Eagles Wake-Up Call: Anti-Kelly Rule Changes

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of college influences make their way to the NFL – from the read option to the pistol to the coaches (Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly).

But there’s one Eagles-related trend that a faction of college coaches wants to slow down.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed a change this week that would allow defenses to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. If the offense were to snap the ball before the play clock hit 29, it would get hit with a 5-yard delay of game penalty.

There is clearly a dividing line in college football. Either you’re pro-tempo or you’re anti-tempo. The pro-tempo crowd likes to use pace to its advantage. Offenses can limit the defenses’ ability to substitute, wear them out and score in a hurry. It’s a lot of what we wrote about when the Eagles hired Kelly last offseason.

The anti-tempo side argues that the pace puts players at greater risk for injury because 300-pound offensive and defensive linemen are asked to be on the field for more plays. While that theory makes some sense on the surface, there has yet to be any kind of study or data to back it up.

“I think sometimes people throw answers out there before they know it,” Kelly said last summer when asked about the theory. “I think a lot of things we do, we’re more spread out than a lot of people. I would say you should do a study on injuries when all these people are crammed in a small box. I don’t know. I have not done a study on it, though. I just think just tell us what the rules are. We always play by the rules.”

Of course, Kelly and other coaches who like to use tempo prefer the rules just the way they are. The split between the two factions isn’t as defined in the NFL. More teams are going up-tempo, no-huddle, but it’s not yet the talking point it is in college.

For now, the proposal is just that. An 11-member panel will vote on it next month, needing the majority for it to pass.

While no such proposals are currently being discussed in the NFL, Kelly and others will likely take notice of what the college world decides.


An All-22 look at whether Jairus Byrd would be a good fit for the Eagles.

One analyst thinks Jeremy Maclin is the best free agent WR in this class.

T-Mac looks at some Oregon players who will be available in the draft.


Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz thinks DL Linval Joseph could be a nice fit for the Eagles:

I recently began checking out the free agent lists. One name that I wondered about was DT Linval Joseph. He will turn 26 in October so his best football could still be ahead of him. He’s got a great build at 6-4, 328. He can get to the QB up the middle. He had 3 sacks this year and 4 last year.

Adding Joseph would help the DL in a couple of ways. He could push the pocket better than Logan. That would help when facing top QBs that get the ball out quickly. And Logan could become the #4 DL. He could play DE, DT and NT depending upon what the situation was.

Chris Burke of SI.com chimes in on the Eagles’ free agency outlook:

The Eagles are projected to have about $21 million in cap space, giving them the ability to focus on the players they would like to retain and also save some money to upgrade the secondary. Finding one or two more pieces to help round out Chip Kelly’s offense certainly would make Foles’ life easier in 2014.


T-Mac has offered to make emergency flower deliveries for anyone who forgot it was Valentine’s Day. Just hit him up on Twitter, and he’ll work his magic.

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  • TNA

    My office is about to institute a policy that work shouldn’t be accomplished too quickly to prevent headaches, stress, heart attacks, and most importantly, to prevent minimization of billable hours. Also, if an employee is super efficient, they’ll just get more work dumped on them. And what employee really wants that?

    Sheridan has an article about the Eagles needing a kicker. It’d be nice to extend Chip’s red zone past the 33-yd line.

    1) OLB, Safety
    2) Backup CB
    3) Draft young WR
    4) place kicker. Or perhaps a hybrid punter/kicker like SK suggested shortly after NE playoff game.
    5) NT
    6) Draft OL

    • G_WallyHunter

      What a great work policy… Agreed on priorities, you’d think OL would be higher but when you sit and look at the ones above they all look more important.. sucks to see, go Howie this draft, 3 solid drafts in a row should work wonders..

    • peteike

      yes on the kicker. At least lets have some competition in camp with a viable replacement option. Im sure that will happen.

  • UKEagle99

    The only place T-Mac should be delivering flowers todays is to Byrd & Ward!

    • G_WallyHunter

      Does anyone think Ward or Byrd would take a mil or two less (in contract not per year) to come to Philly?Providing Ward doesn’t get tagged… Seems like it would be a place they’d desire. Cleveland’s in shambles, everyone’s seeing what’s going on in Philly, might create some savings on contracts because of what’s brewing.. it would be nice but unfortunately players don’t usually think this way they want the $$$, we know Byrd does anyways, maybe Ward values a solid team.
      Are there any reports of him saying he wants to stay in Crapland?

