With Sam Bradford, Chip Kelly Believes Odds Are In His Favor

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A risk, maybe, but the way Chip Kelly looks at it, the odds are in his favor.

Before breaking for the summer, the Eagles head coach sat down with reporters for an hour-long roundtable session. As you would imagine, Sam Bradford was a pretty popular topic of conversation.

“We looked at everything, and we knew we weren’t going to pick No. 1 or No. 2. So, and I’ve said it before, if you’re not going to pick one or two, how do you go get a quarterback?” said Kelly, explaining the thought process heading into this offseason. “Peyton Manning switched teams because of an injury. Drew Brees switched teams because of an injury. So we went down that path.”

When it came to Bradford, the Eagles doctors consulted with the St. Louis trainers and the those that performed the surgery. The word they received was that the 27-year-old, coming off the second tear of his left ACL in less than a year’s time, “was fine” and “was progressing.” Further, there was no cartilage issues in the knee. On both occasions, it was just the ACL that was damaged.

The Eagles did their own independent research as well and reached the conclusion that when it comes to ACLs, there is a 10-to-12 percent chance of re-injury.

“So that’s an 88-to-90 percent chance that they’re going to be successful,” said Kelly. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Defending the Changes

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

David Murphy of the Daily News thinks Chip Kelly’s drastic moves were necessary for the Eagles to compete in 2015:

The point, then, is this: The Redskins made significant improvements to their defense. The Giants and Cowboys didn’t get any worse (at least until the Fourth of July), and they likely got at least marginally better (with the potential for significant improvements out of some young players). If all three teams in the division aren’t any worse defensively than they were last year, which is true, and at least one is significantly better, which is true, and if the Eagles went 10-6 and failed to win the division last year, which is true, then it would make sense to conclude that the Eagles’ best course of action wasn’t sitting back and hoping that the gang would pull through if given another go-around. Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Here is a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Peter King of MMQB lists Sam Bradford’s progress as one of the most interesting stories heading into training camp:

Chip Kelly better know what he’s doing. (Somehow, I don’t think that’s the first time that’s been said this off-season.) In the 31 months since New Year’s Day 2013, Bradford, the first pick in the 2010 draft, has played seven football games. He’s lost four. His 2013 and 2014 seasons were both ended by a torn ACL. Kelly acquired Bradford from the Rams in March, then tried like crazy to trade for Marcus Mariota six weeks later. And so this is a mildly important training camp for Bradford. And for Kelly.

NFL Analyst Mike Mayock praised Kelly’s offseason moves:

“Oh, I don’t think there’s any doubt they’re better,” Mayock said. “Again, they were 22nd in points allowed last year and they gave up all kinds of yards. They’re gonna get better on defense and if they take care of the ball on offense, run the ball with DeMarco—we keep forgetting about DeMarco Murray and running the football again. Run the ball, take care of Sam Bradford. Yeah, I think they’re a better football team.” Read more »

Eagles Weekend Reading: On Chip, the RBs And More

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend:

Field Yates of ESPN.com listed the Eagles running backs as one of the top-five offensive position groups in the NFL:

The Eagles acquired [Darren] Sproles prior to the 2014 season for a fifth-rounder, and that proved to be quite the bargain. He provided immediate impact as a pass-catching phenom, constantly creating mismatches in open space. [DeMarco] Murray and [Ryan] Mathews came at a heftier price tag in free agency this offseason, but each brings obvious value to the Eagles’ backfield. Murray was the best back in football for much of 2014, showing off excellent vision and acceleration behind the aforementioned Cowboys line. Mathews, meanwhile, has the churning leg power to move piles, along with an ability to make defenders miss in the hole. They both come with injury baggage: Last year was Murray’s first season staying healthy for 16 games, and Mathews has missed 18 games in five seasons, including 10 in 2014. But the one-two punch should provide insurance of sorts for each other. Philly traded away an extraordinary talent in LeSean McCoy this offseason, but the ground game should keep cooking.

