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Posted: September 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 75 Comments »

That is the title of one of the most underrated Al Pacino movies out there. It is also the general reaction to Chip Kelly and his offense from writers and football analysts.

Greg Cosell was on the Colin Cowherd Show this morning and joked that they could talk about Kelly for 3 hours instead of just 3 minutes. Cosell loved what he saw. Kelly took some simple ideas and made them seem complex, which kept the Skins confused and the chains moving.

Chris Ryan wrote a great piece for Grantland about Monday night’s game. Ryan focused on the simple fact that the game was fun. Kelly and the Eagles players genuinely showed a sense of joy during the game. That had been missing in recent years.

Ryan also loved the speed of the offense. This is a great part of his column in regard to the pace.

What did this actually feel like? It was weird because I was at once very calm and at the same time felt like I was strapped to the windshield of Chuck Yeager’s X-1. When Ryan Kerrigan swatted down Michael Vick’s first-drive pass, which was deemed a lateral and returned 75 yards by DeAngelo Hall, I had one very strange reaction.

Cool. We get the ball back.

Even after only a few plays, resulting in a turnover and a Washington touchdown, I still felt very relaxed. Because this was working. The Eagles seemed to feel the same way. Right before the second drive began, there was a shot of Kelly talking to LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson on the sideline. The three of them were smiling. Kelly said something that made the other two chuckle. I’m not a lip-reader but I am pretty sure it was “go light these guys on fire.”

The next play from scrimmage was a 46-yard catch-and-run from Vick to Jackson. That was wonderful, but what put me over the edge was Jackson, getting up after sprinting up the field and being tackled, quickly trotting into position on the flank, looking over at the sideline and making a motion with his hand that said “Let’s go again. And again. And again.”

I started doing the same motion in my living room; Jon Gruden started just making yellow marks on the Telestrator like he was painting a de Kooning; Mike Tirico just kept talking and talking because there was always something happening to talk about; Bryce Brown got a carry and didn’t fumble; London Fletcher started writing his memoirs.

I really love the comments and references. And he’s so right about the pace. Part of you was relaxed while at the same time your head was spinning.

Bill Barnwell wrote about Kelly and the offense in a slightly more traditional way. His piece is also excellent. Barnwell focused one section on how quickly Vick got the ball out of his hands at times.

I’m not a scout, but my stopwatch has Vick with the ball in his hands there for 1.3 seconds before throwing the pass to Celek. That’s just about as low as you can go as a quarterback while letting a route begin to develop. On the next play, a bubble screen to DeSean Jackson that I’ll get to later, he had the ball out in one second. On his first four passes, Vick needed an average of just 1.7 seconds between receiving the shotgun snap and getting the ball out to his receiver. That’s incredible for any NFL quarterback, and it’s even more staggering for Vick.

Vick was slow to get the ball out at other times. Part of that was situational. If Vick can get more consistent with quick releases, the offense can become deadly.

Barnwell did get on Vick for some poor reads on run plays. Kelly has said that not all plays are read-options, even though they may look like it. Sometimes it is a straight hand-off. It will be interesting to see if we can figure those out as the season goes along.

Dan Wetzel is a sportswriter and not a football analyst so he had a different take, but was still very impressed.

Kelly shrugged off a lot of the praise, a lot of the standard business of a postgame NFL news conference. On the number of plays: “We don’t count plays. We never have.” On whether he was concerned Vick got hit too often: “He seemed pretty happy.”

He shrugged. Just enjoy it, he was saying.

“We’ve said since day one it’s a game, it doesn’t have to be run like a business,” Kelly said. “We don’t practice like a business, we don’t train like it’s a business. We’ve got a bunch of guys who are excited about being at work every day, and they make us coaches be ready for them because these guys are going to challenge us. It keeps us sharp.”

It’s something you only rarely hear in the control-freak, deathly serious NFL.

“He’s a dynamic coach who has his own way of approaching football,” Lurie said.

Back in the locker room, right after the game, Lurie walked up to Kelly and handed him a special commemorative game ball marking his first victory. They’d taken a chance on each other last spring – the owner going to the college ranks, the college coach jumping to the pros.

History is littered with failure in marriages like this. If there were every any second thoughts, they’re long gone now.

“The first,” Lurie said he told Kelly, “of very many.”

Opening night on Broadway couldn’t have gone any better.

* * * * *

Kelly has gotten compared to Steve Spurrier quite a bit. I’ve tried to debunk that a few times.  Just for laughs, let’s compare their starts.

