With my first year of finals at a close along with the Eagles playoff hopes, I'd thought my first big splash back to fan posts would be a mock off-season. And while there have been plenty that have surfaced over the past weeks from D-jackfan10's well written and coherent ones to...you know.
The Eagles finish 7-9, losing their last game of the season to the lowly Redskins after having glimmers of hope with the Cowboys going 1-3 down the stretch and the Giants going 2-2. I'd say it be a shocking heartbreak, but the way things have transpired throughout the season, it's not very much of a surprise. The team needs heading into a lonely off-season are as follows...
1. Discipline, fundamentals
5. Wide Receivers/Interior DL
More after the jump...
Jeffrey Lurie decides to end an era of prominence under Andy Reid. A full sweep of FO and coaches other than Howard Mudd, Jim Washburn, Bobby April, Ted Williams, Duce Staley, and Eugune Chung. However, Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn go into retirement with the departure of Andy Reid.
Eagles Hire Bill Cowher as Head Coach
This makes a ton of sense if Andy is fired. Cowher has that "itch" to come back and coach football. He brings heart, passion, swagger, or whatever you'd like to call it that is SORELY missing from this squad as of now, yet holds his players to a high standard. He brings just as much experience to the table as Andy and has much more impressive numbers. He has a career record of 161-99-1 which includes playoffs. During the regular season, he has a winning percentage of .623. Since 1992, he's won the AFC North 8 times, and made the playoffs 10 times. Oh, and his playoff record is 12-9, thats .571 winning percentage. He's been to the AFC Championship 6 times, and the big dance twice. So he has just as much experience as Andy in the playoffs and he has a ring.
The Philadelphia job would be the most enticing job out their for many reasons. Unlike Miami or Jacksonville, Philadelphia has a great foundation set with Vick, McCoy, Maclin, Cole, etc. As well as he and his family stay in Pennsylvania. By making him the first move the organization makes, this allows Cowher to establish the front office and have a great relationship with. Which brings me to my next move...
Eagles hire Doug Whaley as GM/President
Whaley has strong ties to Cowher as the Pro Personnel Coordinator for ten years before becoming the Buffalo Bills GM in 2010. Whaley has GM experience now and has a amazing eye for talent. And when I say amazing I mean Troy Polamalu, Lawrence Timmons, Lamarr Woodley, and Mike Wallace. This allows a easy relationship between Cowher and the front office that will allow an Eagles marriage to exist.
Eagles hire Russ Grimm as Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach
Cowher brings in a familiar face to the coaching staff in Russ Grimm. Grimm was an offensive line coach with Cowher and has been currently been working with Cowher former Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Russ Grimm entered coaching with the Washington Redskins' tight end and offensive line coach from 1992-2000. he was then hired to work with Cowher and Ken Whisenhunt as the offensive line coach until 2007 when he wasn't hired to replace Cowher as the Steelers HC and went with Whisenhunt to Arizona where he his the current Assistant Head Coach, Run Game Coordinator, and Offensive Line Coach. A combo of Grimm working with offensive geniuses like Ken Whisenhunt and Todd Haley since 2000 and explosive weapons on the offensive will have the Eagles soaring again.
Eagles keep Ted Williams as Running Back Coach
Eagles keep and promote Duce Staley to Assistant Running Back Coach and Offensive Quality Control
Eagles look to groom former Eagles RB star Staley to fill the shoes of Ted Williams in the foreseeable future.
Eagles promote Eugune Chung to Offensive Line Coach
The Eagles try to keep a good thing going with Howard Mudd's protégé Eugune Chung. He is a little inexperienced, but Russ Grimm can be a perfect mentor for Chung to grow as a coach with.
Eagles hire Terry Malone as Wide Receivers and Tight End Coach
He may be an outsider from the Cowher coaching tree, but Terry Malone is a talented coach. He was the Michigan Wolverines Offensive Coordinator until 2006 where he has been with the Saints as a tight end coach. And obviously he's doing a great job looking at Jimmy Graham and the revival of Saints David Thomas and former Saint Jeremy Shockey.
