Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Chip Kelly Logic

Chip Kelly needed just a hand gesture to fend off the perceived complexity.

The Eagles had just used the 35th overall pick on Stanford tight end Zach Ertz even though they already had Brent Celek and James Casey on the roster.

Can you explain, a reporter asked Kelly, how you can make that work?

“Yeah. You go like that (holds three fingers in the air) and three tight ends go in the game,” he said, drawing laughs.

“We are going to go three tight ends in a game. Now, do they go three linebackers? We split them out and throw passes. If they go three DB’s, we smash you. So, pick your poison. Simple game. Isn’t hard. You guys thought coaching was hard. They bring little guys in, you run the ball. They bring big guys in, you throw the ball.”

For all the genius talk, Kelly seems to be a man ruled by basic logic.

We have heard similar quotes since Kelly was hired as Eagles head coach back in mid-January. His most popular line so far  is probably, “Big people beat up little people,” a credo he adheres to when shopping for players. He has specific desired measurables that he passes along to the personnel department. It is not a mandate, but rather a guideline for building a team that is bigger and stronger than the opponent.

“If you constantly take the overachiever at every position, you’re going to be too small,” Kelly explained. “If you take the short defensive tackle backed up by the short middle linebacker backed up by the short safety, then all of a sudden you’re going to get run over.”

He wants them big, he wants them agile, and he wants them smart.

“There’s a very cerebral part to this game that I don’t know if people give enough credit to. It’s about making good decisions. Dumb people do dumb things and smart people rarely do dumb things,” said Kelly.

One thing that you’ll notice is that Kelly has very defined opinions when it comes to approach. This speaks to one of his core principles, which he laid out during a coaches clinic while at Oregon.

“You have to decide what it is you want to do, then do it,” said Kelly. “What you decide is up to you, but find something to be.”

At Oregon, he decided his team would  “play fast, play hard, and finish.” But it wasn’t enough to simply attach the label; they had to reflect those ideals in everything they did — hence the high-octane practices in Eugene (and now, in Philadelphia). The theory is that they need to be up-tempo all the time to truly adopt the identity of being an up-tempo team. Method acting, in a sense.

To boil it down to its simplest form, Kelly has decided he wants large, intelligent players who can operate in a fast-paced system. He will attack based on the matchups. And he will pump said players full of smoothies and sleep because that is what the data tells him to do. There’s really nothing mad-scientist about any of it.

It’s all pretty basic and straightforward, as his verbiage and play-book promise to be. If there is genius, it will be in the simplicity.


Sheil gives us three leftovers from Kelly and Howie Roseman.

The reaction to the Eagles’ draft continues to pour in.

Kapadia uses cut-ups to explain how Ertz can be used in this offense.

Clearing up the AndyReidMatt Barkley-Eagles mini-controversy.

Making sense of the Eagles’ QB situation.

Kelly was sure to call the veterans who could be impacted by the team’s draft-day choices.


 SI.com’s Don Banks weighs in on the Barkley draft choice.

In reality, what Saturday’s biggest draft headline means is Kelly and the Eagles are ready to fit their offense around what Barkley does best. He doesn’t have the biggest arm, and he probably isn’t the best guy to run a lot of read-option looks, but he doesn’t have to be a jackrabbit to direct an up-tempo attack. Kelly admired Barkley’s football smarts, his competitiveness, and his ability to see the field and make quick and accurate decisions. Think Tom Brady and you start to get the real model for what Kelly is after in his goal of running as many plays as possible in a game, and Barkley’s 40 time has little to do with the equation.

Former USC signal-caller Carson Palmer believes that Barkley will be a success.

“I know Matt can play. I’ve had the opportunity to work out with him over the last couple of years. And I’ve obviously had a chance to watch him play,” Palmer told NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano in an interview that will appear Tuesday on “NFL Total Access.”

“For him to go in the fourth round is an absolute steal. I think the bigger question is how he fits into that system, and only time will tell that. But whether the guy can play or not, he can absolutely play, and I know he’s excited to prove a lot of people wrong.”


Plenty more draft material to digest.

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  • UKEagle99

    Nothing about the Russell Shephard comment/quote?