Spurrier won his debut, 31-23. His offense gained 442 yards. They were at home against the Cardinals, a team that would go 5-11 and finish 29th in points and yards allowed.

The next week Spurrier’s Skins would host the Eagles on MNF. Sound familiar? The Skins did not score an offensive point and only gained 179 yards. Darwin Walker was unblockable in that game. In Week 3, the Skins only scored 10 points and gained 217 yards against a mediocre SF defense.

We’ll find out very quickly just how different Kelly and Spurrier are.

* * * * *

Do you realize the biggest lead the Eagles had in all of 2012 was 11 points? That came in the second Dallas game when the Eagles were up 14-3. Being up 33-7 felt like something from a sci-fi movie.

The Eagles scored 33 points that day, their season high. Obviously the team has already matched that total.

The next highest total was 24 points. Honestly, I’ll be disappointed if the Eagles don’t pass that this week.

_


  • eagleyankfan

    remember when, last Monday, only 1 “pro” on MNF picked the Eagles? Good times…good times…
    Suddenly, they’re picked to blow out the Chargers…..my how times have changed from Sunday to Sunday…

    • GEagle

      Spads said it best….prior to the redskin game everyone was worried about whether we would be able to score points and whether we would be able to stop people…now everyone is worried about wheth we will be able to protect 20pt leads lol…..If that’s really going to be the case, it’s not a bad problem to have lol

      I just want us to get back to the days when if you came into Philly, there was very little chance that you would be leaving with a Win. We have to become a good home team again, and we need to become a team that can be trusted to beat the teams they are supposed to beat. Those two goals for me would be a great start for this new era…..Win most of your home games, beat the teams you should clearly beat and we will find ourselves competing for this weak division at the end of the year…

      • planetx1971

        Lmao I know right? Most nervous and at the moment possibly confusidly happy fan base out there :)

    • A_T_G

      From Sunday to Sunday? From Monday at 7:00 to Monday at 7:30.

      • eagleyankfan

        :) exactly.

    • Dan

      It was Dilfer.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    On a fantasy football podcast, Cosell stated he though if Vick had executed the offense just a little better, the Eagles might have scored 50, and he wasn’t joking.
    The funny thing to me is that in some ways, Vick isn’t a great fit for the offense. I have high hopes for this season, but sky high expectations for this team in another 2 years.

    • SteveH

      Yeah, watching in game I thought outside of a couple of missed throws in the 1st quarter Vick was really good. After reading a bunch of breakdowns though it seems like he was a little more off point. This is actually really encouraging, because its new for him as well and hopefully it only gets better from here!

      • GEagle

        I can be a very harsh Vick critic, but I do try to be fair, and after only being in this offense since April…I thought Vick played very well having to direct and Orchestrate complete Chaos and I was encouraged after seeing his play the past two years. He seemed to be in control, he took care of the ball after the opening drive(and that TO is still debatable)…For his first game playing at a pace like that. with a new way of communicating, and a playbook very different to anything he has run in years, he ran this offense about as well as I could ever have hoped….That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty to correct, but even a non believer in Vick has to be encouraged by what they saw on Monday night…..It’s pretty simple. Take care of the ball and we will be tough to beat. that’s always been Key, but I just don’t see teams consistently finding ways to shutdown the run and screens on both sides, especially if Vick continues to make them pay like he did with that Quick strike to Celek….Mike Quick said it perfectly: “whatever the defense decides to do, they are wrong!”

        Now that people are finally starting to have a glimmer of hope for this defense, it’s early, but I think obvious that if we don’t give the ball away, we will have a chance to win games This Year(with some injury luck of course).

        • Dominik

          Since you’ve been a harsh critic on Vick in the summer, it speaks for you to acknowlege it if Vick has a good game.

          • GEagle

            I have no agenda…just give my honest oppinion and have no problem admitting when I’m wrong

  • SteveH

    So when the Eagles offense inevitably has a bad game and only scores 14 or whatever, what do you want to bet the ESPN/Yahoo’s of the sports writing worlds crank out stories that include lines like “X team had the formula to defeat Kelly’s high flying offense”, “The NFL now has the blueprint to stop the Eagles”, “Can the Eagles offense keep flying high now that defensive coordinators have figured out their scheme?” etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum, showing a complete lack of understanding about why the offense is successful.

    • Anders

      So while ignoring that other offenses like the Packers, Saint or Patriots all have offensive down games

      • A_T_G

        Absolutely. “Eagles play falls well within the expected variation established by successful franchises, nothing particularly worrisome,” would be a terrible headline. How are you going to drive up traffic with that?

