On Kelly, DeSean And Press Coverage

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

More than three months after Chip Kelly said DeSean Jackson was released for football reasons, the Eagles’ head coach subtly clarified what he meant.

On the final question of a press conference last week, Kelly was asked about Riley Cooper. After praising Cooper’s ball skills, he offered up some fascinating insight about where he sees the league going at the wide receiver position.




"The fact that he's a 230‑pound receiver, it's tough to be really, truly physical and keep him pinned on the line of scrimmage," Kelly said. "Now in this league, it's continuing to go that way. Two of the best corners, Patrick Peterson, a guy that just signed an outstanding contract who I think is one of the tops in the league, [and] Richard Sherman, probably the two best guys are both big, physical corners and they'll try to beat you up on the line of scrimmage.

"If you can't get off the line of scrimmage, you're done. Moving towards that, I think the corners are getting bigger in this league, and the wideouts are getting bigger in this league. But that’s one of Riley's strengths is his ability to get off that stuff. No one's going to get off clean and just be running like you said down the field with no one around him for 4 or 5 yards. When the ball is up, you have to be able to go get it. Having a 6-4 guy that's 230 pounds, it helps."

Beating press coverage has been a focus at training camp. During one drill, cornerbacks line up directly across from wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. There's no pass involved. The defenders simply work on their technique, jamming the receivers, and the receivers do the same, working on their releases.

Asked if there's an added emphasis on winning vs. press coverage this year, Jeremy Maclin said, "Absolutely."

Added Nick Foles: "Definitely. Man coverage in this league, DBs are pretty talented, you're gonna see man coverage, and you have to be able to beat it. And that's where you also have to be able to place the ball really well. And we saw it last year. That's one of the things we learned last year and we started getting the hang of it, but definitely, we're seeing some man from our defense right now.

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur explained that the biggest changes from the Oregon offense to the Eagles offense were the result of facing more man coverage at the NFL level.

While many around these parts are tired of talking about Jackson, any meaningful conversation about what Kelly wants at wide receiver has to include his name. In the first (and only) year of their partnership, Jackson piled up 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. He was one of three receivers to catch 80+ balls, average at least 16.0 YPR and score nine TDs (Calvin Johnson and Josh Gordon were the others). Attempts to knock Jackson's 2013 production are silly.

But like all receivers, he has strengths and weaknesses. Jackson lined up all over the formation, was fantastic with the ball in his hands and threatened defenses vertically like few others. Given his size, though, beating press coverage was not always Jackson's strength. We went back and looked at all 85 of his catches from a year ago (playoffs included), and only 15 came against press coverage.

There were a couple factors at work. One was that some corners were hesitant to play bump and run because if they lost at the line of scrimmage, they were done. Defenses frequently played with one high safety, and if Jackson had a step early in his route, he could do damage on home run plays downfield.

Another factor was that Kelly did what all good coaches do: He tried to put his players in positions to succeed. With Jackson, that sometimes meant taking away the defense's ability to press him:

desean1_0804

Here you see a bunch look. It's man coverage, but the cornerback can't press Jackson because of alignment and formation.

Jackson also lined up in the backfield more and more towards the end of the season. This was especially effective against the Vikings:

desean2_940

The truth is, you don't get rid of a receiver like Jackson just because he sometimes needs help in getting free. You just give him that help. Not every cornerback is Sherman or Peterson, and Jackson showed that in this scheme he can be a weapon. While the "buying in" stuff remains vague, clearly there were other factors at work, and if Jackson were a Kelly guy, he'd still be here.

But still, Kelly's obsession is with scoring points, and there does seem to be a football aspect to the decision.

"Overall, we tried to get bigger at the receiver spot," he told Ross Tucker and Bill Polian during a recent Sirius XM interview. "Riley Cooper is 6-4. He's 227. Jeremy Maclin's 6-1, he's 200. I don't think we have a receiver... we have one receiver now on our roster that's under 200 pounds.

"But it's a big, physical league. I know there's an emphasis on defensive holding and pass interference they're talking about, but you can't rely on the call. You better be physical and be able to get off of press and get off of jam, and there's some real big... the trend on the defensive side is you're going to bigger corners - the Richard Shermans of the world. We played the Cardinals and you see Patrick Peterson come out. He's 220 pounds playing corner. There's some big guys out there, and we felt like we needed to get bigger at receiver."

It's an idea that Greg Cosell of NFL Films wrote about in a Yahoo Sports column earlier this offseason:

However, in this era of taller and bigger wide receivers, the concept of separation has changed. Distance between receiver and corner does not necessarily have to be the defining criterion. The ability to use your long or wide body against shorter and smaller corners has become just as valuable an attribute, especially with more and more man-to-man coverage being played.

Separation is not the defining characteristic needed for them to be dangerous receiving threats. What throw has become such a critical part of the NFL game?: the back shoulder fade. The back shoulder throw is almost impossible to defend against big, physical wideouts like Evans and Benjamin; corners cannot defend two routes, and they must play the deep ball first, so a well-executed back shoulder throw to a big-bodied wide receiver is a tactical nightmare for even the best of corners.

Again, it's not just about size, and Kelly took a serious gamble by unloading Jackson for nothing in return.

But if you combine his comments with the focus on back shoulder throws and the fact that beating man coverage appears to be Kelly's obsession, there appears to be more validity to the football reasons argument now than there was three months ago.

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.

  • John J. King

    Getting no return was a shame but something must’ve alerted the other teams that prevented them from offering even a late round draft pick.

    • anon

      expensive contract that he didn’t want to renegotiate. plus everyone knew they were going to drop him, so that made it suspicious and took away and leverage. A straight player trade would have been nice. but whatever Reds got a steal on that one we’ll see how they use it.

      • Erdessy

        DeSean DID want to renegotiate his contract. That was one of the issues. Remember he made comments after the Saints loss that he wanted a new deal? His old deal was a lot of money but none of it was guaranteed. He knew Eagles would not pay him in 2015 as salary was too high so he would be cut (it just so happens they cut him one year early). Eagles were also afraid that even though he would have been making $10M in 2014, he would have been unhappy with the contract and the last time he was unhappy with his contract he took the year off and did not try.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          He wanted a new deal with the Eagles. He wasn’t renegotiating to facilitate a trade. There’s a difference.

          • KobraKai7474

            But the fact that an already (arguably) overpaid guy…. a guy who admitted he’d let his contract situation effect his play in the past…. was talking about renegotiation after one good (but not problem-free) season WAS a problem. If Jackson had truly been a good soldier and team player last year AND had put up the numbers he did, he would be an Eagle today. No question about it.

          • anon

            Yeah they could have kept him this year and made him a cap casualty.

            But i think reality is that there was enough of the field stuff that no one on the team was really surprised.

          • KobraKai7474

            Totally agree. I think the more Kelly, et. al. thought about it and evaluated it, the more they realized that the great things he brings on the field didn’t quite offset the negative things (on and off the field).

          • anon

            They would have had better luck overpaying for Byrd, then saying desean had to move for cap reasons (like sproles).

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            But by cutting him this year they get to save the cap space now and roll it over, so they gain double the cap space in the end.

            Since this is a broken record topic, I’ll give the broken record response:

            It wasn’t just the money, it wasn’t just the size, it wasn’t just the attitude. The Eagles evaluated all those factors and probably some others, like additional playing time for young WRs and decided that when you put it all together, the odds of winning a SuperBowl were better without that combination of factors than with them.

          • aub32

            He had 2 good years. One was stopped short by injury, but he was playing very well. Also, he answered a question. What was he supposed to say. Fans love to have it both ways. They want players to be honest but only when it’s what they want to hear. Had he have had 2 bad to mediocre years, the team would have demanded he renegotiate for less money. So I do not see how he was wrong for wanting a new deal.

          • Kev_H

            Players get asked that question every day and it’s never an issue. You think a veteran would have a handle on answering the easily foreseeable questions.

          • aub32

            What did he say wrong is my question. He said he was deserving of a new deal. He gave the impression that he wanted to stay in Philly. He just wanted the team to commit to him long term. Plenty of vets give that response all the time.

          • KobraKai7474

            I wouldn’t say any man… and not just a football player… is wrong to try and maximize his salary. We all do it and we all agree that is what we should be doing regardless of our profession so I don’t fault him at all… whether he was speaking off the cuff after an emotional loss or if he truly intended to seek a raise. However, like every action we take in life, there are consequences. Personally, I don’t think the statement after the Saints game was the only reason he was let go… or even a major reason. It was just one of many reasons, and I think it was that full list of reasons taken as a whole that led to his release. If one or two of the items on “the list” had not been there (say, if his salary was a bit lower or his attitude was a bit better or if he was slightly more willing downfield blocker, etc., etc., etc.), I think we would be watching Jackson practicing for the Birds right now, and that would be fine if he was. I am not a Jackson hater, but I still support the decision to release him.

          • aub32

            I agree with you except for the blocking. He was a willing blocker. He just wasn’t always able.

          • Erdessy

            Yes, he wanted that new deal with the Eagles. I don’t think I said otherwise. But he certainly wanted to renegotiate with his new team as well, in fact that was a given. Although that would have been a deal in his favor and not to try and “facilitate” a trade. But what he wanted was not more money, just more guaranteed money (basically the deal he got from the skins). Either way, the birds blew it a little by not keeping him at least through the draft. May have seemed less desperate and teams may not have been able to get the guy in the draft they wanted and maybe would have given up a late rounder. Shoot, even if it was a 2015 7th round pick, at least you could have controlled where he went and therefore not have him wind up in the NFC East. I don’t mind losing him but not in love with the fact he is in the NFC East. But I trust Chip so we’ll see how it goes.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            I think there’s a disconnect here. What anon was saying is that he wasn’t going to renegotiate to facilitate a trade. He didn’t want to go anywhere and wasn’t going to agree to less money for the Eagles to move him when he didn’t really want to go.

          • anon

            Exactly.

    • PaoliBulldog

      Well, if DJax hadn’t broadcast his desire to renegotiate the contract he had signed in 2012, someone might have been willing to give up a pick just to acquire him for a known salary. But every GM in the league knew DJax wanted a new deal, so they had no reason to give up anything. I think that, not the Crips stuff, made Djax’s release inevitable.

      • aub32

        I doubt any team that traded for him was going to want him on his current deal anyway. So him wanting a new deal didn’t hinder things much. In fact, he could have made himself more tradable had he inked a new deal, but my guess is he wanted to decide where to go and was hoping the Eagles would keep him if they couldn’t find a trade partner.

      • John J. King

        You could be right. He was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. My best guess is that his money push + being stuffed in a few games led Chip to say g’bye. The crips stuff was there at Cal and it wasn’t an issue.

  • CHRIS – CB with dreads

    To me, this also answers the question we’re always asking about why they refuse to play Boykin on the outside.

    • anon

      Yeah i think that would have been a better way to go with the story.

    • miketd1

      The scheme we play also allows Boykin to do a variety of things that he wouldn’t be able to do locked up on a receiver on the outside. Playing inside allows him to threaten to blitz, double, spy, and rob all at once.

      • aub32

        or line up and play OLB…..ugh….WHY???

        • miketd1

          BB is an instinctively gifted player. Instinctive players traditionally played safety, but offenses are changing and so too is the role of the nickle back. You need someone that can cover the scatbacks (Wes Welker), the TE monsters (Jimmy Graham), and power slot receivers (Victor Cruz). You also need someone who can stick their nose to fill a gap and keep up with Cam, Russell, and Kaepernick. We usually play Cover-3 so on one side you have a safety and on the other side you have Boykin. No matter where the play is run, you’ll have versatility — and it’s no secret that our D coordinator wants to be able to flip coverages without flipping personnel.

  • TNA

    Just a thought – if Momah can’t stick it at WR but can play ST, I wonder if he can be eventually converted to a DB…no idea if he can tackle or cover of course, but he has decent speed and would be an umbrella over most receivers if he’s within spitting distance.

    • anon

      I would say ok if he was a great route runner with terrible hands, but i don’t think that’s the case.

    • aub32

      Guys his size usually have trouble coming out of their breaks and having loose hips.

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    Gonna be a closed casket service for this poor dead horse.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      until the question is answered on the field. so, like 5 months.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        This is going well into next offseason. I’d put the o/u on articles comparing the WRs this year to last at 4.5. I’m taking the over on that, too. With how slow offseason is, we’re definitely getting at least 5 articles on how the WRs were different schematically and statistically in 2014 v 2013.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          on a blog with daily content? Waaaayyyyy over. You’ll get 5 of those stories even if we win the superbowl.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Well sue me for being conservative! Sometimes we only get one a day for a couple weeks at a time and none on Sundays. I’ll put that 4.5 at 9.5. And now I don’t know if I want to keep the over.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            its a bet.

  • KobraKai7474

    The simple fact that not a single team was willing to give up even a nominal draft pick for DeSean Jackson speaks volumes. Yes, he can do things on the field that only a very select few can do… but there also things…. things that Chip Kelly considers very important to his particular system… that Jackson simply could not or would not do. Physical corners made him disappear, and, unfortunately, the best teams… the teams that make the playoffs… tend to have the best corners so Jackson was particularly prone to “disappearing” exactly when he was most needed. He was also an indifferent blocker (and that is being kind) in a system that puts great value on downfield blocking. Finally…. and this isn’t just a DeSean Jackson thing so I am not claiming he is the only player like this… he is simply not a team player and Chip Kelly puts great value on the team concept. If the Terrell Owens saga taught us anything it’s that one particularly loud, particularly me-first, particularly salary-obsessed player CAN destroy an entire team… an entire Super Bowl worthy team. All that being said, it makes total sense to decide up front that DeSean Jackson is not the guy we want to invest $10+ million in 2014 and move on. Will there be times this year when we will watch Washington highlights and shake our heads in wonder at something amazing Jackson did? Probably. Will there be times this year when we will see Washington highlights and think to ourselves, “Thank God he’s their problem and not ours”. Probably. The bottom line is that, when the Eagles are truly ready to compete for a Super Bowl (and that might only be a season or two away at this point), they will be a better team and more likely to make (and dare I say, win) the Super Bowl WITHOUT DeSean Jackson.

    • aub32

      Your simple fact isn’t really that simple. Why wold teams trade for DeSean when the Eagles came out and announced that they were willing to cut him if they could not trade him. His contract was also not very trade friendly, especially when you consider how late into FA he was put onto the trade block. Plus that dumb gang story was the nail in the coffin after everything that happened with Hernandez last year.

      You need to go look at stats of other WRs. They all have games where they “disappear”. Do you think Megatron got at least 60 yards each game? Go take a look. You may find the results surprising.

      • KobraKai7474

        If a defensive coordinator makes it his business to “stop” somebody, he can do it. If a coordinator decides he is not going to let Calvin Johnson beat him, he can accomplish it. He can double him on every play with his biggest, most physical corner in his face jamming him like crazy at the line and a safety there to pick him up if he gets past the corner plus the other safety shading over to give additional over the top help. But, if that opens up the field for the rest of the Lions’ offense to run wild, then, Calvin Johnson is still playing an integral part in the win just by going hard every play and doing the other things little things (like blocking) even if he doesn’t catch a pass. DeSean Jackson is simply not that kind of player. It is not his fault and it doesn’t make him any less of a useful NFL player…. it just means that he not worth quite as much as the truly great NFL wide receivers and, for better or worse, he was being paid like one (and was making noise for even MORE money). Again the Eagles may not be better off in 2014 without DeSean Jackson, but they WILL be better off in 2015 and beyond and I am fine with a coach willing to make those kinds of decisions with the long view in mind.

        • aub32

          He didn’t want more money. He wanted guaranteed money so that he couldn’t just be cut at any time. Ironic huh. He also is one of those guys that teams say “We are not going to let him beat us.” Is he on Johnson’s level? No. Was he the #1 guy that teams had to worry about last year? No. Shady was. However, he helped everyone in the pass game. He also helped Shady in the run game. Go look at a few of Shady’s walk in TDs. The S and LB both take a misstep because they are keying in on DeSean. Pay should be for production, not height. He had top 10 production last year. So he was worth the money. People are so quick to point out how Foles, Ertz and others ahould be better in year 2 of this scheme. Last year was Jackson’s first year too. So he might have actually been better this year.

  • aub32

    If getting bigger was such a focus for this offense, why were the Eagles linked to Cooks in multiple reports. I just heard another account (Adam Caplan) a few weeks ago stating how much the Eagles wanted Cooks. Sheil, could you ask about the links to Cooks and how that plays into the getting bigger at WR mantra?

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Not saying it’s the reason, but I’d guess that since cooks is 190ish and much more “rocked up” he has the ability to be more physical than DeSean ever could.

      • CHRIS – CB with dreads

        Yea, Cooks is small but great athlete and a different breed than djax

        • aub32

          DeSean isn’t a great athlete? I get Nick’s answer, but yours doesn’t make much sense. How is he a different breed? The dude hasn’t played a down in the NFL. Both guys are ridiculous athletes.

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            I guess my wording was a little off – obviously djax is a great athlete, love him, have his jersey – but djax is all speed. Cooks is a bit thicker and tougher and seems to have speed to go with it, but that is going off of college tape.

            In this case, by breed i meant build. poor wording. Same size, one is thicker than other and looks much more muscular.

            And you are correct, cooks has no NFL experience so it will be a few years before we can accurately judge.

          • aub32

            Ok that makes more sense. I just didn’t get what you were saying previously. Like I said, I do agree that’s a valid point. I just don’t get why not keep DeSean in case we didn’t get Cooks? There would have been no need to keep them both, and Cooks size may make him an upgrade over Jackson in the future, while allowing this offense to do some of the things that worked so well last year. Even with the addition of Huff and Matthews, you’d have a hard time trying to convince DeSean wouldn’t start and out produce every WR on this team if he were still here.

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            at this point my only guess is the unknown – that there was something chemistry-related (locker room, off-field habits, work ethic, etc.) that Chip didn’t want around anymore. Don’t know if we’ll ever really find out, but the type of high-character players they’ve drafted just adds fuel to that fire.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            So, Cooks is a poor man’s Huff.

            Homerism FTW!

      • Kev_H

        Exactly. Jackson has a slender build. Cooks is more of a fireplug. I think he could be tough to jam.

    • TheAnswer333

      Let’s see….hmmm this ones tough to figure out. Oh wait, no it’s not. Maybe the reports were off base? Yeah that could be it.

      • aub32

        I doubt that. There were a lot of reports and the Saints trade makes a lot of sense when factoring in the Eagles wanted Cooks. Also, Caplan knows the Eagles very well. I am much more inclined to trust him than you just saying it was all a ruse based on absolutely nothing.

        • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

          Maybe the Eagles put up a smokescreen knowing the Saints wanted Cooks. Maybe they were happy to see a conference opponent (who happened to end their season) lose a bit of ammunition in order to get the player they wanted.

          Just a conspiracy theory type thought.

          • aub32

            Again, I refer to Caplan. He usually sees through those being that he’s close to the organization. Plus he said it in July. That’s one heck of a smokescreen.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            Like I said, just the conspiracy theory thought of the day. If anyone could pull off the planning behind a smokescreen like that it’d be Chip and Howie.

    • PhillySean

      Same team’s head coach said “I love the kid” when talking about Johnny Football and then traded away the pick that would have secured him. I don’t put a lot of stock in rumors about pre draft interest in a particular player.

      • aub32

        That’s completely different though. Why would he draft Johnny when we have Foles? We clearly were targeting WRs. We didn’t draft a single QB. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

        • PhillySean

          Is it that different?
          If you covet a certain player, it’s to your advantage to create the perception that you covet another. If you do it right, people just might look at each other and say “who?!?” after you announce your first round draft pick.

          Edited to add: Cooks certainly would have made more sense than Manziel for the Eagles, not disputing that.

          • aub32

            Not the same with QBs. You know this. I don’t have to explain how different the QB position is, especially when you’re talking about a QB in the first round. We had way too many needs to draft a QB at 22.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

      I know you’ve gotten a lot of info already, but here are a few links if you’re still curious.

      http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/eagles/Eagles-notes-Brandin-Cooks-review-Chips-recruits-and-DeMarcus-Ware-in-Philly.html

      http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/red_zone/Oregon-State-WR-Brandin-Cooks-thinks-he-can-do-it-like-DeSean-Jackson-and-do-it-better.html

      (kempski had a big crush on him)

      and FWIW, i agree with Nick/Chris in that Cooks is much more physical than DJax, and even as a 1st rounder is still younger/cheaper

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        Is one of those links the one where Chip specifically states that you make exceptions to the big people thing for special players? I don’t remember for sure, but it sure seemed like we was alluding to Cooks when he said that.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

          nah, not in those, I thought I remembered that being a post-draft quote; I think Howie said something similar about him as well.
          when I went back and looked to double-check, I did notice in the combine #s that Cooks measured 20+ lbs heavier than Djax at the combine. That’s pretty huge, considering they’re about the same height (and just as fast)

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Yup. So there’s another couple straws on the camel’s back.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            tell you what, I’m making sure to grab Cooks and Matthews in FFL this year.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I do like Cooks in that offense more than I like him here. Especially for FF. It’s a more pass happy offense with fewer receiving alternatives and a slightly better qb… for now. :)

            But here, I think Ertz will be keeping Matthews (and Cooks if he were here) off the field more than a fantasy owner would like.

