The Chip Effect

Posted: April 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 73 Comments »

We’ve talked a lot about the draft and free agency.  The Eagles added a bunch of new players already and we’re excited to see what happens in 3 weeks.  The cupboard wasn’t bare to start with, but the new staff will have lots of extra pieces to work with.

I am curious about the holdovers.  Back in 1999, Andy Reid and his staff inherited a talented, but flawed team.  The coaches brought in new systems and ideas and it really helped some players.  Brian Dawkins went from solid young FS to Hall of Fame material.  Jermane Mayberry went from underachiever to very good RG.  Brandon Whiting found a home at LDE.  Ike Reese developed into a STs stud.  Duce Staley played his best football.  And so on.

It will be interesting to see how the current Eagles respond to Kelly.  I really think the Eagles have some good talent in place.  Look at WR, for instance.  DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have big time potential.  To this point, they have not lived up to their potential.  Some of that is on them.  Jackson let his contract get in the way in 2011.  He and Mac have both had some injuries that affected them.  Mac has struggled to adjust to the physical nature of the NFL.  I expect Kelly to be hard on them.  Good enough won’t be good enough.

We’ve seen both DJax and Mac have games where they looked great.  The ability is there.  They must play up to that level more consistently.  I think Kelly’s offense can help.  Andy Reid fell in love with the deep ball in 2004 and that was somewhat of a curse.  When it worked, the offense was explosive.  When it didn’t, the offense was stagnant and awkward.  Kelly’s philosophy is less rigid.  He just want yards and points.  If the defense has taken away the deep ball, throw short.  If they’re up tight in coverage, go deep.  Take what they’re giving you.

Kelly is going to make his receivers block if they want to stay on the field.  DJax will give you the effort.  He’s just small.  Mac?  That’s a huge question.  Kelly will prod him.  That could bring out the best in Mac.  Maybe the light will go on and he’ll start playing aggressively instead of being Self-Tacklin’ Jeremy Maclin.  Or…Mac might hate Kelly and the staff pushing him.  He might sulk and become a negative presence.  We really don’t know.  DJax is excited about the change and it sounds like he’s ready to have a breakout year.  Just because he’s saying the right things doesn’t make them true.  For whatever reason, I do believe him.  DeSean has a competitive streak.  I think Kelly can tap into that and bring out the best in him.

Kelly could have an impact on any number of players.  I’d love him to bring out the best in Nate Allen.  I’d love to see Curtis Marsh pan out.  We’re all curious to see how Danny Watkins responds.  Is there any hope for Casey Matthews?

Not all players will like the new staff, but I think enough will that it will be a net positive effect.  Kelly is a smart coach and he’s assembled what looks like a good staff.  Heck, sometimes there is value in simply making a change.  The team and Andy Reid may have been in a rut.  That stuff happens.  Bill Walsh believed a coach should move on after 10 years.  Andy’s 10th season was 2008, when the Eagles went to the NFC title game.

Having a new boss and set of assistants to run the show will make everybody a bit uncomfortable at first.  We’ll quickly find out which players can handle the change.  Some will love it.

Are there players you think will thrive?

Who are the players you think may struggle to adjust?

* * * * *

I thought you guys might like to know that I got an email from Howie Roseman offering his condolences for the passing of my dad.  That was nice of Howie to do.  Much appreciated.

I’m assuming the dozens of Eagles cheerleaders that read this blog and cyberstalk me encouraged him to do it.  Great work, ladies.  You truly are angels.

_


  • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham Bebin Abraham

    Ahh Tommy never change, never change

    “I’m assuming the dozens of Eagles cheerleaders that read this blog and
    cyberstalk me encouraged him to do it. Great work, ladies. You truly
    are angels.”

  • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham Bebin Abraham

    Question Tommy, How effective do you think Vinny Curry can be at the 5 tech. if that’s where they put him.

