Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly Honors Fallen Navy Player
Chip Kelly has had a busy offseason.
From the Senior Bowl in January to the combine in February to the owners meetings in March, the Eagles’ head coach is racking up the frequent flyer miles. And we haven’t even mentioned all of the Pro Days:
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 9, 2014
On Saturday, though, Kelly took a break from draft prep and came through with a nice gesture to the members of Navy’s football squad.
According to the Capital Gazette, Kelly spent time at Navy’s practice and announced he was making Will McKamey an honorary member of the Eagles. McKamey died while in a coma March 26, three days after collapsing during a practice.
Kelly presented Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo with a No. 41 Eagles jersey that had McKamey’s name on the back.
“It really means a lot that someone of Chip Kelly’s stature would take the time to come to Annapolis and honor Will in that way,” said Niumatalolo. “That Coach Kelly wanted to do something special on behalf of Will, something to uplift his family, shows what a class act he is.”
Kelly has made it a point to recognize members of the military throughout his career. He traveled overseas as part of the USO Tour while at Oregon, and the Ducks had “Support Our Troops” themed spring games.
Last year, when Kelly was answering questions about the draft, he took issue with the term war room.
“First off, I don’t think using war room is real appropriate,” he said. “We had Sergeant Jones here today and it brings things back to reality. We’re picking players in the NFL draft.”
And last summer, Kelly brought in a Navy SEAL to talk to the team.
While in Annapolis, he also checked out the Midshipmen’s triple-option attack. But the clear purpose of Kelly making the trip was to reach out to the family and program going through a difficult time. Nice gesture from the Eagles’ head coach.
WHAT YOU MISSED
T-Mac has the Eagles’ preseason and offseason schedule.
The Birds are taking a closer look at USC wide receiver Marquise Lee.
McManus catches up with a Pac-12 defensive lineman who is on the Eagles’ radar.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz makes the case for Marquise Lee at No. 22:
Lee would fit the Eagles offense. He can move around and be successful in a variety of roles. He could help as a RS. He will block. Lee is a RAC weapon and that would be perfect for Chip Kelly’s quick screens.
Andrew Brandt of The MMQB weighs in on DeSean Jackson:
The Eagles showed their hand regarding Jackson last summer and again this winter. In response to the infamous Riley Cooper N-word video, the Eagles sent Cooper away for barely a weekend before succumbing to the need of having him be a key cog in a new offense—a relationship that now continues with the proactive signing of Cooper before free agency began. The Eagles made a similar preemptive strike in re-signing Jeremy Maclin, who, while injured, “bought in” to Chip Kelly’s program. Further, the team acquired Darren Sproles, a “space player” who can take over some of Jackson’s previous role. These actions, combined with the lack of future guarantees in Jackson’s contract, proved lethal for Jackson’s continued employment in Philadelphia.
We’ll check in on Penn State WR Allen Robinson.