Eagles Wake-Up Call: Three Leftovers From Chip
Here are three leftovers from Chip Kelly’s session with reporters on Monday.
1. A big question this week will be: How does the offense change with Mark Sanchez running the show as opposed to Nick Foles?
At one point, Kelly seemed to indicate it wouldn’t change much.
“We’re going to run our offense the way we run it,” he said. “I think there may be a throw here that he likes better. [Maybe] he likes to throw the 18‑yard in as opposed to the 15‑yard dig or things like that. Little things like that way. But we won’t drastically change anything if he’s in there.”
But we saw last year that Kelly will adjust the scheme to personnel. And to be fair, the offense has already changed this year. Early on, Foles was taking a lot of deep shots. But in recent weeks, that hasn’t been the case as much.
“I don’t have an offense. I’ve said that since day one,” Kelly said. “Our offense is directed around our quarterback. So tell me who is playing quarterback, and I’ll tell you what our offense is going to be and how it’s going to look, because we can always cater it to the skills of our offense. That’s the beauty of what we’re doing here.
“So I think [Sanchez] obviously has a big-time arm, an NFL arm, he’s got NFL feet. He’s really, really smart. He’s sharp. Great work ethic, very athletic, all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback.”
On Sunday, with Sanchez in the game, the Eagles leaned on the run. He only attempted one pass of 20+ yards. We’ll find out in the coming weeks what the offense looks like with Sanchez directing it.
2. Defensively, with DeMeco Ryans out, his backup is likely to make the calls and get guys lined up.
“It just depends on who is calling the defense in terms of where we are,” Kelly said. “I think both linebackers can call the defense. It’s not that there’s one that has to. But we always defer to one because you don’t want two guys talking.
“DeMeco may be making the direction call, but Mychal [Kendricks] knows the direction call. It’s just one guy has to call it so you don’t have two guys arguing over what the call is. Mychal has comfort in it. When we’re in dime looks, Mychal calls the defense. Mychal’s the one linebacker in there. Nolan [Carroll II] doesn’t call the defense. Mychal has a ton of experience doing it and Casey [Matthews] has experience doing it and [Emmanuel] Acho has experience doing it. So all the guys that train at inside linebacker can call our defense.”
For now, the guess is Matthews and Acho will rotate in alongside Kendricks and take on Ryans’ responsibilities. When the Eagles are in dime (and they could use that package even more now), it’ll be Kendricks making the calls.
3. Kelly offered an honest assessment of how this year’s team is different from last year’s.
“We ran a lot of plays last year and we didn’t turn the ball over at all,” he said. “I think the unique thing about this team compared to last year’s team is that last year’s team didn’t give up X-plays [20 yards or more] and last year’s team didn’t turn over the football. This year’s team has given up X-plays and this year’s team has turned over the football.
“But last year at this point in time we were 3-and-5 and this year we’re 6-and-2. But it’s not what we’re working towards; it’s not what we’re expressing. We’re not saying that X-plays are OK. We’re not saying turnovers are OK. I think our players understand that. We talk about ball security all the time. They understand that, and we’ll continue to work on it. But I don’t have an exact answer for it.”
The Eagles have 20 turnovers on the season, tops in the NFL.
WHAT YOU MISSED
A player-by-player review of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched.
Notes from Tim: Details on Foles’ injury, and the Eagles are bringing in a safety.
Eagles-Texans, the Day After: Birds reclaim identity with run game and tempo. Plus, game balls, five thoughts, snap counts and more.
On a one-year deal, Jeremy Maclin is proving his worth, writes T-Mac.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz on the Eagles’ run game:
Defenders have to adjust to each RB when he is in the game. They know ahead of time who is getting the ball, but when the body is used to one style, adjusting to another on the fly can be tricky. Watch Polk’s TD run. There is no wasted motion. He gets the ball and hits the hole right away. Shady might have gone a millisecond slower so he could read the blocks. Polk just ran. The next thing you know he’s at the 1-yard line and fighting his way into the end zone.
Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com with some notes on the Birds’ turnovers:
That’s unbelievable. In fact, according to Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders, the Eagles are just one of five teams in NFL history to start a season with a 6-2 record or better, and have a turnover differential of -10 or worse. They others were the 1945 Lions, the 1971 49ers, the Super Bowl winning 1983 Raiders, and the 2011 Steelers.
Because of the Monday night game, the Eagles are off. We are not. Plenty to get to today.