What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Albert Breer of NFL.com talks to an NFC scouting director about the Eagles:

“Can Nick Foles repeat his performance, and will the offense be as efficient with (defensive coordinators) having time to adjust? Defensively, can their corners match up? I’m not a big fan of their corner group; they need to get better. And last year was a conversion year, going to the 3-4. Will they make the jump other teams do in Year 2? … Most NFL teams play within the numbers. Chip makes you defend the entire field. He stretches you horizontally and vertically. He pressures you. How will defenses adjust?”

T-Mac linked to this in the Wake-Up Call, but it’s worth including again. Giants safety Antrel Rolle talked to ESPN about the state of the NFC East, via the Washington Post:

“I think if you have the right defensive scheme against the Eagles, you can definitely shut them down,” he said. “I think we displayed that in the second game we played them. As far as Washington, I think Washington has more weapons, and I think they added more weapons, especially to the offensive system. I think RGIII will definitely bounce back and have a better season this year. And defensively, I think they’ve added a lot of veteran leadership to their defense that’s gonna help them out a whole lot.”

Chris Burke of SI.com looks at points scored per offensive snap:

Not surprisingly, the Broncos lapped the field. Seeing the Eagles land at No. 3 in this particular ranking comes as no shock, either.

What occurred between those squads is unexpected, however, with Dallas landing second overall with a .415 points-per-play average. The Cowboys’ landing spot highlights two truths: 1. Generating more snaps may not be necessary to produce points — they ran just 957 offensive plays last season, least of any team in the league; 2. That scoring at an efficient rate matters little if a team’s defense cannot keep up.

Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN.com writes about Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and recalls Andy Reid’s decisions on that side of the ball with the Eagles:

When Johnson resigned in May 2009 (and died soon after), Reid turned the defense over to Sean McDermott and later Juan Castillo, with the numbers declining drastically (the Eagles finished lower than 20th in scoring defense three out of Reid’s last four years in Philadelphia). The Castillo era was especially disastrous, since Reid gave the job to a man who had been an offensive assistant for the previous 16 years; he ultimately fired him midway through the 2012 season.

What we learned about Reid late in his Eagles tenure was that he leaned heavily on Johnson’s savvy and wisdom. The head coach, like many brilliant offensive minds, gave his defensive coordinator the autonomy to do as he saw fit with that unit. That’s a great luxury when a coach has one of the best coordinators in football. It’s a different story when that same coach is putting his trust in a man who is still settling into the job, as Reid discovered with Castillo.

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is showing Dolphins players film of the Eagles, according to The Miami Herald:

Not only do Dolphins players say their new offense reminds them of Chip Kelly’s offense with the Eagles — where new coordinator Bill Lazor worked last season — but Lazor has been using video of theEagles offense as a teaching tool, according to receiver Rishard Matthews. There are some differences between the offenses.

“Last year, it was one-dimensional a little bit,” Matthews said of Mike Sherman’s approach. “This year, everybody loves the offense.”

ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. has his top-five prospects list out for 2015. One name you’re sure to hear connected to the Eagles next spring is Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Ekpre-Olomu is Kiper’s top-rated senior CB:

I think he would have been one of the first two corners taken in the 2014 draft had he come out. Ekpre-Olomu doesn’t have elite size — he’s roughly 5-foot-10 and about 195 pounds — but he makes up for it on tape, showing great instincts in coverage. He brings a physical nature when the play is in front of him, perhaps owing to his high school days as a two-way player who also starred at running back. Assuming he stays healthy, he’s a first-round talent.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld looks at reasons for optimism and skepticism for Zach Ertz in his second season. Here is the latter:

Ertz is a role player in a spread-the-wealth Eagles offense that has even more mouths to feed than last year’s unit. Kelly has a tendency to play matchups at tight end, utilizing Brent Celek more when Philly faces teams it believes are deficient in run defense, and sprinkling in Ertz when the Eagles want to beat opponents with the pass. Those consistency issues could continue to make Ertz difficult to project on a week-by-week basis. Ertz has been a poor blocker dating back to his Stanford days. Blocking can impact playing time, especially on a run-heavy team. Ertz is a good athlete, but not quite a great one. His 2013 Combine forty time (4.76) would’ve ranked sixth among tight ends at this year’s event, and his 9-foot-3 broad jump would’ve placed a lowly 16th. Ertz jumped 30 1/2″ vertically, a decidedly mediocre mark.