    • TommyLawlor

      The media overreacting?

      That’s unpossible.

    • Julescat

      but the offense will never work as well as the first game. There was no film to study to scheme against the offense.

      • D3FB

        Most the that offense was from Oregon. Even some of the passing plays? How do I know? Because my college coach went there in the spring for a clinic on their offense, and first thing he says Tuesday at practice is hey guys that TD pass to Celek was Yellow Kangaroo! (the play they learned at Oregon and installed in our offense.

    • holeplug

      Your certainly seeing a lot of old man get off my lawn yelling from the establishment. They really don’t like anyone who brings something new to the game.

  • sprawl

    Good note there regarding how we rate Vick for missing reads. In the interview Chip pointed out that there might be one read, two reads or no read based on the play call they send out. Nobody (except the Patriots) knows exactly what that play call was so we are really just fooling ourselves and being unfair to Vick.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ll be as hard on Vick as anyone, but I always want it to be reasonable criticism. The goal is to get an honest evaluation, not put him down or cheer for him.

      • Dominik

        Who doesn’t remember you as being the one huge Vick hater in the blogosphere, which was reason enough for some users to leave your blog and don’t follow you anymore. While you were also a huge Foles hater, which was reason enough for some users to leave your blog and don’t follow you anymore. While you were also a huge Barkley hater, which… you know the story.

        Damn, I’m happy the QB conversation is over (at least for now).

        • ICDogg

          Dominik, what kind of dog is that?

    • eagleyankfan

      you talking Reid time? Then you’re off base. You talking Chip era — you might be onto something….

  • robspassky

    I think it’s cool how in McCoy’s 34-yard TD run on 2nd-and-14, the Redskins had sent CB Josh Wilson on the obligatory anti-Vick CB blitz. Not this time. :-)

    • Anders

      Yea, we was reading the CB quite a lot. I love it because it negates one of Vick’s weaknesses.

    • Mike Flick

      On that TD run, I was shouting tuck it in! I had visions of him carrying the ball like he did where the guy would whack it out of his hands. Celebrate like mad, just wait until you score first.

      Had that played out, it would have been something that would mark his career. Eagles are showboats, etc. All time classic early celebration.

      I guess I was just in shock at that point, unable to believe we cruised to a 33-7 lead.

  • A_T_G

    Vick getting the ball out of his hands quickly was something I commented that I was hoping to see before the game. I am equally parts surprised and pleased that he was so successful at doing so this early.

    The players having fun was something we discussed in the posts from Tommy following the game. I don’t think the importance of that has been overstated in the least. That is the thing that will make the players work harder than other teams in practice, be better prepared both mentally and physically for the next game, and have more fun playing as a result. Finally, a good snowball when talking about the Eagles.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

    I think we tend to think that last year was a total disaster because of the defense, but when you see things like our second highest point total all year was just 24 points, well, the offense totally sucked as well (at least in terms of scoring).

    And certainly special teams sucked (and is light-years better this year).

    Ah, now I see how we were 4-12 (and could have easily been worse than that).

    • TheRogerPodacter

      yea…. the offense last season was just atrocious. and special teams too.
      i remember every kick return and punt return yelling at the tv “take the touchback!!!” and every time they would return it out to like the 15 yard line….

    • eagleyankfan

      I’m the opposite. We knew the d was going to stink because of that great move of taking an OL coach and making him a D coach. We didn’t know Vick was going to be brutal. I know, I know, it was all the OL’s fault. Vick was bad before the OL fell apart….

  • P_P_K

    Pacino movies are all underrated because he’s so great. Second only to, dare I say his name, Robert de Niro. Best scene in the history of movies is in “Heat,” when those 2 guys, one a cop and one a crook, have coffee together.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i dont know how anyone can talk about Heat and not mention this scene. one of my all time favorites.

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

      • P_P_K

        You, sir, are obviously a man of the arts.

        • TheRogerPodacter

          haha thanks! honestly, this is one of the few times that someone mentions a movie on here that i’ve actually seen!

  • Stormbringer

    I hope the players pay attention to Chippah when he talks about needing them to rotate out occasionally. Shady was quoted as staying in the game even when he was tired. The guys need to realize with all the snaps they’ll play as much as normal even if they do take a breather now and again. If they can stay a little fresher near the end of the game the advantage will be even greater and maybe we can develop some of the secondary talent on the team (which would be very handy when someone inevitably gets injured).

