Felix Jones Excited about Playing In Kelly’s System

The Eagles have added another option to the mix at running back, signing Felix Jones to a one-year deal and releasing wide receiver Marvin McNutt.

Jones, 26, spent his first five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. He dealt with knee, shoulder and rib injuries last season and played in only 34.7 percent of the offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Jones did not miss a single game due to injury in 2012, but he was on the injury report 10 times (probable seven times, questionable three times).

“I’ve seen Coach [Chip] Kelly do his thing when he played his Bowl games at Oregon,” Jones said. “It seems like a fun system, a fun thing he has going on. No huddles and things of that nature. It’s exciting. I can’t wait to learn the playbook and get going.”

Clearly, Jones (5-10, 215) was not his usual self when he was on the field, managing just 402 yards on 111 attempts and averaging a career-low 3.6 yards per carry. Among the 44 players who had at least 100 carries in 2012, only four had a worse YPC average than Jones.

“Well, obviously none,” Jones said when asked what the interest in him was like when free agency started back in March. “Once I got here and checked out the team and coaches and the organization, I felt like it was a great fit.”

For his career, Jones has averaged a healthy 4.8 yards per carry and shown the type of versatility that Chip Kelly covets. Last year, he caught 26 balls for 266 yards, averaging 10.2 yards per reception. Jones had 33 catches in 2011 and 48 in 2010. At his best, Jones can line up in the backfield or as a wide receiver and be used to create mismatch problems.

He also has experience as a kick returner and said he caught a couple during his first practice on Tuesday.

“I’m excited about kickoff returns,” Jones said. “It’s something I always did, something that I always wanted to do. Whenever coach gives me an opportunity to go out there and do it, I’m definitely ready to go.”

The Eagles have LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown as their primary backs, but there are depth spots up for grabs. Chris Polk is still on the roster, and the team signed undrafted free agents Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook) and Matt Tucker (TCU).

By all accounts, the Eagles plan on using an up-tempo attack with an emphasis on the running game. That means there will be plenty of carries to go around. Jones will have to show he’s healthy, but he’ll have a chance to compete for a roster spot during the next several months.

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  • Brent E. Sulecki

    dream team

    • cliff henny

      we’ll know he was planted by Jerry Jones to sabatoge if he comes out in presser with ‘this is the start of the re-deam dream dynasty team’

      • G

        LMAO re-dream dynasty team… classic

    • Richard Colton

      dare to dream

  • Corry

    I like this signing if he can stay healthy. He’s an explosive kick returner and running back at his best.

    • UKEagle99

      Let’s all just accept that “if he can stay healthy” applies to all non-rookie signings.

  • Wilbert M.

    Very versatile guy, which seems to be the key attribute for Chipper. I can see Felix spelling Bryce in two-back sets on passing plays, since he’s a better receiver.

    • If not replacing Bryce due to his fumble problems and inability to be an effective pass receiver. Bryce is a talented second year back who needs refining to reach his full potential.

      If Bryce can be coached to hold the ball high and tight, and shown how to improve his route running he can grow to be a certified weapon out of the Eagles back field.

      • Wilbert M.

        I think the two-back set running game with Bryce and McCoy will be amazing. Bryce can be a major force as a lead blocker and then be the lead on mis-direction. Chipper must be chomping at the bit. Then throw in Felix to catch some passes. Let’s face facts – Bryce would have been a first round pick if his career went better, McCoy should have been a first rounder and Felix was a first rounder. That is an amazing amount of backfield talent.

  • Token

    Never thought he was very good.

    • GEagle

      Yeah, I never really liked him…hopefully he gives us something on kickoffs

      • UKEagle99

        I can’t like anyone who plays for Dallas.

        • UKEagle99

          I take that back, Romo makes me laugh, I like his play for Dallas but I don’t actually like him. I wouldn’t want them to sign someone else though.

        • well unless he’s got an evil twin, he’s playing for Philly now!

          • UKEagle99

            If he plays well for Philly I can like him. However, If he throws the ball backwards to Casey and it turns in to “Ronnie Brown 2.0” I reserve the right to punch a pillow and refer to him and his previous employer using colourful language.

    • I thought the same way. Jones never lived up to the Cowboy running back expectations in my book, but he does seem to offer pass receiving skills that aren’t at this point the premium in the Eagles backfield.

      Outside of Shady there’s not another reliable pair of hands coming out of the backfield and that’s not going to be effective running a Read Option with the expected workload for backs.

  • Guy LeDouche

    Whew…When I saw ‘Former Cowboy Jones Signs with Eagles’ on another site, my first reaction was OH GOD NOT PACMAN.

    • Richard Colton

      I was hoping it wasn’t Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who at this point, is only slightly older than Trent Cole.

  • GEagle

    The question is: Is Felix good enough to give u on the potential of Polk and Maysonet? It’s not so cut and dry because there is a chance that Polk and Maysonet don’t get poached off our practice squad….I don’t ever see us dressing more than 3

    • They could, for special teams, and throw in the fact that they don’t carry a true fullback. They will probably take 4 TE’s, though (Celek, Ertz, Harbor & Casey.) However, with that, Polk will have to show that he recognize his lanes and cut backs with the zone blocking. From what I remember, he is more of a straight ahead downhill runner, not cutting much. The blocking scheme will work well for Bryce Brown, if Shady can keep from running east and west, he will thrive as well.

