FOXBORO, Mass. — When Eagles players returned to the locker room following their 42-35 loss to the Patriots Friday night, they were greeted by a frustrated and stern Chip Kelly.
“Very strong,” said Cary Williams, when asked about the head coach’s message. “You could tell that he was frustrated. You could tell that he was upset about it. He wasn’t very happy about the way we played.
“He said he’s frustrated about penalties. He said that he wanted us to be better. We don’t practice like that. We shouldn’t play like that. We’ve gotta get our butts in gear and do something about it.” Read more »
FOXBORO, MASS. – There is a growing buzz about Zach Ertz as he gets set to enter his second NFL season. Is he aware of what’s being said and written about him?
“Oh yeah,” he said. “I’m on Twitter now and then, on Instagram.
“My mom will retweet something or my agent will retweet something. And it will just be like, ‘Zach Ertz, breakout year coming’ or whatever. I read it and it’s good that there are positive things that are being said about me,” he said, “but at the same time if I go out and have a few drops, the last training camp they said I have bad hands, so it goes both ways.”
True enough. This camp there has been little to pick apart about Ertz’s game, though. He has been getting open with regularity and catching about everything that has been thrown his way. That trend continued this week during joint practices with the Patriots. During one period of 7-on-7s Thursday, Mark Sanchez threw a total of five passes. Three of them were touchdowns tosses to Ertz.
“He’s athletic. He’s fast, he’s faster than I thought,” said Patriots linebacker/defensive end Chandler Jones. “I feel like he is more of a skill player than anything. He runs his routes very well. I’ve had the opportunity to cover him during two days of practice and he’s been a handful.” Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week. Read more »
FOXBORO, MASS. — Chip Kelly was asked today what he thinks about LeSean McCoy’s chances of gaining 2,000 yards this year.
“I don’t care,” Kelly said. “I really don’t care, and he knows that. And I’ve told him that. All we care about is: Are we winning football games? So we’ve never been driven by individual statistics, and he understands that. But if you ask him if he’d rather win a football game and run for 50 yards… or run for 200 yards and lose a football game, he’ll tell you he’d rather run for 50 and win a game.”
McCoy Tweeted about his quest for 2,000 yards recently, but clarified today that it was just part of a promotional campaign.
“I do a lot of joking with a lot of things,” he said. “I didn’t know it would be this big of a deal. And a lot of it was for Bounce.”
But would you like to hit 2K? Read more »
FOXBORO, Mass. – Bill Belichick said he didn’t study the Eagles’ offense last year. He had no reason to since they weren’t on the Patriots’ schedule.
But he clearly took notice of what his old pal Chip Kelly was able to accomplish – specifically offensively – in his first season as an NFL head coach.
“No, I think Chip is a good coach, does a good job,” Belichick said, when asked if he was surprised that the Eagles were 10-6 and won the NFC East. “They’re a good football team. I think that the play that they got at quarterback last year was real good. I’m not sure that anybody totally saw that coming, but that was a big part of it. They had a lot of explosive plays. They’re very dynamic on offense and created more explosive plays than anybody in the league. They do a good job.” Read more »
Hang around Chip Kelly enough, and you’ll get used to hearing the number 53 1/3.
That’s the width (in yards) of the football field. Kelly’s offensive philosophy is predicated on making defenses account for every inch of that width, along with the vertical space between the line of scrimmage and the end zone.
Perhaps no play serves as a better example of that philosophy than Y-Cross, a staple of the Air Raid offense, and now a go-to play in the Eagles’ offense.
To break down the concept, we called on our old friend Coach Flinn. Flinn has helped us with the mesh concept, double posts in the red zone and snag. But I’ve never heard him more excited than when discussing Y-Cross. The guy flat-out loves this play. Read more »
Photos by Jeff Fusco
Josh Huff’s first kickoff return as an NFL player was not a memorable one.
He took the ball 8 yards deep in the end zone, headed upfield and was brought down at the 13 yard line.
“The first one, I think, he probably could have got back inside,” said Chip Kelly. “It looked like when we look at the pictures there was a hole there.”
Huff looked at the pictures on the sideline too and realized he left some yards on the field. But he would get several other opportunities. And late in the first half, he fielded another kickoff. The Eagles had a different return called this time, but Huff found a running lane, headed for the left sideline and saw he only had one man to beat.
“I couldn’t let the kicker tackle me,” he said. “I would have heard it from the rest of these guys in the locker room and my college coach back at Oregon.” Read more »
As Chip Kelly made his way into historic Franklin Field, a fan in the stands a stone’s throw away screamed out, ‘Hey, Chip!’ The coach shot a quick look up and saw a shirtless man with arms spread wide, eager to show off an Eagles tattoo just below his neck that ran shoulder to shoulder.
Later, Kelly went to the edge of those stands as Eagles chants rained down, taking extended time to shake hands and chat up the crowd. He autographed a couple jerseys on his way out and posed for some photos and a little conversation with those that requested it before hopping onto the team bus on 33rd street. The players followed suit.
Some 28,000 fans turned out for Sunday’s practice to see a memorable blending of present and past. It was the most intimate setting for a training camp practice that we’ve seen since Kelly was hired and the scene shifted from Lehigh back to Philly. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
CHICAGO – When asked to assess how the backups performed in the Eagles’ preseason opener against the Bears, the first name out of Chip Kelly’s mouth was a rookie.
“I thought Beau Allen was a disruptive force out there,” he said.
The seventh-round pick out of Wisconsin has been drawing praise during training camp and made his presence felt in the second quarter. Lined up at nose tackle, he used his strength to shove the center back into the quarterback’s face. Combined with an outside rush from Vinny Curry, the Eagles’ defense nearly forced a fumble, but the official ruled that Jordan Palmer’s arm was moving forward. Read more »