Inside The Birds: Curious Staff Hires For Birds
After undergoing sweeping changes to the coaching staff within the past two weeks, the Eagles can now shift focus towards revamping a largely flawed roster.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan share their views on the new coaching hires, provide an update on a key injury, and divulge what they've heard from Senior Bowl week.
Lane Johnson update
Caplan: “I’m told, with Lane Johnson, [he’s] doing great. He’s either off the motorized scooter or he’s very close to ditching it. And he feels – someone who would know [said] – that he feels great; the ankle feels like new."
Caplan: “A guy that I am very surprised is not gonna be back, is Matt Burke. Stunned is not the word, but I am very surprised; I don’t quite understand this, Geoff. I was told early this week that he was not gonna be back. Why would you not make him the linebackers coach? I understand that they filled it. Why wouldn’t you want a guy who was a former [defensive coordinator], who’s older – and you know they need older guys on this staff. Why wouldn’t they just move him to linebackers, which he’s coached before?”
Mosher: I don’t know, and it almost seems exacerbated by the fact that the guy that they did make their linebackers coach – Nick Rallis, I believe – you’re talking about Matt Burke being a former defensive coordinator, Rallis has been an assistant position coach; he’s never been a linebackers coach. That would mean that he’s never led a room.
How often did we talk about the wide receiver carousel? You got a room of wide receivers and you need a leader, and you go with a guy either in Gunter Brewer who’s never coached in the NFL or Carson Walch who was an assistant who didn’t really have a lot of clout. Now you have linebacker, which is not a position that has developed very well lately for the Eagles, except for Alex Singleton. Ken Flajole is gone, and they’ve got a bunch of young guys. I just feel like Matt Burke would have been perfect – he is a linebackers coach by pedigree.”
Caplan: “Rallis, I mean, he’s 26 years old, he hasn’t been in the NFL for very long; this is his fourth year. I’m stunned by this; I’m taking Jonathan Gannon at his word – it’s his call – that he must be an up-and-coming coach that he thinks is really good, because why else would you do something like this? Makes no sense.”
Mosher: “On top of what we were mentioning at the position – [the Eagles] bring in the Jets [defensive backs] coach Dennard Wilson – obviously he came well recommended. Now, you had a guy in Marquand Manuel who was a defensive coordinator. Remember, you had three defensive coordinators on your defensive staff – Manuel, Matt Burke, and Ken Flajole was a defensive coordinator at one time. So that’s a lot of experience. Now, you got a first-time defensive coordinator, you got a defensive line coach who comes from the college ranks, you have a linebackers coach who has never been a position coach before – he’s always be an assistant and quality control – and you got the defensive backs coach you basically traded for before Marquand Manuel went to the Jets.”
Caplan: “They gotta hire a senior defensive assistant. I’m not suggesting that the front office should get involved, but I’m hoping they suggested it to him. That’s what [Howie] Roseman did in the ’16 hiring. He didn’t say, ‘You have to hire this guy,’ he would make suggestions, and either Pederson would interview them or he wouldn’t.”
Caplan: “I’m told [the Eagles] interviewed Stan Drayton, who’s the University of Texas running backs coach. Maybe there were other running back names out there that they’ve interviewed, I am not aware of them … Drayton has talked to other teams, but he just apparently recruited a big-time running back.”
Mosher: “Andrew Breiner, we didn’t talk about him.”
Caplan: “I’m told he is unlikely to return.”
Senior Bowl recap
Mosher: “I was told that the access that the scouts had to the players was pretty much the same. It wasn’t just Zoom interviews or you couldn’t talk to the guys. So, the scouting process went thoroughly, as it normally would.”
Caplan: “The quarterbacks were mostly a disaster. When I say disaster, none of them really stood out other than Mac Jones. He did turn his ankle sometime during the week and didn’t play in the game. Here’s what you love about Mac Jones – so accurate, so under control – but he has one issue, he cannot drive the ball downfield. This is from multiple people I really respect, including an NFL general manager.
"The thing that you learn with college quarterbacks, you have to grade throws, not numbers. You have to grade what the tape shows you.”
Caplan: “[D’Wayne Eskridge] was phenomenal. By far, not only was he the best receiver on the field of both teams – arguably the best offensive player during the week.”
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com. Listen to the latest "Inside The Birds" podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here: