What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Here’s this week’s roundup of national media coverage.

The Eagles are counting on Chip Kelly’s offense to stay ahead of defenses, writes Mark Maske of the Washington Post:

So as Kelly enters Year 2 in Philadelphia, the question becomes: Can he stay a step ahead of NFL defensive coordinators? The job could be tougher now. Those defensive coaches have had time to digest and analyze what Kelly is doing and to try to devise ways to slow down his offense.

The Eagles say they’re counting on Kelly.

“It won’t surprise many people this year as far as the pace and what they do,” Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins said of his team’s offense as he stood on the field after Friday’s practice. “But it’s still unusual. Until the rest of the league does it, it’s still something that you have to prepare differently for when you play the Eagles. And I think that gives us somewhat of an advantage because you don’t see it every week. But you know, Chip will find ways to adapt when people do catch on to that. He’ll adapt and do something else. The pace is one thing. But there’s a lot of other caveats in our offense that really give you problems and give you fits as a defense.”

Kelly is now at the forefront of a period of rapid tactical evolution, notes Mike Tanier of SportsOnEarth.com:

Chip Kelly got the jump on the NFL in his rookie coaching season. His innovative Eagles offense finished second to the Broncos in total yards (6,676, or 417 yards per game) and tied with the Broncos in yards per play (6.3). While Kelly’s read-option offense got most of the attention at the college level, his up-tempo, no-huddle scheme proved far more dangerous in the NFL. The Eagles lined up without a huddle on 68 percent of their offensive plays, often leaving defenders disorganized and sucking wind.

Kelly is a true trendsetter, but NFL offenses were accelerating for several years before he arrived. Researcher Jim Armstrong has tracked offensive pace for years, measuring the average time a team takes to snap the football and adjusting for factors like the two-minute offense and other hurry-up (or slow down) situations. As Table One shows, the average team snaps the football more than a second faster now than it did four years ago.

LeSean McCoy is undervalued in fantasy drafts, according to KC Joyner of ESPN Insider:

Running backs are only as good as their blocking, and no back received better run blocking last year than McCoy. The Eagles posted a league-leading 49.6 percent mark in the good blocking rate (GBR) category that measures how often a blocking wall gives a ball carrier good blocking (which is roughly defined as not allowing the defense to do anything to disrupt a rush attempt). Philadelphia gets all five of its starting offensive linemen back (although right tackle Lane Johnson will serve a four-game suspension), so a repeat performance here is likely.

There may be concern that Darren Sproles will take some of McCoy’s receptions, but head coach Chip Kelly wants the offense to run more plays than it did last year, so there will be additional running and passing plays to go around.

For those thinking Adrian Peterson should go first, consider this: McCoy is three years younger than All Day, has less wear and tear (2,239 career carries/receptions for Peterson, 1,421 for McCoy) and plays in a much better overall offense. Add all of those factors together and it equals McCoy earning the top spot in fantasy football.

Jeremy Maclin is a bounce-back candidate, says Jeff Ratcliffe of Rotoworld.com:

But discount players and bounce-back players aren’t necessarily always the same thing. For both in the same package, how about Jeremy Maclin? He’s not a burner like DeSean Jackson, but Maclin has good speed and is a more complete receiver in terms of route running. We saw what Chip Kelly’s offense did for Riley Cooper last year, so Maclin is a player who I fully expect to outplay his current ADP of WR30.

Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com on Kevin Greene spending three days with the Eagles’ linebackers:

With 160 sacks in a 15-year NFL career, Greene probably does belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which held its 2014 induction ceremony over the weekend. Instead of being feted in Canton, Ohio, Greene was giving tips on rushing the passer to the Eagles’ outside linebackers. His three-day visit ends Tuesday.

“I called (Davis) a few months ago and inquired about a potential opportunity to come and share a few of the things I learned playing this position,” Greene said after Monday’s practice. “He said, ‘KG, hang on, let me talk to Coach (Chip) Kelly. I’m grateful to Coach Kelly and Coach Davis for the opportunity.”

