Inside Voices: Getting On Kelly’s Bad Side

chipkelly_400_102613Casey Matthews was asked: What’s the angriest you’ve ever seen Chip Kelly? He smiled immediately as the answer popped right to the front of his brain.

The offseason heading into Matthews’ senior year, Kelly’s players kept showing up in the news for all the wrong reasons.  Running back LaMichael James was arrested  on domestic violence charges. Place-kicker Rob Beard and defensive end Matt Simms were charged with misdemeanor assault for their involvement in a street fight. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was identified as a suspect in a theft.

Kelly called a team meeting to express his disappointment. That night linebacker Kiko Alonso was cited for driving under the influence.

“He told us the guy was off the team. He was mad,” said Matthews. “We were in the team meeting room. He rips us for the offseason — everyone is getting in trouble, the star quarterback was stealing from a frat, domestic violence charge, a bunch of little stuff — finally he calls a team meeting, rips us — get it together — and then that night [the DUI]. It was bad.

“He couldn’t breathe. That was the worst I’ve seen.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Pass-Rusher Rankings

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A week after facing a run-focused offense and a rookie quarterback, Billy Davis and company now get Tony Romo and the Cowboys Sunday afternoon at the Linc.

Romo is completing 70.2 percent of his passes and has tossed 14 touchdowns to go along with just three interceptions. At 33-years-old, he’s making the most of the weapons around him and having a career year.

“I think one of the biggest things that Romo does is he extends the play,” Davis said. “If the initial play is not there, like a couple of quarterbacks in the league, the Roethlisbergers, they don’t necessarily run to run, they run to extend the play and the receivers do a great job of, when it breaks down, coming back to the ball, finding the open area.”

That means the defensive backs will have to hold their coverages longer. But just as importantly, the Eagles’ pass-rushers need to finish when they have opportunities.

Below is a look at where the pass-rush stands. Sacks and hurries are tracked by the Eagles’ coaching staff.
Read more »

Davis And the Commitment To the 3-4

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Billy Davis was asked on Tuesday if his personnel is better suited for a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme.

“I believe we’re a 3-4,” he replied. “We’re moving in a direction. Right now, I stand in front of you and I’ve got the 3-4 that we’ve installed, we’re taking some punches on it right now as we push through to the other side. We just have to get through the transition part and the hard part that we’re living right now. The 3-4 is definitely who we have decided to be.”

Chip Kelly and Davis have both spoken of tailoring their schemes to fit the strengths of the players. The goal was to transition from a Wide-9 4-3 to a two-gap 3-4, with the idea that they would stop at the appropriate in-between point in Year One. Go as far as the personnel allowed them, in other words.

There are elements of the 4-3 still present, as Davis pointed out. But to say the scheme is catering to the players’ strengths would be a big leap from reality. Read more »

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