Kelly Notes: Boykin ‘Good To Go’

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia EaglesThe Eagles got good news on the injury front today when Chip Kelly announced that Brandon Boykin has been cleared to practice and should be “good to go.”

Boykin suffered a concussion during a special-teams play last week. But he’s undergone the league-mandated protocol and is expected to be on the field against the Bears Sunday night.

The Eagles’ main injury concern now is on special teams. Kurt Coleman (hamstring) and Colt Anderson (knee) did not participate in practice. The team signed Keelan Johnson off the practice squad yesterday.


The Eagles will release their official injury report later today.

OPEN MIND TO SIGNALING SYSTEM

The Inquirer's Amy S. Rosenberg had a good story recently about how a Ventnor woman, Jill Cakert, sent Kelly her invention, the Signalfan, during the summer. The Eagles' head coach opened the package, thought the device could help him relay information to his players during games and sent Cakert a personal check for $25, along with a thank you note.

Kelly was asked today why he decided to use the Signalfan.

"If they send us something that’s gonna work, we’re gonna use it," Kelly said. "I think you can learn from any person in this world. And I think if your mind is so closed that you’re gonna say, 'we’ve got all the answers' then shame on you. But I opened it, it looked like a good suggestion, so we used it."

DON'T BLAME THE TEMPO

The Eagles have several players among the league leaders in snaps. Per Pro Football Focus, Connor Barwin, DeMeco Ryans and Cary Williams have all played the most snaps at their respective positions. Fletcher Cox and Nate Allen are in the top-five.

So the problem is simple, right? The offense moves quickly, sometimes strikes out, and the defense is forced to take the field more often than other teams?

Wrong. We mentioned this earlier in the season, but it's worth revisiting. The defense has been on the field for 167 possessions, per Football Outsiders. The league average is 163. And that's spread out over 13 games. Ten teams have been on the field for more defensive possessions than the Eagles.

The problem is not the offense's tempo. It's the defense's inability to get off the field. The Eagles face 6.24 plays per defensive drive. That's dead-last in the league. And they are forcing three-and-outs 18 percent of the time. That ranks second-to-last.

Bottom line: If the defense did a better job of getting off the field, it wouldn't be playing so many snaps. The problem is independent of what's happening on the offensive side of the ball.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • Adam

    This… this is great news.

    • GumboGumbo

      I agree (sal pal voice). Bringing both Boykin and Wolff back into the mix should help to slow Chicago’s passing attack. Let’s hope Cutler still has some rust to knock off.

  • EaglePete

    Awesome new. Makes sense with our D, the bend but dont break leaves them on the field much longer. Just dont want it breaking like it did in Minny so often.

  • therevxxx

    Quick question and not sure how relevant this is, but this is in regards to the defense. So, the defense faces an avg of 6.24 plays per drive…. is there any break down by half? A lot of people (mostly media) claim that our defense gets gassed and plays worse in the 2nd half. So was just wondering if there is any difference (in regards to plays per drive) between the 2 halves??

    • Adam

      I haven’t heard much of those claims, but I would say that this is would be true for any team wouldn’t it?

      • therevxxx

        You haven’t heard the claims throughout the season? Announcers love love love talking about time of possession and how the Eagles are always losing that battle and that as a result the D is tired in the 2nd half. Am I imagining hearing this? hahah

        • Adam

          Ahh, the talking heads. Sorry, I thought you were referring to the writers here.

          • therevxxx

            No way, these guys know better than that.. Sorry, I should have clarified.

          • Adam

            What i would like to see is the amount of time in between drives. While our defense might face a similar number of plays as other defenses, they definitely don’t seem to get the same amount of rest before they’re back on the field.

          • nicksaenz1

            Good thing Huls has them working out faster, less time between sets, so their bodies should be recovering faster ;)

          • Adam

            Hahaha yeah, imagine try to defend against the hurry up after taco tuesday and fast food fridays.

          • nicksaenz1

            Probably as difficult as it is for me to work after holiday party food Thursday.