  • Greg M

    Tommy:

    Do you think Milliner is a possible pick @ #4? Hasn’t been much linking him to the Eagles in the media besides the recent visit. Is height a concern here at all given Kelly’s preferences on ‘long’ players?

    • Mac

      I could be off base here, but I believe I heard that Milliner was having trouble catching balls that were thrown at him at the combine. Lock down or not, a CB with stone hands is not worth a top 10 pick.

      • Baloophi

        He indeed was having difficulty with that at the combine, BUT I also recall Mayock et al saying that was very out of character… For what it’s worth…

      • xeynon

        Nnamdi (Oakland version) was not a particularly effective ballhawk. Didn’t stop him from being the best CB in football. It’s obviously better to have a guy who makes big plays too, but a true shutdown corner who neutralizes the opposition’s best receiver is absolutely worth a top 10 pick. The question is whether Milliner can be that guy.

        • Cliff

          I have to second this opinion because if you are a shut down corner, you’re probably not getting many passes your way anyway.

    • RC5000

      Milliner was a very popular pick for the Eagles by the talking heads until they signed Williams and Fletcher and haven’t signed an OT. Now they can take a starting lineman and get a corner later. I wouldn’t eliminate Milliner but they could love Joeckel, Fisher, Star, Jordan (and maybe even Floyd and Johnson). OL/DL could be a slightly bigger need and might be the BPAs also.

  • Mac

    I had a feeling that Howie has a soul… call it a hunch… Glad to hear the Eagles brass reaching out to one of the best in the blogging biz.

    Our prayers are with you and your family today Tommy.

  • GermanEagle

    I seriously believe that DJ will thrive in CK’s offense. JMac, not so much. Personally I think he’s a wuss and be will always be one. That’s why I also think that CK and the Eagles are considering Tavon Austin in the first round. Please make them trade down!

    Re Howie: just a class act move. Though this will not ease your pain much, Tommy. My feelings are still with you and your family. You’re a good boy!

    • Mac

      Pains me to say it, because I was an early Maclin supporter/believer. But if he can’t come back this year and show us he’s healthy and ready to scrap for yards and throw some blocks… I’ve seen enough.

  • Davesbeard

    I can’t wait for the early camps and then training camp in particular. There are going to be a lot of surprises!

    Very thoughtful and classy move by Howie and the eagles brass. Things like that can really help lift your spirits, even if briefly. Hope you’re doing ok Tommy, your writing remains fantastic as ever.

  • ACViking

    Re: J-Maclin and the Staff

    T-Law:

    You wrote regarding a push from the staff: “He might sulk and become a negative presence. We really don’t know.”

    I’d be surprised if Maclin — no matter what a staff says of does, here or anywhere else — ever sulked or became a locker-room lawyer (i.e., bad presence).

    Maclin’s personal background, the obstacle’s he’s overcome both before and after reaching the NFL signal a humble man with a high level of integrity.

    Now, he may never be a blocking WR. He may just stink at it. And his best effort may look like garbage.

    But, given what he’s overcome, I don’t see Maclin as someone who’ll sulk or start lawyering up the locker room.

    Maclin is no T.O. in that regard.

    Just my theory.

    • deg0ey

      Agree with that. I wonder whether we might see him traded after the draft, though. If he doesn’t take to the new style of coaching/his best blocking isn’t good enough then maybe they opt to send him somewhere that his talents are better suited.

      I still think the Rams would be ideal; they have basically nothing at receiver right now and I feel like Mac would fit in as a home-town-hero pretty well.

      • Miami_Adam

        STJM would probably be a good fit with St. Louis. Can’t imagine they’d trade pick 22 for him. Maybe pick 46 though. I wonder if Chip likes Keenan Allen more and thinks he’d be available at 46.

        • deg0ey

          I was thinking they might go for Maclin and a conditional pick next year for 22. If he’s good enough for them then he’s worth 22 and if not they get some extra compensation.

