by Jack Kerwin | ydkjack1.gmail.com
Starting to wonder …
Did the Eagles have a better offseason than we were led to believe?
Forget the player transactions, focus on the coaches. Seriously.
Not for nothing, but after two days of listening to the straight-shooting out of the mouths of new coordinators Jim Schwartz (defensive) and Frank Reich (offensive), it’s like a cloud of uncertainty has been lifted.
Yeah, sure, concerns remain about first-year head coach Doug Pederson and, frankly, just what the team will be able to accomplish out on the field. But at least the BS is over. No more “time’s yours” crap or rat-a-tat-tat, machine-gun, say-nothing verbal assaults.
Thank the mother-effin football gods. Hallelujah.
Pederson, indeed, still may stumble over his thoughts and words while trying to blend corporate and coach speak into one semi-coherent sentences, all the while making sure not to offend a quarterback, a GM, an owner, a fan base, you name it. But that’s OK. He has not one, but two legit right-hand men who clearly have the cojones to handle the heat and, frankly, either seems wholly capable of running the show himself.
Of course, Schwartz already has had the pleasure anyway.
What a breath of fresh air it was to hear him overstep his bounds Tuesday before reporters to discuss the team’s quarterback situation, specifically in regard to rookie Carson Wentz, whom ruler of all things midnight green Howie Roseman moved most of heaven and earth in order to select with the No. 2 pick overall in last month’s NFL Draft.
After initially slapping the clamps on himself, stating it was not his place to talk on such non-defensive side of the ball things, Schwartz went ahead and did so anyway, sharing how he and his staff handled things in Detroit after the Lions took Matthew Stafford No. 1 in 2009.
In short, let him compete for the starting job right out of the chute and if he earns it, give it to him.
What a refreshing change that would be compared to the pressure-free, cocoon-like existence Pederson and Roseman had been professing as be the plan for Wentz this upcoming season, not to mention anointed ad nauseam starter Sam Bradford and backup Chase Daniel.
High-fives were in order for Schwartz after that. Then Reich one-upped him Wednesday.
Somebody pinch me …
In a 10-minute, tour de force of endearing openness and admirable toughness, with a kicker of charming self-deprecation tossed in at the end, the longtime NFL backup quarterback and one-time author of the greatest comebacks in pro AND college football history managed to completely obliterate the concept that Wentz will remain ensconced in bubble wrap throughout 2016 while learning how to play QB at the highest level through some sideline osmosis.
The job of directing the Eagles’ offense is Bradford’s no matter what. Competition will not be part of the equation. Can’t rock the boat of such delicate athletic geniuses.
You could hear Reich trying to catch himself from bursting into guffawing laughter, disgusted at such namby-pamby, self-defeating-to-all silliness.
While he kept his comments in check to the point where he didn’t bury Pederson or Roseman for being over-protective wussies, he was crystal clear in stating his belief that there are no guarantees at any position, including the team’s most talked about one, and that, in pure Herman Boone-ese, “the best player will play.”
In short, any “order” stated up to this point could change … on merit.
Imagine that, performance mattering more than fragile egos.
Will wonders ever cease?
Not for nothing, but after two days of listening to the straight-shooting out of the mouths of new coordinators Jim Schwartz (defensive) and Frank Reich (offensive), it’s like a cloud of uncertainty has been lifted. Yeah, sure, concerns remain about first-year head coach Doug Pederson and, frankly, just what the team will be able to accomplish out on the field. But at least the BS is over. No more “time’s yours” crap or rat-a-tat-tat, machine-gun, say-nothing verbal assaults. ... Thank the mother-effin football gods. Hallelujah.