Four Areas of Center City in Desperate Need of a Developer’s Touch

Nowadays, development in Philadelphia seems to be focused heavily on neighborhoods and districts surrounding Center City. But it’s not as though Center City is finished. Here we present four areas of Center City that are in desperate need of the right developer’s touch. These spots have issues due to a variety of reasons: slumlords, environmental problems, lack of interest, you name it.

Season City: Bounded by the Convention Center and Vine Street Expressway between North Marvine and North Juniper Streets

Aerial from Google.

You don’t even know where this is, do you? Season City is a name I made up for this small patch of Center City that everyone forgot about. I call it Season City because Summer Street, Spring Street, and Winter Court all manage to run through this small, ~500′ x ~1100′ wasteland. This area is replete with beat-up buildings, halfway houses, garages, and a whole bunch of surface parking lots owned by notorious slumlords. Season City is also haunted by a bunch of semi-legal billboards. It is a new neighborhood, recently separated from the rest of the city by the Convention Center expansion.

Picturesque Clarion Street in Season City. William Penn looks down in shame.

This place has lots of potential. Close to transit, convenient to the Convention Center, Reading Terminal Market, Hahnemann Hospital, and Chinatown. Right next to 676. The biggest drawback? The only thing you can see when looking south is the gigantic rear wall of the Convention Center. Some consider this area a part of Chinatown, others consider it part of the Loft District. The newest piece of construction is a nameless, faceless apartment building at the corner of Camac and Spring streets. The many surface lots are used by Convention Center visitors, making it the first part of Philadelphia seen by many suburbanites. Yay.

The Season City Skyline. Just ignore the skyscrapers in the background.

Though it appears deserted, plenty of stuff is going on here every day. There’s one of the last surviving African-American Schoolhouses (now being used as an architect’s office), the Mid-Century Modern Big Brothers Big Sisters HQ, the Chinese Gospel Church (using a building from the 1850s) and Philadelphia’s Scientology Headquarters (still waiting for that move to the huge building they own on Chestnut East). Three hotels call this place home: the Travelodge, the Hampton Inn, and the Four Points Sheraton.

All this neighborhood needs to pop is the elimination of all those surface lots, a bunch of lowrise infill construction, and some attractive retail lining Race, 12th, and 13th Streets here. Do it!

Skyline Gap: Southwest Logan Square/East of Schuylkill/JFK Blvd West/Market West

Aerial by Google.

This largely undeveloped area stretches along the east side of the Schuylkill between Market and Cherry streets, with an extra outcropping reaching east along JFK Boulevard. Filled with surface parking, busy streets, and a total lack of pedestrian appeal, this little area of the city fails to ever make itself better and it’s got no damn excuse. Here you have excellent access to multiple modes of transit and a short walk to the Schuylkill River Trail. The ‘hood even has a supermarket and (future) liquor store, something many other more developed neighborhoods lack! So what went wrong?

While Market West is just a mess, John F. Kennedy Boulevard west of 20th Street is the biggest disgrace. For many visitors to the city, this is the first part of Philadelphia they see when walking out of the front door of 30th Street Station. What’s there to greet them after crossing the bridge? Four straight blocks of nothingness. Even the buildings that abut the street just put up blank walls. Commerce Square becomes a block-long blank wall with storefront-like windows along the sidewalk between 20th and 21st; the Murano’s faceless parking garage greets you on the next block; and the PECO Building’s block-long rear section after 23rd Street has a bunch of “No Trespassing” signs on it. Throw in a block-long surface parking lot 20 feet below the 2200 block and you’ve summed up the entire south side of the Boulevard here. The north side just has train tracks moving Regional Rail trains to and fro.

Just across the bridge from 30th Street Station. Welcome to Philadelphia!

Say you find yourself halfway down this long section of seemingly abandoned boulevard. There’s nowhere to go! The Boulevard elevates toward the bridge here, so its well above the numbered streets. The other streets like this have stairways down to the numbered streets, but on JFK, there aren’t any. Again, great way to greet our city’s visitors!

South from 23rd and Arch.

Twenty-third Street between Market and Cherry is no picnic either. Starting north of Market, the first block has a huge surface parking lot on one side and another blank wall of the PECO Building on the other. After passing through the dark, 200-foot tunnel created by JFK Blvd and the Regional Rail overpass, one finds another, even larger, surface parking lot with a huge faceless parking lot across the street. The surface lot continues all the way to Cherry Street, with a car wash and an ivy-covered garage with absentee owners sporting flags advertising a housing development that was never built. The newly re-faced Pilling Building at the northeast corner of 23rd and Arch is the only useful piece of built environment along this stretch.

North from 23rd and Arch.

Though this area seems neglected, its hasn’t been forgotten. Numerous proposals and master plans to revitalized this area have been coming down the pike since the 1930s. Louis Kahn’s “South Triangle” Redevelopment Plan, the Century 21 Urban Complex, Philadelphia River City, there’s a whole bunch of ‘em. Now that development along the Schuylkill River Trail has been exploding, the time to jump on this little neighborhood has finally come.

Franklin Square West: Bounded by Arch, Vine, Seventh, and Ninth Streets

Aerial by Google.

This area one of the largest and most shameful expanses of mal-development to be found in the city, surface lots as far as the eye can see. Like the others, this spot has no damn excuse for its level of misery. Just west of Independence National Historical Park, easy access to highways and bridges, extremely close to multiple transit points. Chinatown on one side and Franklin Square on the other. There isn’t much holding this area back.

Looking north from the 700 Block of Arch.

The Center City Commuter Connection tunnel was run under this district almost 30 years ago. To save some dough, this section of the tunnel was built by opening a huge gash through the neighborhood that was later covered back over with surface lots when it was complete with the assumption that development would take their place. The tunnel was even buried deeper here than anywhere else in order not to disturb the future buildings that would cover this land.

Nonetheless, all these years later, all we have is four blocks of surface lots. One block to the east of the tunnel, even more empty lots are to be found. So many that the about-to-be-abandoned Roundhouse is visible from Arch Street. As in Season City, many of these surface lots are used by visitors to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Again, a crappy area is often the first part of the city experienced by outsiders.

This area is so blank right now that ANY kind of development would be appropriate. Residential? Commercial? Institutional? Anything will work. Maybe this area should get some KOZ status going. That’s what’s helping the Navy Yard and the University City Science Center. I’m not the only one who has identified this spot. The Philadelphia 2035 plan has made some recommendations that should be beat into the head of every developer within 100 miles.

