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 »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
CHICAGO — Despite reports to the contrary, Jordan Matthews is mortal.
The rookie wide receiver took the field for the first time as a professional Friday night in Chicago and looked like a player taking the field for the first time as professional. He finished with four catches for 14 yards (3.5 average) on seven targets and had a pair of drops.
“He was inconsistent,” said Chip Kelly. “There was a ball on the sideline he could have caught. I don’t know if he was pressing, but there were some inconsistencies there. Sometimes it’s the first time for guys in the bright lights so they can have a chance to play that out of their system and calm down.” Read more »
The word Chip Kelly used to describe his team’s offensive performance Friday night was sloppy.
The starters stayed in the game for three series, and the results were ugly: two turnovers and a punt.
“The second one was 2nd-and-4,” Kelly said, when asked about Nick Foles’ interceptions. “We didn’t get a great seal. It was a naked [bootleg] play. Those are the times where we’ve just gotta make the decision to throw the ball away. Let’s not force it in there. We’re in real good field position on their side of the ball. On the other one, I think there was a twist up front. There was some pressure. Again, they were playing zone defense. We’ve just gotta be smarter with the football.” Read more »
CHICAGO — Not a great start for Nick Foles and company.
The first-team offense played three series in the preseason opener against the Bears. Two ended in Foles interceptions and the third a Donnie Jones punt. Not the end of the world, but certainly not what Chip Kelly was hoping for out of his starters.
Foles finished 6-of-9 for 44 yards and a pair of picks. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
From time to time, we like to check in on how the Eagles’ draft picks are doing. With the first preseason game a day away, here’s an update.
Marcus Smith, OLB – He’s been running with the second team at the Jack spot behind Connor Barwin. And in all likelihood, that’s where Smith is going to see most of his action this season. He has looked the part from the first day of camp – long, athletic and can move in space. A couple days ago, he showed some feistiness, mixing it up with James Casey after the whistle. Smith, who has never before been to an NFL game, will likely make some normal rookie mental mistakes tomorrow night, but overall, he appears to be on schedule to contribute. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Chip Kelly plans on having the first team on the field for 10-15 plays Friday night for the Eagles first preseason game in Chicago.
“It really depends offensively and defensively how much success you’re having,” he said. “It could be you get a couple three-and-outs and you have to go back out there but two decent drives we feel like that’s what we’re aiming for right now.”
Kelly said that he is unsure whether Jeremy Maclin (leg soreness) will go. He doesn’t anticipate that Riley Cooper (foot) will play. He would not provide any further details about the injury, only that it is a day-to-day situation. It’s been over a week since Cooper suited up.
Nolan Carroll was sidelined the past two days with what Kelly called a “muscle deal” in either his hamstring or groin. He doesn’t anticipate Carroll playing against the Bears but expects him back within a few days.
Read more »