Here’s this week’s roundup of national media coverage. Read more »
On the day he was introduced as the Eagles new head coach, Chip Kelly was asked whether he planned to be in Philadelphia for the long haul.
“I’m all in,” he said. “I think it was [Hernan] Cortes who burned the boats. I’ve burned the boats so I’m not going back. I’m in. I’m an NFL coach and this is where I want to be. If there was any indecision in terms of [not wanting to be in], I wouldn’t have made the jump. I made the jump and I’m here and I’m excited to be here.”
With that proclamation came a larger implied point: Kelly would closely examine every aspect of the way the Eagles were run, make changes to the organization where he saw fit and mold the entire franchise into his vision. This wasn’t a quick fixer-upper. There would be significant restructuring.
With Year 2 on the horizon, Kelly met with a roomful of reporters at the end of June’s’ minicamp and expanded on many of his philosophies. Read more »
Once a week, we’ll take a spin around the NFC East to check in on what’s going on with some of the Eagles’ division rivals.
Some links to pass along this weekend: Read more »
LeSean McCoy took the podium this afternoon after another hot minicamp practice at the NovaCare Complex. [He went with sweatpants for Wednesday's session; said it was a mental thing.]
McCoy told Albert Breer of NFL.com recently that the release of DeSean Jackson sent a message to the team. He was asked to elaborate.
“I don’t know what you took out of that, but for myself, what I took out of that is no matter how good a player is, it’s a team and if you can’t buy in, anything is possible,” he said.
“I’m not sure about the rest of the team, the concept they took out of that, I’m just speaking for myself. A player like that, who has done so much for this franchise — even in the year Chip was here, the stuff he did — so some players on some teams may think, well, he’s producing on the field, that’s the only thing that matters.” Read more »
Looks like DeSean Jackson has moved beyond team asset and into the realm of civic treasure?
The Washington Post says D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray praised new Redskin/former Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson at a fund-raiser this week: “I want to thank the Philadelphia Eagles for making the dumbest mistake,” Gray said.
Many of the offseason questions for the Eagles surround the wide receiver position, so we spent a good portion of Monday’s session with the assistant coaches at Bob Bicknell‘s table for his read on the state of the receivers. Here’s what we came away with:
Bicknell might be best known in Philadelphia for his flap with DeSean Jackson on the sidelines in Minnesota back in December. This led to speculation that the coach and player had a strained relationship — a theory that gained steam when Jackson was shown the door back in March. Not so, according to the receivers coach. Read more »
Chip Kelly went into his first year unsure of exactly how opposing defensive coordinators would match up with the Eagles.
What he found out fairly quickly was that the most common strategy was a ton of man coverage. Crowd the box against LeSean McCoy, play with one deep safety and force the Eagles’ passing attack to make plays over the top.
For the most part, Kelly had answers. The offense set franchise records for yards, points and touchdowns. The Eagles also led the league in pass plays of 20+ yards. And one of the most popular concepts the Eagles employed against man coverage was the mesh.
To break down the mesh concept, we called on Villanova wide receivers coach Brian Flinn. Flinn has studied Kelly’s offensive concepts for years and was kind enough to go over the intricacies of this particular one with Birds 24/7.
Jason Kelce has developed into a respected voice over his three-plus years in Philadelphia, so his comments regarding the team’s decision to move on from DeSean Jackson — delivered just 20 minutes after the receiver was cut — carried some weight.
We just made an extremely unpopular decision, but I couldn’t be more excited and happy with where this organization is going!! #FlyEaglesFly
— Jason Kelce (@Jkelce) March 28, 2014
Some took this as evidence that Jackson’s teammates were glad to see the enigmatic receiver go. This theory was bolstered by a report — filled with anonymous quotes allegedly coming from various members of the organization — suggesting Jackson was a “blatantly insubordinate” distraction that needed to be removed. Kelce was quick to distance himself from those who did not attach their names to their opinions (“You’ll never see me hide behind the title ‘Unnamed source,’” he said), and on Monday explained the intended meaning of his message as the clouds of controversy swirled outside the NovaCare walls. Read more »