Flyers' exit, NFL draft

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There's been a conspicuous lack of discussion about Flyers coach John Stevens' job security. Is anyone surprised?

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil
Subject: Hockey and the draft

Like all puck heads, I'm crushed that the Flyers are out of the playoffs. As Phil wrote in yesterday's column, Ed Snider said the Flyers don't need major changes, only tweaks by Paul Holmgren and John Stevens.

Are you two surprised that the Flyers aren't even entertaining the idea of changing the coach? I thought knee-jerk coaching changes were supposed to be the NHL's favorite pastime.

From: Ford, Bob
To: Gonzalez, John; Sheridan, Phil
Subject: Hockey and the draft

Just because Ed "Mr." Snider says he isn't contemplating big changes, doesn't mean he isn't, well, contemplating big changes. I would like to see the Flyers break the trend of just switching coaches every time you lose. I like Stevens, think he's bright, fair and acceptably tough by hockey standards. It's a strange game. If coaches in any other sport screamed and punished players the way hockey coaches do, they wouldn't have to be fired. They'd be fragged.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil
Subject: Hockey and the draft

Hmm. Yes. Fascinating . . . wait, what were you saying?

I'm a little distracted. The Eagles just traded out of the third round. And the Titans took South Carolina TE Jared Cook. Jaws says Cook is the new Shannon Sharpe. Good thing the Birds didn't take him.

I've watched every second of the draft, and I haven't been outside since Friday. Is there a help line you can call for this kind of thing?

From: Sheridan, Phil
To: Ford, Bob; Gonzalez, John
Subject: Hockey and the draft

I think there are a couple of things at work. First, Gonz, you have fallen victim to the subliminal messages embedded in Mel Kiper's hair, which beseech you to keep watching the draft. Second, I think Paul Holmgren knows that this team has some flaws - time will repair a few, as youngsters like Claude Giroux and Ryan Parent mature - and that his cap-management issues created some disruptions in continuity and team chemistry.

Firing the head coach can actually shake up a complacent team, even if the coach himself is fine. Human nature. But if Holmgren scapegoats Stevens, the attention will surely turn to him next.

That said, the team really is very good. It's just that the Penguins, by virtue of being awful so many years in a row, are stocked with an embarrassment of young superstar talent.

I just hope the Eagles get that kid from Southern Illinois in the sixth round. Love that kid from Southern Illinois.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil
Subject: Hockey and the draft

How are Parent's hands? Can he  play tight end? The Eagles can always use another one of those in case Cornelius Ingram from Florida doesn't work out.

By the way, I don't think Kiper has Giroux getting picked. Scouts question his size.