Sheil Kapadia, the most intrepid of Eagles beat reporters (and yes, that was just an excuse to use the word intrepid), caught up with Mike Vick at a football camp in New Jersey. Kapadia, due to his intrepid nature, didn’t hesitate to talk to Vick about his recent comments on Chip Kelly naming a starting QB.
Asked specifically if Kelly told him there would be a competition when he agreed to come back, Vick said, “Coach and I talked, and we have an understanding. I think the most important thing is the relationship that we have and continue to carry on, and the working relationship, which has been great. You’re just trying to do what’s best for this football team, and that’s the reason I came back, to try and help this football team win games in the best way possible.”
After Vick made the comments during mini-camp, he texted Kelly to make sure the coach knew he didn’t mean any disrespect.
“Coach is just so straightforward,” Vick said. “After the first four or five words, you already understand and know where he’s coming from. So we talked the next day, and I sent him a text and he called me back and we talked and that was it. Like I said, everybody on that football team respects Coach Kelly and likes what he’s been able to accomplish so far. He’s grabbing the attention of everybody on our football team. We’re just focused trying to do what’s best for the organization.
Go read the piece. Vick says a few more things of interest. Good stuff from Mr. Kapadia.
I really do think Vick’s comments were affected by his mood. He had just wrapped up minicamp. He hadn’t played great. Foles was getting more reps than him and he was frustrated. Most of all, he was sick of being asked about the situation.
The key in all of this is for Vick and Kelly to be on the same page. It sounds like they are for now.
* * * * *
A reader asked me a while back if the fact the Eagles will run more plays this year could lead to more injuries. Just using simple logic…the more plays you have, the more chances there are to get hurt.
This kind of research isn’t up my alley so I turned to Brent from Eagles Rewind. Luckily, he was able to do some digging and come up with an answer. Brent says Eagles fans shouldn’t worry.
As I said, this is by no means a definitive analysis. I’d like a larger sample. It also doesn’t account for TYPE of play, nor does it account for the change in personnel on the field for each play. For example, a kneel down will count as an offensive play despite not carrying any significant risk of injury. Similarly, teams running out the clock with their backups will factor into the data, whereas we are not really concerned with those situations.
Regardless, it’s at least an indication that the Eagles should NOT expect to see a significant increase in rate of injury as they increase the number of plays run. There are a number of potential reasons for this. First of all, the rate of injury is actually very low, so an individual play carries a very small risk. Therefore it should require a relatively large increase in number of plays before we see any effects.
* * * * *
Dan Klausner, a young hack over at BGN (as opposed to an old hack like Jimmy Bama), wrote an interesting piece. He offers the theory that WR will be a dying position for the Eagles as long as Chip Kelly is coach.
I know it’s hard to envision an NFL offense without traditional WR flanking the formation and zipping around all over the field, but I genuinely feel that’s where we’re headed with Chip Kelly. People talk about how he could revolutionize the NFL with his up-tempo offense, but don’t discount how he could also engender revolutions at certain positions (to wit: keep in mind that the Eagles will employ a hybrid front-seven scheme on defense, as well).
Addendum: There will always remain a need for a WR who can stretch the field with explosive speed, and Kelly’s special teams emphasis will ensure a few WR types stay on the roster. But I don’t think we’re going to see the Eagles hold onto five (or more) WR, like all other teams, moving forward. That number might end up being closer to, say, three. My main point is I think Chip Kelly’s NFL offense will be one where the primary receiving options are TE/WR hybrids, and a vertical threat WR will occupy something of a specialist role instead of being on the field for a majority of the snaps.
Interesting theory, but wrong in my opinion.
The Pats are somewhat of a template for what Kelly is going to do. Where would that offense have been in recent years without Wes Welker, a small WR that lacked top speed?
Kelly wants lots of quick throws. He wants RAC yards. This means you need WRs, especially small, quick, elusive players. Of the top 40 players in RAC yards last year, only 4 were TEs. And Brent Celek was one of them. He does have good RAC ability, but Brent picked up more than a few yards when he was left wide open by the design of the play.
TEs just aren’t normally very dangerous with the ball in their hands. They’ll make some plays, but aren’t going to turn a quick screen into a gain of 20, 30 or 40 yards very often. You need elusive WRs for that.
I certainly agree with Dan that TEs are going to be more sought after and a bigger part of offenses. This is because we’re seeing more guys with TE size and some WR skills. Those tweeners make for tough matchups. And Chip Kelly likes both TEs and big guys. I think WR is here to stay and will be a regular part of the offense for a while.
One interesting test for how WR will be treated is to see what the team does with Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson. If both guys walk, that will tell us that Kelly doesn’t value star WRs. I do think we could see a shift away from that. The flip side of this is that Kelly didn’t have access to great WRs at Oregon. Maybe having explosive players like Jackson and Maclin will change his feelings.
We know Kelly pretty well, but still have a lot to learn.
* * * * *
Speaking of that hack Jimmy Bama…he has some good stuff up in a post today. Joe Theismann is an American treasure.