What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s our weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

ESPN.com’s Matt Williamson projects the league’s top running backs in 2016. He’s got LeSean McCoy second behind only Cleveland’d Trent Richardson:

McCoy will turn only 25 in July, but he already has four excellent NFL seasons under his belt. He has been a great all-around player for Andy Reid in Philadelphia, but I expect Chip Kelly’s up-tempo system to bring out even more from McCoy. He is perfect for what Kelly wants to do, and I expect this coaching staff to relieve McCoy quite a bit with Bryce Brown, which should further enhance McCoy’s chances of remaining a high-octane player in 2016.

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com offers thoughts on Chip Kelly and the Oregon sanctions:

But this is an 18-month penalty whose effects could last longer than its term. What it does to Kelly is label him as a cheater, and whether it’s 12 months, 24 months or five years from now, if Kelly ends up wanting to get back into college coaching, you’d better believe this will stick to him and make a school or two think twice about whether they want him to run their program. Oh, he’s a good coach, and smart, and he’d be able to get a job. But there probably would be jobs he’d want and couldn’t get as a result of this, and that’s fair. If you cheat, there should be consequences.

So yeah, I know you probably don’t care if you’re an Eagles fan. And if Kelly hits it big in the NFL, no one will have reason to remember this. But don’t come at me insisting he didn’t have embarrassing personal reasons to leave Oregon, because he obviously did. And if you’re making grand, optimistic assumptions about his level of commitment to his new job and whether you can trust what he says, that’s your right, but consider yourself warned.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 23rd in his power rankings:

All anyone wants to talk about is quarterback. What about that defense? Let’s see, there’s a new coordinator (Billy Davis), a new scheme (3-4), a new nose tackle ( Isaac Sopoaga), a new OLB/pass rusher ( Connor Barwin) and a whole new secondary (Cary Williams, Patrick Chung, Kenny Phillips and Bradley Fletcher). And we’re not even counting Bradley Cooper. Just saw Silver Linings Playbook. That’s easily better than either of the last two Hangover movies, and I didn’t even bother seeing Hangover III.

Herm Edwards names five “rising star” coaches, including Kelly:

Only 49 years old, Kelly knows his offense. And while it probably will take him a year or so to process how the NFL game is played, he understands offensive football and how to exploit matchups. Coming from Oregon, he’s in touch with the new mold of NFL player and has a good relationship with them. He’s confident enough to think he’ll succeed in the NFL, but he also understands that the QB of the future in Philadelphia may not even be on that roster yet.

Kelly will have a system in place, but he’s figured out that he needs the players to fit the system and not vice-versa. He’ll go through some growing pains transitioning to a 3-4 D this season, but I expect him to have a bright future in Philadelphia.

Mike Clay of Rotoworld.com says Bryce Brown has the fourth-most fantasy value of any backup running back:

The Eagles are going to run the ball a ton with Chip Kelly calling the shots. We saw in 2012 that Brown has big-time ability. If LeSean McCoy misses time, Brown would lead the Eagles’ backfield, with Felix Jones providing only minimal pressure for snaps.

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