October 15, 2015 |
On the day the Eagles drafted Zach Ertz in April 2013, Chip Kelly mentioned how the NFL had been moving in the direction of playing multiple tight ends together to create mismatches. At the time, the Patriots' two-tight end offense was in vogue. In Kelly's first season, the team's listed depth chart even included two tight ends as the base offense. But the Eagles' listed base offense during the past two seasons has been as a three-receiver set, and they barely used the two-tight end set in the first four games this season.
October 14, 2015 |
7.48 The Eagles were ranked 23rd in the league in first-down production going into the Saints game. They had averaged just 4.89 yards per first-down play in their first four games. On Sunday, they averaged a season-high 7.48, amassing 314 of their 519 yards on 42 first-down plays. Running backs DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, who had collectively averaged just 3.0 yards per carry on first down in the first four games, averaged 5.8 Sunday. One hundred thirty-one of the Eagles' 186 rushing yards came on first down.
October 13, 2015 |
When Chip Kelly wisely switched course from his I-coached-great-they-played-bad theme last week, everyone was a little shocked. He stopped talking about execution and spread around the blame for the team's poor start to include himself and the coaching staff, and that represented a true departure. It also demonstrated what a tight spot the Eagles had gotten themselves into. If Kelly is willing to set aside his stubbornness for a while, things must really be dire. And dire they were.
September 24, 2015 |
BRENT CELEK and Jason Kelce are Chip Kelly guys. They've embraced the training methods, the pace, the ideas about spreading the field. They've defended Kelly after losing friends to the coach's personnel/culture dictates. Kelly makes no secret of their importance to his offense's blocking game and to his locker-room culture. The veteran tight end and the savvy center are the rocks upon which Kelly has built his vision of the Eagles, or at least, they are among the handful of broadest bricks at the base of the pile.
September 23, 2015 |
WHEN DID YOU know the Eagles were done for, Sunday against Dallas? For me, the second and third snaps of the third quarter settled it. The Eagles, down only 6-0 at halftime, worked a 12-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Nelson Agholor with their first snap following the break. They'd completely turned the tables on the Falcons in the second half of the opener, looking like a different offense after getting some time to make adjustments. Now, still within a touchdown of the Cowboys, it was time to try again to get the run game going, after presumably spending halftime straightening out their blocking assignments.
September 15, 2015 |
FOR A TEAM with so few certainties, the preseason hype has reached unprecedented levels. Of the seven Daily News staffers polled last week, four predicted the Eagles would reach the NFC Championship Game. Six saw them winning the NFC East. All predicted at least 11 wins; one blessed soul, either optimistic or delusional, expects the Birds to reach the Super Bowl. Then again, so does exiled Eagles czar Joe Banner, who is Chip Kelly's biggest fan and, now, ESPN's newest and most-credentialed talking head.
September 9, 2015 |
Coach Chip Kelly calls tight end Brent Celek the "epitome of a Philadelphia Eagle. " Celek, a blue-collar player who has been with the Eagles longer that every player except long snapper Jon Dorenbos, says he has been indirectly pushed by his grandfather, Ed Celek, who is a retired business manager and supervisor of buildings and grounds for schools in Fremont, Ohio. Ed Celek went to Notre Dame to play football, "but his mom died and he had to go home and take care of his family, so he really never got to live out the football dream," Brent Celek said after a practice last week.
September 4, 2015 |
EVER SINCE Zach Ertz arrived in town three drafts ago, with his second-round, PAC-12 pedigree and his 4.6 speed, we've all been trying to put Brent Celek out to pasture. Thanks for the memories, Brent. Thanks for that 76-catch, eight-touchdown season in 2009. Thanks for averaging 13.1 yards per catch in 2011, when you played most of the season with a torn hip labrum and a sports hernia and never even missed a practice or appeared on an injury report. Thanks for all of those kill shots to the head, ribs, groin and knees you've taken for the team, and all of the yards you managed to gain after them.
August 26, 2015 |
NEVER MIND the confusion over whether the Eagles were or were not running a read-option play when the Ravens' Terrell Suggs went for Sam Bradford's twice-repaired left knee Saturday night. Chip Kelly said they weren't, some of his players said they were, but NFL officiating director Dean Blandino eventually clarified yesterday that from the league's perspective, it doesn't matter; a quarterback doesn't get protection on a handoff until he clearly no longer has the ball or has reestablished himself as a passer, whether it's an option play or not. Yes, it would have been hard for any sane person to be confused over whether Bradford had handed off the ball on the play in question, before Suggs launched himself at the QB's knees, but even that is not really the pressing issue going forward.