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz thinks a contract extension for Fletcher Cox needs to happen soon:

There is some thought that you don’t pay 3-4 DEs big money. Their job is mostly to 2-gap. Find an athletic DT and move  him to DE, ala Cedric Thornton. You can get several years of good play for minimal money. Go spend big money on LBs since they are the true life blood of the 3-4. Read more »

All-22: Deploying Mychal Kendricks

mychal-kendricks-940x540

When looking for an opinion from Chip Kelly, sometimes simpler is better.

Present a bunch of background information before getting to your question, chances are he’ll get bored and cut you off.

So back in March at the owners meetings when we were looking to get Kelly’s take on Mychal Kendricks, we asked directly for Kelly to evaluate the inside linebacker’s play in 2015.

“When he was healthy, he played really well for us,” Kelly said. “But we missed him for… four games. And the health aspect was a difficult thing. We were a different team without him on the field. But when he played, he played really well for us.”

The answer was peculiar considering the Eagles’ other moves at the position. They had traded LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso, a player who had missed all of 2014 with a knee injury. And they were in the process of extending DeMeco Ryans, a player rehabbing from an injured Achilles’.

Kendricks’ name has surfaced in trade talks multiple times during the offseason. The Eagles took action to make sure Alonso and Ryans would be part of this team for the next couple of years. They also drafted inside linebacker Jordan Hicks in the third round. Meanwhile, there have been no indications that the team is talking extension with Kendricks as he enters the final year of his deal.

Yesterday, reader Dustin asked about Kendricks’ performance in coverage. Perhaps that was a reason the Eagles were a little cool on him?

So we went to the tape for answers. And the truth is, Kendricks was not only very good in coverage, but as the defense fell apart down the stretch last year, he was a true bright spot and played some of the best football of his career. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Chip’s Need For Two QBs

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Today’s question comes from reader Nick, via Twitter:

I don’t think it’s a college notion, and I hear what you’re saying Nick, but Chip Kelly is talking strictly about injury when he says he needs two quarterbacks. And it’s not a controversial opinion. Coaches around the league would agree.

When you look at Kelly specifically, he lost Michael Vick in Year 1 to injury, then lost Nick Foles and had to play a rookie in Matt Barkley. Last year, Kelly lost Foles and had to go to his backup again. Now he’s rolling the dice on Sam Bradford, so he better have a capable backup.

In 2013, Kelly held a true QB competition between Vick and Foles. In Year 2, though, Kelly was clear that Foles would start and Sanchez would back him up. He may have paid lip service to the whole “competition” notion, but Kelly had his starter before training camp had opened. Foles had earned that with his performance in 2013. It’s not like he was going into the season anticipating both QBs playing.

What about this year?

Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here is a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

KC Joyner of ESPN lists DeMarco Murray as one of his impact additions of the 2015 offseason:

Chip Kelly is a run-first coach anywhere on the field and doubly so when it comes to plays at or inside the 10-yard line. During his six seasons of calling plays at Oregon, the Ducks led the nation in rushing touchdown percentage on plays that started at or inside the 10-yard line (44.7 percent).

This has not been the case with the Eagles. Philadelphia’s 3.7 rushes per touchdown ratio is tied for 16th over the past two seasons.

That number should improve dramatically with the addition of Murray to the backfield. Over the past two years, Murray has tied for second in rushes per touchdown (2.7) at or inside the 10-yard line by converting 19 of his 52 carries into scores.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Familiarity Factor With Chip

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Today’s question comes via email from Rob:

So, I compiled this list out of curiosity last night – players & coaches released/traded/signed from the Eagles since Chip Kelly’s hire (1/16/13):

Executive Tom Gamble
QB coach Bill Lazor
QB coach Bill Musgrave
WR Jason Avant
WR DeSean Jackson
WR Damaris Johnson 
WR Jeremy Maclin
RB Bryce Brown
RB LeSean McCoy
ILB Jake Knott
OG Todd Herremans
OG Evan Mathis
OLB Trent Cole
CB Cary Williams
CB Bradley Fletcher
S Nate Allen
S Patrick Chung
QB Nick Foles

That’s 15 players and three coaches/execs who moved on to play for 13 different teams (plus wherever Mathis ends up).

For Kelly, a coach with few & simple packages cloaked in different pre-snap formations, how likely is it the NFL is able to catch on and adapt? Or, if nothing else, steal from him? Read more »

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