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?
Almost a year ago, #Eagles cut ex-1st round OL Danny Watkins. Now, he’s done with football, working as a firefighter in Dallas & very happy
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 26, 2014
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:
Rex Ryan announces that Mike Vick will start vs. Eagles on Thursday night. However, he won’t be out there for long #nyj
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 24, 2014
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.