Greene spent five years as the Green Bay Packers linebackers coach, working closely with Pro Bowler Clay Matthews. Greene left the Packers after the 2013 season, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Here, he has the ability to keep his hand in without the full-time commitment required of assistant coaches.

The Eagles’ preseason game against the Patriots won’t be interesting, thinks Mike Tanier of SportsOnEarth.com:

According to legend, whenever DeSean Jackson went deep for the Eagles last year, he took seven defenders with him, leaving Riley Cooper and the others (who can be timed in the 40 with the Mayan Long Count) covered by nose tackles and coaching interns. Also, as soon as Jimmy Garoppolo completes two passes, the Patriots can safely trade Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a package of picks that makes the Herschel Walker deal look like a conditional sixth rounder. Eagles-Patriots preseason games are usually dreary, but the game within the game within the runaway imaginations of hometown fans is always fascinating. Watchability: D.

In case you missed it, Cris Collinsworth thinks the Eagles are Super Bowl contenders, via Andrew Porter of CBS Philly:

“You know the team that I think will have a chance this year, is the Philadelphia Eagles,” Collinsworth said during the broadcast. “I just feel like Chip Kelly and what they did in that first year with that offense, I know they didn’t get it all in, and this year maybe a little bit more advanced Nick Foles. So I’m kind of keeping my eye on the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Around The Web

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  • TNA

    Keep that football tucked in Shady! No swinging that baby around away from your body like you did all last season and in the Pro Bowl!

    • Anthony Afterwit

      Um, 1 fumble in 366 touches. I think he did just fine.

      • TNA

        Um, ends don’t justify the means in this case. Also, did you count the fumble in the Pro Bowl? ;)

        When he or any player carries the ball away from his body, there’s likely a higher percentage chance a fumble occurs, no? Anyway, watch the game tape and see how often Shady cradles the ball away from his body – just because he didn’t fumble doesn’t mean he shouldn’t clean that part of his game up.

        • Marilyn Monbroe

          As long as he isn’t fumbling like tiki barber did, I wouldn’t worry too much

          • TNA

            Let’s just say I’m taking the CK approach with Shady. I think the guy is the most complete, best RB in the world right now. But he can be one of the best RBs ever. In many ways, he’s right out of the CK playbook. Humbled by a devastating injury in HS, he had the work ethic to work incredibly hard to make his way back. True, cream rises to the top and Shady always had the skills, but if he didn’t work hard, that talent would never have made it to the NFL and the Eagles. Under CK’s tutelage and a strong OL, Shady has a chance to become the best RB ever.
            If he gets popped and the ball comes out from a tucked position, that’s one thing. It’s another if the ball comes out because of poor technique. And even one fumble with poor technique is one fumble too many — those are the standards for a guy as gifted as Shady.

          • JosephR2225

            I know what you’re saying and I know I would be more comfortable watching if he always held the ball high and tight… But whatever he does seems to be working, and as long as the ball stays off the turf he can carry it up his nose for all I care.

          • peteike

            he wouldnt be cutting on a dime like he does if hes holding it high and tight. Sometimes you gotta take the risks for the rewards. Why create a problem that doesnt exist

          • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

            I’m glad someone made this point. This gets lost. He uses that ball carrying style to keep his balance. He ain’t doing that with it Tiki Barbered away. Plus the 1 fumble in 366 carries is pretty telling.

      • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

        Numbers schmumbers.

  • Chuck Dougherty

    Chip..do what you can do to get Greene on your staff!

    • Dreday410

      Greene does not want to be on any staff that is why he resigned in 2013.
      He just has a good relationship with DC Davis

      • Chuck Dougherty

        I know… but when he does want to get back into the game.. hopefully he will have Chipped on speed dial

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    Terrible bit from Tanier. Cooper’s 40 was a very respectable 4.53. And Ryan Mallett is definitely not getting a Herschel Walker like haul. Ridiculous.

    • Dominik

      He’s kidding. I wasn’t sure at the beginning, but the hit on Mallett, whom the Patriots overvalue, made it clear.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        I hope so.

    • MagatBrackendale

      It was funny. “According to legend, …DeSean Jackson…took 7 defenders with him…” ” leaving everybody else covered by nose tackles and coaching interns” is hilarious if you watch NFL Network ‘experts’ fawning over DJ.

