Chip Chip Hooray

Posted: January 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 136 Comments »

I really am excited by the hiring of Chip Kelly.  I fully acknowledge that this could go wrong…very wrong.  But the potential for greatness is there.  This is the kind of coach you roll the dice on.

We’re going to hear 2 main kinds of criticism.  First people are going to talk about Steve Spurrier over and over.  I’ve covered this before, but it’s worth re-visiting.  Kelly is nothing like Spurrier.  Nothing.

Chip lives, eats, and breathes football.  Spurrier loves football from July to January.  Then he wants to re-charge his batteries.  Spurrier isn’t lazy, but he believes that NFL coaches work too much and don’t accomplish as much as they should.  He sees that as a waste of time (Juan Castillo shrieks in horror).  Spurrier wanted to come to the NFL and show the league that he could be successful doing things his way.

He came to the league highly unprepared.  He didn’t understand the practice format.  He didn’t know how things were done.  Steve played in the NFL in the 1970s and then was away for about 25 years.  He made a lot of assumptions that proved to be wrong.

The Skins were also a highly disorganized franchise.  My favorite story is that Spurrier watched some STs film with the players one day and then called out a guy’s name.  Spurrier wanted to correct the guy about something he did.  No one in the room answered to Spurrier.  Finally another player responded that he had seen the guy clearing out his locker that morning and thought he had been cut.  That’s exactly what did happen.  So the team cut a player without the head coach knowing about it.

That will never happen with Chip Kelly.  He is a hands-on guy that will know what’s going on with every part of his team.  He’s not a control freak or micro-manager, but he believes in knowing everything.  He’ll let his coaches coach and his players play.  He just wants to be in control of the overall situation.

Chip is very systematic with how he looks at leadership.  He believes in vertical leadership and horizontal leadership (his specific phrases).  Vertical is from him to his coordinators to the positional coaches to the support staff to the players.  Horizontal is within the players themselves.  The veterans and/or team leaders take what is coming from the top and spread it among their teammates.

While Chip is new to the NFL, he’s not flying blindly.  He has met with NFL staffs over the years to teach them his ideas and pick their brains.  He consulted with Tony Dungy, whose son plays at Oregon.  They didn’t discuss Peyton Manning’s Buick commercials.  Chip asked in-depth question about roster building and roster management.  Chip takes in ideas from all over the place.  He wanted to make Oregon as good a football organization as possible, while also preparing for the day when he did go to the NFL.

Spurrier was an offensive guru, but not really a complete football coach.  He’s had 4 football jobs.  He played QB in college/NFL.  He coached QBs in college.  He became an offensive coordinator.  He’s also been a HC.  Compare that to Chip.  He played QB in high school.  He was a DB in college.  He coached on defense at Columbia.  He then coached RBs for a year at New Hampshire.  He was the DC for Johns Hopkins for a year.  He then went back to UNH to coach RBs before shifting to the OL.  From there he went to OC and eventually became a HC.

Which guy do you think is better prepared to deal with every part of a football team?

* * * * *

The other criticism we’re going to hear about Chip is that the Eagles just replaced one pass-happy coach for a college guy who wants to do the same thing.  Sometimes you’ll even hear that this is like the Run ‘n Shoot.  Ugh.

In 4 seasons as HC at Oregon, Chip’s teams finished 3rd, 5th, 4th, and 6th nationally in rushing.  While the OC at New Hampshire, Chip had a RB set the I-AA career record for rushing yards.  Does that sound like a passing coach?  Does that sound like the Run ‘n Shoot?

Chip wants to move the ball.  He wants to score points.  He feeds the ball to his best players.  At Oregon, that meant giving the ball to Jonathan Stewart, LeGarrett Blount, LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, and De’Anthony Thomas.  With the Eagles, that will mean feeding the ball to LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown.  If injuries leave the Eagles with Dion Lewis and Chris Polk as the RBs, we’re going to throw the ball a lot.  Chip is more greedy than stubborn.  He’ll do whatever is working.

While Chip is a running coach, he needs a QB who can throw the ball.  Chip’s offense is built on some simple principles.  Load the box and he’ll throw.  Keep both Safeties deep and he’ll run.  Think about all those times we saw teams putting Safeties 20 yards deep to prevent DeSean Jackson from burning them.  We still threw the ball over and over.  Chip will run.  Again, greedy over stubborn.  Andy wanted his pass plays.  Chip wants yards and points.  He doesn’t care how they come.

There is this perception that Chip is a crazy coach who does crazy things.  His ideas are all built on logic.  If he has a game where the team throws a lot, there is a reason behind it.  In watching his Oregon teams, it was encouraging to see that when the original plan wasn’t working as expected, he went away from it.  He figures out what is working and focuses on that.

Chip isn’t coming to the NFL to prove that he’s smarter than the coaches already here.  He’s not coming to show that his system is pure genius.  I think he wants to be tested at the highest level.  He’ll mix his ideas with some conventional NFL thinking.

* * * * *

Word is that Chip wants to hire Todd Grantham as his DC.  Grantham currently works as the DC at Georgia.  Grantham runs the 3-4 down there.  That’s also what he ran as the DC for the Browns from 2005-2007.

Grantham would be a solid hire.  He’s got an excellent background, having worked under such defensive coaches as Nick Saban, Vic Fangio, Dom Capers, Romeo Crennel, and Wade Phillips. Those guys won’t win any beauty contests, but they can coach.  Those are some of the best 3-4 minds in the game.