    • GEagle

      what did shep say?
      I dont think that there is a fan base more excited about simple, common sense! Chip ‘ the anti Andy” Kelly

      • UKEagle99

        He claims the Eagles signed him before the draft was over.

        Taken from NBC

        “I actually took myself off the draft board during the draft,” Shepard told WNXX radio, via LouisianaDaily.com. “Teams started calling me probably in the middle of the sixth round asking me ‘Is it true that you’ve signed with a team already?’ and I actually got it out of the way before the draft was over, because that was the perfect fit for me.”

        The host asked for clarification, and Shepard gave it.

        “I signed with them before the draft was over,” Shepard said, explaining that after he fell through round five he decided to focus on the Eagles. Shepard believes he’ll play receiver, running back, and Wildcat quarterback in Philly’s offense, and that he’ll return kicks and punts and play gunner on the punt team.

        • CJ


        • Was reading that last night. Might not be good depending on how the Eagles play it. There’s no way in hell the kid physically signed anything during the draft, Hopefully they just say “we told him if he fell out of the draft we’d take a look at him”, but if the league finds out Shephard was telling other teams “don’t bother drafting me, I’m going to Philly” then we may be in trouble. Not really sure what the rules are on something like this.

          Eagles will be damage control today.

          • If Shephard was telling other teams “don’t bother drafting me, I’m going to Philly”, then one of those other teams should have helpfully pointed out that as a draft eligible player, he doesn’t have any say in the matter. If they draft him, he’s theirs. This guy sounds like he’s as dumb as a sack of hammers.

        • Mr. Wu

          thats the news i was looking for too….its always something goddamit

        • Johnny Domino

          Love the PFT comment about “another recruiting violation”. Funny stuff.

        • Wilbert M.

          This happened last year – the Chargers had a UDFA deal with Chandler Harnish worked out, but the Colts took him with the last pick. The Colts contacted him first about signing with them as a UDFA, but he said no since he already agreed to be a Charger. The Chargers weren’t penalized. Teams are allowed to contact players and express interest prior to the end of the draft, but they’re not allowed to negotiate. Shepard is way off base saying he took himself off the board (stroking his own ego?), since a player can’t do that and any team wanting to spend a draft pick on him would have his rights. Probably much ado about nothing.

        • GEagle

          thanks my Euro bro!

        • JofreyRice

          Seems simple, apply the Kelly logic: “We don’t let guys we want on our team to get drafted by other teams” (Makes cutting motion across throat).

      • Absecon

        Shepard has tweeted that he only had a verbal agreement. Was speaking figuratively, not literally about the contract…

        • UKEagle99

          I wouldn’t expect him to say anything else. In reality I find it hard to believe he actually put pen to paper until the day after.

          I think the issue here is he was telling other teams he had a deal in place prior to the draft concluding. I’m not sure what the exact rules are or what the punishment for infringing them is, someone suggested that Sean Payton should be suspended for 4 games which made me lol.

          • The more I think about it, it doesn’t matter what he told other teams. Even if he said he had a deal in place, he was still eligible to be drafted. Whoever picked him would own his rights therefore he could not sign with Philly. May be a non-issue.

          • UKEagle99

            Yes, hopefully that’s the case here.

          • G

            This is how I see it, no matter what he told other teams the fact of the matter is he would have still been on the draft board and if other teams wanted him they could have easily picked him, which would have nullified any verbal agreements he had in place with Eagles. I really think this is a non-issue as well, Eagles and CK simply contacted him telling him they will sign him if he makes it out of the seventh round, its as simple as that. He can’t “take himself off the draft board”, this is “much ado for nothing”

          • GEagle

            he tweeted that its no big deal

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            Well thank god he tweeted!

          • GEagle

            we wont get in trouble for this…just a kid trying to boost his Ego:
            “I took myself off the board’…”the Eagles are already creating packages for me’ lol Get Real Kid…deal with the embareesment of not getting drafted, like everyone else

    • knighn

      Leave it to guys like Tommy Lawlor to straigten this stuff out. Like the Bard once wrote, “Much Ado About Nothing.”
      I’m sure Tommy won’t mind the comparison to Shakespeare.

      • Mr. Wu

        thanks for the link….yeah f@#k florio and PFTMZ….I am sick of that tw@t……he aint getting any more clicks from me

  • Septhinox

    The media is still stuck on Andy Reid. Making things so complicated is 100% Andy Reid. Now People are shocked at a guy who makes things really simple.

