Misc Monday

Posted: February 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 122 Comments »

We’re going to have the full coaching staff introduced today so I don’t want to write a long post this morning.  I’m hoping we get some good nuggets from Chip and the assistants today and that gives us plenty to discuss later on.

The breaking news item today is that Michael Vick has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Eagles. I’ve seen a few people saying the deal could be worth as much as $10M.  Clearly that would involve a lot of bonus money.

Vick is not guaranteed to be the starter…or even on the final roster.  Basically sounds like Kelly is giving him a chance to win the job.  I prefer cutting him outright, but can live with this situation.  Nick Foles is no sure thing.  There aren’t great QB prospects in the draft.  It is unlikely you’ll find a top QB in free agency or via trade.

If Vick plays lights out, he gets the job and the offense could thrive.  If he struggles, you go with Foles as the starter.  There is no point in going an older, more expensive QB unless he is clearly the better player.  Would be interesting to know the details of the contract.  Could Vick be kept around as a backup?

I’m guessing Vick and his agent looked around the league and saw that there wasn’t going to be a big market for him.  Why not stay put and see if you can make it work?  I’m still highly curious to see how Kelly and Vick deal with each other.  Chip Kelly is a very demanding coach.  This isn’t going to be like life under Andy Reid.  If Vick has some thick skin and really listens, maybe he’s got a chance.

I still have serious doubts.  Kelly wants someone who makes quick, smart decisions.  That is not Vick’s specialty.  Can Kelly change him or will this be like the old joke…Don’t try to teach a pig to sing.  It frustrates the pig and wastes your time.  Will be interesting to find out.

* * * * *

We’ve talked a lot about defense recently.  I think one of the huge issues in the last couple of years is that you had very little cohesiveness on the staff…schematically.  Juan Castillo took JJ’s playbook and combined that with some other stuff he liked and set it behind the Wide-9 front.  He then asked Johnny Lynn (2011) and Todd Bowles (2012) to plan coverages behind that.

No one was on the same page.  Heck, it often seemed they were operating from different books.

So the way to fix this is to change the scheme to a complex 4-3/3-4 hybrid?  Sounds crazy, but there is good news.  Bill Davis will run the scheme.  He ran it in Arizona.  That means he has experience teaching it.  Castillo’s creation was difficult to teach since it was just that…a creation.

Rick Minter, the ILBs coach, has also run a 3-4/4-3 hybrid defense.  Sam Lynch found this nugget from an interview:

“I think it’s a hybrid 3-4, 4-3 defense, whichever term you want to adopt. It always depends on the style of offense we’re facing. With different groupings on the field, maybe we need to get bigger because you’re a little limited in who you have on the field in a hybrid 4-3, because you’re really a 3-4 team but you don’t live and die in the 3-4 because you still play 4-3 schemes within your package.

One of those outside backers and of course, in our case the rush backer, is a little bit more the fourth down player, he’s the hybrid down player. The other outside backer is a little bit more hybrid safety. You can create a 4-3, you can create a 3-4 and you can create a 4-2-5 spacing because Winston has the ability as a Sam backer to be a nickel back type guy with his skills and his background.

So this particular version of the Kentucky defense, it’s not too far off exactly what you’d like to have it even though we just got here in the first year. That is, the Sam backer needs to be more safety-like and the rush backer needs to be more defensive end-like. When we can’t find or have those guys, we have to find ways to adjust, whether it’s to put a DB on the field to play a true nickel or whether it’s to put a big guy on the field to truly play a 4-3. We have adaptations of about everything you can do.”

And then this…

“As far as what we do today, it’s probably more Rex-influenced, more Jet-like. I really believe in life you’re nothing but a culmination of your past experiences and associations. My foundation of coaching on defense really got formed by Monte Kiffin and Pete Carroll because that’s when they came along in my life. I was young at the time, 24, 25, 26, 27. Forming my philosophy on how to coach was formed by Monte Kiffin and Pete Carroll.

By the time I was 30, I was on my own as a coordinator. Then, more and more developed my own packages as I went through time, partly based in more 4-3 than 3-4. Then becoming a head coach, I ran the defense part of the time at Cincinnati as my own package was there. A lot of times, like when Rex was there, we ran the Rex Ryan defense. I looked, listened, learned as any coach would do: what we did, how it worked.”

Interesting to note the mention of Pete Carroll and Monte Kiffin.  Those guys run the 4-3 Under defense.  Kiffin’s version is true 4-3.  Carroll’s has morphed into a hybrid over time.  But Minter was highly influenced by the basic set-up.

* * * * *

DL Coach Jerry Azzinaro has experience with the hybrid defense in his time at Oregon.  They did a lot of different things.

OLBs coach Bill McGovern mostly worked out of a basic 4-3 look at Boston College, but I have read that they mixed in 3-man fronts when he took over as Defensive Coordinator.  I cannot confirm that yet.  I cannot find any information so far on the scheme UMass ran when McGovern was the DC there.  He did work with some guy named…Azzinaro.  And those coaches were influential on a player named Mike Dawson, who is now the Eagles quality control coach on defense.

DBs coach John Lovett was a DC at multiple stops.  He mostly ran the 4-3, but switched to a 3-4 while at Clemson because it fit his personnel better.

* * * * *

I love the fact that all of these coaches have worked with the 4-3 and 3-4, and that several of them have worked with a hybrid defense.  That will really help them get on the same page and be able to teach the scheme better.

I also love the connections.  Davis is the head guy.  He’s never worked with the positional assistants, but several of them know each other.

Azzinaro coached with McGovern at UMass and at BC.  Azzinaro coached with Minter at Marshall.  John Lovett is an outsider, but has a background very similar to Azzinaro in that he’s from New York, played football at a small college, and then began coaching at small northeastern schools.  I would think these guys will get along well.

A cohesive coaching staff is a good coaching staff.

Here is a picture of Azzinaro and McGovern from their UMass days.  Tom Selleck wishes he had Coach Azz’s ‘stache.  That thing probably was the best recruiting tool UMass had.

UMass coaching staff - Azz-McG - Ed1

* * * * *

There are a lot of interesting connections with the staff.  I’m working on a full post on that.  Just fun to see the backgrounds of these guys and where they crossed in the past.

* * * * *

In case any of you missed it, this weekend I posted some pics of different fronts the Cardinals ran in 2009 under Bill Davis.

We’re still trying to figure out who is going where.


