Kelly Notes: Boykin ‘Good To Go’
The Eagles got good news on the injury front today when Chip Kelly announced that Brandon Boykin has been cleared to practice and should be “good to go.”
Boykin suffered a concussion during a special-teams play last week. But he’s undergone the league-mandated protocol and is expected to be on the field against the Bears Sunday night.
The Eagles’ main injury concern now is on special teams. Kurt Coleman (hamstring) and Colt Anderson (knee) did not participate in practice. The team signed Keelan Johnson off the practice squad yesterday.
The Eagles will release their official injury report later today.
OPEN MIND TO SIGNALING SYSTEM
The Inquirer’s Amy S. Rosenberg had a good story recently about how a Ventnor woman, Jill Cakert, sent Kelly her invention, the Signalfan, during the summer. The Eagles’ head coach opened the package, thought the device could help him relay information to his players during games and sent Cakert a personal check for $25, along with a thank you note.
Kelly was asked today why he decided to use the Signalfan.
“If they send us something that’s gonna work, we’re gonna use it,” Kelly said. “I think you can learn from any person in this world. And I think if your mind is so closed that you’re gonna say, ‘we’ve got all the answers’ then shame on you. But I opened it, it looked like a good suggestion, so we used it.”
DON’T BLAME THE TEMPO
The Eagles have several players among the league leaders in snaps. Per Pro Football Focus, Connor Barwin, DeMeco Ryans and Cary Williams have all played the most snaps at their respective positions. Fletcher Cox and Nate Allen are in the top-five.
So the problem is simple, right? The offense moves quickly, sometimes strikes out, and the defense is forced to take the field more often than other teams?
Wrong. We mentioned this earlier in the season, but it’s worth revisiting. The defense has been on the field for 167 possessions, per Football Outsiders. The league average is 163. And that’s spread out over 13 games. Ten teams have been on the field for more defensive possessions than the Eagles.
The problem is not the offense’s tempo. It’s the defense’s inability to get off the field. The Eagles face 6.24 plays per defensive drive. That’s dead-last in the league. And they are forcing three-and-outs 18 percent of the time. That ranks second-to-last.
Bottom line: If the defense did a better job of getting off the field, it wouldn’t be playing so many snaps. The problem is independent of what’s happening on the offensive side of the ball.
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