January 3, 2016 |
I SAID EARLIER this year that Chip Kelly was a riverboat gambler. Well, it's absolutely clear now that the gamble he took with the Eagles did not pay off. He'd determined that their 10-6 team could not be a serious Super Bowl contender, so he did a host of things that brought 12 new players to the most important 25 positions on the team. By and large, almost none of these moves enhanced the Eagles and overall clearly weakened the talent pool. Imagine for a second if Kelly had taken only one chance last offseason by just trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford and a second-round draft choice.
December 10, 2015 |
THIS IS not going to be a fun week to be Kiko Alonso. The guy the Eagles got when they traded LeSean McCoy has not returned to the form that made him the NFL's defensive rookie of the year for Buffalo in 2013. In fact, to Eagles fans, that form might seem about as far away and as relevant as Nick Foles' 27 touchdown passes vs. two interceptions, the same year. "The fact that I got traded for (McCoy) has no relevance at all," Alonso said Tuesday. "It's really just, the guy's a great player.
December 4, 2015 |
No matter how Sam Bradford performs over the final five games of the season, the Eagles will have to make a franchise-altering decision at the quarterback position next offseason. It is a decision that will have far greater repercussions than anything having to do with the head coach. In today's NFL you need a quarterback of certain proficiency if you are to have any chance of winning a championship. It doesn't matter if Bill Belichick or Chip Kelly is your coach, if you have neither a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback and an above-average defense nor a quarterback a notch or two below and a once-in-an-era defense, your chances of snaring a title are virtually nil. This isn't rocket science.
November 30, 2015 |
ALL AROUND the Eagles' locker room Thursday evening at Ford Field, players were saying they hadn't quit on their coaches. I'm willing to take them at their word. Maybe a few have quit, or at least have gotten very discouraged, but I think there is a better overall explanation for a 4-7 team that never came together the way it was envisioned, and now seems completely hapless. They aren't very good, overall, and once they realized that, they plummeted, like Wile E. Coyote running on air. I'll put it another way: If Chip Kelly is indeed replaced, I'll be amazed if the next coach can come in and transform this team into a 10-6 division champ in one season, the way Kelly did in 2013.
November 23, 2015 |
Mark Sanchez gets the third chance of his professional career to prove he is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback on Sunday, and anyone who really believes this one will turn out differently from the other two is probably in for a disappointment. Sanchez had a four-season apprenticeship with the New York Jets, the team that invested the fifth overall pick in the draft to get him, and that ultimately didn't work. He took over for Nick Foles with the Eagles last season, and Chip Kelly was so impressed that he traded away Foles and signed Sanchez - as a backup.
November 23, 2015 |
Jeff Fisher promised the Nick Foles era was not over in St. Louis after the Rams coach announced he had benched the former Eagles quarterback Monday, and that's probably true. You have to believe Case Keenum, the undrafted QB du jour for the Rams, will make it possible for Foles to start again before the season is over. This, of course, is no time for the Eagles or Chip Kelly to gloat about the trade that brought Sam Bradford to Philadelphia from the Rams. The Eagles, their coach, and their quarterback have enough issues of their own, including a 4-5 record that is identical to the disappointing mark that helped send Foles to the bench in St. Louis.
November 18, 2015 |
Nick Foles' starting tenure in St. Louis lasted nine games. Rams coach Jeff Fisher announced Monday that he is benching the former Eagles quarterback and starting backup Case Keenum after Foles threw just one touchdown pass in the last four games. The Rams acquired Foles from the Eagles in a March trade for Sam Bradford. They signed him to a two-year, $24.54 million contract extension that included $13.792 million guaranteed. Fisher said Foles would "eventually be under center" for the Rams again.
November 11, 2015 |
Since it was Chip Kelly who initially went with the movie analogy, it's only fitting to find a film with a slow start and a strong finish when describing Sam Bradford's first eight games as an Eagles quarterback. Maybe the noir detective thriller Se7en, which builds with intensity as seven murders are committed over the course of the film? Bradford and the Eagles, of course, would likely prefer an example that didn't end with someone's severed head in a box. But the incremental steps that Bradford has taken over the span of eight games have, for the most part, been a slow burn of improvement.
November 4, 2015 |
GOOD MORNING. I am The Guy Who Still Has Hope for Sam Bradford. You might remember me from past roles, such as last year's Guy Who Still Has Hope for Nick Foles. Turned out, Chip Kelly did not share my view that Foles might have just been starting to come around when Foles suffered that broken collarbone, a year and a day ago. Kelly felt strongly enough about it to send Foles and the Eagles' 2016 second-round pick to the Rams for Bradford last March. Now, seven games into the 2015 season, it seems a decent chunk of the fan base, and some media folk, wouldn't mind moving on yet again.
October 27, 2015 |
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There is no curve for Sam Bradford. There cannot be. Your quarterback cannot occupy nearly 10 percent of your salary cap and play as if he's a 1-percenter. You cannot trade a serviceable, young quarterback like Nick Foles, plus a second-round pick, for a player who needs to knock the rust off. This is for better, and for worse. This neither assumes incompetence nor precludes excellence. Whatever he does, Bradford must be judged on his own merit, not the merit of his weapons or his protection or his coaches.