          • Miami_Adam

            Good point. Howie seems to really like using conditional picks to even out trades.

  • http://twitter.com/ProtoTyler Tyler Phillips

    Total class by Howie.

    I know Avant is a top shelf guy, but I think he will struggle to adapt. I’m not sure how valuable he is since he is so lacking in speed and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cut.

    • awful waffle

      While Kelly likes speed, he also likes bigger receivers who can block. Avant isn’t “big” per se, but he’s one of their best blockers at the position and is a very high character individual. Based on the fact that pretty much every FA we signed was a high character player makes me think that’s a really important quality in the players moving forward. I think Avant stays, at least for the next year or two.

      • http://twitter.com/ProtoTyler Tyler Phillips

        True enough. He is a good blocker. I just know there will be some cuts we don’t expect. Avant is older with no upside and we are starting a new direction. I just don’t know where he fits if Kelly wants to run 2wr 2te 1rb. Loses his blocking value if we run less 3wr. Of course that is yet to be seen but from most ideas that is where we are trending

  • Septhinox

    Nice move by Roseman. That should clear up your question from Mobile as well.

    Also, With them not signing a veteran OT, doesn’t that leave a few clear options?

    1. Draft one high
    2. They are higher on Dennis Kelly than may seem

    3. OL isn’t a big priority for Chip.

  • Iskar36

    The weird thing with Maclin is, in his rookie year, I remember being very impressed with the effort he gave in blocking. On at least a few big plays, Maclin was down field making important blocks that made a difference on the play.

  • ACViking

    Re: Bill Walsh’s 10-year Theory

    T-Law:

    Walsh stated his 10-year coach-with-one-team theory during the era preceding both free agency and the salary cap . . . both of which require fairly substantial turnover of the roster every year and losing good players (the cap) every 3-4 years.

    I think Reid’s failure was on the personnel side, both players and coaches. The decisions he made in 2010 and 2011 didn’t pan out. Reid kept churning the roster and kept is young *on average*.

    But the problems were injuries to Allen and Graham . . . the Pearl Harbor of the 2012 O-line . . . the 2011 draft . . . misjudging the Troika of Nnamdi, Asante, and DRC . . . and making Juan the DC, and hiring (at Howie’s urging, ’cause Howie’s a risk-taker) “Mr. Wide 9″.

    But the biggest miss of all . . . the QB position. Neither Kolb nor Vick panned out. The fact that Reid benched Kolb after his injury in Game 1 of 2011 speaks volumes about how much he was admitting he missed on that move. And then Vick — after the Viking Tuesday Night Disaster — never solved the blitz.

    All that said, what I think became “stale” was Marty’s game plans. Like you said, long ball-mania.

    Reid’s biggest weakness was his stubbornness — not only in game planning, but apparently in the draft room, too.

    Anyway, it’s Chip-Time now.

    And until proven otherwise, I’m going with CK as “The Renaissance Man.”

    • A_T_G

      I can agree with all of this except Juan. It was definitely unconventional and risky, but I think Juan was scapegoated just as he was starting to hit a stride.

      • laeagle

        I think Juan was his biggest mistake. Maybe Juan would have worked out OK. But that hire set up all the bullshit with Washburn, and the dysfunction. A proven, respected DC would have had the clout to stop a lot of shit before it happened. Maybe the results aren’t a winning season, but it wouldn’t have gone nearly as pearshaped. I love Andy, and respect his loyalty, but the Juan hiring was a disaster for numerous reasons, not all of them Juan.

        • Wilbert M.

          You respect Andy’s loyalty after he hung Juan out to dry??

          • laeagle

            he only hired him out of loyalty. When he fired him, what else was he supposed to do? It wasn’t ideal, but again, what else? The mess was Andy’s. They’re still on good terms, right?

          • Wilbert M.

            Good terms? Juan is a Raven – not a Chief. Juan plays the good soldier but I bet he is plenty pissed at Andy.

