Despite Blowback, Kelly Says No Regrets On Cooper Decision

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was around this time two years ago that Chip Kelly and the Eagles decided to bring Riley Cooper back in the fold.

As he took the podium to address their chosen course, Kelly acknowledged that “there is a concern” about Cooper’s comments at a Kenny Chesney concert dividing the locker room, and said he knew this was not a situation that could just be swept under the rug.

“I think it’s gonna take some time…I don’t think this is a situation that’s gonna go away tomorrow,” he said. “And we certainly understand it.”

The argument can be made that Kelly is still dealing with the blowback from that decision to this day in some respects.

The head coach was asked to reflect on the move to stand by Cooper at Tuesday’s press conference. Read more »

Kelly Explains Why Eagles Held Murray Back

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

DeMarco Murray was vague Monday when asked why he was limited in certain aspects of practice during the first day of training camp.

But Chip Kelly offered up a clear explanation today.

“We have a hydration status test, and he was a little bit high,” Kelly said. “Obviously when you see guys that are high from a hydration standpoint, then you kind of pull them back a little bit because that’s when they’re susceptible for an injury, so that was a training staff, coaching decision.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘I Wasn’t Worried About It’

Mychal Kendricks (Jeff Fusco)

Mychal Kendricks (Jeff Fusco)

Chip Kelly has indicated in the past that every player on his roster is available via trade for the right offer. And his actions have backed up that stance.

So it stood out Sunday when he offered a big endorsement of Mychal Kendricks, probably Kelly’s strongest to date.

“No, we haven’t had any other [trade] discussions,” Kelly said. “Mychal Kendricks is not going anywhere. I can tell you that right now. You can write that down in ink, not pencil.”

At one point during Sunday’s practice, Kelly walked over to Kendricks, put his arm around the linebacker, and the two shared a couple laughs.

“He reiterated it just now, letting me know that you guys are gonna be asking these questions,” Kendricks said. “…I’m here to stay. That’s a good thing. Read more »

Sanchez: ‘Stop Asking the Players About It’

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

It seems like former Eagles have a knack for making headlines on their way out the door.

After Brandon Boykin was traded last night, he made a few comments to Comcast Sportsnet regarding Chip Kelly, claiming Kelly was “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.”

Boykin is not the first player to criticize Kelly, and some Eagles like Mark Sanchez are tired of answering the same old questions.

“[During stretching today], guys were like, ‘Sanchez, ain’t you Mexican? And [Sam] Bradford aren’t you Native American?'” Sanchez said. “And Kiko [Alonso] is Colombian. We’ve got black guys, white guys, Polynesian guys. Come on, that’s crazy, it’s not even worth talking about. Stop asking the players about it, it’s getting old.” Read more »

Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

JaCorey Shepherd (Jeff Fusco)

JaCorey Shepherd (Jeff Fusco)

Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ first training camp practice of 2015.

11:56 – First off, congratulations to everyone for making it here. We got past the nonsense of June and July, and football season has finally arrived.

The Eagles celebrate the occasion with Justin Bieber’s Where Are You Now. Judge me all you want for this, but I don’t hate it.

On to football. All eyes are on Sam Bradford at the start of practice. Replacing the bigger, bulkier brace on his left knee is a black sleeve. It looks like the kind you buy at CVS when you turn 30 and realize an hour of pickup hoops now causes various aches and pains.

But Bradford participated fully today, and by my count, he took every snap in every drill with the first team. So that seems like a sign of progress. Read more »

Kelly: Surprised By Boykin’s Comments

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas CowboysLast night, Chip Kelly traded Brandon Boykin to the Steelers for a conditional fifth-round pick. This morning, Boykin claimed Kelly was “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.” Kelly responded to Boykin’s comments during today’s press conference and also touched on a few other hot topics. Here’s a quick rundown.

  • Kelly stated he didn’t understand why the topic of him treating players unfairly keeps coming up, stating, “I don’t know, talking to [Boykin] last night, he was stunned, he was disappointed. I think he really liked it here. He was very close with his teammates.

