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Eagles beat Giants; Steve O's Final Thoughts: The Morning After


Good morning campers,


I hope everyone had a safe New Year's celebration, and I want to wish each and everyone of you the best in 2016 and beyond.


Before I get to the final TMA of the season, it is what some modicum of sadness that I report that this may - MAY be the final TMA on Philly2Philly.com. No, I am not holding out for more money and no, Joe Vallee, the brilliant brain behind P2P is not considering bringing on another Eagles writer - at least I don't think he is.


No, in all seriousness, this may in fact the last TMA on P2P, as Joe, who is tackling a myriad of projects, just might move on to other challenges that await him. Over the last seven years, through various circumstances that haven’t been exactly the most ideal, Joe has poured his heart AND his soul into P2P, and I have been with him every step of the way.


We will always be friends (that's a given), and we will support each other, but there comes a time in your life when you get to that proverbial fork in the road, as Yogi would say, and Joe may just take it.



One thing is for sure, this will NOT be the final TMA ever, as God-willing, I will be back next season with a new Eagles coach and a possible new home for the TMA. You're not getting rid of me that easy.


Ok let's get to getting one last time in the 2015-16 Eagles season.


Can someone please explain to me just what in the hell the Eagles were doing winning yesterday's game? And before anyone out there gives me "But Steve, you have to always try and win" crap - spare me. What exactly did yesterday's W do for the team or for you? I'll tell you what it did: It cost them and us about 5-8 places lower in the first round of the NFL draft. Yessir, that big win against the Giants - AKA your division rival, gave THOSE Giants a significantly better draft pick. Well done Eagles, well done. As was the case last year, the final W meant nothing in the grand scheme of things.


What it cost was a much lower draft pick. So well played, Eagles. Pay close attention to whom the Giants draft next season (and those in and around the same spot you should have been in) and see what kind of talent they draft vs. what you are left with. Well played.


Good Lord, this team can't even lose right!


Wow what a beast Kiko Alonso was yesterday, huh? Flying all over the place, making plays, tackles and causing havoc. Well, ok maybe not havoc but...over the past week or so, I have had many a discussion with the KAs - the Kiko Apologists who somehow believe Ol' Kiko was playing hurt most of the season and that is why he played so….oh I don't know what the right word is. Oh yeah - pathetically pathetic and incredibly inept on an Grand Canyon-esque scale.  


Yes, these KAs say this with a straight face. They must be great poker players, for how can anyone in their right mind believe this stiff is, well...a stiff? Someone on the radio referred to the Kiko Alonso for LeSean McCoy trade as the worst in Philly sports history. Sorry, I can't go there. But, when you factor in what they gave up for him (the franchise's all-time leading rusher who still has something in the tank) and then weigh that against the production (or complete lack thereof) you got from #50... well, it may not be the worst ever in Philly sports history, but it's in the top 10 without a doubt.


Well played, Chip. Well played.


Players I Want Back Next Season- Let's cut right to the chase. The following are players I believe should return to the Eagles next season- all things being equal (meaning, regardless of who the new coach is).


Sam Bradford - Yes, he should be back. Why? Who else you got? Franchise him for one year. Overpay him for sure, but who else you got? Unless you want a total rebuild, who else you got?


DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles - Yes, they should all be back.


Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz - The last one pained me to write, but this team has so many other holes, you bring him back and hope for the best.


Lane Johnson & Jason Kelce - the former moves to left tackle while the former needs help (i.e. new guards in a big way)


Fletcher Cox, Jordan Hicks, Malcolm Jenkins, Connor Barwin, Walter Thurmond, Bennie Logan - no Mychal Kendricks- Of course he will be back. Remember, this is a list of who I would want back. Obviously, you cannot cut the likes of Byron Maxwell or Kendricks, but there's not many on the defensive side I would want back.


As for the kickers, I don't name kickers anymore (as you know), and as MQ astutely points out, you can get a kicker from the crowd or parking lot. They are, like razor blades, dispensable.


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And Lastly, My Thoughts on Chip- By now, you all know I have no love lost for the now former Eagles frontman, Chip Kelly. Time and again, I penned my disdain right here in these hallowed halls (including just last week- before he was even fired). That being said, I have to tell you I was completely blindsided when the news broke that he would not return next season.


Never in my wildest dreams did I envision a scenario in which Jeffrey Lurie did the unthinkable. Never. I had already resigned myself to the fact that he would be back, and we would be essentially right where we were this season, or perhaps even worse. If you can imagine that.


Now I know the CAs - the Chip Apologists - of which there are many, will tell you he deserved at least one more year - particularly as GM. As, in their eyes, he didn't get a chance to fully remake the roster.


To that I would simply say: Thank God he didn't get another year. I'm sorry all you CAs out there, but someone has to explain to me how a GM goes as long as he did without drafting one single offensive lineman, yet signs not one, but two big time free agent running backs.


Someone has to explain to me how a GM can let a potential Pro Bowl receiver in Jeremy Maclin walk, yet resigns Riley Cooper. Now, please spare me the "But Steve he tried to sign Maclin" bulls#@t. Spare me! Yes, he would have had to overpay him, but so what?! You tell us you don't have the money, yet you then go out and sign two free agent running backs?


Yes, I know the two backs cost as much as one back would have cost had you kept Shady. We know, Chip, as you boasted about that time and again. Great. But who exactly was going to block for this two, or three-headed monster in the backfield? Andrew Gardner? Matt Tobin?


Then there is the matter of the locker room and front office. By many accounts, dear CAs, Chip Kelly was not exactly Mr. Rogers. On the contrary. Lane Johnson referred to him as a dictator. I would say that's a pretty strong adjective, wouldn't you? photo: Oregonlive.com


Now to be fair, Johnson also said "I know he's a brilliant coach. It's probably tough making the transition from college to the NFL. It's different, and if you're set in your ways, maybe closed-minded a little bit and not willing to change, it's going to be difficult. It's going to rub people the wrong way."


Then there's free-agent-to-be Walter Thurmond, who apparently was a fan of Chip's.


"I don’t think it was Chip’s inability to be able to coach,” Thurmond said. “He’s over .500 in three seasons in the NFL. This was a case of the owner wanting a different direction for this team."


Ok fair enough. He is over .500 in a little less than three seasons in the NFL.


But to that I query, of the 47 games Chip coached the Eagles in the regular season and playoffs, do you know how many teams he beat with a winning record?




Chris Chase of USA Today put the entire Chip Kelly firing in the best perspective I have seen.


"Serving, and failing, as the general manager made it impossible for him to stay in Philadelphia. You can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle and the only move to make in 2016 was to strip Kelly of his GM duties. If you had to make an early guess, that may have been something he wasn’t willing to do.


This is why Lurie had to act. Unless Kelly would have accepted that personnel demotion, the 2016 season was going to be more of the same — a coach whose ego and devotion to his system left him blinded to the fact that systems don’t win in the NFL, talent does. Chip Kelly didn’t have enough of the latter on the field, and not enough to compensate for it on the sideline."


This is by far my favorite line: "a coach whose ego and devotion to his system left him blinded to the fact that systems don’t win in the NFL, talent does."


I wish Chip well. I really do. I do not think he will succeed in the NFL if he insists on full control. And by the looks of things, that is precisely what he will demand.


So for the last time, perhaps, with Philly2Philly.com...



Always remember, time's yours. Food's mine.


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Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com


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Chip Kelly photo: Oregonlive.com