What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week:

SI.com’s Don Banks looks at the five non-playoff teams who helped themselves the most in free agency. The Birds made his list:

The Eagles admittedly took some chances with their busy week of free agency, but they had a lot of ground to cover and little to lose after seeing the bottom drop out at 4-12 in 2012. I don’t love any of Philadelphia’s acquisitions individually, but cumulatively they make some sense and have upside potential. Seven of the team’s nine new players are defenders, and that’s where the emphasis should have been after last season’s defensive collapse.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com gives the Eagles a C+ for their free-agency moves:

New coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman weren’t shy about spending. They added a lot of guys to a roster that needed help. Some of the moves I liked, some I didn’t. The Eagles needed help at corner and added two solid players in Cary Williams (Ravens) and Bradley Fletcher (Rams). Both are long and can play man coverage. Barwin will help the pass rush, while Isaac Sopaga (49ers) is a load in the middle of the defense. I didn’t like the signing of Chung. I just don’t think he’s much of an upgrade.

Prisco also offers his impressions of Chip Kelly from the owners meetings:

Look, I am all for a guy who believes in what he does. And I don’t think you need to change just to be like the others. But there are a lot of things different about the NFL game than the college game.

Biggest one: These are grown men, with families, playing a game as a profession, not for a scholarship and the pride of the school. Things you can get by with in college won’t fly in the NFL.

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com writes about the time Tom Coughlin offered Kelly a job with the Giants:

Kelly’s not an NFL lifer like the rest of these guys, making moves from Columbia to New Hampshire to Johns Hopkins, back to New Hampshire, then to Oregon and finally to the pros. However, he was almost in the NFC East back in 2006. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he offered Kelly the Giants’ quality control coach job with the Giants in 2006.

“He should have been coaching for me!” Coughlin said on Wednesday with a laugh. “I offered him a job one time. We interviewed Chip for a quality control position a long time ago.”

“Chip Kelly was a very good, young football coach who was very good friends with [Giants assistant] Dave DeGuglielmo, so when the quality control position became open, it was, ‘talk to me about who these young guys are out there,’ and Chip was recommended.”

Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com ranks all 32 starting lineups. He’s got the Eagles 25th:

Chip Kelly is bringing the spread-option to Philly and has explosive players with which to work. If the offense is anything like Oregon’s, Kelly will flood the field with four-wide sets, presumably using Jackson and Maclin on the perimeter with Casey and Celek or Jason Avant in the slot. Kelly’s offensive foundation is the run game, and he’s expected to often pair Bryce Brown with McCoy in the backfield simultaneously. Peters’ return gives credibility to the offensive line. The Eagles may not rack up wins in 2013, but they’ll inarguably be a fascinating watch.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 25th in his power rankings:

The Philadelphia Eagles applied several minor brush strokes through the free-agent marketplace, producing a complete turnover on defense. Perhaps the most important signing was the acquisition of Isaac Sopoaga, who will man the middle in the new 3-4 scheme under Chip Kelly. Put another way, there was no way Antonio Dixon was going to anchor the nose. The whole unit has been remade, with seven new starters on the defensive side of the ball.

ESPN.com has the Eagles 26th in its offseason power rankings:

Chip Kelly is working on rebuilding the defense, starting with the back end. Still a question mark at QB.

Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com chimes in on Arrelious Benn:

Along with James Casey, Benn will help make the Eagles offense one of the more versatile in the league.  By making these two acquisitions, it’s clear that Kelly has a specific vision for his offense.  It’s not realistic to expect great numbers out of Benn anytime soon — and I imagine he’ll be used as a H-Back, TE, and slot receiver at times — but at only 24 years old, I’m still curious to see if he can develop into a legitimate starting wide receiver.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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