September 18, 2013 |
WE THINK we understand him. He thinks we don't. He thinks he understands us. We think he doesn't. Boiled down to its essence, this is where the relationship between Donovan McNabb and the people of Philadelphia sits a few days before he and his jersey number become officially weaved forever into our civic fabric. "I look at the relationship just like a marriage," McNabb said when the Eagles first announced they would officially retire his number during halftime of Thursday night's game against Andy Reid's Chiefs.
September 17, 2013 |
KANSAS CITY - Andy Reid had just finished matching his new team's win total of a year ago when he was asked about his old squad. Shortly after Sunday's 17-16 win over the visiting Dallas Cowboys at energy-filled Arrowhead Stadium, Reid was asked by the only Philadelphia reporter in attendance whether it would be emotional when the Chiefs visit Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday to face an Eagles team that he coached the previous 14 years....
September 13, 2013 |
YOU CAN TALK fast when you're telling the truth. Chip Kelly talks fast. When you do not lie and you do not spin, the words just roll off the tongue. Even before his NFL debut Monday night, Kelly offered glimpses of his candor. Afterward, and the next day, the Eagles coach delivered two football news conference the likes of which Philadelphia had not seen since before Andy Reid's awkward introduction in 1999. Kelly was honest. Concise. Guileless. This might change.
September 10, 2013 |
I'VE HAD A fair number of people ask me if I agree that Michael Vick should be starting for the Eagles tonight, when the Chip Kelly era begins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. I always answer the question the same way: Vick clearly won the training-camp quarterbacking competition with Nick Foles. But my real answer is, I dunno. Despite all the talk about how Vick might turn around his fading fortunes in Kelly's offense, I still see this: New coach. Rebuilding mode, team that didn't draft well for several years.
August 23, 2013 |
IN A NORMAL NFL regular-season work week, you get Tuesday off. Monday, the day after the game, is for injury treatment, maybe watching film of the previous day's game. Tuesday, you recharge at home. Wednesday, you start getting ready for the next opponent. Ah, but Chip Kelly does not blindly follow tradition. So the Eagles will practice regularly on Tuesdays this fall, quite possibly making them the only NFL team to do so. They also will do something at least slightly more spirited than the typical NFL walk-through on Saturday.
August 21, 2013 |
UPDATE: Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Tuesday morning named Michael Vick the team's regular-season starter. Kelly said his decision , reached in a staff meeting yesterday, ended a thorough evaluation process. "I met with all the quarterbacks this morning. They all understand the plan and know where we are going forward," Kelly said. He said Foles, the second-year QB from Arizona, was "outstanding" when the news was conveyed. --- AFTER MICHAEL Vick's rousing performance in last Thursday's preseason win over Carolina, Vick credited new Eagles coach Chip Kelly with rekindling Vick's love for football.
August 20, 2013 |
THROUGH TWO preseason games, Michael Vick and Nick Foles have completed a combined 82.8 percent of their pass attempts. That's not a typo. Eighty-two point eight. Competition clearly has brought out the best in both of them, and so has Chip Kelly's offense, which among other things offers Eagles receivers route-option freedom they never had in Andy Reid's West Coast offense. The difference between being a receiver in the West Coast and being a receiver in Kelly's offense is the difference between having to strictly adhere to driving directions regardless of traffic congestion and being able to use an alternate route.
August 2, 2013 |
There have been two ceremonial returns this week, each tinged with a touch of melancholy, each bringing home memories shaped by victory, defeat, and the way those fickle outcomes are handled. On Monday, quarterback Donovan McNabb officially retired as an Eagle, and it was simultaneously announced that his number also would be retired before the Sept. 19 game against Kansas City that includes a special guest appearance by Andy Reid, McNabb's mentor. Then on Thursday, pitcher Brad Lidge came back to Citizens Bank Park and formally retired as a member of the Phillies organization, five years after his perfect season during the team's championship run and a little more than a year after he appeared in his final major-league game with Washington.
July 26, 2013 |
THERE ARE a lot of things about Andy Reid that annoyed the hell out of Eagles fans, but nothing got their blood boiling more than his obsessive love for the forward pass. "You win in this league by throwing the football," Reid would say every time someone questioned a lopsided pass-to-run ratio. It's hard to argue with the overall results. For the most part, his way worked. Big Red has more wins than any coach in Eagles history. In 14 seasons, he guided the Birds to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC Championship Game appearances and one trip to the Super Bowl.
July 24, 2013 |
AS PLAYERS seeped into the NovaCare Complex yesterday for physicals and paperwork, the questions from last winter, spring and early summer repeated themselves. Who would be the quarterback? The tight ends? Was Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense difficult to learn? Has it been embraced? Will it work in the NFL? Big-sized free-agent prospects like Ifeanyi Momah and Michael Bamiro were asked about their choices and their chances, veterans like Jason Kelce were asked about adjusting.