Three Eagles Leftovers

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia EaglesFrom Chip Kelly’s take on Marcus Mariota’s decision to Nick Foles’ MVP candidacy, here are three Eagles leftovers.

1. As you know by now, Marcus Mariota is staying at Oregon for another year. Chip Kelly was asked today about his former QB’s decision.

“Yeah, I’m happy for him,” Kelly said. “I know he comes from a great family. His mother and father value education. He’s going to stay and get his degree. He’s a really special young man. Everybody in the league will have to wait a couple years. I loved coaching him. He’s exactly what you want in a football player. I know everybody in Eugene is happy. Eugene is a special place. Take it from a guy who had a real tough time leaving there, I think it’s a good decision.”


Mariota (6-4, 211) has completed 63.1 percent of his passes this season with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also run for 582 yards (7.2 YPC) and scored nine times.

Kelly recruited Mariota, but said he did not consult with his former QB on his decision.

"We're not allowed to talk to guys about that," Kelly said. "I had nothing to do with it. They have a great plan in place at Oregon. Mark Helfrich does a great job there. I'm sure he provided them with everything he needed. I did not talk to him about any of that stuff."

2. The Lions have only given up 15 sacks this season. They have the second-lowest sack rate in the league, per Football Outsiders. Only the Broncos have been better. According to Kelly, that has more to do with Matthew Stafford than Detroit's offensive line.

"I think a lot of the sacks, we've said it, I've said it, a lot of sacks are on your quarterback and a lot of not getting sacks are on your quarterback, too," Kelly said. "And the one thing with Matt Stafford is how quickly he gets the ball out of his hands. He's got one of the quickest triggers in the league where he can get the ball out.

"He's been with that system since he's been there. He has a great understanding of what they’re doing. He knows where his receivers are. If you try to blitz him...I don't know why he doesn't get enough credit. I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in this league. ...It's the quarterbacks sometimes that hold the ball a little bit too much that are going to take the sacks. But Matt, that ball is coming out pretty quick and he can rip it."

The numbers back up Kelly's claim. Per Pro Football Focus, Stafford gets rid of the ball on average in 2.47 seconds. That's tied for fourth-quickest in the league behind Peyton Manning, Chad Henne and Andy Dalton.

But look for Billy Davis to still pick his spots to send pressure. Stafford has completed just 50.4 percent of his passes and averaged 5.9 yards-per-attempt against the blitz, according to STATS, Inc.

3. Nick Foles is starting to get some MVP buzz. Bill Barnwell of Grantland offers up his top candidates, and he's got Foles fourth behind Manning (1), Russell Wilson (2) and Calvin Johnson (3):

No, really! Foles is 5-1 as the Eagles starter, and his one loss came in a game in which he suffered (and likely played through) a concussion. He leads the league in yards per attempt and passer rating and has thrown 19 touchdowns against zero interceptions. Now, let's say the Eagles run the table and win their next four games to win the NFC East, and Foles keeps up his level of play. If Foles is sitting there at the end of the year with the league lead in two key statistical categories, a 9-1 record, an NFC East title, and something like 30 touchdowns against one interception … don't you have to think that he would at least be in the running for MVP?

Barnwell makes a strong case. We keep waiting for the numbers to fall off, but that hasn't happened yet.

Of course, you could certainly make the case that Foles isn't the most valuable player on the Eagles. I would argue that the distinction goes to LeSean McCoy.

The question comes down tho this: Would the offense be better served with Michael Vick/McCoy or Foles/Bryce Brown?

Tough one. But even though Foles has been lighting it up, I think I take the former. Feel free to chime in with your vote in the space below.

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  • theycallmerob

    The question comes down tho this: Would the offense be better served with Michael Vick/McCoy or Foles/Bryce Brown?

    not taking the bait, sheil!

    ***

    also, F*ck stafford. he may get the ball out quickly, but not always to the right colored jersey.

    • jabostick

      Ha, I thought the same thing. Things must be too rosy in here lately; maybe the bigwigs at phillymag.com told them to liven us up haha

      • Richard Colton

        http://www.phillymag.com/news/2013/12/02/michael-vick-break-legs-car-accident/

        Phillymag is trying to do that on their own. 24/7 not taking the bait.

        • Andy124

          Did you look at those comments? Holy crap.

          • BlindChow

            It’s like Philly.com all up in there!

          • Andy124

            Where’s Jim35 when you need him?