          • macadood

            that’s the worst. just want to curl up under my desk and take a nap

          • nicksaenz1

            Exactly, and instead of a cookie bake off, which is guaranteed to make most people go out of their way to try all, how about a salad competition? It’d go a long way in terms of productivity and not promoting type 2 diabetes.

          • sprawl

            I would also like to see the amount of time between drives that includes all the TV breaks. Even if we could come up with stats for time of possession between drives I think it would all even out once you throw in the commercial breaks and how much time they spend between possessions.

          • Adam

            That’s very true. They rarely have time to go to commercials when the Eagles offense on the field.

        • pkatz

          I think that when announcers use the time of possession discussion it’s just a different way of phrasing the offensive tempo discussion.

          I would still be interested in seeing this by half, or maybe even by point differential at points within a game….

        • Maggie

          Yes, many announcers insist that the defense is “gassed”. Probably based on their own experiences when they were playing or just a number that someone else told them. The Eagles PLAYERS recently stated in a piece on this board that they were actually getting stronger as the season has progressed.

  • jon h

    Boykin can’t return kicks anymore – let one of our #4 or #5 receivers do it – he’s too valuable in other areas of the game.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya, if we see him back there sunday I’ll be pissed. Get Demaris back there for gosh darn sake

      • Andy124

        All Brad Smith. All the time. Change the name of the Kickoff Return Team to the Brad Smith Team.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Yeah, for real, Demaris will be gone next year likely, Chiefs can go grab him.
          Brad Smith needs to be back there, I will scream at Chip on my TV if I see Boykin back there, plain and simple.

          • therevxxx

            No boykin, no demaris. Must be Brad Smith. Demaris is awful in the return game.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya, I know how awful he is, I’m just thinking anyone but Boykin, regardless of how many return yards he gets.

          • therevxxx

            Who would be your #2 guy if Brad Smith got hurt? Polk did some returning back in college. Don’t think he was any good at it but has experience. What about Maehl? I am just throwing out names because I think Demaris is garbage back there..

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya I’d go with Polk or Brown.. more so Polk. Maehl doesn’t seem speedy enough.
            I’d say Polk for sure. Hopefully we see Polk and Brad Smith back there.
            What about on punts? Desean?

          • therevxxx

            I have no problem with keeping Desean back there. I love him back there actually. I think he is usually pretty aware and makes good decisions on punts in the 20. He also does a good job of not taking many big hits. Sometimes dances too much though, but that is a trade-off I am willing to accept. Also, he is always a threat to take one to the house, which can be a game changing play.

          • Andy124

            Brown, then Chung, because of his expendability. :)

          • therevxxx

            Don’t know if that was a joke or not, but that is actually a decent idea. Chung did return some kicks back in college. Although last week we did have some depth issues in the secondary by the end of the game.

          • Andy124

            Upvote for “Chiefs can go grab him”. That was good.

          • G_WallyHunter

            lmao ya, did you hear the news today? Chad Hall was released. Him and Andy must have gotten in a pretty bad argument.

          • Andy124

            It won’t last. They’ll can’t stay apart for long.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ha I was just picturing the conversation..
            “Alright Chad, we just have to let you go for a few days to get this DL on until Sunday, sit tight and we’ll get you back on this squad next week. I’ll do a better job.”

  • Andy124

    The DON’T BLAME THE TEMPO section was really enlightening. Awesome job Sheil.

    • sprawl

      Yeah it seems so obvious the way that Sheil explains it here.

      Unfortunately we’re still about 5 years away from commentators on the national broadcasts catching up with the facts…

      • Drew Brees Mom

        So so true. They’re idiots!

    • Drew Brees Mom

      Tempo on offence and snaps played on defence have zero correlation and never will have. How is 3 and out in 60 secs any different from 3 and out in 120 secs? Other than you got to suck O for another 60 secs. It astounds me that the ational media and commentators blame a fast offence for the defence being on the field longer. Wrong! A fast offence give your D a shorter break, they determine how long they are on the field. Get a turnover every first play and you come off.

  • Justin W

    This Bears passing attack has me nervous. I’ve watched their games and Alshon is a monster, he makes catches over everyone. It’s supposed to rain so I hope that helps.

    • Adam

      Yeah, we’re not going to stop him or Marshall, we just gotta hope we can limit the damage.

