PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 14: Andy Reid, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field before the NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field on August 14, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Andy Reid has a new life in Kansas City. But he was careful to acknowledge his Philly legacy. The former Eagles coach rode in the Chiefs’ private plane over the weekend before officially becoming their new coach. But he had nothing but positive things to say about his 14 seasons with Philadelphia during a 15-minute conference call today with the media that cover the Eagles.
“I have nothing but fond memories,” Reid said. “I loved my time there. I had 14 great years. I want the (Eagles) fans to know that I love Philadelphia. I haven’t sold my home there. And I wish nothing but the best for the Eagles. I think they’re in a better place now than when I took over, and I wish them nothing but good things in their future.”
“Change can be good. Obviously I’ve had a change and so have the Eagles. And that can be a positive thing.” Reid is taking over a Chiefs team that finished a league-worst 2-14 this past season under Romeo Crennel.
The Eagles are still looking for Reid’s successor.
They interviewed Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday and are scheduled to meet with Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley this week. They already have talked to Atlanta special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Reid wished the next Eagles coach good luck and asked the team’s fans to have patience.
“When you’re in some place for a long time, players unfortunately get a little older and you’ve got to replenish, but expectations remain the same,” Reid said. “Expectations (in Philadelphia) are high, but you’re going to take a little hit and and build back up.
“The Eagles are going to do that. They’ve got some young guys in some crucial positions and the next head coach is going to have a couple of years to build it back up. I hope the fans give him an opportunity.”
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Excited about the BCS Championship Game tonight (Monday January 7th)? Brizer has advised us to keep our scouting antennae focused on a bunch of guys in this game who may end up on your Mach 10 ballot later this year.
#1 NOTRE DAME (12-0) V. #2 ALABAMA (12-1)
THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
SUN LIFE STADIUM - MIAMI, FL - 8:00 PM EST ON ESPN
This is really going to happen. Irish fans have wallowed in and out of sincere doubt for years over whether this opportunity for a championship would ever come again. The university's balance between academics and elite football in the modern era seemed to be boxing Notre Dame out of the game's upper echelon more and more with each passing fall. The narrative of how ND emerged in 2012 from the Davie-Willingham-Weis eras of false hope mixed with futility to the precipice of the sport has been well documented over the past 45 days.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
5. Notre Dame's Red Zone Defense - Eight allowed Red Zone TD's by the Fighting Irish defense in 2012 is so damn impressive. Alabama, who scored over 30 points in 11 of 13 games, is going to move the ball on multiple drives the same way many other Irish opponents did. With their backs against the goal-line is where Notre Dame has won games all season and where they will win again against Alabama. Tide QB A.J. McCarron isn't a threat to run, but this is the best offensive line the Irish face so the defensive backs will need to be on the same page for every snap because pressure isn't going to be easy to come by. When the Irish win this game, their Red Zone stats should be chiseled into massive bricks and mounted in the Notre Dame Stadium end zone. Seriously.
4. Jesse Williams v. Mike Golic Jr - Alabama's defensive tackle is a 330 lb Australian steakhouse who can bench press 600 lbs and subs in at fullback for the Tide's goal-line offense. Mike Golic Jr has far exceeded preseason expectations, like his entire team, but is still a player Nick Saban can look to attack early and often. Saban, with overloaded lines and special blitz packages, will get Golic matched up with Williams one-on-one as early and often. Golic's ability to hold his own, especially on pass sets, is key to the diversity of the Irish offense.
3. Tyler Eifert - While actual practices were limited during the long 45 day break, film study and game-planning has never been more focused for Brian Kelly. It would seem to make sense that getting Everett Golson to recognize single coverage on Tyler Eifert was near the top of the agenda over these sessions. Alabama can put their stellar corner, Dee Milliner, on Eifert but at 6'1'', 200 lbs he gives up 6 inches and 50 lbs to America's best tight end. If he's not receiving any help, that's a match-up Golson should favor at every opportunity. Nothing could be more ideal for the Brian Kelly than to send Nick Saban into halftime redesigning the defense to stop #80.
2. Barrett Jones v. Louis Nix III - Jones's recovery from an injured foot against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game has been the biggest personnel storyline of the game. Ty Hildenbrandt of The Solid Verbal Podcast went as far as to tell me that Jones was the best player on the field in last year's National Title Game. Jones missed nearly every Alabama practice in December and presumably hasn't been able to maintain the kind of conditioning we'd like to think he'll need for the slugfest against the Irish. Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III can be unblockable for extended stretches. If Jones's ailment leads to the Tide needing to double team Nix, then Stephon Tuitt, Manti Te'o and the rest of the front seven may find more creases to wreak havoc than any previous 'Bama opponent. Even if Barrett Jones is healthy, I expect 'Bama's guards to stay in often because Irish Chocolate is that good and that funny.
1. Confident Golson or Cocky Golson? - Notre Dame's sophomore quarterback doesn't need to be sensational to win this game but he needs to be good enough not to lose it. That starts here: Golson must not turn the ball over. He only has 2 interceptions in his past five starts which includes nearly 150 pass attempts. One interception was a terrible pass on a terrible read (Pittsburgh in the end zone) and the other was on a cocky deep bomb in a blowout against Wake Forest. Nick Saban will try to use that cockiness against him and mix up his coverages throughout in hopes of catching Golson misreading defenses. More important for Golson will be protecting the football when moving in the pocket and when running into the defense. Tide defenders must be drooling as they watch Golson whip through slower defenses without so much as a tuck of the football into his jersey. The Crimson Tide defense will close on him faster than any unit he's ever seen. If he's listened to Brian Kelly, we might see Golson in a few QB slides that will allow him to fight another play. Golson has all the tools and ability to beat Alabama for enough big plays to win this game.
Thanks to The Subway Domer website staff for their research help with this matchup...