    The other thing that is a bummer is it would have been good to see Maclin in this offense too. Having him on the other side of DeSean in this offense would be a killer. I’m a little concerned about the WR depth. Cooper and Avant are great blockers but aren’t much of a threat.

    • Dominik

      I’m not sure the offense would work as good with a soft WR like Maclin with blocking responsibilities. Cooper isn’t a threat at WR at all, he’s somewhat of a WR-FB. But that has value in this offense.

      Maclin would be incredibly useful in 3rd and medium/longs and even more if Jackson would get hurt. We don’t have anything at WR speed if DJax goes down. But aside from that: I don’t know if he has THAT much value. We could need a WR who can block and catch (obviously, who couldn’t? :D). Should get that next offseason via draft or FA.

      • Stormbringer

        I would have liked to see if Chip could have gotten Maclin to block. He isn’t a small guy, if he put his mind to it he should at least have been decent at it.

        There are some good WRs that should be coming out this year in Marquis Lee and Sammy Watkins. The Lane Kiffin adventure at USC this year (without Barkley) might make Lee slip. I don’t know if Lee is any good at blocking but he sure is good in space. ;-)

        That said, this year has some really good QB prospects too. I don’t think we’ll suck enough for Bridgewater but maybe Boyd slips as he’s short. Then there is that Texas A&M fellow that might slip to the 2nd round with all the outside the game craziness plus him being pretty small.

        • westy36

          Lee’s a solid blocker. He’s not going to take anyone out of the play, but he does a good job of occupying them and he’s also a very willing blocker. Even though I really like Lee, I don’t think there would be that big of a difference between him and Maclin if you could get Maclin to play a bit tougher. I’d prefer to re-sign him to a short term deal if he’s healthy enough and the coaching staff believes they can get more out of him than to draft another WR in the first round. I would rather see the first go towards a QB if we can get a good one.

        • GEagle

          Last player I want to see in Philly is Manziel….if we are gonna go get another young QB, it has to be Marriotta.

          • Stormbringer

            I’d prefer Bridgewater, Boyd, Mariotta and maybe Hundley more in that order (assuming they were all to declare). But those guys are going to be off the board very quick. What if Manziel is available in round 2 because of all his extracurricular stuff? Do you take a chance on him then?

          • AJ Anderson

            Mariotta or Manziel first round pick.. Rest on defense

          • Neil

            The extracurricular stuff, the immaturity, pegs him at the 3rd round at the highest. I mean, I watch the kid, and the only way his character could be worse right now is by being criminal. The QB needs to be the standard for your team in this regard. Plus I’m not sure he has the arm strength and accuracy to be a good prospect even if his character wasn’t what it is.

          • AJ Anderson

            Same thing they said about Tyran Mathieu lol

          • Neil

            Yeah, and he was a firstround talent who went in the third. I’m not convinced Manziel is a firstround talent; though if he isn’t he’s probably close.

          • GEagle

            Me too…but I prefer not having to draft that high because we had a good season

    • Media Mike

      What are you David Wilson’s agent or something? How the f are we supposed to get fantasy points if Shady and DJax sit down?

      • Stormbringer

        I don’t expect to sit them that much. Plus, while they are sucking wind they aren’t that productive either. Plus, I have Bryce Brown on my FF team. ;-)

        Instead of Shady getting 31 carries, I’m talking about him getting 20-25.

        • Media Mike

          I hear what you’re saying. Although I’m totally ok with them running Shady into an early retirement if we get a ton of high volume seasons of him and don’t give him a 3rd contract. If he’s our best guy, I’d rather he be out there………..but I get 31 rushes a game being a bit crazy. 496 carry seasons aren’t wise.

  • Media Mike

    UGGHHHH on Colin Cowherd. He’s an anti-labor fuckwad.
    I heard Greg Cosell on with Ross Tucker on Sirius this morning and really appreciated the deeper breakdown of how the Eagles did what they did on Monday night.
    The one really interesting breakdown by Cosell was his discussion about the types of reads that take place post snap in this system and how it requires the QB to make reads even faster than guys like Manning and Brees do pre-snap.

    • eagleyankfan

      I like comparing this to a 3rd baseman vs. a SS. 3rd base, there is no “thought” process, you just react to the hit ball. 3rd baseman, for the most part, can’t play SS because there’s too much to think about(and lateral movement, but that’s a different story) when the balls hit. Vick is like the 3rd baseman in this offense. Walk up to the line — decide and snap. It suits him.

      • Media Mike

        apt

  • Media Mike

    Oh, and fuck DeAngelo Hall. Now he’s $20k lighter in the wallet!