  • holeplug

    “If he struggles, you go with Foles as the starter.”

    They’re probably going to trade Foles now Tommy

    • TommyLawlor

      That is possible, but don’t think of it as sure thing. Poor QB class in draft. Vick is 1-yr guy. Keeping Foles makes plenty of sense.

      • Iskar36

        I would be surprised if the Eagles do not quietly test the market for both Vick and Foles now. I’m not sure how much either would bring, but with the restructured contract, I think it is now at least possible to get something for Vick from a QB desperate team.

        I know I will be disappointed if Vick is the week 1 starter, but at the very least, I think this suggests we will not be likely to go QB with our first pick. That at the very least is a major plus.

        • xeynon

          Agree on that. This is a lousy draft for QBs and a very good one at basically every area of major need we have. It’s quite conceivable that we could get three high-quality starters at OL, DL, and S if we use our first three picks on those positions. To use a high pick on a guy who’s a so-so QB prospect thus is not only a questionable way to address the quarterback position, but also will retard our progress in filling other holes on the roster.

      • Anders

        But that also means the price for Foles might not be higher.

      • Tom33

        Think they might already be exploring a trade with an AFC West team that has a HC who is very familiar with Foles?

    • xeynon

      Please, no. How many coaches does Vick have to kill before people stop being tantalized by his physical tools and realize it’s vanishingly unlikely that he ever puts it all together? He’s also 33 and can’t stay healthy.

      I’m okay with keeping him on a one-year deal and letting him compete, but in no way, shape, or form do I think it would be a good idea for the team to put all their eggs in the Vick basket. As for Foles, I want to give him a shot with a full offseason to work on the shortcomings we saw last season to see if he can improve before we give up on him.

      • Cvd52

        if the whole kapernick and russel wilson thing didnt happen this past year i would have totally agreed with you. (i know Vick may not play as smart as they do but who knows what Kelly can make happen)but i would at least like to see what Kelly can do with Vick.

        now if this was last year and we coudl trade up to 2 and take RG3 i would also totally agree that Vick should go. but i am willing to see what can happen this year with vick. in all honesty Vick is probably your best bet at winning games next year

        • xeynon

          Kaepernick and Wilson are, at this point in their respective careers, better players than Vick, and it’s not even much of a contest. If Vick is the starter next year and everything goes right – the team nails the draft, Vick takes to the new offense, is productive and stays healthy for 16 games, etc. – the probability of all of which happening is, let’s say, 15% – the upside is probably 10 wins and an early playoff flameout. Given that, and the fact that Vick is most definitely not a longterm solution, I don’t think winning games next year should be the primary objective. Winning the Super Bowl in 2014 or 2015 should be. Starting a mediocre retread who’s proven time and again that he’s incapable of being a championship-caliber quarterback for a year does not get us any closer to that Super Bowl, and given that it might hurt our draft position, arguably moves us further away. No thanks.

          • Cvd52

            in the NBA im all about sucking to get a pick. in the NFL i think there couldnt be a worse idea. and yes i know kapernick is way better than vick, but wilson was an unknown 12 months ago so its easy to say that now. i love wilson and would take him in a heartbeat over vick but im not going to say vick could never do what wilson did last year, in the right situation maybe vick can. wilson didnt throw the ball as much as you think he did

    • Cvd52

      yeah i would think foles is gone. i kind of expected vick to stay and am kind of excited to see what he can do in this offence. i know i am in the minority on this. there really wasnt any compelling alternatives to vick. foles doesnt seem like the real deal to me. the only thing i loved abouyt him was his pocket awareness. but maybe he looked so good because we were used to vick and his terrible pocket awareness

      • D3Keith

        Foles is gone … based on what?

        He’s a third-round pick who started 7 games when the starter got injured. He doesn’t really have the clout to demand a trade, and his future is not exactly blocked by an injury-prone starter on a one-year deal. He’s cheap and it’s in the Eagles’ best interest to keep him around, especially since Kelly is already fond of him. And he makes $500,000 with a cap figure of $635,880.

        1) I don’t see how it benefits the Eagles to get rid of him, unless they could recoup a much higher pick than they used on Foles … but then they would just use it to draft another QB.

        2) I’d be surprised if he didn’t start some games this year.

        The only thing that makes sense is if Kelly doesn’t think Foles is a “fit” for what he’s trying to do, then you get some value while you can.

        • Cvd52

          “The only thing that makes sense is if Kelly doesn’t think Foles is a “fit” for what he’s trying to do, then you get some value while you can.”
          yeah thats what i meant. i feel like Kelly doesnt see Foles as fitting his offence. if he did why not roll with him this year? its rare to see a guy come in start a bunch of games and then the next year get benched, it seems like kelly didnt like what he saw out of foles. why not try and trade him now? if you cant get what you want then yeah keep him around for cheap. but if you can get back the 3rd rounder maybe pull the trigger
          latley i dont see many qbs sitting for 3 years and then starting and having success. i think the last one was rodgers. now its seems like they play right away and suck like gabbert, or play well like luck, wilson etc.

    • D3Keith

      I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m happy Vick and Kelly are giving it a shot. At least we’ll never wonder what could have been.

      I also think this is the prudent move, especially with not guaranteeing Vick will start, so you don’t stunt Foles’s growth, and you don’t commit to taking a quarterback at 4 or 35.

      It’s also smart for Vick, as his family can stay put, and the upside of succeeding here is greater than winning trek starting job in Az, Buf or Jax. Unless the Jets were interested, there was really nowhere to go for Vick that had the potential of here.

      And I like that he’s not quitting on Philly.

      Obviously money-wise this could be dumb, and it could waste a year, but it also could have a good locker-room effect and give Kelly instant cred if it goes well.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    “Tom Selleck wishes he had Coach Azz’s ‘stache”
    That’s porno-quality right there!

    (And think of the titles you can come up using the last name of Azzinaro!).

  • Eric Dein

    Obviously a lot to talk about with the Vick deal, but does say more about Chip’s feeling with Vick or Nick? I don’t think there are many more unknowns about Mike at this point in his career- so I gotta see this move as Chip not thinking the Foles is the future for the organization.

    • shah8

      I think in terms of backups, Dennis Dixon is the more material aquisition, if that has, or will, happen.

      • laeagle

        What does being a “more material acquisition” mean, exactly?

        • ACViking

          I think he means “more important” in the bigger, longer-term scheme of things. But I’ll leave to shah8

          • laeagle

            I just think it was an unnecessarily obtuse way to express whatever the intention was.