The only improvements slated for this area right now are right next to each other, on the southern border of the district: A re-facade of a 60-year-old parking garage and the nine-story Project H.O.M.E. building to be constructed on the vacant lot immediately to the garage’s west. Let’s hope this stuff will help.

East Chestnut: Chestnut Street between Eighth and 12th Streets, minus the 900 Block

Aerial from Google.

All the other neighborhoods identified on this list are along on of the edges of Center City. This one, however, is right smack-dab in the middle, where there should be an excellent urban environment. Instead, crap. Beat-up, underused buildings. Vacant storefronts. This part of Chestnut Street was once one of the premiere shopping districts in America. While the 900 and 1300 blocks are doing fine and despite numerous attempts to bring it back to life (the Chestnut Street Transitway being in the most epic of fails), the 800-1200 blocks of Chestnut Street just can’t get it going. Or can they? All the pieces are there. Excellent multi-modal transit access, plenty of large storefront spaces. The floors above many of the storefronts are unused. So what’s the problem? The worst of this stretch can be found along the 1000 and 1100 blocks.

The 1000 block. At least there are trees!

The 1000 block consists of Jefferson Hospital’s Gibbon Building on the south side and a bunch of derelict buildings (besides Victory I and II) on the north side . The Gibbon Building once had storefronts that ran all the way down the block, but they’ve were re-purposed one-by-one, leaving only the corners. Rumor has it that a conversion back to retail was supposed to take place as part of the deal to build the mega-gigantic parking garage on the 900 block, but it never happened.

The north side of the block has the abandoned Society Hill Furniture building (permits have been pulled for a residential conversion); a parking garage whose retail spot has been empty for more than 20 years; the remains of the Mercantile Library (renovation plans announced 1.5 years ago); and a couple of slumlord-owned buildings at the northeast corner of 11th and Chestnut, one of which is slated to soon hold a futuristic Taco Bell location. The only life on this block comes from Victory I/II and an old office building being used by Jefferson.

Western portion of the 1100 block.

The 1100 block consists of a 1940s parking garage with constantly rotating retail (though the Airs Appliances has been there for decades) and the PGW office. Some facade work is currently being done on this garage, probably because pieces of it have fallen on people. Across the street, numerous empty storefronts supporting empty buildings pollute the block, especially on the western side. Some are even mid-20th-century conversions of historic 19th-century buildings.

Though I’ve made out East Chestnut to be completely forlorn, there are signs of new life. Cella Luxuria, Milkboy, Hiro Ramen, and Spice 28 have been major recent upgrades to this stretch and several of the buildings are already being converted to apartments. Philly Cupcake also helps. Those of us who remember what 13th Street looked like as recent as 10 years ago know that it only takes a few really good spots to boost an entire row of stores. Nonetheless, there’s plenty of improvement to be had. The renewal of East Chestnut could also end up forcing improvement on Market East. All this spot needs is the right developer to come along and make it happen. Its all here for the taking! Get on it!

Don’t forget the cruddy 800 block!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Franklin Plaza Area by the 676, 15th Street, and the Ben Franklin Parkway

Looking south from 16th and Vine.

This area’s not all that bad but it seems to be on a downward slide. GlaxoSmithKline’s headquarters moved to the Navy Yard, leaving two big office buildings behind. Though one is slated to become a charter school, the larger building is now deserted. The Philadelphia Gateway Center continues to fail 25 years after first proposed, and the only residences to be found in this little ‘hood are on the single block of South Mole Street and some homes near 17th and Race. There’s almost no retail to be found, not even vacant retail spaces. Also, plenty of surface parking lots. Developers, get on this spot before it completely sinks.

Behind Market East: The 700-1100 Blocks of Filbert Street

Looking east on Filbert from Eighth.

You think Market East sucks? How about the long stretch of Filbert Street behind it? At recently as 40 years ago, this stretch was a bustling community with both residences and businesses. Now look at it. Pretty much deserted, and for very little reason. Close to transit, the Gallery, the Federal Complex, Chinatown…pretty much everything is accessible from this part of the city, yet it still sits looking like crap.

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  • ZPaul

    great article…surprising how many of these areas have been overlooked or passed by retailers and developers

  • NateFried

    Do you see what EVERY selection you have has in common besides just one??? Its all north of Market. For a long time, North of market wasn’t even considered center city. To be easier, you could probably just say that everything river to river from market to vine stands as an EXCELLENT opportunity for developments. Especially when larger buildings in center city have seen a reduction in real estate taxes, while small residential which is going up in greater center city is shifting to a greater tax burden. DEVELOP! Of course, I would hope they think BIG and not small on any ideas that go here. Soon enough, our skyscraper zone will get filled up and if all the small ideas keep happening, Ed Bacon’s vision of a low rise city will take hold.

  • trixman

    Camp body in the event Lane Johnson doesn’t show on time?

    • GEagle

      I’m worried about Lane..If we are waiting to see what happens between the Dolphins and Dion, it might be a problem. Things could get ugly in Miami. Also, what if there camp starts later then ours? These things tend to come down to the last minute..what if the Last minute before camp starts for the Dolphins is two days later then ours? Dolphins have to pull this ridiculous crap!!!!

  • xlGmanlx

    I read how this guy has done nothing but try and get in the NFL. He looks like a good prospect, has good size/mobility. Looks like a guy that bought in to what Kelly is doing, he supposedly had interest from a lot of teams.

    On the other site, they had an article about this guy ‘dodging the draft’ if you’re interested

    • Johnny Domino

      That article was fraught with inaccuracies, not the least of which was his position.

      Several grains of salt necessary there.

  • BlindChow

    Did they have to cut anyone to sign him?

  • prowler

    “He attended Pittsburgh-Titusville back in 2008 as a student” Great job NCAA. Never let a stone unturned investigating a kid trying to get a degree. Meanwhile you allow corrupt $multi-million Profiteers exploit your bogus championship bowl format and in turn your student athletes. Hope big Mike gets to finish that degree someday.

  • theycallmerob

    There’s a new “King” in town. That’s one big boy. Kelly said he likes his OL to play like bouncers at a club; can you imagine this guy blocking a doorway?

