Kelly, Fans Searching For Progress

kelly_540DENVER — Chip Kelly stepped to the podium following the Eagles’ 52-20 loss to the Broncos Sunday, and for a third straight week fielded questions about what went wrong with his football team.

This is all very new to the first-year head coach. He never lost back-to-back games in a season during his time at Oregon, let alone three in a row. He only lost seven games total during his impressive four-year reign in Eugene.

This may be a first for Kelly, but Eagles fans  have become all too familiar with this routine. The 4-12 debacle is still fresh in their memory. A lot of the fun and just about all of the hope was sucked out of them over the past two seasons.


It is almost universally understood that this is a rebuilding year. No one expected the Eagles to be Super Bowl contenders (except maybe a few that got caught up in the excitement after the Washington win); not with such a large organizational overhaul underway. But this is not a season without expectations. This base wants to see progress. They want their hope back.

The last three weeks have not done much for that pursuit. A close loss to the Chargers was followed by a double-digit loss to the Chiefs. And then, the blowout in Denver.

Are you seeing progress or growth?

"I think that's a great question, and I'll really be able to answer that question on Tuesday when we come back out on the practice field," said Kelly. "And if we come out and we're hanging our heads and we're feeling sorry for ourselves, then I'll say we didn't have any progress or growth. But I think we've got to understand that this is a tough-ass league and you're playing against some really good teams, and if you feel sorry for yourself ...As I tell people all the time: 90 percent of people don't care about your problems, and 10 percent are glad you have them.

"We've got to go back to work and that's the only thing we know to do. We're going to work and figure this thing out. If you are feeling sorry for yourself then we haven't made progress. If they come back to work on Tuesday, I'll be excited about this group as we move forward. I really believe they will."

The players exited the field and made their way into the locker room in silence. There was disappointment, but not the kind of dejection that followed the loss to Kansas City. This group seems to be hanging their hat on the fact that, while this was a bad loss, it came out of conference. They are 1-0 in the division, and can improve on that with a win against the Giants next week.

"It's still very early in the season so there is still a lot of optimism and opportunity for us," said Jason Kelce. "Frustrating loss, but the bottom line is we're still in contention to make the playoffs very realistically."

And so, that will be the focus internally as the Eagles attempt to recover from a series of body blows and try to work out of their 1-3 hole.

When this team takes the practice field Tuesday, Kelly will be looking to see how his players bounce back from adversity. Meanwhile, the outside world will have its eyes on the rookie head coach for the very same reason.

"Yeah, we don't have an experienced head coach in the NFL," said Cary Williams, "but he's coached in some big games. It's not a time that we get off his bandwagon. We still have to continue to believe in his system, and just play hard."

 

  • Justin

    Good words by Cary Williams. Now if Davis would stop playing them 10 yards off we might see some good play.

  • jon h

    Cary Williams needs to cut down on the PI calls too. The good news is that if we’re going to lose 3 games, best to lose them to AFC teams. I still think the offense is extremely exciting and could just take off. But it’s becoming more evident that although Vick is exciting, has a cannon and can scramble like no other, he is not a read option QB. He can’t make the quick decision and holds the ball too long. Maybe Jax will continue to slide and they’ll fire the coach – then we can bring him in as the D Coordinator. I’m not giving up yet. The next 6 games will define what we can become this year. They’re all teams that are in the mid to lower portion of the league and if we’re going to do something, it will be in those games. At the end of the day, the Eagles have had the most difficult schedule of any team when you consider the 3 games in 11 days and then the 4th game at Denver.

    • Justin

      Part of Vick’s problem is that the only guy he can throw to is Jackson. Cooper can’t get open to save his life, Celek, Casey, and Ertz all have issues with drops, and Avant isn’t exactly YAC. All teams need to do to shut down our passing game is double up on Jackson.

      • Dutch

        Teams will play the Eagles receivers Man to Man the rest of the season because they can not get off the line or separation to become targets. It’s run with Shady and Vick or nothing.

    • eaglesfanqc

      I don’t think Bradley would have made a difference at this moment with the same players… We need a good defensive draft in 2014 to rebuild this defense

      • BlindChow

        Bradley isn’t even doing well with the Jags’ players. Maybe Pete Carroll was the true mastermind in Seattle…

        • The Answer

          Hey buddy, have you looked at the players on that team? THEY STINK. It’s going to take awhile to build that team, no matter who the coach was going to be. It doesn’t happen overnight.

      • JofreyRice

        It’s really funny. I remember so many people talking about how the Eagles roster was so talented, that they just weren’t playing up to that talent; Tommy Lawlor, specifically, but others, as well. Now the accepted wisdom is that there is no talent.

        • eaglesfanqc

          There is some talent.. But too much patching player in a new system who do not proove anything yet…

        • Max Lightfoot

          Well, at least not a ton of defensive talent. Howie and Chip had to clear the decks, defensively speaking, because the two starting corners were quitters who deserved to eat their PB & J sandwiches in the car. Except for a few bright spots along the D- line, the defense was a shambles. They had to draft Lane Johnson to shore up the O-line so that Vick wouldn’t get blasted right away. Free agency can be great with a few judicious picks, but the combination of the new 3-4 and a whole new crew all at once is too much right now. It will probably get better, because how can it get much worse? I had no illusions about this year, and I still stick with 6-10 – that’s two more wins at least, and in this division, that’s almost enough to compete! Go Eags!

