There was a common thread among three of the Eagles’ first four draft picks last season: they competed against Chip Kelly in college.
Zach Ertz and Matt Barkley both played in the Pac-12, while Bennie Logan’s LSU squad took on Oregon back in 2011. The only exception was first-round selection Lane Johnson.
Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News thinks Kelly and other coaches who have made their way to the NFL from college have a distinct advantage in the draft: Read more »
Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin (22) celebrates with his teammates on the field after making an interception in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. The Eagle beat the Cowboys 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
You know the drill. Here are three Eagles numbers that matter.
48 - That’s the Eagles’ big-play differential in 2013. STATS, Inc. describes big plays as rushes that go for more than 10 yards and passes that go for more than 25 yards. The Eagles finished with a +48 differential, tops in the league. On offense, they had 122 big plays, first in the NFL. Perhaps most impressive was the Eagles’ balance. Their 74 big run plays were first; and so were there 48 big pass plays.
Defensively, the Eagles allowed 74 big plays, which ranked 14th. Read more »
In recent years, we’ve seen a number of college influences make their way to the NFL – from the read option to the pistol to the coaches (Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly).
But there’s one Eagles-related trend that a faction of college coaches wants to slow down.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed a change this week that would allow defenses to substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. If the offense were to snap the ball before the play clock hit 29, it would get hit with a 5-yard delay of game penalty.
There is clearly a dividing line in college football. Either you’re pro-tempo or you’re anti-tempo. The pro-tempo crowd likes to use pace to its advantage. Offenses can limit the defenses’ ability to substitute, wear them out and score in a hurry. It’s a lot of what we wrote about when the Eagles hired Kelly last offseason. Read more »
On the surface, Jairus Byrd appears to be a near-perfect fit.
That’s why he’s the free agent Birds 24/7 readers have asked about the most in recent weeks. Byrd played his college ball at Oregon, and for two seasons while he was there, Chip Kelly was the Ducks’ offensive coordinator. At 27, he is a three-time Pro Bowler and appears set to hit the open market.
At this point, we don’t even need to discuss the need for the Eagles to upgrade at safety. It’s been a position of weakness for five straight years, and the personnel whiffs have led to struggles on the back end of the Birds’ defense.
While Howie Roseman has dropped hint after hint this offseason that the Eagles won’t be pursuing big-name free agents, I decided to take a closer look at Byrd anyway. Read more »
Chip Kelly likes him some Oregon players, you may have heard.
From Dennis Dixon to Jeff Maehl, he brought in plenty of familiar faces to play a variety roles as he transitioned from college to the pro game. There are six Ducks currently on the roster (DE Brandon Bair, S Patrick Chung, LB Josh Kaddu, Maehl, LB Casey Matthews and WR Will Murphy), which is the most players from any one university on the squad.
Safe to say Kelly will have some opinions on the Oregon players that have declared for the 2014 draft, seeing as he recruited and coached them in a former life. It’s probably a good idea that we become familiar with them. Read more »
If you’re like me, you find Joe Banner to be an oddly fascinating study. If so, you’ll especially enjoy the anecdotes that Peter King unearthed about Banner’s final days as boss in Cleveland.
The scene is set around the interview Banner and the rest of the Browns’ brass held with head coaching candidate Ken Whisenhunt this offseason. Whisenhunt interviewed for the same position last year but the gig instead went to Rob Chudzinski, who was promptly fired after a 4-12 campaign. He wanted to know why he didn’t get the job the first time around. Read more »
Sixteen months after taking over as the CEO of the Cleveland Browns, former Eagles president Joe Banner is stepping down, the team announced.
Michael Lombardi is out as GM and will be replaced by Ray Farmer. Read more »
Once the 2013 season was a wrap, Chip Kelly thanked his players for taking a chance on a rookie coach.
“He was just proud of his guys and just appreciative of everyone buying into his program,” said Eagles receiver/special teamer Brad Smith, via SI.com. “A lot of people didn’t know if it would work — a college coach coming into the NFL and how guys would respond and how they would respect him.”
It wasn’t so hard generating that level of respect in the latter stages of the season when the Eagles captured seven of eight to win the NFC East. It was early on, around the time that Philly was 1-3 and then 3-5, that could have presented problems. There were skeptics inside the locker room for sure, but the majority of players were on board despite the sub-.500 record. Read more »
A few links to pass along. Hope everyone is having a good weekend (complete with power).
Judy Battista of NFL.com spoke with an NFL exec about the prospects of Michael Vick landing a starting job.
One NFL personnel executive said teams undoubtedly will rate Vick the best of a middling quarterback free-agent market — one likely to include Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez — and the exec said he would rate him as a mid-tier starting quarterback, somewhere between 13 and 16. In a league with 32 teams, that’s better than half. Read more »
From draft buzz to early 2014 rankings, here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles. Read more »