What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:

ESPN.com’s Mike Sando polled 30 league insiders and ranked the 32 NFL head coaches. Chip Kelly came in at No. 12:

“Kelly is the fascinating guy to me, because with a lot of these young [coaches] I’m not sure, but Chip has a chance to be really special,” a former GM said while putting Kelly in the second tier with the arrow pointing up. “He is going to do it differently. Even the DeSean Jackson thing, he was not afraid to get rid of him. He thinks his system can overcome everything and sometimes those guys know. He interests me greatly.”

A defensive coordinator lauded Kelly for doing an outstanding job with players. The coordinator also suggested time would tell whether Kelly’s offense would have staying power. “I think he is a 1,” a GM said. “I just think he doesn’t give a s— what other people think, and he has his beliefs, he is outside the box and he is true to himself.”

Tom Pelissero of USA Today is reporting that Mark Sanchez does not want to be moved:

But if Sanchez has anything to say about it, there’s “no chance” he’d abandon his fresh start as a backup under coach Chip Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles for a shot to rejoin Schottenheimer and play in St. Louis, a person with knowledge of Sanchez’s thinking told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday.

Peter King of The MMQB believes the St. Louis Rams will not pursue Sanchez:

I feel sure they won’t pay a ransom for a Mark Sanchez, one of the league’s hottest quarterbacks this summer, even if Philadelphia decided to make him available. (A ransom being a second- or third-round pick. Not smart for a guy you might have only one year.)

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal thinks Chip Kelly is change you can believe in:

Dumping DeSean Jackson was the ultimate “bet on yourself” move. Kelly will rely again on pace, yards after the catch, a sprinkling of sports science, and more pace. The more we read about Kelly, the more we believe the hype.

Ever wonder what happened to Danny Watkins?

Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight Sports uses  statistical data to conclude that the Eagles will regress in the win column but will ultimately have the best chance to win the NFC East:

But there are also a number of red flags that traditionally portend a decline. First, there’s the Plexiglas Principle, an offshoot of reversion to the mean. It holds that teams making a large improvement from one year to the next tend to give back some of that progress the next season. Historically, teams like Philadelphia — which improved by six wins from 2012 to 2013 — declined by an average of 2.6 wins the following season.

A drop-off of some sort may be all but inevitable. Fortunately for the Eagles, though, it’s also hard not to see them making another strong bid for the division title in the NFL’s most meh division — regression be damned.

In case you were wondering, as it pertains to Thursday night’s game:

ESPN.com is ranking the NFL’s top 100 players on both offense and also defense. Evan Mathis comes in at No. 59:

Mathis played every offensive snap for the Eagles last season. Mathis made his first Pro Bowl and was also named first-team All-Pro.

Left Tackle Jason Peters lands at No. 32:

Peters has appeared in six of the last seven Pro Bowls, and was named First-Team All-Pro in both 2011 and 2013.

Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.

Around The Web

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.

  • Ascher Levy

    Danny Watkins choosing to live in Dallas of all places shows what a total loser pick this was. Thank God Andy and his draft picking are gone.

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      He did play College ball at Baylor, so, I guess its not completely out of the blue.


      • dnabrice

        He must have found a southern belle that took him down there.

      • Always Hopeful

        Ooops! Forgot about that. Makes sense. Kinda ripped him in another post…never mind Danny, never mind.

    • Eagles4Life

      Dallas is actually a great place to live.

      • Corey Dawson

        This was hard for me to admit. I visited a friend (he doesn’t watch football, so he’s allowed in the friend zone) there this year and it’s a really clean city with nice people and pretty damn good food. Kinda dead on the weekends though.

    • MagatBrackendale
  • NickS, Combine Warrior

    Further proof that ESPN rankings are as useless as teats on a bull.

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      Yes, but it’s a list and the regular season ain’t started so it’s important we all get unreasonably excited about dissecting the methodology/thinking behind it!

      I’m too cheap to pay for Insider, any idea what the “1” refers to in the quote from the GM (“I think he’s a 1”).

      One what? One off? One out of 10? One for the money, two for the show?

      Inquiring minds. Answers. ???

      • Adam G

        It means he’s tier one, which on this list is belichick, carroll, and peyton. Meanwhile, Fat Andy is number 4 on the list.

        • NickS, Combine Warrior

          Yeah, Andy shouldn’t be #4.

