What They’re Saying About the Eagles

From Chip Kelly to April’s draft, here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports talked to a number of people around the league about Kelly:

“The Eagles have some fast players, no doubt, but everybody has fast players and the difference between the Eagles and the rest of the league isn’t that great,” one head coach said. “The other thing is there were probably only four or five games where Oregon really got tested physically. When you have that kind of talent, you can put a game plan together in 15 minutes, practice for a day and be ready to roll up 50 points.”

SI.com’s Don Banks has the Eagles taking West Virginia QB Geno Smith at No. 4:

This is where the real guess-work begins, because so much depends on whether new Eagles coach Chip Kelly believes he currently has his starting quarterback on the roster or not. Smith’s talents aren’t a perfect mesh for Kelly’s up-tempo offense, but he’s got enough mobility to get the job done, and his pocket-passing skills are NFL ready. We know quarterbacks get pushed up by need, but the Eagles defense needs so much help that Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner could be tough to pass on.

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles taking Alabama CB Dee Milliner:

Pegging a first round pick to the Eagles is like pinning a tail on a donkey at this point in the process. All questions are obviously on the offense and what new coach Chip Kelly plans to do with the quarterback decision. But Kelly and Howie Roseman have not publicly made any statements about the future of Michael Vick, Nick Foles, or this selection. Until then, I’m going to focus on the defense, an even more disastrous unit than the offense in 2012. Nnamdi Asomugha’s best days are behind him, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can’t tackle, and the rest of the corners are just guys. Milliner isn’t just a guy. He’s the next in a long line of great Alabama corners to enter the NFL Draft. He’ll be a good fit in Philly.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com also has the Eagles taking Milliner, calling him the best corner in the draft.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper re-grades the 2012 draft after one season. He gives the Eagles a B+. They earned an A right after the draft:

Fletcher Cox finished the season as a terror on the defensive line and is a lock to start at defensive tackle in 2013. But he needs to show more consistency. Mychal Kendricks was an immediate starter at linebacker and a good get at No. 46. If the Eagles didn’t trade for DeMeco Ryans, it would have been Kendricks as the head-and-shoulders best linebacker on the roster. This season was essentially a redshirt year for Vinny Curry, who was inactive for most of the year. I noted during the draft that I thought that Brandon Boykin was a steal at No. 123 overall because he could be an early starter, and Boykin was giving Philly the best play among any of its corners by the end of the season. Bryce Brown we know is a steal, a low-mileage pickup in Round 7 who proved he can start in this league if needed. And I haven’t even mentioned Nick Foles. Hey, we don’t know if Foles will be the starter under Chip Kelly, but would you rather have, say, Brandon Weeden or Brock Osweiler based on what you’ve seen from Foles? Even as a good backup, he proved to have decent value. The big knock on this draft is the question of whether all these rookies see this much time for a better team. That’s the main reason the grade dips.

Andy Staples of SI.com takes a look at how Kelly fits in with the Eagles:

So, for now, Kelly must make nice. He may eventually revolutionize offense in the NFL the way he did at the college level, but at the moment, he’s the new guy in a town where people boo Santa Claus and consider Cheez Whiz the Lord’s condiment. He isn’t worshipped anymore. He is the subject of cautious optimism. Kelly’s track record and football smarts suggest he can adapt his offense to succeed in the NFL. Heck, playoff teams (the 49ers, Patriots, Seahawks and Redskins) enjoyed offensive success this season incorporating concepts (blazing tempo, the zone read) that were cornerstones of Kelly’s Oregon offense.

Chris Burke of SI.com gives the Eagles an A- for hiring Kelly:

Could this backfire? Sure. Kelly could flop and greatly set back the NFL’s interest in college coaches. But this is a swing-for-the-fences hire … and Kelly is a smart enough coach to make it work.

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  • The Guru

    If we switch to a 3-4, Star Lotulelei is the pick. If he’s gone or they do the smart thing and hire Spags and stay in a 4-3, then you go Milliner.

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      You really think drafting a corner is a smart move at this point? I find that hard to believe.

      • TRock

        We desperately need to upgrade our secondary. If we switch to a 3-4 then nose tackle may be even more important but I am fine with improving the secondary with a stud at number 4.

