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.
As Vinny Curry headed towards the locker room after the Eagles’ second mini-camp practice, there was a snack waiting for him in the hallway.
“Mango, peanut butter and banana,” explained the second-year defensive end.
Post-practice smoothies are just one of many changes these days at the NovaCare Complex. In previous years, players would be tossed Gatorades as they walked off the field. Now, lined up along several tables sat custom-made smoothies with each player’s name written on the plastic cups.
The Eagles have only had two days of practice under Chip Kelly, but count tight end Brent Celek among the players who are already impressed.
Celek was a fifth-round pick in 2007, only knew one way of doing things through his first six seasons, but is now seeing some sweeping changes at the NovaCare Complex.
The changes Chip Kelly is implementing extend well beyond the locker room shake-up.
One area where players are already noticing a difference is in the weight room.
“The weight conditioning is a little bit more up-tempo than it was under [previous strength and conditioning coach] Barry Rubin,” said center Jason Kelce. “I think that part of the reason why is because we’re going to run up-tempo. Instead of being able to relax and just kind of walk around the weight room and do your lifts, it’s more at a steady pace where you have a set amount of time rest period. I think the receivers and those guys might be doing a little bit more conditioning. They know they’re in for a lot of running in this offense.”
When Eagles players return to the NovaCare locker room in the coming weeks, they’re going to notice some changes.
Instead of having the space organized by positional groups, Chip Kelly has decided to mix things up. A quarterback might find himself next to a safety, a wide receiver alongside a linebacker, and so on.
“I think it’s going to help us blend a little better as a team,” said offensive lineman Todd Herremans, who hosted a fund-raising event for the Herremans Foundation Thursday night. “You’re with your position so much in the meeting rooms and everything like that. This will also have us hold each other accountable.”
The Eagles and tight end James Casey have agreed to terms on a three-year deal. How will Casey fit in, and what does it mean for other players on the roster? Here’s a look.
One thing we are learning about Chip Kelly is that he has very specific tastes when it comes to his personnel.
“He’s going to be very defined on the things that he’s looking for in players by positions,” said general manager Howie Roseman.… Read More
From draft positioning to Brandon Graham’s performance, here are 15 things to know about the Eagles’ Week 16 matchup against the Redskins.
Tagged with: Brandon Graham
, Brent Celek
, Bryce Brown
, Colt Anderson
, Dallas Reynolds
, DeMeco Ryans
, Dennis Kelly
, Fletcher Cox
, Jeremy Shockey
, LeSean McCoy
, Mychal Kendricks
, Nick Foles
, Sheil Kapadia
, Trent Cole
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Clay Harbor has been placed on injured reserve with a lower back injury, the team announced Tuesday. No corresponding move has been made as of yet.
Harbor sustained a back contusion on Thursday night against the Bengals.
The third-year tight end out of Missouri State finishes the season with 25 receptions for 188 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was the primary tight end against Cincinnati as Brent Celek sat out with a concussion, and caught three passes for 30 yards.
Celek has been cleared to return and is expected to play against the Redskins Sunday. In his absence the Eagles activated Emil Igwenagu, who will likely get some playing time against Washington now that Harbor is out.
Big moments have been few and far between during this the lost season, but we are approaching one.
Andy Reid is about to coach his last home game for the Philadelphia Eagles.
It is not an absolute but it is a cuticle shy of a slam dunk: Reid will not be back for a 15th season. That means the complex relationship between city and coach has just a couple more chances to be played out publicly.