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  • TripSquadMonopoly

    Yeah mediocre Ertz…he wont do anything.

    • how are you not banned from these boards yet?

      • TripSquadMonopoly

        You care way too much..clearly sarcasm too buddy..You aren’t geagle stop trying nobody knows who you are.

        • cheapmeat

          I miss that crazy @sshole

          • cliff henny

            see comments, my man was on a roll

          • cheapmeat

            Haha, thanks. They let MediaMike back on, I wonder how long Geagle is banned for?

          • Maggie

            Just yesterday he was calling another male commenter by an ugly, vicious slang word for women’s body parts on Igglesblitz. The other commenter took exception, so who knows?

      • Johnny Domino

        I prefer shunning

  • Travis

    Antrel Rolle is an idiot. The Eagles had Matt Barkley playing QB-no wonder they shut us down. I can’t wait to see him get burned by Foles this year.

    • sprawl

      It’s not like we even gave Matt Barkley a week of 1st team reps to prepare. Giants did a great job stopping the run that game but I think continuity along our OL should help us when we face them next year

      • itachi007

        Antrel Rolle must have had a concussion in that game. They were playing an EAGLES team without Foles, an injured hammie in Vick, and a green Barkley. Look forward to the rematches this year.

    • Maggie

      I’m hardly a Giants fan but their players get questions thrown at them too, which they have to answer ad lib. They played 16 games last year, with Eli throwing the ball to the rest of the league and the NYC press vultures screaming at them, so it wouldn’t be fair to expect every Giant player to remember every play of every game. ;~D

    • kenkap

      Exactly. What a dope.

  • Chris

    Reid’s coaching tree was very impressive. I wonder if this is the start of Kelly’s coaching tree? Not that Lazor wasn’t around before Kelly, but the introduction of Chip’s concepts in another team’s offense could be where the seeds start getting planted.

    Don’t want to get ahead of myself, but this already disproves the doubters that thought Chip’s system wouldn’t have an effect on the NFL. I’ll be watching Miami closely this year to see how the offense works. Seems like it’d be tough to replicate what Kelly has done, considering he’s installed his concepts at an organizational level, as opposed to just one facet of the organization like MIA is doing. Football this year will be fun.

    • TripSquadMonopoly

      There is no way as dismal of a franchise as the dolphins they are going to apply his concepts to a T the way he would run them. I’m from south florida been watching them for awhile they are pretty much the equivalent of the cowgirls in mediocrity without the prissiness.

      • Chris

        That’s what i’m thinking – my point was more about the fact that they obviously aren’t able to employ his methods at an institutional level, so I imagine it would be like trying to play catch without a ball.

        I don’t see much of the Dolphins, so that is interesting news – what do you think about Tannehill?

        • TripSquadMonopoly

          Slightly above average will never amount to anything in Miami with their ownership and coaching.

      • Honest_T

        There is a lot of talent on the Fins squad, and while I expect they will show significant improvement on Offense, I think they will come up short because 1) getting the players to buy-in may be difficult and 2) their OL sucks and that is the straw that stirs the drink.

        Then again, since the Fins line can’t block anyway, maybe leaving guys unblocked by design will help them.

    • PhillySean

      If Chip Kelly has great success in Philly, I imagine that he’s going to end up with a very large coaching tree partially due to his strong preference for very intelligent players. Lots of guys on this team strike me as the type that would go from player to position coach, to coordinator and beyond.

      • Chris

        yea, that’s a great point regarding intelligence of the players. I could definitely see that

    • Maggie

      While Lazor can’t totally revamp the Miami Dolphins offensive approach in one year he does seem to have brought some freshness to that side of the ball. “This year, everybody loves the offense.” I never cared for the Dolphins but the players left from last year must feel like they’ve been given a new life.

  • Justin

    I like how Albert Breer started with “Can Nick Foles repeat his performance, and will the offense be as efficient with (defensive coordinators) having time to adjust?” and ended with “How will defenses adjust?”

    • jabostick

      To be fair, it was a scout talking.