Eagles hire Kevin Greene as Defensive Coordinator
Kevin Greene is probably one of my favorite up and coming coaches. He was a DL/LB for the St. Louis Rams (1985-1992), Steelers (1993-1995), Panthers (1996, 1998-1999), and 49ners (1997). After 15 years of experience of play DL/LB in 4-3 and 3-4 defenses, he took his talents to the sidelines in 2008 with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a assistant linebacker coach. He was then hired in 2009 by Don Capers in the transition to a 3-4 defense as a linebacker coach, where he has turned Eric Walden and most notably Clay Matthews into beasts. He finally gets his shot as a the main man of the defense. Look for a very, very effective 4-3 blitz scheme and the linebackers to be studs. Oh, and he will challenge Casey Matthews and Riley Cooper for best hair on the team :P
Eagles hire Ray Rhodes as Secondary Coach/Assistant Defensive Coordinator
Ah yes, former Eagles HC Ray Rhodes makes his return to Philadelphia. I Ray Rhodes is a talented defensive mind that has just recently turned the Browns defensive backs into one of the most deadly secondaries in the league. Their secondary is currently ranked 2nd in the league, allowing just an average of 180 passing yards per game. After his last head coaching gig with the Packers in 2000, he has been defensive coordinator for the Redskins in 2000 (led them with a 2nd ranked passing defense) and Broncos in 2001 (16th ranked passing defense until) 2007 where he reunited with Holmegren becoming the DC in Seattle until 2007. Afterwards he was a defensive assistant for the Texans and now the Browns. Ray Rhodes offers improved secondary coaching as well as guidance for up and comer Kevin Greene's new scheme.
Eagles hire Mike Phair as DL coach
Mike Phair reunites with Ray Rhodes, when Phair was with the Seahawks. Now, Phair is a quality defensive line coach in Chicago, where he has been working with defensive gurus like Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli. He has produced quality players like Matt Toeania, Stephen Paea, Henry Melton and has revitalized Israel Idonije. He may even get Tapp back to Seattle form when Tapp looked to be a rising player.
Eagles hire Jason Gildon as LB coach
He has ties to Kevin Greene, both were interns for the Steelers in 2008. He has 10 years of NFL experience at DL and LB with the Jaguars and Steelers.
Eagles extend LeSean McCoy for 5 years
Eagles resign Evan Mathis for a 3 year deal
Eagles resign King Dunlap for a 2 year deal
Eagles resign Derek Landri for a 2 year deal
Jason Babin traded to Jaguars for 2012 3rd round pick
Eagles sign David Hawthorne to a 4 year deal
Eagles again make a splash, signing a HIGHLY undervalued player in David Hawthorne. Arguably the best defensive player on the Seattle Seahawks, he can play all three linebacker positions. During the 2008, 2009, 2010 seasons Hawthorne flipped between SAM and WILL linebacker. In 2011, he made the transition to MIKE replacing veteran Lofa Tatupu. He can stuff the run, shed blocks, and cause turnovers.
2008: 14 games played, 12 tackles, 1 assist, 0 sacks
2009: 16 games played, 117 tackles, 23 assist, 4.0 sacks, 2 FF, I FR, 3 INT
2010: 16 games played, 106 tackles, 31 assists, 0 sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT
2011: 12 games played, 88 tackles, 33 assists, 1.0 sack, 1 FR, 3 INTS, 1 TD
His flexibility makes him a huge asset for the Eagles and would probably be the best signing by the Eagles.
Eagles sign Craig Steltz to a two year deal
Veteran safety can only do us good. He keeps his head on a swivel and can play solid coverage. Offers great depth and is a very good special teams player.
Eagles sign Mike Pollak to a one year deal
Depth that knows this system well.
With the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NFL the Eagles select...Luke Kuechly LB
The Eagles go fill an huge need immediately with Luke Keuchly. He is very athletic, shows great explosion to get after runners, strength to lay the wood and get off blocks, and has the stature to lead the defense from the middle. Arguably the best linebacker in the draft falls to us because of a strong quarterback class. 532 tackles in 3 years? 4.7 40 yard dash? 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year? Lott Trophy Winner? 2011 Butkus Trophy Winner? Three time All American? Please!
