Eagles Wake-Up Call: Will the Chip-Marynowitz Setup Work?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Today’s question comes via Twitter.

I think the best way to tackle the question is to dissect the good and the bad.

Let’s start with the good. We rounded up a bunch of reaction yesterday, and plenty of informed people seem to have really positive things to say about Marynowitz. He’s worked under guys like Nick Saban and Bill Parcells. And he seems to have a good reputation in the scouting community.

Because Marynowitz has already been here, he knows what Chip Kelly is looking for in players. He knows the Eagles’ scheme. And he’s informed on the current state of the roster. Considering we’re approaching February, and free agency/the draft are coming up, those are all good things.

Now, the question marks. While Marynowitz may possess the scouting chops, he’s never handled other parts of the job. He hasn’t put together a draft board or conducted trade talks. He hasn’t had to determine when to walk away from a high-priced free agent or accurately project where prospects will be selected.

The last two years, the Eagles had Howie Roseman and Tom Gamble in the mix. Both guys had experience in the areas I just mentioned. In 2015, Marynowitz and Kelly will presumably be figuring out a lot of that stuff on the fly. Maybe it’s not rocket science, but mistakes can set the franchise back. That’s the primary concern with the new setup.

There’s also the question of whether Marynowitz was Kelly’s first choice. The Eagles were linked to a number of candidates, but came back to an internal option. Remember, Marynowitz was already here. It’s not like the Eagles would have lost his expertise had Kelly hired someone else.

It’s entirely possible that others didn’t view this as a very attractive job since Kelly has final say, and Roseman will presumably still be handling cap/contracts. In the end, Kelly is the actual GM, and Marynowitz is his right-hand man. Others, who essentially already had “right-hand man” responsibilities elsewhere had little incentive to jump ship and join the Eagles.

In terms of Marynowitz potentially being a yes man, I’m guessing Kelly does actually value the 30-year-old’s opinion. But on the flip side, I’m not sure that really matters. Kelly is still running the show. I expect him to be at Pro Days around the country just like last year. And when the draft rolls around, it will be Kelly calling the shots. Going forward, he gets the praise, and he gets the blame. Kelly asked to buy the groceries, and now he’s driving the cart.

The fact that Roseman is still around seems strange. There have been multiple reports that Marynowitz and Roseman haven’t seen eye to eye in the past. And we know that Kelly and Roseman aren’t exactly exchanging buddy bands at this point. So how exactly is this going to work? How are these guys – all of whom have different areas of expertise and different levels of experience – going to cooperate in a way that’s most conducive to the success of the franchise?

Will Roseman even be a part of the organization by the time next season rolls around?

Those are the questions that need to be answered in the coming months.

For now, it’s all about Kelly. If he proves to be a master evaluator of talent, the Eagles will load up and flourish under the new setup. But if he’s got too much on his plate and is ill-equipped to make personnel decisions, the ship will sink. And it will sink under his direction.

Your question can be the topic of the morning post. Simply leave one in the comments section, on Twitter (@Tim_McManus and @SheilKapadia), via e-mail (tmcmanus@phillymag.com and skapadia@phillymag.com) or on Facebook. We’ll choose one each day and answer it.

We’ll go through the questions once a month and randomly select a reader for a free Birds 24/7 t-shirt.


Notes on Tom Gamble, LeSean McCoy and a hilarious take on the Eagles’ new power structure.

“It’s something I can’t control.” Nick Foles talks Marcus Mariota, trade rumors and more.

What they’re saying about Marynowitz.

T-Mac explains what the Eagles and Patriots have in common with the Marynowitz hire.

Mock drafts, top-50 lists and more. Intern Tucker rounds up the latest draft buzz.

Tony Dungy compares Mariota to Aaron Rodgers.


Paul Domowitch of the Daily News looks at the possibility that the Eagles part ways with McCoy:

While the run game is a key element of Kelly’s offense, he, like a growing number of other NFL coaches, might feel he can find a younger, cheaper replacement(s) in the draft.

Take a look at the leading rushers for this year’s 12 playoff teams. The Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch is the only back with a salary-cap number above $5 million ($8M). The leading rushers for nine of the 12 playoff teams had a cap number under $2 million.

And this year’s draft is supposed to be especially rich and deep in running backs.

Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice looks at the Foles/Rams rumor:

If you’re the Rams, are you trading a valuable asset for a player who is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season … to ‘compete’ for the starting job? And if you’re Nick Foles, what incentive do you have to sign a modest multi-year deal with no guarantee that you’re going to start? A contract extension, in the event of a trade, would seemingly be difficult to work out. And if in the best case scenario for the Rams, Foles wins the starting job and plays well during the season, they’d be left with a decision of whether or not to pay an “up and down”player like Foles like a top 10 QB before he hits the open market.

The Rams need a QB, and the Eagles seemingly would covet a rookie who formerly played under Chip Kelly in college. In that regard, a trade of Nick Foles to the Rams makes some sense. But when you drill down, it doesn’t seem very likely.


We’ll have three Eagles numbers that matter and more.