          • Adam G

            If there was a way to put on a bet where I could buy Chip’s career from here on out and sell Andy’s I would do it as much as I possibly could. Yet Andy is 4 on the list and Chip is 12.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            I would too…. The sense of nostalgia in the NFL is pretty deep-rooted at every level, obviously. In the next 1-3yrs we’ll see Chip climb up, and after the Chiefs finish 8-8 this year, Andy will still be top 10 because he’s too hard to move. Literally.

          • anon

            he was pretty successful here and last year in kc.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Yet he’s the only coach in the top 7 w/o a ring. And this is where nostalgia over his time here creeps in: He inherited a really good roster with a ton of first round talent that only beat one team over .500 and then suffered the one of the worst playoff comeback losses in the history of ever because he, after 14yrs coaching, still can’t make adjustments.

            Don’t misunderstand me, I appreciate Andy and everything he did here. I just wouldn’t call him a top 5 coach. He’s fringe top 10 IMO.

          • dnabrice

            How does he beat out some of the other SB-winning coaches???

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            #124 maybe?

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            124 might be 1/3 of his weight.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Close enough. Poor guy.

          • MagatBrackendale

            ESPN must think it’s still 2004.

        • TNA

          If Peyton was a coach, he’d probably be in the top 10 right off the bat. But here’s ESPN’s list:
          Tier 1: Belichick, Carroll, Payton
          Tier 2: Reid; Coughlin; Tied for 6th: McCarthy, Tomlin; Jim Harbaugh; John Harbaugh; John Fox; Jeff Fisher; Kelly; Arians; Lovie Smith; Marvin Lewis
          Tier 3: Pagano; Rex Ryan; Mike Smith; Gus Bradley; Tie: Whisenhunt; Mike McCoy; Trestman; Rivera;
          Tier 4: Zimmer; Gruden; Bill O’Brien; Caldwell; Marrone; Philbin; Garrett; Pettine; Dennis Allen.

          What “they” also said about Kelly:
          There were a couple of schools of thought on Kelly. Some were
          sufficiently excited about him to anoint him as a 1 after a single
          successful season in the NFL. Others of a similar mind thought he was a 2
          trending toward the top tier. Nine voters placed Kelly in that third
          category, taking a wait-and-see approach. One noted that the Eagles
          struggled for a stretch last season before taking advantage of an
          unusually weak NFC East.

          • Ramsay

            I never understood the love for jeff fisher, other than that superbowl appearance a long time ago in a galaxy far far away what exactly has he done?!

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        I was talking about the players. Read the coaching one after I had posted. It was a little better than the player rankings, which isn’t exactly a high bar.

    • you can milk anything with nipples Nick, it’s science

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        True. Even a dog. Saw it on TV this one time.


        • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

          Red Rocket… Red Rocket!

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        I have nipples, Focker. Can you milk me?

      • Andy

        How about me, Greg? Can you milk me?

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    The Least Danny Watkins could do was be a firefighter in Philadelphia area.

  • Kleptolia

    I consulted Tom Pelissero’s source to gain more insight into Mark Sanchez’s thinking. Here’s what I found:
    1) Mark Sanchez speaks to whales.
    2) He’s unsure about smallish horses.
    3) The meaning of life doesn’t escape him, but sometimes it can’t hang on to his passes.
    4) He likes the AMC Gremlin more than any sane person.
    5) His long term goal is to be the first person to traverse a black hole.
    6) He worries about ice cream.
    7) When he looks in the mirror, he sees a Sanchize.

    The source informed me that this information would also have been available to Tom Pelissero, but he failed to ask for it.

    • TjPup

      KLEP…40 minutes later and I am still laughing

      • Kleptolia


    • dnabrice

      Where the F do you come up with this stuff?

      • Say No to Marc Mo From Easton

        He steals it from other people :-)

        • Kleptolia

          I stole that from Chip Kelly.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          It does sound very familiar, but I can’t quite place it. Sounds like a dating profile from a MAD Tv skit.

          • Kleptolia

            i didn’t directly rip it off of any one source, but you know what they say about present actions being informed by past experience…
            So, it could be that what I wrote was informed by external sources, but any plagiarism is unintentional.
            I don’t know if that’s helpful or not…

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I know what you mean. I just wish I could identify what it’s reminding me of.

