Inside the Pre-Draft Visits

Eagles Coach Chip Kelly Leaving Practice
 Chip Kelly introduced himself to Beau Allen by running his car into him.

“I was sitting and waiting to go in and meet with [Howie Roseman] and all the front office guys, and Coach Kelly was driving around a little remote control car –they use it out on the field because they can’t do motions — and he drove it right into me and was like, ‘Oh, hey Beau, how are you doing?’ And I was like, ‘Hey, Coach.’ ”

That was the lineman’s first hint that things are done a little differently in this organization. There would be more evidence along the way.




Toy cars aside, the Wisconsin product described his pre-draft visit to the NovaCare as "more formal" than the other seven he went on. He was handed a schedule upon arrival and was taken to meet pretty much everybody in the organization. He sat in a meeting room with the entire defensive staff and was put through mental exercises. Allen admitted that there were some nerve-wracking moments.

"They actually wrote up a couple of their defenses on the white board and I wasn't allowed to take notes. Then they put on a cut-up and I had to regurgitate it back to them just from memory," he explained. "I think I did well, I don't think I messed up a single play, and I think that's a good gauge of how you learn in a football setting from a white board and then apply it to video.

"No other team that I visited didn't let me take notes. I thought that was kind of cool because you had to be on top of your game."

The experience was similar for first-round pick Marcus Smith.

"They wanted to see if I could learn it fast," said Smith. "They put [a play] on the board, erased it and put it back to me.

"The other teams put it on the board and would just talk you through it, just want to see if you can comprehend what they are putting on the board. But you see the Eagles, they put it on the board, took it off and started talking to me and started throwing stuff at you to see if you can comprehend it and [explain it] back to them. That's the difference."

One of Kelly's sayings is, "Dumb people do dumb things and smart people rarely do dumb things.” He puts a heavy emphasis on football intelligence during the evaluation process. 

“There’s a very cerebral part to this game that I don’t know if people give enough credit to," he said following last year's draft. "It’s about making good decisions."

After selecting Jordan Matthews in the second round, Kelly noted that the receiver demonstrated amazing recall during his visit to Philly, and was able to rattle off the exact situation in the game and even the route he ran the moment it came up on film. Safe to say he performed well in that meeting room. Allen did, too. The same likely applies to the rest of the eventual Eagles' draft picks that visited the facility.

"It wasn't as relaxed as some of the other interviews I went on, which is good," said Allen. "A little stressful, but good."

 

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • NickyP79

    Great job over there at Birds 24/7. I am so pumped up for the season! Even this little bit of insight into what happens at NovaCare during the first meetings gets me pumped. It is this type of inside access (regardless how large or small), makes me feel a part of the team and organization aside from being just a fan.

    • G_WallyHunter

      and that, my friend, is why this site is the only place to go. Found it and never looked back (or at any other football sites for eagles info)

      • NickyP79

        Absolutely! What really drew me in, aside from the insight, is after the games, on Monday’s, the “All-22″ (I believe that is what it is called) which breaks down key plays with pictures, routes with markings and arrows, it really helps me understand and gain insight on why a particular play was called at a particular time, exposing the matchup. Best site for Birds coverage my friend, you are correct. PERIOD.

        • G_WallyHunter

          yup, yup, and yup. You know a site is that good when on weeknights you think about what the wake-up call is going to be the next morning. Can always rely on an update within 30 minutes of something happening, and if they don’t beat the news they’ll release a piece that provides top notch coverage and more info than any other source. Usually they beat rotoworld.

          This may sound like I’m going on as a kissass but I really am just that impressed with this site, as we all are, not to mention it’s …… accessible by the public.. I try to refrain from the f word

          • Maggie

            Friendly? Fiercely? Firmly? Finally? I’ll stop now.

        • Clyderightside

          Check out the video archive at fishduck.com. It has a lot of Chip’s offensive and defensive plays broken down. They are not exactly what the Birds do–but they are close enough to give you insight into his overall strategy and schemes. I’m surprised more Iggs fans don’t look at them.

    • Eagles1018

      Yeah Sheil and TMac should win awards

    • paul from nc

      This site is 10 times better than Philly .com and has a much higher class of posters, for the most part.

      More insight, all 22 and details that you don’t get on the other sites. Kudo’s to Sheil and Tim

      • G_WallyHunter

        hey bada bing bada boom, well said, it’s my go to every morning at 730 and onward. Do weekends make anyone else miss wake-up calls like I do?