            There’s an interesting case. How annoying must it be for the regulars there to see that guy proven right over and over again? lol

            And people can call me a Vick-hater all they want but damn, I’ve never wished for the guy’s legs to get broken. Wow. That right there is a big middle finger to the high-road.

    • Carolina boy

      Same thing I was thinking…hell I can get it out quick and throw an int haven’t we seen that around here lately”VICK”and I really am a Vick supporter just to many turnovers

    • macadood

      love foles but not bryce brown. that’s a tough one though, i’d still think the offense’s success relies more on shady’s abilities/threat to succeed.

      though with shady in this scenario vick would likely just turn it over all the time and ruin it. then get hurt and the scenario is no more.

      • theycallmerob

        though with shady in this scenario vick would likely just turn it over all the time and ruin it. then get hurt and the scenario is no more.

        gets funnier every time I read it. At least Foles/Bryce offers some glimmer of hope :)

        • G_WallyHunter

          Watch your words, you might trigger a response from one of the lovers, or that’s what you’re going for isn’t it…

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            VICK FOR MVP

          • dislikedisqus

            Vick’s hammy?

      • morgan c

        I vote for Foles/McCoy…

    • G_WallyHunter

      Starting Philly D over Car this week for that reason, hoping the hot Eags Dline can get some sacks and if not create some picks.
      Playoffs will be riding on it
      Plus, I can’t deal with a pissed off Brees in the Superdome, spells disaster for Car

      • All Things Bad@ss

        The Carolina D may not hold all that well, but Cam’s gonna light up Rob Ryan’s D all day long. I say he has 100 yds on the ground, 2 rushing TDs and one to Lafell. Gonna be a fun one.

  • theycallmerob

    Hey 24/7! When are we getting an article from the intern?

    • macadood

      please

  • pkatz

    That’s not a valid comparison at all:

    The difference between Foles/Vick isn’t even close to the difference between McCoy/Brown.

    Foles and Vick could both be starting somewhere in the league. McCoy is one of the best backs in the league but if BB was your starter you’d be in trouble.

    • Shawn

      Yeah, how about the difference between Vick/Brown and Foles/Brown?

    • anon

      i start him all the time on madden, he’s a beast. Speaking of beastmode was no good in buffalo…

    • Andy124

      The comparison is to evaluate who is more valuable to the Eagles right now, Foles or McCoy. A good way to determine a player’s value is to think about how much it would hurt the team if they were replaced by the backup. That’s where he’s going with that comparison. It’s a logical set up.

    • Bukester

      That’s the point -it is a false choice but it does take you to your Mvp! I think SK and everyone here takes McCoy

  • cliff henny

    by the time Sunday comes around, i am going to be in a full lather Stafford hate. the guy is fine, couldnt care less about his stats, think any half decent qb would put up good numbers playing 9 or 10 dome games (pretty much hate all dome teams in general) and throwing 8 jump balls to Megatron a game. hope Davis blitzes right up the gut, gets in his face, he’ll put 4 or 5 up for eagles dbs to get, just need to get them.

  • Clamdigger

    “Tough one. But even though Foles has been lighting it up, I think I take
    the former. Feel free to chime in with your vote in the space below.”

    Making your bid for mayor of Toronto I see, Sheil.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Sheil would get elected, I’d make sure of it
      but then again, Rob Ford plans to run again, and he still has a lot of support somehow

      • Clamdigger

        It’s time for a candidate to come out and really stand up for crack!

        • G_WallyHunter

          New allegations today! He might have had a guy murdered

  • Brian

    Nick Foles / Chris Polk

  • Brian

    Anyway, it was Vick / McCoy. Where did that get us?

  • PaoliBulldog

    Interceptions are worse than sacks. ‘Nuff said.

  • PhiEagles14

    I have a feeling that this game is not going to be as close as everyone thinks… I do believe that this is the hardest offensive challenge that we will have for the rest of the year (excluding playoffs) but I think we will stop the lions, they rely on stafford chucking the ball up to megaton and they rely on big plays to move them down the field, our redzone D is LEGIT! so even if they do move the ball on us, we will force a couple of turnovers… my biggest thing for this game is continuing drives, don’t stall out and get three and outs, the run game must be established so we can create play action screens and bombs.

