Weekend Reading: Carroll Backs Kelly

Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY

Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY

Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.

Noted Chip Kelly enthusiast and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes Kelly knows what he is doing. From CSN Philly:

“I think the people in Philadelphia should be very excited about the changes that are coming,” Carroll said this week at the owners meetings. “Maybe they can’t see it — the vision is not clear to them. Chip knows what he’s doing. It’s going to be interesting to see.”

As someone in the same situation as Kelly, Carroll, the head honcho of player personnel in addition to coach in Seattle, pointed to Kelly’s record for a strong vote of confidence.

“His record and his history has proven that he knows what he’s doing and that he has his act together,” he said. “I know he’s really excited to have the opportunity to be in the position to mold the team. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that he’s not on it. He knows what he wants and what he needs. He’s proven that.”

ESPN insiders graded every NFL team’s offseason thus far and gave the Eagles a B:

[Louis] Riddick: “You can say Philadelphia paid through the nose for Byron Maxwell, who I am a fan of, and for [DeMarco] Murray. I cannot say I do not like the moves. It is price more than anything. I’m more interested in how Chip Kelly is going to protect Sam [Bradford]. If I am an opposing defensive coordinator, I am saying knock the crap out of Sam every time there is a zone-read play, regardless of whether he keeps the ball, which obviously he is not going to do.”

[Bill] Polian: “If Bradford plays well, then they did awfully well. If he does not, then it is a different story altogether. I thought the [LeSean] McCoy trade was a good move with what they needed to do defensively. Murray dropped into their laps. Good move.”

Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice caught up with Jason Kelce who is in favor of keeping Evan Mathis in midnight green:

“I don’t know how (Mathis’ situation) is going to unfold,” said Kelce. “I think that a lot of the backups had significant time last year, so there’s some cohesion there that has already been built up with some of the backup guys and myself already, and the tackles.”

However, Kelce was also clear to note that replacing Mathis and [Todd] Herremans may not be easy.

“I played next to Evan my entire career at left guard, and Todd for the majority of my career at right guard. They’ve helped me do my job. They’ve been great anchors for our line for a long time now, and any time you’re replacing guys, there’s going to be some much needed practice and much needed work to make sure that the guys coming in are getting the job done.”

Dave Mangels of Bleeding Green Nation wonders if DeMarco Murray will be able to stay on the field in 2015:

His high workload 2014 season had a very good 4.7 yards per carry, but his 14 game 2013 season had an even better one, 5.2. The fabled Cowboys offensive line might have helped keep him healthy, but they didn’t make him more effective, his career yards per carry entering the season was 4.9. There have been cases of players having a higher yards per carry in the season following a 370 year: Eric Dickerson in 1984 and 1986, Emmitt Smith 1993, LaDainian Tomlinson 2003 and Michael Turner 2009 to name a few. There are always exceptions to the rule.

So should we expect DeMarco Murray to stay healthy? Probably not. For all the Eagles apparent advancements in preventing soft tissue injuries, only two seasons by one team is not enough to conclusively say that the Eagles have a decided advantage. They very well may, and there is reason to believe he can. But we shouldn’t raise our expectations on it. Should we expect Murray’s production to fall of a cliff? No. He won’t lead the league in rushing again, because even if healthy he won’t carry the ball as much. But when Murray does get the ball, he should continue to be effective.

Emily Kaplan of MMQB.com reports from the scene of Chuck Badnarik’s funeral:

They will bury Chuck Bednarik in his Hall of Fame blazer and a bolo tie with a pendant of an Eagle spreading its wings. They will bury the Philadelphia 60-minute man exactly as he was remembered, with hands that looked like gnarled tree limbs and a face distinguished by a razor-sharp jawline and a slight smirk.

On Thursday, mourners said goodbye to Bednarik, the NFL’s last great two-way player, who passed away at age 89. At a public wake, in the historic steel town where he was raised, Bednarik lay in an extra-long casket. A bouquet from the Pro Football Hall of Fame was on display by his feet, a wreath of red roses hung over his heart, and his widow, Emma, a petite blonde with the handshake of a salesman, stood by his side. “It’s been humbling to see how Chuck has touched so many,” she says, her voice calm and earnest. “I think he would have liked to see that.” Everything about the day seemed fitting, right down to the weather: an endless gray sky, unrelenting rain and occasional cool gust swooping in like an unexpected hit.