    • Kevin

      It was pure sarcasm. If anything, he was busting on the perceptions of both local fan bases and national pundits. I thought it was a good laugh and some needed perspective. Djax only took 5 people with him and Cooper can be covered by a DE, not NT.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        Gotcha. I caught on to some of the hyperbole, but couldn’t tell if what he was saying was all sarcasm or just lightly coated in it.

  • Addicted2MAmula

    Sanchez to Matthews

  • PhillySean

    “the average team snaps the football more than a second faster now than it did four years ago.”

    Four years ago, when McNabb was taking the play clock down to .0000001 on almost every snap.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      So you’re saying that Donovan McNabb was the sole reason for the 1 second bump?

      • PhillySean

        Ha. Maybe.

  • Guest

    Where did Colinsworth say anything about Eagles SUPERBOWL ? because the statement I heard he said he has his EYE ON nothing near Super Bowl

    • reb

      From the link:
      “During Sunday night’s Hall Of Fame game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, NBC Sunday Night Football color commentator Cris Collinsworth mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles, when asked for a 2014 Super Bowl prediction.”

      • peteike

        hes referencing that he only said he has his “eye on” them, not that hes picking them.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons
    • Amar, CB who bought in

      Made my day :))))

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        dont blame the guy, just living the dream. but how much scotch did he have to think these pics were a good idea? and he does look twisted up

    • wow, quite the fetish with the toilet…..I mean I know his teams are always in the Toilet Bowl, didn’t know he liked his women there too

    • Max Lightfoot

      The guy who posted these was described as “clearly insane.” That about sums up the typical Dallas fan, IMO.

  • peteike

    anyone drafting AP over McCoy this season isnt bright. Now Charles is another story, yet its always an every other year performance thing in fantasy and I always seem to get guys on the down year. Im good like that. Ill draft Charles and he’ll get hurt.

    • anon

      what are your feelings on the qb situation in minny?

      • peteike

        I actually think Cassell is servicable and could get a team with solid coaching/players a tad over .500. Sounds like Bridgewater is making strides and could be in line for starting nod. I over heard talking heads saying because Teddy has legs it gives him an advantage. I didnt get that, I always thought Cassell was considered mobile to a degree. Or am I confusing him with Alex Smith.?

        • anon

          i think if qb play is at least average ap could have a crazy year? isn’t norv turner the oc?

          • peteike

            ahhh great point he is, and he is a great coord. I also think AP could have good year and by all means dont listen to anything I say per fantasy, I stink. I just feel like with this offense Id be surprised if Shady isnt first RB off board in most leagues.

          • anon

            yeah i messed up. last year i knew shady was going to go off. But i was picking second and took doug martin. obviously big mistake. RBs for me go – JC, AP, Shady, other guys.

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    @shalisemyoung: Vince Wilfork just picked off RG3 in 11-on-11 work…huge cheers from Pats fans…

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      mean, how?! guess a screen, but Wilfork isnt getting outside tackle box.

      • Reid-esque shovel pass?

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          think of Fat Andy at a Haas all you can eat, shoveling food onto plate and into mouth…shovel

      • Amar, CB who bought in

        The RG 0.3 to Vince Wilfork interception count is now 2. I think they were both RB screens. Hey, but he’s got raw athletic ability so all’s well in the Skins world

  • OK – did training camp today, awesome experience. Some observations in no particular order.

    Offense looks weak and one-dimensional with Smith & Mohmah running with the ones. I may be guilty of confirmation bias here, but the first player my buddy noticed walking in was Mohmah. He’s huge, fast, fluid. He really stood out in drills. Then, you know, they played 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s and Cary Williams ate his lunch. End the Mohmah debate. The guy can’t play.

    Jordan Matthews had a little trouble on the outside as well, but looked tremendous in the slot, no matter which QB was throwing him the ball. He’ll be a threat from the slot all year.

