All-22: Diagnosing the Issues On Offense


One of the fundamental principles of Chip Kelly’s scheme is to set the offense up to take advantage of one-on-one matchups.

There’s plenty of blame to spread around when it comes to reasons why the Eagles have managed just one field goal offensively in their last eight quarters. But one is the failure to capitalize and win those matchups. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Morning Mailbag

chip-kelly-win-in-nfl-marqueeThis is history in the making. For the first time in Birds 24/7′s existence we’re combining the Wake-Up Call with the Twitter Mailbag. Sports journalism in this town may never be the same again. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From aerelorn: If we don’t see any improvement from Foles/Barkley this year, but our pick is too high for the top 2-3 QBs, what’s the plan?

I think the Eagles are going to be very aggressive in pursuit of a quarterback this offseason.

If Chip Kelly didn’t know it coming in, it’s ultra clear to him now that you are toast in this league if you don’t have a franchise quarterback. Might sound oversimplified, but it’s proven true time and time again (with a few exceptions along the way). No matter how brilliant the coaching mind or innovative the scheme, your team will have a hard time rising above mediocrity without a capable conductor. Read more »

Barkley: I Never Practiced Goal-Line Play

Matt Barkley throws a pass against Dallas.When Chip Kelly was questioned about his decision to run a bootleg with rookie Matt Barkley on 1st-and-goal from the two yard-line Sunday against the Giants, the head coach said that it was all about familiarity.

“It’s a play we’ve run, we’ve practice continuously here six or seven weeks since the beginning of the season in the red zone,” said Kelly following the game, adding on Monday: “That’s the first play we’ve run since day one here.  We’re going to go to kind of what we know the best, what everybody should understand is what we’re going to go to.  If you ask everybody on our team, they know what we were going to call in that situation.”

Barkley was asked on Tuesday how many times he ran that play personally in practice.

“I never got a rep of that play,” he said. Read more »

Foles Cleared, Back At Practice

foles_940_102013Nick Foles has been medically cleared to return to action and was back at practice Tuesday as the Eagles begin their preparations for the Raiders.

Foles was first up in the passing drills at the beginning of practice, indicating that he is atop the depth chart to start the week. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said that he and Matt Barkley would split the reps 50-50 for now.

“We’ll get a feel for where Nick’s at,” said Shurmur. “He had a good day of meetings, he’ll practice today and we’ll see where we’re at. Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Giants

barkley_400_102713Here’s a position-by-position review of how the Eagles’ offense performed against the Giants after having re-watched the game.


* Michael Vick never looked right, but it seems pretty clear that he did damage to the hamstring on a 1-yard run late in the first quarter. Vick ran out of bounds, and it sounded like the on-field mics caught him letting out an F-bomb. He then was shaking his head and clapped his hands in frustration as he returned to the middle of the field.

* When he played, Vick was 6-for-9 for 30 yards and an interception. He also fumbled once on a play where it looked like he had James Casey open in the flat.

* Matt Barkley went 17-for-26 for 158 yards, no TDs and an interception. Lots of screens and short/intermediate throws as he only averaged 6.1 yards per attempt. The Eagles entered the game leading the NFL with 36 pass plays of 20+ yards, but they only had one with Barkley. Read more »

Chip: Offense Hasn’t Been ‘Figured Out’

Chip KellyFollowing Sunday’s loss to the Giants, Jason Avant gave his take on why the offense has stalled of late after finding success early on.

“One thing about this league is that it’s some of the smartest guys in the coaching ranks, some of the smartest players, some of the best players,” he said. “There is going to come a time where they have looked at all the film and evaluated every play that you  a have done and it’s going to give you a breakdown. It’s going to give you a breakdown that says, ‘This percentage of the time, this play is a higher’…they’re going to do all that.

“As the season progresses it’s a chess match. And you’re constantly going to get better. Our coach is definitely going to get better at that, and all of our coaches and all of our players are going to get better at all of those things, and we’re going to start winning those chess matches and also start winning our one-on-ones as players.”

To boil all that down, the receiver seems to be implying that opposing defenses have gotten a beat on  Chip Kelly‘s offense and are currently getting the better of the in-game strategic battles.

Has this offense been solved? Read more »

Zone Read, Eagles-Giants, the Day After

mccoy_400102713Editor’s note: The Zone Read is a weekly feature that will publish the day after every game some time before noon. It will feature dispatches from the locker room, thoughts on what went down, play breakdowns and more. If you have feedback or suggestions, e-mail Sheil at


Through the first four weeks of the season, the Eagles’ offense had something to hang its hat on: the run game.

LeSean McCoy was gashing opponents – 468 yards on 78 rushes (6.0 YPC). The scheme was sound. The blocking was great. And the marriage between McCoy and Chip Kelly’s offense looked like one that would carry the Eagles all season long.

Many coaches break the season up into four-game segments. And the second quarter for the Eagles has produced a ground game that looks pedestrian. In the last four, McCoy has carried 78 times for 265 yards (3.4 YPC). Yesterday against the Giants, he carried 15 times for 48 yards (3.2 YPC). In the first half, he managed just 7 yards on six carries.

“I just gotta try to be more consistent, making plays when plays are granted, taking them,” said a frustrated McCoy, standing at his locker in front of a group of reporters. “Today was a little better, but not good enough. I had so much success against the Giants for so long, so it bothers me. I’ve gotta get it going. It starts with me. I need to make better decisions, which I’m not.”

Asked if he’s trying to do too much, McCoy said: “I think it’s a little bit of that, doing my own thing sometimes and just not making the plays. The plays, they’re there, they’re available. Just not getting it done.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Barkley And the Catch-22

Matt Barkley throws a pass against Dallas.Chip Kelly said he was concerned about his quarterback situation all week.

Michael Vick looked like he was on target to start but there were obvious questions surrounding his hamstring. Nick Foles was unavailable because of a concussion, meaning rookie Matt Barkley was the next man up. Kelly had two quarterbacks that needed prep time, and zero QBs that gave him a sure thing.

“It’s a Catch-22 for everybody. Mike hadn’t been in for two games and you have to give Mike his requisite amount of reps and you also have to get your second-string guy the amount of reps,” said Kelly. “It’s tough to get that second guy ready to go.” Read more »

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