          • laeagle

            He can be pissed at Andy all he wants, but who the hell else would have given him a shot at being anything on the defensive side of the ball, let alone a coordinator? Things didn’t work out, and Andy fired him. It’s not the grand betrayal you’re making it out to be. Andy fired Juan from a position that no one else in the world would have ever given him. If Juan wants to hold a grudge about that, that’s his prerogative, but any sane person would not.

          • Ark87

            You’re just mad at Juan because his 3 wins are the reason we don’t have #1 overall :-D

          • deg0ey

            Based on what we’ve learned since, I think what he was supposed to do was fire Washburn instead of Juan at that point. If things still didn’t improve then maybe Castillo had to go too, but I thought we’d established by now who was the most dysfunctional part of that staff.

    • Wilbert M.

      I like your analysis. Andy’s personnel decisions sucked. Gocong, T’eo Nesheim, Ricky Sapp, Guys that didn’t fit the defense – what was he thinking? Wahsburn & Juan was doomed to fail. But, the Kolb situation was the killer. Andy bailed on Kolb and hitched his wagon to the coach killer and he got killed. He would have been better off in the long run sticking with Kolb.

      • http://twitter.com/ezgreene ezgreene

        This couldn’t be more wrong. T’eo was drafted just because he fit the kind of defense Sean wanted to run, with hybrid players like T’eo and Clayton. Sapp was a late-round flyer, we’re going to take Reid to school over that?

        Gocong was fine, and proved to be more than serviceable.

        There was no way in hell after Vick’s 2010 season any coach would have gone to Kolb, are you serious?

  • austinfan

    My condolences as well, having lost a father to cancer. As you age, the inevitable starts to loom, but you’re never prepared to lose a parent.

    Harbor – will compete with Momah and Carrier and Emil for the H-back role
    Cooper, Cunningham, Salas, McNutt – the new offense should be a better fit for their skill package, more emphasis on physical play, less on speed
    Watkins – if Stoutland can’t save him, no one can, good fit

    Kelly – “Power” zone blocking gives him a shot, a Gibbs type OL wouldn’t be a good fit, same with Menkin

    Dixon – I don’t think he’s a good enough athlete
    Cameron – he may be a sleeper, could back up the “3” and “5”
    Thornton – the “5” is perfect for his body and skill set
    Chaney – I think he’s best on the weak side, see and attack
    Matthews – not sure he’s big enough for MLB
    Marsh – if you want them, tall, physical and fast, he has the raw material
    Anderson, Sims, Coleman – don’t fit the mold at safety.

    • Mac

      Do you think there will be a slot at 4/5 safety depth for Anderson, especially given Chip’s enthusiasm for good special teams play?

      • Lukekelly65

        i really like Anderson so i hope he stays but i think its all depending on how the draft shakes out if they miss out on a few of the guys they liked maybe they will keep him for his ST play… I really like Rontez Miles and Eric Reed if one of them falls to them i think it would make Colt expendable

      • deg0ey

        I’d say Chip’s enthusiasm for special teams play makes it even less likely he makes the team. ST contribution is going to be a bigger factor in which ‘position players’ he acquires going forward, so I’d expect an increased number of guys that are capable of being good STers AND more than emergency depth in the other phases of the game which will reduce the need to keep a guy solely for STs.

      • austinfan

        These things will be decided in camp.

        However, given that the top 3 safeties may not be starting in 2014, look for safeties to be drafted early and often, so there may not be “room at the inn.”

      • Miami_Adam

        Haha I don’t think Anderson, Sims, or Coleman fit anyone’s mold at the NFL level. Colt has a chance of staying for ST, but I agree with deg0ey. Doesn’t look good for any of them, and that’s probably good for us.

        I’m really looking forward to seeing if Nate Allen can step up. I know we brought in two starting-type guys, but if Nate lives up to potential he could overtake the FS position long term.