    • G_WallyHunter

      lmao the avatar, thats comedy

    • @PhilthyBird215

      Lions are among the top Five in stoping the run, so look for an offensive game plane similar to the cards game. screens to the wideouts and running backs, misdirections fakes….. and, i respectfully disagree, Calvin Johnson, and Reggie bush are going to get their due attention. but there is a receiver by the name of Nate Burleson, he worries me more then Bush does. and there is there new found red zone target behemoth TE Fauria, Joseph

    • GEAGLE

      We will be up big, but they will come back in the 4th and we will have to hold on again…lions always turn it up in the 4th….we win this one

  • Brandon Boykin, OLB

    Sorry I’ll bite. If I had to pick, I’m going Vick/McCoy. This is more McCoy than Vick. What is this offense without 25? Sing Foles’ praises as you may (he’s my fantasy QB, so this is no way an indictment) but really, without Shady we’re hurting offensively. He’s every D’s focus. “Foles hands off to Brown, Brown bounces outside ohhh… Loss of 3.”

    • EaglePete

      I get that joke but really, Shady takes as many loss of yards plays as Barry Sanders did back in the day. I dont think were as hurting as you think w/o him. Not so much Foles but Im really believing CK and the scheme. And Foles flawless execution helps

    • nicksaenz1

      It’s hard to say. Without Shady, defenses don’t stack the box, opening up the run lanes for Brown. With enough carries, hard to say it’s impossible that Brown can put up some meaningful yards. Enough to make defenses stack the box again? I don’t know. But I don’t think it’s quite as cut and dry as some would have us believe. And I’m a huge Shady fan.

  • Andy124

    One thing to consider, Perhaps Brown improves, and improves rapidly if he were to get the eagles share of the carries. (Can’t say lion’s share this week).

    • cliff henny

      Sheil poured out the gas, and…there’s the match!

      • Andy124

        The dreaded running back controversy…

        • cliff henny

          was thinking that that fanbois will say you are swaying arguement so foles, your pre-choosen outcome, will look better.

          • Andy124

            Oh I know. And hey, maybe I am.

      • Andy124

        I think you meant to reply to Rob lol.

        At least Foles/Bryce offers some glimmer of hope :)

        • theycallmerob

          I used a smiley face!!!! …but only because I don’t know how to make an emoticon middle finger :)

          • Andy124

            failed attempt removed due to failure.

          • Samuel Needleman

            oo!oo

  • Brian

    Answer the question this way: During the first drive of the Lions game, you have to replace either Foles or McCoy. For me, I’d replace McCoy.

    • cliff henny

      kelly’s already answered it for us. he has replaced Foles, passed over Vick for Smith

      • Brian

        True. True.

        • @PhilthyBird215

          I’m not trying by any means to say start Vick over Foles.
          But, Vick lit up the Lions when we played them last. I don’t remember the stat, but I remember Vick torching them.

          • theycallmerob

            Vick used to torch many teams. Alas, the torching torch has been passed to The Giraffranchise (not sure that one will stick…)

          • @PhilthyBird215

            Giraffolian mayebe?

          • BlindChow

            Vick against the Lions in 2012:

            28 of 46 for 311 yards (6.8 ypa) – 2 TD, 2 INT – 77.4 Passer Rtg

            He also averaged 6.6 yards on 9 carries (No TD’s, 1 fumble)

            Looks like he put up a lot of yards, but was throwing a lot because the run game was getting shut down.

            (Shady only averaged 1.6 yards per carry. Man, you’d think Foles was behind center!)

          • @PhilthyBird215

            Thanks BlidChow, I wrote the same to PhiEagles14; in that the Loins are stout vs the run. thus I look for the same offensive game plan vs the Cardinals. But, instead of using the TEs use the Receivers because the lions are also good at covering the TEs.

            that D-line is extreme in avery way, they are Big, physical, and they can mooooove!. but my hope is that, kelly’s up tempo offense will neutralize the D-line to some degree. similar to what happened with Green-bay, because their D-line is as heavy as the lions if not heavier.

  • Tom w

    Sacks are helpful but the pressure will force stafford into a lot of bad throws. Most important is tackling this week .. Gotta contain bush and bell and limit any damage and avoid big plays as we have done for 8 weeks. Everyone laughed at our soft scheme against the chargers and Denver but there is a method to the madness. Force the other team to complete 6-10 passes on a drive and be patient by tackling well and that would lead to opportunities for more turnovers penalties sacks and tipped balls and fumbles … Great strategy. Even before the dline and lbs stepped up it showed promise. Stafford doesn’t have that type of patience. He will put up some bad ones. That’s why it’s imperative to tackle well this week …particularly Chung and Allen and Kendrick’s… Wow we could use wolfe

    • cliff henny

      i’m ready to try Coleman over Chung at this point. from a guy that said about coleman’s roster space…’not only does he need to be cut, but shot, stuffed into weighed duffle bag and thrown off Delaware bridge’. Chung just stinks

      • Justin

        You know, in the Eagles Live chat today I mentioned this game against the Lions could be a tossup. Chris McPherson asked what could push me over the edge. I said “Tell me Wolff is starting. I don’t trust Chung to be on the field at the same time Megatron is on it.” Unfortunately, it didn’t get approved.