          • Neil

            Why not say that in the first place?

          • laeagle

            Touche. Hoist on my own petard.

          • I believe he means the potential Dixon signing is more pertinent to Foles’ future.

            But why not let the guy clarify before jumping app over him?

          • shah8

            Phils is correct. Foles is not a viable starter. He just isn’t. Dixon isn’t either. They will be competing with each other for the backup job. If you’re are seeing Kelly going out to get a backup that’s potentially a viable starter, you’re going to see a trade for Joe Webb. I know of no other legit starter quality young backup other than Brock Osweiler, for whom there is no chance of a trade. There have been rumbles of Dominique Davis in Atlanta, but I take that as seriously as I do Jarrett Jones or Thad Lewis or Thigpen (when he was young). I’m not confident of Tyrod Taylor, and I strongly doubt the Ravens will let him go before free agency.

            Much more likely to draft the future starter.

  • Adrian

    Out of curiosity, would Kolb be a fit?

    • TommyLawlor


    • I wondered the same thing when they hired Chip. Good arm, Kolb is more mobile then other options discussed. Of course if he didn’t get hurt every other game that would help too

  • McGovern looks a lot like John Fox in that picture! John Fox coached in the northeast, namely NY…we could go on forever with the connections, but i will stop there!

    • TommyLawlor

      He does look like Fox. Didn’t notice that initially.

  • My initial thoughts– CK will implement a run first offense. Obviously very different from AR. Should Vick win the job, he will have less flexibility in the offense to “free-lance” so to speak. Hopefully using a run first approach will lessen the load in which he feels he has to undertake, while improving his overall efficiency as a passer, which CK will demand of him. Taking sacks and turning the ball over will get Vick benched in a second. Hoping he becomes more efficient. I am honestly still excited to see what the new coaching staff can do with Vick and the offense through implementing a run first regime.

  • Chip Kelly won’t be here more than 2 years…count on it

    • TommyLawlor

      Why not?

      • because, tommy, there’s no downside to making ridiculous claims. Because no one remembers them unless they’re right.

        • He has no shot with Vick,Dixon or Foles…Big time college coach comes to the NFL sees its nothing like the college level and goes back to where he came from

      • See Spurrier

    • D3Keith

      I’ll take that bet.

  • PK_NZ

    Sigh… I was kind of hoping for a low key season with Kelly and young players setting the foundation for future success… Kelly could’ve gone into the season not worrying about the record at all, but I suppose that’s a bit naive thinking.

  • shah8

    cue anguish


    I thought this was pretty much inevitable. The Eagles want a competent, and real QB, and this is all about keeping one until they can draft a genuine replacement. I did think that there was a good chance for Vick to go to the Bengals, though.

    • TommyLawlor

      Huh? Why on earth would the Bengals want him over Andy Dalton?

      • shah8

        Dalton’s getting nobody over the hump. Two straight postseasons of spectacularly inadequate play where his physical limitations are on full display. Dalton is playing on a very high quality offensive squad, and his stats are looking to be reflective of that aspect.

    • D3Keith

      This part makes total sense:
      “The Eagles want a competent, and real QB, and this is all about keeping one until they can draft a genuine replacement.”

  • bdbd20

    I wonder what it would take to get Tyrod Taylor from Baltimore. I’ve always liked his game.

  • I just want whatever QB is going to score points and win games to play. If Chip has enough confidence in himself as a teacher to think he can iron out the problems in Vick’s game, then so be it. If he thinks he can mold Foles into a game winner, I’m fine with that too. We’ve got to trust Chip until he gives us reason not to.

    That being said, someone over on BGN made a really great analogy. Mike Vick is like a white whale. His skill set is just so intriguing that coaches can’t keep themselves from thinking maybe they’re the one to turn him into the great quarterback his potential shows he can be, but they end up drowning in that promise. At least so far.

    • xeynon

      If Chip has enough confidence in himself as a teacher to think he can iron out the problems in Vick’s game, then

      I think the correct way to finish that sentence is “he’s going to get the same results as Dan Reeves, Jim Mora, and Andy Reid”, i.e. he’s going to fail. Mora is so-so, granted, but Reeves is a HoF coach who built a run-first offense around a much younger and healthier Vick, and Reid is one of the pre-eminent quarterback coaches of his generation. Neither was able to have any sustained success with Vick. At a certain point you have to look at a guy’s career and recognize the common denominator, stop blaming mitigating factors like coaching or supporting cast or whatever, and just recognize that whatever his physical skills, a guy just isn’t very good at playing quarterback. Vick is the football equivalent of what Charles Barkley was describing when he said of former NBA draft bust Stromile Swift “that boy can run and jump like a deer, but I’d never want a deer on my basketball team”.

      I really hope that Kelly is just taking a flyer on Vick and will trade/bench/cut him if he doesn’t roll a seven with it. I shudder to think he might be thinking that he could be the guy to “unlock” Vick’s potential when all his previous coaches have failed to do so.

      • Oh I agree completely. But I also don’t think there’s even a question as to whether or not Kelly is just taking a flier on Vick…he’s absolutely just taking a flier. That’s why they basically just cut a whole bunch of years off his deal to make it a one year try out.

        Some people are jumping to conclusions about this move. I think the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Vick will have a chance. If and/or when he fails, we jettison him with little mess.

      • D3Keith

        I think it’s a flyer, but even simpler. He needs at least two starting-caliber QBs for this season. He has two already, which means with Vick back he doesn’t *have* to draft one (though they can if they want to).

        Of course to some degree Kelly sees Vick and things he can work with him. That’s a given, any confident coach is going to think that.

        But it’s also a prudent move when it comes to draft resources for the long term. You get basically two first-round quality players at 4 and 35 and not feeling obligated to use one of those picks on a QB means they might draft a key player on a future winning team.

        I do think lots of Vick starts would stunt Foles’ growth. I don’t think that can be refuted. But what we don’t know is if Foles is even the guy.

        • xeynon

          Yeah, I have calmed down a bit since reading on Philly.com that the Eagles’ plan is only to let Vick compete for the starting job. I won’t be happy if in the preseason he’s only marginally better than Foles, Dixon, or whoever else he’s competing with and they decide to go with him rather than the younger player, particularly if everyone plays well and he’s the best of the bunch. But provided there’s no commitment to him as the starter beforehand I’m okay with having him around at least until camp.

