Chip’s Plan

Posted: March 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 59 Comments »

Another day with lots of little Eagles stories coming out.  The first item for me is actually something Sheil Kapadia wrote about yesterday that I think is really insightful.  We’ve spent weeks now trying to figure out how the Eagles will find roles for Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Connor Barwin, and the other DE/LB types on the roster.  Sheil did his research and found out something obvious, but a point I’d completely ignored.

There will be a heavy rotation.

Under Jim Washburn the Eagles used a regular rotation.  When he was fired late last year and Tommy Brasher took over, the Eagles got back to relying mostly on the starters.  The backups were just mixed in here and there.

With Chip Kelly running an up-tempo, no-huddle attack on offense, the defense must be able to do their part.  That means playing a lot of snaps. That means rotating players, especially up front.  I remember reading about this when we were all getting to know Chip, but I’d forgotten about it as we started to focus on the coaching staff, draft prospects, and free agents.

Great job by Sheil to bring this back up and put the situation back into context.  I know I was thinking about 3-4 defenses on other teams when trying to figure the Eagles out.  Did the Steelers have reps for a bunch of pass rushers?  No.  Why would the Eagles need them?  Now this makes sense.  And maybe just maybe there will be snaps for all of the guys.

Make sure to read Sheil’s piece to get all the stats and details.

* * * * *

It sounds like the Jeremy Maclin trade speculation is all bogus.  Geoff Mosher did some digging and couldn’t find anything to it.  I asked around and also coming up with nothing.  There is no reason to deal Maclin per se. You would only move him if he wasn’t part of the long term plans and a team made the right offer.  I think Chip Kelly will want the challenge of turning Maclin into a star player.  Mac has that kind of potential.

Another nugget from Geoff Mosher…the Eagles aren’t looking for any more 1-year players.  They would rather add players that can be here for a few years and help the team get back to being consistently good.  This would rule out Eric Winston in theory, but both Les Bowen and Paul Domowitch have reported that a deal is still possible.  Jeff McLane reported that Howie did have a chat with Drew Rosenhaus today.  Drew is Winston’s agent.  Of course, Drew represents 137 percent of the NFL so there is chance they were talking about any number of players.

* * * * *

If you listen to Jeff Lurie and what he’s telling reporters out at the owners meetings, the Eagles are intent on keeping Nick Foles.  I still won’t say this is set in stone, but the company message is pretty clear.  Chip and Howie keep saying the same thing.

Andy Reid is out in Arizona for the meetings.  No KC reporter made the trip, but I think there were 7 guys from Philly.  Reid has got some serious adjusting to do to handle the KC scrutiny, huh?  Anyway, Reid told Philly reporters that the Eagles weren’t interested in dealing Foles.  From Les Bowen:

“Reid also was asked about quarterback Nick Foles. He reiterated what he’d said at the NFL Scouting Combine — that the Eagles made it clear Foles was not going to be available, and that the Chiefs set their sights on the more experienced Alex Smith right out of the gate, anyway.”

If the Eagles have interest in trading Foles, they’re doing a lousy job of shopping him.  Really seems more and more that Nick is here to say.

* * * * *

Chip Kelly will meet the media tomorrow at the Coaches Breakfast at the owners meetings.  Today was AFC day.  Tomorrow is the NFC day.  I doubt we’ll learn anything great, but this was the only setting where Andy Reid every really opened up to the media so it will be interesting to see how Chip does.

Personally I’ll be disappointed if Chip doesn’t make a movie reference from Red Dawn, Blazing Saddles, or Dazed and Confused.

* * * * *

I have once again exposed Jimmy Bama as a Cowboys traitor.  He actually attacked an article that attacked the Boys.  What a degenerate. I bet he watches the Bad News Bears and cheers for them to lose.  I bet he cheers for the British when watching movies about the Revolutionary War.  The man clearly can’t be trusted.

* * * * * *

Speaking of untrustworthy hacks, some guy wrote a column for PE.com that review the first week of FA.

_


  • Anders

    I really think AR’s personality fits much better with the Chiefs fan base.

    • TommyLawlor

      Agreed, but he still better win some games.