  • anon
    • Andy124

      Agree with that author, that was his least awesome game outside of the Dallas debacle.

  • MildEagsFan

    Does anyone else think it’s time to let Bryce Brown out of his cage? McCoy is a great athlete and all, but he’s not an every-down back. He can’t bang it through the tackles like BB. It’s likely that Chip already knows this and has something cooked up to eventually have Brown supplant McCoy as the lead back.

    • Justin

      I don’t think supplant is the word you were looking for.

      • MildEagsFan

        What word was I looking for?

        • G_WallyHunter

          I don’t think you can just “supplant” the best RB in the league from his position, that’s kinda whack

          • MildEagsFan

            Best RB in the league? I’m confident I can compile a double digit list of running backs I’d rather have as my bell cow over Shady

          • G_WallyHunter

            are you sure you’re following American Football?

          • MildEagsFan

            Let’s not forget how highly recruited Bryce Brown once was. He has all the talent to be an elite back. Just needs an opportunity.

          • Richard Colton

            Like 175 career carries? come on. you can’t seriously be suggesting that Brown should be starting over Shady. are you?

          • G_WallyHunter

            He’s delusional, I swear it’s Dutch with a new username, could be wrong

          • Richard Colton

            wishful thinking. we’re never getting Dutch back.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya, you’re right, maybe I’m just reaching for something that’s not there. When Vick starts again, Dutch’ll be back.

          • Richard Colton

            Or Barkley – imagine that. The B-Boys, Brown & Barkley terrorizing NFL defenses

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya, wouldn’t be surprised if MildEags loves that because of Brown, B-boys or Shady St. Nick HAHA

            We’ve seen Barkley terrorize a few defenses this year, I agree there, if by terrorize you mean aim for the facemasks of defenders in attempts to throw them off their game.

          • nicksaenz1

            The fans at the Linc would never want to pay to watch that disaster of a quarterback. There would be a riot on Broad Street if Foles were to become the starting quarterback. Lurie knows that starting Foles will turn fans away and hurt his wallet.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Nice Dutch impression

          • nicksaenz1

            Thanks. I feel there’s room for improvement, however.

          • MildEagsFan

            I think you need to watch more game tape of BB. Shady is great at misdirection but he’s feeble between the tackle box and not what you want to chew up time in the 4th quarter.

          • Richard Colton

            I’d love to see Bryce Brown get a string of carries, but he keeps getting tackled by his own cleats and the yard markers. Has been a serious disappointment this season. I refuse to believe you’re being serious.

          • UncleCarm

            Brown was highly recruited out of High School; that was a long time ago and two steps down in level of play. Having said that, if he would listen to his coaches and stay square to the line instead of bouncing it outside, I think he would perform well. One thing we know about Kelly, if you don’t listen to the coaching, you are not going to play. Ask Vinny Curry.

          • Stephen Stempo

            Want a list of top 10 highly recruited busts?

          • BlindChow

            Remember that if Vick was still behind center, McCoy would probably have like 1000 more yards than he does.

          • Kev_H

            And the Eagles would be 4-8

          • Richard Colton

            so 10 then? I’d love to see your list.

          • MildEagsFan

            off the top…. in no particular order… not even going to include Bryce Brown to help prove the point…

            1. Adrian Peterson
            2. Marshawn Lynch
            3. Alfred Morris
            4. Matt Forte
            5. Frank Gore
            6. Zac Stacy
            7. Giovani Bernard
            8. Jamaal Charles
            9. DeMarco Murray
            10. Arian Foster

          • All Things Bad@ss

            I applaud the fact that you’re not just anointing Shady the 2nd coming of Christ because everyone says so or because of his ranking, but the truth is, he is definitely one of the best backs in the league. From your list, the only guys I would rate over Shady are AP, Lynch and maybe Charles. But what we’re talking about here are different style backs. Morris and Lynch are power runners … strictly north and south (with the exception of the dumpoff pass.) BB might have that ability, but needs to run with that aggression. If BB started getting snaps 35% to Shady’s 65%, I think we could have ourselves a gruesome twosome. I’ve been impressed with this coaching staff, on both sides of the ball, to recognize and develop the strengths of the players that were slow out the gate. I think Chipper and Billy know what they’re doing and we’re gonna see some lights out grand performances down the homestretch!