    • cliff henny

      can imagine him blocking a garage doorway

  • Kemoslobe

    This is totally a Lane Johnson holdout protective fu move. He is big but need to be big and athletic in today’s NFL. Roster body or backup at best. Big doesn’t mean you can play (see Demetress Bell, King Dunlop).

    • Philly0312

      King wasn’t that bad. Raiders suck but they did sign him to start at tackle. Decent back up. Bell was pathetic, mostly due to mudd.

    • DLRJ

      I agree that Bell was terrible, but perhaps not the best example of big-yet-terrible. 6’5″ 311# isn’t particularly big for an OT. Anyway, at least between this guy, Geathers, and Momah, we some candidates for the All-Overhyped-Due-to-Size Team.

  • Wilbert M.

    I’m sure this was a bidding war – there were other teams after him. I think it’s great that the Eagles had the cap room and the aggressiveness to grab this guy. Great to get a 5th or 6th rounder without using a pick. Very nice player personnel move!!!

  • Jack Waggoner

    WIth a name like Bamiro, he definitely should have the nickname “Bam Bam”. Especially since he went to Stony Brook, which may as well be a name from “The Flintstones”.

  • southy

    6’8”, 335? That’s a big kid. Let’s hope he carries it better than King Dunlap.

  • aub32

    I can’t say I get how this all works. Why was this guy not in the supplemental draft? Had he been able to return to Stony Brook wouldn’t he have entered the draft next year? I don’t get how he gets to be a free agent. Could someone clear this up for me?

  • knighn

    “Because it’s not always the most talented team that wins, it’s the best team that wins.”

    Close, but not exactly. The last 3 Super Bowls (and 4 out of the last 6 Super Bowls) were won by teams that were no better than 10-6 in the regular season. That speaks to neither being the “most talented team” nor the “best team”.

    This is how it is in the current NFL: It is not the most talented nor is it the best team to win it all, it is the team that makes the playoffs and gets hot at the right time.

  • Andy124

    “When looking at opponents, Kelly doesn’t believe in rivalry games.”
    This is probably the right approach to take, but I’d still prefer it if he fostered a healthy hatred of the Cowboys.

    • Johnny Domino

      Who defines those rivalries anyway, don’t Cowboy fans think their rival is the Skins?

      How do the players feel or like the coach are they all equally important?

  • Philly0312

    I think Eagles fans should get something from the makers of Roll-A-Bout…god knows we suffered mentally without him in the lineup.

    • Chris

      let me know when you get the class-action rolling!!!

    • Andy

      Yeah, where’s my JP prize?

  • Andy124

    Not to make a big deal out of it, but why is it so hard to give non-answers?

    Well, as Lawlor often points out, players are THE worst source of information. So after this quote, we can pretty much ink in Foles as the starter. :)

    • Philly0312

      Yeah Pat Kirwan on NFL Radio says the same thing (Players are the worst source of info)

  • Sig

    DeSean has always advocated for the QB he wants to start. I remember when he was ready to turn the page on McNabb and wanted Kolb to start. If everyone gave non-answers to the media, the NFL would not be the soap that we all love and discuses everyday.

  • nicksaenz1

    Couldn’t even keep his mouth shut til training camp starts… Unreal.

    • cliff henny

      ah, to me it’s not a big surprise, take it as a self-serving position. d-jax has made a great living running 40 yd flies, and vick’s the better candidate with his cannon to showcase that talent in contract year. ask guys like celek, maclin or damaris, someone who’s going to be catching in a crowd, they’ll want the more accurate qb. but, an non-answer answer like ‘whoever kelly chooses, both have great strengths’ would have worked better

      • MV7

        I think those guys want Vick too. Vick hits them all deep and with accuracy

        • nicksaenz1

          56% career completion doesn’t support the claim of accuracy

          • GEagle

            Lol…can’t wait til they break up Desean n Vick. What a great day that will be

          • MV7

            He’s the Eagles all-time leader in passer rating and completion percentage. Go ahead and make excuses and minimize it. Go ahead I’ll wait

        • Pennguino

          Let me hit you with some knowledge.
          MV 41+ yards 18.2%
          NF 41+ yards 25%

          Overall MV is still more accurate 11 yards and beyond.

          • aub32

            Nick threw 3 passes over 41 yards and completed 1. How are you giving him credit for that? You Foles supporters love to skew the stats.

      • nicksaenz1

        I agree with you on the notion of it’s how he gets paid, but, my point is just about the ability to wait until the circus starts. You already know you’re going to get the question every day 10x a day during training camp, why start the circus early? It’s just dumb. Wait, that’s all I’m saying.

        • GEagle

          I’m actually more mad about calling us a top 5 team. How the hell did he not learn? Why does he have to volunteer ammunition that will get thrown in ur face?

    • MV7

      Oh I forgot. the players can’t have an opinion smh

      • Guest

        They’re entitled to an opinion as long as it coincides with what these guys wanna hear. Trust me, if he was touting Foles, it would be “great job Desean, appreciate your candor. Thanks for exposing that fraud Vick.”

        • Andy124

          You’re not entirely wrong. I’d be grinning from ear to ear if he’d predicted Foles to win… although part of that is because of DJ’s known love of Vick.

          Now Chip’s just got to get that message through to the players. “Keep your mouth shut unless you agree with Andy.” Problem solved.

        • nicksaenz1

          While it would have been nice to hear, I’d say the same thing. It adds to the circus that already will be there come camp, which is why I said, “couldn’t even keep his mouth shut until camp starts…”

        • MediaMike

          No……….
          It would be “great job DeSean, glad you learned something about football.”

      • nicksaenz1

        They can have them. Just shouldn’t voice an opinion on the subject that’s going to be the focus of the media during camp. Just PR basics, that’s all.

        • GEagle

          FOLOW F’IN DIRECTIONS!!! Chip has told these dopes to keep quiet, yet this bird brain can’t even help himself. Follow some simple instructions, and shut your mouth….this idiot even went on to call us a top 5 team…like has he learned NOTHING from the dream team fiasco?

    • GEagle

      Desean would be cut today if it were up to me. This statement is not in the best interest of the pHadelphia Eales, thus I have a problem with it..especially when it’s coming from a 7year Veteran of the city of Philadelphia. IF this idiot doesn’t know better by now, he never will
      ..
      “First off Vick is a QB that uses his legs first and Foremost”….EXACTLY THE PROBLEM BIRD BRAIN!!!!