    • eagleyankfan

      Two “F” words in one day? someone needs a hug….

      • Media Mike

        DeAngelo Hall is pure scum. I hope he get injured for life via a Dave DeCastro chop block!

  • Jamie Parker

    About that Spurrier comparison: Spurrier did not have Peters, McCoy, or D-jax on his offense either (Stephen Davis wasn’t bad, but left after Spurrier’s first season). Andy left the Eagles offense loaded. The Redskins had nothing like what Kelly has right now.

  • eagleyankfan

    after game 1, now there are expectations. this week will be interesting. I know it’s in the back of everyones mind. It’s the elephant in the room. I won’t talk about it..I’ll just say … a week from today …..

    • P_P_K

      It’s the elephant in the bright red shirt.

      • ICDogg

        ..

        • P_P_K

          I’m willing to bet Andy will replicate his Eagles’ pattern in KC. He’ll take a weak team, turn it around, and make it a semi-contender. Then his arrogance and stubbornness will cause him to plateau. Here’s a guy who doesn’t seem to think there’s anything new to learn.

  • ACViking

    Re: Speaking of Al Pacino . . . and The Don

    T-Law:

    I can’t let an Al Pacino reference slip by without quoting some scene from The God Father or GF-II. Just wouldn’t be right.
    ________________

    So Chipper’s got the NFL wondering how to stop his offense. Seems like a fair question to put to some of his troops from U-Oregon now in the NFL.

    But I have the sneaky suspicion it wouldn’t matter what the ex-Duck said — which would cause the coach of said victim-team to respond after the information proved useless:

    “You’re nothing to me now. You’re not a member of this team. You’re not a friend. I don’t want to know you or what you do. I don’t want to see you
    at the stadium. I don’t want you near my practice field. When you see an NFL game, I want to know a day in advance, so I won’t be there. You understand?”
    _______________

    Chipper’s a ruthless, ruthless man.

  • Ark87

    Throwing in my 2 cents. circumstances had miss the game and not be able to watch it until it was available on the rewind. I was exposed to the hype and excitement before I watched the game.

    First, the offense. My expectations for the offense was that it would be a jack hammer. Be able to keep up in the first half, then crumble the other team in the 4th quarter. The success early was a bit over stated by many considering the amount of opportunities given by the Eagles D/ Redskins O. Our offense can and will get so much better. Most of all though, i want to see that superior conditioning translate into more success in the 4th quarter. Will likely take a closer game to see that, been a long time since we dominated the 4th quarter.

    As for the D, I definitely want to see more. Early on the Redskins struggled in general, but in large part because RGIII was rusty. In those situations offensive coaches look to sort of ease into things, get into a rhythm. The Eagles D pounced on that during, never allowed any sort of rhythm in the first half and pitched a shut out. I love that. 4th quarter was ok, but seeing our guys gassed out there with no real relief was a bit disconcerting. You don’t want a team to lose the 4th quarter that badly when you pride yourself on conditioning.

    Overall, this team is extremely exciting to watch with so much room to grow. This team can be great. Can’t wait till Sunday.

  • OregonDucker

    I honestly think that the players on Eagles O and D are going to go wild on the Chargers. The D knows that the O has their back. The O knows they can run over anybody. This game is going to be a lot of fun for every player on the Eagles. ST will also run wild again.

    To answer an question by GEagle, NO I was never worried in the 2nd half. The Eagles Blur AWE(ffense) was going to demolish the Skins if needed. Adversity will never get these players down. They are having too much fun!

    • Flyin

      Do you think the Blur O should have put up a few more points? We were an onsides kick going the other way to give them a chance to win.

      • OregonDucker

        Yes, Chip has admitted as much. He really needed to run the Blur longer into the 3rd. Not only to score but to totally exhaust the Skins D first stringers.

        Chip will show no mercy next time. You know, he has a photographic memory – he never, ever forgets.

        • GEagle

          Thanks for your Imput….had a feeling you guys felt in control…

          Marriotta this morning was asked if he knew what the Eagles were running when he sees them line up…he said, NO, chip has switched it up enough to where I don’t know what they are running

    • BlindChow

      As a new Eagles fan, count yourself lucky you didn’t have to endure the last two years of epic 4th quarter defensive choking.

  • CTAZPA

    Tommy,

    I have an idea for an article. Let me just bounce it off you. Let me just bounce it off you. The GD Times will be GD enthralled.

    Nobody else I know has even heard of that movie.