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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Eagles show patience with draft choice

The Eagles hired a college coach, not a pro coach. They gave him a five-year contract, not a short-term one.

Thursday, they used the No. 4 draft to select a player, a "raw" player, instead of bumping down for more players and thus more immediate help.

The word: Rebuilding.

At 4-12, they had no other choice. But by the time they chose Lane Johnson with that No. 4 pick Thursday, it was never more clear that they plan to take a while before returning to contention. Chip Kelly wouldn't even clear out a spot at the top of the depth chart for him.

“He's raw,” Kelly said. “But we look at raw as a positive, not a negative. We felt that his ceiling is probably the highest.”

The pick was good, solid, well-received. Johnson was even Academic All-Big 12, a hint that he might seamlessly grasp the Kelly offense.

But the Eagles have been reaching for the pro-football ceiling since 1960, always coming up short. Johnson, at 6-foot-6, could help them reach it some day. Not just any day soon.

Check out my column on the Eagles, their new tackle and their new patience in the Daily Times Friday and, as always, on


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