The knock on Grantham is that he didn’t produce top defenses at Cleveland.  His units at Georgia have been good, not great.

I would be okay with the hire because I’ve said all along that I want a veteran coordinator with an established system.  I want someone who can teach his ideas to the other coaches, as well as the players.

Based on current personnel, the 3-4 would look like this:

OLB Trent Cole
DE Fletcher Cox
NT
DE Cullen Jenkins or Cedric Thornton
OLB Brandon Graham

ILB Mychal Kendricks
ILB DeMeco Ryans

There is no natural NT in place right now. We can sign or draft one. Antonio Dixon has the built to play the spot. Does he have the toughness? Getting battered by 2 guys, play after play, isn’t easy.

As for Ryans…the Texans didn’t trade him because he couldn’t play in the 3-4. They just didn’t want to pay him a ton of money while having a star ILB in Brian Cushing. Ryans was coming off injury and getting older so keeping him around didn’t make good business sense.

I’ll write a lot more about Grantham if he is our guy.

_


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548999324 Matt Hoover

    Where would curry fit in a 3-4?

    • Ark87

      DE on obvious passing downs? It’s hard to imagine dropping him into an underneath zone or chasing a RB as an OLB…unless it is as a major liability to get exploited. Year 1 I’m betting our D will look a lot more like a 5-2 than the true versatility of the 3-4.

      • TommyLawlor

        Curry would be OLB, but not sure how good a fit he’d be there.

        • Kevin_aka_RC

          You could always trade Curry for a 3rd rounder.

          • D3FB

            That’s probably a bit generous.

  • Ark87

    Good article Tommy, def looking forward to the PC on PE.com today.

    My issue with switching to the 3-4 is we gain holes in possibly 1-2 OLB spots. This on top of a major overhaul being due in the secondary. It feels like it will take atleast 2 seasons if not 3 to get this defense back to top 15 status.

    Follow-up question: do you see any bluechip NT’s coming up in the draft?

    • Steag209

      That’s my big problem. It would take one very good draft, 2 good drafts, or possibly even three to get te pieces to be a top 16 defense. Now could a very good DC do it quicker? Yeah, but with the age/talents we have I just don’t see it as likely.

      • Ark87

        and that’s not even getting into depth. I look forward to the up tempo attack that Chip employs, but a few 3 and outs will lead to some very tired defenders on our side and that’s besides injuries.

        • Steag209

          Ouch, I didn’t even think of depth, probably because I want to stay optimistic-ish

          • Mac

            I assumed you weren’t worried about depth because of Roseman’s ability to pull out diamond in the rough types through FA and undrafted acquisitions.

          • Steag209

            You’re right our recent FA signings gave me that confidence, how could I forget

          • Mac

            The splashy players haven’t gone well for us…haha… but i do think we’ve done ok with the end of the draft and getting guys off the street Mathis/Landri good/decent. Dallas may be switching to a 4-3 and other teams may also have some 3-4 cast offs we could kick the tires on over the summer

          • deg0ey

            So we’ve got Cole, a 30 year old pro bowl 4-3 DE that people are unconvinced will do well as a 3-4 OLB.

            Dallas have got Ware, a 30 year old pro bowl 3-4 OLB that people are unconvinced will do well as a 4-3 DE.

            Let’s send Howie to Texas and have him work some magic.

          • PK_NZ

            If only Cole would’ve had a pro bowl season this year…

          • Mac

            If Howie can work that deal, then I would be inclined to say that perhaps there is another deal that he made long ago with a certain shall we say “goat/man” that has gotten him to this point.

      • Anders

        It depends on the DC imo. Look at how fast Houston switched.

        • austinfan

          tt depends on the talent, Houston had Cody and Smith and drafted Watt, instant top flight 3-4 DL. Cushing and Ryans at ILB, Barwin and Mario at OLB, drafted Reed to replace Mario.

          Same thing with Capers in GB. He had most of the pieces in place, but still hasn’t found an OLB to pair with Matthews.

          Eagles don’t have as many suitable pieces for the 3-4. Graham may not have the lateral agility after his injury, Curry? Can Dixon play NT? Patterson and Jenkins are getting old. You have Cox and Thorton at DE but what else? Trent Cole fits nowhere except as a pass rusher in the nickel if you go 4-2-5.

          • Anders

            I think either Dixon or Patterson can play NT. Cox, Jenkins and Thorton are all suited to 3-4 DE. Ryans and Kendricks can play ILB. My only problem is a true 3-4 OLB. but thats where I would draft a Dion Jordan at 4th overall.

          • deg0ey

            I’ve seen mocks with Jordan going to the Giants at 19 and CBS has him ranked 27th on their big board. Seems a bit of a reach to take him 4th overall, no?

            If we’re taking a 3-4 OLB at #4, I’d say it pretty much has to be Jarvis Jones.

          • Anders

            I have seen plenty other places with him as the no. 1 pass rusher and for the love of god, no Jarvis Jones. He got a bad spinal injury.

          • deg0ey

            Ahh, haven’t seen much about Jones’s injury; assumed it was relatively minor.

            I guess we’re still a bit too far out to try and figure where these guys would go, though.

            My general preference (if we’re gonna switch to a 3-4) is to trade back and stockpile picks where possible. We’ve got 8 so far in this draft and a switch would leave us needing at least a NT and an OLB (possibly 2). We’ll also need at least 1 CB and a S before you even start looking at whether Peters comes back or needs to be replaced.

