Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly Challenging McCoy

LeSean McCoy run defender trying to cause fumble against Chargers

At the end of last week’s win over the Bucs, TV cameras showed Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy having a somewhat animated conversation on the sideline.

The Eagles had just put together an 11-play drive (all runs) and killed 5:29 off the clock before settling for a field goal. McCoy was dropped for a 4-yard loss on second down and then picked up 8 on 3rd-and-12. He was asked what the conversation with Kelly was about.

“He has a player mentality, a kind of attitude where he’s fired up,” McCoy said. “Sometimes he’s talking to me like he’s out there running. We talk, and he challenged me to do different things. I like that. I like a [coach] that challenges some of his top players, where most coaches probably let their guys go. Where there’s a play, he thinks I can make it, if there’s a block he thinks I should pick up, he’ll let me know. Or a tough situation, 3rd-and-9, 3rd-and-10, he’ll run the ball. So he gives me a different approach, I think, than other coaches cause he wants me to be great. Sometimes he’ll ask me: ‘How great do you want to be?’ and things like that. So I like it.”

Kelly wasn’t as forthcoming. Asked what they were talking about, he said with a slight grin: “Just life in general.”

Regardless, Kelly’s methods are clearly working. McCoy is on pace for 1,680 yards, which would shatter his previous career high of 1,309 yards in 2011. He leads the NFL with 630 rushing yards and is averaging 20.5 carries per game, second in the league.

But Kelly is impressed by more than just McCoy’s ability as a runner.

“The one thing I’ve been really impressed with LeSean is that he’s a complete running back,” Kelly said. “I think you look at him in blitz pickup, and some things that go a little bit unnoticed, he did a couple times, the Giants brought a couple blitzes and just he stepped up and stoned the linebacker in the hole.

“His ability right now as a receiver coming out of the backfield, if people are going to play man coverage, somebody has to cover your running back. And he’s a guy that we can create some mismatches with with some linebackers in this league.”

McCoy averaged just 6.9 yards per reception in 2012. This year? That number has skyrocketed to 16.1. He has four catches of 20+ yards. That’s as many as he had all of last season.

Kelly is finding different ways to use McCoy and is in his ear during games, intent on getting the most out of his talented running back.

“We talk so much of different plays or I thought I could have done something different or I thought maybe a better call, we should have done this or that,” McCoy said. “So we talk all the time. It’s never a negative thing. We never had a problem with each other. I love Coach Kelly. I’m so happy he’s here.”


Speaking of McCoy, great All-22 post by T-Mac discussing last week’s screen with Brian Westbrook.

During a joint press conference, Michael Vick announced Nick Foles will start this week.

Barring any setbacks, it looks like Jason Peters will play this weekend.

From Fletcher Cox to Bradley Fletcher to the four-down nickel look, here are three leftovers on the Eagles’ defense.

There is money on the line for Vick if Foles ends up taking the starting job.


Greg A. Bedard of TheMMQB.com takes note of Cox’s performance vs. Tampa:

Most of Fletcher Cox’s first 20 games since being drafted by the Eagles in the first round two years ago have been a mixed bag, with a couple flashes here and some underwhelming play there. It didn’t help that as soon as the 6-4, 300-pound tackle finally got the hang of the Eagles’ 4-3 scheme, the coaching staff was fired. In came a new 3-4 scheme under coordinator Bill Davis, and a new two-down position as a 3-4 end.

But judging by the early results, Cox’s learning curve is getting less steep.

Paul Domowtich of the Daily News will be keeping an eye on special teams this weekend:

Cowboys return man Dwayne Harris leads the league in punt (23.6) and kickoff returns (34.7). Last week v. the Redskins, he had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return. The Eagles got an up-close-and-personal look at what he can do last year when he had a 78-yard punt return for a TD against them.

And to our 21 and older readers, like whiskey? This is probably something you should check out.


Predictions, cheat sheets and more.

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  • Addicted2Mula

    CK will help us win a Superbowl!!!!

  • theycallmerob

    Whiskeyfest, eh? I prefer the “beer, bourbon, and bbq” festival that comes through Baltimore every year.
    Oh yea, shady is awesome

    • CaV_E

      Love that Festival in Baltimore. Also the quote from Chip when asked about his conversation with Shady had me laughing. “Just life in general.”

    • nicksaenz1

      mmmmm bourbon

  • Special teams. Outside of the defense I’m legit concerned about special teams. Can we just not kick the ball anyway near Harris? I’d appreciate that. Thanks.

    • Andy124

      In the preseason I felt pretty confident that as bad as our D was expected to be, and even if Chip’s offense struggled in the NFL, our Special Teams would easily be above league average.

      Just goes to remind us how relevant preseason results are.