      “to try and force Vick to stay in the pocket when things break down…”
      WTF? I doubt Anyone has ever told any QB that has any sort of mobility, that he has to stay I’m the pocket when things break down

      • MV7

        Lol well thats why you have the job you have now. Cut a player because of an opinion. These are grown men, and fans like you seem to forget that since they make a lot of money

      • GEagle

        To make matters worse, Bird Brain went on to tell the national media that we are a top 5 team…This would have never happened if Lurie had just rented that cruise ship for the summer!

        • cliff henny

          i was waiting for my call. although if i was captain, they’d be back on land by now. need 2 weeks to dry out in rehabs along with getting new clean blood to clear up possible stds

          • GEagle

            A necessity… Lol

      • nicksaenz1

        I wouldn’t cut him for it, but it’s just dumb. Although, thanks to Victor Cruz, it’s not the dumbest thing being reported said by a NFC East WR.

        • GEagle

          I think the Pouncy twins “Free Harnendez Hats” win them BONEHEAD of the week

        • MediaMike

          No this is much dumber than Cruz. Somebody from the hood catching up with Martin would be much better than Vick being our QB.

  • Andrew

    Frankly, it doesn’t matter what D-Jax thinks. Chip is going to want to put his imprint on every aspect of this roster, and he won’t let any of the players get in his way. Whoever he decides is going to be the starter, that’s what’s going to happen. Frankly, I don’t see the Eagles being serious Superbowl contenders this year, too many issues with the defense. I’d prefer to see one of the 2 young guys start. They need to figure out if they’ve got their QB of the future on the roster, and Vick isn’t going to do anything but win empty games. I’m a USC grad so I’m pretty high on Barkley but I understand not many think of him as the future. Either way, you can’t win without a QB in this league and I wouldn’t be surprised if none of the 3 are the future for this franchise. We just gotta trust Chip and Howie to figure it out.

  • cliff henny

    agree with competition, but just cant see kelly being able to drag qb decision into sept. dan graziano was all over this on espn. kelly goes too far past 3rd PS game, national media will turn it into a circus. i’m for vick, but if it’s still too close too call after 3 PS games, than foles wins. tie goes to youth.

    • MV7

      That shouldn’t be….

  • MV7

    Good pick DeSean. If Vick is not the starter (he will be), you will not get the ball except on bubble screens as the other QB’s arms are weak. We know you’re not going to go over the middle too much and that’s ok. That’s why we have Mr. Benn. i expect a big impact from him if he can stay healthy

  • Rick H

    If you listen to Desean closely he reveals himself and his understanding of the core of the Eagles team. That “tell” is exactly what Chip Kelly wants to rid The Philadelphia Eagles of a.s.a.p. Not that there is anything wrong with Desean or the rest of the guys he mentioned but they are not the core of the team. Eventually after one season under Kelly this will become evident. On the extreme projection of the four players he mentioned, I could see only one of them being here in Kelly’s second year. However more then likely there will be two. McCoy is a lock but after that it is highly speculative. Macklin MUST have big year or he is gone, Jackson MUST have a very good year or he gets traded at the end of the season. Vick will be gone! Michael Vick is reckless with the ball that goes against what Kelly believes in. Kelly is looking for aptitude, precision and high intellect at every postion. All the players or many of them are enamored by Vick. However he just does not produce on a highly consistent level. He takes too many chances and makes bad decisions.I simply can not see him operating like Manning or Brady or even remotely like that. That is what Kelly is trying to create. Not a guy that is going to stall the offense on too many occasions. Kelly wants to score points and a lot of them. Vick is not that guy.

    • GEagle

      but Vicks is so much fun to play with in Madden, and he is fast. How could he not be the starter? he can run the read option…DUH!!!!

  • EaglePete

    this is exactly why it will be a locker room problem if Vick doesnt win the
    starting job. To me Kelly is just easing himself into his job without
    ruffling too many feathers early on. He knows by keeping Vick on team
    and in the starting competition he keeps his supporters buying in. If
    Vick loses the job later on and mgmt moves him, Kelly can wash his
    hands of the whole thing and say he gave everyone a shot, then its the
    front office moving him on, not the coach. Its obvious Vick has a
    support club on the team being the leader the last few seasons. My issue
    is still the problem that defenses have figured him out. He breaks out
    in 2010 coming back into league, followed by 2 terrible seasons. Force
    him to his right, bring heavy pressure and take your shots. Same way they slowed him down earlier in his career minus him doing that himself. I guess the idea that Kellys system will change things for him is yet another in a long line of fans/coaches that think they can make it work.

    • MediaMike

      Yup. Let Vick lose the job with ease due to poor throws, INTs, fumbles, batted passes, and slow reads. Then cut him so the brother-in-law support group for Vick doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the locker room.

  • MediaMike

    DeSean needs to STFU with his poor handicapping of the QB race. DeSean is my favorite Eagle, but I want no parts of Vick at QB. DeSean needs to stop brother in lawing the situation and help get Vick’s turnover machine out of here.

    • GEagle

      Don’t worry, Vick and Santonio Holmes will get along splendidly

      • Weapon Y

        I’m not sure Marty would be eager to coach Vick again. Then again, he might view Vick as a godsend after dealing with Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith.

  • Token

    This is why Vick must be cut when he loses the job. Too many of these guys still look up to him. Hed be a cancer this team doesnt need. It was supposed to be a fresh start and Kelly made the awful choice to keep this guy around. Hope it doesnt come back to haunt him.

    • GEagle

      Can’t wait til Desean has to take orders from Foles or Barkley. I don’t like the Vick hero worship at all

    • MV7

      Well you’re about to be disappointed. Vick will win. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Simple.

  • Dutch

    DeSean fully understands, as does everyone else involved with the NFL that without Vick under center the Eagles haven’t a chance in hell at being competitive in 2013. Vick playing with a healthy offensive line and a healthy McCoy gives the Eagles their only chance in the East.

    Vick and the Eagles should be competitive until Barkley is ready to accept the mantle. Chip Kelly doesn’t believe in throw away seasons and with Foles he’s throwing away the season. That much was proven in Foles appearances in 2012.

    The West Coast passing routes require a QB who is accurate in placing the ball in a position where receivers can catch and run for yards. Matt Barkley is the most accurate passer on the Eagles roster with exceptional anticipation and placement in the intermediate and short game. Barkley also has the ability to hit the home run when open.