          • aub32

            I disagree. I would have loved Cooks here. We already saw the blueprint last year. He has the long speed that still remains the question with Matthews, and he, Shady, and Sproles could have lined up everywhere. Also, the extra weight you pointed out earlier could have made him a better blocking option than Jackson.

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            I agree. If he was still there when we picked my money is on Cooks over Smith

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            My oft-stated desire for a 6’2″+ 200lbs+ WR aside, my comment was in regards to Cooks here vs. Cooks in NO. I stated my case for why I thought NO is a better fit for Cooks than Phi.

            Cooks here vs. Matthews here is something else entirely and when in doubt, I’m going to favor the guy we’ve got. I’m not really a grass-is-greener kind of guy.

          • aub32

            I didn’t disagree with your reason. Just wanted to offer mine. Cooks was high on my wish list after we released Jackson. I like to play the grass is greener game while it’s all still projection. We will find out what happens once these guys hit the field.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I didn’t disagree…

            I must have misunderstood your first two words:

            I disagree.

            lol. You know that’s funny.

          • aub32

            caught me. I meant you had a good point on why he would work with the saints. I do not disagree with that. I would have liked him here better. Sorry for the confusion.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            It’s all good. That was just really, really funny to me. And I get your point as well, makes perfect sense. It’s not like there’s a right and wrong here. I’m sure Matthews v Cooks comparisons will pop up from time to time over the years, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            yea, not a bad consolation.
            in 1on1’s today….

            Jordan Matthews makes a catch over Malcolm Jenkins. Even Jenkins applauds after play. Players have noticed Matthews — way he plays, works— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 4, 2014

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Better how? Foles broke all of Brees’ high school passing records!

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            me too.

    • TOm W

      Cooks is jacked and more like a steve smith or even josh huff. runs through contact unlike djax. and played well against press coverage last year in college.

  • Explorer51

    Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that CK brought up two CBs, Peterson and Sherman, that the Eagles will be facing this year…maybe even twice if Eagles get into playoffs. Mix in the “$10M is not enough” stance, his annual disappearance in the playoffs…not hating here, just check career stats…and the immature drama distractions don’t seem to match the team building approach of Kelly.

    I agree with Sheil with the football factors he noted in his last paragraph and yes it’s a gamble. But this time last year, just about everything Kelly did was considered a gamble by both press and fans alike; clearly he’s going to do it his way whether we like it or not.

  • Kev_H

    Whoa! Sheil. You spend half or more of the article clealy making the case that Kelly’s release of Jackson was a football decision. Or…I guess all of this focus on beating press coverage is just a CYA ruse??? Then you conclude “there does seem to be a football aspect to the decision”?!?! Stubborn much? Kelly might have been wrong, who knows? But his obsession is with winning post season games more than scoring points and he obviously concluded he could do better without Jackson in that regard.

    The article goes on to emphasize a point I made in the spring. It’s one thing if the defense has to adjust their schemes for specific players, but it is a whole other (limiting) thing if the offense has to. You certainly lose some of the element of surprise if you have to go through all sorts of formations just to get your top receiver down field unabated.

    • NineseveN

      This.^

      None of us really know what Kelly ultimately wants to do with the offense (though we have some idea). We know that blocking and being physical at the line to beat man coverage are 2 of the more important aspects of what he wants to accomplish. He’s also obsessed with having large wideouts that can out-muscle, out-leverage or simply beat the Richard Shermans of the NFL on the vertical leap for a contested ball. None of that was in D.Jax’s wheelehouse. As much of a weapon as D.Jax was, it seems that in at least some ways, Kelly had to adjust his scheme more than he wanted to in order to get his #1 WR the right opportunities. It’s possible that his offense was not as parallel or versatile as he would have wanted simply because Jackson, Cooper, Avant, Johnson/Maehl/Smith weren’t very close in skillset and scheme fit. Maclin, Cooper, Matthews, Huff and Smith are far more similar than last year’s WR 1-5. Not every talented player is a fit for every team (look at out defense for a great example of this).

      Kelly likes versatility more than fastball speed. Yes, he had some small, fast running backs and wideouts at Oregon, but at the collegiate level, you face a lot more zone where smaller, faster players that can sneak and hide into the holes in the zones or who can just flat out run beyond the bigger defensive players are more valuable. I think Kelly would have loved D.Jax as a weapon in Oregon (character issues aside), but I don’t think he would have drafted him to be a #1 WR. This is all speculation on everyone’s part; I think we’ll have a clearer picture once we are a few games into the season.

  • JofreyRice

    Big receivers that can make contested catches are fantastic, and something the Eagles have needed for years. If all else were equal, I wanted them to pursue Hakeem Nicks over Maclin for that very reason. I’m sure it’s happened, but for the life of me, I can’t remember any contested catches that Maclin has made. Especially in “big spots”.

    But for me, there was no need to remove the best receiver on the team to do that; a guy that threatened the defense from the outside, from the backfield, etc. I don’t see Jackson’s presence as prohibitive to anything they’d want to do in the slot with Matthews, or any backshoulder fades they’d want to run to Cooper or Maclin on the other side.

    Quite a few gold jacket owners in Canton were considered too slow, too short, too lanky, too whatever, at some point in their career. I really hope they’re not prioritizing physical dimensions over talent to the detriment of the team.

    • anon

      Think Djax could be a HOF type guy? 4 more years with CK would make me say yes, we’ll see how well he gets along with RGIII.

      • JofreyRice

        He’s off to a good start. You’re right, it’s going to take probably at least 3-4 more years of production like last year to do it. We’re also in an era where it’s going to be difficult to judge the weight of receiver stats because of the explosion of the pass offense in the past 10-15 years.

        Before the injury, Griffin threw a fantastic deep ball. I thought his deep ball was way better than Luck’s. But that injury really screwed with his head. I’m not an expert on QB mechanics or anything, but his throwing motion last year was profoundly screwed up. It didn’t look natural at all.

        • aub32

          Even if he has the yards, I think the number of TDs work against him, unless he racks up some major TD numbers in the near future.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Maybe some big game moments, too.

          • aub32

            Do you think that factors in? The PF HOF not the Eagles HOF

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Pretty sure it’s mostly media votes, so I’d say yeah, to a limited extent, and mostly with D or skill positions. You take two guys with similar careers, I can see writers reverting back to memory for crucial plays in big games to help them cast a vote one way or another.

