL this year at all,” he said. “But I respect him and his opinion and we talk a lot.”

Gruden stays in the broadcast booth. Reid moves on to Kansas City. Dungy is in studio for NBC. And Vermeil is enjoying retirement.

But all played a role in the Eagles landing Kelly.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Chip Kelly “Thin-Skinned” When Criticized By Media

According to a sports reporter in Oregon, brand new Eagles coach Chip Kelly is “very sharp,” “quick on his feet,” and “he will say something pretty interesting lots of times.” So, the opposite of Andy Reid. Great! Not all is smooth on the horizon, however: “He does have a little bit of thin skin when he’s criticized, especially if he thinks it is unfair criticism, and I suspect he’ll get some of that in Philadelphia.” Not for a few days, at least. [CBS 3]

It’s Finally Over! Eagles Hire Chip Kelly

Nearly two weeks after first courting Oregon coach Chip Kelly (and after nearly two weeks of thinking Chip Kelly had rejected the Eagles), Lurie and co. have brought the Duck to Philly.

Jeffrey LurieHowie Roseman and Don Smolenski took their best shot at Kelly back on January 5, as a scheduled lunch spilled well into the night and lasted some eight hours. Oregon booster and Nike co-founder Phil Knight reportedly made a strong push to keep Kelly with the Ducks, and it looked like it had worked. Not so fast.

“Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles,” said Lurie, as the Eagles made the move official. “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh energetic approach to our team.”

This will be Kelly’s first head coaching job in the NFL.

Let the media narrative shift immediately from “Why Won’t Chip Kelly Coach in Philly?” to “Is Chip Kelly Any Good?” [Birds 24/7]


What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.’s Dan Graziano recently offered his take on the Eagles’ coaching search after the Ken Whisenhunt interview:

What it says to me is that the Eagles don’t have a clear preference among their remaining available candidates and are interviewing as many people as possible to make sure they make the right decision. Some have expressed frustration that the process is taking so long and appears to lack focus, but I don’t think either of those is a valid criticism. I think there’s no harm in casting a wide net, especially when you don’t have a clear top choice (or when your top choice, who in this case I believe was Oregon’s Chip Kelly, has already passed). If nothing else, in talking to men who’ve done the job at the NFL level, the Eagles’ decision-makers can get a sense of the different approaches people take to the job and maybe educate themselves about what they like and don’t like in a candidate.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper re-drafts the 2007 class. The Eagles traded out of the first round (the Kevin Kolb year). They did get Brent Celek in the fifth round though. Kiper thinks Celek would have been a first-round pick (28th) if teams had it to do all over again:

With 280 catches for his career, he’s second to Olsen in the class among tight ends, and could end up on top, because he has proved himself to be a reliable pass-catcher and a guy who knows how to find and create space as a route runner. The Eagles got a steal down the board.’s Peter King caught up with Andy Reid:

Q: What’s the one overriding thing you take from Philadelphia into this job?

Reid: “I learned to embrace a city in Philadelphia. They’ll take you from boyhood to manhood, which they did with me, and that’s okay. It’s a results business. I got that. As far as the team goes, it’s imperative that everybody’s pulling in the same direction. That’s the only way you can succeed.”

King also looks at the teams that passed on Colin Kaepernick:

Buffalo passed on him twice, and Arizona, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Miami, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Kansas City and the Jets once apiece. Buddy Nix, Rod Graves, Mike Reinfeldt, Gene Smith, Rick Spielman, Jeff Ireland, Tom Heckert, Howie Roseman, Scott Pioli and Mike Tannenbaum — the GMs who passed on Kaepernick in the 2010 draft — must be asking themselves, “Maybe we should have seen this trend coming.”

Notice one thing about those 10 draft-day deciders: Six have been fired since the day Kaepernick was chosen 36th overall by the Niners in April 2011.

Gil Brandt of has the Eagles taking Alabama guard Chance Warmack at No. 4. If you’re wondering about quarterbacks, he’s got Geno Smith going third and Matt Barkley going seventh.

Bucky Brooks of has the Birds taking Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel:

It is time for the Eagles to address their offensive line woes by selecting the top offensive lineman in the draft.

And Daniel Jeremiah of has the Eagles taking Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.


Ten Observations: An Eagles Slant To the Playoffs

Like many of you, I spent 12-plus hours in front of the TV this weekend, watching what turned out to be a great divisional round.

