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Roob's Obs: When Kotite's ultimatum to Lurie backfired hilariously


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Roob's Obs: When Kotite's ultimatum to Lurie backfired hilariously


The time Corey Simon got locked out of his hotel room at the Super Bowl, an underrated Eagle who needs a new contract and a Philly legend goes into the Hall of Fame – but not the one you’re thinking of.

It’s this weekend’s edition of Roob’s Random Eagles Offseason Observations!

1. Nine games into his fourth season as Eagles head coach, Rich Kotite had a 36-21 won-loss record, a playoff win under his belt, and his 1994 Eagles were 7-2 nine games into the season. But Kotite didn’t have a contract beyond 1995 and he was adamant about wanting an extension before the 1994 season even ended. When new owner Jeff Lurie correctly insisted there wouldn’t be any contract talks until he evaluated Kotite’s performance after the season, Kotite tried to pressure him for a new deal by saying, "I might do some evaluating of my own,” adding, "Anybody in my profession or any profession has a right to make judgments, I think that’s healthy. It’s not a one-way street, it’s a two-way street.” He concluded: "I believe my record speaks for itself.” What happened next? The Eagles became the first and only team in NFL history to open a season 7-2 and not win another game, and Lurie fired Kotite after the Eagles lost their last seven games. Kotite spent the next two years coaching the Jets, going 3-13 and 1-15. So after stating "I believe my record speaks for itself,” Richie the K. went 4-35 in his next 39 games. Think about that. Four wins in 39 games. He never coached again.

2. I hope the Eagles understand how valuable Boston Scott is. The guy's a touchdown machine. He’s got 14 career rushing touchdowns on just 235 carries. Only two players in NFL history have more rushing TDs on fewer than 250 carries – Hank Bauer of the Chargers in the 1970s and 1980s and John Kuhn of the Packers and Saints from 2008 through 2016. Scott is a restricted free agent, but the Eagles can’t mess around here. They need to tender him or better yet sign him to a long-term deal. They can’t risk losing him.

3. Clyde Simmons and Brian Dawkins had the same number of pick-6’s in their career. Two apiece.

4. Good for DeVonta Smith articulating just how important it is for the Eagles to go out and get a veteran WR in free agency this spring and how valuable it would be for him to have a guy to watch and learn from and play alongside. Not only do the Eagles need a legit WR2, they need a veteran presence in a young wide receiver room, and it was important for Smith to say that and put a little pressure on Howie Roseman to make it happen.

5. It was about five hours after Super Bowl XXXIX ended with a thud, and I finally arrived back at the team hotel – the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach – at about 3 a.m. Walking through the lobby I spotted Corey Simon having an animated conversation with a front desk clerk, and I overheard her telling Corey she couldn’t give him a room key without a photo ID. Turns out Corey had locked himself out of his room, and he didn’t have any ID with him, and they wouldn’t give him a new key without it. Corey was exhausted. It was a long year, a long hot and humid day, a bitterly disappointing loss. "Rooooob,” Corey mourned to me. "They won’t let me in my room.” I vouched for Corey: "That’s really Corey! He just played in the Super Bowl!” But she said it didn’t matter what I said, she wouldn’t give him a key without a photo ID. That’s when I pulled my official Super Bowl program out of my computer bag, opened it up to the Corey Simon page – which had a nice big glossy photo of Corey – and held it up for her. Corey got his key.

6. Jalen Hurts Stat of the Week: Jalen Hurts generated a total of 199 first downs in 15 games this year – 143 passing and 56 rushing. That’s 13.3 first downs per game, and that was 11th-most among all NFL quarterbacks this year behind Josh Allen (16.9), Patrick Mahomes (16.8), Justin Herbert (16.7), Tom Brady (16.6), Lamar Jackson (15.3), Dak Prescott (14.6), Matt Stafford (14.2), Derek Carr (14.1), Aaron Rodgers (13.9) and Joe Burrow (13.5).

7. Amazing to see Philly native Art McNally become the first NFL official voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McNally is a heck of a story. Born and raised in Philly, attended Roman Catholic and Temple, served in the Marines in World War II, and then began a two-decade teaching career at Central and Edison high schools while also officiating NFL games. McNally, who settled in Morrisville, Bucks County, went to work full-time as the NFL’s supervisor of officials in 1968 and spent more than 30 years as the NFL’s officiating guru and another decade in various supervisory roles in the NFL and other leagues before finally retiring in 2015 at the age of 90. A tremendous honor for a true Philly guy.

8. The Eagles this year became the first team in NFL history to have five players with 50 or more carries average 4.3 yards per carry or higher: Jalen Hurts [5.6], Miles Sanders [5.5], Jordan Howard [4.7], Boston Scott [4.3] and Kenny Gainwell [4.3].

9. We made a big deal about it early in the season when the Eagles were the most penalized team in the NFL, so it’s only fair to look at what happened after that. Through five games, the Eagles committed an NFL-high 50 penalties, most in franchise history through five games. The last 12 games, they committed 57, and only five teams committed fewer. Penalties reflect a lack of discipline, and for Nick Sirianni to find ways for his team to dramatically reduce the penalties as the season went on is a really good sign. It’s not always easy to teach discipline. But Sirianni did it.

10. I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I could never bring myself to care about jersey numbers or uniform colors.


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Richie K was wont to say "Play like a Champion" which always seemed to me like he was saying you're not one, but pretend to be.

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