  • Razz-a-Matazz

    Hey Tommy. Been a while, since I commented, but still read everything you write. Having good thoughts for you and your family in your time of loss and for your Father, as he moves on. Much love, brother.

  • xeynon

    Good to know that behind all the power drunk megalomania Howie has a heart and a feel for the Eagles community.

    Keep up the good work Tommy. I know what you’re going through and all of us are behind you.

    • laeagle

      Howie was also recently seen counseling Jason La Canfora through a rough time, when Jason realized he was woefully underqualified for his profession.

  • P_P_K

    Classy move by Howie. The dude just rose in my estimation.

    But you can thank me for the cheerleaders. I got tired of them hanging on all over me…

    • Mac

      Yeah, hopefully news like this will help some folks warm up to Howie. I think he’s a legit top tier GM (either already or on his way soon). We’ll see how this draft pans out!

      • A_T_G

        Oh look at you with the brown nosing now that it is apparent he reads the blog. Next you will be casually mentioning throw the massage training you recently completed is focused on flexibility and pompom related shoulder injuries.

        (I kid. I know you have been supportive of Howie in the past, and I agree.)

        • Mac

          Haha… how’d you know about that?

  • bdbd20

    I’m anxious to see what Clay Harbor looks like in this offense. Nobody is talking about him. Hopefully Chip/Pat find ways to take advantage of his skillset.

    • Anders

      I like Harbor alot. He is extremely athletic and has been an okay no. 2 TE consider his minimal use

  • JJ_Cake

    Thx for sharing that Howie contacted you Tommy. HR does not get much love from eagles fans, and it’s not mostly because he doesn’t have the years of football experience. Howie has gotten some serious deals done for us. Maybe not all FA and draft picks have panned out, but he seems to be doing his homework and doing a good job. He and Lurie are my favorite owner gm tandem. Hope Kelly is The final piece.

  • xlGmanlx

    I was impressed with DJAX’s season until he got shut down for the year. I think his head was in the game and somebody like Kelly could take DJAX’s career to the next level. I think Kelly’s running mindset plus being a great play caller (which we haven’t had) and making adjustments, we probably should see improvement numbers wise to those who buy into Kelly’s system and make the team.

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    I think that there’s a good chance Jeremy Maclin will go all out and live up to his potential this year, just because this is the final year of his contract. My concern is that the effort will be there only until he gets a new one.

    • Anders

      What has Maclin ever done for you to think that? Maclin has always been one the most humble players in the NFL

      • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

        Humility has nothing to do with it.

        It’s natural to want a big contract, so it’s easy to imagine him gearing up and giving his all this season. I wouldn’t expect that to last, though. If he had been that kind of player, we wouldn’t be calling him Self-Tacklin’ Jeremy Maclin.

        • Anders

          You do know Maclin played like this in college as well? Maclin is great with the ball in his hands but he almost never broke tackles in college and went down rather fast in college, so all the this self tackling thing as nothing to do with attitude also why are we hating Maclin for doing what we have always wanted Mike Vick to do?

          • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

            Because one is a WR and the other is a QB?

            We wanted Vick to protect himself because an injury to the starting QB is usually devastating. Maclin takes care of protecting himself all on his own, despite the fact that it isn’t what good WRs do.

            I do think it’s his attitude, actually, but even if it isn’t it changes nothing. Actually, it’s worse. If it was attitude, you could convince him to do what is required to make himself a great WR. If it’s built-in, then we might as well try and trade him before the season.

          • Anders

            I wouldnt mind trading him, but for way other reasons. I think Maclin will have a great year, not because of him been in just contract year, but because the chance is very great that Kelly will use Maclin like he was used in college

          • Wilbert M.

            Why don’t we use Maclin as a returner?? If you watched him in college, you know he was an explosive returner. I never understood why he wasn’t at least rotated in to return punts.

