December 6, 2013 |
There is very little Chip Kelly likes less than the notion that his offense can be categorized and placed on a shelf - even a very special, unique shelf - as if it were just another can of peas in the great supermarket of the NFL. When Cardinals coach Bruce Arians sniffed last week and said Kelly's read-option system was a nice college offense, Kelly didn't seem to mind, or even notice, the criticism. He was more interested in pointing out that the Eagles run a zone-option play now and then, not read-option, and that those plays are just one facet of an offense with many sparkling variations.
December 3, 2013 |
Zach Ertz grasped the pass with both hands and touched his pair of black cleats inbounds. A two-handed shove from an Arizona defender sent the tight end spiraling out of the end zone. It was the rookie's second career touchdown and the 6-yard strike was nearly perfect, giving the Eagles a first-quarter lead in Sunday's 24-21 win. The lone flaw was the photograph of tight end James Casey - not Ertz - that flashed across the stadium's pair of 96-foot-wide jumbotrons. Ertz and Brent Celek combined for 97 receiving yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles targeted the league's worst defense against tight ends.
November 19, 2013 |
"I put the Eagles offense as one of my bottom five. Why did I do it? Not that they are one of the worst five units in the NFL. It's because, 'It's going to be one of the fastest units we've ever seen. What are you going to do to stop it? . . . It's going to be unbelievable.' How is that working out? Is it just the most unbelievable thing you've ever seen?" - Phil Simms, Oct. 24 When reading the above quote, the first thing that comes to mind, aside from the irrationality of the thinking, is how much it seems Simms wanted Chip Kelly to fail, or at least for him to get his newfangled college offense handed to him for a season or two. The old guard of the NFL doesn't like to see a newbie come into its league and have immediate success, and Simms said something without much support and something he likely will regret.
November 13, 2013 |
EVERYBODY has an opinion about why the Eagles are 5-1 on the road this season, but have lost 10 home games in a row, dating back to Sept. 30, 2012. Players are starting to reflect the popular idea that something is critically different when the Eagles play on the road. LeSean McCoy was asked about it on the radio last week and asked whether his questioner noticed the lack of booing from the Oakland fans, even after their team had fallen far behind. (Had I been the questioner, I might've asked Shady whether he noticed the thousands of seats in the Raiders' stadium covered by a tarp, and whether he really thought he'd prefer that atmosphere.)
October 28, 2013 |
DESPITE A DECLINE in targets and receptions, coach Chip Kelly used one word to describe tight end Brent Celek this season - consistent. Celek's consistency is not solely based off his stats each week, but rather his role as a blocker. Once a player who caught eight touchdowns in 2009, Celek is continuing to adapt more as a blocker and the Eagles' second receiving option behind rookie tight end Zach Ertz. "I've said before, I think Brent has been probably one of the most consistent performers," Kelly said, as the Eagles prepared to play the visiting Giants tomorrow at 1 p.m. "He's done an outstanding job for us blocking.
October 18, 2013 |
SOMETIMES, PROPER seasoning takes a season or two. Consider tight end Brent Celek, for instance. Through his first 32 games with the Eagles he managed 43 catches and 11 starts. He had 76 catches in his third season. Jason Peters entered the league as an undrafted tight end in 2004. Three seasons later, he went to his first of five straight Pro Bowls . . . as a left tackle. Not every player pops right away in the NFL. It takes time to adjust; it takes more time for some than others.
October 16, 2013 |
Three Eagles have shoulder injuries that are likely to keep them from being full participants in Tuesday's practice: left tackle Jason Peters, safety Patrick Chung, and running back Chris Polk. Peters briefly left Sunday's 31-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before returning. Chung and Polk left and did not return. Coach Chip Kelly did not sound concerned Monday about Peters' injury, suggesting that the tackle would be fully participating in practice by Wednesday. Kelly was uncertain about Chung and Polk's injuries.
October 14, 2013 |
Chip Kelly could have been in Greg Schiano's seat right now. Kelly turned down the Tampa Bay job in 2012, electing to stay at Oregon before taking the Eagles job after the season. Schiano left Rutgers for Tampa Bay after Kelly declined, and has hit turbulence in his second season. The winless Buccaneers welcome the Eagles after a messy quarterback change last month and a recurrence of an MRSA infection this past week. It put Tampa Bay in the news for the wrong reasons, and it could get even uglier if Kelly's Eagles win to push Tampa Bay to 0-5. The Bucs have had a losing record ever since Nick Foles pulled off an upset at Raymond James Stadium last December.
October 2, 2013 |
Chip Kelly referenced Saturday Night Live in the spring when he joked, "I was told there would be no math" in the Eagles coaching job. But at least Kelly knows the substantial difference between three points and seven points in a football game. Too frequently this season, the Eagles have settled for field goals when they are within reach of touchdowns. In Sunday's 52-20 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Eagles scored touchdowns on just two of five red-zone trips. They have scored touchdowns on five of 12 visits this season, and settled for field goals another five times.
October 1, 2013 |
DENVER - Chip Kelly's head coaching experience in college included time spent in many winning locker rooms after a blowout. On Sunday, Kelly experienced the bitter reality of a lopsided defeat. He didn't need to be welcomed to the NFL - Kelly has known from the day he signed on that the NFL is different from the NCAA - but Sunday's 52-20 loss to the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field was a humiliating rout. It was the most points the Eagles surrendered since Nov. 26, 1972, when they lost by 62-10 to the New York Giants.