        • B-West

          Agreed on how bad the secondary was, probably the worst group on a team of bad personnel groups. But I think this team could draft best player available for at least the next 2 drafts and not go wrong. Too many holes to reach for any position in my opinion.

          • UKEagle99

            Some of the secondaries woes were on the D line. Don’t get me wrong I’m not defending them (well I am but only as well as they defended, lol) but lack of pressure at times made their job harder.

      • The Guru

        Of course….our corners are awful. DRC is probably gone and Nnamdi couldn’t cover anyone. I find it hard to believe CB is NOT a need.

      • FMWarner

        I don’t have a problem drafting a corner at #4 either if he’s the right guy. After that, I’d consider packaging a couple of picks and trying to get back into the first round for Vaccaro. Alternatively, if this Desmond Trufant kid is as good as reports out of the Senior Bowl say, you could draft one of the OTs at #4 and try to move up for Trufant.

        • UKEagle99

          Hire your DC, decide on a scheme and draft the best player on the board at #4, if you don’t like that pick then trade back. Don’t draft for need, better to trade for that I think.

        • There is no talent at the Senior Bowl who you will see drafted in the top 20 picks. The top 20 picks know who they are and they have nothing to gain playing and practicing in Alabama at this point. There may be 3 guys that have the effect that Poe of Kansas City had last year, a guy from a small conference school who turns heads here, but for the most part the Diesels know who they are.

  • TRock

    Spags is not the man. Let’s go in a new direction and get the secondary coach from the 49ers. Any d coach on the niners is good if they bring even a little of that agressive D from San Fran to Philly.

    • The Guru

      Go look up Ed Donnatell’s defenses and you’ll change your mind

    • John

      4th and 26 ring a bell?

    • FMWarner

      It doesn’t matter how aggressive you are if you can’t coach and the players can’t play. Just look at the Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions of the last few years.

    • peteike

      Donatell was Packers defensive coordinator when they led the league in takeaways and sacks. He was fired after 4th and 26. Its just one play, means little in the larger picture. Hes doing well with the niners D, but you needs the horses like FM says. I prefer the NFL exp over the guy from Georgia, his NFL resume is even worse.

      • UKEagle99

        I thought it was 4th and 28.. I think FredEx is still talking about it! That is the play that sticks out but as has been pointed out here, it was Nick Barnett biting on an underneath route that gave up the play as opposed to the wrong defensive call.

  • LostInChiTown

    I really hope we don’t draft Geno Smith. I never watched him play, but some of the scouting reports I’ve read say he has a problem with leading receivers and will put balls in the dirt. After 10 years of seeing McNabb rocket throws into the ground or hitting open receivers in the laces I won’t be able to stand anymore.

    • UKEagle99

      Hard to pick off those air to ground missiles though huh ;-)

    • pin point accuracy matters when you have receivers who are incapable of going up to get the ball. Accuracy matters when you have receivers who wait on the ball. A Tight End such as Tony Gonzalas he attacks the ball in flight, Celek waits on the ball to hit him and there’s still suspense when most balls hits Celek in the hands.

      DJax and Maclin are similar in that they do not extend themselves or fight for balls, they wait on balls to come directly to them and never snatch balls out of the air.

  • I fail to see why Yahoo Sports is even mentioned in this article?
    On another Note, let’s hope we don’t draft Geno, Pat would be mad as hell

    • Johnny Domino

      I see what you did there.

    • Did you closely follow West Virginia this Season and watch Geno Smith develop? This kid finished the Season with a 163.9 Rating, 4208 yds, and 42 Touchdown passes with 6 Ints, he threw for 325 yds a game. With a 71% completion percentage.

      Two of his receivers last years caught more than 100 passes, and both racked up more than 1200 yards each.

      What’s not to like about Geno Smith?

      • Kal I guess you’ve missed the point. Johnny got it. Have you ever been to Philly before? If not then i understand why you don’t understand my Geno / Pat comment.

  • Once Kelly reviews the game film from last year it’s a no brain drain decision to pick one of the talented book end offensive tackles, there are 3 coming out worthy of first round picks,

    Kelly will then go back and take one of the 4 supreme safeties playing in the SEC, either Bama, or LSU boys, one kid from LSU has been suspended for testing positive for Marijuana, but he’s a good enough talent to over look his pot charge and give him some consideration.