      • Anders

        Andy Reid as coach >>>>>> the last many coaches since Vermeil

        • laeagle

          On both teams….

          • Anders

            Thats scary but true

  • izzylangfan

    Well if Mosher is correct as he appears to be, then Jason LaCanfora is one of those guys that prints rumors and stuff from unverified and even obviously bogus sources.

    • A_T_G

      I honk they call those guys “reporters” now days. In terms of priority, it seems fast and frequent rate way above accurate.

    • http://twitter.com/ThomasOLeary8 Thomas O’Leary

      Is that news? I mean, look at his Howie Roseman smear job…I mean article.

    • limodriver27

      LaCanfora does that on a daily basis, hoping that his “hunches” becomes fact so he can say “As I mentioned earlier…”, while looking for the accolades from his competitors. I take him with a grain of salt when it comes to accuracy.

  • pennguino

    How many times did Cole drop back into coverage when McDermott was running the D? I remember the boards all in an uproar about taking our best pass rusher and dropping him back into coverage.

    Those films should at least give a glimpse of how well Trent did in coverage. he is a few years older now and no longer in his prime. Worth a look though.

    • TommyLawlor

      Someone else already dug up those numbers. Trent dropped back and was an adequate player, but nothing more. He’s not good in coverage.

      • poetx99

        as well as the holistic nature of the whole deal. if you have a quick strike, uptempo offense you are going to HAVE to take that into account with your defensive philosophy, or else you’ll be wearing those guys out.

        sheil did a great job in sourcing ‘horse’s mouth’ quotes from kelly’s former DC that spoke *exactly* to that phenomenon, as opposed to merely speculating or inferring. that’s why he’s the dude.

        thing is, ONE of the more frustrating aspects of the previous regime is that they said these very things. the offense was supposed to be uptempo and quick-strike. teams would have to play from behind. and THEN, we would unleash the defensive line from hell with all of these sack-hungry (*pause*) beasts and an opportunistic, ball-hawking secondary behind them.

        yeah. that kinda never happen. still, i’m like charlie brown with the football. i think that chip an ‘nem will deliver. watching tape on the ducks’ offense and substituting in the eagles’ skill players (including vick) has me thinking that they will lead the league in rushing AND scoring next year. reid and marty never made teams defend the whole field. chip has plays specifically designed to target individual players and turn strengths into weaknesses. can’t wait to see how that looks in the NFL. i seriously think it will translate.

        • shah8

          Why do you not post here more often?

          As far as the previous regime went, I think the plan on the offense made sense. Spread the field out with deep routes and hit Celek or some other short option if the deep routes don’t pan out. Run the ball a bit. What went wrong, both in ’11 and ’12 was that it demanded a tremendous amount of competence from everyone. Vick, for example, had a ton on his plate (and he was asked to do much more as a passer than Dmac ever did). The OL had a ton on their plates as well, with the kind of blocking for deep passes and some of the more dipsy do runs/shovel passes. The WR had to be more attentive to what was going on, because they might have Vick or Shady coming up needing blockers any moment. And broadly speaking, the NFL has seen Reid’s offensive MO since about ’08 or ’09. It had gotten stale as far as being able to surprise anyone. So between a whole lotta two deep safeties and bend-don’t-break attitudes that gave up a ton of yards but could stop an offense without the ability to power for yards on the ground or in the air in the red zone, and that Reid couldn’t surprise defenses as well as he used to–things fell apart.

          What will have to happen (and I hope Benn pans out–we need size so badly at WR), is a total commitment to running the ball–especially up the middle. The last two years have been pretty convincing that your basic dive play *must* be accomplishable for yardage. We have been getting killed by DTs (stunts, twists included) that don’t respect the run into their gaps. Vick has to have more 1-2 quick read and run plays–it’s just not possible to expect even an elusive QB to respect the option of running after a full field read. If no plays are there, just go down quick or climb the pocket before taking off. The center and guard play has to have that pocket reasonably clean for the QB to do so. I think Vick should do fewer rollouts because he is not a reliable passer on the run, and this makes it too easy for the defense. Roll out to run right way, plant and throw right away. No trying to buy time to spot someone while drifting.

