Welcome to SportsRadio94WIP's Judgment Week, where we will find out who we were wrong about and ultimately revisit five topics in Philadelphia sports with the benefit of hindsight.
From Wednesday, July 8th to Wednesday, July 15th fans were able to submit someone or something that we were wrong about.
From Monday, July 20th to Friday, July 24th we will spend each day judging, discussing, and debating one of the five most submitted topics that we were wrong about.
Coming up with names for 94WIP’s Judgement Week was much more of a challenge than our previous G.O.A.T. list. The premise is, players, coaches and front office members that we were wrong about over the years. The difficulty lies in the premise that we were wrong. Sports talk show hosts are always right, just ask us and we’ll tell you.
All kidding aside I’m going to focus on coaches for my top whiffs over the years.
Doug Pederson: Coming off the ugly break up with Chip Kelly who I will get to next. I legitimately thought the Pederson hire by Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman was a kin to searching out your favorite comfort food at the supermarket. Or thumbing through your yearbook to remember the good old days. It felt like they were trying to bring in Andy Reid 2.0. Pederson, despite playing for the likes of Reid, Mike Holmgren and Don Shula, had a meteoric rise through the coaching ranks. We were even sure if he was really calling the plays in K.C.in his last year there. Plus his “gosh darn it” demeanor does not lend itself to dynamicism. But Jeffrey and Howie knew the locker room needed mending. Emotional intelligence was not some Tony Robbins throw away line. Pederson was a connector. As witnessed in the Super Bowl run after losing his starting quarterback, left tackle, middle linebacker, among others. Doug’s guys do not quit on him. We’ve also seen that the last two years after poor starts and injuries. He was also a much more creative, gutsy play-caller and coach than many of us thought. Two words: Philly Special. Andy Reid’s coaching tree has been pretty spectacular. Maybe Andy 2.0 wasn’t such a bad thing to aspire to. Flailing hack with no contact.
Chip Kelly: I’m sure the Chip-ster will be at or near the top of everyone’s list. Rightfully so. He came here with such promise. He was a progressive thinker who was strong in his convictions and did not care what others thought. Therein lied the issue. Chip was ahead of his time in many ways including “tempo” and sports science. His first impression against the Redskins felt like an awakening. It was new and different and fun. What most of us, myself included did not realize was that Kelly suffered from “I’m smarter than you syndrome” which can be fatal. Chip also was missing the “connect” gene. It’s one thing to blow off an office Christmas party. It’s a whole other can of beans to have a disconnect the size of the Grand Canyon with your players. When given more power Kelly also divided the building. Everyone from scouts, to personnel people, and secretary’s. Jeffrey Lurie to his credit realized quickly he made a huge mistake and fixed it by handing Kelly his pink slip at the end of the 2015 season. Chip is likely one bad season at UCLA away from some kind of future as a consultant. A far cry from the hype he brought from Oregon. Swing and miss.
Doug Collins: Collins was a helluva player with the Sixers until injuries curtailed his career. He made four all star games and averaged nearly 18 points per game all in Philadelphia. When he transitioned into coaching, I thought he got a raw deal as the head coach of Chicago when Jerry Krause dumped him just when Michael Jordan and the Bulls were poised to start winning titles. (Come to think of it this might be two whiffs on my part considering Phil Jackson won 6 chips in Chi-Town). Regardless when the Sixers hired him as their head coach in 2010 I thought he would be the guy to get things turned around. And while it started well, he finished second in Coach of the Year voting after his first season. The Sixers as an eight seed beat the one seeded Bulls, granted they were without Derrick Rose in his second year. But his penchant for not playing younger players (Nic Vucevic), wanting to sign stiffs like Kwame Brown to big money deals and requesting Novenas for Andrew “bowling pins” Bynum wore real thin real fast. By his third and final season I could not wait for him to go. Cut on and missed.