      • UKEagle99

        I don’t think we will land either of them but you can dream, right? Last I really heard on Ward was that Cleveland were likely to tag him but that was before Haslam cleared shop.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Yup exactly I’m just dreaming here, not saying its realistic by any means. That’s what I heard about Ward too. They want to keep him and Haden together on that back end, understandably..
          What about Louis Delmas? Is he worth a gander

        • peteike

          I saw Clayton saying they would have to tag their pro bowl center over Ward. We shall see though.

      • DanFromDelcoo

        I wouldn’t take a mil or two less a year if I was an NFL player unless I had already made a ton. I doubt they feel much different.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Ya pretty much.. what I figure too. No question with Byrd, just wondering about Ward. All 32 teams put themselves first so the players do the same, its expected. My only hope is say Ward hits open market and he chooses the more-solid organization over a couple extra million in total contract (that he probably wouldn’t realize anyways because players rarely get to see every penny of their contract)

      • MoreRecentTimes

        You make a good point that Philly may be a desirable destination for FAs. I just dont see how CLE doesn’t tag Ward. For all the mess surrounding them, the Browns are an up and coming defense with some good pieces at wr, te, and o-line. If they have any chance they gotta resign Ward and Mack.

  • Andy124

    RIP Jim Fregosi

    • Richard Colton

      the perfect manager for the perfect team for a perfectly imperfect town

  • Token

    This sort of falls in line with my thought yesterday.

    We gotta strike now. The next two years.

    I think the longer Chips around the more our SB chances go down for various reasons. Something like this being one of them. Get it done while this program is fresh.

    BTW, this a stupid Fing rule.

    • peteike

      I think the window is always small so agree. I really think the Broncos dropped the ball these past 2 seasons. Built to win it all and came up short. Those windows just dont stay open long no matter what (maybe Pats being exception to the rule with their playoff run). Factor in injuries and at some point youre luck will turn. You need a bit of luck and being solid everywhere to get it done, never an easy task. Another reason I always think even young teams need to press to win, they shouldnt ever assume they will get there again in some perceived window.

  • Sean

    Rule is terrible… How about when a team is trying to score quickly down the stretch of a game? Specifically the waning moments of the 1st & 2nd halves. Even if that team isn’t your typical ‘up-tempo’ team.. If the rule did happen they would have to only enforce it during certain times of the game (a lot of grey area here).

    If they are worried about the big boys staying on the field too long – get better athletes and whip them into shape with some Smoothies like Chip does.

  • Sean

    Nobody is talking about Delmas, who would come much cheaper than ward/byrd. He is a very solid starter in this league, and a hard-hitter to boot.

    • GEAGLE

      You are talking out your ass…

      • Sean

        I guess you are a Byrd or bust guy? Which part of the statement do you disagree with?

        • GEAGLE

          All of it…basically you just want a sexy a name.

          First of all, Delmas is only on the street today because he wasn’t willing to restructure or take a pay cut. he wanted his 6milliom dollars. 6milliom dollars is not cheap for a safety. I could understand if you can get Delmas for 3mil and Byrd costs 8mil…but 6 for Delmas would be ridiculous,..if he wasn’t willng to budge on 6, means he will most likely end up costing 4-5mil…why would we want to pay that for a guy with Jacked up Knees who only practices a few times per week during the season?…On top of that, if we wanted Delmas, we would have signed him last year instead of Chung And Phillips who both SUCK!! So that tells me, they most likely don’t think Delmas deserves the money he will get….There really is no such a thing as Byrd or Bust…we only have two safeties under contract, we have to sign someone, I just think we probably have like 4-5 names on our wish list higher then Delmas.
          Rip Illa made a great point yesterday..can you really see Chip liking a guy who you know isn’t gong to be able to practice more them half the tIme? Practice is very important to Chip…i,actually don’t hate Delmas at all. And when Chung is still on the roster, Delmas represents a significant upgrade, I just don’t think our FO wants anything to do with him

          Btw, I appologize for responding that way to you…I thought you were someone who took an ignorant unsolicited shot at me on another thread. I’m really sorry about the initial response. My bad man..I hate unprovoked drama, and i basically just did it to you…so my sincerest Appologies. my bad

          • Sean

            All good GEAG’s – I really enjoy your commentary on this site!