    In round 3 or 4 we can get one of the 10 big fast receivers with good size and speed who can come in and compete at the X position. By round 5 either of the stellar Guards from Alabama, Baylor, Arkansas or Wisconsin should come in and show competitiveness with what’s presently on the Eagles roster.

    Without a good Safety playing center field there is always an opening being Coleman takes himself out of most plays, and Allen can’t pay from behind. It’s doubtful the Eagles can get everything they need and quality back-ups in one or two drafts.

    Spags? He just got fired, AGAIN from the Saints….. The only people who seem to think Spags is worth much are Philly Fans. Some of you though he should have been hired by Reid to run the Eagles defense and Juan Castillo’s defense performed miles better than anything Spags put on the field since he left the Giants.

    With Fletcher Cox showing promise at D Tackle, it’s a mistake to change the scheme to a 3-4, besides the Eagles don’t have nearly the talent at linebacker to accommodate a 3-4 scheme. That will take about 3 or 4 years to fit the personnel in place.

    • peteike

      Ya, Philly passed on another guy once because of pot problems. His name was Warren Sapp. Was that the Mamula pick?

    • Stephen Stempo

      gotta agree about spags. Everyone knows for a fact that if you put Spags as the DC of any team not named the saints that the results would be exactly the same, or worse. We also can state definintively that any success he had ever had in the past is a farce. I mean LOOK at the talent the saints had on D. You or I could have gotten that group to play at least average this year. It’s not as if they were missing any players. Castillo definitely would have made the saints a top 10 D.

      We also know the Cox can only play DT in a 4-3 system. NO way in the world would he be a monstrous DE in a 3-4. He’s obviously not built for that. I remember too when the texans went ti a 3-4 it took the better par of decade to get the 2 or 3 players they had to get to adjust. I mean we would basically have to cut at least 14 players and draft about a dozen LB’s in the next 3 drafts to even have a chance to get the right personell. Kendricks, ryans, cole, jenkins… nope no spot for them in a 3-4. and nose tackle? we’d neef a top 5 pick or better to get an impact nose tackle to set the 3-4. Where do you see us getting that kind of pick? Its not as if there’s trades or free agency in the NFL either so I’ll take your 3 to 4 year projection and raise it. It will tak at least 7 years to transition to the 3-4 and EVERY year ubtil then the team will easily allow 50 points a game.

      • The Guru

        What kind of talent the Saints had? The Saints have nothing. And we’re missing their head coach. That’s completely unfair to lay what happened to the Saints and Spags feet. You can’t possibly think Castillo is a better d-coordinator than Spags.

        Cox could easily play DE in a 3-4. Same exact size as Richard Seymour.

      • theycallmerob

        um…7 years? wtf? granted, our secondary needs help, but that’s the case with 4-3 or 3-4. And the switch isn’t as extreme as you would think, especially if the Eagles continue to play a (modified) 1-gap system. That is the difficult part, not necessarily the positioning.
        As we saw on this blog with the All-22’s, a lot of big plays were a result of blown gap assignments or the foolish requirement of having the safeties play run-then-pass behind that idiot Washburn’s line.

        How about we just focus on drafting guys that can run and tackle.

        • Stephen has a legitimate point….. the menacing Tackles who make the 3-4 Defense work such as Wolfork in New England, and Ngata n Baltimore are not available in every NFL Draft and, those kind of Defensive Tackles are not commonly skipping down the yellow brick road in Free Agency.

          The last tackle the Eagles had close to being a menace in the fashion of Ngata was Jerome Brown.

          At this point, we don’t have the talent at Linebacker to begin to develop. The best possibility would be converting an End but we loose pass defending ability.

          • Stephen Stempo

            I purposely didn’t make a legitimate point. I should have added /sarcasm

        • Stephen Stempo

          I’m not sure my sarcasm came through properly.