      Also, while its a valid observation (about D’s adjusting), I love how every analyst who makes that point somehow neglects to mention that Chip might be adjusting as well. Maybe he’s anticipating defensive adjustments or implementing a more sophisticated offense.

      • Justin

        Chip’s entire offense is about hitting your weak spot. How do you adjust against that?

        • Andy124

          Theoritically, get better at hiding the weak spot. Shhh, don’t tell them that.

      • borntosuffer

        Yes. Remember when Shady couldn’t run when Foles started at QB? That didn’t last too long, did it? As long as Kelly has the proper tools on offense, the defenses will continually be “adjusting”.

        • John E. Zang

          Something no one is paying attention to is the issue with teams faking injury when we speed up tempo. How do you prove it? I say that they implement some sideline monitoring and threaten very hefty tolls for being caught (ie losing draft picks, suspensions etc.).

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Breer actually praised the Eagles in his article. That comment was from a scout. He (Breer) interviewed an AFC & NFC scout in regards to their views on the Eagles

  • Wes Hopkins

    I don’t give a damn about the skepticism regarding Ertz. As Eagles fans, we know about the skepticisms already. I want to read the POSITIVE aspects of the analysis. When will you Philly sportswriters understand we like hearing the positive analyses coming from national or non-local scribes – and prefer it to the negative analyses?

    • CrackSammich

      I don’t give a damn about the skepticism regarding Sheil’s writing. As Eagles
      fans, we know about the skepticisms already. I want to read the
      POSITIVE aspects of the analysis. When will you Philly commenters
      understand we like hearing the positive analyses coming from national or
      non-local scribes – and prefer it to the negative analyses?

      • Maggie


  • Pennguino

    Silva is dead on. All but the run-heavy team comment. We are a pass first team.

    Ertz has 31 3/4 T-Rex arms and less than 10″ hands for a guy that is 6’5″. He will more than likely never be a focal point of the offense, 70 catch kind of guy. He may squeak into the 3rd position.

    Most likely he will be 4th or 5th on the team in catches. 2 WR, RB, then he may beat out another catcher for 4th. He has to compete with the defense (pass or rush, weak LB’s or Weak Safeties), scheme (spread the ball, open man), personnel competition (competing with Celek, Mathews, Smith, Sproles, Huff) for the scraps.

    • uh….your first line is pretty off-base. Chip is clearly run-first.

      • Pennguino

        Run the numbers. Unless my Jethro Bodine gazintas are off, we were a pass heavy offense.

        • OldDocRoss
          • Pennguino

            yea huh.
            Just glossing over the first numbers you see don’t tell you everything. Look deeper into the numbers. You have to understand that pass attempts are only one measurable for pass plays.
            Per NFL.COM
            508 pass attempts
            500 rush attempts
            of the 500 rush attempts, 34 were listed as scrambles (play by play analysis each game).
            508 + 34 = 542
            500 – 34 = 466
            There were also 45 sacks to add to the mix. A total of 587 pass plays compared to 466 run plays. That’s a 1053 plays.
            Roughly 56% of our plays were designed pass plays.

            If my numbers are off or if I doubled up please provide your data. I got no problem being wrong if my numbers are off.

          • aub32

            You do realize that running the ball 44% of the time counts as being a run heavy offense in 2014.

          • cliff henny

            plus, bet eagles were way up there is play action passes. know FOles stats are out of this world good. Eagles are a running team, first and foremost

          • Pennguino

            Exactly. Play action passes are pass plays not run plays. They still passed 10% more than they run.

          • cliff henny

            sorry Penn, think you are way wrong. the fact that Eagles were extremely successful in P/A pass is because teams knew they were run first team. it all goes together.

          • Pennguino

            I understand what you are saying. I really do. But if I forget perception and what I think I see or feel, and just show me the results, what do I see? I see a team that actually passed more than it ran.

            The perception of we run more than we pass is real but not reality. Going from Andy to Chip adds more weight to the perception of running (yes, CK runs more than AR). The effectiveness of our runs adds weight to the perception. The QB zone read option adds weight to the perception. Having the most prolific running QB of all times added to that perception. Having the slowest QB of all time (kidding) run the read option adds to the perception. Having the rushing leader adds tremendous weight to the perception.

            After you strip away all of the fluff and boil it down, the end result is we pass more than we run. I am not arguing that we run more compared to the rest of the league. That never was the point I was making.

