Weekend Reading: Chip Kelly And Samurai Flags

We’ve mentioned a couple times how the Eagles are using special fly-swatter-like contraptions at practice to simulate defensive linemen during 7-on-7 drills.

Here’s a photo in case you missed it earlier in the week:

Three assistants throw those on, and suddenly, they are 6-foot-4 defensive linemen (or close to it).

According to The Register-Guard, Chip Kelly came up with the idea back in 2009. Oregon had a couple quarterbacks – Jeremiah  Masoli and Nate Costa – who were about 6 feet tall. So obviously, it was important for them to figure out how to find passing lanes.

The story of how Kelly came up with the idea can apparently be traced back to a movie from the early 90s.

Kelly said the idea for the new system came to him while flipping past the movie “Heaven and Earth” one night. It’s based on the system of flags samurai used to wear on their backs to coordinate themselves in battle, and I’m taking DSA editor A.J. Jacobson’s word on that one.

I did a little Googling, and apparently, those flags were called sashimono. From MyArmoury.com:

As a result of the improved tactics and bigger armies, the complexity of command, control and communications on the battlefield increased. To solve this problem, the identification flag (sashimono) was widely used after 1573. This was a cotton or silk cloth on a wooden or bamboo staff 0.9-1.5 m. long. The sashimono was attached to the soldier’s back and was always easily visible. Family crests (mon), stripes or other different emblems were featured on its surface.

So there you have it. And yes, this is why we love the internet.

Getting back to the Eagles, I’ve mentioned how Michael Vick has thrown two balls into the contraptions during practices open to the media. But Vick actually improved in avoiding batted passes last year. In 2011, per Pro Football Focus, he had one of every 30.2 pass attempts swatted down at the line of scrimmage. In 2012, it was one every 43.9.


Clark Judge of CBSSports.com stopped by Eagles practice this week. His impressions:

There’s plenty at Kelly’s mandatory minicamp you haven’t witnessed elsewhere, including three young men dressed as human flyswatters. Honest. They rush the quarterback by walking at him, with screens that extend from their shoulders up and over their heads to encourage passers to throw high.

Everything is designed to maximize time spent on the field, and the Eagles clocked in at just under two hours Tuesday. So call it a success. But I don’t care how fast or unusual workouts are, the only question that matters at this week’s minicamp is this: Will it work in the pros?

Here’s our full roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles, from Friday.


And finally, in case you missed Mike Missanelli’s interview with Cary Williams on 97.5 The Fanatic, here’s the podcast.

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  • pornball

    No, that’s not why we l-o-v-e the internet…

  • Brian

    Encourage passers to throw high? Really?

    • Nick

      Today’s article from CBSsports: “I don’t know what passing lanes are”

  • Token

    Get Cary Williams out of here. This is not the type of guy you start over new with. Imagine what his teammates must think after this interview.

    Bud, your a below average CB. Who do you think you are?

    I know they can get out of the deal after this season. But man, if theres a way to split right now get it done. The team asks you to show up for 13 days. Now you are off 7 more weeks.

    And I love how the family man bull crap is his excuse. Yet his other reasons for missing practice had nothing to do with family.

    I take this interview as spitting in the fans, teammates and organizations faces. You just dont hear players that are this clueless very often. If you have yet to hear the interview give it a listen. Or theres a link to read it below.



    • Richard Colton

      Hey token. Agree with your entire assessment. As much as I think CW is a me-first guy, I’m going to disagree with you on cutting him. Maybe you’re right, it would send a message that Chip’s in charge. Remember Andy Reid making that fat lineman push the blocking sled for an hour, then cutting him right after it was done?

      But here are my reasons, tell me what you think.

      1) if you cut him before training camp, he’s going to argue that his blowing off of OTAs are the only reason he was let go. Eagles would then be looking at a CBA violation.

      2) Cutting a guy after he signs a 17million contact, but doesn’t play a game would make Howie look like the biggest boob in the NFL.

      3) When it comes to the defensive backfield, CK is Old Mother Hubbard, and only Cary’s in the cupboard. CW may be average, but he isn’t Marsh or Lindley.

