Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘We’re All On the Same Side’
As Chip Kelly finished up his final interview and headed out of the NovaCare Complex auditorium Saturday, a TV reporter half-jokingly asked him to offer up access to the Eagles’ draft room next year.
“I’m telling you, it’s boring up there,” Kelly replied, as he made his way towards the exit.
This was Kelly’s third time in the draft room, but his first as the singular voice in charge. Howie Roseman was in the room, but he’d been stripped of any kind of say on personnel matters. There’s no grey area anymore. Kelly has final say, and Ed Marynowitz is his right-hand man.
“It was very orderly,” Kelly said. “I think we spent a lot of time in the last whatever couple of months so that really we’re not making decisions when you get to the draft. The decisions have been made before.
“Went through a lot of scenarios in the last couple weeks… if this is there and this is there and that’s not there, which direction do we head in? It kind of fell the way we thought it was going to fall. There were a couple guys, you hope he makes it a couple more picks, but realistically when they got picked, it was kind of… I think our scouting staff did a great job of slotting where we thought they were going to get picked. But I thought it was very organized. I thought Ed and his group did an outstanding job.”
The word thrown around the building often nowadays is integrated. No one wants to offer specific details, but the indications are that there was a divide between the scouting/personnel side and the coaches the previous two years. Clearly, Kelly and Roseman were not always on the same page.
With the shakeup in January, Kelly laid out a new way of doing things – one in which the two sides worked better together. So far, he seems pleased with the results, and he offered Marynowitz a favorable review.
“We got together that first day after he got hired and organized the scouts and really integrated our scouts and our coaches,” Kelly said. “I think the group of them did an outstanding job, and if you watched how well our scouts and coaches worked together, it’s unique, I think, in terms of how we do it. But as we look at it, as we’re trying to make the Eagles the best team out there, it can’t be personnel department against coaches, coaches against personnel. You guys coach, we pick. We’re all on the same side, and all we want at the end of the day is the same goal, is we want to win a championship.”
Asked to elaborate on how the relationship between the scouts and coaches is unique, Kelly replied: “I’d like to, but I really don’t want to share that. I think everybody’s voice is heard, and I think everybody is allowed to have their own opinion. We want people to not be on the same page as us because that’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for everybody to see it from a different view. Everybody has a different set of lenses. Everybody has a different set of perspectives based upon their experiences in terms of what they bring. …There’s a lot of things we’ve changed since Ed has taken over. You know what? That’s really good. Let’s see if we can move in that direction because we all believe that’s going to make us better.
“I think we’ve got a bunch of coaches and scouts that are really growth-minded and not fixed-minded, and we’re going to continue to do whatever we can to see if we can make this thing work.”
Kelly was pretty direct. The process has changed from the previous two years, and so have the final decision-makers.
The Eagles came out of the draft with a starting wide receiver and three new defensive backs, but they didn’t add a single body to the offensive line. The new setup is different. Time will tell if the results are too.
WHAT YOU MISSED
“[Eric] Rowe at No. 47 was a steal.” Rounding up Eagles draft grades.
The Eagles have added 16 undrafted free agents, including an intriguing, big-bodied receiver.
Background on Eagles seventh-round pick Brian Mihalik, a 6-9 defensive end from Boston College.
“We have never had an offer for Evan [Mathis],” says Kelly. T-Mac on the uncertain O-Line situation.
The Eagles took a pair of DBs in the sixth. More on the selections, including a jab by Kelly, a connection to Michael Beasley and a troublesome hamstring.
“One of my favorite players in the draft.” Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper Jr. on the Eagles’ Day 2 picks.
Background on Eagles third-round pick, inside linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Kelly updated the status of Mychal Kendricks and said the LB is not on the trade block.
From McManus: Get to know Eric Rowe.
Nelson Agholor says football helped break the culture barrier for him.
Lots of reports out there about how serious the Marcus Mariota talks got. Here’s what they’re saying.
McManus explains why Agholor is a fit for Kelly.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Hicks is a smart coach-on-the-field type player with excellent physical traits. But the ILB field is a bit crowded at the moment and Hicks will be earning his keep as a rookie on special teams. Kelly said he was their highest-rated player on the board at No. 84, which probably is true. But they might’ve been better served trading down a few spots, picking up an extra pick and selecting an offensive lineman later in the third round or early in the fourth. As it turned out, there was a run on offensive linemen right before they were scheduled to pick in the fourth round and they were shut out.
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz offers some draft thoughts:
The Eagles did what I call saturation drafting. You don’t fix the secondary with one CB. You load up on them. This way if Eric Rowe tears his ACL, struggles to adjust to the NFL or is abducted by aliens, you have other options. This is simple math. You have better odds is you use more resources to solve a problem.
This draft class was deep at CB, but light on Safeties. I don’t know if Kelly and Ed Marynowitz came up with this strategy or things just turned out this way, but they drafted CBs, giving them the freedom to move tweeners already on the roster over to S.
Lots more post-draft coverage coming your way.