      • tommy_the_k

        I resemble that remark

  • juaniflaco

    I’m trying not to get carried away by some of this Meta-stuff, but it’s clear that CK and co. do things differently than the rest of the NFL. From acquiring players to nutrition and training the attention to detail is pretty unusual, and I think it will make the Eagles a better team on the field.

  • Anebriated

    This article is a great example of why I love what the Eagles are doing and why I am comfortable having a little blind faith early in Chips tenure.

  • A_T_G

    The car was actually a Kia. Beau Allen is just that big.

    • Brian

      Do you think Murder Leg was at the wheel?

      • UKEagle99

        Murderleg had his foot on the gas!

        • JAMIN67

          Murderleg.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Murderleg

        • Tikkit

          Murderleg doesn’t put his foot on the gas, he merely sits in the passenger seat, flexes his quads, and the car drives itself.

      • paul from nc

        We need to make the most of murderleg now. I have a feeling he won’t be here past the 2nd cut down.

        • Andy124

          murderleg

          • airpope

            asesinatopierna

        • WorldPh_ingChamps

          GELREDRUM

          • Malcolm Jones

            Im an Eagle fan and I approve this message.

    • tommy_the_k

      Does Chip’s invisible dog have a name?

  • macadood

    can we get video of this remote control car?? sounds pretty awesome

  • WhiskeyBill

    Wait, they were using a remote control car because they couldn’t do the motions? I don’t understand. Can someone explain to me what that means?

    • Broadcasting Wisdom

      Seriously, was going to comment the same thing. It sounds like he is referring to the coaches when he says “they use it on the field because they can’t do motions.” So the coaches can’t do motions? As in, hand motions to call the plays? So do they write the play down on a piece of paper, put it in the remote control car, and drive it by all the players for them to see? Because that seems crazy. I’m sure other explanations exist, or maybe remote control car means something different in Wisconsin (e.g., a golf cart-like vehicle that Chip could actually drive in)

      • BlindChow

        I doubt Chip ran into Allen in a golf cart.

        • Anebriated

          If he did I feel bad for the golf cart.

      • Will

        Sounds like hand signals for plays being sent in…which means no hands to drive so it is remote control by a third party maybe…

      • G_WallyHunter

        motions in practice on the field? or hand motions hmmmm

      • jon h

        I read it thinking there might be some stupid NFL rule that prevents coaches from having players actually run during practice, so as they’re walking through plays, maybe he puts the car in motion to show players where they need to go? That’s would be really weird and interesting at the same time.

        • Johnny Domino

          Sounds about as complicated as making out at Oberlin.

        • Eagles1018

          This is what I thought too

    • Maggie

      If this happened during player visits before the draft, they probably didn’t want their side-line signals to be seen by non-team members?

  • Javi Echie

    So Roberth Mathis suspended for the first 4 games of the season for testing positive for a banned substance. Nice to play the Colts already weak defense without there star pass rusher week 2. Jason Peters is salivating right now.

    • Tom W

      Maybe Grigson will call us about Brandon graham now

    • Andy124

      According to Englehard [Mathis's agent], Mathis simply took a fertility drug because he and his wife decided they wanted to give his mother another grandchild after learning that she has cancer.

      Englehard said Goodell had access to Mathis’s medical data and to a sworn statement from Mathis’s doctor but was unwilling to make any kind of exception.

      That’s just cold.

      • Johnny Domino

        Didn’t Manny Ramirez plead the same case?

        • Andy124

          Reply to all:
          Yes, I’m aware they may all be lying. But still, there’s a wow-factor to this particular story.

          • UKEagle99

            When did you last hear someone that tested positive say “It’s a fair cop”?

          • Andy124

            Braun. Not long ago.

      • Brazilnut

        Just throwin it out there that the NFL is legally not allowed to reveal what they actually tested positive for, or even deny reports. So you could take any substance on the list and claim thats what it was.

      • UKEagle99

        The NFL is way behind the times. They all take banned substances, most knowingly. The NFL turns a blind eye. If it was serious about banning PEDs then the players would have biological passports and be subject to year round testing. Even then the testers would be lucky to catch anyone. Personally I dont care whether they’re taking HGH to add mass, EPO to increase the motor, testosterone & prednisolone for recovery. Just take a stance, make the players & NFLPA aware and be consistent.

        • Andy124

          Even then the testers would be lucky to catch anyone.

          They catch people now without trying nearly as hard as you’re describing. Just a little innocent hyperbole, or am I missing something?