Here are 10 observations from the four games, many of which have an Eagles slant:

1. In one game, the Denver Broncos had more defense/special teams touchdowns than the Eagles had all season. Trindon Holiday took a punt 90 yards for a score for the first touchdown of the weekend. He later had a 104-yard kickoff return to start the second half. On the other side, Ravens cornerback Corey Graham intercepted Peyton Manning and took it 39 yards for a TD. In the next game, Sam Shields intercepted Colin Kaepernick for a 52-yard touchdown. In all, four non-offensive touchdowns in four games. During the 2012 season, the Eagles had ONE non-offensive touchdown – a Damaris Johnson punt return. Only two teams -  the Raiders and Lions – had fewer (0). We know about the issues with turnovers on offense, but the defense was tied for a league-worst 13 takeaways. And the Eagles almost never had a field-position advantage. Special teams has to be a focus for the next head coach.

2. It was 3:23 p.m. when Reuben Frank broke the news that the Eagles had interviewed Brian Billick for their head-coaching position. The timing was almost too much to handle. Billick was in the middle of calling the Falcons-Seahawks game for Fox. As I mentioned on Twitter, if there’s a drinking game associated with Billick-called games, I hope there’s a rule for every time he starts a sentence with “I’m not so sure that…”. And when I mentioned that Billick’s interview lasted nearly eight hours, I got a variety of responses like this one:

Now, broadcasting and coaching are two different things. But if Billick ends up being the guy, the one-liners among Eagles fans who were in front of their TVs yesterday will be plentiful.

3. Last week, we played the Russell Wilson what-if game. Andy Reid has admitted that he was high on Wilson. Adam Caplan mentioned over the weekend that the Eagles tried to move up for Wilson. Of course, Seattle ended up taking him 13 spots ahead of the Birds, who selected Nick Foles. But there’s another what-if scenario involving a quarterback that played over the weekend: Peyton Manning. Many will remember the Los Angeles Times report last March, indicating that Reid wanted to jump in on the Manning sweepstakes, but Manning didn’t want to be in the same division as his brother. ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently looked at Manning’s “failed suitors” and included the Birds among his six teams. So, what if the Eagles had landed Manning? Would they have made the playoffs? They certainly would have won more games, but then again, Manning can’t play cornerback. Would Reid be coming back for a 15th season? Just another factor to consider as the franchise heads in a new direction.

4. The Ravens ran 74 offensive plays on Saturday. Torrey Smith touched the ball just four times (three catches and a run). Yet he had a huge impact on the game, coming up with a 59-yard touchdown and a 32-yard touchdown. During the regular season, Smith’s catches, on average, came 13.1 yards downfield. That ranked third in the NFL. The Eagles have a vertical threat of their own, but they were unable to get him the ball downfield this season – partly because of defenses playing their safeties deep, partly because of a leaky offensive line and partly because of inconsistent quarterback play. DeSean Jackson’s average length of reception this year was 10.37, the lowest number of his career and 16th in the NFL. Last year, it was 12.66. The year before, 15.23. The Eagles need to find a way to get big plays out of Jackson in 2013 and beyond.

5. I don’t know who first mentioned it, but the Colin Kaepernick/Randall Cunningham comp works for me. Kaepernick measured in at 6-5, 233 at the combine. Cunningham was listed at 6-4, 215. In an electrifying performance, Kaepernick set an NFL playoff record (for a QB) with 181 rushing yards against the Packers Saturday night. He got it done with his arm too, fitting the ball into tight windows all game long. Between Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the future at quarterback in the NFL is bright. And watching Kaepernick, I couldn’t help but wonder how Cunningham would look in this era with a coach like Jim Harbaugh, a line like the 49ers’ and a system that fully utilized his athleticism.

6. Not sure where Marty Mornhinweg watched this weekend’s games, but I’m guessing that when the Falcons had the ball in the red zone, went with a split backfield and Jason Snelling scored on a shovel pass from 5 yards out, the former Eagles offensive coordinator stood up and started a slow-clap. Of course, that play should look familiar to the Eagles not only because they’ve run it so much, but because the Falcons scored the same way against them earlier this season.

7. Count me among the many who were confused by the Broncos taking a knee at the end of regulation. Manning and the offense had the ball at the Denver 20 with 31 seconds remaining. They also had two timeouts. Don’t you have to at least try to take a shot there? It was fitting that the next day, the Falcons had the ball at their own 28 with 31 seconds left and drove to the Seattle 31 on two plays. They kicked the game-winning field goal with eight seconds left. The situations were not exactly the same. Denver and Baltimore were tied. Atlanta was trailing. But you get the point. Have to take a shot there.