          • JofreyRice

            Howie and Chip brought guys in, themselves, and forced the switch to a 3-4. They have some blame in the once in 40 year debacle that we witnessed yesterday. And that was with the Broncos showing mercy and benching Peyton with 10 min left in the 4th! If they hadn’t taken their foot off the gas, they probably could have scored 70!

          • Max Lightfoot

            Oh, I agree – the 3-4 switch is brutal – and it’s not like I love Howie Baby – he’s the living embodiment of the Peter Principle. But they had to try something new, IMO. It was so painful watching yesterday that at 35-13, I went off to take a nap – just wasn’t in the mood for the tsunami that was to come. We will get better, but it’s gonna take time.

          • JofreyRice

            I hear you. My life is extremely busy right now, and believe it or not, I have to “carve out” time to watch the Eagles every week. Spending 2 hours (DVR it, don’t have time to waste on commercials) watching that felt like a pretty stupid use of my free time.

          • The Answer

            Not sure why you’re panties are in a bunch. Did you expect this team to be great out of the gate? Anyone who has reasonable expectations for this season knows there will be growing pains and lots of it. Denver is arguably the best team in the NFL right now, Manning has had one of the best months a quarterback has EVER had, it was a huge mismatch defensively. I’m not sure what you expected but they gave up 38 points defensively, that’s what most people were expecting. Chip likes a 3-4 defense, that’s what they are going to run and that’s not going to change. So why keep complaining about it? Any time you change schemes, especially with a defense that has average talent at best, it’s not going to pretty in year one. This year, we’re going to find out who on this defense can play, then build from there.

      • Justin

        We need two new corners, two new safeties, at least one new receiver, possibly a new RG, and a new QB. I say a new QB because, while Vick has been considerably better this year than 2011 and 2012 (minus the Chiefs game), he’s 34, and I don’t know that Foles or Barkley are the future.

        • eaglesfanqc

          We need LB’s who can cover too…

    • Maggie

      Vick placed several passes right into the midsection of several receivers. ALL of the tight ends DROPPED the ball. Perhaps you should watch instead of just parroting others.

  • Token

    Davis is a mess. Scheme is bad. He just has awful ideas. Graham blitz from the slot?

    But more alarming is how bad the offense continues to be and Chip seems to have no answer. This team flat out looks as unprepared and undisciplined as the last few years.

    • Cyrus Robinson

      Bill Davis was like “ha! This’ll confuse Peyton!”
      No… It’s a lot more like a gimme. Peyton is like a grandmaster in chess playing against beginners. He knows your mistakes and exactly how to punish it. There is a correct way to counter Peyton Manning, we just don’t have the defensive coordinator or pieces to do it.
      The Broncos offense is not just talented, but extremely intelligent. The Eagles defense has some talent, but it’s being terribly misused by Billy Davis.
      Unfortunately and fortunately, I think he’s going to be here for 1 or 2 years max.

      The game plan to stop the Eagles is simple. Man coverage, and hope your defensive linemen and linebackers get off their blocks to tackle Shady. You’ll give up yards, but you’ll have a good chance of keeping them out of the end zone. The Eagles NEED to give other receivers a chance. I understand Cooper blocks well, but he’s called a Wide Receiver, not a Wide Blocker.

      • Maggie

        Perhaps you missed the fact that several good passes were DROPPED?

    • The Answer

      I’m sure you know football better than Billy Davis…keep coaching em from the couch big guy! I don’t love the guy but it’s 4 games into a completely new scheme, players, coaches, etc…and little talent to speak of defensively. Give him a chance. You were probably saying the same stuff about Sean McDermott a few years back, now look at the guy, has his D playing solid football early on.

      Hold your horses it’s 4 freaking games into a rebuild that will take a few seasons before you can objectively evaluate it. Enough with the RESULTS NOW people. Gotta keep preaching patience it’s not going to happen over night.

      • BlindChow

        Results now? How about stopping the regression? Special Teams is as bad as last year after performing very well the first two weeks. And now our offense was effectively shut down, without even having turnovers to blame. And the Broncos simply repeated KC’s gameplan to do it (so no adjustments were made over those 10 days off?)…

      • Finlay Jones

        Boykin lined up at OLB and rushing the passer 11 times last
        week? Brandon Graham, in consecutive weeks, lining up out wide and covering wr?
        Lolnothanks.

      • JofreyRice

        They gave up 52 points. Most in 43 years. That’s an utter humiliation.

        Let’s not pretend that a) They couldn’t have addressed the defense more rigorously than they did in the offseason, or b) they weren’t the ones that chose to hire Davis and his underwhelming resume, and c) they weren’t the ones to decide to force this switch to a 2 gap 3-4 that doesn’t generate any pressure.

  • Dutch

    I would have not been surprised if Kelly after this massacre would have tended his resignation to take the opening at USC. I honestly half expected that when Denver scored their 7th touchdown.

