Weekend Reading: Reaction To Chip’s Moves
Some links to pass along after one of the busiest weeks in Eagles history:
Jenny Vrentas of MMQB.com asked Eagles former president Joe Banner about Kelly’s moves.
I think he is getting players that he believes are very talented that best fit the way he wants to use them. We’ve heard for years that one of the things [Bill] Belichick does is find people who fit what he does. You may think that LeSean McCoy is a very good back. I happen to think he’s a very good back. But it’s safe to assume that Chip thinks DeMarco Murray fits what he’s looking for in a back better. He really traded dollars there to a back who may just fit what he does better. I think it’s safe to assume, or he wouldn’t have made the move.
The Eagles clearly made a decision they had to upgrade the talent at certain positions on defense, and I think they succeeded in doing that. And frankly, it appears the initial plan on offense may have been a little bit different from what they ended up doing, which is why I believe if these guys are able to stay healthy, they have actually collectively improved the team quite a significant amount. It looks like he had a plan that had some flexibility, which is a very good thing. When an opportunity presented itself to pick up a player who probably, or at least appears to be, not in the original plan but made the team better, he was able to change direction and get a deal done. That’s not something everybody can do, and it’s a very valuable thing to have in a coach.
Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice believes Kelly is buying into the trend of employing bigger, stronger running backs:
The Eagles of course officially added a pair of 220-ish pound running backs yesterday in 217 pound bruiser DeMarco Murray and the 220 pound Ryan Mathews. Clearly, the running game is going to be featured heavily by the Eagles’ offense in 2015.
“You have to run the football in this league and that’s what we believe in,” said Chip Kelly. “That’s what we’ve always believed in. We lost a very talented running back and in making that decision, in losing LeSean (McCoy), how do you replace a player of that caliber? And that’s what we did.”
If you look at the teams that have won playoff games over the last two years, the majority of them had bigger, talented #NorthSouth running backs, as opposed to shiftier backs like McCoy.
Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly thinks that Chris Polk nows sits squarely on the roster bubble:
Polk, a 2012 rookie free-agent signing, received the low-level restricted free-agent tender that pays about $1.5 million. But the money isn’t guaranteed, so there’s an impetus on the former University of Washington workhorse to stay healthy and prove he deserves a roster spot.
There’s also the chance that another team submits an offer. The Eagles would have the right to match the offer and retain Polk. If they didn’t match, they wouldn’t receive any draft compensation in return.
Another option would be matching the offer and then trying to work out a trade with the team that showed interest. The Jets traded for Saints running back Chris Ivory last season after initially bringing the restricted free agent in for a visit.
The likeliest scenario is Polk competing to make the roster again, but the additions of Murray and Mathews almost rule out the chance that the Eagles see him on their roster beyond 2015.
Bleeding Green Nation reports on an interesting pro comparison to Mariota:
Last year in one of [Daniel Jeremiah’s] regular “Ask 5” segments, where he asks 5 NFL execs the same question, the subject was Marcus Mariota’s best pro comparison. He got several of the answers you might expect (Kaepernick, RG3) but the last answer seems extremely relevant right now.
The last NFL exec said the best pro comp for Mariota was Sam Bradford. “He’s a more athletic version of Sam Bradford,” said the exec.
“The quick decision making, quick release, accurate guys that’s what Mariota is and that’s what Sam Bradford has,” he said. “I think he’s a much better thrower coming out than Mariota is.”
Bill Barnwell of Grantland questions if Chip Kelly actually has a thought out plan or if he is making it up as he goes along:
The most troubling part about all of this is that it feels like one day’s moves have no relation to the next. On Wednesday, Kelly was describing the LeSean McCoy trade as a move designed to clear out the space needed for Maxwell, and the next day, he signed a running back who will make as much or more money as McCoy would have in 2015. Then, after signing two running backs who usually stick between the tackles and trading for an injury-riddled quarterback, the Eagles reportedly start shopping Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis around the league?
Given their other plans, you have to wonder when the Eagles really decided to make an offer this large to Murray. If they really wanted Murray this badly, why didn’t they go after him at the beginning of free agency? Were they planning on teaming up Murray and Frank Gore as opposed to Murray and Mathews? Or was it going to be Gore and Mathews, and after Gore had second thoughts, did the Eagles get desperate and go after Murray?