Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
SI.com’s Don Banks offers 20 bold predictions, including one on the Eagles/Chiefs:
The Eagles’ Chip Kelly, with his fast-break football on display in Philadelphia, will be the most exciting and talked about new coach among the eight offseason hires in the headset fraternity. But it will be “Big Red,” now wearing red in Kansas City, who gets the last laugh. Former Eagles coach Andy Reid was the only guy to jump from one full-time gig in the NFL coaching ranks to another this offseason, and he’ll show that experience really does count for something, leading the talented and vastly improved Chiefs from 2-14 to an AFC wild-card berth.
Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com is high on Matt Barkley:
Regardless, TMQ is putting his chips on this wager — not only will Barkley win the Eagles’ starting job sooner rather than later, he will be the top quarterback of the 2013 draft class. But it’s hard to see Barkley operating a zone-read action. The compromise might be Barkley running a quick-snap spread. Under Andy Reid, the Eagles rarely went four wide, favoring conventional West Coast sets that focus on intermediate routes. Kelly could install four-wide looks with the dig-or-go passing routes favored in the current college game.
Easterbrook also rips Chip Kelly:
In the most recent academic year, Oregon cleared a $31 million profit on football, according to Department of Education data, while graduating just 49 percent of its African-American players. Exploiting young black males without conferring education ought to shame Chip Kelly, the University of Oregon alumni and trustees and the NCAA. Jon Anderson, why haven’t you apologized in public for Oregon’s terrible record of failing to graduate African-American football players? Meanwhile attending the University of Oregon costs $23,352 a year for a state resident and $42,702 for out-of-state students. What might parents paying these fees, or students borrowing to meet them, think of Oregon’s new four-star, athletes-only dining facility?
Ben Muth of Football Outsiders writes about the Eagles’ offensive line, and specifically Evan Mathis:
While Mathis doesn’t have the overwhelming strength of an Iupati, he looks more consistent because of two things: balance and tenacity. For the most part, everyone plays hard in the NFL, so when someone’s effort really stands out, I consider it a skill just like speed or strength. Mathis is one of those guys.
Michael Silver of NFL.com has the Eagles 19th in his “32 questions” column:
If Chip Kelly and Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones were locked in a kitchen with a blender, would they create a personalized smoothie with secret sauce?
Judy Battista of NFL.com offers 48 things to watch this season, including a couple Eagles-related items:
The speed. The secrecy. The soundtrack. Chip Kelly’s offense with the Philadelphia Eagles has it all, with a dash of Michael Vick thrown in for good measure. Can Kelly’s warp-speed approach — don’t look down or you’ll miss the next snap — work in the NFL? And how quickly will other teams try to copy it if it does?
When it comes to Chip Kelly, there probably hasn’t been a more heralded coaching arrival in the NFL since Jimmy Johnson. No pressure, Chip; you’re merely expected to usher in an offensive revolution while winning in Philadelphia, one of the league’s pressure cookers.
Michael Vick is set to end his bankruptcy, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
He is now ready to scratch another goal off his list: He will soon emerge from bankruptcy, having made arrangements to pay back the last of nearly $20 million in debts to dozens of creditors.
It is an unusual accomplishment in bankruptcy circles to fully repay debts in a Chapter 11 case, according to legal experts, and Vick’s case was anything but usual.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com asked five league executives whether the read-option is here to stay. Four of the five said yes. From one of them:
“I don’t see it going away any time soon. Several different teams had success running it last year and I’m sure a few more will incorporate it this fall. I’m really looking forward to watching the Eagles’ offense this year. I think Chip Kelly is going to throw caution to the wind and run more of his Oregon offense than people think. If it works, and he keeps his quarterback healthy, the NFL will quickly follow his lead.”
John Madden talks to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times about what he’s expecting from Kelly:
“I think Chip Kelly is going to have as much influence on the game and the way it’s played now as anyone,” Hall of Fame coach John Madden said. “If for no other reason, just the pace of the game and the number of plays.
“Everyone talks about it: Can Chip Kelly do what he did in college? Probably not in its entirety, but he can do a lot of it. Not only that, everyone else is going to do a lot of it.”
Four out of five ESPN.com experts pick the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. That includes Adam Schefter:
Kelly will have this offense flying; the question is whether someone can prevent the defense from sagging.
SI.com’s Peter King catches up with former Eagles fullback Kevin Turner:
“The year after Green Bay won the Super Bowl, I was on the Eagles, and we played them in Philly. I remember the opening kickoff, and then I remember, maybe late in the first quarter, going up to our backup quarterback and saying, ‘You’ll think I’m crazy, but are we in Green Bay or Philly? And how are we doing?’ He went and got a doctor. Turns out I had played a bunch of plays on automatic pilot. The doctor said, ‘Remember these words,’ and I couldn’t. And he gave me the test three or four times, and finally I think it was the fourth time, I remembered the words and they let me back in the game. You can’t imagine the fit I would have thrown if they wouldn’t have let me back in the game.”
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