What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Chip KellyHere’s the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

ESPN.com moved the Eagles down five spots to No. 19 in its power rankings:

There’s the track meet everyone expected. Philly averaged 20.4 seconds per play, more than five seconds faster than last week, and gained 8.8 yards per play Sunday.

Stanford head coach David Shaw talks to The MMQB’s Peter King about Chip Kelly:

“That’s why I love Chip Kelly,’’ Shaw said. “He knows that I love him. He used to say it all the time and no one would believe him. He would just laugh, one of those smirk laughs that he has, and he would always tell people, ‘What we’re doing is not hard. We’re doing it faster, and we’re doing it with big kids who are smart kids.’ We’re like that—changing formations, making our players communicate, communicate, and the ball is getting snapped and they’re running something very simple. Now, with Chip, he gets the ball to DeSean Jackson in space, he gets LeSean McCoy in space, he’s created the same thing. So it’s not just schemes, it’s the combination of schemes and personnel. If you’ve got the guys to do it, to get guys in space, you can make big plays.’’

Bill Barnwell of Grantland looks at Kelly’s decision to throw the red flag last week:

Chip Kelly stretched his streak of somewhat-bizarre challenges to two, having challenged an obviously dropped pass at the beginning of the Washington game a week ago. (That play at least fit the first-down-deep-in-opposition-territory criteria from above.) Here, Kelly challenged a first-quarter sideline catch by Malcom Floyd that would have turned a nine-yard completion on second-and-12 into an incomplete pass. The two replays shown between the completion and the ensuing snap raised some doubts about the catch being valid without making it clear that Kelly would win the protest, but again, the context didn’t make much sense. The upside of the challenge was turning a third-and-3 from the Philadelphia 19 into a third-and-12 from the Philly 28-yard line. Given how bad the Philadelphia defense is, I wouldn’t trust them to stop Philip Rivers in either situation; you’d rather force the opposing team to need 12 yards, but is that difference worth throwing the flag on a call that was ruled a catch on the field without seeing any indisputable evidence suggesting otherwise? I have to think it wouldn’t be the case.

Former Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder reflects on Andy Reid’s time in Philly, via ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox:

“What happened to us at the end was it wasn’t about the process anymore,” said Rick Burkholder, who spent all 14 seasons with Reid in Philadelphia as the Eagles’ trainer and joined Reid in Kansas City. “It wasn’t about Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. It was about the Dream Team. It was about, ‘You have to win 12 or you’re a failure.’ ‘If he doesn’t win the Super Bowl, he should be fired.’

“I don’t know how he lasted as long as he did there. The pressure’s so great in that city. It just wears you down. Ten [wins] is not good enough. If he wins 10 games for 10 years in this city they’ll put a statue of him outside of Arrowhead. He won 10 games for 10 years in Philly basically and still in the end it wasn’t enough.”

Dick Vermeil talks to SI.com’s Don Banks about Reid’s return:

“It is a different experience for Andy in coming back,” concedes Vermeil. “He left after being relieved of his responsibilities, and I left on my own. But I think what’s the same is once you’ve coached in Philadelphia, you get emotionally connected with the city and the fans get emotionally connected with you. Once they identify with you, I think they hang with you. They’re very, very loyal, and that’s why I think there will be a strong consensus, a high percentage of fans who will react with the very positive side of their passion when Andy takes the field. They will appreciate what he got done here.”

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 18th in his power rankings:

Can Chip Kelly fix the defense? That’s the issue. They can score all they want, but they have major problems on defense.

Prisco predicts a 30-23 Eagles victory Thursday night:

The Eagles can score. The Chiefs have been really good on defense. Something has to give. I say it’s the Chiefs’ defense that gives a little. Mike Vick and the offense will have some success down the field against the Chiefs. The Eagles defense has been awful, but it is better here against a Chiefs offense that is just OK.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com weighs in on Kelly’s second game:

It took exactly one week for the NFL to adjust. San Diego held the ball for 40:17, converting 10 of 15 third down situations and posting 33 first downs, to keep the Blur Offense off the field. Fast-snap offenses accustomed to flying down the field as spectators gasp become frustrated when they have to stand around watching the opponent, and the visiting Bolts quickly got the home Eagles frustrated. Maybe in retrospect, Philadelphia jumped ahead of Washington 33-7 in Week 1 for same reason Green Bay jumped ahead of Washington 31-0 in Week 2 — the cover-your-eyes awful R*dsk*ns defense.

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 19th in his power rankings:

Well one thing hasn’t changed for the Eagles … the Swiss cheese defense.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 17th:

Chip Kelly revolutionizing the NFL in its 94th season lasted one week. At least now that the Eagles are 1-1, people will tap the brakes when it comes to anointing them the second coming of “The Greatest Show on Turf (Er, Grass).”

Of course, the offense still put up a 30-spot in Sunday’s loss. Philly’s weak spot — as we suspected would be the case two weeks ago — proved to be the defense. Still, win or lose, this is an exciting team to watch.

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