Welcome to Kellyworld

Posted: April 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 48 Comments »

The Eagles held their first practice on Tuesday. The players were in helmets, but no pads. Things moved at a brisk pace. There was loud music blaring. And Chip Kelly was the circus master. We are officially in Chip Kelly’s world.

Nobody got to watch practice and honestly there probably isn’t too much to take away from it. The coaches are looking to see how the guys handle instructions and keep up with the pace, but this isn’t like real football with contact where you can see who can play and who can’t. The coaches do get the benefit of seeing the players on the move. Game tape and 40 times are one thing, but the eye test up close and personal is a whole other. Kelly loves fast, athletic players. He’ll start to see who has a legit shot to make it in his systems and who might be the square peg in the round hole.

We do know that Danny Watkins was at RG and Todd Herremans at RT. Jason Peters practiced and boy is that good to hear. Players rotated quite a bit so there is no true depth chart to make much of. Nick Foles and Mike Vick split reps.

Kelly said in his PC that the team lined up in 3-4 and 4-3 looks. Kelly did make one really interesting comment in regard to the 3-4. He said that if you want to run that, you need big guys that can play 2-gap. This is a telling comment. The 4-3 Under is a 1-gap defense. Are we in fact going to play more of a pure 3-4? Sounds like that is a possibility. The defense will remain a mystery until Training Camp when we finally get to see them line up and play.

Kelly’s PC was interesting. He was relaxed and joked with the media. He was at ease. Andy Reid always seemed like he was being interrogated. Kelly had some fun. Jeff McLane of the Inquirer was trying to get info on who the team might draft when Kelly turned the tables on him and asked who McLane would pick. McLane hesitated for a minute and then said “Eric Fisher”. There was a lot of laughter at the strange sequence. Kelly wasn’t being snide to McLane, but rather interacting with him and trying to prove a point.

There were a lot of questions about who the Eagles should/would take. Kelly pointed out that there are no “can’t miss” guys. He talked about how last year you had Andrew Luck. This year there are no can’t miss QBs or players in general. That led to the exchange with McLane. Another reporter later on was asking about scenarios. Kelly replied that he didn’t like to give answers for scenarios. This led to an exchange about Player Y or Player Z. Kelly quipped “I’ll take Player Z” and that brought a lot of laughs.

Kelly did say that there is value in the practices and that they would impact the upcoming draft. Don’t necessarily take this to mean something he sees will affect pick #4. My guess is that he’s talking more about backup players and that would affect late round picks. Does Dallas Reynolds do a good job with shotgun snaps and make Kelly comfortable with him as the backup C? Does Nate Menkin look good on the move and make Kelly comfortable with him as a backup G? Maybe Curtis Marsh looks good and that makes the coaches more comfortable with the backup CB situation. Maybe Antonio Dixon is in good shape and looks good enough that he can be the backup NT. And so on.

A lot of questions were asked about the depth chart and Kelly made it clear that things are wide open. I go back to what he said at the owners meetings. Kelly said the depth chart will set itself, meaning that it is up to the players to win/lose jobs. He truly does want competition and will give every player a chance to win a job.

One of the things I liked the most is that Kelly talked about wanting to get some tape of the guys in action so that he and the coaches could study it and then use the tape to teach the players. Handing a playbook to players is a good way for them to get a general idea of concepts, but show them tape of themselves in action and they are much more likely to understand what the coaches want. And Kelly stressed that mistakes are expected. These are new coaches, new systems, and new roles. The key is for players to learn from the mistakes and not to repeat them.

71 of 74 players practiced fully. Jason Kelce, Chris McCoy, and Evan Moore were the 3 players who had limited participation.

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PE.com has a video up with a couple of practice clips and some PC clips.

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Jimmy Bama and I recorded a new show last night. The first 5 or so minutes are on Kelly and his PC. Then we go on for 80 minutes to discuss the draft.

* * * * *

Don’t forget to stay up to date at EaglesBlog.net. I’m posting every draft nugget I stumble across.

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  • Septhinox

    I think the comment about the practices affecting the draft are telling. I think he’s evaluating things such whether or not to keep Brandon Graham. He even said they want to see if he’s only a 3-4 end. That was very telling.

    My guess is tht they have an offer on the table for Graham and want to be sure they make the correct choice.

    • Baloophi

      I thought the same thing when Kelly talked about BG…

    • Arby1

      That would be asking a lot of Graham, to show enough to reassure Kelly that he could pick up OLB in 3 days. I wonder how much the knee injury affects his dropping back ability. That is something they could probably see right away.

      • Septhinox

        What they can check and easily see is mobility. The same type of things that one checks at the combine when putting players through drills.

        You either have mobility to drop back or you don’t. The rest can be taught.