          • MildEagsFan

            Downhill/north-and-south runners are how you build and maintain a winning program. They are (for the most part) less volatile week-to-week, and almost never give you those big negative plays from trying to make something happen east to west behind the line of scrimmage. AP, Lynch, Morris, Forte, Gore, Stacy, Murray, and Foster all stand above LeSean because of that. And as for Charles and Bernard, who more closely resemble McCoy, they just do what he does, but better. It’s an unsubstantiated claim to say Bernard is better than McCoy, obviously, but from watching them both extensively, I think Bernard would have greater success in this system. He’s got more natural talent, and has less of a tendency to move horizontally with his first move.

          • Richard Colton

            I think you proved who you are when you included Zac Stacy and Giovanni Bernard.

          • dollamakeuholla

            Now that is just crazy!!! there might be one back better than shady! and that is AP.

    • EaglePete

      Bryce is that you? I get the larger back part but cmon. Pure talent like Shadys doesnt come along often while there are run of the mill guys all over the league that show flashes but not consistency. Maybe if he stopped falling down even then, no barring injury or losing 2 steps.

      • MildEagsFan

        It’s hard to judge a back when he’s only given limited snaps. Bryce would flourish with a full workload – as he showed last year. A full off-season with first team reps would cure the fumbilitis

        • EaglePete

          true, he might since hes shown some before. I think theres a case to be made that a lot of guys just never get the chance to get the reps. Shanahan kind of proved that in Denver making stars out of lesser names. I still think Shadys pure cuts and burst are a step above and I would never shelve that unless it had to be.

        • dollamakeuholla

          Brown would be a hell of a back if he got the full workload as well as grow his football IQ since he has played very little since High School. I think he would get 1000 yards no problem. But to say Mccoy is not an every down back is crazy. He is leading the league in rushing!!!! when was the last time an eagle did that? Shady is the real deal and top 3 back in the league! But Brown has all the making to be a really good back but Shady is GREAT

    • Stephen Stempo

      Listen I like Bryce.. but just because Brian Baldinger compared him to bo jackson… might want to pump the brakes here guys.

  • John J. King

    Vick’s sacks certainly appear to be on him but I would like to see that spread where Chip used Johnson with Vick spread on the wing and McCoy as the back. Just a few plays but it would have to confuse the hell out of the ‘D’.

  • GEAGLE

    Take FOles and Bryce easily….RB is much more replaceable than QB…I already know Vick can’t do what Nick can,,,,

  • All Things Bad@ss

    This is the most loaded question I’ve seen on here yet. The real answer is that we have fairly sufficient tape on everyone except BB. Sure, we’ve seen him run a few plays on sweeps or whatever, but I’m not convinced that’s even the type back he is. If we can start running some “21″ or “22″ packages, I think we can begin to throw defenses off the scent and mix in the power and finesse game. I’m no coach, nor do I claim to be an expert on this subject, but I think a power supplement to McCoy’s game could only be a boon; and as long as BB can hold on to the f**king thing, we might have something.

  • Kev_H

    There are only two conditions where a RB should be considered team MVP. 1. The team stinks (1998 Duce Staley). 2. The RB has 80+ catches for 1,000+ yards (1999 Marshall Caulk). Otherwise it’s all QB.

  • SoCalEaglesFan

    I honestly think the offense would be better served with Foles/Brown than Vick/McCoy. There would be more highlight plays with latter, but more wins with the former. Let’s not forget that Brown rarely gets more than 5 carries per game, spread out on an average of 1.25 carries per quarter. Give him 20-25 carries and my money says he’s producing 85 yards per game at least with a couple games of 150 yards.

    Brown is a 1000 yard rusher in the nfl if he carried the full time load. We’ve already seen it.

    • Stephen Stempo

      have we?

  • KobraKai7474

    If I could have the 2012 Bryce Brown, then, Foles/Brown is easy. If we are talking about the 2013 version of Bryce Brown, well, that becomes a trickier. I think a better question… and a better idea for a column… would be to do a comparison of Brown version 2012 and Brown version 2013 and try to determine what the heck happened. Is it simply a matter of play calling? Is it the fact that he is a bad fit for this offense? Has he lost a step? The possible reasons are endless, but whatever they are, they are not apparent to an average fan who doesn’t have the access (to the team, to “experts”, to film, etc.) that Sheil and/or McManus does.