          • D3Keith

            For whatever it’s worth, I loved the Stromile Swift Barkley quote. Good pull.

  • ACViking

    Re: “Vick is 1-yr guy.”

    T-Law . . .

    You wrote that in a response early in the string.

    If that’s the case, why would Kelly keep Vick around as the starter?

    To win a few more games than Reid did in 2012?

    And, in doing so, to show the world that Kelly knows how to win in the NFL?

    This QB is, if nothing else, brittle as sugar mixed with molasses and peanuts.

    Sure, there aren’t any Lucks or Wilson or Griffins or Mannings or Brady’s out there. Okay, so what.

    On the premise that Vick’s here for just 1 year (and becomes the starter), I really don’t get the decision beyond trying to post more wins than 2012 so Lurie, Roseman and Kelly don’t look like the Keystone Cops.

    One thing’s for sure, winning a few more games won’t do anything except screw up next year’s draft position.

    I’m very disappointed because I thought Lurie was turning the page.

    We’re sticking, very likely, with a QB who can’t make it through 12 full games, has bad judgment, and runs to gain yards instead of extend the play. Ugh.

    • I’m sorry to do this, but: YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME.

      You don’t start off your tenure by playing for next year’s draft position. If you want to build a team and sell the locker room on your ideas, how can you possibly do that while being preoccupied with next year’s draft order? I think that would be a ridiculously misprioritized agenda, especially for Coach Kelly. I assure you that “getting a high draft pick in 2014” wasn’t part of the discussion when he interviewed.

      • xeynon

        You play to win the game with the roster you have. But there is a game beyond the game, trying to win the Super Bowl over the next five years, and proper roster construction is a key part of achieving that longer-term goal. Yes, going with veteran, low ceiling players could improve our expected record from 6-10 to 8-8 or whatever next year, but if it hurts our chances to win the Super Bowl in subsequent seasons compared to taking our lumps with a younger roster, then it’s a bad move.

        • ACViking

          Yes . . . thanks for making my point more clearly than I did.

        • You’re going slippery slope on me here. I never advocated replacing the youth on the roster with veteran stop-gaps. I am saying it is important that Kelly are sincere about being competitive this year instead of tanking.

          I think you and ACViking are making a false choice argument about having integrity this year vs winning bigger in the future. Playing for the 2014 draft would strike me as having a severe lack of integrity towards this season that could seriously hinder the new staff going forward.

          • D3Keith

            For what it’s worth, I’m with you here Goodman. This can backfire if done improperly — think Shanahan’s first year with the Redskins. Probably did as much as harm as good.

            But at the same time, there is something to be gained by winning in Year 1 and achieving instant credibility, especially for a college coach coming to the NFL.

            Vick might well be a lost cause. But also remember he’s 33, joined the NFL early and has taken a beating the past few years, but skipped three years of beatings while imprisoned and getting back in shape. So throwing out Vick’s age as a reason he can’t lead a team to a Super Bowl in 2014 or 2015 isn’t bulletproof. It’s unlikely, but not impossible, especially if Kelly, rather than “fixing” Vick simply does what he does and builds a run-based offense around McCoy and Brown and doses of Vick.

            Vick’s not necessarily “done” physically — he’s been undone by poor decision-making and Andy and Marty trying to force a square peg into a round hole the past 2 years.

            2013 should be about development, and, say, 14 starts from Vick could rob Foles of that development. But there’s no guarantee Foles isn’t the guy — in that he has an opportunity to win the job — and there’s no guarantee that he is the guy — long-term that Kelly wants to build around.

            So it seems a low-risk, medium-reward move. All it really costs is money — and it frees the Eagles up from having to burn a pick this year just to have a decent backup on the roster. Those picks could help build the team needed to win in 2014-15.

            Draft picks, as you know, are a crapshoot. Sure we’d all rather pick higher, but the benefit of finishing 8-8 as opposed to 6-10 might buy Kelly as much in credibility as it would cost us spots on draft day. And on draft day, you can pick No. 8 and get Jamaal Anderson (he of 7.5 career sacks in six seasons) and someone else picks No. 14 and get Darrelle Revis. So all that tanking for a better pick might not help in the long run anyway.

            I agree 2013 should mostly be about developing players and getting people to buy into Kelly’s system. Bringing Vick back might stunt the first (or it might not) but it could help the second.

          • PK_NZ

            When we are saying winning. Are we having a winning record and playoffs? Or are we saying winning the Super Bowl?

            Because I’m sure having Vick starting will results in few more wins, but are you really building a young core if you’re leader is not going to be around for more than few years? Is it possible that Vicks presence in the club will prevent few future leaders to rise up?

            I think the Eagles need a fresh start and a chance to find the leaders from the young core that are going to be around for the future Super Bowl runs. Unless Kelly really thinks Vick will deliver us a Super Bowl… In any case, he’s a short-term solution…

          • D3Keith

            The two do not have to be mutually exclusive. You can have some success in 2013 that lays the foundation for winning a Super Bowl in a subsequent year. (they could have a miracle in 2013, but let’s discount that for now)

            The idea that keeping Vick means they do not feel obligated to draft a QB this year with high first- second and third-round picks in a draft weak in QBs but strong in our other need areas — that alone is foresight pointing toward building/rebuilding a young core that can win a Super Bowl.

            The flipside is playing Foles, jettisoning Vick, having to use resources to acquire a No. 2 QB for this season. The idea that this would lead to a worse season and a greater chance of drafting the QBotF with a 2014 pick isn’t absurd, but it’s fraught with such risk — you might undermine Kelly while not guaranteeing anything in terms of being able to get that perfect QB later.

            So you have to go with your best option for now, and build the entire program with long-term vision.

      • ACViking

        If that’s true — “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME” — then I’d expect Kelly to load up on the best free agents out there. And trade the Eagles’ picks for experienced players.

        But that won’t happen . . . for exactly the reasons Xeynon explained.

        You play the long game. Anyone who doesn’t is bound for a quick exit.

        • That would be taking my argument to the absurd. How does this real scenario sacrifice the future?

          • D3Keith

            In the NFL, you’re always playing for the now and the future.

            I don’t think it’s a viable long-term strategy for coming off a crappy year to intentionally be crappy again to try to get higher draft picks. In the NBA maybe … 2013 should be about getting players to buy into Kelly, and developing youth within that system. Meanwhile, someone has to play quarterback.

          • ACViking

            Phils . . .

