Posted: December 21st, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 417 Comments »
I said earlier that I still fully believe in Chip Kelly. Let’s take a minute to discuss that. First, it doesn’t mean I blindly agree with everything he does or says. That would be utterly ridiculous. It also doesn’t mean that Chip is perfect. That also would be ridiculous. The man is a darn good football coach, but he’s going to make some bad decisions. Paul Brown did. Bill Walsh did. The Hoodie still makes some head scratchers from time to time.
Clearly I have no way of knowing that Kelly is going to ever lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl. People can play the hindsight game and say “I knew Sean Payton was going to be a Super Bowl winner.” “I knew Pete Carroll was destined to be a Super Bowl coach.” And so on. But no one really knows. I mean, it seems crazy that guys like Marv Levy, Bud Grant, Marty Schottenheimer and Andy Reid never broke through and won the big game.
I believe Chip Kelly is a special coach. I think he will do great things in Philly, but I have no way of knowing if that will involve winning the big one. I sure hope it does. Kelly built Oregon into an elite program. So far he’s 19-11 in the NFL. Very few guys with no NFL background can step in and win right away. It takes time to learn the league and adjust to dealing with men and not college kids.
We also have to factor in that Kelly has not had stability at the QB position. Pete Carroll was 14-18 in Seattle before the arrival of Russell Wilson. Kelly had 2 QBs with at least 6 starts in each of the last 2 seasons. That makes life tough on a coach. Kelly now has some crucial decisions to make as he goes forward. Is Nick Foles the guy? Does he aggressively go after a rookie in the draft? Does he trade for a flawed veteran with some success in his background? These aren’t great options.
Kelly has seen Mike Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez start for him. Kelly should be getting more of an idea what he needs to find to win big in the NFL. Maybe it is an athlete. Maybe it is a better pocket passer. Maybe it is a better downfield thrower. We’ll see.
I have faith that Kelly is going to figure this out. (fingers crossed)
I do think criticism of Kelly is needed. I’ll be writing about some issues as we get into the offseason and have more time to have thoughtful discussions. Just bitching about him after a loss isn’t real constructive or all that interesting in my book.
I’ll talk about Bill Davis in a post in the next day or two. He is absolutely open to criticism. I’m not in a rush to fire him as some of you are. Davis has had his own issues, but you better have a great hire in mind. There are some big name defensive coordinators with their names at the bottom of the defensive standings. I just don’t know if Rex Ryan would fit here, if he even would want to come here. Kelly needs the right guy, not the right name. Bill Davis has delivered mixed results to this point. You can argue for and against him.
We’re all frustrated and ticked off right now. The point isn’t to make changes for the sake of it. We need to find solutions.
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I wrote a piece for PE.com with some thoughts on the loss and where the Eagles sit.
Let’s go Colts!!!
Posted: December 21st, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 233 Comments »
I’ve tried to write something for a while now, but I’m really struggling. I’m very down because of the loss, but there’s also this weird feeling of disbelief. Did the Eagles really lose? Is the season really over?
If Dallas loses both today and next week…and the Eagles beat the Giants, Philly will win the division. But we all know that even Dallas, king of December debacles, isn’t going to lose the last 2. Just won’t happen.
So the Eagles play next week to figure out if we’re a 9-win team or a 10-win team. Barf.
I’m not filled with rage and screaming “Cut Bradley Fletcher, cut Mark Sanchez”. I’m just sitting here disappointed that this team with so many good players and so many likable guys came up so small in such big games. A lot of this is on Sanchez and Fletcher, but they are far from alone.
Please don’t fall into horrible cliches about how this team lacked toughness or heart. The Eagles made mistakes. Being off-target with a pass or field goal has nothing to do with heart. For all of Bradley Fletcher’s issues, there is no lack of toughness, either physically or emotionally.
It is like the 2014 Eagles were infected with sloppiness sometime during the summer and it plagued them all year. The problem is that I don’t know how you fix that. Obviously the coaches don’t either. No matter what they’ve tried, the mistakes keep happening. Maybe the players tried too hard. The Eagles established themselves as a good team last year. They wanted to take the next step and be a great team this year.
You try to make plays that you didn’t the year before. You’re more comfortable in the schemes so you feel like you can relax mentally and be more aggressive. Whatever it was, the Eagles lost their edge and the mistakes came every single week. They overcame the mistakes most of the year, but not the last 3 weeks.
I still fully believe in Chip Kelly and the core of this team. Obviously changes will be made in the offseason. Heck, if Dallas wins today and officially eliminates the Eagles, you could see some changes next week. Would you consider playing Jaylen Watkins at CB to see what he could do? Let Josh Huff start over Riley Cooper. Or put Huff in the slot and slide Matthews outside. Get Marcus Smith some reps as a backup OLB. And you also have the possibility of playing Matt Barkley. Do we need to see more out of Sanchez?
Kelly may stick with the current starters as a reward for the fact they earned those jobs. Even with nothing on the line (for either team), you want to stick with your best so young players know nothing will be given to them. That will all be determined this week.
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I’ll discuss the actual game later on. That seems less relevant than the state of the team right now.
Here’s my attempt at dark humor from Twitter last night.
Posted: December 20th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 584 Comments »
Horrible, horrible loss. I’ll analyze it later. Too ticked off to write something at this point.
Tempers are going to be high for the next couple of days. Please remember that we’re all Eagles fans. We can argue about the team, but let’s keep it civil, please. If you’re full of rage, go yell at the wall. Don’t take that out on other readers.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Posted: December 20th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 790 Comments »
Some good, some bad in the opening half. The Eagles ran 45 plays and went 2 for 2 in the Red Zone. Unfortunately they still had a turnover, committed dumb penalties and gave up big plays on defense.
The Skins get the ball to open the 2nd half. I think it is important to get a stop there and go score. This team is 3-11. You can emotionally deflate them if you get up by enough points. That isn’t to say they’ll quit, but they’ll definitely lose some bounce from their step. The longer the game is close, the more they stay fired up.
The Eagles have the lead. They’re healthier and have more to play for. No excuses for not going out and putting this game away.
Posted: December 20th, 2014 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 414 Comments »
Saturday football. Weird, but whatever. Eagles need this win no matter when, where or against who.
Let’s hope Brandon Graham looks good in his first start in a long time.