“Vince Papale sees it in the post-practice reps Chad Hall takes with a JUGS machine, sees it when Riley Cooper makes a catch in traffic during seven-on-sevens.
Dick Vermeil would have relished a chance to coach the 2010 Eagles.
“He would’ve loved it,” said Papale, who played for Vermeil from 1976 to ’78. “He would’ve considered it a tremendous challenge. Dick was always one about giving opportunities. Obviously, he gave the greatest opportunity to me, but that’s what it’s about. He loves teaching.
“I know he would love Chad and he would love Riley. He would just relish the opportunity to coach guys like that because they’re just so full of zest and heart and enthusiasm.”
It has been 28 years since Dick Vermeil paced the sidelines as coach of the Eagles, but the beloved city icon was back at Lehigh yesterday with his two grandkids to get an up-close view of the new-look Eagles.
Wearing white sneakers, jeans and a tucked-in blue-and-red-striped polo shirt, Vermeil soaked in a new era of Eagles football, positive of a bright future for the young, talent-laden squad.
“I never took over a team that needed rebuilding,” Vermeil said behind tinted sunglasses, shielding his eyes from the scorching sun. “Kansas City was in the best condition of all the teams I took over.
“I was more of a patient guy, tried to build a common sense and work ethic and character and not take too many chances with personnel early and sacrifice too much down the road.”
Added Vermeil: “The organizations that don’t panic, that truly understand what it takes to rebuild a football team and keep it going, more or less are patient decision-makers, not impulsive decision-makers, and they don’t listen to too many sources outside. They have confidence in the people they have, and that’s how they make the decisions.”
That’s why Vermeil is all for the decision to trade Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins – a move he likes, in part, because it enables the defense to face a quarterback whose tendencies are known twice in a season.”
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