A selection of good Eagles-related weekend reading as the search for the team’s next head coach continues, and the playoffs get underway Saturday afternoon.
Two days after the Eagles fired Chip Kelly, a friend of the former coach came to his defense. Bill Belichick talked extensively today with Patriots reporters about why he disagreed with Jeffrey Lurie’s decision, according to CSN New England.
“Yeah, I would say it’s actually disappointing,” Belichick said. “Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach. He does a great job. I think he’s done a good job with that team. It’s disappointing to see, you know, Josh [McDaniels] in Denver . . . There’s a lot of examples. But pretty much everybody’s on a one-year contract in this league. I don’t know how you build a program in one year.
“Chip’s a great coach. He’ll end up somewhere, and he’ll do a great job there. I’d say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren’t really doing too much for anybody else, either.” Read more »
Lane Johnson was asleep when his head coach was fired.
He woke up from a nap to a text message from a teammate, telling him Chip Kelly had been let go on Tuesday evening. His first reaction was to Google it, to make sure his teammate was telling the truth.
Of course, he was. Kelly is out after just under three years as head coach of the Eagles, and Johnson spoke to reporters at length about what he believed went wrong during Kelly’s tenure, including a potential communication gulf between Kelly and his players.
Jeffrey Lurie’s hiring of Chip Kelly had long been viewed as a risky one with high upside, but also with plenty of room for failure.
Before his time in Philadelphia, Kelly had experienced nothing but success. He was instrumental in turning Oregon into an elite college football mainstay, and was regarded as one of the bright offensive minds in the world.
At the end of the Kelly era, winds had changed. His offense was sliding, his team’s record was sinking, and his defense was breaking.
The Eagles were out of the playoff picture for the second straight season, which didn’t sit well with a fanbase and organization spoiled by Andy Reid’s four consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game in the early 2000s.
It was a laughing matter. Literally.
Tim and I explained in last week’s Press Coverage how the Eagles would need to generate a good pass rush and force turnovers against Tom Brady to pull off the unlikely upset over the Patriots. How unlikely? We treated it more as a joke than as something that could actually happen.
But Billy Davis’ unit, after allowing 90 points in the previous two weeks, helped do just that as their four sacks and two interceptions played a pivotal role in Philadelphia’s 35-28 win.
“It’s a tough place to go in,” Davis said. “First of all, I thought the players did a great job. They showed a lot of character, being in the hole we were in the last two weeks and them fighting through it and having that challenge of going in there to beat Brady and Coach [Bill] Belichick in Foxborough is a big deal.
“A big part of it was the three- and four-man rush winning there and the cover guys just holding. We knew we were going to get our share of their passing game. That’s what they do and that’s what their strength is. In the last couple weeks, we were not having much success in that area and the guys stepped up and made a lot of plays.” Read more »
After a shocking upset few outside of the NovaCare Complex saw coming, Chip Kelly seemed even-keel.
He told reporters that he understood the gravity of beating Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in Foxborough, where they hardly ever lose.
But he also reiterated the way his team played Sunday is how he expects them to play every week because, as he said in recent weeks, he remains steadfast in his belief that the Eagles are a good football team.
“I believe in them, they’re a really good team, and I thought they played together as a group,” Kelly said.
In the latest episode of Press Coverage, Tim and Josh discuss what Chip Kelly needs to show in the final five weeks of the season to convince Jeffery Lurie to keep him on board moving forward into the 2016 season.
They also offer up their predictions for the Eagles’ Week 13 matchup with a banged-up New England Patriots squad.
Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
Sharon Katz of ESPN.com looked at the teams who fared the best in the NFL draft from 2002 to 2012. She concluded that the Eagles were third, just behind the Seahawks and the Packers:
The Eagles’ run of four straight NFC Championship appearances in the early 2000s was built off early-round draft success, but as the Eagles progressed through the decade, their greatest draft achievements came in later rounds.
In Rounds 5 through 7, no team had found more value than the Eagles since league expansion. The best of these late-round gems was Trent Cole, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. Cole played 10 seasons for the Eagles — he was released this offseason — and ranks second in team history with 85.5 career sacks. That’s the definition of a value pick. Read more »
As Sheil explained on Friday, we’re going to try something new for the Wake-Up Call in the offseason. Each day, we will choose a reader question and make that the topic of the morning post. You can submit your questions in a variety of ways: in the comments section, on Twitter (@Tim_McManus and @SheilKapadia), via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) or on Facebook. We’ll choose one each day and answer it.
In a chapter called “Determining the Future Dynamics of Offense in the NFL,” he envisions a league where teams only huddle when the clock is stopped and use single-word audibles to call out a play.
The quarterback will look to the sideline the instant the whistle blows on the previous play to see which personnel combination is entering the game. The designated coach indicates the formation to the quarterback and whether he should audible his own play or will receive a play call from the coach. All of these steps will occur without a huddle.
The movement is upon us. Read more »