What They’re Saying About The Eagles
Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles at the annual owners’ meetings.
Conor Orr of NFL.com believes, based on Kelly’s comments Wednesday morning, the Eagles will not trade up for a quarterback:
Kelly’s philosophy is simple. More players are better than less players. Drafting is an inexact science and coaches need to arm themselves with the best opportunity to hit on a player.
He reminded reporters of Dallas’ Herschel Walker deal back in 1989 and had the Saints’ Ricky Williams deal brought to his attention.
Kelly, of course, gave himself an out. He said that this is his philosophy but that in every philosophy there is room to change or make alterations. While this may seem leading, though, it was just an out. Every coach can break philosophy for one reason or another.
He just didn’t seem like he was prepared to do it this year.
Mel Kiper Jr. looked at ideal fits for some of the top 2015 draft prospects and thinks that Mariota would flourish under former Eagles coach Andy Reid:
We keep talking about the perfect marriage (remarriage?) of a Chip Kelly offense and his perfect quarterback in Mariota. But I think of what Andy Reid did with a young Donovan McNabb — a very good athlete at QB with movement skills but also a lot of projection left as an accurate passer — not to mention work he’s done to maximize the potential of other QBs, and I think he’d be fantastic working with Mariota.
Peter King of MMQB.com was taken aback by the Philly media’s interaction with Jeffery Lurie Tuesday afternoon:
Ever seen the White House news conferences, the big ones? Where the president has a room-full of reporters shouting questions, the louder voices usually winning the question-answering contest? That’s what this session was.
I don’t recall seeing such a pit-bullish sessions in my years covering the meetings. This year’s meetings were light on real news, and the Lurie media availability clearly was the most interesting thing that happened. This was his first time speaking to the media since the Eagles’ 10-6 season had its ignominious end more than 12 weeks ago. And so the pent-up questions about why ace personnel man Tom Gamble was fired, why GM Howie Roseman got demoted, why Chip Kelly now had all the power, why the offense had been dismantled so completely and why the future of the franchise was now being banked on an injury-riddled quarterback … all of those questions that hadn’t been answered by club’s ultimate decision-maker had to get answered.
And they had to get answered now.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports analyzed Lurie’s comments:
It’s been an impressive pair of debut seasons for Kelly, although Lurie made it clear the expectations are even higher for Philly as they move forward under this new regime.
“We’ve gotta be not risk-averse,” Lurie said. “Our whole thing is not to be satisfied with 10-6, 10-6.”
There’s plenty of questions as to whether or not Kelly’s overhaul on the roster can result in a step forward from a 10-win season. But there’s no longer any issue as to who gets the credit — and the blame — for how 2015 goes.
“There is no question the coach has final say.”
Former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner offered his thoughts on the Sam Bradford–Nick Foles trade:
“You also understand the health issues,” Warner said. “It’s tough to play without having that position on the field for 16 games or close to it. And him not being able to do that, I think has been tough. So you see it from that perspective.”
The fact that the Eagles re-signed quarterback Mark Sanchez, who played relatively well for them last season, at least gives Philly a backup plan should Bradford stumble or get injured, Warner said.
And from the Philly perspective?
“Here’s a guy two years ago that went 27-2 — 27 touchdowns and two interceptions,” Warner said, speaking of Foles. “That doesn’t happen very often. And I know it doesn’t happen twice very often. (But) last year was a little bit of a struggle.”
Andy Benoit and Andy Staples looked at the Eagles’ biggest problems and potential solutions heading into the NFL draft:
Chip Kelly reconfigured his entire backfield this offseason but did not find a replacement for receiver Jeremy Maclin. Wideout figures to be a prime need for the Eagles. It may not be the primary need, however. Maclin was coming off the most prolific season of his career. And so was DeSean Jackson last year, when Kelly released him. Kelly might not believe his system can prosper with just any old receiver, but he seems to believe it can prosper without a feared one. Don’t be surprised if he waits until the middle rounds to address this position.
And don’t be surprised if Kelly still goes after a quarterback. Without mobility under center, Kelly can’t use the entirety of his rushing scheme. As a passer, Sam Bradford has a quicker release than Nick Foles, making him a better fit for Kelly’s aerial designs. But Bradford does nothing for the ground game. If Kelly truly believed Bradford was his long-term answer, he’d sign him to a long-term deal now, while his market value is low. With his contract expiring after this season, Bradford is on a one-year trial. It’s not hard to envision Kelly abandoning that trial on draft night if he sees the right opportunity to move up for Marcus Mariota.