Eagles Mailbag: The Jalen Hurts Punitentiary Experiment

In honor of one of the questions in this mailbag I’m pulling out a cliche: you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

What is a pun for Jalen Hurt’s name that hasn’t been rinsed to death yet? – Lonis

Using “Hurts so good” is just lazy now, which is kind of funny because Jalen Hurts is so good right now. The expiration date on anything being cool is when a corporate or in this case team social media account starts to use something. The Eagles have used “Hurts so good” along with “Slay so much it Hurts” which is advocating doing a lot of murdering, “hit ’em where it Hurts” which is just obvious, and “the truth Hurts” which is a bad situation to be in. So we can retire those.

I think the only title, phrase, saying, idiom, expression, etc. that has “hurt” or “hurts” in it that hasn’t and won’t be done to death is “Everybody Hurts.” This one feels safe because A) it doesn’t really make any sense unless say, he throws a TD to the entire starting lineup, but more importantly B) the phrase immediately brings to mind Michael Stipe taking three seconds a syllable to sing “everybody hurts” and, if you’re old enough to remember the music video, sitting in traffic. No one wants to remember sitting in traffic.

Not a technical question but I’m going to mailbag a larger response:

I think he’s the best assistant coach in Eagles history. I’d rank the top 5 assistant coaches as follows:

1.Jeff Stoutland, offensive line 2013-present

I give Stoutland the top spot because he has both peak with a Super Bowl ring and longevity as he’s on his third head coach and offensive line is not a coaching position that tends to have a high level of job security when there is a head coaching change . Look around the league at position coaches who have been around much longer than their head coach and you’re probably looking at a running back or tight end coach. Stoutland keeps producing elite offensive line play and developing player after player. It feels like the only reason Jeff Stoutland will stop being the Eagles offensive line coach is because Jeff Stoutland decides he doesn’t want to be the Eagles offensive line coach.

2. Jim Johnson, defensive coordinator 1999-2008

If you want to make the argument that Johnson should have the top spot, you’ll get little resistance from me. Andy Reid is going to the Hall of Fame and is the only true QB guru coach in the league, and yet the best unit of his Eagles teams was the defense. Johnson had some great players to work with, but he also got a rotating cast of supporting players. During his tenure the Eagles blew through linebackers, the defensive line was always in flux, and in the four straight NFC Championship Game run from 2001-2004 he had four different starting secondaries. Change never stopped Johnson.

3. Marion Campbell, defensive coordinator 1977-1982

Find a really good Eagles team and you’ll find a really good defense. When the Eagles went to the Super Bowl in 1980 Dick Vermeil, Ron Jaworski, Harold Carmichael, and Wilbert Montgomery were the headliners, but their defense led the league in scoring. From 1977-1981 Marion Campbell had the Eagles top 10 in scoring defense and were #1 back to back. He had a good core of players but other than Charlie Johnson and Bill Bergey didn’t have any stars. He just kept putting out really good defense after really good defense. As a head coach he was terrible, but as an assistant he was top notch.

4. John Harbaugh, special teams 1998-2006, defensive backs 2007

Andy Reid inherited Harbaugh and then spent eight years giving him an ever changing cast of players and asking Harbaugh to give him a good special teams unit out of them. And he did. In those eight seasons he had eight different players return double digit punts or kicks, to say nothing of the churn of coverage unit players. If teams weren’t afraid to hire special teams coordinators as coaches he would have been hired sooner, as evidenced by being hired one year after being a defensive backs coach.

5. Jon Gruden, offensive coordinator 1995-1997

I could go a few ways for the fifth spot. I give it to Gruden because might have done more with less than anyone to consider here. He got the Eagles offense to punch above its weight, in 1996 the Eagles were 9th in scoring, 10th in DVOA, and 4th in passing yards despite being 12th in attempts, his QBs were Rodney Peete and Ty Detmer, they threw to Chris Jones and 34 year old Irving Fryar. In 1997 Bobby Hoying threw 11 TDs to 6 INTs to end the season. It seems ridiculous now but heading into the 1998 season he was seen as an up and coming potential starting QB. But Gruden had left to become Raiders head coach that offseason. Bobby Hoying never threw a TD for the rest of his career.

Honorable Mentions: Jim Schwartz, who won the Super Bowl; Bud Carson, who had great defenses but also a ton of talent to work with and Buddy Ryan ahead of him on the depth chart; and Juan Castillo, who did a great job as an offensive line coach and a terrible one as a defensive coordinator. I’ll also point out that the Eagles have employed Sid Gillman, Wade Phillips, Dick LeBeau, Jeff Fisher, Tom Coughlin, Bill Callahan, Ron Rivera, and Ted Marchibroda at various points in their coaching careers, who all had successful assistants or head coaching careers.

How much Eagles gear is too much in a wedding? – Tyler R

If you’re not going to be able to kiss your bride or groom then you’re wearing too much. Other than that, it’s your wedding, do what you want, though I’d stay away from face paint.

If you want to go all out, here are some tips (do not take this advice):

– Get married in the Jetro lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been done before.

-Have your food and drink like a tailgate, you’ll save money on a bartender by having a keg. Actually if done right that could be a pretty cool wedding. Damn, I am mad I didn’t think of that for mine.

-Walk down the aisle to the Eagles fight song, sung by everyone in attendance.

-Instead of a bridal veil go with a helmet with a full cage face mask.

-Have the bridesmaids wear Eagles varsity jackets like Princess Diana. Have the groomsmen in jerseys, if you have five groomsmen you can either go all offensive line or all skill position players.

-Have your vows on an Andy Reid-sized playsheet, or have the best man or maid of honor hold up play cards like Chip Kelly used.

-The bouquet has to be snapped to the bride before being tossed.

-Have whoever officiates the wedding say “time’s yours” instead of “I now pronounce you…”

-Have a recording of Merrill Reese saying “IT’S GOOOOOOOD!!!!!!” when the bride and groom (or bride and bride or groom and groom) kiss. Maybe for the right price he’ll officiate?

Seriously though, midnight green would be a really good accent color for a wedding.

Which Eagle would you want as your cornhole partner? – Tyler M

I’m taking Gardner Minshew for two reasons. One, you need a consistent, soft, accurate, arcing toss to excel at cornhole. That’s kind of the passer that Minshew is. He’s not going to try to rifle it in there.

But more importantly, when the Jaguars took Minshew in the 2019 draft… he was playing cornhole.

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