    The tandem for a successful start to the Kelly era running the option attack offense with WCO passing routes lies with Vick’s legs as DeSean stated and, in Barkley’s precision and understanding of those concepts practiced at USC.

  • Weapon Y

    I’m worried that D-Jax is going to be one of the players who pushes Chip’s buttons. We know how he mentally checked out in 2011 when he wasn’t happy with his contract. If he isn’t happy with how Chip is running the team (i.e. Naming Nick Foles or Matt Barkley the starting QB or having the WRs block more than they’re used to), I could see him checking out again. It might be a good idea to see how much the Eagles could get in return for D-Jax before things get too ugly. He’s an incredibly gifted receiver and I’d hate to let him go, but if he’s going to give us T.O.-style distractions, it’s better to get rid of him. BTW I’d wait and see what happens in training camp before even considering a trade.

  • illadelphia21

    While I would love for the team to be able to keep all 5 backs, I value other positions more for roster spots. That being said, I hope we can PS Tucker (which would be no problem) and that Jones beats out Polk. I love me some speed. I like Polk a lot but I just don’t see one particular area where he is more outstanding than any other back on the roster. We have Shady who’s an all purpose, great at everything back. Bryce has a size/speed combo, that off the top of my head, I’ve seen only in Bo Jackson and AP. And jones is pure speed who can give you something in the return game and has years of experience under his belt.

    Before anybody starts screaming goal line situations, look back to Shady’s year where he scored 20 TD’s or more, he did some impressive work in GL situations. Plus if and when Bryce learns how to run North/South he should be able to be just as good if not better.

    Short yardage…once again Bryce, after learning to run north/south. He’s the biggest and strongest back in the team.

    Bruiser type, between the tackle punisher…We are a zone blocking OL not road graders. Zone blocking sets up cut back lanes and the OL to get to the second level quickly. A punishing back is not really needed.

    I just don’t see what Polk can give you that the other backs can’t give you or give you better.

  • MV7

    DeSean is a member of the Eagles, practices with the team and he works with the QBs almost every day. How in the hell would he not know who the best QB for the team is? How in the hell would nicksaenz1 know who is the best? This is a new year. Quit harping on last year and let the QBs compete. Sometimes I wish that these blogs didn’t exist so we don’t have to hear the crap from nicksaenz1 and I’m sure she feels the same about me. If Foles wins, good on him and you guys should say the same about Vick if you were real fans. Both QBs sucked last year because they both had zero blocking and our defense couldn’t take the ball away or keep a lead. That’s a losing formula in the NFL. I believe Vick will win, but let them compete and put aside your personal hate for 7 because that’s what it looks like to me.

    • nicksaenz1

      hahahaha maybe you are the real Mike Vick, you seem soft like him…. I’m an Eagles fan dude. I’ll support whoever takes reigns behind center be it Vick, Foles, Barkley or Dixon. It’s not personal hate. It’s his performance the last 2 years, namely all of the turnovers. We just happen to have a stark difference of opinion, and because you can’t convince me that Mike’s as good as you say he is, you post crap like this. Get over yourself.

      • Dutch

        This is bizarre, Vick “Soft” but you’re willing to put Foles in the game who has proven he’s not capable of absorbing half the punishment and open hits Vick takes during a season. Or is this another case of double standards as with the turn over issue?

        That could not have been a well thought out statement considering Foles and every other Eagles Quarterback over the last decade under Andy Reid has been knocked out of action for a period of time due to setting up in the Eagles pocket.

        What you fail to recognize is in that last 2 years Andy’s scheme was not the scheme from 2010 that Vick used to lead the Eagles to the Division Crown. Andy trying to remake Vick restricted the kid to the pocket and progression reads. This is exactly the reasoning Jackson gave as to the problems with the offense over those two years. That’s not to difficult to grasp. It’s a case of basic denial by those of you who hate Vick. As Jackson stated the issue was Andy’s schemes and concepts.

  • nicksaenz1

    Would anyone consider taking Bryce in a fantasy draft in the 8th? Or even the 6th, given what we know about the running game that will be utilized? I traded my 7th last year.

    • BirdGang

      No way…there are too many starting RB to waste a pick on Bryce. I bet he will go undrafted. Or taken in the late rounds.

    • theycallmerob

      Yes; rbs are jumping off the board, and he’s bound to get more yards and touches. Not as impressed with the rooks this year (I drafted both martin and trent richardson late last year). In my mocks, he’s generally best value by about the 8th

  • Bdawkbdawk

    Desean needs to surround himself with better people. Youre telling me that no one in the post production room had the balls to tell Desean that the video is garbage? That kills me. I’d be rolling on the floor laughing.

  • Explorer51

    And Pete Prisco ranks AR #10 with a little knock on Eagles’ fans. I predict Reid will have a pretty good few years but will end up reverting to the same maddening mistakes and arrogance we saw here in the last five years. KC fans will love him at first and then wish for his exit…

  • illadelphia21

    Aside from Desean actually looking into the camera and “dancing” around to much, the video itself wasn’t all too bad for his first “big budget” production. It’s literally the song, and specifically the versus from both Snoop and Djax that ruined everything sacred and holy in hip hop. Rapping bout your chain or the diamonds is a really outdated way to express all of the dough you got. Djax’s bars were horrible. They shouldn’t of even let him out the booth spitting that hit garbage! He’s got nothing on my boy Chocolate Droppa! (If you don’t know then google him, you’ll thank me later) the shots of Vegas were cool. The rapping in the hotel room shots were cliche, and the girls could have been hotter! But yeah, who rides around in a back of a limo in a video as a sign of all the dough you hold, neway!!!

  • f. sauers

    Insightful article. Walking near Broad & Chestnut behind a few tourists one evening, I heard one of them say–“Once you walk back and forth these two blocks, where else is there to go?” Among major cities, Philly — and a shameful planning commission and city council — has a sad tolerance for vacant spaces, surface parking lots, slum landlords, that makes for a pretty unpleasant experience for pedestrians, especially at night.

  • Chris Matthews

    I hope Chip adds this song to the practice playlist..Sheil please let us know if he does!