8. It’s 2013, and coaches still have to commonly race down the sideline to get referees’ to call timeout. We saw it from Pete Carroll in the Seahawks-Falcons game. Don’t we have the technology to come up with a better method than this? Same goes for spotting the ball. Can’t we put a chip or something in a football that automatically tells us where the line of scrimmage is, rather than having the official arbitrarily spot it? These are the things that keep me up at night.

9. So, what Super Bowl storylines are setting up? If the 49ers and Ravens win, we’ll have to deal with two straight weeks of Harbaugh family stories. Don’t get me wrong. It’s amazing that two brothers could potentially face each other for the title. But that might be a bit much. I don’t think anyone would complain about 49ers-Patriots in New Orleans. That Sunday night game was one of the most entertaining matchups of the year. Falcons-Ravens would take us back to the 2008 draft class when Matt Ryan was picked third and Joe Flacco 18th. And Falcons-Patriots wouldn’t be bad either. It’ll be tough to top this past weekend, but hopefully we still have a classic or two left.

10. Random notes to close it out: When they introduced the Punt, Pass and Kick winners yesterday, there was a kid from Hoover, Alabama who had the exact same haircut as the kids from the MTV show Two-A-Days. For those unfamiliar, the series followed the Hoover High football program. Highly recommended NetFlix viewing this offseason if you’ve never seen it. …There was so much skepticism last month about whether Chip Kelly would be successful in the NFL, but you see elements of his offense in the 49ers and Patriots, two of the last four teams alive. …And finally, I can’t believe it took me this long to discover @PhilSimmsQuotes. Pure genius.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

“Drunk with Power,” Howie Roseman Is Dooming Eagles Coaching Search

CBS football reporter Jason La Canfora is mostly flabbergasted by the Eagles aimless quest for a head coach, which has them “chasing every hot college coach, scrambling to the media to confirm some coaching interviews, obscure others; releasing skewed information about your whereabouts and resorting to day-late spin tactics after being repeatedly left at the altar.” But he does have one theory for why the Birds haven’t been able to land an HC, after knowing for months Andy Reid wouldn’t be back.

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me one esteemed coach or another advised one of the Eagles’ top candidates not to take the job precisely because of [Eagles GM Howie] Roseman’s presence there. Roseman isn’t the general manager they should tie their wagon to. It’s clear Chip Kelly wasn’t leaving Oregon for anywhere unless he had a large measure of control over the organization, and owner Jeffrey Lurie has already entrusted that to Roseman. There has been trepidation by some candidates to go all-in given the questions about this existing power structure.

And there’s more:

The rumblings about Roseman lacking nuance and foresight, about him turning people off with how drunk with power he’s become, only grow louder as his coaching search grows stranger.

Be wary of journalists bearing anonymous sources, especially coming from those in a losing, frustrated organization. But at least this is an explanation, which is more than Brian Billick (the Birds latest head coaching candidate) could offer yesterday on Fox, as he bumbled incoherently through the Seahawks-Falcons broadcast. [CBS Sports]


Andy Reid’s Son, Britt, Named To KC Coaching Staff

Andy Reid unveiled his new coaching staff on Friday. It includes plenty of familiar names, and even a member of his own family.

His son, Britt Reid, will serve as a quality control coach. The press release reads:

Reid enters his first season in the NFL after spending three seasons with the Temple University Owls. At Temple, Reid served as a graduate assistant, working with the offensive side of the ball after a two-year stint as an offensive assistant while he completed his degree. In addition to his three years at Temple, Reid has worked the Steve Addazio football camp for the past two years and in 2008, he served as an assistant offensive line coach at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. He got his first taste of NFL experience as a training camp coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. Reid is the son of Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid.

As expected, Doug Pederson was named offensive coordinator. Reid also hired former Eagles quality control coach Matt Nagy to be his quarterbacks coach; named former receivers coach David Culley assistant head coach/wide receivers; and also brought over Tommy Brasher (defensive line), Tom Melvin (tight ends) and strength and conditioning men Barry Rubin and Travis Crittenden from his staff in Philadelphia.

“I’m pleased we were able to get all of these coaches on board,” Reid said. “I have relationships with each of them, and I know their past experiences, work ethics and coaching styles. These are high-character coaches, and each one brings something different to the table for us.”

Jets linebackers coach Bob Sutton has reportedly been tabbed to be Reid’s defensive coordinator, but was not named in the press release.

Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »