What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Chip KellyHere’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

SI.com’s Don Banks offers 20 bold predictions, including one on the Eagles/Chiefs:

The Eagles’ Chip Kelly, with his fast-break football on display in Philadelphia, will be the most exciting and talked about new coach among the eight offseason hires in the headset fraternity. But it will be “Big Red,” now wearing red in Kansas City, who gets the last laugh. Former Eagles coach Andy Reid was the only guy to jump from one full-time gig in the NFL coaching ranks to another this offseason, and he’ll show that experience really does count for something, leading the talented and vastly improved Chiefs from 2-14 to an AFC wild-card berth.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com is high on Matt Barkley:

Regardless, TMQ is putting his chips on this wager — not only will Barkley win the Eagles’ starting job sooner rather than later, he will be the top quarterback of the 2013 draft class. But it’s hard to see Barkley operating a zone-read action. The compromise might be Barkley running a quick-snap spread. Under Andy Reid, the Eagles rarely went four wide, favoring conventional West Coast sets that focus on intermediate routes. Kelly could install four-wide looks with the dig-or-go passing routes favored in the current college game.

Easterbrook also rips Chip Kelly:

In the most recent academic year, Oregon cleared a $31 million profit on football, according to Department of Education data, while graduating just 49 percent of its African-American players. Exploiting young black males without conferring education ought to shame Chip Kelly, the University of Oregon alumni and trustees and the NCAA. Jon Anderson, why haven’t you apologized in public for Oregon’s terrible record of failing to graduate African-American football players? Meanwhile attending the University of Oregon costs $23,352 a year for a state resident and $42,702 for out-of-state students. What might parents paying these fees, or students borrowing to meet them, think of Oregon’s new four-star, athletes-only dining facility?

Ben Muth of Football Outsiders writes about the Eagles’ offensive line, and specifically Evan Mathis:

While Mathis doesn’t have the overwhelming strength of an Iupati, he looks more consistent because of two things: balance and tenacity. For the most part, everyone plays hard in the NFL, so when someone’s effort really stands out, I consider it a skill just like speed or strength. Mathis is one of those guys.

Michael Silver of NFL.com has the Eagles 19th in his “32 questions” column:

If Chip Kelly and Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones were locked in a kitchen with a blender, would they create a personalized smoothie with secret sauce?

Judy Battista of NFL.com offers 48 things to watch this season, including a couple Eagles-related items:

The speed. The secrecy. The soundtrack. Chip Kelly’s offense with the Philadelphia Eagles has it all, with a dash of Michael Vick thrown in for good measure. Can Kelly’s warp-speed approach — don’t look down or you’ll miss the next snap — work in the NFL? And how quickly will other teams try to copy it if it does?

When it comes to Chip Kelly, there probably hasn’t been a more heralded coaching arrival in the NFL since Jimmy Johnson. No pressure, Chip; you’re merely expected to usher in an offensive revolution while winning in Philadelphia, one of the league’s pressure cookers.

Michael Vick is set to end his bankruptcy, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch:

He is now ready to scratch another goal off his list: He will soon emerge from bankruptcy, having made arrangements to pay back the last of nearly $20 million in debts to dozens of creditors.

It is an unusual accomplishment in bankruptcy circles to fully repay debts in a Chapter 11 case, according to legal experts, and Vick’s case was anything but usual.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com asked five league executives whether the read-option is here to stay. Four of the five said yes. From one of them:

“I don’t see it going away any time soon. Several different teams had success running it last year and I’m sure a few more will incorporate it this fall. I’m really looking forward to watching the Eagles’ offense this year. I think Chip Kelly is going to throw caution to the wind and run more of his Oregon offense than people think. If it works, and he keeps his quarterback healthy, the NFL will quickly follow his lead.”

John Madden talks to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times about what he’s expecting from Kelly:

“I think Chip Kelly is going to have as much influence on the game and the way it’s played now as anyone,” Hall of Fame coach John Madden said. “If for no other reason, just the pace of the game and the number of plays.

“Everyone talks about it: Can Chip Kelly do what he did in college? Probably not in its entirety, but he can do a lot of it. Not only that, everyone else is going to do a lot of it.”

Four out of five ESPN.com experts pick the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. That includes Adam Schefter:

Kelly will have this offense flying; the question is whether someone can prevent the defense from sagging.

SI.com’s Peter King catches up with former Eagles fullback Kevin Turner:

“The year after Green Bay won the Super Bowl, I was on the Eagles, and we played them in Philly. I remember the opening kickoff, and then I remember, maybe late in the first quarter, going up to our backup quarterback and saying, ‘You’ll think I’m crazy, but are we in Green Bay or Philly? And how are we doing?’ He went and got a doctor. Turns out I had played a bunch of plays on automatic pilot. The doctor said, ‘Remember these words,’ and I couldn’t. And he gave me the test three or four times, and finally I think it was the fourth time, I remembered the words and they let me back in the game. You can’t imagine the fit I would have thrown if they wouldn’t have let me back in the game.”

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  • ClydeSide

    The COLTS just waived Safety John Boyett (Oregon) for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He is a guided missile and understands Chip Kelly’s takeaway philosophy.




    • ClydeSide

      More details:


      The Indianapolis Colts say they have waived rookie safety John Boyett from the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Boyett was recently in the Marion County jail for resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and disorderly conduct after an incident at a downtown Indianapolis bar on Labor Day.

      Marion County Jail records indicate Boyett was jailed at 2:52 a.m. Monday. He has since posted bond.

      According to an IMPD report, an officer working at Tiki Bob’s, 231 S. Meridian, was told by an employee of the business that an intoxicated male, later identified as Boyett, was being refused entry by employees. The male was said to have “cussed at patrons of the bar and people on the sidewalk.” The report says the male left before officers arrived.

      Later, police encountered Boyett when employees say he returned to the bar.

      An officer tried to arrest Boyett, but police say he pulled from the officer’s grasp, “threw a stiff arm toward me, and the fled on foot northbound on Meridian Street”.

      The report says officers gave chase and caught Boyett in an alley. When asked to identify himself, police say Boyett kept repeating “you can’t arrest me, I’m a Colts player.”

      He also threatened an officer, according to the report, saying he would “come back and break your jaw.”

      He’s now charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

      Boyett is from Napa, California. He played college football at Oregon. He was selected by the Colts in the sixth round (192nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. He is currently on the Colts reserve/non-football injury list. He did not practice or play in the preseason.

      • CJ

        So, do you want Chip to sign him because he played at Oregon, or Howie to sign him because he’s hurt? I’m not sure which, old, tired, and overused line of thinking you’re trying to apply here.

        • Dominik

          It’s funny – I don’t know how the team feels about the (maybe) Oregon connection with Kelly and Maehl & Matthews, but only because I don’t know if the team cares that much about the last roster spots. I think in principle, they don’t like it, since Acho clearly beat Matthews and Salas outplayed Maehl. But like I said, don’t know if they care.

          On the other hand, I’m so freaking desperate about our Defensive Backfield, I would like Kelly to bring in Boyett if this kid can play. That’s probably me just being a very desperate fan, but it’s ironic, to say the least.

          • ClydeSide

            An appreciation for irony is a sign of intelligence.

          • Johnny Domino

            Maybe you’re doing it wrong.

        • knighn

          Is he Mormon, too? Then we could claim that the Andy Reid bias still exists!

        • Warhound

          Yeah, great, an injured self-indulgent thug who gets drunk, threatens the police and believes that his job as a pro-athlete is a get out jail free card is just what we need.

    • OregonEagle

      Wouldn’t that make some heads explode.

      In most of the clips on his highlight reel Boyette is playing with partially torn patellar tendons in both knees. Sat out his senior year for surgery and rehab which is reflected in his 6th round draft status. Nobody will know if he can still play until he gets back on the field but somebody will take one more look at him.

      Do the Raiders still look for guys with attitude?

    • Warhound

      I think you mean “Take Away Machine”.

  • Adam

    Damn Easterbrook, tell us how you really feel. But seriously, I have no pity for kids who get a free ride through college, with every opportunity to succeed placed in front of them (and I mean EVERY opportunity, they’re treated like Gods by profs and TAs) but don’t take advantage of it. It’s not an African American thing, it’s football players in general.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Why doesn’t Easterbrook rip himself for getting paid for covering such an exploitative system.as.College football? Or is it ok to get paid as long as you’re not.coaching?

