Twitter Mailbag: What Made Jaws Change His Tune?

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @dwr8810: So why do you think Jaws changed his opinion about Chips O working in the NFL?

Sounds like, after further tape review, Jaws came to the conclusion that Kelly’s offense was short on “NFL passing concepts” and might be too basic for this level.

“The NFL is a different league with fast players that have all week to prepare for you,” he told 97.5 The Fanatic. “At the collegiate level, you have 20 hours to prepare for that Oregon offense. Take out three hours of game time. You’ve got 17 hours in the course of a week to practice and prepare for that style of offense. It kills you in college. But in the NFL, these guys work 17 hours a day. A day, not a week – 17 hours a day getting ready, so there’s no secrets.”

The assumption in this argument is that Kelly will run the same offense that he did at Oregon. If he does, then I’m with Jaws — opposing defensive coordinators will crack the code before long.

But here’s the thing: Kelly knew that his collegiate opponents only had so much time to prepare for his assault. Yes, he chose to keep it fairly simple…and it worked brilliantly. Every quarterback he plugged in was able to keep the machine humming. The leap of faith you take with Kelly is that he was running what worked for his team in that environment, and that he’ll adjust accordingly now that he’s in the show.

From @HeyLaBamba: Why waste a year of possible development for another QB on Vick?

It’s an important philosophical question that the Eagles face. I think a couple things go into the team’s thinking on this one:

The first thing to remember is that Kelly’s opinions of his signal-callers are not fully formed. They were even less formed when he decided to bring Michael Vick back. Matt Barkley wasn’t even on the team then.  He does not know whether Nick Foles is  the future or not. Same for Barkley. It’s probably best to have some options until you have a better understanding of your personnel. If one of these young bucks flashes, then they have a decision to make.

Also, I don’t know if it’s best to throw away a season in the name of developing a quarterback. Remember, Kelly is coming in with all these new ideas, and is asking veterans to buy into his unique methods, even if they run counter to what they’ve  been taught. Right now, everyone appears to be on board. But what if it’s a total disaster in Year One? And furthermore, what if the players believe it’s a disaster because their rookie head coach made the decision to get rid of the team’s best quarterback?

Kelly has to establish himself and establish a culture. His cause will be aided greatly if he can find some success early on. He may determine that Vick gives him the best chance at getting off on the right foot.

If it’s determined that Foles or Barkley is the better option, then it’s the coach’s responsibility to play him. And I think he will. Right now it’s all about competition and seeing who rises to the top. There is logic in that approach.

From @Phlfan819: I’ve heard nothing good about Lane Johnson. From what you’ve seen/heard how bad is he?

This is a good time to remind ourselves that it is May. The team is practicing in shorts and there is no hitting. That makes it tough to fairly assess a lineman (or just about any other player). I understand that some are concerned because Johnson is running with the second team. It will get my attention only if it continues through training camp.

For now, the rookie is being brought along at a comfortable pace. Nothing to worry about yet.

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