            Maybe a better plan would be to stick with the 4-3 for this season, but draft 1 or 2 guys that could be successful in either system whilst fixing the back end and committing to a complete change for 2014?

          • Anders

            I say switch right away, it cant be worse in terms of points allowed anyway then it was in 2012

      • Anders

        Potential NTs can be Star, Jesse Williams, John Jenkins, Hankins just in the first 2 rounds.

        • deg0ey

          As an Ohio State fan, I’d love us to get Hankins (even if we stick with a 4-3, I’d probably target him – I actually think he’s best suited as a 4-3 NT). Can’t decide whether we’re better off trading down in the first or up from the second to get him, though, because he’s not worth #4 and he won’t last until the top of the second.

    • brza

      Star lotulelei, Utah NT, 6’4″ 320. Projected to be picked in the top 3 though.

  • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

    i cant stand it when people compare him to Spurrier, smh, good article. Do you think kelly should just hire romeo? and would graham and cole have to drop back in coverage? are they even capable to do that?

    • Iskar36

      Yea, NT and the OLB is where I am concerned. How much do the OLBs in a 3-4 defense cover. It seems we would be wasting some talent there with Graham and Cole and we would also need to improve the talent there eventually.

      • Ark87

        and don’t forget the secondary…hoo boy. He better get to like one of our QB’s…not enough draft power/cap room to fill up all these needs

        • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

          What secondary?

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.n.richwine Daniel Norman Richwine

    Spurrier said when he came to the NFL that part of the reason he did was he was curious if his offense would work in the NFL. Chip admits he doesn’t know if his offense will work in the NFL. An important difference, I think.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.parker.1044 Jamie Parker

      I think Spurrier failed because he never got himself a real NFL caliber QB to run his offense.

  • Jason_E

    I don’t know how I feel about Grantham. I do want an veteran DC, but I’d also like him to have developed some ‘better than average’ defenses. I’m hoping that Horton gets released by the Cards.

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      It’s all about context. Maybe Grantham struggled because he didn’t have much talent to work with.

      • D3FB

        Exactly, the Browns made Bellicheck look less than he is.

        • Jason_E

          He had good players at Florida and hasn’t had an above average defense. I’m just not sold. I won’t hate the move, but I don’t love it.

  • Mac

    Anyone who deploys logic is naturally going to be seen as “crazy” by national NFL writers.

    • Ark87

      Yes, poor logos and ethos live deep in the shadow of pathos in today’s media expression.

  • ohitsdom

    Tommy, I question this thought about Chip: “He is a hands-on guy that will know what’s going on with every part of his team.”

    How are you so sure, when in 4 years he barely touched his defense? Reading quotes from his D coordinator at Oregon made me a little concerned he would spend all his time with the offense and neglect issues with D and special teams.

    • TommyLawlor

      Let me see the quotes. I’ve not seen anything like that.

      Chip won’t coach the defense just as Andy Reid didn’t coach JJ’s unit. He gave him autonomy. Chip won’t ignore the defense (neither did Reid). You watch tape with the defensive coaches and offer the occasional suggestion.

      Chip does believe in his up-tempo offense and does expect the defense to keep up and adjust to that style of play. His team is built around the offense, not the defense. That much is true.

      • ohitsdom

        “Chip has not said one word to me on the headset in four years as a head coach,” Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti told Les Bowen of the Daily News. “He’s never been in a meeting, he’s never questioned a call. He’s never said anything when we’ve played badly. He doesn’t say a whole lot when we’ve played well. He’s left me completely alone. It’s been unbelievable autonomy. It’s been a fantastic relationship. I really appreciate it.”

        http://www.phillymag.com/eagles/2013/01/17/who-will-run-chip-kellys-defense/

        • JulzPE

          That matches what he said in the presser though, that when he was a co-ordinator he was given the opportunity to coach and do his job on gamedays. He likes to give his co-ordinators a chance to do their job and have control of their unit, he didn’t say that he doesn’t want anything to do with the D outside of that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1514128048 Kristopher Cebula

      he left the defense alone on game day. he said in PC that he oversees all aspects of team. have to wait and see i guess

  • Mac

    While I’m no offensive guru in anyone’s book: I’ve been somewhat jealous of the Patriot offense for a few years now. It drives me nuts when I seem them run a play that works beautifully and then they run it again, and sometimes again… they find a weakness and exploit it, and they adjust on the fly. I am looking forward to some of that as a breath of fresh air after the foul stench of Marty ball has been looming for so long.

  • SleepingDuck

    If Grantham is the DC, can we pencil Jones in as the 4th pick?

    • ian_no_2

      It’s unlikely he’ll be on the board. Reid is switching to the 3-4 also, then there’s two other teams. Moore maybe.

      • Anders

        The Chiefs are already playing the 3-4

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Jones is going to go later than people realize. Major health concerns. Not a great season. Still 1st, but not #4.

    • holeplug

      Jones has the same spinal condition that caused Chargers tackle Marcus McNeil to retire at 28 so I wouldn’t touch him at #4. He even had to transfer from USC b/c their doctors recommended he stop playing football.

  • Kevin_aka_RC

    Given our offense needs (new system) and defensive secondary…a 3-4 switch is a mistake.

    • Anders

      What offensive needs? outside of depth at OL and TE, we dont really need anything

      • Iskar36

        Outside of the big question mark… QB.