          • aub32

            That makes sense. That’s likely why guys may have very similar stats but one is an HOFer and the other isn’t even in consideration.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Yeah, or the guy w/o the moments just takes way longer to get into the HOF

        • Adam G

          Take a look at some career numbers from WRs who are playing now. He legitimately has 0 chance of making the HOF. Its absurd to even put them in the same sentence.

          • JofreyRice

            If he puts up 3-4 more years of nearly 1400 yards and ~ 10 TDs, it would not be absurd, it would be worthy of a discussion. Especially considering the big plays. HOF voters love to account for factors like the player’s ability to affect a game dynamically on one play in the way they discriminate amongst candidates.

            Thanks for jumping all over the point I was explicitly NOT making–that we should consider Jackson a HOF receiver.

          • aub32

            I warned you that someone would ignore the entire point you were trying to make due to the HOF reference. I am not surprised by the culprit either.

          • Adam G

            I know its hard to take that not everybody thinks your man crush is the best WR in the league. Minus Calvin Johnson, of course.

          • Adam G

            Still not even remotely close even if he puts up those numbers. He has 39 total TDs and 6k receiving yards. To put it in perspective TO has 16k yards and 156 TDs and profootballtalk has him as a fringe HOFer bc he was a jerk.

          • JofreyRice

            Ok.

          • anon

            TO is a top 5 WR in history of the game — would have been a SB if our QB wasn’t such a d-bag.

    • aub32

      That’s what I don’t get. Matthews could have still been drafted had we kept DeSean. Then you have Cooper and Matthews bringing the size with DeSean bringing the speed and lining up all over the field. DJax is likely not bound for Canton, but another year in this offense, and he most certainly would be a lock for the Eagles HOF.

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, I wasn’t making a prediction that Jackson was a sure-fire HOF guy, more or less making the point that some extremely talented and important players in the league have overcome perceived limitations.

        It’s also amusing to me that after all the yards, touchdowns, big plays, etc, we’re back to what some pessimists were saying about Jackson right after Reid (FF) drafted him: “HE CAN’T BEAT THE JAM!!!”. (Including myself in that group…).

        • aub32

          I didn’t think you were. I just know there are going to be people that only see that and try to dismiss your point based on that one line. So I just thought I’d offer the very realistic possibility he had and honestly still has of being in the Eagles HOF. He could’ve easily have been the #2 WR all time with just one more year in this offense. He could have been #1 following the 2015 season.

    • Kev_H

      It’s the mirror look philosophy they seem to value. They want all WRs to be individually more versatile but collectively very similar. If they’re going to carry an oddball, they default to “big people beat up little people”. I’m not sure that it’s the way to go, but it seems evident that it is the philosophy.

      • JofreyRice

        I would agree that most of the moves they’ve made have been predicated on the strength of the scheme–both offensively and defensively–and less on the individual talents of the players. Get guys that can wear a bunch of different hats and can be deployed in a variety of formations. Trust the execution of the scheme to create confusion and effectively score or prevent points, rather than putting the game on the shoulders of individual players.

        • aub32

          So do we get rid of Shady this time next year in favor of a few good prospects that can split duty?

          • anon

            real question is how much we pay shady on a new deal.

          • JofreyRice

            I really wonder what the response would be like around here.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Josey or Fluellen better be LEGIT if they pulled that move. We know Polk isn’t doing what Shady does despite his 9ypc on 12 touches last year.

          • JofreyRice

            Its hard for me to envision any circumstance where I’d support that move. Shocking, I know.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Real shocking. I thought you were a “think outside the box” type guy, too.

          • JofreyRice

            I mean, I’m all for thinking outside of the box, but getting rid of Shady in his prime and trying to moneyball his production just to save a few $ is thinking outside of the dimension.

          • aub32

            You mean to tell me if Kelly decided to part ways from Shady that you know more than CK about football?

          • anon

            SEA is dumping lynch, their most iconic player (outside of sherman and thomas recently)

          • aub32

            You mean in 2015? They just gave him 1.5M extra to play this year.
            ….
            I’d argue Shaun Alexander as their most iconic player

          • anon

            yes in 2015, they just pushed more of his 2015 salary into 2014, he’s gone.

          • JofreyRice

            I dunno WTF is up with Lynch’s crew. I’m all for guys trying to maximize their chance at making money in the league, but he’s already pretty well paid, he’s got no leverage. He’s 28 with a ton of miles and a high-collision running style.

            They’ve drafted Turbin in the 4th–a similar back–and Christine Michel in the 2nd, who is also a really good runner with better explosive long-speed, in two straight drafts.

          • aub32

            I think that’s what they saw. “Hey M, these guys look like they are trying to find your replacement. You better see if you can get something extra this year before they ship you off to Oakland.”

          • anon

            Yup, sad though it’s like BDawk leaving.

          • JofreyRice

            I get you, but they already have his replacements in place, ready to take his reps right NOW. This isn’t like when the Eagles added Ryan Moats after Westbrook started making contract noise. Some people in SEA were already hoping for a RBBC arrangement so Michel could get a chance to shine.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            his contract is a little weird. he’s actually taking a 2m paycut, from 7m to 5m this year. think he sees that, and next year’s contract he’s 9m cap hit but 1.5m dead, so doubt they’ll keep that, sure he well aware of this. think he sees this as his last chance at some leverage to get 2 or 3 more years out of Seattle.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

          • aub32

            So basically what happened when Dawkins left?

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Yup. It was exactly like when the streams cross.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “Yes!”.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            But if we’re right….Lenny, you will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft!

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            You’re right. No human being would stack books like this.

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            She’s not my girlfriend. I find her interesting because she’s a client and because she sleeps above her covers… *four feet* above her covers. She barks, she drools, she claws!

          • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

            Upvote for the Bill Murray / Ghostbusters quoted. I watch it every time I catch it while surfing.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            c’mon, that’s pretty loaded and incomparable; Shady is a special talent way more so than Desean, and I’ll be the first to admit he was a very good WR. Plus, the offense is still centered around the run game and, therefore, features Shady.

          • aub32

            I wasn’t really comparing the two. The teams seems to be shying away from paying big money to people. Kelly has made it clear that this offense does not need any one particular player to make it go. I in no way think they should let Shady go. I am just posing the question.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            Well, they have shown pretty willing to pay OL, although those guys aren’t going to break the bank for the most part. I think Shady stays personally, but Kelly continues to stockpile RBs in the hopes of unearthing a gem.
            I also think the $$ issue is more pressing for a position like WR, where you have more mouths to feed, vs. a feature RB. Kelly and his coaches didn’t seem to mind much the idea of a workhorse back (see last year), nothing leads me to suspect he wants a NE-style RB by committee.

          • aub32

            I counter your last point with nothing about the way they used DeSean made me think he was “unfit” for this scheme. I hope you’re right. I do think you need to hold onto and pay special players. I don’t think Kelce got that huge a payday. I remember the question of why he didn’t get more came up a few times. Plus they don’t seem willing to pay Mathis. Just seems like they are trying this moneyball approach and if they get someone special so be it. Hold onto that guy until his contract expires and get someone else. All about the scheme.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            True. That is a pretty hard question to answer now, since many–myself included– don’t think the DJax release was primarily financial. This offseason will tell us a lot, with so many (potential) mouths to feed of stars/very good starters.