  • GEagle

    Just looked at what’s left in on the market and I wish we would sign 3 players:
    1) Nick Barnett…ILB Insurance, versatile enough to step in at either spot in case of an injury. He would be significantly better than any backup we have…the trick would be getting him to accept a backup role
    ..
    2)Sheldon Brown..he probably lost a step, but I would rather play him than Marsh, Hughes or anyone else we have on the outside in case an injury to Cary or Bradley occurs.
    ..
    3) Kerry Rhodes,,.He would instantly be the best player in our entire secondary. As long as we have to deal with the polarizing Vick and his hero worship, dealing with Rhodes “lifestyle” is peanuts

  • DunedinEagle

    Just one more reason to love this guy….NOT!

  • Weapon Y

    Chip seems very high on Trent Cole, but I’ve not heard him praise Brandon Graham yet. I’d hate to see another coaching staff keep Graham on the bench when he’s by far the best pass rusher on the team. I’ve never seen a player get screwed over by his coaches more than Graham. If he got Babin’s snaps last year, he would’ve easily gotten double-digit sacks and a Pro Bowl spot. Cole should be a rotational player who gives Graham a break and plays in some 4-man fronts.

    • Dutch

      If either Graham or Cole’s role is diminished in any capacity then the adage of scheming to the personnel is plain ole bull chit. The demise of Trent Cole is greatly exaggerated. Cole is the Eagles No.1 Hunter and he still if healthy wears that crown.

      Davis has to find a way to get Cole on one side and Graham on the other and both play the run on the way to the Quarterback supremely. I’m looking for a big year from Thornton. Give this quad time to warm up and than stand back and allow them to close out games. The Eagles have good young talent all that is necessary is putting them in position to build confidence and wreck offenses. Cox and Graham were relative previews last season in a dismal year defensively. Thornton looked good so good it’s clear all he needs is playing time to find his way.

      The Eagles were desperate last year and, in being desperate they did not seem to trust their rotation. I still see Curry as a talent that needs to be unpackaged.

      The D Line is where the entertainment of training camp is going to take place.

  • keepingitreal

    Good stuff as always. Much of the pundits look at the dallas defense in conversion and say “wow, they will be GREAT in a 4-3″, while looking at the eagles defense and saying “they will struggle”

    I disagree. I think some dallas players will not be suited for a 4-3. I think some eagles players will erupt in the 3-4.
    I think Cox will play at pro bowl level. I think Graham will do very well, albeit still sharing snaps…

  • cliff henny

    better be at high noon, cause before 10 or after 2, those two will block out the sun

  • xlGmanlx

    20 teams – where are the Howie haters now? Another shrewd move by the GM on the rise it would appear.

  • theycallmerob

    Preach

  • GiveMeABreak

    Great pickup. Run blocker from Stony Brook! Woot, woot!! Take that, Gmen, Steelers and Ravens. We got a Stony Brook OT. What you got (other than SB trophies)?

  • Andy124

    Thanks for the summary. Saved me having to look up that article and find out for myself.

  • aub32

    So the NCAA has a say on who is draft/sup. draft eligible? That’s wild. Well good thing he was still able to be picked up by pro teams. I hope he can help with the depth here. Thanks for the clarification.

  • aub32

    Evil twin? Is that you? What have you done?

  • aub32

    lol that probably goes for both of us. Still I wish I had some warning. It would’ve been funny for just one day for me to post in complete support of Foles and other changes you would like to see and you do vice versa.

  • Andy124

    “post in complete support of Foles”
    You should do that from now until a starter is named, regardless. lol

  • aub32

    Not one of your better comebacks. I think the name change has hurt your ability to make jokes.

  • Liam Mullen

    Clearly becoming? They have been the leaders the last 3 years!

  • usmcnole

    Yeah, Sheil’s been killing it since his philly.com days

  • Sig

    Agreed, moving the chains was the only must read blog on philly.com back in the day. (back in the day was a few years ago) I remember how upset I was when I learned Sheil leaving philly.com. When I found out he was starting Birds 24/7 with Tim it made my day. Do not think I have missed a post since the website has been up and running.

    Thanks Sheil and Tim

  • East Falls 215

    I agree as well. Can’t stomach Philly.com writers and Spadaro at all.

  • Andy124

    Wha?! Hate Spadaro? You have to take him for what he is, a PR guy, an Eagles salesman. I think he’s very good at what he does and presents a very likeable persona.

  • MV7

    Spadaro is ok. The philly.com writers are THE WORST

  • Andy

    Moving the Chains was an oasis in a desert of drivel.

  • Michael Winter Cho

    They’re great and so is Tommy Lawlor. That’s my “two starting wideouts”.

  • theycallmerob

    Jimmy and BGN are like the wes welker slot guy

  • Brian

    Stephen Assmith is the worst. Listening to him, asking baiting questions, is painful (first take with DeSean). This site is incredible. I’ve learned so much from Tim, Sheil, and the commenters. Five more days!

  • Dutch

    It is not love for Vick. No Eagle fan wants to be the sap sitting in the Linc with season tickets for a losing campaign in 2013 lead by Nick Foles. Last season when Foles relieved Vick the Linc was transformed into a mausoleum. You could not give tickets away. This season is shaping up like last season ended.

    The threat of Vick being replaced at QB this year for the Eagles has brought the Eagles resale ticket exchange to a halt. Losing with Foles is a bad proposition. You’re stuck with tickets you don’t want and can not sell.

    Chip Kelly wants to win NOW… So does the Eagles fan base. Vick and, or Barkley are the solutions. Foles hasn’t seen a winning season in 5 years.

  • MV7

    Yep lol!

  • cliff henny

    issue could also be he’s in europe, where he’s only getting the major national guys like jamie dukes, sapp and sanders. might as well add michael irvin to mix (though i find irvin and sanders entertaining, sapp and dukes are just horrendous). i can see how anyone would question and try to figure out their points of view, because they are pretty bad.

  • Andy124

    50 interceptions dude? Serioulsy? Sucks to be you.

  • aub32

    How about the simple fact he won games with Vick. Why does someone always have to turn this into a race issue with Vick. I get he’s not perfect, but there are plenty of football reasons for guys, teammates or no, to support Vick. I don’t hear anyone screaming to get Vince Young back. The fact that so many people want to bring up the race issue when there is not a single bit of evidence to draw that conclusion shows that you have a problem with race, not the players or talking heads.

  • aub32

    So why is it valid to ask if Vick’s support is race driven but not Foles?

