What They’re Saying: Following Belichick’s Lead?

NFL: Preseason-New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles

Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Sharon Katz of ESPN.com looked at the teams who fared the best in the NFL draft from 2002 to 2012. She concluded that the Eagles were third, just behind the Seahawks and the Packers:

The Eagles’ run of four straight NFC Championship appearances in the early 2000s was built off early-round draft success, but as the Eagles progressed through the decade, their greatest draft achievements came in later rounds.

In Rounds 5 through 7, no team had found more value than the Eagles since league expansion. The best of these late-round gems was Trent Cole, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. Cole played 10 seasons for the Eagles — he was released this offseason — and ranks second in team history with 85.5 career sacks. That’s the definition of a value pick.

The analysis above does not include the 2013 and 2014 draft classes, so we will have to wait and see how Chip Kelly and his clan of Oregon Ducks perform in future years. But from 2002 to 2012, Andy Reid and the Eagles GMs were among the best in the business.

Peter King of The MMQB caught up with AL MVP and Eagles season ticket-holder Mike Trout, who offered his opinion of the Birds:

“I’ve been shocked, for sure,” Trout says. “But, you know, Chip Kelly’s got something up his sleeve. If he thinks Sam Bradford’s the guy, you know, you gotta trust it. He has one thing in mind, and that’s winning a Super Bowl. Whatever it takes. Whatever he thinks is right, that’s what he’s gonna do.

“As a fan, all these moves you hear in the offseason, it gets you excited for the season, for sure.”

Pretty cool: The American League MVP, dying to know Chip Kelly’s next move.

In his latest mock draft, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports has the Eagles taking CB Byron Jones from Connecticut:

Connecting the pro day dots, Chip Kelly has paid close attention to big, athletic defensive back prospects this spring. Eric Rowe is in the conversation, but Jones is the better fit and should surprise no one if he’s drafted this high.

John Beech of CBS Sports looks at the injury history of the Eagles’ newest acquisitions:

It might not have been Kelly’s plan when free agency started, but one thing has become clear during over the past three weeks: Kelly is buying low and going after injured players.

Since March 10, the Eagles have added six players who have missed a combined 148 games in their careers. That group of injured players is led by linebacker Kiko Alonso and defensive back Walter Thurmond, who have both missed at least 50 percent of their career games.

Alonso has missed exactly 50 percent of his career regular season games since joining the league in 2013 (16 out of 32), while Thurmond has missed 55 percent (44 out of 80).

So is Kelly adding injured players on purpose?

Karen Guregian of The Boston Harold compares Kelly’s methods to those of Bill Belichick:

Bottom line? Whoever ends up the quarterback in Philly, it’s all on Kelly now to push the Eagles into the Super Bowl discussion.

As [Jeff] Lurie said, the Eagles are trying to go from good to great. From his end, that meant giving Kelly more control. But it’s one thing to have the control, know what to do with it, and then coach it on the field.

Belichick, a four-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots, has been the best in the business because he excels at all of the above. It remains to be seen if Kelly can work all the angles, and succeed in the same manner as the hooded wonder of Foxboro.

Ben Volin believes that the Eagles could be opening their season in Foxboro: