Twitter Mailbag: Could the Eagles Land S Jairus Byrd?

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From@NateCalvanese: What are the chances that Tom Gamble sticks around for a little while? I know he interviewed for a bunch of GM jobs this year.

Hard to say for sure, but there is reason to believe he could be with the Eagles for a while. For one, he’s from this area. Howie Roseman mentioned Wednesday that Gamble did not come aboard last year in part because he wanted to make sure the timing was right when it came to his family (he has a wife and three boys). Not sure he’s going to want to uproot again right away.

Asked why Gamble made what on the surface looks like a lateral move, Roseman pointed to his love for Philly.

“I think it speaks to his passion for this city and this fan base,” said Roseman. “He is about Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Eagles. Obviously that’s important to him. He wants to be part of building something, and building it with the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Also, Roseman mentioned the desire to bring in pieces that are in it for the long haul. I’m not sure they pull the trigger if Gamble wasn’t committed.

“In the last three years we haven’t had a lot of continuity and we want that,” he said, “we want guys who are going to be here for a while and get our system in place and get everyone on the same page.”

From@hotcakes_33: Roster overhaul coming. Is draft deep enough @positions of need that trading back for more 2’s/3’s worth it or need playmakers?

The way I see it, you don’t get to pick this low in the draft very often, so why trade out? Even if this class isn’t as loaded as last year’s, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a difference-maker. Think about it this way: with all the talent from all the schools across the country, only three players will have come off the board before the Eagles pick. There is a stud to be had . Maybe it’s not your franchise quarterback, but if it’s a tackle that anchors the line for the next decade or a corner that can lock down one side of the field for the foreseeable future, then it’s all good.

The Eagles are building this team back up and therefor won’t be as tempted to reach for immediate need. They can truly take the best player available at No. 4.

@LorenJCook: Chances we get Safety Jairus Byrd from Buffalo, ties with CK through Oregon?

Don’t think the chances are great. The franchise figure for safeties is expected to be south of $7 million — not a terrible price to pay for a 26-year-old with two Pro Bowl nods in four NFL seasons.  Byrd would apparently like to test the market, but it is hard to imagine the Bills allowing him to walk.

Here is what former Eagles scout-turned-NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah had to say about Byrd.

“I think he might be the best free safety in all of football,” Jeremiah said. “He gives you interceptions, gives you forced fumbles, plays the run, plays the pass. I don’t envision Buffalo allowing him to get out of town.”

We put out a list of available safeties on Wednesday. There are some pretty big names on their, including Byrd and Ed Reed. Because of the relatively low franchise tag number, expect this pool to shrink by the time free agency hits.

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Eagles Wake-Up Call: Gamble Hire In Line With Kelly Philosophy

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.


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.”

On DRC and the secondary questions.


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.

Eagles Name Gamble VP Of Player Personnel

The Eagles are trying to build a Super Bowl contender, and are calling on an old friend who has experience doing just that.

The team announced Wednesday that have hired Tom Gamble to become the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel.

Gamble spent eight seasons with the 49ers, including the previous two campaigns as Director of Player Personnel. The 49ers reached the NFC Championship game and the Super Bowl in those two seasons.

“Since Ryan Grigson left to become the General Manager of the Colts, we’ve been looking for the right person to fill his spot and we are excited about what Tom can bring to the team,” said Howie Roseman. “He’s not only a talented evaluator, but also a good man and the type of person you want as a part of your team. Tom and I have had a great relationship over the years and I know he’s excited to come home. He had a great run in San Francisco and they have been very successful over the last few years. He will jump right in with our group and get working on free agency and the draft.”

Gamble will report directly to  Roseman and work in both the college and pro personnel departments.

The 49-year-old, now with 25 years of pro experience, entered the NFL as an assistant in the Eagles personnel department in 1988. He remained in Philadelphia through 1994, serving as a college scouting administrator, area scout, contract negotiator, and later as the director of pro scouting. He went on to work for the Jets, Ravens and Colts (where he served under Bill Polian) before landing in San Francisco.

Gamblie is a Haddonfield, NJ native. His father, Harry, was Eagles President from 1986-95.

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