  • Joe Jones

    who said anything about interceptions? Try to express yourself in complete sentences. But hey, its the internet, so when you disagree, just call names and diss……its fine, thats unfortunately what I’ve come to expect and why I post so infrequently.

    But like I said, when someone doesnt agree with the populace opinion, “oh, it must be those black guys sticking together” “why cant he keep his mouth shut” ……

    Desean didnt volunteer his opinion….he tried to answer the question honestly. Could he have given a non-answer? Sure, but this country is funny, you have all the freedom of speech you want, just as long as you dont use it to say something unpopular with the majority……

  • cliff henny

    eagles and ‘good’ should never be in same sentence when discussing reid’s short yardage offense. we were just god awful. blame is more on scheme of offense, not shady. o-line weighs near a ton, and then have them pass and draw block majority of the time. drove me nuts, getting 8 or 9 on 1st down almost felt the same as incomplete pass. i cant wait for 3rd and 2 to be a run down, or at least threat of run, again.

  • cliff henny

    i doubt it. under reid, we were never good at 3rd and short. he might have been good for an eagle, but i’ll bet westbrook had better stats. but, that would still translate to bad in NFL. sure there’s a stat junkie out in webworld that can back this up. i just know getting 3rd-4th and shorts were a huge issue under reid.

  • illadelphia21

    Really??? Felix Jones has lost all his speed??? Really??? Stop it!!! That’s just ridiculous. We are talking about what would essentially equate to our 3rd RB! So he didn’t show enough for the cowboys last year, who have in recent times, been soooo known for their smart personnel moves. Yet he should enough to make it on to our roster. That was ridiculous point #1. Having no expectations that Jones is the same player he was 3 yrs ago is totally fine. Again we’re talking about our 3rd RB.

    Ridiculous point #2…Polk is a back that can get you 4-5 yrds per carry! In what league?! It certainly wasn’t the NFL since be didn’t “PLAY AN OFFENSIVE SNAP LAST YR!” As far as one cut, yes Polk showed signs of that at Washington but was more of a put your head down and run into anything in your way back. But yes he does have a little wiggle. Yet as I already addressed, when an OL runs a zone blocking scheme, it is not your typical run between the tackles, ground and pound type run game of old. That’s why Dion Lewis, who is not as big as Polk or powerful, could average near 5 yrds per carry in his limited use. And he was a scat back.

    If Jones can help out on KO then good, if not, I still think he’d be just as good if not better than Polk for 3rd string. And you have nothing to back up that Polk is good at most things/great at none statement. That’s borderline ridiculous point #3!

    The only valid point you made for Polk over Jones was the salary cap point. And I can dig that. So if your personal preference is Polk then that’s totally cool, fine, and honestly accepted. But please don’t start spouting of BS to try and validate or support that.

  • illadelphia21

    I agree w/ you said. But the question I have is, when you say draw blocking do you also mean pulling linemen? If so San Fran did/does a lot of that on short yardage situations and they do it well, meaning it works for them. But yeah I hear you, on some plays I would have loved for AR and Co to just jam it down the D’s throat on short yardage plays.

  • cliff henny

    more in general. take out the end of game runs, reid asked his line to absord not dish out. even with bs end of game runs, we threw 60% and alot of those runs were 2nd and long draws, however they were designed. we had good lineman, think it was just how reid programmed them to think. when it came time to jam it down d’s throat, was not something they worked on.

  • Andy124

    I’ve been googling for 3rd and short converstion rates and can’t get what I’m looking for. The closest I’ve come is a stat that says McCoy averaged about 4 yards per carry on 3rd or 4th and 1 or 2 yards to go in 2010 and 2011, and averaged less than 2 yards per carry in the same situation last year. That hints at 3rd and short proficiency before last year for McCoy, but is a far cry from proving it.

    Maybe somebody else will pick up the ball and run with it.

  • aub32

    look at the game plans for the two different games. I don’t know if you read stuff from T-Law, but he broke down and pointed out how Vick was asked to do 7 step drop against double A gap blitzes. Hell, there were plays in which the Saints were blitzing and there wasn’t even a running back on the field. This doesn’t excuse Vick. It’s an observation and what happened, but the fact is Vick had a down year. However, I know he can do better. Vick supporters know he can do better. These Foles fanatics are simply making projections based on nothing. They expect to magically fix what ailed him in both college and the pros in just one offseason, in which he’s also learning a new system.

  • nicksaenz1

    That much I know. I almost never draft Eagles players. My thinking with Bryce is that with how much more running we’ll be doing than in the AR days, the risk of injury goes up, especially for the guy getting 18-22 carries/touches vs the guy getting 10-12. I’ve thought more and 6th is definitely too high, but the 8th isn’t out of the question.

  • BirdGang

    Man I cant wait for fantasy. The only Eagle players I plan on drafting would be Shady, and maybe DJax but only as a third WR.

    So that means you plan on Bryce keeping the #2 spot on the roster. Do you think Felix will cut into his carries?

  • EuropeanEagle

    Just when you try to actually make it clear you’re not a racist, people will still try to make you sound like one… there’s a huge gap between me saying Desean supports Vick because they’re from the same ethnic background and saying that Djax wouldn’t want Foles as his QB because he’s caucasian… or worse, me saying Vick isn’t the right QB for the Eagle because he’s black. I’m not pulling any race card… and I’m not mad at Jackson for being friends with Vick, it just bugs me that his opinion of who should be the starting quarterback isn’t based on recent football facts, but rather on personal motives. And even if we do push the ‘race’ reason aside, can you imagine what’s gonna go through Foles’ head if he’s named the starter and not Vick? “Yay i’m the starter! Oh but wait, Desean said he wanted Vick to get the job, does that mean he’s gonna run his mouth as soon as I throw my first pick, or if I don’t hit him 5 times per game?”.

  • GEagle

    Exactly why Vick has to be cut…I’m seriously going to look poorly at Chip if he choses Foles and allows a controversy to happen down the road. I’m going to be furious at Chip just because so many of us saw it coming a mile away, and he has been so perfect since he has been hired, that I expect hm to know better then to allow that type of foreseeable disaster…

    Your last sentence is a very SERIOUS ISSUE

  • theycallmerob

    Amen. Djax needs to get himself some cambodian breast milk

  • nicksaenz1

    I did nothing of the sort. You made a claim. I refuted it. The columns in the link are sortable, so you click the category and it filters the list for the category.