      4) My selfish point – this guy doesn’t take accountability for anything. At some point he’s going to get burned (happens to everyone). Can you imagine how fun the post game interview will be when he tries to deflect blame? If its anything like “Sconce-gate 2013” I can’t wait.

      • Guest

        CW sounds like an asshole but maybe his attitude is what you need to play CB in this city. You are out on an Island by yourself all game long. getting beat is inevitable at some point. a corner must have a short memory and thick skin especially in the city of Philadelphia. Maybe if Illya Bryzgalov had some CW in him he would find the peace in his heart to play goalie in this city. I want to see how he plays. Interviews and OTAs won’t matter in September. The anti NNamdi might not be a bad thing.

        • Token

          CW isnt a very good corner though. So theres that.

          • Guest

            A player with really only two years of playing experience probably isn’t done improving yet. If he had 4 years under his belt I would agree with you.

          • theycallmerob

            eh….he was a 7th rd pick, and training camp surprise, for a reason. Definitely not pro-bowl ceiling.

          • Better than anything we have now and had last year. Beggars can’t be choosers.

        • Andy124

          Is that you GEagle?

          • cliff henny

            think it is, he made the exact same post on different site

          • Andy124

            Yeah, that’s what prompted the question.

      • Token

        Well I see some of your points. But I think they have to stop worrying about what the league thinks of them. They have gotten a bit better at admitting mistakes over the years. This move was a mistake. A guy with such a attitude while having little talent is never good to have around.

        CK wants everyone putting the work in. Best player plays blah blah blah. No depth chart blah blah. He can say whatever he wants. If he means what he says a guy like this should be cut.

        Your point about cutting him now may be right on. Maybe they could just say conduct detrimental to the team.

        New coach new era. Kelly is trying to get everyone to buy in. Having guys like this around are just bad news right now. Having the distractions of comments like this from him and the crap Vick keeps opening his mouth about, we just dont need it anymore. Enough.

    • You want to cut him because he hurt your feelings and missed a few shorts practices? Please. Fact is this guy is the only thing remotely close to a starting caliber corner we have right.

      6 playoff starts in the past two years in which he gave up only 1 touchdown, and made 2 picks. Super Bowl winner.

      Biggest two problems Eagles secondary had last year was inability to tackle and create turnovers. Williams is the 2nd highest rated CB in tackling efficiency.Williams himself had half as many take-aways as the entire Eagles D did last year.

      But yeah, lets cut him before the season starts.You want a nice guy that gives nice interviews? Sign Nnamdi again.

      • Richard Colton

        After watching Nnamdi and Asante wiff on tackle after tackle, it will be nice to see somebody wrap up ballcarriers. Rob had a different perspective on the guy’s ability though – #s say while he’s a good tackler, he’s an average defender. At 27 – I’m not hopeful that he’ll suddenly turn into a star. I’d settle for a solid number two CB. Is that asking too much?

        • theycallmerob

          What you’re asking is not too much, but I’m afraid what Kelly and the Eagles are asking (since here, as Adam said, he really is our #1 CB) is outside his abilities.

          Hope for the best, plan for the worst I guess. Still trying to make sense of what that plan is though….

      • Token

        You missing the point as usual. But I get it, to you no Eagle could possibly be in the wrong. Maybe someday you will be slightly objective in your thoughts on the team.

        This is a guy who was among the most burned corners in the game. Hes a problem on the field. Should have been kicked out of the SB game. And now apparently doesnt feel he need to put in the extra time with a new team and scheme. Did you listen to the interview? Its basically like he got paid and now he doesnt have to grind anymore. If I was a teammates it would be clear where this guy stands. Im out there breakin my ass to improve myself and the team while this guy thinks hes so great he can pick out sconces all offseason.

        • Capt. Undapants

          Per the NFL CBA:


          Section 1. Voluntary Workouts: No player shall be required to attend or participate in any offseason workout program or classroom instruction of a Club other than as pro­ vided in Article 22. Any other Club o ffseason workout programs and classroom instruction sessions shall be strictly voluntary…

        • I’m not missing the point, you are just overreacting. He ran with the 1s at mandatory camp, so what does that say about how upset the team is with him missing those practices? Not near as much as you are, that’s pretty clear.