    • MagatBrackendale

      Hmm. One wonders if you aren’t a little fond of the Gremlin yourself! ;~)

  • Adam G

    If there was a coaching draft there’s no doubt in my mind that Chip Kelly would go in the top 5.

    • All Things Bad@ss

      I’d say top 6 …

      (in no particular order)

      With Arians on the come-up. I also think Marvin Lewis is a good coach, but he sure has had a lot of time to get those playoff wins and they ain’t comin’.

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        I think Jim H will be out of the group in a few years and someone like O’Brien and Trestman will make their way in that convo.

        • JofreyRice

          Yeah, Trestman’s a bit underrated, IMO. #2 scoring O in his first year, got just about everyone playing better. Cleaned up a lot of their lingering issues on the OL with quicker throws. Career year for McCown.

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Career year and got him paid, albeit not by the Bears.

          • Dominik

            Yup, Trestman will be a good coach in this league. Was sceptical when they hired him, but he’s very smart and very good with QB. A little bit like Big Reid, West Coast genius and QB whisperer.

            Lovie Smith couldn’t solve the O-Line for like 5 years, Trestman comes in and the O-Line is rock solid. On the other hand, he couldn’t get his D rolling. It’s strange to have the Bears with 2 Top 10 WR but a huge hole at LB. :)

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah. If they could have had a HC each for O and D, they’d be set. Lovie’s D was usually good at forcing TOs. I still think he’s a talented coach, I think he was just a bit myopic in terms of his side of the ball–which many coaches are, by the way.

        • All Things Bad@ss

          Agreed Trestman is on the come-up despite Chi’s flop to Philly. I think Jim is a great coach that will solidify longetivity as Ozzie helps replenish that team. I can’t help but think that Modell is rolling over in his grave over Flacco’s contract still.

          • All Things Bad@ss

            Oops … wrong Harbaugh

          • NickS, Combine Warrior

            Yeah that contract sucks but he had them cornered. Can’t imagine he would have gotten that on the market, though.

      • Charles

        Great list. A common denominator for all these guys is that they all eat, sleep, and breathe football along with being intelligent. I’m constantly impressed with how smart CK is. His memory and attention to small details is rare for a head coach with so much responsibilities. For example, during today’s press conference, he noted Blair’s former teams whom he barely played for and got cut from were the Chiefs and Raiders and knew the names of the two backup QBs for the Rams. Just like those other head coaches, he’s too good and smart of a coach to at least reach if not win a Superbowl within several years.

      • Dominik

        If I look at Kelly, I can’t help but to put him on this list. But don’t forget, it’s only one year so far. It sounds weird to me to rank Kelly at something like 12. But when you look at constant success, you can’t put Kelly very high just yet. If we win the division again, with 9-7 or 10-6, sure.

        Fact is: I wouldn’t trade Chip Kelly for any other coach right now. Belichick sure if he would be younger (it’s strange to put age as a factor for a coach, but how much longer will BB coach? He’s 62 – I’d rather have 15 years of Kelly vs 5 years of BB). Jim Harbaugh is a great coach, but I wouldn’t do it. Carroll and Payton are also great coaches, but I probably wouldn’t do it. Payton could be the closest one, because he’s a genius on the offensive side of the ball and I value that.

    • TNA

      Who would be on Bill Walsh’s top 5 list? Who would be on Jones’ top 5 list? I don’t think those lists would look the same. at. all. There are so many different things about what makes a good coach that these kinds of lists are a complete waste of time. I don’t see Chip working well with an owner like Jones or Snyder unless they hand over the keys (which is likely never going to happen). I also don’t see Chip working well in a cash-strapped organization that doesn’t prioritize the things he wants to do – like Jacksonville.

      • Adam G

        Jax is the opposite of cash strapped. Spending huge money on stadium improvements and their owner is one of the richest outside of football. My point being if every coach was a free agent, Chip Kelly would be in top 5 highest paid.

  • Leegles

    Comparing statistics from year to year doesn’t account for two and three years ago being an anomaly with all the free agents, not to mention the crappy Watkins draft, followed by the new coach, the offensive line and skill players, the emergence of Foles and solid youngsters, plus now continuity across the board in the second year of a completely overhauled program . . . I can’t imagine the Eagles will regress. Maybe they weren’t as bad as their record two years ago? Maybe Reid really had become soft on his players? Strength of schedule could I guess count for regression, though.