          • NickS1

            Read the whole thread. It’s really a semantics game and you’re refusing to surrender. We are a “run-heavy team”. The designation of “run-heavy” is relative to other offenses across the league based on play-callling trends, whether you want to accept it or not. It’s pretty much universally accepted that that’s what the term means. If the quote stated that our play calling is dominated by run plays, then you’d be right, because we would need to be running the ball on 50.1% or more of our plays to meet that standard.

          • Harpy Eagle

            Spin it any way you want in your own mind but it doesn’t change the facts. If you are going to subtract qb scrambles as ‘called’ pass plays then every read option call should be counted as a run play even if they end up passing. The first read is whether or not to hand the ball off so by your own ‘logic’ they are all called run plays.

          • Pennguino

            No. It’s not.

          • Kev_H

            It’s the Andy Reid hangover. To longtime Eagle fans it feels like all running.

          • aub32

            So we are top 5 in rushing attempts per game, but we aren’t a run heavy team? I think you are just having a hard time admitting you’re wrong on this one. By your standards no team in the league would be considered a run heavy team.

          • Pennguino

            You are comparing them to other teams. I am not. The article did not..

          • OldDocRoss

            Even if you pretend every other team in the league had zero sacks and zero scrambles, the Eagles *still* had the 13th highest run/pass ratio (55.7%) in the league.

            You’re just wrong on this one I’m afraid.

          • Pennguino

            You are comparing them to other teams. I am not. The article did not.

          • John E. Zang

            Don’t mean to butt into this debate gone astray here but how do you gather a team is “run heavy” by comparing them to themselves? It’s just implied you’re talking about the rest of the league when you’re mentioning these stats. And I think it’s obvious that Chip Kelly’s offense is predicated on the run opening up everything else. That’s not to say he strictly believes in the run. If you’re close to balanced it means you’re attacking teams the right way and taking advantage of opportunity more. He’s an equal opportunity play caller.

          • OldDocRoss

            Your numbers are off because:

            1. You’d have to do the same thing to every other team in the league. If you did, Eagles would still be among the most run heavy.
            2. What constitutes a “scramble” in Kelly’s (or any) offence can be fairly subjective.
            3. The Eagles use a huge amount of play-action, the run being the basis for setting up the pass.
            4. The Eagles run a bunch of packaged plays where they’ll throw a quick bubble screen if the D sells out on the run.

          • Pennguino

            1. Silva’s statement does not reference the Eagles compared to other teams. Based on the Eagles offense, they run pass plays 10% more than they run run plays. This has nothing to do with other teams. His statement of “especially on a run-heavy team” is what I was addressing.
            2. Somewhat true. No one knows what the play call was. But you are only talking maybe 3-4 plays that could go either way. Still not enough to change the statement.
            3. Has nothing to do with the statement.
            4. Has nothing to do with the statement.

          • OldDocRoss

            Of course it’s relative to other teams in the league! Implicit in any statement about a team being run or pass heavy is the addendum “relative to other teams in the league at present”.

            The Eagles call run plays on a higher percentage of occasions than the majority of other teams. They also need the run to be working for many other aspects of their offence to function. It’s that simple.

            By your reckoning somebody who has pizza for 45% of all of their meals doesn’t have a “pizza heavy” diet, because hey, they don’t have pizza 10% more often than they do!

          • Pennguino

            Once again you are comparing a person or a team to other people or teams. He did not.

            The Eagles had more pass plays than they did run plays.

            If you want to debate the Eagles run/pass vs the league, go ahead.

          • OldDocRoss

            I am saying he doesn’t need to explicitly say “relative to other teams in the league” because it’s obvious (seemingly to everyone other than you) what he meant.

            By your logic you can’t say anyone was blitz heavy last year unless you add “relative to other teams in the league!”.

        • Wow, I see what thread turned into, yikes, dude 1 year data on his first team with inherited players does not define his philosophy. Chip has said in fewer words that if teams didnt compensate, he’d hand the ball off all game. Sheil and Tim have showed as much these 12 months.
          If anything, that was a pass heavy year for him

          • NickS1

            Right on. See my post below, too. He clearly doesn’t understand what a “run-heavy” offense means as opposed to play calling being dominated by the run.