    • BrettConnolly

      I disagree. Andy was ahead of the curve in terms of simplifying things: (think scripted offensive openings, 15 plays, etc.) I don’t think he over-complicated things at all. Even his training camps were supposed to simplify the process. Eliminate distractions. Chip is more direct than Andy and adapts more adeptly. Andy was pretty simple when it comes down to it. Part of it is his coaching tree as well. It was Andy’s coaching tree that led to the Kolb-era. In Houston, Kolb was the offense. Realistically, Kolb should have thrived under Andy. Perhaps Kolb needed one more year as understudy. Part of the problem Andy had was not over-complicating, but under-complicating. He was too one-dimensional. When the Eagles were most dominant in the past decade, think about the stat sheet. It was always the same thing, 8 or 9 guys caught two to five balls piece. Andy’s kind of like a poor man’s Chip Kelly. He is trying to stress a lot of the same elements to the game, but he kind of got trampled under foot in the process, and Andy’s family situation HAD to take a toll on him. That’s kind of the good thing about being out of the area. He gets a fresh page to start on, and I think he’ll probably end up learning from some of his mistakes in the end, ironically.

  • Corry

    So Chip Kelly isn’t a “genius”, he’s actually just using common sense? Not sure I can handle that after 14 years of Andy Reid.

    • Wilbert M.

      A coach actually adjusting to what the other team is doing. That’s a unique concept! I thought the proper way to coach was to be oblivious to what the other team is doing and stubbornly stick to your game plan even if it’s not working.

  • Scomo

    Anyone remember that throw Foles made to Avant last year that wasn’t even in the play book? Something tells me he’s gonna be QB this year.

    • GEagle

      anyone remember the left handed throw under pressure that Foles completed against Oregon? How about like the 3rd pass of his career, when he threw like a perfect 25yard pass and hit either Avant or Maclin straight in the helmet?
      How about all the 3rd and longs he bailed us out completing, only to have it calledback by Bell and Dunlap, killing the drive? That happened, sooo many times. Who knows how different it could have looked had those 3rd down completions not been called back..who knows if we would have came back and beat the redskins if he didnt break his hand…Like the kid had the heart to attempt a bomb with a broken throwing hand(yes it fell ridiculously short, but I really like the Guts and mentality to even try and throw that ball)

  • Mr. Wu

    Great write up Tim. I think you understand CK. Although he adheres strongly to his philosophy, that philosophy is not necessarily schematic but an approach to the game. When you string all these Chip-ism credo’s together you have a blueprint for common sense football or “situational” football. Count me excited

    • G

      Second this, great write up. You guys are awesome! always know how to provide good insight when other sites just pump out the popular and usually inaccurate articles

  • Dan

    I like this guy…

  • KevinShinn

    “Any idiot can make something complicated; it takes genius to make something simple.”

    • ben


    • Mac

      I can vouch for that. I’ve had far too many clients come in with simple issues that they have turned into a jumbled mess.

  • ebrano

    “and you thought coaching was hard” – Chip Kelly to the Philly media… quote is so classic because we’re all suffering from Post-Reid traumatic syndrome.

    • GEagle

      we are seriously a Legion of trauatized fans….We get this bad reputation of being crazy, irrational, malcontents…yet I never seen a fanbase so appreciative and excited about finally getting some simple common sense….A radio host made a great point yestrday morning “It took Chip Kelly, for me to realize just how bad Andy treated us, and its a disgrace that Lurie allowed that for so long”…..Chip kelly really isnt doing anything that special since he has been here…He simple Engages us, He answers Questions, explains things without giving away sensative intel….for a fanbase so thirsty for Football, and with such a passion for the Eagles…like is that really too much to ask for? Does that really make us a bad fanbase?…..
      Has Anyone paid attention to the answers Andy has given in the past week regarding the draft? Its an absolute JOKE, and a slap in the face to fanbase intelligence..He wont tell you anything..Offers fans NOTHING, not even the tiniest insight…They asked him what made him choose Fisher over Joekel, Andy(paraphrasing):
      “two great players, very difficult decision, basically I took them out to Lunch, and Fisher ate more cheeseburgers than Joekel”….and the national media chuckled at how witty, clever, and endeering Andy is!..its a slap in the face. Im tired of that crapo. This isnt some super secret CIA Spy ish…Its a game. You can answer and explain things to your caring fans without giving away important info to other teams…
      Yesterday morning, he started his press conference, sounding seriously, like a slow, mumbling Idiot:
      “So, we had the 2013 draft, where we drafted some players, Uhh, uhhh, good players we drafted, Uhh, the draft, Uhh, Players Uhh, yeah, players we drafted, Uhh Uhhh Uhhh. so Times yours”…… GOOD RIDDENS!!!!!