“It did, it really [surprised me]. When he left here last night, he shook my hand and gave me a hug, he didn’t say anything.

“You know, he did everything we asked him to do here, we never had an issue with him, he was a great teammate, very well-liked.” Read more »

Boykin: Chip ‘Uncomfortable Around Grown Men Of Our Culture.’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Another former Eagles has taken aim at Chip Kelly.

In a text to CSN’s Derrick Gunn, the recently-traded Brandon Boykin said that Kelly is “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture.”

“He can’t relate and that makes him uncomfortable,” Boykin said, via Gunn. “He likes total control of everything, and he don’t like to be uncomfortable. Players excel when you let them naturally be who they are, and in my experience that hasn’t been important to him, but you guys have heard this before me.”

As Boykin referenced, he is not the first player to criticize Kelly on his way out the door. LeSean McCoy said that Kelly was getting rid of “all the good black players” on the team. Earlier in the offseason, Tra Thomas said that there are players who “feel like there is a hint of racism” behind some of Kelly’s decisions.

Cary Williams questioned Kelly’s approach from a conditioning and x’s and o’s perspective, saying that “towards the end of the year, we were exhausted, and we got out-coached the majority of the games.”

Kelly will address the media at 11:20 to kick off training camp.

Eagles Weekend Reading: Cooper’s Bad Contract

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles links to check out this weekend.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland names his “All-Bad Contract Team” and includes three Eagles: DeMarco MurrayByron Maxwell and Riley Cooper. Here’s the writeup on Cooper:

Cooper might actually fit all four of the criteria for a bad contract, which would be a rare sweep. The Eagles gave him a five-year, $22.5 million deal last offseason on the strength of what was honestly a pretty underwhelming season; 47 catches for 835 yards and eight scores as a full-time starter in a high-powered attack like Philadelphia’s just isn’t that impressive. Even worse, he really had only three big games that season, and the biggest (139 yards, three touchdowns) came against the lowly Raiders. And this is all without considering his infamous moment of off-field racism. He responded by catching 55 passes for 577 yards as a full-time starter last year, and with the Eagles having shifted their spending on offense toward running backs, Cooper will be stuck in a meaningful role again in 2015.

Read more »

Chip Leftovers: On Measurables, Howie And the Fans

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Here are three leftovers from our pre-training camp session with Chip Kelly.

1. We’ve written at length in this space about the Eagles’ focus on measurables when it comes to scouting. Prior to the draft, Ed Marynowitz went into detail about the organization’s three-pronged approach. One thing he mentioned is that the Eagles want their backups to look like their starters.

That’s something Kelly expanded on when we spoke with him.

“I think that just shows you have a plan,” Kelly said. “I think some people just grasp at straws when all of a sudden you have a 6-6, 250-pound quarterback backed up by a 5-10, 175-pound kid that’s a run-around guy. I think you’re trying to get people that fit into your system, and that’s why you have height and weight and speed parameters that fit your system.” Read more »

Mayock: Regardless Of QB, Eagles Will Make The Playoffs

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

NFL analyst Mike Mayock joined the Mike Missanelli show this week to offer his thoughts on the 2015 Eagles. Even with some question marks surrounding the quarterback position, he is bullish on what this team can accomplish in the regular season.

“Regardless of who plays quarterback this year, I think they’re going to make the playoffs,” Mayock proclaimed. “I think the differentiation of the quarterback position starts in the playoffs when you play quality defenses every week.”

Mayock believes Sam Bradford‘s struggles in St. Louis were due to an unimpressive supporting cast and feels he will fit in much better in Chip Kelly‘s offense.

“I think they have a better offensive line than [Bradford] is used to and I think they’re going to run the hell out of the football,” said Mayock. “Last year, there were only three teams in the league that ran the ball more than they passed the ball and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles were one of those teams this year.” Read more »

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