        • Anders

          yea, but how does the fact that we might need a QB prelude us from using ressources in FA and in the draft on the defensive side of the ball?

          • Kevin_aka_RC

            Peters/Kelce are coming off major injuries (no idea if they’ll be back) + need a RG or RT depending on where you play Herremans. Lots of OL depth/starters needed. That + QB + secondary.

            That’s before you even make the 4-3/3-4 switch.

          • Anders

            I still think Watkins can be a good RG for this team, that means we only really need a few backups, but they can be found cheap in FA or late in the draft.

            Where will you get that QB from?

            I also think the secondary problems are overstated. DRC is a good CB, Marsh showed promise, Allen have also showed promise. That means we only need 1 starting safety, 1 back safety and a back up CB.

          • Iskar36

            You have only a limited number of resources every season. We have a few draft picks, only the first 3 of which you can really rely on to be productive in their first year (yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but trusting a player to be the exception would be the same mistake we made with Casey Matthews). You also have limited cap space to use in FA. Finally, it isn’t as if FAs has a plethora of quality talent at every position.

            I think we can fill a lot of holes on the team in FA/draft, but switching from 4-3 to 3-4 adds holes rather than minimizes it.

            I should point out though that I am not against making the switch. I would rather go with the system the coach feels most comfortable with. That being said, the switch will add additional challenges and will make it harder to fill in all the holes, particularly if you are looking for a quick turn around with the Eagles.

          • Anders

            Maybe im just way to positive of the talent we got on this team and see fewer holes then most. I dont see that big of whole in the secondary, but see it more as a coaching problem last season.

  • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

    I have such an emotional attachment to the 4-3 (I haven’t ever seen the Eagles run anything else), that I’d have trouble with the Eagles changing the scheme. I also don’t exactly see how a 3-4 automatically equals “aggressive and attacking.” Buddy Ryan, Bud Carson, and Jim Johnson all ran 4-3s that were aggressive and attacking schemes that produced sacks and turnovers. Besides, while DeMeco Ryans could do well in a 3-4, he’s truly great as a 4-3 MLB. At this point, why change the scheme without the right personnel? I’m all in favor of switching things up, depending on game situations, like we’ve seen with using DEs as Jokers on passing downs, but why make a wholesale change in the base scheme if you don’t have to?

    • 47_Ronin

      Did you watch the Eagles in the late ’70s to early ’80s under Vermeil? B/c they employed a 3-4 defense.

      • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

        In the late 70s and early 80s I was too young to know what a 3-4 was.

  • Iskar36

    I am very excited that Kelly is our head coach and I believe he can make the transition to the NFL, but the line, “He has met with
    NFL staffs over the years to teach them his ideas and pick their brains.
    He consulted with Tony Dungy, whose son plays at Oregon,” came across to me as the same arguments used for Castillo being moved to DC.

    I’m happy Kelly has talked to NFL staffs and I certainly don’t think any reasonable person can think he is completely clueless of what happens in the NFL, but talking to staffs and consulting with guys like Tony Dungy will do very little to prepare you for the NFL when you are comparing that to guys who have lived every day in the NFL and know the nuances and fine details that are hard to explain in a conversation. Like I said, I do have confidence he can make the transition, but I think it is important that he relies on having several NFL veteran coaches on the team to help him rather than relying on his meetings with NFL staffs.

  • ACViking

    Re: A Chip Kelly Comparison

    T-Law:

    The guy I’d compare Chip Kelly to is Don Coryell.

    Coryell was extraordinarily creative.

    And he started out at the bottom of the coaching food-chain.

    • TommyLawlor

      Would be nice if he was that good.

      • ACViking

        Better wording by me:

        “The guy I hope Kelly compares to is Don Coryell.”

        But the potential’s there.

  • ian_no_2

    The other thing I like about Kelly is that he embraces game decisions. The 2 point conversion was held up from the NFL because the coaches didn’t want it. Fourth down conversions. Kelly lives for those decisions, crunches the stats, and sees what matchups are working on the field. There are guys that can teach the game and lead in the locker room but they aren’t good at game decisions. I personally like watching sports for game decisions, and they do win games, though they’re not the most important thing.

    Another thing is that he can put a system in place where McCoy and Brown can succeed. The idea that he was anything but a guy who used tools to set up the run is not well informed but I’m glad you got to that.

    • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

      If our Red Zone offense sucks as bad as before, I would be against that type of decision. If he can fix that, it will solve a lot of problems.

      I know when I watch the Eagles make a stop and force a punt, I am relieved when the punter gets on the field. Until we stopped Emmit for the 2nd time (4th + 1 game), I was worried about that game. Or the playoff game (4th and 29) when GB was running all day on us, then punted on 4th and 1.

      • ian_no_2

        Whatever else happens with the RZ offense, it will be completely different. It should be better as it can’t be worse.

        With the opposing team, you worry about the threat of what they can do more than what the percentages say. Chip is at least making the Eagles into a threat, however long it takes to adjust to the league.

  • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

    One thing that Kelly brings that we haven’t had for a decade or so is unpredictability. So this off-season will be interesting.

    I had emotionally moved on from Kelly and wanted Gus. I got the text from the Eagles that they signed him and I was shocked. Just as shocked as when I heard they were starting Vick over Kolb. Hopefully this will have a longer staying power.

    Looking at that lineup, getting a top flight OLB would be a priority. A NT could be had later in the draft. Typically you don’t spend the 1st pick on a NT, unless it is a late 1st. The pass rushers get the chick and the early picks.