  • JofreyRice

    Not sure what “long line of NFL Corners from Alabama” Peter Schrager is talking about? Kareem Jackson is just average, and has struggled to get to that point. Dre Kirkpatrick got offseason knee surgery and had very little impact on the Bengals. A lot of people projected Kirkpatrick as a safety, anyway. You want a “long line of NFL Corners” look to Texas. Some could argue that Saban produces “system” type CB’s because of the zone-heavy schemes he runs and that sideways crab thing he coaches the CBs to do when dropping in coverage, as opposed to a more traditional backpedal.

    I think Milliner is a decent player, but not anywhere near worth the #4 pick in the draft. I’d much rather trade back, and see them take Vaccaro, and pick up another pick, to draft a corner and another safety, later. This roster needs an overhaul, in terms of talent. With a #4 pick in the draft, you have to go after a gamechanger, I don’t view Milliner as that.

    • Milliner is a very, very good cover corner. He might be a reach at #4 but I think he is easily top 10 material. Most every high level program switches up coverages these days and Milliner was singled up a lot this year, as you’ll see.


    • peteike

      Good post, I wont pretend to know anything about college ball or players but this guy seemed to be consensus pick at that spot. If he is, he better be a 10 yr starter with pro bowl potential, thats what you need at #4. Also, is he a product of a great overall defense where the line gets pressure? Cheese Whiz is lame in this Philly natives book. I always go american or prov myself.

    • thefadd

      …Deshea Townsend, Fernando Bryant, Antonio Langham, Don McNeal, even Philly’s own Mark McMillian lasted 8 seasons in the NFL as a corner out of Alabama. Texas has corners for sure but I’d go to them more for safeties — Stanley Richard, Michael Huff, Earl Thomas, Michael Griffiin…

      • JofreyRice

        Ok, yeah, I wasn’t saying there were no NFL starting corners from Alabama, just that Saban doesn’t have a CB making-machine down in Tuscaloosa; he may have a RB maker, though. Really no one on that list has much relation to Saban, I think they were all at Alabama in the 90’s & 80’s. Good memory on your part, tho, I forgot who Antonio Langham was! The Raiders switched Huff to CB. I think there are quite a few starters from Texas in the NFL at the moment; Aaron Williams, Tarrell Brown, Aaron Ross, Ced Griffin. There might be others, along with the safeties you mentioned.

        It was really a minor point, must be a slow day.

        • Jamie Parker

          I think when he says “long line” he doesn’t mean the last 3-4 years.

  • metaReign

    Thing is will HR, give CK the choice to make the move on draft picks or will CK go along with the choices HR lays down before it is time to make the pick?

    Last year’s draft AR applauded HR for laying out the choices, that AR only needs to add his input to what those choices means to him. Trade up or down, deliberate between BPA, consider upgrade potentials and add flexible competitions.

    We know CK isn’t AR, considering it’s his first year. HR knows that drafting prospects, isn’t the same as recruiting players. He may help CK to learn the backbone, about carefully making choices that could benefit the team or having potentially wasted on a pick. Once the pick is made, there’s no turning back.

    I think CK will starts to understand a little more, once he has done some film watching. When draft comes around he’ll have the feel to some of HR’s carefully laid out choices throughout the entire draft. For a first timer, it can be easily addicting and causes you to lose focus on what you’re there for.

    I believe we’ll have another good draft year, since we have some pieces already there, to help mold the rookies into their position. I’ll be fine, if our defense does much better, if not way better than last year. 49ers did pretty good last year, what they’ve made this year, they came a long way.

    Maybe a bad comparision, but I’d be surprise if we pick up 10, maybe 11 wins. We’ve got a weak schedule, except for the NFC EAST, next season. So as not to try and get ahead of things, let see how things go until the OTA, Mini Camp and Training Camp arrives. The way I see it, we’re not overhauling, we’re rebuilding for 2014. We’ll be back into the speed of the game, once again. That’s not much of a prediction, as much as hoping.

  • Graham

    Why does everyone refer to the Eagles organization as we, our, and us? Fans aren’t part of the organization, as much as they want to be, they’re not.

    • UKEagle99

      A figure of speech perhaps? To most people on here the Eagles are ‘their’ team and they have an affinity and emotional connection to them. When the Eagles play the Cowboys it is ‘us’ against them, not them against them. That’s how it is for me at least.