  • A_T_G

    I think you are being too hard on yourself, you have mentioned rotating guys plenty. I think the bigger concern is we know plenty of guys can line up for reps in the predator role, but the other side is a bunch of maybes, hopefullys, in a pinches, and he did it back in colleges.

    • TommyLawlor

      Sheil did an excellent job of getting direct quotes and info. Really made me focus on the rotation aspect.

  • A_T_G

    Good summary on PE, but you might want to have a talk with whoever puts together the layout. It seems a little suspicious that the lines right above your name read “…alarmingly soft and were more interested in assigning blame rather than hitting and tackling.”

    • TommyLawlor

      I am not a member of the Charmin Brigade. I am a Lt. Colonel in the Angel Soft Battalion. For different reasons, of course.

      • Cliff

        Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

      • ICDogg

        Onward to the Quilted North!

        • TommyLawlor

          Awesome.

  • SteveH

    I’ve been saying it for a while now but I’ll say it one more time… Vollmer!!

    • TommyLawlor

      I think teams will start talking to him once they leave Arizona. Will be interesting to see what kind of market there is for him.

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      I like that too. Possible problem is that the Eagles might think that the BPA at #4 is going to be a Tackle.

      • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

        Opening it up wider for moving down

    • EaglesHero87

      Not only would acquiring Vollmer be a solid deal, it would also give
      Eagles the added flexibility to select another O-lineman, be it
      Fisher/Joeckel (although I prefer Fisher) or Warmack (yes, I said, even
      Warmack would be a great pick), or trade back for additional picks.

  • Zach

    Tommy, you are very complimentary of both Fletcher and Arrelious Benn.

    But when it comes to their roles on this team, you don’t seem to believe Benn can get his career on track in the same way that Fletcher can?

    Any particular reason? They have both been hurt quite a bit. Both are very young. Both had their roles diminished by their team’s signing of free agents.

    I have high (maybe too high) hopes for Benn.

    • ICDogg

      If Benn only had decent hands he could be very good.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        Unfortunately he has been a body catcher going back to college, so I don’t hold out much hope of that happening. STs and sub-packages might be his ticket.

        • EaglesHero87

          Could he be used in the red zone?

        • shah8

          I was amazed that the NY Jets drafted the Tech WR. I watched that guy drop easy pass after easy pass in college. Nothing like BeBe Thomas. Never, *ever* draft some stupid speedster with no hands, man…Troy Williamson had a highlight real of amazing stone! Better than watching a ball bounce off of Jose Canseco’s head!

    • TommyLawlor

      Benn still has potential, but has never played at a high level in the NFL. Tough to make that leap from guy with potential to flat out good player.

      Fletcher was a good starting CB in 2010. Started off 2011 well before getting hurt.

      Much different situations.

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

    Man, I’m so curious how all this QB stuff is going to shake out.

    They chop a few years off Vick’s deal and basically keep him on a one year “prove it” kind of thang. Chip, Howie and Lurie go together to see Geno in WV, and put him through a “grueling” workout. Now, they all seem to keep talking up Nick Foles like he’s got every chance to win the starting job outright. Dennis Dixon, GJ Kinne and Trent Edwards all sit around wondering what the hell they’re doing here. Meanwhile, the draft is replete with flawed, but promising guys to be had in the later rounds.

    It’s gonna be fun to dissect this stuff after the fact and see where Chip and Howie were stretching the truth, where they were spreading misinformation and where they were outright fibbing.

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      Publicly, they are going to say all nice things about everyone, so you can’t put any stock into the statements. Actions will have to do all the talking.

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

        My point exactly. . .

    • EaglesHero87

      If – and that’s a big IF – the Eagles draft Geno (which I hope to God they don’t, this is going to be an even more interesting story surrounding the QB controversy. I don’t know if Chip and the FO would want that kind of attention.

  • Flyin

    Tommy,

    The positive I take of this, is that these guys are going to be given a chance. Chip hasn’t seen them on the field, and I don’t believe I’ve heard you say you want any d-linemen gone that are currently on the roster. Just figuring out if they fit or not. Looks like Chip is going to take the guess work out of it.. I like it.