    The other mus-conception is the he will keep Vick. I really hope that is not the case.

  • Cvd52

    over th elast few years it always seems new coaches always do well their first few years in the nfl. i have a feeling we could be really good in a year or two.

  • austinfan

    Eagles have also been connected with Dan Quinn, who’d be a better choice at DC, having worked as DL coach with both 4-3 and 3-4 DCs and the hybrid defense of Bradley/Carroll in Seattle. Quinn has also been courted by Seattle, but he’d be in the shadow of Carroll, with the Eagles, he wouldn’t face the downside of taking over a top defense and would get all credit for any improvement.

    The test for Chip is whether he can adjust to his personnel and the NFL game. This isn’t college, he can’t go out and recruit three or four athletic QBs who are mediocre passers and land two, he has to deal with the scarcity of QBs who are competent NFL passers, and if lucky, find one who is also mobile. So being able to utilize Foles, who he has, rather than give up significant resources to get a draft pick, starving the defense, may define his first couple years. At some point he may get a run option QB, or Foles may be successful and his system will adapt.

    The key will be the ability to adapt to circumstances, he struggled with Stanford and LSU, he’ll face those kind of defenses every week (ones that match up athletically with his talent). On the other hand, he never coached OL talent like Peters, Mathis and Kelce at Oregon. So we’ll see if he’s a square peg/round hole guy or if he gets his file out and rounds off his pegs.

    As far as parallel with college coaches, Jimmy Johnson might be the best, JJ took over at Miami which was not a hot spot, and put in a new system on defense based around speed, not size. And he was able to transfer it to Dallas, though the Herschel Walker trade helped a lot.

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      I for one am hoping that the offense we see out of him is much more akin to what we saw out of the Patriots this year, rather than say the read-option in Seattle or San Fran. Mostly because I think our personnel fits that better, but also because I don’t think the read-option is gonna have a long shelf life.

    • Steag209

      From what I’ve read, I like the sound of Quinn

    • ACViking

      Austinfan –

      Must dissent on the Miami/Jimmy Johnson comparison.

      Yes, Johnson did as you said. But he routinely recruited some of the best talent in the country — lots of which turned into high caliber NFL talent. (Kelly never had a Jerome Brown, for example. Haloti Ngota preceded Kelly’s tenure.)

      Kelly’s recruiting classes have been (reportedly) ranked in the 20s, and just a handful of players reach the NFL and they’re not particularly impactful.
      _____________

      Also . . . your point about the QB position cannot be repeated enough.

      The idea that Kelly will put in a scheme that *depends* on a running QB (i.e., someone faster than Foles) who can also pass completely overlooks the fact that only about 20 human beings in the entire world can throw the ball at a sufficiently high level to be quality NFL QBs. And of those 20 or so people, only a half-dozen or less can run, too.

      Let’s say Kelly used his Oregon scheme. And his QB is injured. Who’s next up? And how much of drop in talent would there be?

      The NFL is about throwing the football. Period. That will be even more true next season after D-coordinators have had all off season to scheme for the occasional read option run by Kappy, Rusty, and Robby.

      There just aren’t enough QBs out there who have NFL-quality arms with the ability to throw into a 12-inch window to worry about whether they can also run the ball 5-7 times a game.
      ____________________

      Austinfan (and T-law):

      Is EJ Manual on the Eagles’ radar now for Rd 3 or Rd 4?

      • shah8

        wuh? That passing rationale is precisely why I think Vick will easily get a starting job, and why I don’t think Foles has a shot long-term in Philly. Why I still think Webb is viable. The number of QBs who can genuinely throw the ball, make plays, and who aren’t dumbarses one way or another–such that a successful postseason run (without historic defense) is a genuine possibility, is relatively small. There are tons of Clinton Portises, Ryan Perriloux, and Nate Davises in the world. Same with Graham Harrells, Jason Whites, and Case Keenums in the world.

        Moreover, I think too many people are glossing over Kaepernick, Wilson, and Griffin’s major league arm strength, with better than normal accuracy in the case of the latter two. That’s what separates their performance from Andrew Luck, not their superior mobility. And I think it’s getting more and more clear to GMs, and especially fans, that you simply cannot win without genuine arm strength, and you risk locking yourself with the Matt Schaubs of the world, which is what John Harbaugh was smart enough to not do.

      • ian_no_2

        EJ Manuel is probably not a good pick. The hurry up QB has to be elite at making snap decisions, reading the D and scanning the rotations, which Manuel has had problems with. This is really a weak draft for a read option QB 1-7.. However, there are guys that have bounced around and not gotten many chances, like Dennis Dixon who earned a 3.7 GPA.

        • ACViking

          Ryan Fitzpatrick . . . Harvard.

          • Cliff

            Safety school.

        • Anders

          I think if we dont go with Foles that Alex Smith is the best option. He is smart, he is athletic and he dont take sacks or commit many turnovers.

          • ian_no_2

            I just don’t like Alex Smith. Coaches know how many coaches he got fired. They’d need a cardboard Jim Harbaugh to hold his hand on the sideline in between drives.

          • Anders

            I think Kelly is the type of coach who can bring out the best in him. Remember I just want him in as a competitor to Foles.

          • ian_no_2

            Smith has a $7.5M base salary guaranteed if he’s on a roster April 1, 2013.. pricey competition

          • Anders

            He will most likely get cut if he isnt traded before that. I only want to pick him if he is cut

          • ian_no_2

            If someone wants him as a starter they’ll be happy to pay that, and guys with 100 ratings from the previous season usually find a starting job.

