Three Eagles Leftovers From OTAs
Here are three items from OTAs we haven’t covered yet.
1. Chip Kelly seems to think the new two-point/PAT guidelines are dumb. And I have to say I agree with him.
Asked to talk about the new two-point rule, Kelly said: “I don’t think anything’s new. That’s the way we look at it. …We were 43-of-45 in the last two years from that distance, so 96 percent. I don’t know what changes to be honest with you.”
The new rule has teams kicking the extra point from the 15 yard line or going for two from the 2 yard line. The Eagles’ proposal, which was not approved, had the two-point attempt starting at the 1.
“We’re still going to kick an extra point,” Kelly said. “I don’t understand the proposal. If they want you to go for two more, the ball has always been on the 2 yard line. That’s always been an option for everybody for awhile. …The numbers will dictate when you go for two, but they didn’t entice you to go for two more, at least in my opinion.”
Kelly is absolutely right. Coaches are not going to opt for the two-point try more. The most likely result from the rule tweak is that slightly more extra points will be missed. In other words, kickers will decide more games.
By the way, where are the people complaining that football wasn’t exciting enough and this rule needed to be changed?
I’m with Kelly. Either make a more drastic change or leave it the way it was.
2. When Kelly listed the players who were limited at OTAs because of injuries last week, one name he didn’t mention was Kiko Alonso.
Alonso missed all of last season with an ACL injury, but he’s full go on the practice field.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d be doing this much, but I’ve just been going on how I feel, and it feels really good,” he said. “…Ever since I’ve gotten here, I’ve done everything.”
Alonso, DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks are all rotating with the first team. Alonso is not taking any reps at outside linebacker, and he said the scheme is very similar to what he played in at Oregon.
As for the pace, he added that it’ll take some getting used to.
“I didn’t forget about it,” Alonso said. “I knew what to expect, but I definitely thought I would have been more in shape. I was wrong.
“I remember when I was in Buffalo, I was like, ‘I can’t imagine if we played the Eagles.’ Going against that pace, you know? Because if you don’t practice like that and then you go, it’s just brutal. When I was at Oregon watching other defenses going against our offense, I was like, ‘Man, those guys are dying.’ ”
We’ll see how the inside linebacker situation plays out, but assuming Alonso can stay healthy, it shouldn’t take long for him to get up to speed.
3. The Eagles started last season 9-3 before a late-season collapse had them on the outside looking in come playoff time.
Jason Kelce had an interesting take on how the last month of the season helped shape the offseason plan.
“I’ve said this before, and this might piss off a few people, but in all honesty, we started off 9-3, we started off really, really good. And we got lucky quite a few times early in the year to win games that we probably shouldn’t have been in,” he said. “And I think the fact that we ended the season we did, didn’t make the playoffs, in hindsight, it’s almost a good thing because it forces the coaches, it forces the organization to reevaluate what we had. And really, guys all of a sudden that are on the bubble, they know for sure we need to make an upgrade there. We need to upgrade at this position, we need to do this, we need to do that to improve the team as a whole.”
I haven’t agreed with all of Kelly’s personnel decisions, but I like that the results of the first two seasons have not stopped him from being aggressive in making moves that he feels will improve the roster.
There’s no arguing that he’s willing to be bold. Now we get to find out if the boldness pays off.