Chip Leftovers: On Measurables, Howie And the Fans


NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Here are three leftovers from our pre-training camp session with Chip Kelly.

1. We’ve written at length in this space about the Eagles’ focus on measurables when it comes to scouting. Prior to the draft, Ed Marynowitz went into detail about the organization’s three-pronged approach. One thing he mentioned is that the Eagles want their backups to look like their starters.

That’s something Kelly expanded on when we spoke with him.

“I think that just shows you have a plan,” Kelly said. “I think some people just grasp at straws when all of a sudden you have a 6-6, 250-pound quarterback backed up by a 5-10, 175-pound kid that’s a run-around guy. I think you’re trying to get people that fit into your system, and that’s why you have height and weight and speed parameters that fit your system.”

I’ve often wondered why the Eagles haven’t added a developmental quarterback who’s more of a dual-threat option. Kelly’s answer sheds some light on that answer. Even with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, Kelly has said that they have similar running styles. He wasn’t looking for a changeup in his backup RB. He wanted someone who could do the same things as the starter.

“A two-gap defensive lineman looks different than a one-gap defensive lineman,” Kelly continued. “That’s just kind of how it is. We want taller, longer guys with longer levers that can two-gap. And if you look at our D-Line, they’re taller and longer than when we first got here. That’s because we went from a 4-3 Wide-9 to a 3-4. You had to make that adjustment along the way. You couldn’t do it in one fell swoop. We did the same thing when I was at Oregon. The kid who got picked in the first round this year, Arik Armstead, most people were recruiting him as an offensive tackle coming out of high school. We recruited him as a defensive lineman. He got picked in the first round. Probably a first-round pick next year will be DeForest Buckner, who was kind of a carbon copy of what Arik is.

“But that’s what we’re looking for. When you kind of have those height/weight/speed parameters by position, it narrows it down, narrows the pool down in terms of what you’re looking for. But that’s what you play with. It’s tough to play with a 6-foot, 290-pound guy who’s not gonna be a good two-gapper. It doesn’t mean he’s not gonna be a good football player. It just means he doesn’t fit in terms of what we’re trying to get accomplished.”

2. From the beginning, Kelly has said he’s not the kind of coach who sleeps in his office three nights a week. In the offseason, Kelly gets to the NovaCare Complex at 6 a.m. and leaves around 10 p.m.

He was also asked about the feedback he’s received from fans this offseason.

“Most of the feedback is very positive with the people I talk to,” Kelly said. “Most of them tell me not to listen to you guys.”

What were they saying during the Marcus Mariota frenzy?

“I don’t have a lot of interactions with them,” Kelly said. “I come here at six o’clock and I go home at 10. Unless they’re in the backseat of my car, there’s not a lot of conversation. I think there was a lot more made up in the media about the Marcus Mariota sensation than we were dealing with.”

And one more random note: Kelly said his favorite book is Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.

3. We haven’t heard from Howie Roseman in awhile.

Asked about the Eagles executive vice president of football operations, Kelly said: “I have a good relationship with Howie. I think he does a good job in what his job is now in terms of overseeing contracts, in terms of overseeing all those other things that are under it. I don’t know exactly — there are some things he’s doing — I don’t know exactly what those are. Those are under the direction of Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie. But my interaction with him from a contract standpoint, I have a good relationship with him.”

Kelly was awarded full control over personnel earlier this offseason. He went on to trade Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy. Would he have been able to make over the roster so dramatically had Roseman still been the GM?

“I don’t think things would have been much different if Howie was still in control,” Kelly said. “I think we were all on the same pages in terms of making moves and trying to make this team better.”