          • shah8

            Alex Smith lost his job *because*, I think, he took way too many sacks, and refused to make more difficult throws, or just throwing the ball away.

          • Anders

            He took fewer sacks then both Foles or Vick did.

          • shah8

            In 2012? Sure. Can you guess why?

            Besides, most big play QB usually sustain bigtime sack numbers. I should really have clarified: Alex Smith takes a lot of sacks without commensurate big play ability. And in 2011, he took a *huge* number of sacks for all those passes to RBs and TEs…

    • ACViking

      Re: Marcus Mariota

      By the way, Mariota — this year’s Oregon QB — was a just a 3-star recruit.

    • brza

      Quinn just signed with Seattle.

  • ian_no_2

    I DID read reports that Ryans didn’t play well in the 3-4 btw, tho I don’t watch Texans games, not just that he was overpaid. They may be wrong and I hope he does well.

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      He also wasn’t far removed from his Achilles injury during the year he played in the Texans 3-4. But that being said, he didn’t play up to his usual standard, or as well as Brian Cushing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

    When are we going to get a Chip, Chair and a (new) podcast?

    • Ark87

      Kempski apparently refuses to do a podcast from his hotel room at the shrine game…that jerk

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

        It would be helpful to have a podcast schedule in the off-season, once a week, released on the same day every week.

  • SteveH

    I don’t like the idea of switching to a 3-4, I don’t think we have the personel to do it. We’d be counting on Trent Cole and BG making the swap to OLB, and we’d need a nose tackle, if you don’t have ends who can rush the passer and a decent nose, I don’t see how the 3-4 is going to work out as a front. I’ll be very disappointed if this is the route we take, seems like change just for the sake of change, not because we actually have the guys for the system.

    • ACViking

      1. We didn’t even have players for Reid’s system. Is that a reason not to change? Seems like more a reason to change.

      2. Cole’s near the end of the line anyway. He’ll be 31 next year.

      3. Graham’s on record saying he likes the idea of playing as a stand-up rush LB — which apparently he did at U-Michigan. (Don’t remember that, but he said he did. Sheil reported Graham’s comments a couple weeks ago.)

      4. Vince Curry could bulk up and play DE. Otherwise, if he can’t fit in a 3-4, move on. He didn’t show much as a pass-rusher in 2012 when he had the chance after the first game he played.

      The page has been turned. Changes will have to be made.

      ______________

      T-Law: Did Graham play as a stand-up rush LB.

      • Ark87

        Didn’t Michigan use him as a joker or something of the like?

      • ChaosOnion

        Changes will be made, but my concern is the Eagles tossing away the upper half of the 2012 draft class by moving to the 3-4. I am no student of the 3-4, but I am concerned.

        Cox could play a 3-4 DE but that would be a large waste of his potential. He was drafted as a disrupting 4-3 DT and has shown promise in that area.

        I cannot see Curry bulking up from 266 to play a traditional 3-4 DE. Yes, only 9 tackles but in very limited action in a train wreck situation.

        I read Kendricks could thrive in a 3-4. Could Boykin?

    • brza

      I fully agree. Would be a huge waste of talent in Cole, Graham, Curry and even Ryans to some extent. We’d need to draft a NT too. But Kelly saying he wants to fit his schemes to personnel sounds like a positive and a sign that they may stick with a 4-3.

    • ian_no_2

      Good young players on D’s front 7:

      Helps: Hunt
      Neutral: Cox, Thornton, Kendricks
      Hurts: Curry, Graham.

      Vets:

      Helps: 0
      Neutral: Jenkins
      Hurts: Ryans, Cole, Landri, Patterson

      The best young players on D are Cox, Graham, and Curry in that order. If you don’t like Curry it’s a waste to bail on him after a rookie season from a small school. I like him. The Eagles’ strength is their front four, even when you take away the vets. That argues for keeping the 4-3 going forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

    I’m hoping that Chip takes a run at Tony Dungy. I couldn’t think of a better person for our defensive coordinator. He’d be a great sounding board with a ton of experience to help guide Chip through his first season or two in the NFL. It would appear that Dungy really admires the guy as his son played for Chip at Oregon. Perhaps he would be interested in getting back in the game in a less stressful capacity.

    • holeplug

      A former head coach with a SB ring is not going to come back to be a DC just like Jon Gruden is not going to come back to be our OC.

  • ACViking

    Re: 4-3 v. 3-4

    Seems to me the goal for Kelly should be to build a team that will contend over the long haul.

    Not try to win the SB next year at the expense of the next 5 years.

    Only two 1st-year HCs have won a SB:

    1970 – Colts Don McCaffery, who took over a team with the best defense in the NFL from Don Shula, who jumped to the Dolphins, which had lost to the Jets two years earlier in the1968 SB (which means the Colts were in the SB twice in three years)

    1989 – 49ers George Seifert, who took over the best team in the NFL from Bill Walsh.

    If Kelly wants a 3-4, lets build a 3-4 and get rid of the deadwood.