      • jabostick

        Oh man, I’ve been so disappointed in ST. I thought we’d be really good. I was convinced that Damaris would break out by now the way he looked in preseason…

    • Will

      Is it Sunday yet? I agree just kick the ball away from Harris. Get the running game going with McCoy to set up play action. Our Defense needs to play out there minds this week.

    • OregonDucker

      I agree ST play needs to improve. I hope Damaris does not get the ball this game – he has made too many bad decisions and has not run well.

  • Dominik

    “So we talk all the time. It’s never a negative thing. We never had a
    problem with each other. I love Coach Kelly. I’m so happy he’s here.”

    Altough it wasn’t love at first sight. You could read or hear the story from him being very skeptical about “the college coach coming to the NFL” so often that I think it’s true. Great, if he now thinks otherwise, but why shouldn’t he? Big Andy maybe was like a father to him, but he didn’t give him the ball on a consistent basis. Kelly does.

  • Soybot

    Do I like Whiskey? Does a bear s**t in the woods?

    • cliff henny

      Philly might as well start ordering the paddy wagons…that isnt going to end well. can turn the locker rooms into jail cells and they wont hold enough.

  • cliff henny

    for past 8 months, i’ve been drinking the kelly cool-aid like beer back in my fraternity days. but never in my wildest dreams did i think the offense would have this many 20+ yd plays. funny part is, really doesnt seem like that many when watching a game. there’s so many near misses, that when one pops, it’s just another play. develope Ertz and/or get impact 2nd WR, defenses are going to be overwhelmed, like st louis’ greatest show on turf. also like that kelly has mccoy and jax out in space, so even though touches are well up, really no fearing them getting over-used, pounded.

    • nicksaenz1

      It’s definitely something that I’ve already come to take for granted to the point that they’re expected. I think you’re exactly right, we’re one or two pieces on offense away from having something just like the greatest show on turf. I just hope that in the next few years we find a back that can move any bit close to how Shady does.

      • Joe from Easton

        Shady has 3-4 years of “in his prime” football left after this year (barring major injury of course). They don’t need to worry about replacing him quite yet.

        • nicksaenz1

          Oh I know, which is why I said in the next few years. We got lucky with him having been so young when we drafted him.

        • cliff henny

          agree, especially the way this offense has him in open space. there’s a good reason back break down at 30, only so many times you can slam into 320-650lb d-line guys. honestly havent seen many good hits on an Eagles’ playmaker this year (excluding qb, but that’s line blocking)

    • Stuart Philp

      I wonder what this offense would look like if Maclin were healthy

      • Richard Colton

        better. I know Cooper had a monster game, but I’m not sold that he’s any good. WR is another one of those positions I see them addressing as early as round one next April.

        Just for fun – Graham for Josh Gordon?

        • Token

          Read a tweet from a Cleveland reporter last week. Basically said people are to high on Gordon. Said its clear on All-22 tape that he doesnt block, quits on routes, runs sloppy routes and drops balls.

          Surprise to me. I was all about going after the guy. Even though its one mans opinion. It gave me pause.

          They do need another outside guy for sure. They need to go in with the mindset that Maclin wont be back to what he was, if they resign him at all.

          Id also like to see a slot guy thats a matchup problem. A guy like Welker really can hurt you. I like Avant, but nobody is scared of him. Even if he catches it with nobody around him hes not going anywhere. Thought Johnson would be tried in that role more, but hes barely seen the field

      • Michael Jorden

        Or even if Benn had stayed healthy. I was curious about how he might produce when we picked him up.

        • Token

          Benn sucks.

          • Michael Jorden

            Yeah, he has sucked. But I wanted to see if this coaching staff could get more out of him. So much for that..

    • JofreyRice

      It hasn’t worked out lately with former Giants, but I wonder if they’d be interested in H.Nicks. Big question is his health, but if all that’s equal, I think he’d be a really good fit for the offense. Young, can run block, and can come down with the ball in traffic against man coverage.

      I think if they can’t get B. Brown going, they need to think about adding another young RB somewhere early-ish; like 3rd or 4th round. The perimeter space runs minimize the wear and tear on Shady, but he’s going to have a lot of touches this year. I think you can see that these guys wear down very quickly. Without a really good running back, I’m not sure what this offense looks like.

      • cliff henny

        guy is so big and strong, but always hurt. i flip flop on what we need more,offense or defense, not in terms of talent, but what matters in today’s nfl. seattle killed AZ last night, ints sacks destroyed run, still gave up 20+. if i was in charge of a team, guess i’d lean on scoring 35+ to win than defense keeping team under 25. so, yeah, sign hicks, draft RB in 3rd, qb in 1st, and figure defense out with 4th on back talent. draft defense once offense is loaded to the 9’s.

        • Token

          Dont agree with that approach. They need D. Kelly doesnt need all stars at every spot on offense. He has already invested a ton in offense.