    • Kev_H

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I think the 2011-12 Eagles were “true” 7-9/8-8 teams. The wheels fell off in 2012, but they were still a few Bryce Brown fumbles and a play here or there from being 7-9 or 8-8 with all of the injuries etc.

      I actually think the team last year that is most associated with what is there this year was a little better than a “true” 10-6 team. How many teams who are forced to use three QBs finish 10-6?

  • B-West

    Safe to assume that picture was snapped during a TV timeout, forcing Chip to wait for football. Man, he sure hates the waiting.

  • Michael Myers

    the mmqb link needs to be fixed

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    I just signed the petition “Roger Goodell (@nflcommish): Set Consistent Punishment Guidelines for NFL Players Who Commit Violence Against Women” on Change.org.

    It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:



    • macadood

      it’s already well in the works bruh…

      “The source confirmed that changes are imminent and expanded on that by
      saying the NFL is consulting with outside groups to revamp its approach
      on everything from education, training, assistance and enhanced
      discipline, which likely would be formally included in the personal
      conduct policy.”


    • MagatBrackendale

      Good luck. You’ll need it.

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      Thank you for signing and endorsing it.

  • B-West

    The 538 article alludes to there being no connection from season to season concerning turnovers. Then, it concludes that because there is no relationship, the Birds will be worse this season than last. Honest question, is that sound logic? If results are random, does that make you expect the opposite of the previous result? I would think random means that any outcome is just as likely, including the previous result. The guys at 538 are pretty smart, though.

    • Andrew Jones

      It is sound logic. Most things spread across a bell curve, with outliers at either side. If it is random most teams will find themselves in the middle of the ‘bell’

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      Random is poor phrasing on their part. Clearly all numbers of turnovers are not equally likely. The possibility of zero turnovers or a thousand turnovers is much lower than the possibility of 20, for example.

      The point they’re trying to make is that is you see a team with an extreme turnover differential (high or low) it’s reasonable to expect some regression to the mean as it’s not a stat that is typically sustained from one year to the next.

      Or put simply, the Eagles turnover differential last year was an unlikely event. It remains an unlikely outcome for this coming season despite the fact it happened last year.

      • B-West

        Well said, and I think that’s pretty much how I felt before I started thinking about random probabilities. The idea of a fumble recovery being random always seemed to add up to me, but I may have to read their stuff on interception rates. Seems like that should be more consistent once you hit a particular tier of QB play.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          An individual QB’s number of INTs over a given number of years is a good predictor of his number in the future (except with Eli, where you always take the over) but when you’re talking team turnover differential there’s a bunch of other high variance factors like injuries, fumbles, defensive INTs to account for which is why it’s tough to predict from one year to the next.

          TBH I’m mostly surprised 538 used the word “random” because saying that’s usually a sure fire way to make a stats geek go off on one about the true nature of randomness and that what you’re talking about almost certainly isn’t *actually* random.

          By which I mean “I am a stats geek who gets upset when people use the word random incorrectly”.

          EDIT – I got curious about the ‘randomness’ of fumbles and found this, which I’m sure is of interest to nobody but me, but still:


          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Eli randomly chooses which team to throw the ball to on any given play.

            When we simulated the season 1,000 times, Tony Romo’s back injury was randomly distributed from week 2 to week 8.

            We simulated the season 1,000 times without taking in to account talent or coaching and were surprised to find the win-loss records were seemingly random, leading us to conclude that every team is likely to go 8-8 this season.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        what’s the likelihood Barkley comes in and does his Stackhouse impression, 5TOs in 10 mins?

        • Dominik

          Upvote for Stackhouse impression.

      • 76mustang

        2009 Ducks – 14 Ints. 11 Fumbles Gained
        2010 Ducks – 21 Ints. 16 FGd
        2011 Ducks – 17 Ints. 12 FGd
        2012 Ducks – 25 Ints. 15 FGd

        Maybe Chip’s Ds are good at generating turnovers – when you’re continually playing from behind, you’re forced to take shots, which can lead to turnovers. Chip calls this sudden change and stresses the importance on both offense (take advantage) and defense (minimize damage). I would think continuity in scheme and players would impact results.

    • borntosuffer

      If it is random, all teams are equally likely to finish with the best turnover ratio. They are basically saying you can just pick teams out of a hat each year. That makes it unlikely for ANY team to finish at the top regardless of how you finished last year. It is no less likely because they finished at the top last year either.