    • Ark87

      Still, he is in a delicate place. The offense can be ready to compete at a high level as early as next season. But that window can close if we spend way too many resources rebuilding, scratch that, *building* a defense. You don’t wan’t to be in a place where the offensive window is closing just as the defensive window is opening. That would give Chip what, a 2 year window to win a championship….2-3 years from now? I think switching to a 3-4 right now sets the franchise back quite a few years unless we stumble upon some HoF type talent or hit every single pick in the draft, and all the FA’s exceed expectation. It sets the offense up for neglect (keep in mind, the past 3 drafts have already had a lot of focus on defense, outside of Danny Watkins (disappointment to say the least), Nick Foles may be our highest draft pick spent on offense in years.)

      • ACViking

        Excellent argument.

        But looking at the Eagles’ defense, it seems quite a ways from being good — either as a 4-3 or 3-4.

        If Kelly gets the offense to work at a higher level than than past 2 years, there’s room for the defense to be developed.

        The Packers, in 2009, switched to the 3-4 . . . and struggled defensively. But they made the playoffs. The next year, they added some incredible talent (lots of luck getting Matthews in Rd 1 at 18) and won the SB.

        That said, I like you points.

        • Ark87

          True, defense needs work no matter how you cut it.

        • Iskar36

          I fully agree with you that Kelly should build the defense he thinks gives the team the best chance for long term success. The switch to 3-4 does create additional challenges, but I think some people are overestimating the number of years it will take to make it work. I don’t think it takes 4+ years to restructure the defense into a 3-4 successfully. I think more importantly, if the right DC is in place with good ideas and the ability to teach his ideas to his players, the transition is something that can be made relatively quickly (not necessarily this year, but certainly possible in a year). To me, finding the right coach is the more essential part of making the transition.

          • ChaosOnion

            WAS had a top-10 4-3 defense. Shannahan brought in Haslett to build it into a 3-4. Their best ranking in that time has been 19th.

          • Iskar36

            If we were a top 10 defense, I would absolutely not want us to change to the 3-4, but we are not. The lack of success Haslett has had on building the Redskins defense into a 3-4 defense is noteworthy, but it really does not prove anything. Aging players and the inability to bring in quality replacements could be the reason that defense has struggled. Jim Haslett himself may not be all that great of a DC.

            Also, if you want to use a random example, Houston went from 30th defense (based on yardage) in the league running the 4-3 to 2nd defense in the running the 3-4. The key is player evaluation and having the right coach teaching his system. If you have the wrong coach and bad player evaluation, no matter what scheme you run, you will not succeed. Thus, to me, while the 3-4 does create additional challenges for our team, I would much prefer them to make the switch if they feel that’s what works best than to stick with the 4-3 just because that’s what’s in place.

    • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

      Couldn’t agree more. Anybody who thinks this team is built to compete next year is fooling themselves. We’ve got a lot of young talent which is good, because this will take at least a year or two to get going. Kelly and Howie are going to have to re-tool the roster to fit what he wants to do and like you said get rid of the deadwood.

  • Baloophi

    4-3 or 3-4? Why not a 1-6? Cox can handle it…

    • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

      We be swimming in LBs yo!

    • Mac

      Can we hire someone to teach Fletch how to do this as our stand alone d-line?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFtw7qW7Vcw

      • Ark87

        This guy

        • Mac

          Consider it done.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

      With our track record of LB’s the less on the field the better

      • eagles2zc

        +1000

  • bridgecoach

    Scott Frost may be joining the Eagles coaching staff…

    • Anders

      Wouldnt mind that, I also wouldnt mind the Oregon’s OL coach.

  • Neil

    Guys, the solution is simple. Kelly wants an attacking style of defense. Bring back the 46.

  • eagles2zc

    “There is perception and there is reality.” Chip
    In other words, ‘do some research on my philosophies first before spurting off about pass happy schemes idiots’

  • Ark87

    Coach Kelly to players
    “I don’t set the depth charts, you do”
    I’m sold

    • Mac

      I love it.

  • brza

    What about Rod Marinelli as DC here? He has said out of loyalty to Lovie he will not stay with the Bears this year even though Trestman tried to get him to come back. Marinelli is being linked to the Cowboys as DL coach but DC has got to be more compelling.

    Also, thinking about QBs again. What do you think of RG3’s successor at Baylor, Nick Florence? He put up some impressive numbers and they run a somewhat similar system.

  • http://twitter.com/cooltiszo Adam Tiszóczki

    I don’t know wether this was posted or not, but this is a must read material about Chip’s mentality: http://fishduck.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Chip-complete.pdf
    I’m on the Chip wagon with 100%. Give the guy a chance to create a winning mentality in the locker room, no player is untouchable, if somebody isn’t buying in than show him the door. This team lacks heart and toughness. Every part of the team has to buy in. If our Eagles plays hard and avoids silly, lazy mistakes, this fan base will cheer for the team, even if go 4-12 again. I think there is too much talent on the roster to go with the same record again if most of the guys buys in, but the ultimate goal is to create the mentality. Chip, make us proud to be Eagles fans!

  • ACViking

    Re: 2012 draft class and the 3-4 defense / Oregon’s own D.C.

    DT Fletcher Cox was, besides the QBs drafted this year, among the best players.

    Would a move to a 3-4 be a waste? I don’t think so.

    I’ve suggested that Cox compares favorably to Richard Seymour, a U-GA DT selected No. 6 in the 2001 as a DT by the Pats. In college, Seymour played along side fellow-1st rounder Marcus Stroud in a 4-3 defense.

    But in New England, Belichick plugged Seymour in at LDE in his 3-4, where he was a 3x 1st-team All Pro (’03-’05) and 7x Pro Bowler. He dominated.

