Someone needs to wake up Pat Shurmur. There were two plays on Sunday that the Philadelphia Eagles should have challenged. Schurmur is the man in the replay booth telling Chip Kelly to throw the challenge flag and I have no idea where he was during the game. If this continues, the lack of challenges could end up costing the Eagles a valuable win later in the season. It is not easy to get good at challenging plays, see Andy Reid‘s time with the Eagles for an example and Kelly will surely grow into the role. As soon as he can take the reins on it, the better, as Shurmur is certainly not doing his job.
Birds 24/7 quoted Kelly’s response when asked about the lack of the challenge on Jarrett Boykin‘s catch early in the game. “They said they got one clip up in the box,” Kelly told reporters Monday. “They saw both feet down, couldn’t really tell where the elbow was and then they were snapping the ball and going. What our coaches see in the box isn’t what everybody sees on national television. It’s just what is available to them then. There was really no discussion after that.” This brings up a few issues.
The Eagles need to have the same feed as the national television audience. That is an issue to be mapped out before the game. First off, Boykin’s elbow was out of bounds before his second foot came down and we could see that watching at home. Second, the lack of game management. Shurmur’s record as a coach should be enough evidence of his decision-making ability. Let him be a position coach and an offensive coordinator; let him have Kelly’s ear in the game plan but please take him out of the challenge booth. Part of coaching is identifying plays that need to be challenged. It can be crucial and, after this week, who really has faith that Kelly will challenge a play when needed in a big spot? It is an area that needs improvement.