What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Chip Kelly‘s Eagles are taking Week 8 off, but the media never sleep. Here’s a roundup of what’s being said about the Birds.
The Eagles are on the brink of failure, writes Grantland’s Bill Barnwell, and Chip needs to take a look at his roster and make some tough decisions.
If it’s ever going to happen for the Eagles, now is the time. Philadelphia has hit its bye week. It has two weeks to make whatever changes are necessary to spark its flagging offense, which is 28th in Expected Points Added per drive through seven games.
Since hitting the reset button on the moves Chip Kelly made this offseason doesn’t appear to be an option, the Eagles are left with precious few choices for improving that attack.
While Kelly will unquestionably make some schematic choices during the downtime, there’s one obvious personnel move that would shake things up. Should the Eagles bench Sam Bradford?
Kelly’s system isn’t to blame for the Eagles’ inability to score points this season, writes ESPN’s Matt Bowen.
Kelly’s “system” isn’t the main culprit for the Eagles’ struggles. For one thing, his scheme, though it’s played at a breakneck speed and presented with plenty of window dressing, isn’t all that different from the football we watch across the league on Sundays. Packaged plays? Aaron Rodgers runs those. The run game? Buck Sweep is the old Vince Lombardi power toss scheme. And those zone runs can be found at every level of the game. Sure, the Eagles like to operate out of the shotgun. Great, so does Tom Brady. He likes tempo too. And the Patriots play just as fast as Kelly’s Eagles.
Here’s the rub: Whether we are talking about the Eagles or small-town high school ball, it always comes down to players first, scheme second. (Chip The GM, of course, handpicked many of his players during the offseason. You want to throw the head coach into the fire? That’s where you do it.)
Grantland’s Robert Mays places the Eagles in the “losers” column as he recaps the winners and losers of Week 7.
It’s undoubtedly been a frustrating year for the players on the Eagles defense. [Jonathan] Stewart had a big day on the ground, but the Eagles were third in defensive DVOA coming into yesterday, and overall, it’s an interesting, entertaining, and — at times — dominant collection of talent.
Philly’s front might be the league’s most intriguing group of players at those positions. Connor Barwin does just about everything. Fletcher Cox is just 24 years old, already a star, and about to get paid. And that’s before even getting to the complementary pieces.
USA Today puts Kelly at No. 6 in its weekly NFL Coaches Hot Seat rankings, one spot above the Houston Texans’ Bill O’Brien.
6. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles: The return-to-college rumors will grow with each loss. We don’t think owner Jeffrey Lurie will fire him but Kelly might find his own exit door.
SB Nation’s Patrick Vint ranked seven possible college football destinations for Kelly, just in case the Eagles’ coach defects back to the collegiate ranks after this season.
2. University of Southern California
Maybe the only place with more talent than South Florida: Southern California, where Kelly would inherit a roster that probably wouldn’t mind sprinting from snap to snap. He’s already shown he can recruit to the West Coast with little more than an outdated scouting report and a road map.
While Kelly might not want to take on a rebuild in his old conference, USC has more than enough money and history to compete with his old team year-in and year-out.
And despite the lack of a mobile quarterback on the Trojans roster, Kelly has had plenty of success with immobile signal-callers, like … well, he can recruit a mobile quarterback.