Without a doubt, the first place to evaluate after a team's season is the coaching staff. This definitely is the case after Joe Banner labeled the Eagles "the most talented roster in the NFL".
It's been long said that championship teams find a way to win in situations where the odds are against them. Andy Reid coached teams have received a reputation for NOT doing this the past few years.
I'm not excited that he's still the coach, but I have to give credit when it's due. Injuries and instability with the offensive line, linebacking corp and free safety position should have resulted in a 6-10 season. Finishing 11-5 with a playoff appearance under these circumstances was an accomplishment.
Whether you like it or not, Reid's midseason contract extension solidifies the fact that he's not going anywhere soon. Let’s take a look at some of the staff under Big Red.
If there’s one coach besides Reid that I’d like to see replaced, it’s offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. His play-calling and in-game adjustments were horrendous at times. Reid will get the blame as head coach but Mornhinweg should be able to relieve him of those responsibilities. Regardless, the team scored 429 points in 2009 (which is more than the Indianapolis Colts) and the offensive coach will receive a lot of credit for that.
Sean McDermott will get a pass since it is his first season as defensive coordinator. Also he had to deal with a lot of injuries and was forced to insert a few inexperienced players. The 2009 season was a crash course that can only help McDermott in the future when he has a healthy roster.
While the majority of the coaching staff will remain intact, the three changes that were made could prove to be huge. These aren’t the things that’ll make big headlines, but the significance can’t be denied.
The Buffalo Bills' shortcomings the past few seasons were mainly due to struggles on offense, particularly their lack of a franchise quarterback. Their defense and special teams units were actually not that bad. That didn’t stop ownership from dismissing Dick Jauron and Bobby April. One’s loss can be another’s gain.
Adding Jauron to coach defensive backs can only help the Eagles. The former head coach/defensive coordinator brings 25 years worth of coaching knowledge. He stated that he’s here to help Reid and McDermott. One sure way to that is to improve a unit that gave up the most passing TDs of Reid’s coaching tenure.
April is considered an old school guru on special teams. He’s very big on fundamentals and making sure his group operates as a cohesive unit. If the two time Special Teams Coach of the Year (2004, 2008) can help eliminate penalties, that would be considered a huge turnaround.
Mike Caldwell’s promotion to assistant linebackers coach is nothing to sneeze at. Linebacker coach Bill Shuey helped develop Stewart Bradley and Akeem Jordan. But, Shuey was a semi-pro defensive back and running back before he joined the Eagles organization. Caldwell’s experience playing the position will be a huge assistance.
With the coaching staff in place, it’s up to newly appointed general manager Howie Roseman to help put together the right group of guys for this staff to run. Some may criticize that Roseman isn’t a "football guy," but after 10 years of employment with a football organization he should be well prepared. He knew enough to bring in Phil Savage as a draft consultant and to make sure the scouting staff is intact after two members departed for Cleveland with Tom Heckert.
The front office and coaching staff look like they’re well assembled and prepared for the upcoming NFL Combine and free agency period. One important phase of the Eagles offseason has been properly addressed.
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