What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Michael VickHere’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Alan Siegel of SB Nation with a good long read about Chip Kelly’s New Hampshire roots:

UNH’s all-in-one field house sits at the top of a hill on the edge of the Durham campus. One wall of the Paul Sweet Oval, the facility’s indoor track, has a tiny football coaches box built into it. The makeshift wooden structure is only accessible by first climbing a ladder, then perilously shuffling across a catwalk. It overlooks tiny Cowell Stadium.

Buried in the basement, underneath the indoor track, Lundholm Gymnasium, and Swasey Indoor Pool, was Kelly’s football laboratory. In reality, it was just a small office. But it’s where he honed an offense that was, in the words of record-breaking former UNH receiver David Ball, “his baby.”

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles 20th in his power rankings:

It’s amazing, the similarity in scope of the careers of Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick. A colleague in the industry who has worked for the Eagles told me the team never will win a championship with Vick, and while I never want to overreact, it’s almost impossible to disagree with that sentiment.

That said, the Eagles’ defense played easily its best game Thursday night — Connor Barwin in particular made several impressive plays. Still, the unit could not overcome the giveaway-fest hosted by the offense and special teams; facing too many short fields proved to be too much.

The Eagles are 23rd in ESPN.com’s power rankings:

Early returns are positive on offense, as only the Packers and Broncos have more offensive touchdowns than the Eagles. But can Philly can run its track-meet offense at Mile High?

Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 20th:

The Eagles had five giveaways on Thursday night and have now lost eight straight at home.

In his QB Index, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com puts Vick in the “Almost There” category:

Whereas Tannehill and Flacco have been steady this year, Vick and Stafford remain up-and-down. The ups have been really sweet. Stafford put together two composed games to start the year before a roller coaster performance against Washington. When he misses, he misses by a lot. He lacks touch, but connects on plays he shouldn’t. Yin and yang.

SI.com’s Peter King thinks the Chiefs used Pistol creator and team consultant Chris Ault to slow down the Eagles’ offense:

Andy Reid hired Ault, who coached Nevada and developed Colin Kaepernick into an NFL quarterback, in the offseason to help his team in a variety of ways. Ault’s job is shrouded in mystery. But you can see his effect on both offense and defense. Andy Reid has adopted some of Ault’s stuff into his West Coast offense—Pro Football Focus had Alex Smith lined up in the pistol eight times Thursday night—and he’s also been active in helping the Kansas City defense against the wide-open offenses the Chiefs will play this year. I can only guess why Ault’s role is top secret: Kansas City travels to Washington Dec. 8. Ault and Kyle Shanahan, before Ault took this job, exchanged some ideas informally last winter. I can tell you Reid’s staff values Ault highly, and he had a big hand in divining what Chip Kelly was doing on Thursday night.

Chris Burke of SI.com has the Eagles 25th in his power rankings:

Quick “Did You Know?” here, on the heels of Philadelphia’s Thursday loss to K.C.: Chip Kelly lost his first Thursday appearance at Oregon, too — a game which also happened to mark his debut as Oregon’s head coach. Counting a Fiesta Bowl that happened to fall on that day, Kelly went 5-0 on Thursdays from there on out, winning those games by an average of 23.5 points.

Burke also has a mock draft out. And guess who he has the Eagles taking with the 10th pick?

Mariota is the rather obvious match here — he played for Chip Kelly at Oregon and is thriving in the offense Kelly left behind. The MMQB’s Greg Bedard reminded us, though, that Kelly recruited Manziel partially because Johnny Football played in a high school offense similar to Kelly’s attack. This one would be a lot of fun if it happened.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 19th in his power rankings:

The Eagles wrongly assumed they were done losing when Andy Reid was on the sidelines.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog has the Eagles 20th:

I’m not sure if fans realize the irony in saying things like, “The media totally overreacted about Chip Kelly’s offense after one game! It’s horrible!!!!”

Vince Verhei of Football Outsiders had Vick as the 30th-ranked passer last week:

Between the 40s, Vick went 1-of-6 for 13 yards with one first down, one interception, and one sack. His three carries went for 61, 24, and 14 yards, and three first downs.

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