          Should have been kicked out the Super Bowl, but he didn’t. And he won it. In case you forgot, the Eagles were 4-12 last season so I doubt there are too many guys in the locker room passing judgement on him for missing time. They’re not exactly in any position to do so.

          Williams is in no way shape or form a top tier corner. But he’s better than what we had last year. His cap number is 2.5 mill, about one third of what Asante’s will be. He’s what you would call a “pest”, loved when he’s on your team but hated when you play against him. Let’s not act like we need this guy to be the face of the franchise, or that Chip is expecting him to be the best in the league. As someone said above already, he’s a stop gap. Nothing else. Just cool your jets.

        • Andy124

          Wow man, kind of over the top there. How about you focus your anger about Sconce’s attitude towards Sconce and not towards Adam ok?

      • Andy124

        “Fact is this guy is the only thing remotely close to a starting caliber corner we have right.”
        If Fletcher stays healthy, the reports are that he’s better than Sconce, and I have high hopes for Boykin. Sconce might end up as the 3rd best CB in the roster right now.

        • Hope you’re right, but he’s the only guy of that group that played at a high level relatively consistently last year. Boykin is still young and had a decent season still has a lot of work to do. I have my doubts about putting him on the outside, I think he’s meant to play the slot. Fletcher also has promise but couldn’t really even get on the field last year behind Jenkins and Finnegan.

          • Andy124

            Hey, I’m not making a prediction, prognostication or any other “tion” so I won’t claim bragging rights if Sconce ends up as our #3.
            I’m just repeating things I’ve read about Fletcher and Boykin. Always reasons for hope I guess.

      • usmcnole

        Biggest concern should be the me first attitude he’s displaying. Not a great role model for the younger players on the roster

        • Honey this isn’t day care. It’s football.

        • cliff henny

          that’s corner though. it’s an island position. think he’s being a bit of a jerk, huge ego cause he just got paid, but non of this makes him bad teammate, yet. certainly could, but sure howie did his due diligence and knows all about this guy.

    • B-West

      So Cary said he doesn’t care about what the fans think and that has you all butthurt? Come on, man. Hes a stop gap player anyway until the new regime can fully turn over the roster. Let it go.

      • Token

        Again you guys dont seem to get it. Obviously he doesnt care what we think.

        But he also says he doesnt care what the organization or teammates think.

        This is not the way to bring a team together the way Kelly wants to.

        This guy is like a way less talented Asante Samuel.

        • B-West

          You said you felt like he spit in your face (assuming you put yourself in the fan category, which is probably a safe assumption if you’re on this board), which seemed like an over reaction to me.

          Williams felt like he did nothing wrong, which he didn’t, and now hes getting bombarded from all sides. So, hes getting a little defensive and telling people to get off his back.

          • Richard Colton

            B-West – being objective, it’s hard to read that CW interview
            and come away with a positive impression of him. He sounds entitled, clueless, contemptuous of the fan base. His feeling “like he did nothing wrong” is what he did wrong. Overreacting is giving AI a hard time for wearing a Yankees hat in an interview. That interview was spitting in the fans’ face. What he did by skipping OTAs was spit in his team’s face.

            And you may not agree with that, which is cool, but if you
            do, answer this:

            A) Why did his teammates use the media to call him out over
            skipping OTAs?

            B) if OTAs weren’t a big deal, why did 100% of players who
            could attend, choose to attend?

          • B-West

            I agree on the overall impression of Williams. He comes off as a punk and hes not that great of a player. But he didn’t spit in anybody’s face, literally or figuratively. That whole interview was basically telling everyone to get off his jock. And I don’t blame him.

            As for your questions, I must’ve missed his teammates calling him out, I’d honestly be curious to see that if you have a link. And as a guess, I would think the rest of the players fell prey to the ridiculous brow beating of the NFL. The one concession the NFL made in the most recent CBA was to diminish the offseason, and they’re not even living up to that. They just pressure these guys into showing up to voluntary workouts.

            Perhaps CW is wise enough to see how one-sided the CBA has become, and hes taking advantage of the one privilege the players were awarded.