          And I admit, I do care about PEDs. I don’t claim to be right in caring though. I think the intent of banning substances is to eliminate drugs that provide short term gains at the expense of long term harm. I know the execution isn’t perfect, but I agree with the intent. And if we only do things that we can do perfectly, nobody would do much of anything. So I’m sure things are banned that shouldn’t be, and things aren’t banned that should be, but as long as the people doing the banning have the right intent, I’ll accept their rules and the fact that they won’t always be right.

          But, rules should always be applied intelligently, not blindly.

          • IAteLunchToday

            I care about PED’s because if, for example, a fringe player is taking them and beats out another fringe player that could have won the job without taking them, then the more naturally talented player now has no job. And it is my understanding that there are risks that come with using these substances, so the more talented people would be required to take on even more risk (football is already dangerous) just to keep their job.

            So either they should all take them or no one should. I think no one should lest we should find ourselves rooting for the Ryan Brauns and Alex Rodriguezs of the world.

          • UKEagle99

            Nice statement, great sentiment. Unfortunately the NFL does very little towards that. Read above.

          • Maggie

            The NFL knows that the smashing hits and excessive violence sells. That’s why they denied the long-term effects of comcussion for a long time. Even while people are moaning about making a “safer” league, they are oohing and aahing about some Lawrence Taylor clone.

          • UKEagle99

            “They catch people now without trying nearly as hard as you’re describing.”

            Really? So the NFL drug testing policy is enforced to the extent whereby your desire for their long term health is satisfied? Not even close, mate. It’s cursory and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. I love the sport, it’s my #1 past time but I know when it comes to drug testing it is living in the dark ages. The maximum a player will be tested is 6 times a year. 6 times!! Clearly you think that is enough to catch everyone?

            Let’s draw a parallel, Lance Armstrong is reported to have been tested between 500-600 times, how many times did he test positive? Zero. 0. USADA & UCI confirmed they tested him alone nearly 300 times, WADA probably accounts for the rest. That accounts for the EPO & high motor side of doping what about the more NFL specific HGH? Well there is no reliable test, so they say. There is no urine test that works, period. The head of UCLA Olympic testing stated that blood test were impracticle, 1 in 1500 blood tests came back positive despite the knowledge that HGH use in the sample was prevelant.

            Yes, you are missing something.

            Like most fans you are blind. I don’t mean to be condescending butit is what it is. Many cycling fans have been through this. Users are always ahead of testers, easy when you are only going to be tested 6 times a year tops, most times 1-2…

            If you really want the NFL to be a clean sport for the long term health of all those that play you will be campaigning for Biological Passporting, out of season testing and 2 years bans for any first positive result, lifetime bans for a second offence.

            As long as there is a list of banned substances and players results are private they can claim whatever they want. Positive for chlembuterol? I ate contaminated food!

            Yes, you are missing something.

          • Andy124

            Wow man. I don’t really feel like typing up as long a response as your post deserves (sleepy). I’ll try to summarize by saying that I’m confident that if we hashed it all out and got on the same page, we’d be pretty similar in our beliefs. But your post seems to argue against a point of view I don’t possess and also define “lucky to catch anyone” differently than I do.

            Conclusion: I doubt we actually disagree about any of the important aspects of this discussion.

          • UKEagle99

            Fair play. I didn’t want it to come across as I was getting at you, I was venting at the NFL. I know very little about the pre draft process, college players etc. drug testing I know a lot more about. It just spewed out. I respect you and your comments on here. #FlyEagles

          • Kev_H

            The rules are decided by the stakeholder ( league and players together). I really don’t care what they agree to, but I have no love for anyone who breaks them. It’s like setting up a U14 league and catching a team w 16 year olds.

      • DetmerWonAHeisman

        Men don’t take Clomid for fertility— only women. Clomid stimulates OVULATION in women…..however, it can be abused because it stimulates the release of gonadotropin.

        • tommy_the_k

          Clomid is actually given to men to improve sperm counts but has a low success rate and is not used much these days, unless you also want to improve muscle ass.

      • Adam

        He goes from 11, 9.5, 8 sacks to 19.5 at 33 years old? C’mon man. Don’t buy the sob story. He’s juicing, and got caught.

        • Andy124

          See my reply to Johnny Domino.

      • Kev_H

        That’s one of those ridiculous explanations cheating players keep in the bag for their fan’s consumption. It makes no sense at all but makes Mathis look like a victim.

        • Andy124

          Would you say the same thing if it wasn’t for the big jump in sacks last year? I mean, if yes, just dismissing a guy’s story out of hand like that is a lot more cynical than I ever want to be.

