Every Eagles fan knows how valuable an excellent assistant coach can be. A guy who knows how to teach, knows how to motivate, knows how to make split-second decisions on game-day.
But everyone knows lists of worsts are way more interesting than lists of bests!
So how about a list of the 10 worst assistant coaches in Eagles history?
I took a crack at it!
Later this week, we'll get around to the 10 best assistant coaches in Eagles history. But here - in alphabetical order - is one long time observer's thoughts on the 10 worst!
In the summer of 1995, Jeff Lurie hired Baptiste, a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer who had worked with Paula Abdul, to serve as the team's so-called Peak Performance Specialist. The team listed Baptiste as a member of the coaching staff even though he wasn't a certified athletic trainer and had zero football experience. Fair to say there was a high level of distrust among the players for Baptiste, especially considering the way head coach Ray Rhodes rolled his eyes at the outsider Lurie had brought in. "He's full of crap," Kevin Turner told the Inquirer during 1996 training camp. Baptiste lasted a few years here before starting his own "power yoga" business. According to his website, Baptiste has influenced "hundreds of thousands of people all over the world." Safe to say very few of them were Philadelphia Eagles.
Bible's tenure as offensive coordinator lasted six weeks! The Eagles opened the 1998 season 1-5 and were averaging 11.2 points per game when head coach Ray Rhodes demoted Bible. "He's the worst coach I've ever played for, and that includes my Pop Warner coach," one anonymous Eagle told The Burlington County Times a few weeks into the season. Rhodes replaced Bible with Bill Musgrave, who didn't do any better. Where is Bible today? Quarterbacks coach at UCLA under Chip Kelly, of course!
Before he became a really bad head coach with the Jets, Michaels was a really bad assistant coach with the Eagles. Michaels spent 1972 through 1975 as the Eagles' defensive coordinator under Ed Khayat and Mike McCormack. During that span, the Eagles were 18-36-2, allowed the most yards in the league (336 per game), the 3rd-most 1st downs, the 6th-most rushing yards and 2nd-most passing yards. All of which earned Michaels the Jets head coaching job, where he went 39-47-1 in six years.
Al Roberts was Buddy Ryan's special teams coach from 1988 through 1990, and special teams were a train wreck during that stretch. In Roberts' three years, the Eagles were 27th of 28 NFL teams in kick returns, 19th in punt returns, 17th covering kicks and 14th covering punts. They were also 21st in field goal percentage.
After moving John Harbaugh from special teams to secondary after the 2006 season, Andy Reid replaced him with Segrest, who had been coaching at Samford. Segrest's first game as an NFL coach was in Green Bay on opening day of 2007 and it was a special teams disaster, with J.R. Reed and Greg Lewis - neither of whom had ever fielded a punt in an NFL game - both fumbling punts deep in Eagles territory, leading to both Packers touchdowns in an agonizing 16-14 loss. Things never got a whole lot better for Segrest, who Reid moved to the defensive line two years later. After the Eagles fired him, Segrest never coached in the NFL again.
Walch last year became the Eagles' fifth WRs coach in five years. It did not go well. Nelson Agholor had a terrible season. Mack Hollins went two months without catching a pass before finally getting cut. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had a miserable season. Alshon Jeffery didn't do much even when he was healthy. As far as anyone can tell, Walch still hasn't found a coaching job on any level.
No, not THAT Bill Walsh. This Bill Walsh, who had been an all-pro lineman with the Steelers in the 1950s, coached the Eagles' offensive line from 1987 through 1991. During that period the Eagles allowed more sacks than any team in the NFL. They ranked 1st, 3rd, 9th, 5th and 6th in most sacks allowed in Walsh's five seasons in Philly.
This is the guy that didn't think Brandon Graham could play, the guy who infused Jason Babin with his me-first mentality, the guy who didn't hesitate to call his players the most foul, insulting, profane-laced names imaginable during public practices filled with kids at Lehigh, who regularly insulted his fellow coaches. Wash alienated so many people in the organization that he didn't even make it through his second year as the Eagles' defensive line coach.
For some reason, the Eagles were a breeding ground for bad special teams coaches for decades. Wessel lasted one year in 1997 under Ray Rhodes (his LinkedIn page says "less than a year"), and during that season the Eagles were 26th in the league in punt return average, 15th in kick return average, 19th covering kicks and 25th covering punts. Wessel coached three more years with the Bengals before becoming a mortgage banker.
Wood - the first NFL QB to throw a touchdown at Shea Stadium - was Rich Kotite's running backs coach from 1991 through 1994. During that period, Eagles running backs averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. Charlie Garner - who had a 4.6 career rushing average - had a 3.7 mark his one year under Wood. Heath Sherman averaged 3.8 yards. Herschel Walker got benched. Second-round pick Siran Stacy flamed out without ever getting an NFL carry. This wasn't a good place to be a running back in the early 1990s.
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