They could drive through Center City throwing stacks of $100 bills out the moon roof of Banner's Audi and people still would accuse them of being penny pinchers.
As the executive director of the NFL Coaches Association, Larry Kennan can only judge teams by how they treat their coaches. And the fact of the matter is, the Eagles treat theirs very, very well.
"Philadelphia is one of the good teams,'' said Kennan, who is at the NFL Scouting Combine to talk with the coaches about the league's uncertain labor situation and its potential impact on them.
With the recent additions of Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn, the Eagles have one of the league's highest-paid coaching staffs.
They are one of a shrinking number of teams still willing to fund a pension plan for their coaches and one of a shrinking number of teams still willing to foot the entire bill for their coaches' health insurance.
And while many NFL teams are poised to start downsizing their coaches' paychecks the minute a lockout is officially declared, the Eagles intend to hold off doing that as long as possible.
When the league opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement 3 years ago, teams started inserting a lockout clause in most coaches' contracts that would allow them to roll back salaries, or even terminate coaches, in the event of a lockout.
Kennan estimates that 90 to 95 percent of the league's coaches, including many head coaches, have a lockout clause. When those rollbacks and possible terminations will go into effect varies from club to club.
Some teams may start slashing coaching paychecks immediately. Some may wait 30 days. Some may wait 60 days. Some, like the Eagles, have told their coaches they will go the business-as-usual route for as long as 4 or 5 months before they consider reducing salaries.
"Some teams are saying we might roll your salary back immediately,'' Kennan said. "There are others who are saying after 30 days we'll roll back your salary 40 percent. No matter how much you make, if they roll your salary back 40 percent, it's going to be hard to make [bill] payments and all of that stuff.
"There are even a couple of teams that are saying you also can be terminated in the event of a lockout. The teams that have written that in there have said, 'We would never do that.' But if they'd never do that, why in the hell did they put it in there?''
Kennan said about seven or eight teams intend to start docking coaches money within the first 30 days of a lockout, which could start as soon as next Thursday if there isn't a new collective bargaining agreement.
Many more have said they will start doing it after 60 days, though some have said the coaches will be able to recoup the money if no regular-season games are missed.
"The Giants, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Indy, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, they're business as usual,'' he said. "They're going to do the right thing by their employees. That's why guys love working at those places.
"Guys feel good about working for those teams because they feel they're going to get treated right. Now, if there's a long, long lockout, there's a chance that even the guys at those places might get their pay docked at some point.''
Kennan is a longtime friend of Mudd, who came out of retirement to coach the Eagles' offensive line when Juan Castillo was promoted to defensive coordinator. He said Mudd's hiring speaks volumes about the way the Eagles treat their coaches.
"Howard wouldn't have gone back if it weren't [to coach for] one of the good teams,'' he said. "And Philadelphia is one of the good teams.
"The majority of owners in this league believe coaches are valuable. But there are other owners who believe anybody can coach. I worked for an owner once who said, 'Hell, I could go out and hire a bunch of high school coaches who could do a better job than you.' ''
Kennan said many of the coaches around the league are nervous about the repercussions of a lockout on them.
"There's enough stress in coaching already without being told we're going to dock you 25 percent of your pay if there's a lockout,'' he said. "They're locking the players out, not the coaches. They're going to be working and getting docked 25 percent. That doesn't make any sense.''
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