Three Eagles Leftovers
From Chip Kelly’s take on offseason workouts to the latest draft buzz, here are three Eagles leftovers.
1. The Eagles began offseason workouts this week as several players returned to the NovaCare Complex and started the journey towards the 2014 opener, which is about four months away.
But the workouts are not mandatory. In fact, very little is mandatory until training camp. The only session players have to attend is a three-day mini-camp from June 17 to June 19. You would think that would annoy some coaches, but Kelly said last month that he has no issues with the system.
“We show up on April 21,” Kelly said last month. “I’m gonna have our first team meeting and we’ll go from there. Who’s in that room is entirely up to them at that point in time… so that’s kind of how it works. And I actually told our players I’ve always like that system that it is voluntary in the offseason cause you’re gonna find out where that commitment is and see where they are. I always understand there’s a day or two where guys have things to do, but that’s a different thing.”
The sense here is that Kelly operates by the following theory: You treat all players fairly, but that doesn’t mean you treat them equally.
Last offseason, he genuinely did not seem bothered at all that Cary Williams was going sconce shopping instead of practicing. The more players in the building, the better. Kelly values that chemistry and commitment. But he also seems to realize that participation in the offseason program is probably more important for some guys than others.
2. Add another name to the Eagles’ official visit list: Florida State’s Telvin Smith was in town recently, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Smith (6-3, 218) is a hybrid defender. He played linebacker in college, but some project him to safety at the professional level.
From a speed standpoint, few linebackers can match Smith:
Smith had 9.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks last season. I still need to take a closer look at Smith, but Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz has a good write-up posted.
Smith is expected to be a mid-round pick.
3. And finally, a few scheduling notes. As you know by now, basing strength of schedule off previous previous year’s records is pointless.
The site FiveThirtyEight.com tried something different:
In cases like this, a better tactic is to make regressive predictions. We can use a regression formula to predict each team’s 2014 Simple Rating from its ratings over the previous two seasons, while building in plenty of regression to the mean to reflect our limited knowledge. If we base each team’s projected 2014 strength of schedule on these regressive predictions (while also taking into account a 2.5-point home-field advantage depending on where the game is being played), we arrive at the following projected schedule strengths for 2014.
They have the Eagles with the 15th-toughest schedule. If you crunch the numbers based solely on last year’s winning percentages, the Eagles are 20th.
Meanwhile, Week 1 lines are already out. Vegas has the Eagles as 11-point favorites against the Jaguars. That’s the biggest number for any team. The Broncos are the second-biggest favorites (7 points against the Colts).