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.
WHAT YOU MISSED
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.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
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.