Eagles

How critical is mystery man Tom Donahoe to the Eagles?

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AP Images

How critical is mystery man Tom Donahoe to the Eagles?

He doesn’t even have a bio.

Tom Donahoe has spent nearly 30 years running NFL scouting departments, and he’s been with the Eagles for over seven years now. He’s a legend in the scouting community.

Yet when you try to click his name on the Eagles’ on-line front office directory, you can’t.

When you click every other notable front office staffer’s name on the team's web site, it leads to their bio.

Tom’s doesn’t click. Nothing happens. There’s no link. There's no bio.

This speaks volumes about Donahoe. 

He doesn’t want attention. He doesn’t want credit. He doesn’t want accolades. He just wants to quietly do his job and stay safely hidden, deep in the shadows.

And he’s been doing that for the Eagles since 2012.

A little background: Donahoe spent 1991 through 1999 as the Steelers’ general manager, a span where they won four straight AFC Central titles, went to the playoffs six straight times and reached three AFC title games and a Super Bowl.

After a power struggle with Bill Cowher left him briefly unemployed, he landed with the Bills, where he served as general manager until 2005.

Donahoe joined the Eagles’ front office as a “senior advisor” before the 2012 season and survived Andy Reid’s firing and the Chip Kelly Era, earning a promotion to senior director of player personnel on Dec. 29, 2015 — the same day Kelly was fired and Howie Roseman’s power was restored.

In the years since, he has been a crucial yet hidden voice in the Eagles' front office.

Donahoe is rarely seen. He’s been made available by the team for one interview — in the NovaCare Complex cafeteria in April of 2015, along with all the team’s scouts — and he was entertaining and insightful, regaling the media with stories of his career, including the role he played in converting Jason Peters from an undrafted tight end into a Hall of Fame offensive lineman while both were in Buffalo.

That was four years ago. For the most part, you don’t hear about Donahoe. You don’t read about him. But make no mistake about it. He is a huge part of this franchise. 

Donaohoe is a valued sounding board for Roseman, and a trusted adviser for owner Jeff Lurie.  

Donahoe grew up in the South Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh and played football at South Hills Catholic, where one of his teammates was George Weidl. 

George Weidl's sons? They would be Andy and Casey, who are both now key members of the Eagles’ scouting department. Andy last week was promoted to vice president of player personnel, with Joe Douglas becoming Jets GM, and Casey was just promoted to director of scouting operations.

Donahoe evaluated film for Roseman and Douglas when they were building a Super Bowl roster. He was on Lurie's search committee that recommended Pederson. He’s single-handedly responsible for two of the team’s highly regarded young scouting administrators.

Donahoe’s fingerprints are all over this franchise.

Donahoe is so uninterested in promoting himself or taking credit for the success the Eagles have had under his watch that he won’t even let his picture be taken for his bio. 

Go to Google Images and search for a picture of Donahoe. You can’t find one. At least nothing recent.

But I feel likes that’s exactly what you need at the heart of your scouting department, at the heart of your front office.

Donahoe is not in this business to get promoted or to gain notoriety. He’s doing this for the right reason. He likes to win. 

Donaohoe won his first Super Bowl with the Eagles 16 months ago, and I’m just guessing here but I’ll bet he doesn’t wear his ring.

He’s not about drawing attention to himself. He’s about doing whatever he can do to support Lurie, Roseman and now Andy Weidl, his high school teammate’s kid.

Douglas was the same way. Howie’s the same way. Weidl is the same way. 

That’s how you build a winning culture. A championship culture.

When you have a group of people working together that way – disinterested in who gets the credit, working solely with team goals in mind, operating without ego – you have a chance to do some pretty special things.

The best part of all this? If I made a mistake in this piece, nobody would ever know.

Because how do you look something up in a guy’s bio if he doesn’t have one?

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Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Never one to be left out, Terrell Owens has chimed in with his own social distancing home workout challenge, and it will take Eagles fans back.

Owens, aiming for people spending extra time at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, launched the "COVID-19 Driveway Challenge" on Monday evening, piggybacking off recent home exercise social media trends like the "See 10, Do 10" pushup videos.

Owens attempted to start his own movement with a video, filmed in a driveway, eerily similar to the classic 2005 situps he did while holding out as a member of the Eagles:

"All y'all stayin' at home, stayin' safe, let's get this workout in," Owens says in the video. "I need 19 situps, just like I did back in '04, '05, when I did my situps in the driveway." 

Say what you will about Owens: he's nothing if not on brand, even during a global health crisis.

Owens didn't detail whether he's looking to raise money for COVID-19 research, or simply awareness about responsible social distancing.

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Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

ESPN's First Take is a build-your-own hot take generator, but former NFL quarterback and current ESPN personality Dan Orlovsky usually tries to stay away from saying stuff just for reaction.

Which is why Orlovsky's assessment Monday of the five best quarterbacks in the NFC generated so much... discussion? Fury? It was kind of both.

Orlovsky said, in no uncertain terms, that he ranks Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as the fourth-best QB in the NFC, behind Russell Wilson (yep), Tom Brady (likely), and Drew Brees (yep). 

This, of course, puts Wentz ahead of Aaron Rodgers:

Unsurprisingly, Orlovsky had to deal with angry football fans all day, sifting through tons of tweets calling him out of whack and (kind of hilariously) demanding he be drug tested. You can go look at his timeline for the horror show.

I'm here to defend Orlovsky. Yes, Rodgers is one of the greats. And yes, in a vacuum there is zero comparison between the Packers legend and Wentz.

But heading into the 2020 season, knowing what we know about each QB, I'm also taking Wentz.

Rodgers has seen his completion percentage fall in each of the last four seasons, he posted the second-lowest yards-per-attempt mark of his career in 2019, and he turns 37 in December. Last year, he tossed too many errant passes on would-be easy completions. It felt like he'd turned the corner, and his prime was over.

Wentz, on the other hand, made do with embarassingly bad skill position players and led the Eagles to the playoffs with numerous clutch throws in December.

One of Rodgers' greatest remaining skills is his ability to avoid interceptions, throwing just six over his last 32 regular season games. You know who else has low INT numbers? Wentz, who posted a higher completion percentage than Rodgers in 2019 while working with you and me at wide receiver.

And Wentz, a decade younger than Rodgers and still growing as a passer, also has the added benefit of being an athletic, mobile quarterback.

The greats age, and eventually are no longer great. It happens, and it's happening here.

It took guts for Orlovsky to put Wentz ahead of Rodgers in 2020, but I'm glad he did - because now everyone else can do the same.

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