      • Geagle

        Seeing how a Dlineman moves around in coverage, is one of the few things I think you can asses(to a degree in a 3day, no contact camp)….Im not suggesting that its the case, but I do think its possible, that you take a Dlineman, and ask him to drop back, and immediately come to the conclusion that we cant ask this player to cover.
        Because its a contract year, I do think its a possibility that Graham gets traded. I wouldnt be surprised to see Barwin as our Predator this year or next, with Dion as the SAM..I think Both Cole and Graham could be gone by 2014

      • Ark87

        BG is arguably our best pass rusher with his hand in the dirt unless Cole bounces back from his down year. If you find out you can’t let him try to drop in coverage ever, you likely keep him for when we run a 4 man front in the nickle sub-package. I don’t think there is any doubt that we keep BG.

  • GvilleEagleFan

    So glad to hear Peters is practicing, I can’t wait to see him blowing up guys in TC. Any details on why Kelce was held out and how his rehab is coming, and does his inability to practice make drafting Barrett Jones more likely? Loved the draft talk, can’t wait till you guys get into the late round targets. One possible way to organize the next draft show could be talking about each position you guys think the Eagles need to add depth at, what Kelly and co. could be looking for at that position, and two or three names that could meet those criteria with each one at different rounds. Just an idea from an amateur PA who has loved the h2h show from the very first episode.

    So grateful for your insight and rational perspective, and happy to see you back in top form after a much deserved hiatus. Hope the rest of your family is taking inspiration from the way you keep on truckin, and I (along with many of the readers here I’m sure) have a PBR with your name on it if you ever make it down to the Sunshine State.

    • Geagle

      This is my first time experiencing the draft as an Igglesblitz reader… What are these draft shows you mentioned? H2H show?

      • GvilleEagleFan

        H2H is shorthand for the Helmet2Helmet show, a podcast that Tommy does with Jimmy Kempski from bloggingthebeast.com. Contrary to a lot of the Negadelphia media, the guys do a really good job of breaking down the news based on film or tape and generally are the cooler heads in the room. The latest episode was mostly focused on various directions they could go at #4, hopefully they’ll go deeper in the draft next episode. You can find all the shows at the link on the sidebar

        • Geagle

          Thanks man! and Im not just saying this because Im on this site, Ty Law, Jimmy Kap, Sheil n Tim McManus are by far the best in terms of Eagles coverage…Very excited to catch up with these podcasts. thanks again

          • GvilleEagleFan

            Yeah, when I have absolutely nothing to listen to while I play Madden sometimes I’ll throw on one of the early season shows from this past year. So sad to hear Tommy trying to keep the faith, and then ultimately admitting we (and Andy) were toast. The best part of those shows is that Tommy’s never just being a Reid supporter, his evaluations were pretty honest. Good stuff to take note of when the rest of the media was just parroting the “Fire Andy!” chants.

          • GvilleEagleFan

            Also hearing Jimmy rag on Self Tacklin’ Jeremy Maclin can always make me laugh.

  • Ark87

    I have a question about NT’s. Is there a difference between a 4-3 under NT and a pure 3-4 NT, as far as the type of player you get? Seems like the Wade Phillips style like the sleeker NT’s that play 1-gap like Jay Ratliff. Where as more traditional 3-4′s have the biggest dude they can find.

    I guess what I’m asking is would the possibility of seeing a pure 3-4 change what we look for in a NT.

    • TommyLawlor

      2 different types of NTs. It will be interesting to see what happens if we draft someone. Do we go for size or look for a guy with a mixture of size and athleticism. You can run the 4-3 Under with a big guy, but it isn’t necessary. Pure 3-4 really does need a bigger NT.

      • Geagle

        How do you view Sheldon and Sharrif for us? If we play the Under front, I think I would rather go with them as our NT, and move Sopo, and another Big Block EATER at 5tec. Am i off base?
        The problem with those two, is if Kelly does want some classic 3-4, I’m not sure how I feel about those two at 5tec in that scheme…If we dont use the classic 3-4 often, then I guess we can sacrafice Cox a few plays a game to move him over at 5tec…But I dont think I would be happy to see Cox playing extended minutes at the 5tec(He is certainly capable, but not the best use of his talents).

  • T_S_O_P

    I think I like Kelly World even if they don’t allow admission.

    • Baloophi

      You have to be at least 6’5″ to enter Kellyworld.

      • TommyLawlor

        Brilliant. And I’m excluded.

        • Septhinox

          Nah, you’ve got good RAC skills.

          (even if your RAC is something to do with Rolling)

  • ACViking

    A photo of CK in on Philly.com showed a guy who was beaming . . . like he’d just had a child.

    Never saw anything like that with AR. So cautious.