      • hillbillybirdsfan

        I’m with you guys, this off-season feels like a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card even though I kind of have a feeling we’re staring something like 6-10 in the face. I actually felt a bit for Andy by the end as well. You could tell that everyone was hating it and it was just as over as it could be. Shame to see he apparently didn’t learn anything from it. I feel like if it ain’t in the binder it literally doesn’t exist as far as he is concerned.

        • GEagle

          I like andy…I seriously wish him well, and will always love him for 2000-2005… byt 14years is serious friggin Torture, Andy Overkill..I need a few years to vent, and unload the Andyness….and in a few years, I can go back to appreciating him…I do really wih him a world of success at KC…Man, works hard and dedicates himself to his team, I would rather he have success, than to see him fail again and have a bad ending to a great career….Im just glad, he isnt our problem any more

  • “Dumb people do dumb things and smart people rarely do dumb things.” He’ll see first hand all the dumb things Vick will do.

  • Richard Colton

    Chip put up three fingers to explain, then Domowitcz followed up, and Chip put two of them down. “…and that’s what we plan on doing to the Cowboys”

    • GEagle

      I cant friggin wait to see chip piss off Coughlin and Shannahan….Cowboys arernt even on our Radar..who is there head coach? Monte Kiffin? hahaha

      • Richard Colton

        meant to ask you this before – post draft – and based on your prediction of a “4-3 under” over a pure “3-4” – who do you think the starting 7 are up front?

        • BrettConnolly

          There was an article up recently on one of the sites basically saying Bennie Logan makes a ton of sense in the 4-3 under as the NT. If it is their plan, and if he could develop into a premier 1-tech, I could see something like:

          Predator: Graham
          3-tech: Cox
          1-tech: Logan
          5-tech: Sopoaga

          ILB: Mychal Kendricks
          MLB: DeMeco Ryans
          OLB: Connor Barwin

          This strikes me as a pretty intimidating front seven. If this is the opening day front seven, one thing you could say for sure is we definitely got bigger. Who’d want to try to block them?

          • BrettConnolly

            I think in certain packages, you’d sub out Sopoaga and replace him with Cedric Thornton. Or one of the new pickups or Curry could be who replaces Sopoaga. I could even see them trying out and having success with a configuration like:

            LEO: Fletcher Cox
            3-Tech: Vinny Curry
            1-Tech: Logan/Sopoaga
            5-Tech: Paul Kruger

            ILB: Mychal Kendricks
            MLB: DeMeco Ryans
            OLB Trent Cole

  • GEagle

    On the coaching change(going from Andy to Chip): “Its like we were married to this Big Fat, Gross, Rasputia(Norbit), woman for 14years, and now we are dating this hot chick. We dont know if its going to work, but its very exciting’

    • I just can’t picture CK as a hot chick.

  • GEagle

    I would literally spend $50 a week, ordering a new ppv episode of Kelly Green Eagles on HBO HardKnocks… they could seriously put it on pay per view and I wouldnt miss a sing;le episode…Unfortunately it will never happen. I dont know if Chip would be ok with it, but Doubt Lurie would be ok with it.it would be a great gift to the fanbase….however we might give away too much intel. Dont want to teach Coughlin and Shannahan, how to run a new age practice…Cant wait to see there defenses huffing n puffing as the 4th quarter starts, and shady starts tap dancing all over them, while Bryce crip walks into the endzone!

  • G

    Does anybody have the link for this CK interview?