            And who knows, Delmas may have taken a pay cut there, but there could have been other things going on behind the scenes in DET pushing him out & making him not wanting to re-structure. Maybe a change of scenery would be good for him.. Throw in some smoothies to help his health woes? I wouldn’t mind them throwing 4-4.5 mil at the guy.

            Get pass rusher(s) and the secondary would improve indirectly. While Delmas would be a direct upgrade to the position over last year. All great secondaries have a front 3 or 4 guys that can generate pressure, something the Birds did not do enough of last year.

          • GEAGLE

            Thank you kindly….hey man, I really hope we spend some money in FA to help this defense with more then just stop gap guys…as long as we aren’t wasting time signing any more Chung’s stop gap types who we know ARENT the answer, I’ll be happy…We NEED that pass rusher, and I strongly believe that we have to add a safety who is the most talented player in our secondary…

            Delmas works out with shady in the offseason

    • Sean

      PFF came out with this before he was cut. They know their stuff, IMO. I am looking forward to seeing the Eagles chart when they come out with it.


  • anon
    • Sean

      Saw that earlier as well… He’s really taken the league by storm, we are lucky to have him

  • Eaglz17

    All you have to do is look at who is on that 11 member panel and you can predict how that vote will go. The rule is basically being proposed by coaches who can’t figure out how to stop the up-tempo teams. “If we can’t stop it, we’ll make it illegal”. Delay of game for…going….too…fast….


    Will Smith was cut, as anticipated, NFL network interviewed him and it was interesting to hear him talk about being willing to play OLB. Not that it has anything to do with us…our OLB situation is tricky. We only have 1 out of 4 future OLBs on this roster. by the end of the next offseason we should have added 3 new OLBs to add to the BRAMA bull….the complicated part of the equation is the contracts of Cole and BG….We aren’t going to cut BG, that’s just not going to happen. We would have to eat dead money! and by the end of This past season he started making some OLB plays that I didn’t think he was capable of. BG will be a better OLB next year, will he be good enough? I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s not the end of the world if we have to bring him back for the 2014 season and just let him walk as a FA next year..letting a first round pick sign with another team helps the compensatory pick equation(not something we can count on)…
    If BG isn’t on the 2014 roster, I assume it means we traded him. We would still have to take the cap hit, but ATleast we can rationalize that as paying for an extra 5th round draft pick….

    As we stand today, we have room for one OLB, which is going to be filled by a draft pick. There are some OLB pass rushers that I would like to add in FA, ranging from 3down starting OLB for the next 3 years in Micheal Johnson, to situational pass rushers(pass rush depth). having two quality OLB isn’t enough. you need to have 3 or 4 OLBs you can rotate in and out to get after QBs and throw different looks at linemen. We have a lot of Salary tied up into the OLB position next year, yet our pass rush isn’t good enough and we only have 1olb who will be part of our future(Barwin)..we have like 10mil tied up in stop gaps who aren’t good enough OLB pass rushers, so as we stand today, ii don’t see how you add a FA OLB. If the situation doesn’t change, we will only have room for a draft pick at OLB
    Cole will be here one more year. people misunderstand that as me being happy about Cole being here next year. truth is, i CAnt WAIT til he is replaced with real OLBs, but I’m almost positive that he will be on this roster this year and seeing plenty of snaps. That doesn’t make me happy, but there are some positives…So the only real question in my mind is Brandon Graham. If Graham remains on the team for one more season, then I don’t think we are signing any OLBs at all. If we end up trading BG(it’s probably what I would do), then we would have room to add a Free Agent OLB..

    To complicate matters worse,..if you are going to trade BG, the market for it probably won’t come til the draft. So when FA starts, BG will probably still be on nthe roster, which means we probably won’t be signing any OLBs…If we can trade BG on draft night, we would probably consider it if there are still OLBs we like that aren’t signed yet..but the good ones will be signed the first day or two of FA, BG will be on the roster at that point, so I doubt we are adding any sexy FA OLB this year…and that doesn’t mean I like what we have, our I’m overvaluing our guys so Save the Bull crap…that’s just how I read the offseason Tea Leaves.

    I can’t wait til BG and Cole are replaced, sadly i think I will have to wait til next offseason

  • 76mustang

    Nick Saban and Mike Slive need to game the system to maintain the SEC dominates narrative.

    8 game conference schedule – check
    5 games or less away schedule – check
    Sun Belt OOC patsies on schedule – check
    Over-signing of recruits allowed – recently rescinded
    OOC patsy on end of season schedule to effectively serve as bye week – check
    NFL-style weight enhancement program – check
    ESPN, CBS, media stooges to hype SEC narrative – check

    This proposal represents the dysfunction and sham that Major College Football continues to be, and is a perfect mirror of the current state of our nation’s toxic political reality. I hope Nick Saban gets called out and that fans use social media to bury Alabama and SEC related sites with the stench of their hypocrisy. Nick couldn’t cut it in the NFL because the playing field was too level and his inability to evolve and change was exposed. Guess his plan B is to bring in Kiffen and hope that he can shed some light on these new fangled offenses.

    • peteike

      problem is there is no way to level the playing field in college ball. Just impossible to do. No matter what you will always have powerhouse teams with better recruiting, schedules, players and facilities. Doesnt mean they shouldnt try but even with changes, there would still be 10 to 20 schools that just dominate the rest. More like 10.

      • 76mustang

        Div 1 and 2 seem to be able to do it, same with HS football, CFL, NFL…

        FBS is the ONLY football league that is structured the way it is solely because of money and power – if the NCAA was REALLY interested in amateur athletics and identifying the best team in the FBS, they would wrest control of the scheduling from the Presidents/ADs, get rid of the bowl games, and implement a playoff like every other football league in existence.

  • knighn

    Speaking of SI.com, what does everyone think of the latest cover?

    • SunShine

      Is the future trying to say that butts are getting bigger? If so. I’m not complaining

      • knighn

        It’s funny. Someone else complained that those ladies don’t have any butts and they’re just arching their backs to pretend like they do!


    I can’t even read this article or get into this discussion because it will just infuriate me. Nothing against Tim or Sheil, I’m sure they wrote a great article about it, I just think this rule proposal is a corrupt JOKE and I honestly find the thought of this DISGUSTING!!!!
    The best quote I heard about the thoughts of this! can’t think of who it was that said this…”In the game of football, the ADVANTAGE of the OFFENSE is that they dictate what happens, they know when and how a play is being run, and the ADVANTAGE of the DEFENSE is that they get to move 11 guys around as much as they want up until the ball is snapped” these are fundamental principles on which inch this game is built, this isn’t some SMAll change you can make for safety or improving the game. Even considering this change is disgusting. We are now going to allow the defense to dictate what happens? That’s insanity. Allowing a defense to substitute if the offense doesn’t substitute CANT HAPPEN…I hate most of the rule changes, and they all have their Impact changing the game we love, but this CANT HAPPEN , this fundamentally CHANGES the game of football. If they pass this rule, ii swear I will NEVER again contribute to the ratings of an NCAA football game. a serious BOYCOTT would have to happen, if the old boys club passes this absurdity…

    Let me stop, because this is really really infuriating to Me, and I’m a defensive guy who doesn’t even care about offense, but this is flat out CORRUPT and it’s not something we can just turn a blind eye to and tolerate. This is really really disgustingly Dirty, Corrupt. I probably can’t talk about this any further without getting myself banned…like I can’t stress how despicable this is

    • cliff henny

      rich rodriquez, ex west virginia/michigan current AZ coach. he was on the herd, was straight up bashing sabin.

    • Richard Colton

      Look at it as the ultimate sign of respect towards Chip Kelly. The old school…the guys who run 4 plays a game…can’t figure out how to stop his offense, so they try to legislate it away.

      If they need to change the rules ’cause you’re so good, you’ve made it. Now Chip is in the same conversation with Wilt Chamberlain.

  • TJ1

    Who says 300 lbs linemen should have the rules of football written to protect their value in football?

    People want to see the fast game. The Alabama LSU game is boring and often unwatchable.

    If 300 lbs linemen can’t play the fast game, they shouldn’t be playing – teams recruit the skills to fit the game, not change the rules to conform to the personnel you (Saban) have been so successful recruiting.

    It’s as simple as that.

  • SunShine

    I have some trepidation that the NFL will look at this eventually…At the same time, if the defense forces a negative play than it pretty much negates the up tempo offense. Denver couldn’t get anything going because Seattle refused to let them get any rhythm going. This is a passing league but defenses can STILL thrive with the current circumstances

  • I loved Mike Leach’s response to this: “My suggestion is rather than spend a bunch of time coming up with a bunch of really stupid rules, spend that time coaching harder.”