            That’s what I do for a living.

        • Midnight_Greenville

          Definitely enjoying the debate. I would argue that the short game and the long game are not mutually exclusive, and in fact can be complementary.

          The model that would represent the best case scenario for us is what SF did in 2011. As bad as Vick has been the last couple years, I believe most of us would take the Vick we know right now, over the Alex Smith we knew before 2011. And, I believe it is now obvious that CK does not see Foles as a viable starter in his offense. So, if the Eagles draft a QB this year that they can groom (even if he isn’t as physically talented as Kaepernick), and CK can begin implementing a pro version of his offense using Vick, we may find the team actually contends this year (after all, the NFC East is fairly weak right now with Cowboys in constant disarray, Giants erratic as always, and Skins without RGIII–kind of like NFC West in 2011).

          And, not to carry the analogy too far, but a run-first offense like CK runs, behind a (hopefully) physically recovered offfensive line, puts Vick in a situation where he is in a better position to succeed than the pass-first, second, and third offense that AR/MM consistently ran despite his obvious limitations trying to run it. This is precisely what Harbaugh did with Smith. And yes, I understand our defense is not what SF’s was, but a cohesive defensive coaching staff might prove that our defense isn’t as threadbare as it appeared last year.

          But, most importantly, even if we don’t contend this year, I don’t see where taking all of those steps above really set us back next year. If Vick sucks, I don’t think it really stymied our QB development because I don’t think Foles is our QB of the future and any rookie, if we even draft one, would probably benefit just as much by learning on the bench this year as playing. (Again a la Kaepernick). If he sucks and we finish last again, we do have a good draft choice to use on another potential difference maker next year (QB or otherwise).

      • starting vick i think pretty much DOES guarantee you the best draft position net year

        • There are so many unknowns that it’s hard to say. My point is that I bristle at the argument that playing Vick could ruin our chance to tank the season. I think this restructure was made because Vick can do the most and let Chip Kelly put most on the table. I don’t thin tanking is part of the equation.

  • eagles2zc

    When Minter mentioned a hybrid LB/S, did anyone else think of Kendricks? He kept up with a number of TEs in coverage last season

    • Anders

      I thought of more of a Keenan Clayton or an Adrian Wilson

    • I don’t think Mychal’s good enough in coverage to be used like that, plus he’s better blitzing than in coverage. I’d rather use him that way more.

      • What makes you say that? He looked really good in coverage last year and didn’t blitz much. He only had one sack.

        I’m not saying he can’t do it, because I think he’ll be a really good blitzer. But I think he’s just as good in coverage.

  • phillyfan1987

    I dont think its necessarily a hit on foles but more so what CK wants. You run the read option and other parts of Kelly scheme to get the best advantage on the D, a QB who can run and throw makes the D have to account for the threat of running from both the RB and the QB while also anticipating a quick throw or screen… the element of surprise is more deadly than predictability… 89 % of the time you know foles is going to stand in the pocket and deliver or hand off to a RB..with VICK you never know if you get a pass or run or handoff. Foles can run the offense but does he offer you the most advantages in CK’s Offense? No. Vick is only a short term solution until a Kaepernick/Wilson guy is found maybe that Tyrod, DIxon(very unlikely), EJ,Scott or someone next year but a duel threat gives the most flexibility in Ck’s offense.If we become run first the defense wont attack vick so much because they will have to remain HONEST… with AR everyone knew we were going to pass it 60 times so they just sent everyone at vick. If we are a Run first offense the pressure comes off VICK to be superman and he becomes a Alex smith game manager who has the ability to run for the first down but is just managing the game. Make a balanced offense where Bryce/Lewis and Shady(20 atleast per game for LS) get touches and Vick passes with a few first down runs (3-4).Defenses will tire out with shady’s cut ability, Browns speed /power runs, Vick’s elusiveness and then Desean and Damaris speed in the open field. Give me a big reciever or let Marvin McNutt or Riley step up and we have a pretty dangerous offense esp if Chip can keep sacks down like he is use to doing. Patt Shurmur and Bill Lazor can help Vick with his footing and release and maybe help polish him up a bit. SOMEONE TEACH HIM TO SLIDE and CHECK DOWN QUICKLY.

    • ACViking

      After Vick — assuming he’s the starter — is concussed on the 1st play of the 2nd quarter in Game 1 of 2013 . . . then what?

      I’m just trying to get my head around the idea that Kelly’s trying to max out the wins in 2013 instead of build a long-term foundation — including getting the highest picks possible.

      Vermeil benched a seasoned veteran for a 2nd year QB.

      Buddy came in and invented the “Designated 3rd-and-long QB”.

      Reid lucked out in the ’99 draft and grabbed McNabb. Though does anyone think Reid thought he’d be making the playoffs in ’99?

      Just disappointing . . . though I know Vick may not make it out of TC. Not likely. But possible.

      • holeplug

        Kelly wants to run his offense in the NFL. He can’t do that with Foles.

        • ACViking

          So when Vick is injured, then what?

          I’ve no problem with Kelly wanting a QB more mobile than Foles, if he does — though I think he’d take Brady in a heartbeat.

          But collect a bunch of Dennis Dixon-types, cut Foles loose, and then build from there.

          Get guys who fit your scheme and have a shot at being here in he *long term*.

          Vick’s proven to be a disappointing, mediocre NFL QB, who’s injury-prone and turn-over prone . . . no matter what scheme he runs.

          • holeplug

            “But collect a bunch of Dennis Dixon-types, cut Foles loose, and then build from there.”

            I think this is what they are going to do. Someone has to play QB though and Chip wants to run his offense next year. Vick can do that (how well is the question obviously) while Foles cannot. It makes no sense to keep Vick otherwise. There isn’t an obvious upgrade in free agency/draft this year so he is gonna roll with Vick for 1 year and probably draft a QB next year

          • or chip just wants a chance to see vick up close in camp before he makes a decision.