            But he was making big money in a group that Howie may be trying to limit, and more importantly I think there was some buy-in issue. If anything, the contract was more an obstacle when trying to trade him.
            Kelce got paid pretty well, a pretty typical Howie contract with the team covered, but it’s not like we’re robbing the guy. He’s making good $$.
            Also, he’s a special case since he may be the most anti-Desean in terms of public buy-in and Kelly-love. You know how fans always make a case, come contract time, about how player X will take a home-team discount? I think he’s one of the few actual cases.
            Mathis is tough, for Kelly and Howie it may be more an age thing with him (although JP got paid). Maybe they end up making a deal afterward.

          • aub32

            Sounds to me that the buy in rate has changed with the release of DeSean. Recently we have been hearing even the star players rock the company line when asked a question. I honestly think DeSean’s release may have influenced McCoy to buy in a bit more knowing that the team will cut anyone.
            ….
            I don’t think as many players get paid as others have expressed. Of course you pay Foles if he has a good season. Boykin gets paid, but how much. He can’t demand top CB money. How much did Thurmond get from the Giants? Maclin could command some dollars if he’s able to put up anything close to what DJax did. Who else though? Cox is a 1st rounder. So we can just use the 5th year option. Kendricks isn’t commanding anything more than what we would pay some FA to come in and start. Plus the money we get from Cole, Herremans, CW, Casey and others will give us so much cap room.

            You are right that Kelce is making decent coin. He also seems to be taking a little off the top to stay put without going into contract talks too long. He was a find for sure, especially considering the rest of his draft class.

          • anon

            how much is barkely making — how long till we can clear out that cap space #horrible.

          • aub32

            I’ll have my opinion on Barkley after preseason. Sanchez looked much better than him yesterday. If Sanchez can be a viable backup, then we will need a young guy in the bullpen. So I think the team will move on from him next year, or at least draft someone to compete for the 3rd QB job.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Kinne!

    • peteike

      did you see the headline that Colts are complaining that Hicks is not in shape. I think that dude is pulling a DRC, just doesnt care. Got his money (I think) and lost passion. Has done anything relevant in 3 plus yrs it seems.

      • aub32

        I don’t think he made that much money though. He came in with Maclin. So He never really saw a big money deal. I think his body just can’t hold up. Hard to stay in shape when your foot and ankle are always breaking down.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          I can attest to that first hand.

      • John E. Zang

        Yeah I’d definitely rather Maclin any day. Maclin has talent and he probably would’ve destroyed Deseans big year if he didn’t get injured. Maclin would’ve had a big season. Hate when people down Maclin like he’s some Joe Schmo. Just because he played in an offense that catered to Jackson every play combined with qb’s who were obsessed with staring him down on every play doesn’t mean he’s any less talented.

        • aub32

          That is not why people down Maclin. Maclin catches flack because he’s played soft. He has yet to play up to his talent and despite being brought in to eventually become the number 1 guy he’s always played #2. He has yet to put up 1000 yards even though every defense put him as the #2 WR to try and stop.

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, sounds like his work ethic needs some work. I guess the FO realized that and took him off the radar. That’s cool. I think there were concerns with his weight coming out of UNC. Unfortunate, because he’s literally one of the best at battling for the ball at the catch point–provided he cares and is healthy enough to do it.

    • JosephR2225

      This is just a hunch, but there are three major reasons discussed for the release of Jackson: Size/”football reasons”, Salary and Attitude. I think it’s a combination of those three things that led to his release, and not any one more than the other.
      If Jackson had prototypical size, even with his big cap hit, I think he’s still an Eagle. If he weren’t set to count $12M against the cap, I think he’s still an Eagle. As long as he wasn’t outright insubordinate, if he didn’t fully “buy in” he might still be an Eagle (Less sure about that one). But when you look at Jackson, he had three strikes. Not a prototypical #1 WR (at least not by build), so not worth the attitude and salary issues. Again, just a guess, but if Jackson had any one of those three things counting in his favor, I don’t think he would have been released.

      • JofreyRice

        Yah, I can see where you’re coming from. I think it came down to Chip thinking he could moneyball Jackson’s #’s without having to pay Jackson. I think it’s a huge risk that was unnecessary–there was no reason why they HAD to have that money freed up, IMO.

        Maybe Jackson hadn’t bought in to the culture, or whatever. That part will be a mystery until someone writes a book.

        • OregonDucker

          Yeah JR, I think culture, character, and buy-in are very important to Chip. But there is more to the story as suggested by Joseph’s excellent post. Personally, I didn’t see DJax as a fit into Chip’s scheme.

  • johnny eagle

    The validity of the reason Jackson was cut is not any more or less valid than it was at the time of the cut. Writers are just catching on to the fact that Kelly is obsessed with the game. Given his intelligence and dedication to understanding every detail he is ahead of writers and fans in analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The problem is that coaches need to be politic. Reading between the lines can be difficult. Reading between the lines and putting your conclusions in writing to be criticized by every jackwagon and hammer head ( myself included) while convincing readers to look at the next article is a skill you have in excess. It keeps us all reading your prose.

    • KobraKai7474

      Agree. Kelly is way too driven as a coach to release a useful player for any reason BUT football reasons. Clearly, he believed that DeSean was not right for his system, and, if you trust a guy enough to hire him as your coach, you have to trust him enough to determine the players he wants and needs to make his system function best. DeSean may well end up being a perfect fit for Washington’s system, and, heck, he may even end up playing a big role in a painful Eagles’ defeat or two, but that doesn’t mean he was any more “right” for Chip Kelly’s system.

      • anon

        everything is a football reason, for guys like kelly it’s not just on the field.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Big wideouts who can block (at the LOS, not just downfield) are also an asset in the running game.

    I say that apropos Damaris Johnson, of course. DJax is *so* 2013.

  • PaoliBulldog

    I suppose that the evolution of the WR spot is the flip side of what’s happening at tight end. With the exception of Kellen Winslow and Dave Casper, every TE in the Pro Football HOF had a playing weight of 230 pounds or lower.

  • OregonDucksFan

    Sheil hears this song in his head whenever he thinks about Desean

    while I wish this song would play in his head whenever he has that irresistible urge to write about a certain tiny, immature Washington Redskins receiver

  • Faithful Follower

    PhillyMag, you need to move “Sponsor Content” out of the center block and add to sidebar instead.

    • John E. Zang

      It’s probably part of the sites responsive design aka designed with mobil in mind.

    • birdsfanindc

      Come on, they provide the best Eagles coverage for free. They need to make a buck somehow.

      As long as it’s clearly labeled as sponsored content I’m happy to put up with it.

