Chip: Not the Time For Evaluations

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly and the media faced a conflict of interest as they engaged in their back in forth Monday, a day after the Eagles were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

With one game remaining on the docket, Kelly had little interest in getting into big-picture, end-of-season evaluations, while the press had no use for particulars about Sunday’s finale in New York. That was part of the dynamic at play during an interesting and at times testy 15-plus minutes on the edge of the NovaCare practice field.
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What They’re Saying About the Eagles

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Here’s a roundup of what the local and national media are saying about the Eagles today.

Peter King of The MMQB has had a section in his column titled CHIP KELLY WISDOM OF THE WEEK. King seemed to like and appreciate Chip Kelly’s philosophies and practices.

But he apparently didn’t consider the possibility that the Eagles might not be that great this year, so the column section has now been axed: Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Turnovers And Discipline

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly knew very well that his team was living on the edge.

You can go back to his postgame press conference following the 27-0 shutout of the Giants back on October 12. The win lifted the Eagles to 5-1 but they entered the bye with a minus-5 turnover ratio. Kelly acknowledged then that the formula was not sustainable.

“We’ve got to do a better job because you can’t do it at that rate and end up on the right side of the ledger,” he said.

Despite that acknowledgement the turnovers continued, but so did the winning for a time thanks in large part to big point production out of their special teams and defense. Of all the teams that were in the basement when it came to give/take, Kelly’s was the only one ranked as a contender. They were the outlier. Until they weren’t.
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It’s Official: Eagles Eliminated From Playoffs

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

What seemed extremely likely Saturday night became official Sunday evening: The Eagles will not be returning to the playoffs.

The Cowboys made quick work of the Colts with a 42-7 victory. It seemed clear early on that Indianapolis wasn’t going to make much of a game out of it. The Colts ran Trent Richardson on 3rd-and-14 on their first possession and then attempted a fake punt from their own 19.

Andrew Luck went 15-for-22 for 109 yards and two interceptions before being pulled in the second half. The Colts clinched the division last week and would have needed a minor miracle (two Broncos losses) for a chance at a first-round bye. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Washington, the Day After

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

LANDOVER, Md. – Chip Kelly had been in this room before, but the circumstances were different the last time.

It was September of 2013. Kelly’s squad had just put the NFL on notice that his up-tempo attack could be effective at the professional level as the Eagles defeated Washington on Monday Night football in his debut as Andy Reid’s successor.

Kelly answered questions from a roomful of reporters about the Birds’ pace, Michael Vick’s performance and other topics. Before exiting the room to make the trip back to Philadelphia, Kelly stopped to say hello to some media members who had made the trip from Oregon.

Where his first season began was essentially the same place that his second season ended. Kelly’s squad was clinging to its playoffs aspirations Saturday afternoon at FedEx Field. The hope was that the Eagles would take care of business against an inferior opponent and perhaps get a little help in the final two weeks to sneak into the postseason.

Instead, the Eagles suffered a meltdown. Issues that have been prevalent all year long resurfaced, and the result was a 27-24 loss. Read more »

Sanchez Unable To Break Old Habits

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly said he didn’t spend much time studying Mark Sanchez‘s tape from New York, focusing instead on his skill set and physical attributes and relying more on the word of those who had been around him in a formal life.

“I talked to his college coaches more than I did that; I talked to his high school coaches and I knew what type of athlete he was and I knew what he could do,” he said earlier this month. “For me to study his tape from the New York Jets ‑‑ now I know other people studied his tape, but I personally didn’t study his tape because I know what he can do and I thought he could fit into our system.”

Sanchez had a sub-60 percent completion rate with the Jets. The Eagles felt that he could get closer to the level of accuracy he displayed at USC (64 percent), and sure enough, he has completed 64 percent of his throws in an Eagles uniform. There were elements of his game from New York that did carry over, though — namely, his propensity to turn the ball over.

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DeSean: Eagles Are ‘Very Naive’

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

DeSean Jackson broke into a skip as the clock hit zero. He hopped from the sideline towards the end zone, where the mass of bodies had started to scatter after Mark Sanchez’s desperation heave hit the turf. Yapping and jumping and yapping and jumping. From skip to sprint as he found Jeremy Maclin walking onto the field. Some words and a hug for Maclin and the over to Darren Sproles, then Cary Williams and Nate Allen, then over the assistant coaches before dancing through the tunnel and out of sight.

At his locker, he spotted a Philadelphia reporter and asked, “Whatcha doin’ here? I bet you they’re over there crying. You should go back over there with them.”

The team that unceremoniously dumped him this offseason just had their playoff hopes all but crushed by the team that scooped him up, and Jackson was lapping every ounce of the moment up. He played a big part in Washington’s 27-24 upset win, hauling in four catches for 126 yards, including a pair of big strikes that went for over 50 yards with Bradley Fletcher in coverage.

Asked if he was surprised that the Eagles left him one-on-one with Fletcher, Jackson said with a laugh: “Not at all. Last year, when I had been there the last couple years, that’s how they play. They’re very naive and they play how they play. They could care less who is out there or who is at wide receiver, they’re going to play their defense the way they play it,” he said. Read more »

Making Sense Of the Eagles Inactives

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles

The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against Washington: QB Nick Foles, S Jerome Couplin, OLB Trent Cole, C Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl and DL Taylor Hart.

The only difference from last week is that Cole is out with a hand injury. He had surgery earlier this week. Taking Cole’s place will be Brandon Graham. If the Eagles go with a rotation, Marcus Smith II or Bryan Braman could get into the mix. But expect Graham and Connor Barwin to play most of the snaps.

DB Jaylen Watkins was inactive last week, but he’ll dress today. Read more »

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