  • Will

    Cool cerebral, high character, team first players….now let’s see if they can work hard, gel and go win some football games….

    • BrettConnolly

      let’s take it all out on the division.

  • Malcolm Jones

    This is why it is easy to buy in….chip and company think of every thing and using great prep,nutrition, fundamentals, and evaluations and operating similar to a business attempting to maximize production, I have faith they are trying to put players and this team in position to make a run for the elusive Lombardi. People can doubt but chip’s preparation and ability to motivate makes me imagine roofs with no ceiling. # they finally get it

    • Will

      Besides a winning coach you need very talented player’s on both sides of the ball. There is little doubt the Eagles know how to build a top 3 Offense. Question remains can the Eagles build a formidable Defense? Since JJ the Eagles Defense has been in decline. Can Billy Davis get this to a top 10 Defense given the player’s he has to work with? A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Did the Eagles do enough to answer the questions at Place Kicker and on Defense? Time will tell…

      • Malcolm Jones

        Hopefully he summons his inner jj….jj didn’t have the best stats and all of a sudden became a chess king…here’s to davis improving as a chess player

        • Anebriated

          Davis has the same general philosophy. Bend but dont break. Let them move the ball between the 20’s then clamp it down. Hope for a few big/game changing plays from the D.

          • Adam

            I’m wondering if the bend but don’t break defense was a product of talent more than philosophy. I’m sure Billy would love to have a don’t bend and don’t break defense.

          • Anebriated

            Definitely was. The Eagles have slowly improved the talent level on the defensive side of the ball the last few years. We still need a little depth and could use another solid draft next year but we are well on way to being there again.

            Also the fact that we went through what, 4 defensive coordinators in 3 years? didn’t help the situation at all.

          • Will

            Very true….looking for year 2 jump from Defense…

          • Anebriated

            Agreed. They showed great improvement from the start of last season to the end. With the addition of the free agents and draft picks I am very excited to see what they can do this year.

            Also I said “Definitely was” when talking about the bend but dont break being about the players more than the system but I should have said “Definitely was a part of it”. JJ’s system was designed to bend but dont break so I dont want to take that away from it. It seems to me that Billy Davis is hoping for the same.

          • Fly High

            I think the whole defense will likely be better cause they know each other and the scheme. In addition, I think Cox, Kendricks, and Wolff are all capable of huge jumps individually.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I love that there should actually be some competition in the secondary. Could possibly be amongst 3 of 5 spots (I’ve got Jenkins & Boykin as having their spots solidified). Up front, we’ll see competition mostly at the backup spots. I’m expecting Chip to give Smith every opportunity to prove himself in camp as a better option over Cole. May not happen that quickly, and I love Cole, but unfortunately father time catches up with everyone. That competition will be interesting to watch. Will Cole hold off the rookie or will the rookie’s athleticism and versatility catapult him in the coaches eyes?

          • Malcolm Jones

            He showed them Steelers tape…it sounds purposeful

          • Will

            The Steel Curtain had Talented player’s can Billy Davis say the same?

          • Maggie

            Took 4 to 5 years to build, though. Joe Greene drafted 1969, Jack Lambert drafted 1974.

          • Bakar Bey

            Any good to great d-coordinator should want a shutdown/shutout defense. The Broncos were almost shutout in that SB. THAT’S what a defense’s identity should be.

        • paul from nc

          I don’t like the bend/ don’t break defense. They need to get of the field, They were one of the worse teams on third down. I remember throwing things at the TV on a few 3rd and forevers.

          • PhillySean

            I’m not so sure that’s what they are going for with their defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been among the top 5 NFL defenses for 4 of the past 5 years(!) in terms of giving up the fewest total yards per game.

            Not going to judge the Eagles until they’ve gotten to the point where they aren’t stitching together a Frankenstein defense with leftovers from the 4-3 and/or Wide 9.

          • Malcolm Jones

            It was mostly because the pass rush was non-existent. With the threat of a sack, QB pressures or a Int, that wil change.

        • WorldPh_ingChamps

          RIP JJ– Even during the last year or two of JJ the D was in decline, but that was due to the cost cutting maintained by Banner by not resigning certain players or trading them off ( Trotter, Dawkins, Simon, Shepard, Brown, Al Harris)AND Reid’s/ Banner’s ineptitude in drafting good talent for the defensive side of the ball.

    • Kev_H

      I think those rookies have to feel good about themselves knowing what is expected of them and their teammates. It’s exciting to know that the standards are high and you were picked.