    I’ve been saying that’s a possibility since spring practices.

    • anon

      We’ll go back on the divisional games and vs TB and vs Oakland and take those games, 5 + those 2 = 7 + 1 = 8 and 8.

  • anon

    Worst part is that we had the same number of yds as the broncos (all in). It’s a shame we didn’t get points. We’re moving the ball though.

  • anon

    Also WTF Alex Henery, I mean c’mon. We need to start interviewing kickers, he hasn’t made anything over 40 yds this year i don’t think. I really think that was the turning point of the game.

    • JofreyRice

      He’s automatic from within 35 yards, but it really is a problem that he can’t be counted on for anything outside that. Hard to believe they wasted a 4th on a kicker who can’t kick NFL field goals.

    • Justin

      Ya know, when he was setting up for that 46 yard field goal I told a guy next to me at the bar “He’s gonna miss. He can’t kick one over 45 yards” and sure enough, wide right.

    • EaglePete

      turning point was that awful PI call in the end zone. However, in the end it turned out that there really was no turning point. Come the 2nd half PM owned us, bottom line. That was about a bad a call as it gets though. I was screaming they were getting Peyton Brady calls at the stadium.

    • evanphilly

      If Henery made the FG that you are talking about, it would have made the score 49-16. Don’t think that was a turning point. I thought one of the turning points was when the Eagles had 1st and 10 from the Denver 40 and Vick connects with DJax for a 19 yard gain, but that got negated by the Mathis holding penalty. At the time, the game was 21-13. A score there and who knows what happens. You can also count on a number of drops that hurt momentum as well.

  • BlindChow

    If being slightly less awful than the other teams in the division is what keeps them from quitting on the season, then so be it. But it would suck to be a 7-9 team with no higher than the 20th pick in the draft.

  • nicksaenz1

    Making a move for Josh Gordon doesn’t seem so bad right about now.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Please… too bad Banner is involved

  • Andrew

    Some of you guys need to get off the Chip Kelly bandwagon and on the Sheridan bandwagon. Geez. Chill out people. Our team isn’t very good.

    What IS good? The fact that the next 5 opponents are 3-17. If we don’t go 3-2 against them, then we’ll know we are REALLY bad.

    • Beaver

      I want 5-0, but I’d be shocked by anything better than 1-4. Seriously.
      I think they lose next week. No way the Giants go back home and remain winless. The Philly defense is exactly what NY needs to get back on track.
      The week after they have the Bucs. Which is a complete trap game with Dallas in town the week after. Everyone will think they can just throw their helmets on the field and pull out a road win against a soft Bucs team. Maybe they win that, but these teams are pretty much equal. Flip a coin.
      Then they get Dallas at home – where the Eagles simply cannot win a game, apparently. First place team in the division. Dallas has a decent enough D to keep Vick and co. from putting up 30+ (the minimum this team needs to win)and our defense makes Romo look like a Pro Bowler (see: Rivers, Phillip). There’s another loss.
      Sooooooo, it’s likely that the next ‘W’ we see is the Giants at the end of October.
      Fun.

  • Buddy Billions

    Let’s be honest, good teams don’t go 4-12, and that’s what they were last year. This is year 1 of the rebuild, and they still don’t have nearly enough players to contend for anything. DeSean Jackson may be the most overrated player in the NFL; he’s completely irrelevant inside the red zone. Their 2nd, 3rd and 4th options at receiver aren’t very good. Their secondary may be the worst in the league. It’s going to take 2 more drafts to be really competitive. I just hope that Chip has the wearwithall to stick around.

    • BlindChow

      Good teams don’t go 2-14, either, yet somehow the Chiefs haven’t fully collapsed over the course of four games…

      • Buddy Billions

        Sometimes the QB is difference between a good team and a bad team, especially in this era of the NFL. Chiefs had 6 pro-bowlers and a good defense, so there were building blocks. Add an above average QB and coach and you have a competitive team. Eagles have some talent at important spots and are God awful at other important spots – no balance.

      • nicksaenz1

        You’re right, however, when a team has so many number 1 draft choices and does that poorly, it’s more likely the coaches than the players. Buddy noted the QB play, also. That certainly helps.

      • The Answer

        You’re a moron if you’re going to compare the talent of the Chiefs with the Eagles, especially defensively.

        • BlindChow

          You aren’t too sharp, are you? The OP cited last years’ record as a key to understanding this year’s collapse. Neither he nor I even mentioned the defense.

          Keep swinging away, though. It’s kinda cute.

          • The Answer

            Nope I’m not sharp, you’re right. Totally didn’t understand what you were saying my comment was completely off base, I’m wrong you’re right on, keep being a great commentator and educating the masses.

  • jabostick

    Say it with me, everyone: Bring back Juan! Bring back Juan!

  • Loke1988

    Not time to get off the bandwagon says Williams. The fact that is even being talked about after only 4 games is a pretty good indication that it wont take much for that to actually happen. Plenty of teams around the league are making good progress in year one. Just take a look at Cleveland and Buffalo. They just beat the Ravens and the Bengals yesterday yet this team is regressing. There is no excuse for that Chippah!