          • Richard Colton

            Domo reported it last week. I know not everyone likes him,
            but IMO – he’s the best Eagles beat guy since Lyons. He may not know the Xs
            & Os like Ray Didinger, what he does bring is objectivity and access to the

            You’re right about the concession – it limited the number of
            OTAs (minicamps) so the players could have an offseason to heal and live their lives. Flip side is the players need to (not “have to” or
            “subject to disciplinary action if they don’t”) attend. Birds have
            90+ players if you accuse non-roster invitees. They all fulfilled their
            obligations where possible, except one guy.

            My hope is that this becomes the first leadership test for
            the young defense. A story we don’t hear about for a few years a la Hugh
            Douglas vs. TO – someone like Cox or Kendricks takes the guy aside and says –
            “Hey dude, we all have kids, we all have sconces. Don’t care how many
            rings you have – we were all out here drinking smoothies and sweating in the
            heat. Don’t ever pull a stunt like that again.”

          • Do you have a link to that article? Never heard anything about it either. Can’t see a 22-23 year old kid like Cox or Kendricks busting the balls of a 27 year old guy coming off a SB win, but who knows.

          • Richard Colton

            twitter. “un-named team mates” I’m looking now, there was some discussion about it on another 24/7 thread.

            Yeah – that’s kind of my point too. Who are the leaders on defense? I’m struggling.

          • theycallmerob

            Demeco. And I bet Trent Cole chimes in some as well.

          • Token

            Anyone who think the teammates or organization dont care about this is fooling themselves.

            You dont tell the team that gave you millions of dollars to “get off your jock”. You dont tell your teammates out there busting their ass while your picking window dressing to “get off your jock”.

          • B-West

            I was thinking more along the lines of fans and talking heads with that line, but I didn’t clarify, so my bad.

            The organization should be embarrassed for trying to pressure the players out of benefits their union earned them.

            The teammates angle is trickier. I could see why they might be annoyed that hes not there, but they only need to remind themselves that their own attendance is not required.

            In the end, of course it would be better if he was there. But the outrage over his absence is ridiculous. You started this thread wanting to cut him over this!

          • Fact is in this game you’re going to have guys with different egos and who are more outspoken than others. Nnamdi showed up to all these OTA’s and gave great articulate interviews. But as we learned pretty quick it’s what he does on Sundays that actually matters. So lets tap the breaks on cutting a guy in June for an interview and missing optional practices.

          • Richard Colton

            I hear you. It’s a fair statement.
            TO was great on Sunday, so was Randy Moss – both were cancerous in a locker room. Can you win with guys like that? Sometimes. It depends on the team. I’d say at this stage of the team’s development we need everyone pulling in the same direction.

          • Might be a bit much to compare him guys like that. Nothing he’s said or done so far compares to what those guys would pull. We’re pretty much basing this whole bad teammate angle solely on what the media and fans have said- I’ve heard nothing about him being a bad teammate in Baltimore.

            All in all this has been blown ridiculously out of proportion to compare missing optional practices to the antics TO pulled here. I think you need to take a step back and relax. It’s June.

          • theycallmerob

            Keep in mind, though, in Baltimore there was far more accountability in the locker room from the players. Voluntary here really did mean mandatory for years, because what player wanted the wrath of Ray Lewis? Although he said some dumb things to the media, there weren’t any reports of Cary- or really anyone- causing much drama there.

          • nicksaenz1

            He also wasn’t paid, yet, while in Baltimore, and didn’t have a ring until a few months ago, so, in my opinion, he HAD to be in line. Now, it comes off like getting paid and getting the ring all in a couple of months got to the dude’s head and he can relax now.

          • cliff henny

            he was in a position to get away with it this year. guy was a jerk about it, and sure kelly will let him know he was with couple extra gassers. little ego and attitude is a good thing for a secondary that had no heart lasy year.

          • nicksaenz1

            I don’t disagree. I don’t care too too much about him missing voluntary workouts despite his awful reasoning, but as long as he comes into camp looking like a dude who’s trying to win the #1 CB roll all will be well. He should just be barred from media appearances in the future lol.

          • cliff henny

            good god no…shove a mic under his nose every chance you get!!! think ‘sconces’ is the tip of the iceburg.

          • nicksaenz1

            hahahaha i was thinking from the team’s perspective

          • Token

            Basically, yea that seems to be his attitude.