  • Anebriated

    Cant wait for training camp…

    http://instagram.com/p/oEp6X3OgTC/

  • Adam

    Pictured above: Chip Kelly walking his imaginary dog, who is also named Chip.

    • UncleCarm

      Chip: “A real dog? Are you kidding me, I don’t have time for a real dog… hold it, were you asking about Dallas…”

      • UKEagle99

        Reporter: Yes I was asking about Dallas. I asked do you think Romo’s back will slow him like a real dog?

    • PsychoPathetic1

      It’s not imaginary, it’s invisible

      • UKEagle99

        It’s not invisible, it’s out for an up tempo walk, the ‘blur’ walk. Just out of shot someone is holding a placard of Road Runner.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Mee-meep!

        • WorldPh_ingChamps

          Then comes the quadrant placard with Rocky, a cheese steak, the Liberty Bell and the year 1776….

  • Scott J

    This is why I never became a football player. I’m not smart enough.

  • UKEagle99

    I hear not even Beau Allen was big enough to tell Chip someone had cut his dog lead…

  • cliff henny

    never thought i’d like a coach more than Buddy Ryan. kelly’s really close, hang 50+ on ‘girls, punch Jones in the face,and win SB … i’ll name every dog of mine kelly or chip till i die.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Hahaha…My two dogs are named Phillie & Astro.

      I’m sure our local Anebriated friend will approve.

      • cliff henny

        mynext dog, shepherd, is either Dawkins or Hogan

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Mine are rescued mutts. Phillie is a female (alpha & protector) boxer/foxhound mix. Astro is a male (submissive) cattledog/red tick coonhound mix. We didn’t name Astro, but kept his name because he was 2yrs old when we got him and it kinda fit. The Phillies and their submissive farm team the Astros.

          • cliff henny

            hey, u intersted in seeing about brokering? have another guy getting set up. it’s simple, zero time constraints

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Something I’ve never tried & don’t necessarily know much about, but I’d be interested in learning & trying.

          • cliff henny

            dont even worry about that, i’ll walk you thru everything. only 2rules, never say no, never lie. my email is cliffhenny@hotmail.com. you’ll be fine, it’s not hard, just requires tough backbone.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Sounds good. Heading to bed. I’ll hit you up tomorrow via email.

    • BrettConnolly

      You mean Coach Score F-ing Points, What’s Your Plan?

  • Andy124

    So, since we all love murderleg, I’ve decided we need to really beat the murder horse to death. So, without further ado, your murderleg themed Eagles roster:

    Eagles – murderbirds
    Kelce – murderbeard
    Peters – murderblock
    Jordan Matthews – murderhands
    Huff – murderburst
    Shady – murdercut
    Cooper – murderlocks
    Foles – murdereyes
    Smith – murderrush
    Boykin – murderpick
    Beau Allen – murderhug
    Maclin – murderroute
    Sanchez – murderbutt
    Carey Williams – murdersconce
    Cole – murderdear
    Donnie Jones – murderfoot
    Dorenbos – murdersnap
    Sproles – murderback
    Casey Matthews – murderme (That’s for you Rich)

    • cliff henny

      awesome!
      kelly…murderkiffen

      • Andy124

        Can Kelly be murderbrain instead? I’m trying to stick to one syllable after murder. :)

        • cliff henny

          sure…murderjones

          • Andy124

            deal

          • Bakar Bey

            Lurie = murderjones (as in Jerry)

    • Maggie

      Hard to compete with excellence, but if I may add another, although sadly he is no longer here, – murderoops – Chung.

    • Scott

      Luckily Vick isn’t here or this thread would be heading down another (probably unintended) direction.

    • Bakar Bey

      You forget these great guys!

      Cole – murderbear or *murderdeer
      Kendricks – murderblitz
      Ryans – murderhit
      Lane Johnson – murderends
      Ertz – murdermatch
      Celek – murdercatch
      Barwin – murderjack (of all trades)
      Fletcher – murderpress
      Jenkins – murderhawk
      Wolff – murderwolff (duh!)
      Howie – murderdraft

      Now if only we can find a guy to be murderclutch, we might make a solid push through the playoffs! Hahaha, this was fun Andy.

      • Andy124

        Nice. Though I already had Cole as murderdeer up there. Great minds and whatnot.

        I also like murdertz for Ertz.

  • TNA

    Jordan (aka Murderprep): I am going to try to eat healthier than you.

    That’s a real quote. This guy, so far, is a dream fit for the Eagles.

    Is Blake Annen the next Jason Peters? Something tells me this is going to happen.