Awful quiet yesterday in Philadelphia.
Couldn't say that everywhere. Not after anonymous Jets sources berated Mark Sanchez. Not after the hierarchy publicly booted Brian Schottenheimer. Not after everything short of the ground beneath MetLife Stadium bottoming out occurred.
How bad has it gotten? “Back-Door Lashings Calling Sanchez Oafish, Complacent and Unfit To Lead A Team Whose Confidence He’s All But Lost,” bad.
“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make (Sanchez) work at practice,” one player told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.”
Said another, responding to rumblings about the team’s interest in Peyton Manning: “We can win a Super Bowl with Peyton...How can we (with Sanchez) when he’s not improving at all? ...He thinks he is, but he’s not. He has shown us what he’s capable of.”
Yet all is quiet on the Philadelphia front.
That’s a stark difference amidst a sea of similarity between the teams. Both suffered blown-out hopes to once-promising seasons. Both saw substandard play from much-hyped quarterbacks and media darling defenses.
Sure, the Jets were bounced after back-to-back AFC Championship runs, and gums bumping to the rhythm of Super Bowl guarantees. But the Eagles had their chances to gripe.
Do you consider the day-to-day business operations of the Eagles commendable?
They endured the Broken Dream Team. They watched their quarterback crumble. They saw their star wideout pout.
Despite all the zaniness of Andy’s crazy ideas—mocking the offensive line coach-to-defensive coordinator promotion and “run-pass options” really aren’t gonna get old—no one from the inside made a peep.
Save for a single knucklehead (cough, Asante Samuel, cough) nobody bashed Reid or Vick or Joe Banner or Jeff Lurie or anybody. No Player Anonymous bowing out of the crosshairs in cowardice. No retaliation, like a tweet from rubbed-wrong veteran Nick Mangold for "unnamed sources" who “want to attack Mark (Sanchez)” to “man up and put your name to it.”
What a statement about the state of this Eagles organization.
There’s no rift. No discord. No dysfunction.
There’s chaos, the best descriptor for the “fluid” situation on the Steve Spagnuolo front—a third source of complication surfaced today, with word that the Falcons would “love” to land Spags as defensive coordinator and have made him their No. 1 target for the position, just 24 hours after night and day reports that he was contemplating retirement and on the cusp of joining the Eagles' staff.
But the Eagles don't have the inner turmoil taking place by the armful across the league.
Or of the Reggie McKenzie/Hue Jackson power struggle in Oakland that blindsided a now-jobless Jackson, one of just five coaches in league history to get the axe after a .500-or-better year and sixth Raiders frontman in the last eight years.
Or like last year’s head coach/coordinator rift between Mike Singletary and Jimmy Raye, and curious tactics of Mike Shanahan that a year ago teetered on racism.
That’s just not what you hear around these parts.
If anything, there’s talk of validation. Of achievement by osmosis. Of contagious success. That’s the takeaway from the news that the Colts tapped former Eagles director of player personnel Ryan Grigson, 40, as the successor to Bill Polian and the man with a say on the Peyton Manning-Andrew Luck draft day conundrum, responsibilities you don’t hand to just anybody.
And Grigson makes just the latest former Eagles exec to land a front-office promotion, a list that includes the well-respected GM of the Browns, Tom Heckert.
Where would you rank the Eagles among the league's top franchises?
While no news might prove good news for the rest of the league, any word out of Eagles camp screams promise.
Granted, some personas here could use personality. Cue: the unconscionable dismissiveness of your average Andy Reid press conference.
But does that trickle onto the playing field? If anything, the defensiveness, how Jeff Lurie described Reid's way with words, boosts morale and potential among the players.
Isn't that one the fans can learn to live with?
Isn't that better than the Ryan family's trademark bluster?
And the Eagles have tripped up in the past. I’ve gotta say, the Sean McDermott atrocity ranks atop the all-time list of PR blunders.
But the organization got it right this time, didn’t they? In keeping mum until deciding Juan Castillo’s fate? In keeping close to vest their interest in Spagnuolo? Even earlier, in keeping hush-hush the Nnamdi Asomugha deal until Jerry Jones had a chance to fist-pump his way to embarrassment?
That’s how professionals conduct business.
Or, it seems, how the Eagles do.