          Even if Maclin is back they should add another WR. And probably do need a back. But they cant afford to spend high picks on either. Not to mention they need to hit on some late Oline picks because this line is not young.

          But giving Kelly a good D with a real NFL DC is key going forward. I believe that is the key, assuming they find a QB. They dont have to be awesome like Seattle. But just good. Good enough to stop opponents and not force us to score 35 to win games.

          Other than QB, they need to nearly go all defensive in the draft.

          • cliff henny

            missed my arguement, what is a good defense? Seattle is better at every position, and some by far, they still give up 20+. so, how many drafts do we try to get a good defense, when we are lightyears away? how long would it take to even sniff KC or Seattle’s level? while the offense is closer. not saying ignore it, but the nfl is offensive league. a top 3 offense can hide alot of defensive issues, while the opposite is true, it’s heck of lot harder to do. to put rankings, i’d rather have #3 off and #27 def (that gets TOs) than # 10 off and #15th def. why would they hire offensive coach only to focus on defense?

          • EaglePete

            I disagree, with the offense already close and still thin at WR you can rebuild a D fast. Its too important come playoff time. I get what youre saying about an offensive league but I doubt every playoff will be like this past seasons. They have already slowed down the read option a bit and defense still matters. Even a new coord can make a huge difference in short amount of time. Couple of FA and a some depth in draft and this team can improve the balance. I dont mind Hicks though, I think hes a solid player. I think its more of the players around him, cruz and other wrs taking plays away and Eli inconsistency. Dude shows up huge sometimes, only issue is injury concerns. Would love to have a bigger WR on this team but dont think it will happen.

          • nicksaenz1

            The 22 pts is misleading. A Wilson fumble on the Seattle 3yd line gift wrapped a 3yd TD run by Mendenhall. Hard to fault the D for that.

          • Token

            I guess id ask how far you think you can go with the offense. From #3 to #1? Is there really a difference there? Im not saying the offense needs nothing, sure it does. But they cant afford to invest another #1 and #2 pick in offense. Thats insane IMO. Besides QB.

            Im with you 100% that its a offense driven league. But that doesnt mean you can win with a D that basically lets teams do whatever they please. We need a D that can get some stops and get some turnovers. Just a decent D. Average D, like #12-15 in the league. That would be huge.

            You just cant have a defense like ours. We dont get off the field. Allow a ton of points. Ton of plays. Basically helpless a lot of the time.

          • Richard Colton

            I know we went back and forth on this issue leading up to April, I’m in the draft talent over need category once you get out of the first or second round. The only other exception I’d make is QB – because until you have one, it’s the ONLY need you have.

          • Token

            I think thats usually how the good teams do it, talent over need. But we have a GM that doesnt know what talent looks like, which hinders things.

            But im looking at this team and its pretty obvious they need D. But they also need Oline depth/future. Another WR.

            In a perfect world, we have a franchise QB already on the roster and can get D in round 1. But likely, that is going to have to be our #1 pick.

        • nicksaenz1

          I think we may be able to get more out of free agency on offense than D. People will want to play for Chip’s offense knowing they can get stats. Draft D and let the free agents come. Hard to imagine defensive free agents lining up to play for Davis’ 29th ranked D.

      • Token

        Unless it costs not much at all, im not interested. We dont need another always injured guy. I think Maclin would fit the offense well. But I dont even want them to rely on him coming back to be the #2 next year.

        They need to add someone. But I dont think its Nicks. IMO hes overrated. Just not a guy who shows up consistently.

        Bryce Brown just isnt as good as everyone wants him to be. Not to say he doesnt have skills, he does. But I just dont see anything consistent out of him. Hes allergic to going north/south.

        I feel like he wants to play Shadys type of game, but doesnt have those moves and field vision. His skill set would work best as a downhill North/South runner that if he gets a hole up the middle hes gone and could be a load to bring down. But he doesnt want to play that way. Since his two good games last year hes like a 2 or 3 yard per carry guy.

        But this team needs D. In addition to likely needing a first round QB depending how this plays out. Not sure they can afford a 3rd round RB. Maybe Kelly will be able to find lower round guys that can fit into this system well.

        • Michael Jorden

          I have faith that Duce will get Brown sorted out eventually. He does have talent. But he is young, so it might take some time. Wouldn’t want to give up on him too soon and have the light go on for another team’s benefit.

          Maybe he’s one of the few “potential” guys CK might keep around to develop.

        • nicksaenz1

          I’d love a Marquise Lee or even an Allen Robinson for this offense. I’d take Maclin back at what will now likely be a reduced price. I like Nicks, but I’m tired of Giants’ IR castoffs.

          • Token

            Id like a bigger WR opposite Jackson. Someone to get the tough first downs. Make catches with guys on him. Lee is no bigger than Maclin.

          • nicksaenz1

            Robinson is 6’3″. Lee is a stud, IMO. I certainly understand the desire for a bigger WR. Cooper is bigger, so being a bigger WR isn’t everything.

        • JofreyRice

          I hear what you’re saying. When Nicks is healthy, he’s really good, and just the kind of receiver we don’t have–one that can come down with the ball in a crowd. However, he’s never healthy. I don’t think he’s even healthy now. Can’t make a guy like that Plan A, but I’d def. take a Phillips flyer on him. I think if you’re tossing it up between him and Maclin, for low cost “prove it” deals, I’d take Nicks.

          I’m definitely not going to be the guy to argue against drafting D, but I want to be sure the Eagles could stay on schedule if Shady needs a breather or gets dinged up. I guess in a tiny sample size, we’ve seen a little from Polk, but Brown has been disappointing. You’d never know the guy was 220+, the way he runs. Right to the sideline. I think some of it are the plays–OZR obv. sends him out to the perimeter–but it looks like he’s less ready to cut it upfield than Shady or Polk are.

  • Jimbo

    Thanks Sheil for pointing this out. There were two different occasions where you could see Chip and Shady chirping at each other (one at the sideline the other near the bench). I wondered what was going on – not that I thought it was anything big. But thanks for satisfying my curiousity.

  • JofreyRice

    Shorter Greg A. Bedard: “I haven’t paid much attention to Fletcher Cox, so most of his early games must have been a mixed bag. Now he’s good.” Glad to see the folks over at that MMQB site are using King’s writing and analysis as a benchmark.

    • Andy124

      Translation: Let me preface my analysis by pointing out that I haven’t done any…

      Aren’t there editors who are supposed to stop that kind of stuff from getting through? lol

    • poetx99

      lmao. just the type and depth of insights i’d expect from a peter king related enterprise.

      i’m just disappointed that they didn’t manage a way to slip in a peyton manning or tom brady butt-kiss. that would have been the height of authenticity.

      • Richard Colton

        But what new IPA or Fall Pumpkin Ale is Bedard drinking? that’s the real MMQB scoop.

        • nicksaenz1

          Yards IPA and Southern Tier Pumking are all that’s needed.

          • Andy124

            I’m not a craft-beer kinda guy, but I did enjoy Yards IPA. Pumpkin beer is just undrinkable to me, Although my sister-in-law made an awesome Pumking halloween costume last year.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yards IPA might be my favorite. I worked at a craft beer bar for a little while in the Bella Vista section and had the luxury to try a ton of good craft brews, and I have to tell you, Yards takes the cake for me. It’s not overly hoppy and bitter the point where it’s undrinkable…. I generally share your sentiments with the pumpkin brews, not a go-to for by any means, but of the ones I’ve had, Pumking smokes the rest by a long shot.

          • theycallmerob

            Good man

          • EaglePete

            why does every damn craft beer have to be IPA or Pales Ales now. Its annoying and I love Beer, dont mind hops just dont get the new fascination. Its a revolution out here in CO, new breweries opening up in every town every other month. Not a bad thing though, thats for sure.

          • JofreyRice

            I figured you guys would be having a revolution with some other kind of plant.

          • nicksaenz1

            It’s not all, but being you’re close to the west coast, you definitely see it a lot more. My beef with a lot of WC IPAs is that they it seems that brewers have a pissing contest about who can add more hops. I hate over-hopped beers that have no balance. If I lived in CO, I’d have a fridge stocked of Breckenridge Vanilla Porter all the time.

  • #7

    Special Teams….we can’t kick the ball to the Harris guy. Hoping that the STs raise their level of play again. Big game for Nick. Looking for him to answer the bell and keep the turnovers down.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Good thing Sheil put the whiskey link at the end of the story and not the lead. I might not have read any further.

  • nicksaenz1

    Interesting tidbit I didn’t realize until I read this on Yahoo: The Eagles and Cowboys have lost to the same 3 teams. The share 2 common opponents in victory as well, ‘Skins and vaGiants. Only difference is while they beat the Rams, we beat the Bucs. Can’t wait to watch Sunday’s game on my new tv.

  • The B_Line

    What’s up with Bryce Brown? Still feeling he’s going to explode positively as a weapon, but wondering when.

    • cliff henny

      like the guy, wish him the best, but his fumbling issue scare the crap out of me. wouldnt shock me if it wasnt in his head aslo. shady can get away with a fumble or 2, cant have backups that fumble. if he doesnt make a strong case soon, wont be least bit surprise kelly’s looking for smaller back with top end speed late in draft. seemed to have great success at oregon with them.

    • BlindChow

      As soon as he starts running towards the end zone instead of the sideline.

    • He’s still learning how to run between the tackles. Before the year is out I think we all be back on that Brown Sauce. lol

      • Andy124

        That just sounds so, so wrong.

      • Richard Colton

        you still down with the Brown Sauce? ’cause I want to Polk-a