    • BlindChow

      Apparently it’s okay for everyone to get paid as long as you’re not playing.

  • EaglePete

    No issue with Easterbrooks comments. If it wasnt true then Id care. There is something to be said for graduation rates of players, otherwise you wouldnt hear coaches lauded for it when its good. Cant have it both ways. I never really understood how much effect a coach can have on it either way, but it is up to the individual to get it done. The university should be held accountable as well if not more, those are some really bad numbers.

    • freakdog

      Kinda hard to graduate players, though, when they jump ship early for the draft.

  • gutshot

    I’m more offended by Easterbrook’s terrible prediction of Matt Barkley not only becoming the Eagles starter but being the best rookie QB this year. Did he not watch any of the preseason?

    • Bdawk20

      Best QB of the 2013 class I think is what he meant instead of rookie. Either way, I am not buying it either.

    • JofreyRice

      Yeah, but don’t forget he went to Maiter Dei high school.

      • Ghost of Shot Gunning Beers

        Are you going to let Diggle say this?

        “he literally knew nothing about football. zilch. He wrote a lot of
        words. thats about it. Guy was a grade A loser who thought he was
        somehow a better person because he was in the Army. Plus he couldnt
        even shotgun a beer, which is like having a micropenis”

    • Adam

      By not playing, Barkley might be the best rookie QB this year. Seriously one of the most underwhelming QB classes in recent memory.

  • nicksaenz1

    I think this year will be the real test for the read-option now that defensive coordinators have had a full offseason to really analyze it and even take courses like the one the from the Stanford DC on how to defend it. If a QB takes an unnecessary shot and is out for a few games because of the read option (and by unnecessary I mean he took a split second too long to read the play and got crushed in the backfield as a result), teams using the read-option will be put on notice. Once it happens to a second QB I can see a lot of owners who pay too much money to their QB putting the kabash on their coaches running the read-option.

    • knighn

      I share your concerns about the Read-Option QBs getting crushed, especially with Vick who is not that big / durable to begin with… and he tends to hold onto the ball longer than the average NFL QB. We’ll see how it goes with those Read-Option QBs, but I don’t think it is going anywhere, any more than mobile QBs are going to be leaving the NFL. Eventually you might see it go the other way: the NFL will put more rules in place to protect its QBs, including QBs running the Option.

      Other than that: I think you can read too much into one game. Stanford has played Oregon the last 4 years, the results have been:
      2009: 51 (Stanford) – 42 (Oregon)
      2010: 31 (Stanford) – 52 (Oregon)
      2011: 30 (Stanford) – 53 (Oregon)
      2012: 17 (Stanford) – 14 (Oregon)*

      So, in all but one game (in the last 4 years) Oregon was able to put up a minimum of 42 points on Stanford. Is this because the Stanford DC “figured out Oregon” or because the Standford Defense was simply more talented than Oregon’s offense or because Marcus Mariota was a freshman QB or did Stanford actually figure out Chip Kelly’s read option? One example might be too small a sample size. If Chip and his Ducks played Stanford again last year we might have a better idea.

      • nicksaenz1

        I agree with your premise, however, Grantland had a whole piece on the class this guy has taught to NFL DCs which is why I brought it up. The guy basically said it’s not about stopping, it’s about containing, so with the scrape technique, it’s about sending the edge rusher at the qb and sliding the ILB over to fill the gap. It’s just one concept. I think all in all you’re just going to see a few more edge blitzes, might see a DC or two (think Greg Williams) who’s willing to eat 15 yards early on in the game in the name of making the QB think twice about keeping the ball or even put him out of the game. That’d be my strategy. I’d make sure you don’t want to keep the ball.

    • JofreyRice

      I think although unlikely, it is possible the read-option actually changes the dynamic of what a “franchise QB” means. There are not a lot of guys that leave college every year, with the ability to operate an NFL offense from under center, and surgically destroy NFL defenses with a combination of size, intelligence, arm strength, and accuracy. Those guys become the “franchise QB” of NFL teams, and are protected to the point where you keep them around for 10-12 years, minimizing the wear and tear because their skill set is so rare.