          • phillyfan1987

            I actually think VIck and foles will be on the roster come august…. VIck has the ability to get wins now if they design a offense that fits him.. but foles has some talents that work well and can look very good too esp if he can look how he looked in college but better…you keep foles for his potential if vick gets hurt and you keep vick short term for his potential to make the offense dynamic. Andy reid and MM made a offense that did not fit Vick.. Vick is not Aaron Rodgers or Bret so passing the ball 60 times was the DUMBEST thing you can do esp with a qb who has never really been considered a strong passer. VIck has a arm and they did help him become a better passer but passing the ball 60 times or looking only for the deep ball is wrong and didnt help that we were predictable. If we are a run first offense with Shady and Bryce at the helm and VIck is a game manager ( I WILL YELL AT HIM IF HE EVEN WATCHES A SUPERMAN MOVIE) he may be okay.. we have enough talent where he doesnt have to pull a Randell C. FOles is special and can be very good or become KEvin Kolb 2.0 he is a unknown in the NFL. I wanna see what he can do and im excited for what VIck can do in a offense made foe him to thrive… even though i dont know if read option is his cup of tea. TO be honest neither VICK or FOLES will be CHips guy because chip didnt pick him and he is not gonna live or die on a qb he didnt pick. so really foles /vick is a game manager until his guy is found.

      • phillyfan1987

        well kelly brought shumur on for just that.. he doesnt want his playbook so one dimensional that his playbook lives and dies with one player.. he wants multiple looks so that if vick is out, foles, edwards or someone else not yet on the roster can step in.. he has actually said that he wants his offense to be able to fit different skill sets… even if we just have running threat Qb’s theyre needs to be flexibility. lets say VIck has a ankle injury where his ability to run is hurt… they need to be able to go with him as a pocket passer without being too dependent on his ability to run for the 1st down or 5 yards.

      • D3Keith

        “I’m just trying to get my head around the idea that Kelly’s trying to max out the wins in 2013 instead of build a long-term foundation — including getting the highest picks possible.”

        What about the idea that Kelly doesn’t see the QB he wants in this draft, but without an adequate player besides Foles would have to spend a pick on a QB this year.

        In that sense, just the allocation of resources — being allowed to skip a QB in this year’s draft if they want to, and address something else with the high picks — shows long-term thinking. Why expend resources on a QB when you have one in hand, and those resources are going to help you win down the line?

  • Cvd52

    before last season i wanted vick gone because i knew he couldnt do it in Reids offence. but he may be able to do it in Kellys offence. one thing that always keeps me kind of on vicks side is he is a warrior. i like that about him and i am willing to give him one more year since Kellys offence might be better suited towards him than Reids offence. the NFL always works out funny. if he can somehow stay healthy, i wouldnt be shocked to see Vick lead us to the playoffs next yeari am sure nobody will agree with that last statement

    • xeynon

      Vick played in a run-first offense that heavily utilized his mobility when he was in Atlanta, and wasn’t very good in it. Don’t see any reason to be optimistic that he’s improved.

      • holeplug

        It wasn’t anything like what he will be running next year though. I don’t think Vick is very good anymore either but at least Kelly will be putting a square peg in a square hole next year and not trying to make Vick pass 40 times a game like Reid did.

        • P_P_K

          Well said.

        • D3Keith

          I used the same “square peg” thing above, though not nearly as cleverly as you did.

          I think this is huge, letting Vick be Vick, and building an offense around McCoy and the OL, and not around the QB — since the QBotF is probably not even on the roster.

          I think the people who want to do poorly this year so we can draft a QB are acknowledging that the QB we need is not yet here — which means there’s no harm in playing Vick instead of Foles since you apparently don’t see a future with Foles anyway.

          Also, just to play devil’s advocate — if Vick sucks so bad, why do we assume playing him will improve the team’s draft pick?

        • I would actually argue that some of the ideas that the Falcons used in 2004-2005 were a precursor to what Chip Kelly may be trying to do here. That Falcons regime utilized multi-back (sometimes shotgun) formations alongside a mobile QB and ran behind Alex Gibbs’ vaunted ZBS scheme (Gibbs is known for making Inside Zone and Outside zone his bread and butter — familiar? — so much so that he recommends many other running plays get thrown out of the playbill so the offense can focus on their execution of the staple runs). The Falcons even flirted with the zone read idea way, way back then and went on field trips to see it in action at the college level. More about that here:


          I am very curious to know why the zone read really never got off the ground in Atlanta. I can imagine that Vick and Warrick Dunn would have made it lethal.

      • In 2004 Vick went 11-4 in a run-first offense (#1 rushing in the NFL thanks largely to Vick) and made the NFC Championship Game and the Pro Bowl. I am not saying Vick remains near as talented as he was in 2004, but if you don’t consider that an impressive season you are probably putting way too much stock in NFL Passer Rating.

        • xeynon

          1.)The NFC was horrible that year, 2.)that team got flattened in the NFC title game by the Eagles, who weren’t exactly a big game powerhouse, largely because Vick’s limitations as a passer were roundly exposed by an elite defense, 3.)the Falcons were never able to duplicate that level of success. It was certainly Vick’s high water mark as a quarterback, but it wasn’t a great season of quarterbacking by any stretch.

  • Lukekelly65

    I understand why you might say this move isn’t moving forward and there just going to win enough games to mess up our draft position but next years draft class looks special even if we do only win 5 or 6 games that is an improvement from last season and we will still be im position to draft a very talented QB who chip Kelly can hand pick

    • ACViking

      That assumes every other team wanting a QB doesn’t underperform the Eagles or pay the ransom that special QBs are worth.

      It assumes a lot, in other words, I think.

      • Remember when Jake Locker and Matt Barkley were going to become #1 overall picks? Any plan that invokes the 2014 draft and its selection order assumes a lot.

      • D3Keith

        It assumes no more than “not bringing Vick back = Eagles will land a QB in 2013 draft.”

        It’s a little more complex than that.

  • ACViking

    Scanning the first 3 rounds of the last 5 drafts, there have been only 8 Griffin/Kaepernick/Newton/Russell-type QBs.

    Those would be Griffin, Kaepernick, Newton, and Russell . . . and Pat White, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Ryan Tannehill. Hell, throw Andrew Luck into the pot, given his mobility — making it nine.

    Of those nine QBs, 6 were selected among the Top 10 of the draft. Two were 2nd-rounders. And one was a 3rd rounder. Thee of the 9 are/were below average to terrible.

    Now, with the success of Kaeppy and Russell, I’d expect QBs like that to be even more overvalued in upcoming drafts

    They’re a rare species of QB.

    The smoke signals around keeping VIck are that Foles is not Kelly’s kind of guy.

    So . . . what’s the Eagles’ strategy to get their future QB?

    Because in the NFL, the QB is all that matters.

    • D3Keith

      That’s a legitimate question. But I don’t think an adequate response to it is “be really bad in 2013 so we get a really high draft pick and hope we hit on our high draft pick.”