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

    thanks Tim, Sheil, and Intern Josh. It had been awhile since we hit 100 comments

    • anon

      that’s why we have djax article in august

      • CHRIS – CB with dreads

        they got us again

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        They know aub32 alone will give them half of the 100. He can’t stay away from a djax article :)

        • Adam G

          I don’t think a commenter on here loves another player more than he loves Desean. Maybe in the history of commenting.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            This made me chuckle, but there are some pretty easy counterexamples which I won’t spell out.

          • Adam G

            Just strange, the constant defending for a WR who had his best year of his career in a souped up offense and there were probably 10 WRs who had a better year than him statistically. Makes no sense.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            Attempts to knock Jackson’s 2013 production are silly.

          • Adam G

            Yes I know that. But understanding 10 WRs had a better year, and knocking it are two different things. He was the 10th best WR last year. That means he was a good to pretty good WR, but nothing special. Making him into something special is just an unsubstantiated man crush.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            But you’ll concede he was our best WR? and that we lost our home-run threat at receiver? Sometimes I read your stuff and think we cut Damaris Johnson, not DeSean Jackson.

          • Adam G

            100% no doubt he was our best WR. I just don’t think he was worth his salary when you look at his production and attitude. Every dollar saved can be spent on players who I think have better value. Those guys could either be on the team, or be free agents. Its pretty hard to argue he was special or irreplaceable.

          • aub32

            You said at some point you see DJax as a top 12 WR. How can you then say he’s not worth the money? Where is this money saved going? Not many top 12 guys at their position hit FA. You get one or 2 of those guys a year and usually it has something to do with attitude.

          • Adam G

            Well, because it gets rolled to the next year or the year after that, it actually could end up going to Nick Foles, or Brandon Boykin, or whichever Eagle you pick that gets an extension. And as already discussed, obviously the Eagles strategy is not to sign bigger name expensive free agents.

          • aub32

            They already have money for those guys. They would’ve been well under the cap without cutting Jackson. The cap will go up another 10M next year. Guys like CW, Cole, and Herremans will provide cap relief. So I ask again what is the money for if like you said we are not signing expensive FAs? Also, you still did not tell me how a guy that’s top 12 at his position doesn’t deserve to be paid like that.

          • Adam G

            Well, except he was being paid like a top 5 WR, which by no stretch of the imagination could you justify he is. And they can still sign other free agents with that money, just not “top 12″ guys. You know, guys like Malcolm Jenkins and Nolan Carroll. Who combined are going to make 2/3 of what Desean was scheduled to make this year. It’s rolling, they can spend it whichever year they want to. You do understand that, right?

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            I wish I could upvote this 7 times

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Ha! That just made me and my big butt smile from ear to ear.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Outstanding

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I can only assume that 3 people missed the genius of your post, because math. :)

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            anti-love…Dutch for Foles. those were some classics.

          • RIP illa

            Don’t forget the classic of Dutch v Berwin also. Loved those times when we 1st all got together on this board and were guided by the not so gentle hand of Dutch on what and who made a good player for our team. But for what it’s worth…the guy stuck to his guns and provided some of the funniest battles on here…Ever!!!

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            the logical falicies were tremendous. still have a link to a listing in my favorites. probably give him a pass on Foles and Berwin, but his undying love for barkley and Geno Smith, of all people, probably end up with an email from Sheil to calm down.

        • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

          they actually figured out how to do another Vick vs. Foles article on the same day. Check out the previous post on jersey sales. Guess the Carlisle people are asking for clicks.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            these articles are making me furious, I may just have to go play 18 holes in Montgomery County to cool down

          • CHRIS – CB with dreads

            as long as you drive there in your new Chrysler

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

    Since the comments seem to be discussing the merits of Kelly-type players, I thought this was an interesting note from Tommy (from a PEdotcom article he did)

    I know a lot of fans wanted the Eagles to go after T.J. Ward or Jairus Byrd in free agency. It sure looks like the Eagles made the right call. Byrd had offseason back surgery and is working his way into the lineup. Ward was arrested this spring for misdemeanor assault and has had to deal with that situation. Those guys are very talented players, but Kelly wants more than that. He wants the right guys. Jenkins has been a perfect fit in the locker room and there is value to that.

    • aub32

      Ward got off with just having to do some community service.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

        I expected nothing less of our court system.
        Regardless of that isolated incident, Kelly knew both as former Ducks, had wealth of character info. I have a feeling he didn’t lose too much sleep over his FA decision

        • aub32

          I was disappointed when we didn’t get Byrd. I wasn’t broken up about Ward though. He’s more of an in the box safety which I think we are hoping Wolff can play if needed. Byrd got too much money though. Plus he’s playing for a team that went further than we did last year. So I can’t knock us not getting him. This draft class is where I am hoping to see where Howie has learned and the Gamble factor. The last 2 drafts we had very good draft position and a large number of picks.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            yup 1st and 4th sentences are spot on

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            I wanted Byrd, but that contract is crazy. sure Howie last about 2 seconds after Byrd’s agent said 50+million.

        • Jason

          With all of the articles that have been written about how much Kelly really, really wanted Taylor Hart (a former Duck). I have to believe that if he had wanted either Safety, they would be on the Eagles roster.

          • anon

            same with huff

  • anon

    boykin just got his ankles broke by quran pratt. #6 wr?

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

      I’d prefer 6 WR and just 3 RB. Keep a guy on PS from each
      for me, Maclin-Cooper-Matthew-Huff-Smith-Pratt

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      Pratt can play. I’d rather see him than Benn or Maehl. I think he’s an obvious candidate for the practice squad. FWIW, I think they’ll carry 5 WR and 4 RB because of Sproles.

  • KobraKai7474

    Those of us of a certain age (i.e. those of us who are getting gray), remember Buddy Ryan’s first training camp. Among his more controversial moves was releasing Safety Ray Ellis and replacing him as a starter with then-unknown, Andre Waters. At the time, most of us… myself included… thought Ryan was crazy. By all accounts, Ellis was darn good football player who was only going to get better. There was a lot of theorizing in the press (and in bar stools all over town) over the reasons, but, in the end, it appears that Ray Ellis was just not a Buddy Ryan kind of player and Andre Waters was. I think we can all agree that, with hindsight, Buddy was right. He knew what kind of players he wanted and needed, and Ray Ellis wasn’t one of them. Ellis was picked up by Cleveland and played on two consecutive NFC-Championship game teams so clearly he could play football. Apparently, he just couldn’t play Buddy Ryan football. I feel the same way about Jackson. Obviously, he can play and I have no doubt that he will put up some serious numbers in Washington. He just isn’t a Chip Kelly kind of player, and that is fine.

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      solid comparison. my fear is that we get 25% into the season and the passing offense is less dynamic & we’re putting up fewer yards. panic time.

      • Always Hopeful

        Legit concern. Consensus seems to be that Chip’ll tweak offense to maximize talent on roster now. I’m just excited to see the who, what and how of these changes. It should be fun to see…I hope.

        • Jon

          I get concerned that the over the top passes to Jackson will be missed, but at the same time, we stuggled working in the redzone under Reid with the same players. The slot position and redzone offense seems so much stronger that its hard to think we won’t put up similar if not better numbers this year.