    I don’t know if CK’ll bring a winner to Philadelphia. But he sure as hell looks like he’s going to be a breath of fresh air.

    • Arby1

      Couldn’t agree more!

    • Geagle

      JUst from a simple press conference you can tell how fast twitched his mind is compared to Andy at the podium…and that type of quick thinking is why chip is so highly touted in terms of in game adjustments…
      Press conferences and public speaking are an art form..We still dont know ANYTHING..Chip hasnt revealed anything really concrete, yet we are all blown away, and everyone is happy..Andy Reid couldnt find a way to tell us nothing, without alienating us..Chip didnt tell us all that much more than Andy did, yet he made us feel like he did, and thats a very valuable Art form that will come in handy coaching The Eagles…Of course, after a 4game losing streak his press conferences could look much different, but since Chip has been hired, you have to give him an A grade…I heard an interesting comparison this morning: Chip sounding like Bill Parcell’s during press conferences (and I do see it to a degree, minus the Tough Guy act).
      Tom, any word yet on who were the two players that trashed the hotel room at the combine? Baldi says that the names will come out before the draft and there is no way that its swept under the rug..He also thinks it is a big red flag in the draft…and I think I would have to agree. Im not going to call a college kid who smoked a couple joints stupid….but how dumb do you have to be, to trash your hotel room at the combine? I think that should be a HUGE RED FLAG, especially since one of the two players is rumored to be a 1st round pick…Some, Idiot might have cost himself alot of money

  • Geagle

    I think this mini camp, could effect the draft more than just the late rounds…Lets say, Cole, Graham, Curry all show that they are capable of dropping back in coverage, It could take OLB’s out of the equation…Conversly, if non of these guys can drop in coverage(Not even sure if Curry is still an option at OLB, because of the 5tec talk), I think we will be forced to take an OLB at some point in the first 4 rounds…

    I also think how Watkins looks could impact it..If Chip see’s Watkins, and is seriously underwhelmed, then Oline becomes a glaring, must draft(in the first 3 rounds), NEED! If Watkins comes out, and surprises the coaches…It could be the difference between having to take Kyle Long or Pugh in rd2, or being able to wait til round 3 for Barret Jones…

    I think at this point, JP is no more of a injury concern then the every NFL player. Peters is one of the few players who has the clout to Milk his injury, to get out of all the work in April or June without being concerned about his starting spot…yet Peters isnt missing anything…If Peters was a concern, would the 330lb Monster be running Hurdles in April? I am now no more concerned at JP or Toddfather getting injured than I am anyone else…I always maintained that Kelce was the one I was most concerned about..

    • TommyLawlor

      That is possible, but I’m not sure you can tell enough from 3 days to decide if a player can go from DE to OLB. You can get some insight on how close the player is to making the transition successfully, but I don’t know you could be too certain about anything.

      • Geagle

        it would have to be extreme…I dont think there is anyway that you can look good enough in 3 days, to get us to say “we are set at this spot, we no longer have to worry about it in the draft”….On the opposite end of the spectrum, I do think there are some 4-3 DE’s, that when you see them move around in coverage, they are so bad that you can come to the conclusion in 3 days, that we probably cant ask this guy to do it, and we better find someone who can. Im not suggesting that Its the case with our 4-3DE’s, but I do think that the way lineman move in coverage can be telling in 3 days(If they are that Bad) …Since there is so little tape available of Cole and Graham in coverage, I think its very valuable for our coaches to get these 3 days before the draft…Seeing how our recently injured players are moving around, Is also something you can take a look at in only 3 days of no contact..
        Interesting that both Chip and Gus Bradley(who learned it from Carrol) are blasting Rap and Rock music during practice…Gus said something about Scientific studies show that certain beats give more energy…Man, going from how Stale Andy was this past year, to Chip Kelly, makes me feel like we are the George Jetson, futuristic, cutting edge Philadelphia Eagles..
        I was watching the press conference, just blown away at what I was seeing. Im just not used to seeing a HC, at a podium, with the Eagles back drop, talk like that…Was yesterday the first official, Chip Kelly in an Eagles Visor siting, or has he already been pictured wearing one?

  • T_S_O_P

    I like that Watkins played RG. I like competition, but I also like a clean slate.

    • TommyLawlor

      Yeah, give the guy a shot to show what he can do. Danny knows he’s on the clock now. He must earn a roster spot, let alone a starting job.