      • Wilbert M.

        I seriously doubt Harbor will make the team.

    • CJ

      Is there any conceivable chance they carry 4? I tried the math last week and didn’t see it, but if you look at Jones as a return specialist, you might have to give it to Shady, Brown and Jones. Give one spot to Polk/Mayonset and try to stash the other on the PS and hope for the best. With Jones’ injury history and Brown’s fumbilitis, with the expected workload that’s coming I dont’ think you can risk both kids on the PS.

      • GEagle

        2QBs, P,K,LS…if they carry 4RBs, there would only be 37 game day spots left..I think 4TEs dressing is a fair assesment, so that would leave us with 33 more spots…Without ever seeing how Kelly chooses to work a 46 man roster, I can’t rule anything out…but I dunno, Felix,Polk and Maysonet will have to look really special to dress 4 IMO….Felix really complicates what was one of the most stable positional battles lol

        • CJ

          I meant dress 3 on the 46, but carry 4 on the 53.

          • GEagle

            Oh ok…yeah I agree with that for sure

  • Ray

    Commitment to run game will be very welcome in these quarters.

    • If in the up tempo the Eagles run on average 72 plays a game, it’s probably reasonable to expect from the Read Option 45 to 50 plays being dominated by ground assault.

      • Richard Colton

        a 70% run-to-pass ratio seems reasonable? Did they fire Chip Kelly and hire Hank Stram?

        • CJ

          Read option =/= run play

          • Richard Colton

            do you suppose “ground assault” meant “run play?”

            and anyway – last year there were about 20 combined read option plays run per week league wide. So I’m hoping Dutch isn’t suggesting a professional football team will run the play 50 times in a game.

          • CJ

            well, McNabb’s gone, so yeah, I guess ground assault now means run play exclusively. I can’t defend him there.

          • Richard Colton

            McNabb’s back, September vs KC!

          • CJ

            so in his honor, for Week 3, the term “ground attack” might well imply 80% worm burners and 20% running plays. the rest of the year though, ground attack means running play.

          • Richard Colton

            hahahaha. Attention Worms: the day your grandparents warned you about has arrived. September 19th, 2013.

  • eaglepete

    With Browns fumble problems it cant hurt to bring this guy in. He is more versed on blocking and catching out of the backfield than the younger guys. There is no guarantee Brown can stop the fumbling problem, we saw how long it took Tiki to get over it. These things can linger, I have no problem with it, then add in possible injuries and its good depth.

  • Jack Waggoner

    I’m totally in favor of this move. Felix Jones is a guy who, when he has been healthy, has played brilliantly. The problem is, he hasn’t really been able to stay healthy. But as a 3rd running back, I think the odds are strong that he won’t get hurt as much.

  • CJ

    I think of the two moves here, the biggest is the release of McNutt before the start of camp. In year’s past, draft picks seemed to have gotten bonus points/extra credit for being recent draft picks, and with rare exception (like the Brock gaffe) were essentially guaranteed roster spots for at least couple years if not more.

    Especially given that Roseman is a young, unproven and under-fire GM who was publicly given full responsibility for last year’s draft, you’d think they wouldn’t give up on McNutt so soon. But they did.

    Last month we learned the Eagles won’t be drafting crazy reclamation/position changing prospects high. Today we learned the Eagles dont’ give anyone grace periods if they don’t deserve them. No more 5 year long commitments to projects that don’t work out. If you can’t show us anything in a year that sets you apart from the others in your position group, bye bye. Give them credit where it’s due. They admitted a mistake (albeit a late, low risk one) and they moved on early. before they could compound the problem. Not sure that would’ve happened a year ago.

    • cliff henny

      good points…but, McNutt was pretty easy call, he really showed nothing, ever…except the ability to take a punt to his ribs, albeit his own punter.

      • CJ

        even so, it’s been a pride thing in the past. I’m glad to see that’s gone. There’s been a crapload of “pretty easy calls” in years past that took a whole lot longer than 13 months to come to fruition.

    • BrettConnolly

      Originally, I was really excited about McNutt, but he looked lost out there.

    • Wilbert M.

      Great points! Marsh, Chaney and others seemed to have a guaranteed spot under the old regime (how many times can we bring back Lindley?). I loved the McNutt pick, but I have to admit he looked awful in his limited appearances. It’s funny how we bailed on guys that were OK elsewhere when we didn’t really have replacements for them – Gocong, Mikell, Amendola, etc.

  • Jack Waggoner

    LOL that the Philadelphia Soul is trying to sign Tebow

    • G

      Jaws might like him…. he owns the team

  • Johnny_P

    I’m indifferent on this signing. On one hand it’s a low risk high reward signing, on the other ~ it’s a player with habitual injury problems and his presence could get in the way of Chris Polk, who is a caged lion in my opinion.

  • ben

    Jones is excited to sign and play, anywhere. We will see if he plays for Kelly.

  • Smooth595

    Injuries aside Jones will definitely give the Eagles that extra umph an offense needs to help take some pressure off the QB Thing is staying healthy!

  • morgan c

    any word on his health??