            This is a big reason why signing FAs rarely works out. Said player grinds with the team that drafted him, then gets paid the money by someone else and relaxes.

            There are few, if any, players in this league who can not work and still play at a high level. Especially when you are a guy like Cary and arent very talented to begin with.

          • cliff henny

            his salary next isnt guaranteed. it’s really only 1 yr deal. this guy better bring it or he’ll be out 5m. and there’ll be a whole new batch of cb’s ready to cash in, so it’s not like he’ll get similar deal (maybe, but generally it’s on performance bonuses) from another team.

          • Super Bowls are won in May now are they? Please. OTAs have about as much importance on playing at a high level as saying your prayers do.

          • cliff henny

            and even less for a cb. they literally are just jogging around in shorts, half trying to get in the way, and half staying out of the way.

          • You’re making a whole lot of inferences from very little information here.

          • cliff henny

            think the guy was a little off in balt, too. pulled some clips (rob listed couple), he isnt being someone he wasnt before. cant see howie and chip not feeling 100% comfortable with his edgy personality before we signed him.

          • Token

            So you dont think teammates have a problem with something like this? Guy gets signed to a fairly nice deal and then doesnt come to work while they are there busting their ass? I think you arent understanding the group dynamics.

          • What do you know about these guys and their dynamics? These guys are all part of a PLAYERS UNION that fought hard to get more time off for their members. This is something that all players wanted, so why would they hold it against him if he took advantage of that? If these guys weren’t coming off a absolute garbage season and most of their jobs on the line, I’m sure more of them they would take advantage of it as well. Not to mention the fact that Williams was playing into February winning a Super Bowl, when most of these guys were done in December. His deal is irrelevant to the players, he got what he was valued at on the market. It’s not their money he’s getting.

          • Token

            Why do you keep bringing up Nnamdi? What does he have to do with this? Cant figure that out. Using that logic, Brain Dawkins went to OTAs and was a great player. So should I be even more pissed that CW isnt there?

            CW is a nobody. One of the most picked on CBs in the game. Now hes on a brand new team with a new scheme.

            Yea, guess he doesnt have to focus on improving his game…..

            “voluntary” practices. Because he missed them he will be behind the curve once the “mandatory” practices begin. Which just adds to this.

          • I keep bringing up Nnamdi because these stupid situations that make you think we need to cut Williams have no barring on a good football player, and the idea that because he missed some VOLUNTARY practices it’s moronic to think a team would eat a 5 million dollar cap hit just to send a message in June.

            If he’s a nobody, and behind the curve, why was he running with the 1s at mandatory camp then Token? And no, it has nothing to do with his contract, because Chip has shown he has no problems with big named big contract taking reps with the 2s or 3s because they are behind (RE: DeSean and his not knowing all other WR’s routes)

            Do you even realize that Bill Davis is installing a hybrid defense that is extremely similar to another team in the league? I’ll give you a hint.. they’re the defending Super Bowl Champions. (BALTIMORE RAVENS, if you can’t figure it out) He’s not a 4-3 DE switching to a 3-4 linebacker, or a wide 9 DT switching to a 3 tech DE. Corners are corners.

            July and August are the important months. This crap is irrelevant.

    • Gary


  • Trew

    Cary Williams, FOR Who, for WHAT!! Bye Bye Cary!

  • Johnny Domino

    When I see Riley Cooper gut himself for dropping an endzone fade I will know we have gone full bushido.

    Players can carry swords in their belts like the the guy with the gun in “The Last Boy Scout”.

    • Richard Colton

      great image. strangely, the least realistic thing you have in that scenario is the Eagles throwing a fade in the redzone. I was sure Andy outlawed that play.

    • Richard Colton

      And speaking of Bushido-Eagles… How about the Toddfather with a samuri top-knot?


      • Johnny Domino

        He’s no Belushi.

  • jamesbondage

    uh, so who’s the top rated CB in next year’s draft?

    • Richard Colton

      I think he plays in the SEC. I heard his daughter can’t dance and he hates sconces – more of an IKEA guy.

      • Andy124

        Dude’s on a roll. You’re cracking me up this morning. Thanks for the entertainment.

  • MediaMike

    Did we miss the part where Vick hit one of those contraptions in practice?