      Maybe they have to pay the price to trade up. Maybe they find their guy in the late first or second like Flacco, Dalton or Kaepernick.

      I also think it’s a fallacy that Kelly can only win with a Kaepernick/Wilson type. This has been pretty roundly rebutted, that Kelly’s not married to one type of player. QB should be mobile, but needs to be a good decision maker more than a raw-talent runner.

      • ACViking

        D3Keith . . .

        I’m willing to tolerate ineptitude because my formative years as an Eagle fan were nothing but horrendous, losing seasons that — after a decade-plus in the desert — to Dick Vermeil.

        It’s why I welcome the 3-4 (even in hybrid form).

        And it’s what makes me patient.

        Seriously, your point’s well taken. I’d thought about the trade up angle. But it’s a bit risky for the Eagles to play that game.

        I’d like to see them grab a QB in this draft (Rds 2-3) and next year’s draft (same, unless they win the lottery).

        I fully concur with your (very level-headed) point that Kelly doesn’t need a QB who can run, though he likes them. If he found the next Tom Brady, I think he’d show Vick the door in a heartbeat.

    • Anders

      I would try and trade Foles (I honestly think we can get atleast 1 2nd pick for him), pick up Dixon in FA and target Manuel, Smith or Nassib without giving up a fortune. Next season there should be 4-5 QBs who fit the profile you decribes.

  • Baloophi

    Having just watched the Chip Kelly press conference, my first takeaway is that it’s refreshing to have such a transparent coach respond to questions. For example, just having him admit he was looking for guys with NFL experience since he knew he lacked that was – while perhaps obvious and speculated – nice to hear him actually say.

    Secondly, he offered reasons that are rooted in logic in terms of his staffing decisions… i.e. wanting to find people with different experiences that also (and more importantly) were people that he felt he could effectively work with. Contrast that to – for example – the hiring of Jim Washburn for seemingly his scheme and nothing else, and we can already see the hiring philosophies are different in the Kelly regime.

    I think it’s fair to question the new coaches and their records and philosophies all we like, but it does seem that Chip Kelly’s hiring criteria were spot on (for me, anyway): guys that want to win, and guys that can communicate with an open-mind.

  • ACViking

    Re: Win Now

    The last pre-free agency NFL dynasty was constructed in Dallas by Jimmy Johnson when he became the Cowboys’ head coach in January 1989.

    Johnson unloaded just about every player he could because his eye was on building a great team that would win SBs — even though the guys he dumped could’ve helped him win in his first season. Especially Herschel Walker.

    The result . . . in year 1, Johnson went 1-15. In year 2, he went 7-9. In year 3, 11-5. And in years 4 & 5 the Cowboys won the SB. Then in what would have been year 7 of his tenure (when Switzer was there), the Cowboys won another SB.

    Johnson did what a good CEO should do in trying to resurrect a company . . . clean house and build for long-term success.

    • Why does it have to be “win now” vs “tank now”?

      The Walker trade was an unprecedented opportunity that has never arisen again (the Ricky Williams trade probably being the only example that comes anywhere near the same ballpark).

      Ironically enough, Nick Foles is now probably the best candidate on the roster to be traded for a good draft pick (not that I think it’s highly likely just yet).

      Sean Payton, Bill Belichick and Pete Carrol didn’t come into their current jobs and start immediately playing for next year’s draft pick. Those three combined for a 23-25 in their first season(s) and a 36-12 record in their most recent.

    • Anders

      Jimmy Johnson was also aided by maybe the stupidest draft trade in history. If anybody would give that for any player in the Eagles roster, Im sure the Eagles would do the trade in a heart beat.

      • ACViking

        Yes, Anders . . .

        The Vikings were completely snookered because they agreed that if the players traded to the Cowboys weren’t on the roster at draft-time in 1990, the Cowboys were receive draft picks instead.

        Regardless, Johnson knew that Walker — only 7 years into his career — wasn’t worth keeping just to get a couple more victories.

        Johnson wanted to create a new personality for the Cowboys — he was playing the long game. It helped that the Vikings thought Walker was “the guy” to get them over the top and overpaid. But at the time, Walker was a dead-man-walking on the Cowboys under Johnson. Whatever he could get, Johnson would have taken (per local Dallas sports personality Dale Hanson, and I was living in Dallas at the time).

        I respect your views, as you know.

        All I’m driving at is that Kelly’s keeping as the face of the Eagles’ franchise — by all indications — the same guy who can’t play a full season and when he does, he’s mediocre (save a handful of games in 2010).

        Bottom line . . . I’m just disappointed by Kelly first big move.

        I’d have liked it better if he made clear that he’s going to tear this team down and re-build it.

        Doesn’t seem to be the case, though.

        • Anders

          So you would also cut guys like Peters or Mathis because they are older players?

          • ACViking

            Johnson didn’t cut everyone (Ken Norton Jr, for example).

            Just the players who weren’t of the caliber he was looking for.

            So, no, I wouldn’t trade those guys.

            But if trading them brought in an obscene amount of draft day ammunition . . . sure, why not.

          • Anders

            okay, Its not to sound like a jerk I asked. You just made it sound like he cleaned house by cutting all older players.

            “Just the players who weren’t of the caliber he was looking for.”

            It really sounded like Kelly think Vick is everything he is looking for.

    • While I think people are reading way too much into this, I have to admit the decision to keep Vick does worry me.

      My hope is that Chip either A), is smarter (or at least savvier) than all of the coaches who worked with and failed to develop Vick prior to now and will turn out to be the one fated to bring Mike to new heights as a QB, or B) is smart enough to realize right away in Training Camp that keeping Vick was an awful idea and he jettisons him before things go south.

      Either way, I think the thing that impresses me most is Vick’s ability to sell himself. Really, Vick must be one hell of a salesman to keep failing and yet keep getting paying gigs.

    • eagles2zc

      I don’t think anything’s certain at this point. Vick is guaranteed 3.5mil in signing bonus. That’s it. If he’s cut during camp, that will be all he’s getting. And I won’t rule out a team becoming QB needy (through injuries, for example) enough to explore a trade for Vick. This restructure by no way means he will start next season

  • Mark823

    I understand this is probably far from a perfect comparison, but keeping Vick reminds me of Harbaugh in San Francisco keeping Alex Smith as a stopgap. Harbaugh had success without changing the QB, San Fran had a better defense but its not like the Eagles are devoid of talent either. It’s a similar situation in that sense, the Eagles have potential to be competitive next year. I would guess Kelly will also groom a QB to take over for Vick, whether that’s Foles or a draft pick.