  • MV7

    Last time I checked, 87.8 is higher than 86.5. 60.1 comp% is higher than 59%
    You always see what you wanna see.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    “He started the game and the team lost. 3-6. 3-7 on the whole”

    Huh?

    He was 6 of 9 for 70 yards for a TD in the Dallas game…we lost that game but not b/c of Vick’s play.

    He was 3 – 5 and then concussed. Cherry picking stats just makes you look like an idiot.

  • Dutch

    The Eagles loss two game before the bye simply because the Eagles defense could not hold leads provided by Vick and the offense.

    What Eagles games were you watching? In the Dallas game the defense was again weak and the Eagles were down 7-14 in the second when Vick after leading the offense on a scoring drive was concussed.

    What extras and considerations? The Eagle were 3-5 When Vick went out and two of the games were directly related to the defense not being able to maintain last possession leads and close out games. The Saints and Falcons disasters were also related to the defense inability to get off the field and stop either team’s drives.

    If you have to lie to drive your narrative, maybe your narrative and point aren’t worth defending.

  • Dutch

    He’s experiencing a case of fatal denial. Which clearly is his choice. Or he’s blaming Vick and the Eagles offense for the miscues of the Eagles Defense. In either scenario he’s a dollar short and a day late. This crew lies so easy maybe they aren’t aware that the game box scores and play by play drive charts aren’t accessible online. This is similar to exaggerating Foles accuracy and pocket awareness and decision making. Foles 2012 completion percentage angle is a laugher. Foles receptions took place within 3 yds of the line of scrimmage, screens included……. I think he completed 3 passes beyond 10 yds, one was an overthrown ball to Avant in which Avant made an amazing catch but had no chance to rack up yards after the catch because of the inaccuracy of Foles on intermediate throws.

  • Pennguino

    Yea, I read T-Law. I like his work also. I can’t say I remember the article. I went back through his history and couldn’t find it. I did see an article from the Times Picayune where NO blitzed about 20 plays. 7 of their first 13 plays.

    If you see the defense blitzing every other play. You can feel the breath of two LB’s standing in the A gaps and you know a 7 drop play was called. Do you still run it? We just read an article stating that Vick wanted and got to make the line calls. I assume he was allowed to audible out of bad plays. Maybe he just didn’t recognize them as bad plays.

    I agree Vick could play better.

    “They expect to magically fix what ailed him in both college and the pros in just one offseason, in which he’s also learning a new system.”

    But you think Vick will magically fix whats ailed him in his 10+ years as a Professional QB in just one off season, in which he’s also learning a new system? History is not on his side.

    In my opinion, I have seen enough of Vick to know that it is highly unlikely that he will ever be anything more than an extreme athlete but just a slightly above average QB.

    In my opinion, I liked the progression Foles showed over the limited games from last year. I have not seen enough of Foles to say he will never be anything more than an above average QB. I think he has a higher ceiling and he gives the Eagles the best chance to win this year.

  • EuropeanEagle

    Yeah, because we all know Vick is a real surgeon when it comes to reading defenses. No he isn’t. Oh but that’s okay, he can use his legs, make something happen. The only problem is he doesn’t even do it anymore, unlesss you consider spinning around three times before getting your ribs crushed because you didn’t get rid of the ball ‘making something happen’… I understand people having no confidence in Foles because last year wasn’t great and he’s not a proven QB at this point. But you could also say that Vick has proven he can’t be an effective passer. And I wouldn’t want an ineffective passer, who on top of that can no longer use his legs, leading the team.

  • JofreyRice

    Fully agreed Watt had an historic season. For me, that is even more worrisome. Playing alongside a guy having an all-time campaign, drawing so much attention inside, and he posts those pitiful numbers? Any of the advanced metrics sites show that it wasn’t just that his positive plays didn’t show up on the stat sheet, he just didn’t have many, considering the amount of times he rushed the passer; pressures, hits, etc. Just extremely unproductive.

    That highlight reel showed me a lot of what I’ve seen from Barwin before, an outside speed rusher that often gets pushed past the pocket, and out of the play. I think Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph does it pretty nicely in the highlights from one of Watt’s last sacks. Very rarely do you see Barwin even attempt an inside counter, and he doesn’t display any skill at handfighting or other techniques to disengage.

    Now, if Davis has a plan for Barwin that utilizes his athletic talent to drop into coverage, and be a swiss-army-knife type player, I’d feel a little more optimistic about that. His passrush alone does not impress me.

  • Average__Joseph

    JJ is a terrific freakish player but this is the ultimate freakish DE (ahhh the good old days)

    Watch the replay and see him knock the tackle off his feet.

  • LeClaw

    My hope is that Barwin will make Cox into JJ Watt….eh?

  • Philip Soloninka

    I’m excited enough for the season, just stop

  • JofreyRice

    Sounds great. I’m all for Cox becoming JJ Watt, but I’m reminded of a White Stripes song in this case:

  • Philip Soloninka

    The swiss army role is more what I am expecting/hoping for as well. I think the point I was trying to make was that if it were not for Watt, those sacks go to Barwin/Reed, but that would be oversimplifying it.

  • Dutch

    I’ve been say the exact same think since the signing of Barwin. I hope he regains his 2011 form, but I don’t see the potential for Barwin to be a premium hunter in the NFC. I have reserved my thoughts on Barwin to being the guy who helps to lay the foundation for what that position in Phila can become before the Eagle make the financial commitment to mold or bring in a playmaker. I also don’t believe even the best pass defending linebackers or safeties can shut down quality pass catching tight ends.

  • JofreyRice

    It’s actually a great comparison, apples to apples, both play the strongside end in a way that’s way more athletic and nimble than 99.99% of players who have ever put on a uniform can do it.

    The early 90’s eagles made me a fan of passrushers for life. Watt is a pleasure to watch in the same way Reggie was. I’m really interested to see where his career goes from here.

  • Philip Soloninka

    hahaha the replay is incredible, very nice

  • GEagle

    Yup…just watch JJ Watts highlight and you can see how effective Barwin was…I’m tired of people who haven’t watched him play saying that he had a down year just because they looked at the stat sheet

  • NEC_2012

    Also, two of the sites are more than 50% surface parking and one site is almost half surface parking.