  • Soybot

    “Ever wonder what happened to Danny Watkins?”


    • dnabrice

      He got cut.

    • OMGitsWes

      And Dallas of all places?!?! WHAT A BUM! lolzzz

      • NickS, Combine Warrior

        “Can’t fight fires in Philly since they cut me….(Thinks)…. I know how I’ll get them back.. I’ll be Dallas fireman! Muahahaha”

      • MagatBrackendale

        He went to Baylor, only about an hour from Dallas, probably knows people there, maybe interned? Is his wife from there? I don’t imagine he gives 1 rats behind about a “rivalry” between cities.

    • eaglespur

      was happily not thinking of him.
      now I am, rats.

    • MagatBrackendale

      Here’s a hint:


      Kelce doesn’t seem to hate him.

    • scrapplejoe

      Rolling in his money, thats what happened.

  • Joe Thomas

    Why are people assuming st louis only needs Sanchez for a season? Bradfords history suggest otherwise.

    • Andy

      I think the concern is that he’s only under contract for one season.

  • Eagles1018…Please no more du

    Good luck Cassidy.

  • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

    “Rex Ryan announces that Mike Vick will start vs. Eagles on Thursday night. However, he won’t be out there for long #nyj”

    … Too easy.

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      At least he knows where the training room is.

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      Pun unintended.

  • TNA

    Matt – welcome to the world of text, and not just photos on 24/7!

  • Tautalatasi Jr.

    As the vending machine spits his dime back out, Danny Watkins notices a sign that reads “DOESN’T ACCEPT CHANGE”.

    “Nor me, man,” he sighs. “Nor me.”

    • Kleptolia

      You’re good at this.

      • Tautalatasi Jr.

        hahah thanks Klep, but I’m just copying and pasting tweets from @stuffdrakedoes (which is hilarious) and putting names of players instead of drake’s

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          I am so disillusioned now.

        • Kleptolia

          Well, you’re good at it!

        • CHRIS – CB with dreads

          takes some of the wind out of your sails, but I enjoy reading them regardless. Keep them coming.

    • MagatBrackendale

      What did Watkins ever do to you?

      • Corey Dawson

        Wasted one of my favorite team’s draft picks.

        • MagatBrackendale

          Didn’t draft himself.

      • Neanderthal

        Why does it bother you when we have some laughs on here. Get a sense of humor

  • Mr. Wu

    “We’re the glitz and the glamour of the NFL,” says Jerrah, about his cowboys, doing his best Liza Minnelli impersonation “We want to kick [our opponents’] you-know-what with glitz and glamour.”

    off topic i know…but one can’t get enough new Jerrah quotes

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      nope, least i cant. glamour…he does know he owns a football team, not vegas showgirls, right? guess that’s why he’s overpaying QB, will end up overpaying for a WR and RB, and totally ignores DLine.
      long live Jerrah!

  • Kelly’s Hero’s

    Question for SK, TM, or someone else that’s seen this covered: I keep hearing that ST play will help decide which RB’s (and WR’s for that matter) grab the last roster spots, but I haven’t seen (or missed) an analysis of how they are doing there head to head, i.e. Tucker vs. Josey, Maehl vs. Benn, etc. Anybody?

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      upvote for great movie reference. no baby, we aint the American Army.
      good luck, you and Johnny Geagle are dying for this info. Polk is probably the one that stands out amoung them all

    • MagatBrackendale

      A new commenter. Always enjoy a fresh POV. Especially one with a strong interest in life.


      Favorite line in the movie.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    down to 75, Vandervelde got a settlement

  • Adam G

    Broncos traded for McManus, well there goes that.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Welcome to Birds 24/7 Matt Cassidy.
    Let the Dallas hatred flow through you and I’m sure we’ll all get along just fine. :)

  • Age

    Sanchez: “Rams? No Schott.”

  • DrFeelgood

    re: Danny Watkins….great job by fatty know it all Reid…….ticks me off every time I read about the old Canadian fireman selection…..just like when fatty passed on Earl Thomas…

  • Bird of Prey

    The richest Fire Fighter in Dallas. It sounds crazy, but I wonder how much influence Big Red has on the Chief’s draft picks? Then I wonder how many first rounders will be around after 4 years there.