  • TOm W

    great article great analysis.

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    Wow, Dalton just paid. Things are looking up for Foles.

    • aub32

      I wonder what made them change their mind. If they were going to pay him like that, they could have waited until the end of the season. His price tag would not have been much higher even if he won a playoff game.

      • anon

        marvin lewis wanted to put those final nails in his coffin. they probably saw flacco and wanted to avoid that situation, but his [salary] numbers are pretty high.

        • aub32

          That’s what I am saying. He didn’t give them a discount. What would have been the difference in what he’s making now vs, if he won a SB? He might have gotten an extra million per. That’s better than putting all your eggs in his mediocre basket.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            even Romo’s thinking, ‘damn dude, you really screwed them’

          • aub32

            Hilarious

        • peteike

          Grantland/Barnwell just did an article showing how Dalton is just bad under pressure. Hes had a great O line though over the last bunch of years so hes not hurried as often as other QBs and forced to make quick decisions. Come playoff time he folds under the pressure. Bengals just lost both coord also, I see a step back. Ha, this is great:

          “Dalton comes from the Kevin Kolb and Blaine Gabbert school, which is a school that should probably be shut down, demolished, and declared a Superfund site. Quarterbacks in this class often struggle to diagnose pressure before the snap and do a subpar job of capturing who exactly is coming at them when defenses disguise their blitzers. Even worse, when they do feel even the tiniest bit of pressure heading in their direction, passers like Kolb and Gabbert bail out of the pocket and frantically sprint toward the sideline like ants trying to escape feet. The coup de grâce is a dangerous pass, one often thrown to the first hint of a friendly uniform without resetting and reexamining the field to see where defenders have settled.”

          • anon

            haha ouch

    • anon

      gotta see those numbers dalton should be the floor but Kaep got a deal that i liked from a team perspective and to my eye he’s much better than dalt who only throws to one guy.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      what’d he get?

      • anon

        6 years with 11[5]mm of new money.

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          WTF?! com’on, seriously? desperate coaches and desperate GMs do stupid F’N things. unreal. I wouldn’t pay him half that

          • anon

            yeah me neither — it’s a crazy deal. Hopefully it’s all incentives and unguaranteed money.

          • Adam G

            Rumor is only 17 guaranteed. If true that’s not a bad deal for Bengals. Basically the franchise tag plus free options on each year.

          • anon

            Seems to be a lot of these rolling 1 year deals. Not sure who came up w/ that but it’s sort of genius.

          • Adam G

            ESPECIALLY for a guy like Dalton.

          • aub32

            they work out well for both player and team. The player is guaranteed bank if they get injured. The team has several outs in case of performance drops. Maybe this all started with the Manning signing due to the uncertainty of his neck.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            that does change things. still too much money. least they were smart enough to tie Dalton to Lewis.
            .
            still think Dalton stinks. feel like I could throw for 150 with AJ Green and couple of his other weapons.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Disagree. It’s well deserved based on his first name.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            same reason Sherman got paid

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            And it’ll be the same reason Foles gets paid.

  • peteike

    Seems like CK and staff keep a ton of guys out of practice daily, even with minor things. As if the sports science guys say hey this guy needs to rest a day etc. Maybe hes commented on that before and that is the case. Just seems like more of that than usual or from past coaches/systems.

    • anon

      agree seemed like last year it was either you tore your acl or you were full go.

    • aub32

      I guess he feels there’s no need to risk injuries when games haven’t even started being played.

  • anon

    Dalton Numbers from Roto — I was wrong, not a bad deal honestly:

    Updating a previous item, the actual value of Andy Dalton’s six-year extension is $96 million with a $12 million signing bonus.
    He also gets a $5 million roster bonus in three days. The guaranteed money is just $17 million — the roster bonus and Dalton’s signing bonus. Dalton was already under contract for a little over $1 million this year, so across seven seasons the base value of his new contract is essentially $97.09 million — $13.87 million annually. Dalton can earn another $19 million through escalators, per PFT. People, on Twitter, at least, freaked out about the initially-reported worth, but this is going to end up being a front-loaded, team-friendly deal.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      this is his 2nd contract, right? such a huge difference between signing own drafted guys. you can play for 1m, or sign a team friendly 100m contract, here’s 17m in your checking account in 30 days, just sign. I’d be so happy forget my middle initial

    • JofreyRice

      yeah, he sucks tho

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Not a bad deal at all. They can be out of it after THIS SEASON for just under 10mil in dead money. Have to do it before 3rd day of 2015 league year of course, or he’s guaranteed a 4mil roster bonus. If Foles puts up an average season, this would be close to his deal I’d think. He puts up another crazy season and he’s seeing something in line with, possibly better than, Kaep. Just my opinion. Doesn’t even need to be 27/2. He can put up around 4k with 35/10 and a playoff win and he’s gotta be in the Kaep range minus all the injury outs and out of pocket insurance policy.

  • DAS

    Come Friday, we’re actually going to get to see these guys in live action. Too excited!

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      bold prediction…sanchez throws for over 150, 100 of that to Our only Begotten WR, and 2 tds. only thing that can stop the runaway hype train, is another runaway train.

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        Qb controversy!!!

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          kinne v barkley…com’on GJ!

  • All Things Bad@ss

    Anyone else just a little pissed at all the talk about Cooks tearing it up at Saints camp though? I can’t help but think that would’ve been Chip’s first pick if he were available, despite all this talk about big, physical receivers. I can very easily see us in a rematch with them come playoff time … hopefully this year we can finish the job.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      I’d love to see a Boykin on Cooks matchup

    • dislikedisqus

      Yeah, he was my favorite in the draft. But it’s interesting you make this comment in relation to a post about big receivers since Cooks is anything but.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      not even slightly. take Cooks, probably reaching for Lawrence and a broken foot(plus he sux cause he’s a cowboy now). I wont even get into not taking Matthews. yes I will…no Jordsus?! kidding me?! not sure how I’ve made it thru the last 35yrs of fandom without him

    • aub32

      There’s several posts about this topic if you scroll down.

      • All Things Bad@ss

        Ah yes, I see that now. Thx

  • Rome

    Putting DeSean in motion on every play wasn’t an option. If he was getting doubled he was less than useless. I love him and wish him nothing but success unless he’s playing the Eagles but the fact is he wasn’t long for Kelly’s system.

  • Brandon

    I can give you 10 million reasons Desean’s not here anymore. Because of his size, he was never going to be worth that money. Top 7 WRs (which he would have been paid like) are big. Therefore, although good, Desean is not top 7. Plain and simple. Roseman literally said they need to save that money for when Foles and others are up for extensions on the air. If Jackson was making less, he’d be here. But he wasn’t. Stop beating a dead horse and get over the fact that he’s gone. Sheesh.

  • xmbk

    10.5 mill counts as something in return.

  • MagatBrackendale

    One more time. NOBODY ELSE WANTED HIM IN A TRADE!!!

  • LookLikeTarzanPlayLikeTarzanAl

    momah, Momah, MOMAH!