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October 19, 2017

Mailbag: Should Doug Pederson get 'Coach of the Year' consideration?

In our weekly Eagles chat, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time, or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow.

Question from Mike from Montreal: Very early but if the season ended today, is Doug Pederson Coach of the Year?

The Coach of the Year Award almost always goes to the coach of a team that has greatly improved the team’s record from a season ago. Here’s a history of recent Coach of the Year Award winners, and their team's record that year compared with the team's record the previous year:

 YearCoach Coach of the Year record Team's previous year record 
 2016Jason Garrett, Cowboys 12-4 4-12 
 2015Ron Rivera, Panthers 15-1 7-8-1 
 2014Bruce Arians, Cardinals 11-5 10-6 
 2013Ron Rivera, Panthers 12-4 7-9 
 2012Bruce Arians, Colts (interim) 11-5 2-14 
 2011Jim Harbaugh, 49ers 13-3 6-10 
 2010Bill Belichick, Patriots 14-2 10-6 
 2009Marvin Lewis, Bengals 10-6 4-11-1 
 2008Mike Smith, Falcons 11-5 4-12 
 2007Bill Belichick, Patriots 16-0 12-4 
 2006Sean Payton, Saints 10-6 3-13 
 2005Lovie Smith, Bears 11-5 5-11 
 2004Marty Schottenheimer, Chargers 12-4 4-12 
 2003Bill Belichick, Patriots 14-2 9-7 
 2002Andy Reid, Eagles 12-4 11-5 

As you know, the Eagles finished 7-9 last year (6-9 if you discount the Week 17 win over the Cowboys' second string). If the Eagles can win 12 games this season, I like Pederson's chances.

At a minimum, Pederson has already made this hot take look idiotic:

Comment from cormeagles: It’s not utterly crazy to think that the Eagles will be on Jordan Matthews’ short list next year. He loves Carson and he’ll be cheap.

Maybe. I have no idea what Matthews’ mindset is. However, I don’t think the Eagles will have any interest. If they valued him, they wouldn’t have included him as a throw-in player in the trade with Buffalo.

Question from Matthew: Vinny Curry has played nicely this year, but is still nowhere near performing to the level of his contract. I know there was a popular theory that he would just get cut, but with his improved play this season (particularly against the run), is there a chance the Eagles might approach him about restructuring his deal? I can’t imagine he’d command that big a deal on the open market.

To begin, Curry will count for $11 million against the cap in 2018. If they release him, they will save $5 million, with $6 million in dead money.

I don't disagree with most of your thoughts here, though I think they'll approach Curry about a pay cut, as opposed to a restructure. Typically, a restructure sans a pay cut would just mean that they would guarantee a portion of his salary into a signing bonus, then spread out that cap hit over the course of his deal.

The Eagles won't want to do that with Curry, who will turn 30 next offseason. In other words, they won't want to back load his contract with what would be dead money if they eventually decided to release him down the road. 

For the Eagles to get Curry to take a pay cut, Curry's camp will have to believe that they will cut him if he doesn't, thus setting up the scenario in which he wouldn't make as much as his current deal on the open market. That's a dangerous game to play if you're the Eagles. It'll be interesting to see how that situation plays out. 

Question from Robb Gaylord: Which Sixer would make the best football player? And what position?

None. I don’t like anyone from the current team as a football player. However, Allen Iverson could have been a good cornerback and probably a kick/punt returner in the NFL if that were his primary sport. In the NFL, his height would have actually been ideal, at 6’0, though he would have had to have put on a little weight. But he would clearly have the speed, toughness, and competitiveness to play corner in the NFL.

I also think Charles Barkley might’ve made for a decent football player. He was listed at 6’6, but he’s probably closer to 6’4, and he led the freaking league in rebounding. He knew how to position his body, he obviously had a bull in a china shop mentality, he had good hands, and great leaping ability. He would have clearly been a tight end.

I did ask around the media house for some answers on the current roster, and here's what some of the other Eagles beat writers had to say:

Zach Berman, Inquirer: G/F Justin Anderson (6'6, 230). Zach has Anderson as a TE/WR hybrid, and noted his physical nature.

Sheil Kapadia, The Athletic: PG T.J. McConnell (6'2, 190). Sheil mentioned McConnell as a scrappy special teamer in the mold of Chris Maragos.

Merrill Reese: C Joel Embiid (7'0, 250). Merrill liked Embiid's chances all batting down a lot of passes at the line of scrimmage.

Bob Ford, Inquirer: G/F Justin Anderson (6'6, 230). Bob liked Anderson as a safety.

Eliot Shorr-Parks, G/F Ben Simmons (6'10, 230). Eliot thought of Simmons at TE as a no-brainer answer.

Reuben Frank, NBC Philly, I think they're called now: G/F Ben Simmons (6'10, 230): Roob agreed with Eliot.

Bo Wulf, The Athletic: F Robert Covington (6'9, 225). Bo liked Covington's combination of athleticism, while not being too tall and skinny.

Mike Sielski, Inquirer: PG T.J. McConnell (6'2, 190). Mike sees McConnell as a slot receiver.

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