Posted March 08, 2013


AFTER Jim Washburn was fired last year we learned that he had openly referred to Juan Castillo as “Jaunita”. As Castillo was the Defensive Coordinator and Washburn was a position coach, this was technically a guy openly mocking his supervisor. I don’t know about how your job works, but in most cases that’s a write-up, a suspension, and even a firing.

When nothing was done about it, or worse when the subordinate was fired weeks after the supervisor over something not related to that matter, it said something loud and clear to anyone who saw or heard about it. It said that there is no leader, or chain of accountability.

Now it’s easy to say “Yeah um... Well…that was under Reid! We got us a new coach now.” While that’s true, there’s already been a pattern of dysfunctional communication, and murky leadership since we got our new coach in Chip Kelly.

First he’s not interested, then he comes back and signs up. He keeps secret his choice for Offensive Coordinator even though it’s clear that it’s Pat Shurmur, because Shurmur is the guy representing the Eagles while scouting players. There’s the holding out past the Super Bowl for a new DC, only to sign a guy who’d been available since December. There’s the 5 QB’s in a 3 way race for starter. The FA bust who’s been given an ultimatum, who so far hasn’t blinked, but hasn’t been cut.

It’s gotten so that by comparison the words of last year’s Eagles were easier for us to believe than this year’s model. And that’s a problem.



Poor communication can ruin almost anything. So can nebulous leadership. Coupled together there is no way to surmount those obstacles. Right now this team needs a direction. They need a rally point. Like an emotional leader in a huddle, having a central idea, a shared big picture, can act as something that everybody can go back to when the **** hits the fan. You can have a Brian Dawkins or Ray Lewis to preach to the troops, but those guys need something to preach. They need a central message. They also need a leadership structure behind them that gives weight to what they say.



 Define the boundaries. Players won’t respect a staff that isn’t on the same page. If Michael Vick comes to the sideline with his shoulders slumped, and DC Billy Davis says to him “Fix your body language!” Vick needs to know that snapping at Davis will get him into hot water with Shurmur AND Kelly. Because a coach is a coach. Period. If the rookies see that even the starting QB is accountable, they will know they are accountable, and it will become culture here.

On the other hand coaches need to know that childish infighting is a way to find themselves watching the game from home, unless they get a job with another team. If the people at the top don’t foster the team concept, it can’t be handed down to the players.

If Kelly is clear and straight with his team, and if he punishes and rewards accordingly, the rest will take care of itself. It’s been true of Pop Warner, High School, College, Semi-pro, and we’ve even seen it work in the NFL.

Just shoot straight.


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Oregon walk-on QB Taylor Alie reportedly to start vs. WSU

FSU fan posts 'missing' signs for Miami's football program

Greg Hardy stars in rap video, fires back at critics

Report: Chip Kelly in danger of losing Eagles locker room

Ronda Rousey issues warning: Call me fat and I'll kill you

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?


Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates

Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs

Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Adam Wainwright criticizes erectile dysfunction ads in MLB playoff coverage

USC fan makes fake Craigslist ad for new head coach

Victor Cruz and the Giants: This season and beyond

A.J. Green is who Calvin Johnson used to be

The extension dilemma: Festus Ezeli and the Warriors

Is Utah a legit Pac-12 contender?

WATCH: Justin Gilbert talks about surprise 'move to offense'

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker