Weekend Reading: Iowa LB Kirksey Visits Eagles

NCAA Football: Iowa at Minnesota

Today is the last day NFL teams are allowed to host prospects for official visits.

The latest name to add to the Eagles’ list is Iowa linebacker Christian Kirksey. Kirksey was in town recently to chat with Chip Kelly and company, according to Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline.

Kirksey (6-2, 233) was a three-year starter and a two-time captain for the Hawkeyes. He had 104 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles as a senior.

Kirksey would be an inside linebacker in the Eagles’ 3-4 scheme. Not much jumps off the page with him from a measurables standpoint:

According to CBSSports.com, he projects to be a fourth-round pick.


Josh Thomas was an assistant at New Hampshire when Chip Kelly was directing the offense. Thomas is now the head coach at Burr And Burton Academy in Vermont. He did a Q&A with X And O Labs about adapting Kelly’s offensive scheme at the high school level. Thomas was asked what the biggest misconception is about the no-huddle:

I think the biggest misconception about the no huddle is you have to be a spread team to be no-huddle. You can do it in any offense, but you have to be committed to it. You cannot have one foot in the water. It is a philosophy. If you do not have the guts to go all in, then a no-huddle offense is probably not for you. You have to give up your concerns about time of possession and believe that you can score enough to win because you can score faster than your opponent.

Also, that you have to sacrifice good defense to use the no-huddle your offense. Your defense might be on the field more but we are aggressive on defense as well and do a great job of creating turnovers and negative plays.

That sounds like it applies pretty well to the Eagles.


Cincinnati tight end Blake Annen had a private workout with the Eagles, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

Annen (6-4, 247) is intriguing from a measurables standpoint. He reportedly ran a 4.41 at his Pro Day. But he didn’t do much in college, starting one season and catching just 16 balls for 183 yards and two touchdowns in 2013.

He is expected to be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.


As noted previously, the Eagles had Nebraska guard Spencer Long in for a visit. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com likes what he sees from Long:

Todd Herremans turns 32 in October, and Evan Mathis turns 33 in November. It would not be a surprise if the Eagles tried to get younger at this spot in the draft.

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  • Bullwinkle

    Chip and his staff seem to be leaving no stone unturned. They might make some surprising and interesting selections. I would not be surprised to see them trade back in order to draft more of the lower rated players that they believe have untapped potential.

    • Andy

      I predict they are going to sign a lot of UDFAs given the low number of picks.

      • Malcolm Jones

        This was my sentiments exactly and because of the enormous amount of juniors entering the draft… UDFA’s could be the equivalent of 6 and 7th round talent.

      • Maggie

        Oddly, as I type, NFL Network is running a ‘Top 10 Undrafted Free Agents”!

    • Neanderthal

      I would like to see them trade next years #1 if they can get value in this draft

  • Jerry Pomroy

    Wow, Kirskey’s spider chart is probably the smallest web posted by Sheil & Tim this offseason.

    So amped for the draft that it’s going to be a brutal 12 more days of waiting. Speaking of, I currently don’t have cable or satellite TV (use Netflix & Hulu+ for TV watching). Is there some online outlet to be able to watch the live draft & commentary? Sure, I could head over to my neighbor’s or to a local watering hole, but that’s a long time to be hanging next door and you can never hear the commentary at the bar. I could of course track the picks online but that’s kind of like watching a horror movie with the TV muted. Takes away from the whole experience.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Warhound

      NFL.com might stream a live feed.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I think NFL.com is just the pick tracking, player backgrounds/scouting reports, etc., but not the live network coverage.

        Check this out. If I want to stream NFL Network I can use the mobile app, but it only works with Verizon service. I’ve had Sprint for years. If I want to stream it on my tablet, I have to be a subscribed customer of a cable provider. Get this. They don’t even list Comcast or DirecTV. How in the hell don’t you have an agreement with the two largest satellite/cable providers?? Not that I don’t have either, but I do have Comcast internet, so that means I pay an extra $10 to carry their bare minimum cable TV. If that’s the case I should be a cable subscriber. So I was going to try that angle but it doesn’t even work on the largest cable provider in the country.

        Gonna have to check out ESPN’s online options (if there are any) even though I prefer the NFLN commentary over ESPN’s.

        • All Things Bad@ss

          We’ll take up an offering to get you some cable my friend. It’s a crime to not be watching the draft with surround sound and beer in hand. And by what means do you watch all the games I wonder? I’m in LA so Sunday Ticket is a must have ..

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I had Sunday ticket and DirecTV last season. Been out of work since April of 2013, so the wife and I cut back expenses and did away with satellite.

            We took the plunge today though and upgraded our internet subscription with Comcast and added a TV package. I’m told that I can access Sunday ticket through a PS4 or online. Gonna have to look into that this season or possibly NFL.com’s fan package.

    • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

      Every time I look at the spiders I can’t help but think of the movie WAITING and dude pulling out “the batwing”on people. Kirksey’s batwing looks like a man with only one nut tho!

  • cliff henny

    Ha, 6 comments…if Johnny Geagle was posting here, minimum, 6,000!

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Geags has been tearing it up over at Igglesblitz.com

  • Maggie

    Those who worried about Latimer? He just spent 90 minutes with the 49ers’ playbook. Is that the same as running the Eagles’ routes? Surely it must be last year’s routes or playbook?

  • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

    Teasing the quote from chip’s former assistant, I had to hold down the boiling anger as he spoke about how your defense can still be aggressive and thrive while the offense disregards time of possession. This draft, for me, will go a long way toward determining whether I can trust Chip to build a complete team.

    Should the Eagles not address their inability to SACK the QB I’ll be supremely disappointed. Spare me the talk about how effective hurries, and knockdowns can be. Hurries and knockdowns are the equivalent of dry humping. I need the real thing.

    It was good to see them upgrade the kick coverage team in free agency. It would’ve been great to land a marquee name on defense. But there’s no denying the impact on field position, and by proxy the defense, having a great coverage unit will have. But to take the next step our defense must find a way to get off the field.

    Whether it be an OLB, or even a space eating NT, we gotta get it done, and EARLY. I want to see a real commitment in the first 3rds to finding an impact player.

  • myeaglescantwin

    ON the Q&A at the bottom of the article.

    running the no huddle risk the quick 3 & outs. The emphasis for defense will need to be depth, size and stamina. Pittsburgh definitely has a great model for succesful 3-4 play, but I would focus more towards how they do things in Seattle.

    They call that system a 4-3, but in all actuality it resembles more of a 2-5. They basically lined up two giant NT as their DT’s and line the outside of the defense with all the 6’4 “tweener” players the rest of the league debates over. Keeping the big guys energized with a solid rotation allows the team to stay stout the entire game.

    Either way, both of these teams thrived off of being brutal at the point of attack. Being the hammer and not the nail. & I feel like we saw that attitude come on later in the season.

    unfortunately for us, the previous regime believed in 6′ 290lb DT’s.
    I’m confident in the scheme we have moving forward with more and more of Chip type players.