      • Geagle

        No matter how old a prospect is when you draft him, he should always be given 3 years before you give up on him(if drafted in the early rounds). You would like a 27yr old to be ready as a rookie, but I dont think an older guy is a bust if he isnt ready right away. Some guys just take a few years to get adjusted to the NFL..Its not like we put Danny in the best position to succeed. Not sure why you would draft Watkins if you planned on throwing the ball 50times, and I dont see how it was a good idea to put a guy with so little football experience in a complicated Finesse scheme, that even veterans took time adjusting to…Im sure if anything, Stoutland will have a better relationship with Watkins than Mudd had…We cant just assume that Danny can be our starting guard, but Im no where near ready to write him off yet…I would love to see a competition between Watkins, and that mean, Nasty SOB Kyle Long in camp…If we draft Kyle, whats the over/unders on camp fights that he starts?
        Watkins gets year 3 from me, b4 I would pull the plug. But he is going to have to earn his way

        • shah8

          Really? The main reason not to select older guys is because they’re more experienced against younger peers in college, and that this advantage doesn’t translate into the NFL. Not always a matter of just getting his legs under him, but of innate talent as well.

          • Geagle

            true, but I think that older guy vs. Kid in college Dynamic is more for the trenches than other positions…

  • Stevo

    Given Kelly’s comments about the need to run both 3 and 4 man fronts, as well as the need for some players to 2-gap, would this increase the likelihood the Eagles look to Floyd or Lotulelei for #4? Floyd seems to be pretty good at both shooting gaps as well as 2-gapping (given he’s a bit better at shooting gaps than Star, may fit better the “attacking” mantra that Bill David adopted for the defense).

    That said, I think the Eagles probably would like Star better (I love his ability to physically dominate plus quickness off the snap). When you’re looking at guys who are pure football players, he definitely passes the eye test. Kelly did mention how he wants big guys who can dominate smaller guys, which would favor Star over Floyd.

    • Geagle

      To me, the most impressive aspect of Star is his explosion off the ball. I also really like that he didnt have that much help on defense, so he was always double and tripple teamed, and schemed against(by opposing coaches), yet he still managed to make himself into a top prospect…He handled a ton of attention from opposing coaches this year, and thats something thats comforting when drafting a NT or 5tec…

  • http://www.facebook.com/davy.weale Davy Weale

    there are football things to be concerned about, QB position, O-line health, previous season nightmare secondary, biggest concern though, and I haven’t heard anybody talk about this yet, is that Chip Kelly falls in love and becomes hopelessly distracted from football. Based on his PC’s he is actually quite charming, just sayin.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve been sending love letters to Chip for several months now. He’s shown very little interest. Apparently he can’t be wooed by just any pretty face.

    • Geagle

      What a nightmare that would be! We should castrate him now, or just chop everything off and turn him into a Eunich(no clue how to spell that), basically turn him into the lord of whisper’s from Game of thrones…aka, “Flat in the front, like Ken”

      • A_T_G

        You want a coach with no stones? Then I don’t think you are going to like what is coming.

        • Geagle

          hahaha touche..very well played

  • Geagle

    EJ Manuel says the Eagles like him, and Now Lane Johnson is saying he thinks the Eagles like him at 4…Knowing how secrative Howie is, do these names get crossed off the list?

  • Geagle

    Vick saying we have been running alot of Read option. GOOD! the read option ensures we will see Foles a some point this year

    • Arby1

      Much better than the Reid option.
      Budda-bing!

  • SleepingDuck

    I think the other reporter was Zach Berman.

    Interesting Nugget from Caplan

    Caplan said yesterday on a Houston radio station that the Eagles interviewed Texas A&M’s coach during the coaching search .

    • TommyLawlor

      I know the Eagles had some interest in him, but don’t know if it moved beyond the casual phase.

      • SleepingDuck

        From the way Adam phrased it, it sounded casual.

        • D3FB

          I think the next big wave of trendy coaching hires are going to be the Air Raid coaches.

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

    From the horse’s mouth: “I’ll take Player Z.” So it’s Ziggy Ansah, then. He gave a room full of reporters a direct answer and they all dropped the ball.

    • A_T_G

      I thought it meant he was taking a WR to run the z-routes.

      Or maybe he is looking to trade back to 26?

      • A_T_G

        Maybe he was hinting that he is going to draft in reverse order? Who is the best available punter in the draft?

  • austinfan

    I don’t think Kelly is looking at these three days as a measure of how they play, rather, how prepared they were for this mini-camp. Players knew months ago they had to be in aerobic condition, and I’m sure the pace is designed to test that – because a player who isn’t willing to put in the offseason work isn’t committed to the program (ask George Hegamin about that).

    So I can see some backups cutting themselves by getting easily winded halfway through practice. Or by showing that they’re just not good athletes, Chip agrees with me that once you get past top players (who are often freaks, look at Warmack, mediocre athlete but top in-line blocker), athleticism is a key quality, because why work at coaching up a mediocre athlete so he’s passable (3 years to make Reynolds into a competent but limited backup)?