Weekend Reading: Why the Mayor Quit On Chip

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

A selection of good Eagles-related weekend reading as the search for the team’s next head coach continues, and the playoffs get underway Saturday afternoon.

New Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney explained this week why he didn’t mind seeing Chip Kelly get the boot, writes CBS 3’s Andrew Porter.

“I didn’t like him,” Kenney told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Wednesday. “There’s a saying that says, you’ll forget what people say and you’ll forget what people do, but you never forget how people make you feel. And I live in Olde City and three years ago, it was a Sunday night [October 13th, 2013] about ten o’clock. Eagles had played [the] Tampa Bay [Buccaneers] away and they were losing most of the game and they came back and won. And I walked across the street into this little grocery store to get some milk or whatever and Chip, he was living in the neighborhood at the time. And the only two people in the store was he and I, and the owner.

“And I said, ‘Hey coach great game.’

“And he turned away and never said a word and walked out the door. And as he walked out the door, I said, ‘Andy Reid would have said thank you.’ It was that kind of attitude and that stuck with me. And I said to myself, if he’s a great coach I’ll overlook that because Bill Belichick isn’t exactly the friendliest guy either, but they win. And when he didn’t win and with that personality, I was like, you know what? I’m done with it.”

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell takes a look at what Andy Reid and the Chiefs are doing right heading into the playoffs. Hint: they’re taking care of the ball.

Quietly, the Chiefs are doing serious damage on first down. One of my favorite measures of a team’s offense is what it does on first-and-10 while the game is within 14 points; it’s not a foolproof metric, but it’s a quick-and-dirty way to figure out what a team likes to call and how effective it is in its base offense. And by that measure, the Chiefs are wildly impressive. They average 6.3 yards per play across that split, the third-best figure in football, behind the Cardinals and Buccaneers.

Interestingly enough, given how Andy Reid was constantly berated in Philadelphia for not running the football, most of that comes on the ground. The Chiefs run the ball 47.2 percent of the time in those situations, the 10th-heaviest run ratio in the league. Meanwhile, Chip Kelly’s Eagles threw the ball 54.7 percent of the time in those same spots, which was the sixth-heaviest pass ratio in football.

MMQB’s Andrew Brandt believes a large portion of Chip Kelly‘s criticism stems from his unconventional NFL background.

Kelly does not come from a coaching “tree” and his sleep tracking, sports science and other coaching methods—he refers to practice as “training”—drew critics, especially old-line coaches mocking Kelly with the ‘but that’s not the way we’ve always done things around here!’ mentality. Even beyond the recent piling on, there was criticism of Kelly a year ago after he guided a 4-12 team to consecutive 10-win seasons.

How many coaches, let alone ones coming from college, do that in their first two years? The Eagles second coaching choice in 2013, Gus Bradley, has gone 12-35 in Jacksonville during Kelly’s 26-21 tenure in Philadelphia; Bradley was told he is safe with the Jaguars. Although I understand the criticism for Kelly’s hubris, I think he continues to draw criticism from those resistant to change.

In a column prepping for this weekend’s playoff games, Peter King of MMQB asks whether the Eagles will be able to retain Sam Bradford after firing Chip Kelly.

Bradford won’t be motivated to return to Philadelphia over any other team now that free agency looms. His agent, Tom Condon, is a get-the-most-you-can-regardless-of-team guy, and Bradford isn’t crazy about Philadelphia the city anyway. He probably wishes there was a team in his favorite place, Oklahoma City.

And who’s to say the next coach—current offensive coordinators Adam Gase of Chicago and Doug Pederson of Kansas City are popular early names—will want Bradford at $18 million a year or more?

Over at Philly Voice, Jimmy Kempski put together a preliminary Big Board of ten players the Eagles should look at with the No. 13 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

1. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis.

Lynch is a physical specimen who checks off all kinds of boxes in terms of what NFL teams are looking for in a quarterback. He has great size, a strong arm, touch, good mobility for his size, and a good feel for the game. We took a thorough look at Lynch’s skills back in November. It’s worth a peek.

There’s a feeling that the Browns are going to snap him up at the second overall pick, which certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. However, during the pre-draft process, quarterbacks tend to experience the most volatility, in terms of the fans and media rating players differently than the teams themselves. In other words, while Lynch looks like a potential top five pick now, that could change once he’s dissected with a fine-tooth comb. But the guess here is that he’ll be long gone by the time the Eagles pick, and they won’t have the type of firepower it will take to trade up to get him.