What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Two weeks after firing Chip Kelly, the Eagles still lack a head coach. Here’s what local and national media are saying about Jeffrey Lurie‘s coaching search, the Eagles’ draft prospects, and more.

The Daily News staff asks whether Jeffrey Lurie will be able to turn this post-Chip Kelly mess into something positive. Sam Donellon isn’t confident.

When Chip Kelly was fired, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie continually cited the team’s “trajectory” as the overriding reason why. The record wasn’t improving. The play wasn’t improving. And it didn’t seem to anyone that the coach was willing to concede to anyone that a change in operating philosophy was needed, even a small or temporary one.

You can’t fire an owner of course, only urge him to get out, which Lurie, 64, clearly has no intention to do – now, or in the foreseeable future. So you look for a trajectory from him, something that suggests he has learned from his missteps and improved upon them, that he is not willing to go down the same road that led to his disappointments – and yours – in the future.

Please tell me you see such a trajectory.

Because I surely don’t.

Call it what you will, writes the Daily News’s Les Bowen, but the Eagles’ coaching search is playing it safe.

It’s hard to imagine a candidate with Doug Pederson‘s personality and resume getting the Eagles’ attention three years ago. He forged a 12-year career as an NFL backup quarterback, coached at a religious high school in Louisiana, then in 2009 was brought in at the lowest rung of NFL coaching by [Andy] Reid, who had coached Pederson in Green Bay and with the Eagles. Pederson’s entire NFL coaching career has come under Reid, the man who formulated the Chiefs’ offense and who calls most of the plays.

This season, perhaps hoping to boost the profile of his loyal solider, Reid let it be known that he was giving Pederson some of the play-calls here and there, to switch things up, the sort of thing Reid once did here with Brad Childress and Marty Mornhinweg. Pederson also took over the two-minute drill, probably a wise decision, given Reid’s longstanding problems with time management.

Tom Coughlin‘s been around the block more than once, but he still feels the competitive fire burning, writes the Inquirer’s Zach Berman.

Ernie Bono, Coughlin’s close friend and vice president of Coughlin’s charitable organization, the Jay Fund, heard the question about whether Coughlin’s fire is still burning and laughed.

“That’s not even a close question in my mind,” Bono said during a telephone interview. “He really doesn’t need to coach. But his desire . . .”

Bono went on to describe the competitive zeal that Coughlin maintains and the sense of responsibility he feels for a team. The same message that Coughlin delivered to Eli Manning last week – when the Giants win, the team wins; when the Giants lose, Coughlin loses – is the message that Coughlin offers on the golf course.

As Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski watched the wild card games this past weekend, he noticed a handful of things that applied to the Eagles.

2. As we noted yesterday, the Chiefs have an incredible defense, and an offense that simply doesn’t turn the ball over much. Against the Texans, the Chiefs won the turnover battle 5-1. If you squint hard enough, that could be Doug Pederson’s appeal in Philly.

Over the last two seasons, the Eagles have led the NFL in giveaways with 67. That is more than two turnovers on average per game, which is unacceptable, and a big reason for the failures of the last two seasons. The Chiefs have turned the ball over less than half that amount, at 32. Perhaps Pederson would recognize the strength of the Eagles, personnel-wise, is the defense, and he would construct his game plans accordingly. That is something Chip Kelly failed to do.

CSN Philly’s Paul Hudrick mocks the draft for the first time this year, and he has the Eagles taking a wideout at No. 13.

13. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

OK, bring on the arguments. Yes, I’m well aware the Eagles desperately need help on the offensive line. But they also need a wideout, and you may not be aware of how good Treadwell actually is.

He’s like a Dez Bryant clone (but less drama). He has tremendous ball skills. He doesn’t have elite speed, but he can get down the field and use his strength to outmuscle smaller defensive backs for the ball.

Pairing him with Nelson Agholor on the outside, and having Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz in the middle, could give the Eagles’ new head coach a dangerous passing attack. The Eagles have eight other selections to take offensive linemen. They may only get one chance to draft a talent like Treadwell.

Meanwhile, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar listens to fans’ cries and bolsters the Eagles’ offensive line with their first round pick, even with Memphis’s Paxton Lynch still on the board.

13. Philadelphia Eagles: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

It was really tempting to go with a quarterback here. Instead, the choice is Decker, a tackle who can come in and play on the left or right side. Maybe a teammate of his can be brought in later in the draft at quarterback.

Chip Kelly visited with Alabama’s Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin before Monday’s championship game. The Tide won. BGN’s Brandon Lee Gowton asks if Kelly made it so.

During ESPN’s broadcast on Monday evening, color commentator Kirk Hirbstreit revealed Kelly helped Alabama’s offense leading up to the title game. Listen for yourself:

“You’re seeing more tempo tonight from Alabama than you typically see. Lane Kiffin had worked actually in the last week with Chip Kelly. Chip Kelly visited Tuscaloosa and one of the things they talked about is what tempo can do to a Clemson defense. And you’ve seen a lot of evidence of that tempo tonight.”

Sure enough, Alabama put up 45 points and 474 total yards on Clemson’s defense. Maybe that “talk” really did help.