    • ACViking


      Great point about Harbaugh.

      This comment will be filed away under “amazing prescience” if the Eagles draft a QB in Rds 2 or 3.

  • P_P_K

    I’m not jumping to any conclusions. All that has happened is that Vick has signed a contract. It’s entirely possible this is just the Eagles way of trying to get something for him at a later date. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the plan is to have Vick and Foles battle it out at camp. Mike may start the season as the #1, but Nick could just as easily be the starter and Vick serve as an experienced, albeit expensive, backup and tutor. At 33, and after many a beating, Mike might be quite happy to hold a clipboard for a cool $10 million.

    • DaO_Z

      he’ll be holding a clipboard for 5.5M…can’t reach any incentives if he’s holding a clipboard..

      • D3Keith

        And if they were on the hook for up to $3M by cutting him, and they would have to pay some other quarterback to be on the roster … might end up being close to even. Not quite, but close.

    • Agree completely. There are no conclusions to draw other than that Vick and Nick will both be here and have a chance to snag the starting job. Anything further is just conjecture.

  • ACViking

    Re: Testing Offensive Theories

    Commenter Phils Goodman and I have gone back and forth on the Vick move.

    I’d like to credit a comment he made elsewhere which puts a different spin on the move — and penetrated my stupor.

    PG said that keeping Vick may let Kelly test out whatever theories he has about an NFL offense.

    Okay . . . I’ll go with that. It’s a better rationale (respectfully, PG) than arguing that it’s about “winning now.”

    That said, if you’re premise about *Kelly The Mad Scientist* is right, then we should expect to see (i) Dennis Dixon or someone with a similar skill set added to the roster, (ii) Nick Foles *disappeared*, and (iii) a QB drafted in Rds 2-3.

    So, just wanna say, I appreciate that premise.

    • Anders

      Before this restructure I didnt think we would see Vick in midnight green again, but after today its the same thing I think we will see, even tho Kelly keeps speaking very very highly of Foles (tho I also think Foles could do wonders in Kelly’s offense)

    • To clarify, I was never advocating a narrow “win now”
      approach. I brought out the “you play to win the game” line because I thought you were giving the 2013 season short shrift as a campaign featuring competitive football games that was important in its own right, rather than just a springboard into a high pick in the 2014 draft. You almost seemed to be implying that “helps us win games in 2013” would go into the negative column for player evaluation. I think there is a balance between playing for now and playing for the future and it can be very dangerous when you start turning priorities upside down in service of hope for the future.

  • BobSmith77

    Absolutely hated this resigning. This is nothing that Vick brings to the table next year. If Vick is here, he is going to want to start. I have a hard team believing he will play the role of ‘good organizational teammate’ the entire season especially when he is fighting for his NFL future.

    As for his QB skills, he is an injury-prone, turnover producing machine at this point. More importantly, he’s lost that burst to get away from pursuers out of the pocket and was even chased down by LBs this year in the open field. Doesn’t even look like the same guys from 2 years ago who had an incredible burst on busted passing plays when he was scrambling.

    I really wonder too if this was Kelly’s decision or if the final decision was up to Roseman. Strikes me as a bit of move that Roseman forced since he was pretty scared at the prospect of going into next season with no proven NFL QBs on his roster in training camp.

    • A_T_G

      To be fair, from all the reports I’ve read, Vick was a model teammate when demoted last year.

      What leads you to the conclusion that Roseman specifically is scared?

      • BobSmith77

        ‘Scared’ might be too strong a word. More along the lines of what was brought up in this thread with the Eagles being concerned about fielding a more competitive team next year & feel that Vick gives them a better option to do that.

        • A_T_G

          That is certainly fair, but why are you of the belief that this is Roseman more than others? Is it because he snubbed Tommy, because that is certainly sound reason for mistrust.

          • BobSmith77

            No. Simply the fact that Roseman supposedly has the final say on player personnel decisions.

  • D3Keith

    One thing I have not seen addressed anywhere:

    It was once widely assumed that Vick and NA had to go to get under the cap, before the carryover amount was discovered. Bell is cut, but do we think now that Vick coming back means Nnamdi is definitely out? Does what we decide on DRC affect that?

    eaglescap seems to paint the picture that the Eagles have enough flexibility to do whatever they want.

    Guys slated to make $5m+:

    Guys slated to make 2-5m:

    Looks like a bunch of guys making significant dough could be expendable.

    • Iskar36

      If I recall correctly, the Eagles were able to carry over a ton of unused cap space from last year into this year which already gave as a ton more flexibility when it comes to the salary cap. So with the additional restructuring/cutting of NA, we should have great cap space and flexibility.

  • planetx1971

    WOW. This was a real 180 from Vicki saying “Never” to a pay cut. That aside with just a TINY bit of help from the league, we’re going all the way with VICK!! All we have to do is convince the NFLPA and Goodell to cut Mike some SMALL breaks. 1st-NONE. of his picks count. They just have to be convinced he suffers from random color blindness. I’m convinced. 2nd-Seeing he coughs it up more than a room full of hippies with a Bing, whenever he does it’s 1st down Philly regardless of who recovers it. Lastly and most importantly., due to his brittle nature, its two hand touch only for. #7! I don’t think any of that is unreasonable …

  • A_T_G

    Well, to a previous comment I made, I guess I’ll hope this is a stroll down the dead end What-could-have-been lane and not another march through the valley of the shadow of coaches who put their faith in his potential.

  • A few days ago, a very bright poster made this remark about the Billy Davis hiring:

    “It seems that the strong-suit of [Davis’] defense every year has been creating turnovers (rather than shutoutability).

    “I can see why that would be increasingly attractive in today’s NFL. With the way even mediocre offenses can move the ball, trying to create turnovers should be a more lucrative strategy than a futile exercise in trying to stop the opponent in his tracks. As the offensive environment becomes more potent, the importance of possessions grows ever more, while the value of field position shrinks.”

    Here is what Chip Kelly said today when asked about the hire:

    “I’m not caught up with labels. Because I don’t think it’s going to be a ladies and gentlemen defense. I think it’s hopefully going to be a defense that creates a lot of turnovers and gets the ball back to our offense so we can be productive on our offensive side of the ball.”

    Stop stealing our ideas Chip!