      There are a ton of guys that run option attacks in the NCAA, that previously had no home in the NFL. Maybe the new “franchise QB” has a shelf-life more like a RB–with only 5-7 years of “prime” performance, but with a more easily replaceable skill set.

      • nicksaenz1

        Yeah, if this new brand of QB does have less years of prime performance and is so easily replaceable, you know owners would be clamoring for it. That means teams that feature those QBs would have a bargaining chip in saving bringing contract values down. That’s my initial though, at least.

        • JofreyRice

          Totally agree the financial aspect would have be reevaluated. Mark Sanchez is making 12.9 Million this year, compared to future HOF running back Adrian Peterson, who’s making 11.3.

  • jackpotsdad

    Easterbrook should do a bit more research. 4 year graduation rates for Oregon football players is 64%, not 49%. Took me 5 seconds to Google this up: http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2012-10-25/graduation-rates-for-top-25-football-teams

    What’s particularly flame baiting about his statement is the implication is that somehow Oregon is far worse than other programs. 60% admittedly is not a great percentage, but it is on par with other top 25 programs. Also, note that the 4 year University of Oregon graduation rate for *all students* (not just football players) is 41%.

    Citation for 41% graduation rate here: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-oregon-3223

    Edit: corrected graduation rate based on Andy124 post

    • Andy124

      Easterbrook is singling out the graduation rates for Oregon’s African American players. Your link isn’t demographic specific.
      Also, the 60% you are citing is for Oregon St. Oregon was a little higher at 64%.

  • knighn

    I think when I talk about my projection for the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles people believe that I’m being too negative. I actually think I’m optimistic about the team and the direction of the team. I just think it is going to take more than one year to get there (back into serious playoff contention).

    • #7

      I don’t think anyone is predicting the Super Bowl, but I think that we can be very competitive. People think that I’m being too positive about the team, but I can do that because we have not played a game yet and our division seems to be wide open every year.
      We’re going to surprise some people

      • knighn

        I hope that I am pleasantly surprised by the Eagles. I expect them to do better – I just don’t see them making the playoffs this year. It’s possible, but I don’t see it right now! I’m looking forward to watching this team grow for the future.

        • #7

          Bro, it seems like you want them to lose most of the time. You seem to be all over the place

  • Bob A

    It’s CHIPS fault that African American football players at Oregon don’t graduate??? They got the free ride, those too dumb to open a book once in a while make their own bed, the coach can only do so much.

  • UKEagle99

    Michael Silver gets paid to write that? He should donate his salary to the African American students that don’t graduate from Oregon.


    Concerning Eastbrook, are these Afro-American students any different then any of the other students ? Why should particular prejudice be used to ensure their graduation as opposed to others? Or are you suggesting that young Afro-Americans are either being unfairly subjugated to a different set of academic requirements or are incapable of being accountable for their own responsibilities?

  • Bob A

    Acho is now a free agent as 31 other teams were also not interested.If the Eagles want to sign him to the practice squad they now have clear sailing.

  • Basscase

    I can’t take Easterbrook seriously anymore. Besides him selling out to go back to ESPN years ago, his articles always have a couple of things that are just plain wrong. I have to wonder if his criticism of Reid not employing 4-WR sets is all that accurate, considering he did do them a lot (given the team had a # of 3rd and longs last year), but I have no real #s to back that up. DO know he’s full of it when he says Reid did a “conventional” WCO last year.

  • Basscase

    Also, Easterbrook’s “The Eagles rarely ran 4-wide” comment gets destroyed by SK in the “Ten Eagle Numbers That Matter” column.
    How do these guys just print this and act like it’s correct? Maybe in 2003 it was correct, but not in the past 2-3 years.

    • BIGJES

      Eastbrook is just a hack trying to stir the pot with blatant racial baiting and a bunch of false stats

  • Zach Abramowitz

    Derek Sarley dropped some good Chip Kelly knowledge in this ReplyAll conversation as well. His point was that it won’t look that much different than regular football.