With the 42nd pick (Cardinals) in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Dwight Jones WR
The Eagles need to replace DeSean Jackson, and they select a large target that Michael Vick can throw to, knowing that Jones has a chance to fight for it. Jones is a very physical route runner and uses his frame at 6'4" very well. He tracks the ball extremely well, reminding of a Larry Fitzgerald lite. Giving Vick a complete receiver opposite of Maclin would answer a lot of inconsistency problems on offense.
With the 44th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Josh Chapman NT
He is the perfect answer to our run stopping woes. Josh Chapman will swallow blockers and holes for opposing running backs. Also nicknamed "The Incredible Hulk," however he isn't known for his pass rushing abilities. Luckily, the Eagles have Cullen Jenkins, Trevor Laws, and Derek Landri.
With the 70th pick (Jaguars via Jason Babin) in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Donnie Fletcher CB
Fletcher led his team with 5 INT's his junior year and has been a starter since his sophomore year. He is physical using his 6'1" frame and will fit the Eagles new scheme quite nicley. He struggled his senior season, but the talent is there.
With the 76th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select....Cliff Harris DB/KR/PR
Extremely talented, but needs work on fundamentals and was kicked off the Oregon football team. Bill Cowher can handle him and he's worth the gamble in the 3rd. Look for the Eagles to be just fine without Jackson on special teams.
With the 90th pick (Lions via Asante Samuel) in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Kirk Cousins QB
Plays in a pro-style offense, has a strong NFL arm, and has nice size a 6'3" 210 lbs. And while he isn't always accurate, his biggest strength is decision making, something that always seems to hurt the Eagles, only throwing 17 INTS in the last 2 seasons. And although accuracy seems to be an issue, the lowest completion percentage of his career is 60.4%, his sophomore year.
2010: 2,825 yards, 226/338 66.9% completion, 8.36 YPA, 20:10 TD:INT
2011: 3,016 yards, 240/369 65% completion, 8.17 YPA, 24:7 TD:INT
His game reminds me most of Ryan Fitzpatrick before the sucking.
With the 107th pick (Bucs) in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Mike Ryan OT
Depth needed, Ryan is a powerful, athletic run blocker that fits the zone blocking scheme.
With the 108th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Keshawn Martin WR
Explosive deep threat in those Shotgun packages for Vick's cannon. Maybe some return ability as well.
With the 172th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...Isaiah Pead RB
Change of pace back for McCoy that has shown serious production. He is averaging 5.8 rushing yards, 1,100 and 11 TD's this season.
With the 204th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Eagles select...David Snow C
Depth, good hands and feet.
With the 214th (Broncos) pick in the NFL Draft the Eagles select...Nathan Stupar OLB
Young OLB depth. Solid tackler and stout against the run. Needs to add weight to his frame.
With the 220th pick (Pats) in the NFL Draft the Eagles select...Malik Jackson DE
"High motor"......and shows explosive play, with 42 tackles, 6.5 for losses, and 2 sacks.
QB: Vick / Cousins/ Kafka
RB: McCoy / Peal / Lewis
WR: Maclin / Jones/ Avant / Cooper / Martin
TE: Celek / Harbor
LT: Peters / Dunlap
LG: Mathis / Vandervelde
C: Kelce / Snow
RG: Watkins / Pollak
RT: Herremans / Ryan
LE: Graham/ Hunt/ Jackson
NT: Chapman/ Landri/ Laws
DT: Jenkins / Patterson
RE: Cole/ Tapp
SAM: Hawthorne/ Chaney/ Stupar
MLB: Kuechly/ Chaney
WILL: Rolle/ Clayton/ Matthews
CB: Asomomugha / Marsh
CB: Rodgers-Cromartie / Harris
SS: Jarrett / Steltz
FS: Coleman/ Anderson