By Theodore N. Beitchman
I was racing around doing errands last Saturday when I tuned in to WIP to get my Ray Didinger fix.
It is doubtful that anyone who lives in the Philly region has more respect for Didinger than I do. I worked with him at the late, great Bulletin in the late-1960s when he became the youngest beat writer on the Eagles, and I have respected and admired him ever since.
So you will excuse me when I say:
When did Ray, who now writes for CSNPhilly.com, become Jimmy Kempski, who regularly posts stories without even one source, let alone two, which is what we were taught by Bulletin sports editor Jackie Wilson?
Ray was co-hosting with Reuben Frank, another respected reporter who also writes for CSNPhilly.com, and they were musing about the news that Eagles Supreme Leader Chip Kelly was making — trading Shady McCoy, cutting Todd Herremans and Trent Cole, and more.
You know this is not like Andy Reid. When he came here you knew he was invested in staying a good long time. Chip Kelly, on the other hand, has made no investment in the Eagles!
Really, Ray? Where is the evidence of that, or have you adopting the Sam Donnellon Body Language School of Chipology?
I pay pretty close attention to this stuff, and I have never heard, read or seen anything that supports the notion that Kelly wants out and will go back to college.
It is worth pointing out that Didinger had Kelly leaving when the Eagles started 3-5 in 2013 — to coach at USC!
Didinger and Frank repeated their tag-team approach on Comcast SportsNet Sunday evening, with Frank taking us down memory lane. I am paraphrasing:
I remember four years ago up at Lehigh when the Eagles signed a new free agent seemingly every hour, and Howie Roseman and Joe Banner were basking in the glory of the Dream Team signings. And I am just afraid that Kelly is doing the same thing — signing an old running back like Frank Gore and who knows who else. Then he’ll give up a bushel of draft picks for Marcus Mariota. What if Mariota turns out to be a bust? Chip goes back to Texas and we are left holding the bag that doesn’t include Shady McCoy, Trent Cole and Todd Herremans.
That is spectacularly flawed thinking on many levels:
Howie Boy Roseman and Joe Banner and Andy Reid gave us Vince Young, Nnamdi What’s His Name and all those other overrated losers on the Dream Team. Plus, they gave us Brandon Graham, he of the high motor, when safety Earl Thomas was still on the board. And can we ever forget Reid drafting Danny Watkins, a 28-year-old firefighter?
Chip Kelly knows more about evaluating talent than all three — Howie Boy and Banner were fantasy footballers on steroids.
Second, I trust Chip Kelly’s judgment a hell of a lot more than Andy Reid’s. Remember, he was the guy who took Juan Castillo, an offensive line coach, and made him defensive coordinator. How did that turn out?
All Kelly has done is take a 4-12 team and turned them into 10-6 in both 2013 and 2014. It’s not the Super Bowl, but Kelly inherited a lot of lousy players and now he wants to get his own. That’s not surprising. In fact, it is what I expected him to do.
Hey guys, free agency doesn’t even start until tomorrow, March 10. You might want to wait a while before you declare Kelly a failure.