    • cliff henny

      it’s pulled from couple different press conferences he had about the draft. they are on philadelphiaeagles.com

  • GEagle

    Geno Smith Fired his agents lmao…rumor has it that he believed he would and should be the #1 pick in the draft according to Manish Mehta…
    …..Dont know the truth, but alot of people are getting the impression that he is shifting blame for falling in the draft…
    His former agents wished him well “not only did we tell him what transpired on the first day was possible, the question of whether Geno would be a 1st or 2nd round pick was arguably the most talked about subject in the 3 months leading up to the draft…we wish Geno the best”..
    Hahahahaha ENjoy your new “Franchise leader’, J-E-T-S lol from Sanchez, to Tebow, to Geno….makes me really appreciate ST. Nick and Barkley lol

  • G

    Does anyone have a link to this CK interview?

    • GEagle

      go to multimedia section..then all video tap…..and you will have all the videos you need

      • G

        Thanks, I saw the 25 min one about CK recapping the draft… But I want to find this one where he hold up 3 fingers lol

        • GEagle

          check the archives…If they dont have it on the Eagles site, Im certain they will have it on http://www.CSNphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles
          I remember watching it, and those two sites are the only sites I use for watching Eagles video’s, so Im certain you will find it on one of those two websites…just go thru the available video’s………anyone know any other good sites for Eagles video’s?

          • G

            Thanks!!! ya the 25 minute one was entertaining, but I’m certain that the 3 finger throw up was not in that one… These pressers are so fun to watch I haven’t been entertained like this for years… LOL some of the CK responses you can tell he just doesn’t care about what media thinks and some answers he’s even mocking them.. I cannot wait for the season when the reporters try even harder to get under his skin and he has hilarious responses… I’m guessing at one point or another the league will have to “talk to him” about his “coloured responses” to the media…

          • GEagle

            ohhhh i think I remember, Its from Saturday, when Ertz was brought to Philly, and he is holding up the Ertz Eagles Jersey…Check for Eagles video’s uploaded on Saturday..pretty sure it was a saturday video, if it isnt, then its definitely a video uploaded Friday night after the 2nd and 3rd round…but Im pretty sure its saturday…Definitely not a sunday or monday video

          • GEagle

            orf it could have been part of the saturday press conference when he was answering alot of questions about Barkely…just look at when the video’s were uploaded and go through the ones from Friday and Saturday…Its definitely not one of the one on one videos with Derrick Gun, or Micheal Barkam(not a csn 1 on 1)….it was from a press conference, or Media scrum when he is answering questions from a bunch of reporters

          • G

            Sweet thanks for taking the time to tell me all that

        • I think it was after the Ertz pick

  • ben

    I think Kelly is just what NFL needs. Not a former player, but a futuristic coach who blends innovation with Lombardi and old school.

  • GEagle

    What have we learned since Chip has been hired?

    Pass catching weapons:..added all Big Targets who should be able to have a big advantage blocking defensive backs: Ertz,Momah,Arrelius, Casey..None are shorter than 6’2, and all are atleast 200llbs, running a 4.5 – 4.7.
    CB’s added: none shorter than 6’0, 185lb-200lb, run a 4.5
    Safeties: 3 safeties we added range from 5’11-6’2, run atleast a 4.5, 210lbs- 215lbs
    Oline: 300-315lbs, none shorter than 6’3, athletic/good shape/and can move
    a) 6’2,Long arms, 300lb-320lb(sopo/logan)
    b)Versatile guys who will grow into frames of 275lbs – 290lbs..None shorter than 6’3
    ILB: atleast 6’0, 245lbs
    OLB: This is hard to guage, because we heard Chip Likes them 6’6 and Long, but we inherrited guys like Graham/Cole/hunt who dont fit that mold…Barwin was the lone addition and he is alot close to the 6’6 mold, than to the Trent Cole mold
    btw, Does anyone know if free agent ILB, Braddie James is still on the market?
    who can play inside or move out to LDE in a 4-2-5.

    • cliff henny

      get the size demensions for most players, but predator seems like a wildcard type guy. telling me you’d pass on harrison? pred only has to show me he can kill the qb, if you can do that at 225, fine by me.

