You might remember Chip Kelly‘s entertaining response to the tight end question back in April, when he was asked to explain how he can make it work with Brent Celek, James Casey and Zach Ertz all vying for playing time.
“Yeah. You go like that (holds three fingers in the air) and three tight ends go in the game,” he said.
“We are going to go three tight ends in a game. Now, do they go three linebackers? We split them out and throw passes. If they go three DB’s, we smash you. So, pick your poison. Simple game. Isn’t hard. You guys thought coaching was hard. They bring little guys in, you run the ball. They bring big guys in, you throw the ball.”
That’s why Kelly values tight ends so much: they create matchup problems. But in order to capitalize on those matchup advantages, the ends have to be able to successfully “smash” the opposition as a blocker in one moment and create in the passing game the next. That is the challenge that faces this group in Year One under Kelly.
When Bob Bicknell found he out he’d be interviewing for a job on the New York Jets’ coaching staff, there was one person he knew could help him prepare: Chip Kelly.
This was back in 2006. Bicknell’s coaching experience up to that point had been with Boston University and NFL Europe. While at BU, he got to know Kelly, who was then coaching at New Hampshire, and the two kept up a relationship.
“As soon as I knew I was getting the interview, I said, ‘Alright, I’ve got to talk to Coach Kelly,’ ” Bicknell explained. “So I got in my car, I drove up and I sat with him for the whole day just to get ready for that interview. Now, it’d be a wonderful story if I got the job. But I did get the job a year later. It wasn’t that exact time.”
Now, Bicknell is tasked with getting his players up to speed on new concepts like option routes and a different way of play-calling.
Jason Peters recently said that in this offense, there is “a lot of running the ball; the passing is mixed in.” If you were to describe Andy Reid‘s approach, you would say the exact opposite.
The ground game is coming to Philly. Envious, Duce Staley?
“Ahhh, of course I am,” said Staley with a laugh Thursday. “If you’re a running back, you should be excited.”
Staley will have to settle for coaching this group of running backs, who are more important than ever to the success of the Eagles. And he has an intriguing group to work with.
Since Chip Kelly took the Eagles head coaching job, it’s been heavily debated: just what is he looking for in a quarterback? So we asked his quarterbacks coach, Bill Lazor, to name the main qualities they seek in a signal-caller.
“Accuracy and decision-making,” said Lazor without hesitation.
Later in the conversation, he was asked to assess Matt Barkley.
“From the moment he’s walked on the field here he has been accurate, and that’s the No. 1 thing. Accuracy and decision making. He’s been decisive and accurate,” he said. “I feel like the way we evaluated him so far — without having played a game — has proven to be true.”
In the past three months, though, he’s discovered that everything he’d heard was spot-on.
“He is the leader of our group,” Minter said. “He’s the elder statesman, the older player. Fortunately, when your older player is a producer, and he’s one of your very best people in the room, it really is a very good situation.”
Billy Davis has spent time watching and studying Jim Johnson’s defenses with the Eagles.
And the part that stood out to him was how good Johnson was at creating the “illusion” of pressure.
“Now he had some great dynamic pressures, and I’ve studied a lot of them,” Davis said today at the NovaCare Complex. “They were out-of-the-box thinking. But when you really break him down, it was more guys up in the A-gaps with the illusion of pressure than actual [sending] more than four rushers.
“There were times that he brought more. …But he did a great job of keeping offenses off-balance through both pressure, illusion of pressure and non-pressure. And you need all elements to attack an offense because there’s some times you pressure some of the stuff Coach [Kelly] does, you’re going to get eaten alive.”
Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford is presenting Michael Vick with a key to the city Thursday afternoon for his support in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“Michael Vick is caring and compassionate enough to reach out to our city when we were at our lowest point during the immediate aftermath of Super Storm Sandy,” said Mayor Langford. “Twelve hours after a nationally televised Monday Night Football game, he was lifting the spirits of our residents confined to shelters with his generosity’ particularly our young people.
“And now, here he is again, helping us to spread the message that Atlantic City is open for business and ready for the summer season, all while continuing to encourage our youth to make positive contributions to the community.”
Eagles tight end James Casey underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week and is out for the remainder of the spring, the team confirmed.
The procedure was done to clean out loose cartilage in his right knee. Casey should be ready for training camp.