What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Chip Kelly

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

Grantland’s Chris B. Brown with a terrific piece on Chip Kelly:

With Kelly, it’s usually about more than what we see. What makes him so interesting is his ability to seamlessly mesh old-school tactics and NFL-style attention to detail with an approach that attacks the very structure of defenses. College football has produced a lot of innovation over the last 10 years or so, but many of the great college innovators lack the attention to detail to succeed in the NFL. At the same time, many NFL coaches are too ingrained in the old ways to adapt to an evolving game. Kelly has always been at home blending the old and the new. That’s where the NFL is going, but Kelly is already there.

Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine also has a great look at Kelly through the lens of LeSean McCoy:

When McCoy struggles, he tends to dance in the backfield. Nothing angers Kelly like throttled speed, and it boils to the surface against the Bucs on Oct. 13 when McCoy is slow to an opening.

On the sideline, Kelly unloads: “Hit the damn hole, Shady!”

“There was no damn hole!”

“Shut up!”

McCoy heads to the bench. But he can’t let it go. He brings Kelly a photo of the play and says, “Do you see a hole?”

Kelly returns to the game, and McCoy returns to wondering whether he can coexist with his coach.

But in the team meeting the next day, Kelly says something the players have never heard so explicitly from a head coach: “Shady and I got into it, and I was wrong.”

Field Yates of ESPN Insider breaks down the Eagles’ offense with the help of some defensive coaches:

“We always talked about being an eight-man front,” one defensive coach said. “So, the worst thing we could do was play Cover 2. So we always went to an eight-man front with Cover 1 or Cover 3. And really the basis behind that is they want to run the ball. They’re a run-first, pass-second team.”

Cover 2, which lightens the box to seven defenders, serves as an open invitation to run the football. That’s what the Eagles do best, so bringing an extra defender into the box helps fortify a run defense.

From a pass defense perspective, defenses want to be physical with the Eagles’ wide receivers.

“The thing that gave them issues — DeSean Jackson isn’t very strong at the line of scrimmage,” said an assistant coach. “We played Cover 1 and pressed him and just jammed the [expletive] out of him, and he couldn’t get off the line. That’s the other good thing about playing an eight-man front, especially in Cover 1, if you get the timing off of those receivers, especially the little guys, it screws everything up.”

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com ranks all the backup quarterbacks. He’s got Mark Sanchez No. 6:

Sanchez sports a 94.3 passer rating in six postseason games. If Nick Foles washes out as a one-year wonder in a worst-case scenario, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Chip Kelly extricates a good season or two out of a decent quarterback who was doomed in New York following the infamous “butt-fumble.”

Mark Dominik of ESPN.com assembles the ultimate 53-man roster that stays under the salary cap. Three Eagles make it, including McCoy, Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin:

Boykin is a top athlete at his position who can run and jump and has top ball skills. He is an ideal fit to move inside as a nickel/dime cornerback. He was one of the top interceptors in 2013 and possesses not only elite ball awareness but also ball skills. As the Eagles continue to improve on defense, fans will find out how good he is. Plus, given his rookie contract, he’s a bargain.

Judy Battista of NFL.com on Nick Foles:

Because of the vagaries of roster shuffling, it is difficult to draw straight-line comparisons from season to season. And certainly the departure of receiver DeSean Jackson and the addition of running back Darren Sproles is likely to alter the complexion of the Eagles’ offense — and the throws Foles comes to rely on — as this season progresses. But it is impossible not to be seduced by the simple timeline of Foles’ development when an obvious anniversary like this one presents itself. Almost exactly a year ago, he wasn’t good enough to start. Now, when he looks to Brady for clues about how to improve, it doesn’t seem like such a laughable divide to bridge.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com collectively ranks divisions by defense. He’s got the NFC East last:

The forecast remains bleak on the defensive side of the ball, particularly in Dallas, where the dismissal of DeMarcus Ware and a season-ending injury to Sean Lee have left the Cowboys without leadership or playmaking ability. The Washington Redskins hope some offseason additions (headlined by DE Jason Hatcher) can help reduce last year’s ghastly points-per-game figure of 29.9. The Philadelphia Eagles are counting on upgrades in the secondary (Malcolm Jenkins) and pass rush (first-round draft pick Marcus Smith) to cut down on the big plays that plagued the unit in 2013.

Around The Web

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  • Shane Brown

    That espn magazine piece was a great read. I would recommend it to all

    • CHRIS – CB with dreads

      Definitely. ESPN finally did something right! Awesome piece.

    • FluxCapacitor

      100% agree – I could have kept reading for two days with the level of detail and writing in that piece.

    • Jason

      The articles were great. But what is better, we have known all of those things for months. Thanks to Sheil, Tim and now Josh for all the awesome work they’ve done to keep us informed.

