Zone Read: Eagles-Titans, the Day After

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Ever since Josh Huff played for Chip Kelly as a true freshman at Oregon in 2010, his head coach has asked the same question on the field before games.

Are you scared?

“He always asked me that before every game,” Huff said. “And every game I tell him the same answer: No I’m not scared, and I’m ready to make a play. And that was evident today.”

Huff was 7 yards deep in the end zone when he fielded the opening kickoff against the Titans. He said he knew regardless of where he received it, he was going to bring it out. And so he did.

Key blocks from James Casey, Trey Burton and Zach Ertz sprung Huff as he headed towards the right sideline. He delivered a stiff-arm to Titans kicker Ryan Succop at the Eagles’ 37 yard line and kept the ball in his right hand.

Near the Tennessee 20, he delivered a second stiff-arm, throwing a Titans defender to the ground. Huff crossed the goal line, faked a spike and tossed the ball behind him as his teammates began celebrating.

As he returned to the sideline, he got a handshake from Bryan Braman, a congratulatory headbutt from Chris Polk and a hug from his position coach, Bob Bicknell.

Then Huff met Kelly – his head coach for four of the last five seasons. They embraced for a few seconds, and Kelly had some words for the rookie wide receiver. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Welcome To Dallas Week

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Eagles fans kickstarted Dallas week a little early.

With the game against Tennessee pretty well in hand in the second half, “Beat Dallas” chants began to ring out at Lincoln Financial Field.

“There were a few drunk fans yelling more than that,” said Lane Johnson.
Read more »

Eagles-Titans Notes: McCoy Breaks Loose

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles                                                                                   (photo courtesy of USA Today)

LeSean McCoy sized up the lectern quizzically and began fidgeting with the microphone as his postgame press conference began.

“Damn this feels big, tall,” said McCoy as he tried to settle in behind the podium, which is generally reserved for quarterbacks and players that have a big game.

“You haven’t been there in a while,” a reporter cracked, drawing laughs.

“He ain’t lying, though,” said McCoy, taking the jab in stride.
Read more »

Making Sense Of the Eagles Inactives

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Tennessee Titans: QB Nick Foles, CB Roc Carmichael, DB Jaylen Watkins, C Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl and DL Taylor Hart.

Carmichael takes the place of Earl Wolff on the list. Wolff was put on injured reserve last week with a knee injury. Other than that, the inactives are the same as the previous two weeks. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Will Shurmur Get Another Shot?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

On occasion, Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will discuss the way Chip Kelly runs his program and drop hints about how he’d do things differently if he were given another chance at being a head coach.

Last offseason, Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor left to become the offensive coordinator in Miami. If Kelly’s teams continue to have success, chances are more coaches will get plucked off his staff.

And according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com, one of those coaches this offseason could be Shurmur. Read more »

Inside Voices: Kelly And the Balance Of Power

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

(Photo courtesy of USA Today)

Jeffrey Lurie designed the power structure so that the proper checks and balances were built in.

When he hired Chip Kelly, he set it up so that both the head coach and general manager Howie Roseman would report directly to him. He decided to give Kelly final say on the 53-man roster to even the scales, he said, which would suggest Roseman had heavy influence over the draft and free agency.

“It made sense to balance the player personnel and head coaching, and empower them both, and force a complete collaboration,” Lurie told the Inquirer last September. “That was the strategy behind it. You didn’t have to force it. Happened naturally.”

Kelly seemed on board with that concept. At his introductory press conference, he said that he wasn’t looking for full control and had little interest in owning various titles.

“I just want to coach football,” he said.

His reach has extended well beyond the x’s and o’s, of course. Kelly watches college film on Saturdays during the season and hits the road (often with vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble) in the offseason. By all accounts, he attends more Pro Days than any other head coach in the league.

Roseman spearheads the draft process and there is a host of quality personnel men searching for talent year-round, but it’s impossible to ignore the Kelly influence over the past two drafts.

“We haven’t really gotten there,” Kelly said, when asked who has final say over draft choices. “I think everybody wants to know that, like really what happens in there. But it never gets to that point. I think we look at it, analyze it and kind of come to the same conclusion. But I haven’t yet sat there and I want him and he wants him and then, you know, are we going to box for it?”

Up until recently, the Eagles’ higher-ups had presented a unified front when it came to the personnel process. But when one of his players came under fire a couple weeks back, Kelly put on the gloves for the first time publicly. Read more »

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