        • IAteLunchToday

          All this arguing is unnecessary. Chip is an equal opportunity scorer. The plays are based off of what the defense shows. I would think that the defenses feared the run/more in the box so they passed. If they had more people out they would have run it more. It’s really not complicated. The plan is just to f*cking score points man.

          • DLRJ

            Just for the record, Jacksonville led the league in punts last year with 95 punts, but they don’t really punt that much because we aren’t comparing them to other teams, and they only punted on about 9% of plays. Very light-punting team.

    • Cliff Ainley

      Measureables aren’t everything. The totality of your comments is laughable…

      • Pennguino

        I agree. Measurables aren’t everything. I like the way he runs his routes and has a knack for getting open.

        What do you find laughable? What are your expectations for him?

    • PhillySean

      You should spend some time on fishduck dot com.

      • Pennguino

        I like Ertz, but I don’t see him as a focal point for this offense.

        • PhillySean

          I was thinking more of how Kelly sets up the passing game with devastating running plays courtesy of the inside zone read. I don’t think fishduck has anything Ertz related on their site.

          • Pennguino

            Oh ok. I have seen some of his videos. I agree his zone read scheme does allow for a RB to gash you really hard making the defense commit to stopping the run.

  • Amar

    I think the ‘right defensive scheme’ against the Eagles is the one that does not have Antrel Rolle in it.

  • Scott J

    Lets hope Ertz doesn’t have to broad jump further than 9′ 3″!

  • cliff henny

    don’t get the ‘defense will adjust’ thinking. outside of Wash 1st game, most teams knew what the Eagles were going to do. it’s not like Kelly had a whole bunch of options, was either vick, shady (really really run heavy) and jax early in season and later was shady, jax and cooper (really run heavy with FOles spreading ball around). I seriously doubt the DCs after 2 or 3 weeks of film were like Henry Winkler in Waterboy, having no idea what was going on. Kelly freely admits it’s 4 run plays, that’s it, and they aren’t changing this year either. have no idea what DCs are ‘figuring out’ passing wise, cause that’s been revamped. if teams think single high 1v1 on outside is the answer, Eagles are hanging 50 a lot. sure Kelly still has nightmares he had a team getting stopped by that defense.
    it’s very simply, can you stop Shady with 6 in box? if not, better hope your safety or 3rd/4th CB can tackle 1v1 against a most likely superior athlete or LB can cover TE or RB running away from him. oh yeah, you wont be lined up correctly and probably tired from pace.

  • aub32

    Unrelated but does anyone know when the training camp schedule will be released?

    • Maggie

      Don’t know if it’s exactly what you want, but pe.com has preseason games on the schedules page.

  • cliff henny

    LOLSKins Hatcher is having knee surgery. think if Eagles can just stay upright they’ll walk to division title

  • anon

    Thanks for braving the head to give us practice coverage. I saw the same Cary Williams photo last week. Unless he’s saying something salacious I don’t need to see that ugly mug.

    What’s going on at cheerleading practice? Can the intern give us some coverage?

  • Voice Of Reason

    I wonder where CG25 has been? He’ll probably come out of his basement once the preseason starts and his mom lets him use the house computer.

  • Crimzin

    Somebody should probably remind Antrel Rolle that Matt Barkley was playing quarterback in that game he’s talking about.

  • Sconces

    Breer is NOT a national writer, he’s just a dumbass Patriots fan with sources.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Not to defend him, but I read the article. Breer praised the Eagles and Chip Kelly in it. The scouts he interviewed were the ones less optimistic.

      • Sconces

        Yeah I know but he isn’t knowledgeable on anything not in New England.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Ohio State & American Airlines…lol.

  • John E. Zang

    Haha you can just smell the fear and jealousy coming from Antrelle Rolle. No clue why he started gushing about the Redskins (division rival). It’s not like people didn’t know what this offense was doing either. There’s no trickery, it’s strait-up design. And yeah Mr. Rolle, you’ll have a chance if Matt Barkley is under center. But then again maybe an extra year in this offense will give him a good chance to beat the Giants. Does anyone else sense what a lame-duck coach Coughlin is this season? He’s doomed.

  • DanaCrispovi

    Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
    on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­


    Antrel Rolle. . . Seriously?