    If you squint, Sproles looks like Brian Westbrook. I can’t wait to see him in the Backfield with Shady, and splitting KR/PR duty with Huff. Speaking of Huff – he made the catch of the day – full extension going out of bounds, dragging (barely) two feet and at least one defender.

    Cary Williams is the unquestioned vocal leader of the defense. Boykin seems to make a play every time he’s out there. Maragos is a sweaty man. He looks like Burt from Sesame Street’s sweaty nephew. On one play, he and Boykin were giving Nate Allen crap for calling the wrong D.

    Lito Sheppard really is enjoying himself as a coaching intern. He knows his stuff too. I hope they keep him on staff.

    • anon

      thanks for the update. agree on momah. Any thoughts about o-line / d-line / linebackers?

      • tough to say with those guys because of the lack of really aggressive hitting in camp. Thornton stood out today – looked good vs run and pass. The other thing i noticed (and liked) was Barwin putting his arm around Marcus Smith and helping him during a few of the “teach” sessions. Didn’t notice too much interaction between Smith & Cole. Pretty clear to me that Sheil and crew were spot on about Smith being groomed as a “Jack” rather than a “Predator.”

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      You hate you some Momah.

      • i was feet away from caseymatthews today too. even in uniform, he dresses like a choad.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          I haven’t read about any crazed fans attacking Casey today, so I’m not sure I believe you.

    • peteike

      all I keep reading is Huff dropping balls and everything is very contested which means hes getting no separation. I get that his skill set is making tough catches but he may not pan out at this level. Still early. Funny about Nate making wrong call.

      • all that really stood out for me was that one catch and the great ST play. I’ll happily take that from Huff this year.

      • moesus

        I’m not concerned with Huff getting separation. He’s strong and quick. He’ll get open. I like hearing how he’s making tough, contested grabs. That’s how it’s usually going to be during the game. We have enough soft WR trying to make this team, I’m all for hearing how a rookie is out there being tough.

        • aub32

          From what I read he’s not making the grabs though. He keeps coming up short.

          • moesus

            All of the stuff I’ve read on here says that balls he missed were all sliding or otherwise tough catches and he made a bunch of them. I can only go by what is written at the moment. Friday will tell me more but I’m confident that he will do just fine. I’m prepared to see both he and the Pope as our starters in two years.

          • it’s ok, none of the reporters made it seem like he’s dropping balls or these issues are a result of bad hands; seems they’re all just difficult catches.

            Let’s hope it plays out like Boykin last year, who kept having almost INTs all camp.

    • Travis Papa

      I think people only expect momah to have a ceiling as our 6th wr but are hoping for a floor of a PS player this season. Anything beyond that is having unrealistic expectations. Cary Williams the supposed #1 cb (outside) on the team should be eating his lunch on every play. If the #1 corner isn’t shutting out a PS player we are in for a very long season

      • If we keep 6: Maclin, Cooper, Matthews, Huff, Smith, Pratt
        I’d even keep 5 and put Pratt and Johnson on the PS (they’ll be safe there, trust me)

        • aub32

          I did like what I saw from Pratt

    • RIP illa

      Jesus RC…LMAO. Loving the end of discussion observation on Momah.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      So, what you’re saying is that Momah really stood out? Excellent. Thanks for the good news. Are you getting his jersey in green, black, white or kelly green? lol

  • Eagles1018…Please no more du

    It’s cool that Kevin Greene came in to give some tips. I’ll take all the help our defense can get. Heck let’s get Lawrence Taylor in here

    • Warhound KnowsHstryWarts&All

      You’re kidding, right? Players, such as LT, who depended on prodigious amounts of natural talent rarely make good coaches.

      • Age

        Besides, I heard he’s in Cleveland, giving J. Football some pointers.

  • Bird of Prey

    Watching the HOF this weekend makes Tanier’s article even more interesting. People may not be old enough or forget that the bills made the super bowl four years in a row with the “K-Gun” offense run by another Kelly, Jim(Who’s battling cancer-Keep fighting Jim!). Whose execution of a game long two minute offense was pretty exciting to see. The other thing to mention about that offense was it seemed like a play option as well with a terrific running back Thurman Thomas running and catching all over the place. Can’t wait till Friday.