    Obviously, the key is creating mismatches for Cox. New England did that for Seymour.

    _________________

    U-GA’s d-coordinator, Todd Grantham, is rumored to be CK’s first choice as the Eagles’ DC.

    In 2010, Grantham’s Georgia Bull Dogs played Cam Newton’s Auburn Tigers. Auburn put up 49 points on Georgia.

    In the (mythical) national championship game against Oregon, Auburn struggled to put together the kinds of drives they’d had all season long against the best the SEC had to offer — eventually winning the game on a last-second FG 23-19.

    True, Auburn gained over 500 yards — mostly between the 20s. Oregon had 449 (only 75 on the ground).

    But Oregon’s DC — Nick Allioti — kept Auburn off the score board, compared to what Auburn did to the best the SEC had to offer that year. Pretty impressive.

    Today, the Oregonian reported that Allioti turned down an offer to become USC’s d-coordinator. Maybe — who knows — Allioti’s considering a move to the NFL with CK. He’s a creative DC who runs what he calls a hybrid 3-4.

    Doubt Allioti leaves for the Eagles. He’s a college lifer. But you never know. And he did better than anyone could have expected at keeping a dominant Auburn team (with 10 NFL draftees) within striking distance of a clearly less talented Oregon team in that 2010 title game.

  • bridgecoach

    “The big time is where you are at”

    • D3Keith

      The title of a book by NAIA/D3 305-game winner Frosty Westering and relayed to Chip via Mark Matlak, the head coach at D-III Allegheny.

      Make The Big Time Where You Are is a whole philosophy of Frosty’s, who also taught players to ignore the scoreboard and compete against their best selves, which I love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Kozicky/671597545 Peter Kozicky

    These draft profiles suggest Vinny Curry would be best suited as a 3-4 rush OLB:

    http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2012vcurry.php
    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2012/profiles/vinny-curry?id=2532825

    …but other profiles say he’s strictly a 4-3 DE. Curry lacks speed for the position, but he certainly has the prototypical size. We really didn’t see enough of him last year to assess what he can and can’t do.

    Trent Cole sucks at coverage and isn’t really great at setting the edge against quicker RBs, so I’m not sure he has much of a future as a 3-4 OLB. His contract and age are obstacles, but some 4-3 team might be willing to offer a late round pick for him. We’d be extremely lucky to get a 5th for him, so you’re really talking about a 6th or most likely 7th rounder. If Cole is already 270, couldn’t he gain 12-15 lbs and play 5 technique? That seems to suit his skill set better.

    To me, Star Lotulelei or Damontre Moore would be automatic picks if either dropped to #4, but we’re probably best suited(and most likely to) trade down, in order to stockpile draft picks to fill out our new D. Jarvis Jones’s injury history drops him out of the 1st round to me. I’d be nervous taking him in the early 2nd. Sheldon Richardson reminds me of Fletcher Cox and he’d look great as the other DE. There are a lot of 5 technique prospects and a few OLBs, but very few NTs. Dion Jordan could intrigue Kelly, especially if he was still available traded down 10 picks. I could see us trading down multiple times, because this draft’s strength is between the 2nd-5th rounds. I’d love Margus Hunt in the 3-4 especially if we can get him in the 2nd round. He seems like an ideal 5 tech, but if he really runs a 4.6, he can also play OLB. Coming into Michigan, Brandon Graham was a 5 star MLB recruit; the best in the country. Depending on how we set up our 3-4 defense, maybe he could eventually end up as an interior pass rusher, with taller defenders setting the edge. This hiring really gets you thinking…especially with the draft coming up. I hope we don’t get forced into taking a NT like John Jenkins early, only because there are so few in this draft. Nothing against Jenkins; I just don’t like need dictating draft picks. Maybe we can find a NT through free agency.

    Besides Lotulelei, Hankins, Jenkins, Geathers and Jesse Williams, what other NT options are there? I’d prefer Star and Hankins at 5 tech anyway. Kawan Short? Sylvester Williams is supposedly too lazy to take on multiple blockers every down.

    • D3FB

      Could possibly run an undersized NT like Dallas did when Grantham was the DL coach.

  • Chris

    Tommy… if the iggles go to a 3-4 D… what’s your thought on Allen being a better fit in that system than the one he’s been playing?

    • D3FB

      The biggest help for Allen will be that he will almost assuredly not have automatic run fits every play. The Safeties would get suckered w/ a few play actions and then be hesitant and confused the rest of the game. He who hesitates is lost.

  • Yuri

    Here’s a newspaper report on the story Tommy refers to of Surrier not knowing a ST team player had been cut:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/23/sports/pro-football-redskins-slipping-away-from-spurrier.html
    Not quite the same way Tommy tells it, but confirming that ol’ Vinny Cerrato (who we all wish were still with the ‘Skins) cut the player, and not the coaches.

  • phillychuck

    If Kirby Smart is the alternative, as has been reported, then I’m all for Grantham. Get Kelly some guys with NFL experience, please.

    • Steag209

      Horton is probably the most ideal, if he is indeed out at AZ

    • bridgecoach

      Disagree. Kirby Smart is would be an amazing DC. How often do we say that Alabama’s D is better than most NFL teams? Plus with all of the turnover he has faced and has maintained defensive dominance. Playcalling, innovation, scheme flexibility, demands and secures excellence from his players.

      • D3FB

        Turnover from 5 star recruit to 5 star recruit?

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