We’re all still playing the guessing game when it comes to the Eagles and pick #4. Sheil Kapadia put up an interesting post today with some thoughts on the subject. Here is one comment worth discussing:
“2013 will be about getting Kelly’s system in place. The best way to do that is to solidify the offensive line and give the team’s playmakers a legitimate chance to be successful and learn their roles. That’s why I think the Eagles go offensive line.”
Sheil is completely logical here. Adding an OT early would solidify the O-line and help the overall offense.
What I’m curious about is what Chip’s philosophy is. Does he feel that a premium OL is needed? If you go back and look at Oregon recruiting for the last 5 years, you won’t find any 5-star OL. There were some 4-star recruits, but more 3-star guys. The 5-star players came at other positions.
This could simply be because Oregon didn’t have many top OL in their recruiting areas or it could mean that Kelly felt his system didn’t require great blockers. If you are running quick-hitting run and pass plays, you may be better served loading up on top skill talent and just finding some athletic blockers who fit your system.
I’m really curious to see how this draft plays out.
The Eagles have been checking out OTs, TEs, WRs, RBs, and QBs. The team can’t add all those guys and totally ignore the defense. They could go with more of an offensive slant than we originally expected. As Sheil pointed out, if Kelly feels that getting his system in place is the key, adding the right pieces to the offense may be important to him.
I’m also curious to know Kelly’s football philosophy. If given the choice of a great offense or great defense, which would he choose? You can’t load up on offense and defense equally. You have to focus a bit more on one side. The Eagles offense is more talented right now, but Kelly is an offensive coach and may prefer to focus on that side of the ball. The Eagles are a lot closer to having a championship offense than a championship defense.
The flip side is that Kelly never had anything close to a championship defense at Oregon. That cost him in some games. Will he want to focus on that side of the ball, thinking that he can coach up the offense since that group already has pretty good talent?
I look back at past Eagles teams and focus on the fact that the best ones had outstanding defenses. That is true over decades, with a variety of players and coaches. It just seems that the Eagles are at their best with a top shelf defense. I’d love to see the draft focus on that side of the ball.
I won’t get mad if Kelly loads up on offense. If he feels that building that side of the ball into an elite unit is the way to go, I’ll trust him. All I ask is that all the players become Pro Bowlers and the offense average 45 points a game. That’s reasonable, right?
* * * * *
Jeff McLane has been hesitant to buy into the notion of Nick Foles as the Eagles starter in 2013. Today he posted a piece that asked if Foles could in fact be the Eagles starter. McLane didn’t offer any new info, but you wonder if he’s hearing anything behind the scenes that has caused him to open his mind.
It is hard to watch Oregon games and picture Foles running that offense, but the Eagles reluctance to deal Foles makes you think they like him more than many on the outside think. McLane has also written recently that he doesn’t expect the Eagles to draft Geno Smith. You wonder how much stuff like that is influencing his thinking.
* * * * *
McLane also had an article up on Jason Peters. The 2 most interesting nuggets are the fact that Peters felt healthy enough that he could have played late last season if needed and that he’s hoping to be in the 320-pound range this year. Peters didn’t get on the field since the Eagles were terrible and there was no point to coming back. I’m sure Nick Foles would have liked to have Peters on the field. The goal in getting down to 320 is to be ready for Kelly and his up-tempo offense.
* * * * *
Star Lotulelei update. Reuben Frank reports that Star will be at the NovaCare in the next few days. I’m betting this is legit interest and not a smokescreen.
Gil Brandt reported that Star is not going back to Indy for a Combine medical re-check. This is big news. The NFL brings back any player that they have questions about. If Star isn’t going back, that tells you that NFL teams don’t have any further concerns with his heart or they are okay with the condition and think it can be managed.
* * * * *
The Falcons released RT Tyson Clabo today. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles have any interest. He’s 6-6, 329. The bad news is that he’ll turn 32 in October and isn’t a long term fix. The good news is that he’s started 80 consecutive games and is a quality run blocker.
We’ll just have to wait and see if he’s on the Eagles radar. GM Howie Roseman made it sound like going after guys Clabo’s age wasn’t in the plans.
* * * * *
Just wanted to say thank you for all the kind words and supportive thoughts in the last post. That really meant a lot to me. You guys are the best.