      • G_WallyHunter

        And that the offense can keep up if they start going crazy. And maybe a few turnovers from baby Cutlet, need that

        • Maggie

          I like that. Cutlet.

          • G_WallyHunter

            I can’t take credit. Refer to the League S04E04 I believe

  • Andy124

    It’s the defense’s inability to get off the field. The Eagles face 6.24 plays per defensive drive. That’s dead-last in the league. And they are forcing three-and-outs 18 percent of the time. That ranks second-to-last.

    Could another factor be how well we’ve taken care of the ball – thus not giving the offense many short fields to work with? Obviously the 3rd down % is going to be by far the biggest factor here, but I’m just thinking this may be a non-zero factor as well.

    • UncleCarm

      My seat of the pants feeling is that on the few occasions that we have turned it over lately, our defense has really risen to the occasion. Remember the Green Bay game when Foles fumbled inside our own 20 and defense stopped them 4 and out (they went for it on fourth down).

  • Andy124

    Anybody read the Kevin Turner article yesterday?

    Kinda makes me want to say; You get a concussion, you miss the next game. Period.

    • Chris

      link?

      • Andy124
        • Chris

          eesh. thanks. Good article, I (like many others) think sports players are overpaid, but at the same time, you really are risking your body, life, and future when you’re out there. Can’t blame them for grabbing all the cash they can, i’d do the same thing, and there’s obviously a huge demand for it.

          I’m actually surprised there’s no 1-week mandatory waiting period after a concussion. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see that next time around in the CBA.

          • nicksaenz1

            If the NFLPA would agree to it, they wouldn’t have to wait until the next CBA.

          • Chris

            good point. time will tell. The only thing with players agreeing to it is, you get an injury and it could mean the end of your job. I feel like we see it so much here, a guy gets hurt and the guy filling in steps up and makes you irrelevant. If I were a player, i’d probably hide my injuries. Look at Cutler – considered a top 10 guy, gets hurt, mccown comes in and all of a sudden you have a controversy. Same with Vick, and countless others. Window of opportunity is pretty small in the NFL.

            If there was a mandatory waiting period (and i am in favor of it), you’d have people maybe trying to hide concussions. Who knows.

          • nicksaenz1

            Yeah, I’m not saying I see it happening, because the points you mention are undoubtedly true. No player is likely to agree to a policy where it provides opportunity for another player to take his job. I don’t even know what kind of language you’d put in this rule that the players would consider accepting it.

    • EaglePete

      ya I read this yesterday, sad indeed. Some studies on MMA fighters have shown that its the number of concussions as well, like after a certain number your chances increase for CTE. Also at what age you get them and severity also matter of course but the age thing is interesting. Id venture to guess at some point they will have guidelines like stop playing all together after 7 concussions etc and/or have waivers to sign etc. No link to ALS from concussions though, not yet anyway. Very early stages of researching this stuff. I recommend that PBS Frontline special about concussions its really good. The way they railroaded the doctor who first studied it is awful. One thing to ignore evidence or to claim no links, its another to attack someone character and career. These types of things are always like that though, esp when big money is on one side of an argument that may hurt their bottom line.

  • Rick H

    Excellent article Sheil! It is very true. Yet all the talk about the offense makes most people overlook common sense. We have good comments today too! To stop their offensive multiple weapons THE EAGLES MUST GET THEIR BEST FULL GAME PASS RUSH OF THE SEASON!!!

  • EaglefaninAZ

    “If they send us something that’s gonna work, we’re gonna use it,” Kelly
    said. “I think you can learn from any person in this world. And I think
    if your mind is so closed that you’re gonna say, ‘we’ve got all the
    answers’ then shame on you. But I opened it, it looked like a good
    suggestion, so we used it.”

    I don’t miss Andy One. Little. Bit.

    • Maggie

      My only question is, if the suggestion helps win games, maybe $25.00 wasn’t enough?

      • EaglefaninAZ

        That was a thought I had myself. :)

      • Andy124

        True. On the other hand, I’ll bet she’d return that $25 in exchange for all the (well deserved) free advertising it’s brought her these past couple weeks.