  • Anebriated

    Telling statement about Desean Jackson…

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      rest up for AUB, guarantee he’s a-comin’

      • CHRIS – CB with dreads

        I’m not properly hydrated for that

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        First thing I thought when I read that. Then I saw the “Now, when he looks to Brady for clues about how to improve, it doesn’t seem like such a laughable divide to bridge.” and my next thought was that sh*t’s about to get real on the comment board.

      • aub32

        Not much for me to say really. I completely agree with the first 3 paragraphs. We are a run first team, and stopping Shady should’ve been every DCs first priority. As far as the DeSean comment, I am just curious to know which team the guy works with. DeSean didn’t put up big numbers every game. Though I’d be laughing my butt off if this guy worked for the Vikings or someone else he had a big game on.

        • Breathe 21

          It could be the saints, Rob Ryan plays aggressive man coverage that held Desean in check. He’s the first name that comes to mind when I read that quote. He expresses himself passionately when speaking on defense and doesn’t care how you feel it sounds.

          • Kev_H

            Cowboys, for as bad as they were on defense, held the Birds in check pretty well. Kelly probably figured every defense would play it that way and decided on no midgets. It’s as simple as that though some still think it was about internet gossip.

          • anon

            it was everything kelly also needed to make a statement.

  • macadood

    NickFolesian Dynamite

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      HA, Foles’ tough guy face looks like a puppy begging for a cookie

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

    Marcus Smith is apparently going to help our pass rush. Bucky Brooks is mailing it in again.

    • Eagles4Life

      Nothing new. I laughed to myself as I read that lol.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    while generally despising ESPN, wouldnt mind taking a peek at FIeld Yates full article. plus, they also dumptrucked on ‘Allas ‘efense. asking the burning question…’14 nfl worst defense or historically worst defense.
    worth a click to see Ross Tucker’s tweets, he toolsheds ‘Allas

    • CHRIS – CB with dreads

      The commenters have a more realistic outlook than I thought they would have.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        yeah, that was one of the more realistic comment section. was hoping for more angry delusions, why i clicked on it. think it’s a lot harder for them after SD game.

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          It was still a little too optimistic to be based in reality.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            well, they are hanging hats on NO winning SB with 32nd defense. as i recall, that defense got a ton of TO’s. but the best and hidden news is, Romo looked very MEH against Raiders. and their early schedule is tough. could be 2-4, 1-5 very easily if Romo needs a handful of games to play himself into shape

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            3 NFCW games in the first 6? Plus Watt/Clowney? Theres an incredibly small part of me that almost feels bad for Romo’s back. Especially when they face the Rams front 4. Bout to see how good Tyron Smith really is when he faces Robert Quinn, who I kind of hope goes off against him just for Jerry and that new deal. (I’m aware of the irony in the statement given Peters’ extension)

          • aub32

            upvote for recognizing the irony of your own statement.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I figured recognizing it publicly might be better for karma. Fingers crossed.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons
          • Tom w

            I love that you take more enjoyment in the cowboyz stupidity and misery than any eagles fan I know. It’s hilarious and always informative.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            This is hilarious.

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

        My favorite so far:

        “This reminds me of the Giants a few years ago,
        They weren’t suppossed to be good either but turned into a super bowl team, Granted some amzingly lucky bounces wnet thier way,”

        • cliff h-MOAR white goons

          the guy listing about 20 ‘ifs’…i like that one.

        • CHRIS – CB with dreads

          That one was great. The guys replying to his post pretty much shot that down, which was impressive.

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

    The back-up QB story was worth a read. There is really a lot of crap out there at the QB position. #22? Brandon Weedon. How did he get rated so high? Good thing for him Tony Romo and his surgically repaired back and neck are indestructible. Can you imagine Weedon leading that team with that defense?

    • Philly0312

      1-15…..figure they’d luck one win with Weeden

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        If they’re only one win better with Romo then they should just cu-… wait, damn contract.

    • peteike

      yup, thats why Ive stated all along I think Sanchez is an excellent backup since most are much worse. Add in starting experience and its a bonus.

  • John E. Zang

    And there you have it. In case there’s still any Desean supporters out there. You “jam the **** out of him” and he’s done.

    • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

      Forgive me I thought I was done saying stuff. I hate when people try and minimize DeSean Jackson. 82, 1332, 9TDs doesn’t equal “done” in my book,

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        He obviously wasn’t done. Chip has answers for jams.

        • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

          We can say how much we don’t need him, how much we’ll be able to match his production, yada yada yada. And sure, Kelly did design plays to get his open. But lets not pretend all 82 of those catches came from answers for jams. He still had to line up against corners and run routes. I’m not saying jams didn’t cause him problems, but I’m not gonna reduce him to flash in a pan due to answers for jams.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I was being sarcastic. I have zero interest in re-hashing DJ debates.

          • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

            Oh… My bad good sir.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            All good. I’m tapped out on that subject. At least for a good while, hopefully.

      • TJ

        9 Catches 193 yards 1 TD – SD ranked 29th against the pass – Loss
        5 Catches 150 yards 1 TD – Oak ranked 28th against the pass – Win
        10 Catches 195 yards 1 TD – Min ranked 31st against the pass – Loss

        For those keeping track, in three games the had 29.26% of his catches, 40.39% yards, and 33.333% of his TD’s in those 3 games against 3 of the worst pass defenses in the league. No opinion just facts.

        • paul from nc

          You can rehash stats anyway you want.. Bottom line is 82 and 1300+ yds.
          You could take any receivers 3 worst games and do the same thing. Same as take the 3 best and extrapolate into a 150/2000+ yd season.
          If I wanted to waste my time with meaningless stats, I could do the same thing with Fole’s games.

          You have to take the whole season, not best or worse.against best or worse.

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

      I’m amazed he caught one pass, let alone 82.

      • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

        Seriously. For 1332 at that.

        • peteike

          but when things tighten up come playoff time that can make a difference. He produces, no doubt just points to CKs “measurables” again. We dont want to be the Bengals after all

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

            I’d love AJ Green in this offense

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I’d love AJ Green in just about any offense where Foles was throwing him the ball. If he gets those stats with Dalton…

          • dnabrice

            Dalton’s not bad. He regularly goes to the Probowl. I love Foles, but at this point, he’s won as many games in the postseason as Dalton has.

          • peteike

            dudes a beast

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

            if you could have either one for the rest of their career – at their current age, but ignoring contract/salary cap hit. Green or Megatron?

          • peteike

            hmmm, funny because I was going to say I almost like him better than Megatron. Tough call though judging them based on their QBs and teams. Prob cant go wrong with either, I guess the edge would still go to megatron at this point.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Hate saying it, but I’d rather have Green due to age/mileage at this juncture in their careers. AJ just turned 26, ‘Tron is about to turn 29.

          • dnabrice

            Green. He’s got 7 great seasons of potential left. Megatron’s got 4. They will no doubt produce after that, I’m just thinking 3 years is a long time in the world of the NFL.

          • Eagles1018…Please no more du


          • Breathe 21

            The NFL is unpredictable, you have a greater chance at winning the SB with Megatron in the present. You have a strong Nucleus now, you gotta take that once in a lifetime chance. Megatron is unstoppable, AJ Green has got locked up by Hayden. Megatron demands 100% attention and is harder to gameplan against. Everyone, including Shady will benefit from Megatron because of the attention he gets. If AJ Green is here, they will still gameplan for Shady because Shady is better than Green. Teams would force Foles to win the game. It’s harder to win games passing as the weather gets worse late in the season. You can ground and pound in any weather.

      • JofreyRice

        I thought Sheil put up some number where he had only been pressed 14 times all year, because teams were worried about getting “Jaylen Wakin”ed if they didn’t “jam the #$@% out of him”.

        • bsn

          The stat was he only caught 14 passes when he did get pressed. I don’t think they gave us the numbers on how many times he got pressed, just that 14/82 were when he was pressed.

  • OMGitsWes

    The last line of the ESPN article is great:
    “No stopping,” McCoy gasps “That’s some Chip Kelly s*** there.”

  • NickS, Combine Warrior

    “Did you get hurt?”

    McCoy is confused. Hamstring? Knees? Shoulder? Nope, all good. “Hurt?” he says.

    “Your hand! This thing’s tight.”

    What a joker.

  • aub32

    I don’t know how this didn’t make it to what they are saying, but this is a must listen. (You only need to listen to the beginning and the end) WARNING: Do not listen if you are in a place where you cannot laugh aloud.


  • Septhinox

    Why do people always talk about the loss of DeSean and the addition of Sproles like Maclin is a nobody?

    • Breathe 21

      I think it’s because Sproles is more impactful in the passing game and creates a greater mismatch than Maclin. Maclin is coming off an injury and is less dynamic. Doesn’t mean that’s what will happen though.

      • Septhinox

        More impact in the passing game? Not sure if you’re serious.

        • Breathe 21

          You must be thinking about stats. Revis does not put up the stats Boykin does, but he impacts a game much more than Boykin does. Sproles is someone teams game plan to stop because he’s a hard cover out the backfield on 3rd down. The eagles game plan was to stop Jimmy Graham and Sproles. This impacted how we played defense. It opened up opportunities for other players. Chip talked about this as reasons why we traded for him. Maclin is not a player who consistent wins match ups. You do not game plan to stop Maclin, he’s never been an impact player at any point of his NFL career. Sproles is more impactful in the passing game and special teams.

    • paul from nc

      Maclin is a solid #2, coming off serious injury and currently hurt.
      He possibly may have little impact over the course of the season. Too many if’s.