      • GEagle

        James Harrison? I would have taken him at Predator all day, if we didnt already have 6predators and NO SAM’s….James Harrison and Peanut Tillman are two of my Fav Non Eagles…..I really hope a quality OLB with some coverage ability gets cut in June, or there is a situation to trade for one, from a team struggling with the Cap, like a Demeco Ryan trade

        • cliff henny

          meant 30 yr old harrison, not now. just meant, that one position seems to have most wiggle room, since his main job is to crush qbs. other guys need to be more vers and see why he has size ratios in place. graham might be great at it. little shorter so bull rush has leverage, yet fast enough to get around edge.

          • GEagle

            I certainly don’t write Graham off at all. he could be very good as a predator. it’s crucial for him to not suffer any injury setbacks so he can finally have some momentum and build off of last year…Love his bullrush, his spin moves and countermoves looked improved last year…My only beef with Graham was, that Barwin had so much more success on the weak side then he did on the strong side last year, and covering Jason Witten won’t be one of his strengths…But, we weren’t able to AQUIRE an OLB who can rush the passer and drop back n coverage…so HOpefully, and in our dream scenario:
            A) Graham has 14-18 sacks, plays every game, and wreaks all kinds of havoc as predator, now that he gets a little more of a running head start, and will only have to deal with double teams when 2TE’s are in the game, or when they keep a back in to help on him…..
            B) Looks like Barwin is going to get his opportunity to show what he can do against Witten this year. hopefully he improves and shows some Carlos Emmons-ish ability against TE’s, while also accumulating 8-12 Sacks..
            if Barwin and Graham can prove next year that they are our staring OLB’s of the future, then we will be set at a critical position, and be able to invest resources in shoring up the Safety and Dline position…
            I am not saying that I think we will have a good defense next year. however, there is a good chance that we already have most of a good defense down the road on our roster.. It all depends on how some of these players develope, and how much of their ceilings do they reach..I think we all learned the hard way, that you can’t get a good defense overnight. Gelling and coming together as a cohesive unit is crucial, and it’s going to take some time, no matter how good the players are….But in theory, I think we already have a young kid at every spot on the defense, who at the very least, has the potential to be a solid, good servicable, Mike Patterson type starter who will contribute to a good defense..abut also potential to become probowlers at there positions. we very well might already have a top 2015 starting defense on our roster:

            predator: Graham
            3tec: Cox
            NT: Bennie Logan
            5Tec: Paul Kruger
            SAM: Barwin
            WIL: Kendrick’s
            ILB: Demeco(by this time we should have his back up already in place)
            RCB: Cary Williams
            LCB: Poyer/Fletcher
            S: Phillips
            S: Wolff
            JOKER: Vinny Curry

            This is far from a guarentee, but where we stand today, there is a possibility that by 2015 everyone of those players will either be somewhere between a solid, Quality, Player good enough to start for a top10 defense….and a probowler. of course even in the best case scenario, we still are no where near set in terms of personel because we clearly would still need depth. but we are young enough, that it is possible that we already have a future starting defense on this team…just don’t expect it to arrive this season….Lots of developing , growing, and gelling as a unit to do

  • ben

    If you want a hint about which QB will start, check out who is spending the hours at the facility looking at film.

    I suggest a film simulator using a camera from qb eyes, the player runs the play, makes decision, hand off or pass based on what he sees as play develops. Learns to react to what his keys are doing on defense, not what offense is doing. The nature of read option can be taught this way until camp starts. Meanwhile, QBs, get to the film room wthth Kelly or Dixon and take the job. Is up to you.

    • cliff henny

      yeah, vick might want to at least return kelly’s call. not one to read into things, but, kelly didnt sound happy about that, and it’s not like vick didnt have time. mean, you call your boss back ASAP!

      • GEagle

        I dont think I ever let my boss’s call go to voicemail…
        anyone know when the rookie mini camp starts?….and is the next veteran Mini Camp is May or June?

  • ohitsdom

    That Don Banks quote is way off base. The idea that’d we fit our offense around what our 4th round QB does best is absurd. Now, if Barkley happens to win the competition and prove himself the best QB on the roster, I expect Chip to play to his strengths. But it’s ridiculous to think we’d already be designing our offense around a 4th round QB. The national writers can sometimes be eager to show their ignorance.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Pretzel logic. When you folks get him figured out, please let me know. Like Andy Reid (sigh), he will be unpredictable, only with better results. As in the draft, so in his coaching. Go Eags!