Chip Kelly doesn’t see what the big deal is.
His team has six opportunities to add quality football players in this year’s draft, and he wants to make them count. That’s why he traveled across the country to attend Pro Days in the past couple of months. Gil Brandt of NFL.com noted that he’d never seen a head coach attend so many.
Last week, Kelly downplayed the idea that he’s set a “world record” for Pro Day attendances.
“I just think there’s a lot more overblown about world record of Pro Day attendances,” Kelly said. “I’ve seen Mike Zimmer at a ton of them. I’ve seen Mike Tomlin at a ton of them. I’ve seen Gus Bradley at a ton of them. I’ve seen Marvin Lewis at a ton of them. There’s certain guys you see every week at different places. Read more »
When it comes to safety, there’s a decent chance the players you see now on the Eagles’ roster are the same ones that are going to show up when the team opens its season in September against the Jaguars.
According to general manager Howie Roseman, the draft is unlikely to provide much of a boost.
“In terms of the safety class, I don’t think it’s a good group overall,” Roseman said Thursday afternoon. “I think you’re talking about a dropoff certainly when you get into Saturday.” Read more »
Howie Roseman explained a facet of the Eagles’ grading system during his hour-long pre-draft sitdown with reporters Thursday. The Eagles take a longer-view approach to prospects, he said, projecting what they will be a couple years down the road as opposed to what they are now. With that in mind, they label the players as potential Pro Bowlers, really good starters, solid starters, etc.
In this draft class, the general manager says there are double-digit wide receivers that they consider top-tier.
“When you look at that first tier group of guys — and there is some variation in that first tier — I think you’re probably going to look at 10 guys who will end up being drafted at least in the first two rounds,” said Roseman. “And then there is that next level group of solid starters where I think you can be sitting there in the fourth round and get a guy who is going to be, by our pro definition, a red starter in this league, and usually that’s hard to find in the fourth and fifth round.” Read more »
Earlier this week, a reporter asked Chip Kelly if he thought anyone could be plugged into his system and catch 50 balls.
“No,” Kelly joked. “You couldn’t.”
It was a light moment during an otherwise tension-filled session about DeSean Jackson’s release. But it also leads to another discussion about the way the Eagles plan on allocating their resources under Kelly.
Howie Roseman has said the organization projects specific amounts of money it would like to spend at each position. These are guidelines only, as there are always exceptions. But the guidelines are different under Kelly than they were under the previous regime. Read more »
The timing was curious, to say the least.
At 12:05 p.m. on March 28, NJ.com published a story saying the Eagles were concerned with DeSean Jackson’s alleged ties to gang members. At 12:40, the Eagles sent out a 25-word statement saying they had released the wide receiver.
And then silence. For 30 days.
The strategy seemed obvious. Use the gang affiliation story as cover for what would be deemed a peculiar and unpopular decision by many. Yet the way the team’s brass explains it, the Eagles were actually doing Jackson a favor by releasing him when they did. Read more »
Chip Kelly‘s emphasis on measurables really seems to show up at the cornerback position.
The Eagles moved quickly last March to give Kelly a pair of big, physical corners by signing Cary Williams (6-1, 190) and Bradley Fletcher (6-0, 200) in free agency. This offseason they added Nolan Carroll (6-1, 205) to the mix. It’s hard to miss the similarities there. And even though Brandon Boykin (5-9, 185) played just over 50 percent of the snaps last season as the slot corner, the head coach doesn’t sound interested in moving the playmaker outside.
“It’s a matchup game. The bigger receivers are on the outside. The smaller receivers are on the inside. So you’ve got two longer guys in Fletch and Cary that really fit in terms of getting matched up,” said Kelly. “When most people, if they’re gonna be in ’21′ personnel, then they’re not small outside. They’re big outside. So when they’re big, we’re big. I think when you bring in the Wes Welkers and the great slot receivers in this league, you need to have someone that has the ability to cover them. And I think that’s what Brandon’s strength really is. That’s the way we’ve always looked at it.”
The Eagles’ scouting department is given specific measurables to look for when searching for players. That doesn’t mean they will ignore every talent who fails to check a box, but there are guideline that they try to follow pretty closely. And Howie Roseman indicated last year that there are “deal-breakers.” Read more »
Until Saturday morning, no Eagles player had spoken out publicly in defense of their former teammate DeSean Jackson.
But that changed when LeSean McCoy addressed reporters while taking a break from his football camp at Camden Catholic High School.
“It’s a surprise for sure,” McCoy said when asked for his reaction. “I think anybody that tells you that they’re happy about it, I don’t know how honest that would be. It was a surprise. You heard so much, you didn’t really know. Not playing with him this year is gonna definitely be different. And playing against him is really gonna be different. I just imagine all the times we used to… knowing defensive teams are gonna try to defend us and different things like that, and now we’ve gotta defend against him, so it’s gonna be a little different. Read more »
The number for DeMeco Ryans last year was 1,156.
That’s how many snaps he played, the most of any linebacker in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders.
“I think if you ask DeMeco, he felt as fresh as he’s ever felt in his career,” said Chip Kelly last month. “But I think it’s a byproduct of how we practiced and prepared for him to be that way.”
Ryans is a Kelly favorite – a true professional who practices, trains and studies hard. But the truth is he did play too many snaps last year. And there were a few reasons for that. Number one, Billy Davis was installing a brand new defense and needed someone to direct a young group up front. That was Ryans’ job. Read more »
On the surface, the why associated with last month’s trade for Darren Sproles is easily answered.
Chip Kelly loves players who are capable of performing a variety of tasks. As we showed with the All-22, Sproles fits the bill. He can carry the ball, he can catch the ball, and he can serve as a return man. He can line up in the backfield, in the slot and even out wide.
While it’s clear he’s capable of doing different things, the question is: Can he still do those things at a high level? Read more »
DeSean Jackson took questions from the Washington-area media yesterday after signing a three-year deal with the Redskins.
And so begins a new chapter in the wide receiver’s life.
The Eagles, meanwhile, remain silent. I know that doesn’t bother some of you, while others would like to hear from Chip Kelly about why the made the decision to release Jackson.
We’ve covered the whole saga extensively for the last month or so, and I understand there is some DeSean fatigue around these parts. But it’s become the story of the offseason for the Eagles. So before we start getting into full draft mode and moving on to other issues, here are 10 points I have to make to separate some myths from reality. Read more »