    • fran35

      Good point. After years of starters just keeping their jobs based on tenure, I welcome the competition and the accountability. Plus, young players and unproven guys will love to come here because they know that Kelly will give everyone a chance.

  • Baloophi

    This might be slightly unrelated, but here’s video of Howie Roseman* playing piano with the Piano Man!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p04TYk4j0zQ

    * Not really Howie

  • EaglesHero87

    Tommy,

    Do you mind elaborating a little more by the definition of a “heavy” rotation? Does this mean a lot of rotations with both the DEs and OLBs? In what scenarios would the DEs and OLBs need to be substituted?

    What about going against teams who go with the no-huddle? Is it even possible to rely on a heavy rotation?

  • http://twitter.com/JerryP2375 Jerry Pomroy

    I think that some people are missing the value in Benn & why he was brought here. His strengths lie in run blocking, WR screens & RAC. He is a very good compliment to what we believe Chip will run on offense. He’s not a liability on the field and in a hurry-up offense he doesn’t need to come off the field in certain situations and ruin the tempo. He is also a guy that they can use in many different formations and move around once the QB reads the defense. Oh and he can play on STs.

  • pricebe

    The amount of plays both side of the ball are going to have with Kelly’s uptempo offense concerns me. Kelly’s not going to have the numbers he had in college, and having the players have more plays per game ups the risk of injury. He’s going to need extraordinary depth to do what he wants to do.

    It also makes me think the days of having a special teams specialist are gone, you’re going to need to be able to play some kind of position well to be on this team.

    ie: Kelly’s affinity for versatile players, makes me think Ziggy Ansah is on the table. The kid could play 5 different positions in this defense (all three DLine spots and both OLB spots. Of course the nose would only be in obvious passing situations).

    • limodriver27

      Actually, it would appear that his roster will appear to be defense-heavy for the very fact you mention. (His own words…), he anticipates the defense will have longer playing minutes, thus the insurance of having duplicate bodies with very similar skill sets always having fresh legs.
      And yes, versitility will be

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

    [At a suburban MD drive-in. Robert Griffin III, Daniel Snyder, and Mike Shannahan are hanging out in RG III's car]

    Dan Snyder: . . . So there I am, getting it on with this perfect female body and . . .

    Shannahan: What?

    Snyder: I can’t say.

    Shannahan: No, you can’t give a build-up like that and not deliver. You know, a perfect female body, it’s not a bad start.

    Snyder: But with the head of Roger Goodell. With the ginger hair and everything.

    Shannahan: (shuddering) Sorry, man.

    [A midnight green GTO pulls up next to RG III's station wagon. Chip Kelly is driving, with Don Smolenski riding shotgun]

    Chip Kelly: (to RG III) How you doin’?

    RG III: Pretty good.

    Kelly: Cool. I heard about your knee getting busted.

    RG III: Oh, yeah . . .

    Kelly: Not to worry; there’s a new fiesta in the making as we speak. It’s just up I-95 at the Nova Care Complex. Run-heavy spread offense, speedy playmakers, great offensive line. You should come.

    RG III: (smiles) OK, sure.

    Kelly: Say, you need a ride?

    RG III: No, I’ve got my own car, thanks.

    Kelly: Yeah, well, listen. You ought to ditch the two geeks you’re in the car with now and get in with us. But that’s all right, we’ll worry about that later. I will see you there. All right?

    RG III: (smiles, plays with hair, nods and waves) Bye.

    Kelly: I love those mobile franchise QBs.

    Smolenski: (through a haze of pot smoke) I know you. I know you. You hung 31 points on us last November.

    • TommyLawlor

      Great. I needed a laugh today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/watkinsont Tom Watkinson

    Any word on Danario Alexander and the Birds? He brings the H/W/S factor Chip likes, offers a ton of upside if you look at what he did last year in 9 games and when he was healthy w the rams, and wouldn’t cost us anything bc San Diego tendered him so low. I know he has serious injury history but most recently he looked like a top 20 wr in the nfl who certainly brings a strong redzone option here for the eagles. Especially if Maclin gets traded or bolts next year, you may land a wr1 for the price of wr3 or 4. I heard a rumor we had him in last week —- ANY TRUTH???????????????????? Can you ask around?