          • Anders

            We tried his rookie year, he could hardly field a punt in TC

  • http://twitter.com/deshawnbentley BG

    What Howie needs to do, since it is evident he is in some form exposed to this blog, is offer Tommy a scouting position with the team. Even as an intern to begin.

    • Sb2bowl

      But, would Tommy want it?

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

      Obviously Howie would not be interested in hiring his replacement.

  • zbone95

    Tommy I had a question, Lets say we were going to go pure 3-4. What is the point of taking Shariff Floyd if we already have a similar young player in Fletcher Cox. No point in drafting another 3-tech when we already have one. If they wanted to go D, Just based on fit, Star Lotelelei would be the choice. I still want Eric Fisher at pick 4 just because of his athleticism and his anchor plus our OT’s are over 30 and you don’t know how Jason Peters will play after his Achilles.

    • Neil

      I would say at this point it’s more likely that if the Eagles run pure anything, it’s a 4-3. Regardless of whether we draft Floyd.

  • jshort

    Tommy, post Howie’s email address in case any one of us has a question to ask him.

    On Howie offering his condolences, I was expecting nothing less. Actually, it did cross my mind when I was reading the comments to the update article. It was very nice of him. He just rose a few rungs on the ladder, in my book.

  • Gregory Post

    Tommy, don’t be ridiculous. There’s absolutely no way the cheerleaders had anything to do with Howie Roseman’s email.

    This was all obviously done by Megan Fox.

  • Wilbert M.

    I get the impression that the team has already off-loaded the guys that may not have bought into Chipadelphia. Certainly the dogs at CB had to go, but Cullen Jenkins would have been a nice fit in the 3-4 and he was cut loose right away. I’m surprised Vick survived, but it must have been too tempting for Chip to be the guy who finally solves Vick’s issues. I’ll enjoy seeing guys like Marsh be honestly evaluated, rather than having Andy keep dead wood on the team year after year just because he drafted them too high. And, to answer your question, there is no hope for Casey Matthews.

    • Flyin

      How dare you say that… Bill Davis ate at the Matthew’s family dinner table this evening. Can’t you imagine the possibilities?

  • cliff henny

    Self tacklin Jeremy Maclin is easily one of my top 5 all-time favorite philly nicknames. my favorite is still Izell ‘toast’ Jenkins, not for originality, he certainly wasnt the first ‘toast’ but because fans had no problem calling that right to him and he answered it. how many times you think the phrase ‘f-ing toast’ was uttered in greater philly area during mid 80’s?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      Izel got blamed a lot for not being able to do things that most corners cannot do. It is the responsibility of the coach to put the players into situations where they can succeed. If you have an average corner, you don’t constantly leave him on his own without safety help, unless you are willing to have him get burnt a lot.

  • NoDecaf

    Tommy, you are a lighthouse for eagles fans around the world. I am glad Howie realizes that. Cheers.

  • Birdsrookie

    Felt like the initial post was overly optimistic about Djax. While on receivers, I initially thought both were too short for Kelly. This isnt true with Mac and Jackson at 6’0 and 5’10 respectively, because they are right around the size of Kelly’s top 3 WRs in 2012 (5’11, 5’9, 5’9). If you compare Mac and Djax’s combine measurables, they both seem interchangeable. Vick is short and would benefit in the pocket from having a taller receiver (Drew Bree’s has Colston at 6’4.) Does anyone see them competing against one another for a spot next year?

    On TEs:
    Drafting a tight end like Gronk or Graham would help Vick considerably (assuming a lot I know). Celek isn’t athletic enough and Casey’s to short for that role. Moore isn’t just too short, he’s too light. Eifert and Ertz have the right body type. Ertz could fall to Chip & Howie in the 2nd. Escobar (also ~ 6’6, 250) could be a steal.

    Hang in there Tommy, glad you took time to be with your family.

    • Geagle

      Escobar is the player I’m drooling to see paired with Celek and Casey! I think Esco will become the best TE in this class

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