It's Media Day for SB47 participants in New Orleans, which usually means 30 other teams in the league are scrambling to generate any kind of positive buzz they can for their own organizations.
News items are rolling in on the Eagles as the organizational puzzle is gradually being solved. This is no time for me to try to be clever; I'll just lay them out there for the Bored like a buffet at Brizer's Super Bowl party....
Eagles hire Virginia's OC Bill Lazor as QB coach...
Bill Lazor, who was the offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia, has been hired by Chip Kelly to join the Philadelphia Eagles' coaching staff according to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com.
Lazor has been the offensive coordinator at Virginia since 2010, but has plenty of NFL experience prior to his move to the college game. Lazor coached in the NFL from 2001-2009, with all of his work coming on the offensive side of the ball. He was the quarterbacks coach with the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks.
Chances are the Scranton native will take on that same role with the Eagles. With Pat Shurmur reportedly in the fold, odds are that Shurmur will be the offensive coordinator and Lazor the quarterbacks coach. The common trend so far for the coaches the Eagles have brought in to help on offense has been a history of developing quarterbacks. Whether it is Nick Foles, or a renegotiated Mike Vick, or a rookie they select in this year's draft, Chip Kelly is going to have to develop a quarterback to run his offense. Kelly did not develop any quarterbacks at Oregon that have succeed at the NFL level, so it's clear the Eagles recognize the need for a coach who has done so in the pros.
The Eagles, like they have with all of the other coaching staff hires, have not confirmed the move.
Bill Davis interviews for DC job...
Bill Davis met with the Eagles on Sunday about their defensive coordinator position, according to a league source. Davis, a former defensive coordinator with the Cardinals and 49ers, was the Browns' linebackers coach the past two seasons, the same position he held with the Giants in 2004.
The Eagles remain without a defensive coordinator close to two weeks after they hired Chip Kelly as their head coach. Some of the names believed to be in the running to guide Kelly's defense are San Francisco's Ed Donatell, Baltimore linebackers coach Ted Monachino and University of Georgia's Todd Grantham.
Davis' name isn't a total surprise. PhillyMag's Tim McManus mentioned him as a possibly this past weekend and Davis brings experience as an NFL defensive coordinator. Davis ran the San Francisco 49ers' defense from 2005-06 and Arizona Cardinals' defense from 2009-10. None of his units ever finished in the top half of the league in total defense.
Donatell, considered by many as the frontrunner, also didn't experience much success running his own defense. The Eagles must wait until the conclusion of the Super Bowl this weekend to interview Donatell, who coaches the 49ers' defensive backs...Same goes for interviewing Monachino.
Davis is currently unemployed. He is not listed on the Browns' website as a current coach after spending the past two years in Cleveland. The Browns hired a new head coach (Rob Chudzinski) and defensive coordinator (Ray Horton) this offseason. Davis doesn't appear to be in their plans, although the Browns do not have a linebackers coach yet.
Davis does have an Eagles connection. His father, Bill, spent 15 seasons as an NFL coach and executive, including some time with the Eagles.
Speaking of Monachino...
The Eagles have shown interest in the Ravens linebackers coach, two NFL sources told The Inquirer's Jeff McLane. Monachino is considered an up-and-comer who coached outside linebackers for two seasons in Baltimore before being promoted to linebackers coach. He's never called defensive plays outside of his experience as a high school defensive coordinator in the early-to-mid 1990's.
McLane also threw out the names of several other Ravens and 49ers assistants as possibilities. Among them were 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, linebackers coach Jim Leavitt and Ravens defensive backs coach Teryl Austin. All three have considerably more experience running a defense than Monachino.
Mike Vick's contract with Eagles is still alive after all...
Turns out Vick is not a dead man walking contract-wise with the Eagles. He has a wider window to remain signed by the team than we thought.
Vick can be released without compensation unless he is still on the roster as of February 6, at which time he would be owed a $3 million roster bonus. But Jason LaCanfora has discovered a unique clause in the Eagles' contract with Vick, which specifies Vick could receive the $3 million bonus, remain on the Eagles roster, but would have until the free-agency deadline in April to make a deal with a new team. Reportedly by contractual agreement, the new team signing Vick would then absorb the $3 million payback to the Eagles.
Sounds complicated, but what it amounts to is the Eagles can carry Vick a little longer as a $3 million insurance policy at the QB position.
It makes sense that the Eagles gamble on the $3 million with Vick. Even if Kelly and the Eagles decide Vick is not their best option this upcoming season, they can see what he brings back in a trade. Vick turns 33 later this year. Due $16.5 million, it's unlikely he'd bring back anything more than a mid-to-late-round draft pick. Still, it's a risk worth taking.
Trivia question for Eagles fans to appear smart at the buffet...
Want to impress your fellow Iggles fans at that Super Bowl party? You can ask them this question: "What play did McNabb call on the 4th-and-26 conversion against Green Bay in the 2003 divisional playoff game?"
Answer: With 1:12 on the clock and having no timeouts, it appeared as though the Eagles would fall to the Green Bay Packers 17-14. "74 Double-Go" was the call in the huddle. As McNabb dropped back, he recognized two fatal mistakes made by the Green Bay defense. First, MLB Nick Barnett inexplicably covered the underneath route of the TE opening up the deeper route behind him. Second, FS Darren Sharper allowed the inside skinny post route of WR Freddie Mitchell to cross his face, creating a window for McNabb to throw into.
Okay I'm done...