    • ICDogg

      He’s an RFA, and not of the quality that you would make a tough-to-match offer. So all we’d be doing his helping him re-sign with San Diego.

      • http://www.facebook.com/watkinsont Tom Watkinson

        So your reasoning is Chargers will match any offer so why even try? Maybe his injury history will make them think twice much like Kenny Philips and the Giants or Chung and the Pats or Fletcher and the Rams. I understand they were UFAs but reports are none of their original teams had interest bringing them back. The Chargers interest seem objectively minimal to safe anywhere from 500k-1mil if they offered a higher tender.

        He put up 37/658/7tds for a brand new team off the street in 9 games last year .. and most importantly did it against some of the top cover units in the nfl .. denver, kc, pittsburgh, jets, cincy … thats flowers, champ, taylor, cro, leon … He is 6/5 and 24 years old and runs like a gazelle and played in the spread in missouri. Fits chip’s H/W/S mismatch criteria at an elite valued position (2d most to qb). Chargers have a lot of money invested in Meachem, Royal, Floyd, and Gates. 99% of restricted free agent resign with their tender teams, but typically starters aren’t tendered so low (he wouldn’t cost us a pick). Other than the injury history, his upside (70/1200/10 tds) vs risk (zero to little guaranteed) $) seems minimal at best. What could hurt by offering him 3 yrs for 9 mil w 1.5 mil guaranteed similar to Gibson or Avery just got (or same contract with nothing guaranteed like we did w Philips)?? Whats the downside?

        He allows Chip to play maclin or djax all over the formation and also takes the top of a defense and provides an elite red zone/deep target. Those guys don’t grow on trees. If he gets hurt, cut him…no lost sleep. Am I missing something? Would love other’s views

        • ICDogg

          no harm in trying, I guess

  • deg0ey

    I saw a quote from Roseman earlier today (which I can’t seem to find anywhere, but I think it was in one of Sheil’s pieces) where he basically said that Barwin could play on either side of the Eagles new D because the positions are interchangeable. Can we take that as a suggestion that they’re intending to run a more traditional 3-4 defense than the much-talked-about 4-3 under?

    • Iskar36

      I’ve debated if that is a real possibility, but another way it could be interpreted is based on what we heard earlier when we first hired Davis. Apparently he likes to keep guys on a certain side, so “strong side” and “weak side” may be misnomers for our outside linebackers. We may instead have a LOLB and a ROLB, but with the ROLB (?) as more of a rushing linebacker (predator) and the LOLB as the guy who may stay in coverage a bit more (SAM). I’m not sure how that would work when the TE lines up on the left side though (on the ROLBs side).

    • ICDogg

      3-4 under is almost the same as a 4-3 under except the rush end stands up instead of being in the track stance. So it probably doesn’t make much difference.

      • deg0ey

        The key difference as far as I’ve been able to gather from people that know more about this than I do is that, in a 4-3 under, the strong-side outside linebacker is asked to drop into coverage much more frequently than in a more traditional 3-4; the difference between the ‘predator’ and the ‘SAM’ that we’ve been discussing for a while now.

        What I can’t decide is whether Roseman’s comment that the positions are interchangeable means that both positions are identical (i.e not a 4-3 under) or if he just means that everybody will be expected to do some of each, so it makes no real difference.

        • ICDogg

          The difference is the coverage on the backs in general, which is the responsibility of the “Predator” or equivalent.

  • shah8

    For a whole host of reasons, this is a great blogpost to help you think about how to mix and match statistics or other data and what you actually see in a sporting event. Or any other phenomenon you only have access to through data…

    http://jayyonamine.com/?p=590

  • austinfan

    One thing that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention is Stoutland. Michigan State, Miami, Alabama, don’t remember these teams running a lot of read option, in fact, weren’t they primarily power zone blocking teams.

    So Stoutland and Shurmer and Chip, three different approaches to offense.
    Doesn’t make sense unless Chip is planning to totally revamp his Oregon offense for the NFL, and wanted coaches who understood the NFL short passing game and how to use more physical OL in a zone blocking scheme (i.e. a line with Peters, Herremans, Watkins and Kelly instead of those Oregon shrimps).

  • ICDogg
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