Weekend Reading: On Worilds And Saban/Kelly

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma

Howie Roseman said Friday that he expects this to be a quiet weekend at the NovaCare Complex.

Speaking from experience, we’ll take that with a grain of salt. But regardless, here is some reading to keep you entertained/occupied.


We start in the college game where a couple weeks ago we talked about the NCAA proposing some very anti-Chip Kelly rule changes. The move would allow the defense to substitute for the first 10 seconds of the play clock and penalize the offense for snapping the ball before the clock showed 29.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is in the anti-tempo group, although he told al.com that he had nothing to do with the rule proposal. Interestingly enough, he referenced Kelly though when talking about the subject for the first time:

“In the NFL, what they did is the officials stand over the ball until the officials are ready to call the game. Alright, that’s how they control the pace of play. The coach at Philadelphia ran 83 plays a game at Oregon, and ran 65 a game in Philadelphia. So why do they control the pace of play in the NFL? I mean, I’m just asking.

Look, I’m all for what’s best for the game. The game is what it is, I don’t think any coach should determine, just like when they went to Philadelphia in the NFL and they were going so fast, the officials said, ‘We control the pace of the game.’ The league said, ‘The officials control the pace of the game, not a coach.’ So, I’m just saying what’s best for the game. That’s what Nick Saban is for.”

If you’re reading closely, you’ll notice Saban went third-person while simultaneously referring to Kelly as “the coach at Philadelphia.” Impressive on both counts.

A couple points to make here. Number one, Kelly was in his first season with a new group of players. So it seems reasonable to consider he wasn’t able to play as fast as he wanted. We’ll ask him later this month at the owners’ meetings, but the guess here is the Eagles will want to use more tempo in 2014.

The other point is that total number of plays is not the best way to gauge tempo. The Eagles went 7-1 in the second half of the season and oftentimes were looking to milk the clock in the fourth quarter. In addition, the defense was horrible at getting off the field. Both things limited their total number of plays.

The college rule proposal will be voted on later this month.


Greg A. Bedard of The MMQB recently released a list of his top-100 free agents. Coming in at No. 12 was Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds. Bedard also suggested the Eagles as a potential landing spot:

Finally got a chance to play every down when Lamarr Woodley was injured. He showed a knack for getting to the passer, and there is a dearth of 3-4 OLBs in free agency. Best fit: Eagles. Suitors will line up for Worilds. He’d bring instant impact opposite Trent Cole.

The feeling here is that the Eagles are looking for an outside linebacker to replace Trent Cole, not team up with him. Billy Davis values Connor Barwin’s versatility, and Barwin is the only true 3-4 OLB on the Eagles’ roster.

T-Mac wrote about Worilds last week. It’ll be interesting to see if the Steelers allow him to get to free agency.