Emotions and Expectations

Posted: September 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 143 Comments »

In my earlier post, Taking Stock, I talked about how 2013 is a can’t lose year for the Eagles. If the team wins, we get to enjoy the season. If the team struggles, it lands you a higher draft pick, which would be a big help in fixing a team that needs talent.

I used the phrase “relax and enjoy the ride”. Some of you took that the wrong way and think I’m nuts.

I’m not saying you don’t get fired up during games. Or even after them.

Some perspective on this. People who have talked to me on Sundays generally knew to not call during a game that was anywhere close. I was too high strung during them and the conversations rarely went well. Even with the Eagles winning, I didn’t want to talk about it. Now if the game was a complete blowout, that was okay.

After wins, talking was fine. After losses, not so much. To say I was emotionally invested in the Eagles is putting it mildly. Losses would eat at me for days. Talking to me 2 hours after a loss would not be a pleasant experience.

A big part of that is because it meant so much to me to see Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins, Tra, Runyan, Trot and the gang go win a title. I wanted them to get their reward. Every loss made that goal either less likely or that much more difficult. Each year I had high expectations for the Eagles. Go win the title or at least compete for it.

I’m in a whole new world now.

We’re at the beginning of the Chip Kelly era. My expectations are lowered, for this year. You know how women have the internal clock when it comes to having a baby? My football version of that got re-set to zero when Kelly was hired.

During games I’m still a mess. I was becoming furious with Donnie Avery and his 3rd down catches. You can bet I was screaming at the TV. I gave Mychal Kendricks repeated lectures on tackling. I ripped Patrick Chung quite a few times for his poor performance. I was yelling at Vick when he made mistakes. I was mystified at Jason Peters struggles…too confused to yell at him. Todd Herremans has gotten several speeches from me. And Damaris Johnson made me irate with that fumble.

90 seconds after the game, this all went away.

Several years ago I would have stewed with anger for hours. That loss would have really eaten at me.

In the future, that will likely happen again.

For now, I’m okay with it. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the Eagles or accepting losing. The point is how you manage your expectations and emotions. Back in 1998 the Eagles went 3-13. I made people around me miserable through my misery. That was a bad team. There was no reason to live and die with each game.

I can see the 2013 Eagles aren’t good enough. I’m not going to live and die with each game and drive myself and those around me nuts. During the game, I’ll be a roller coaster of emotions. But once the clock hits zero, I am doing my best to let it go. If we get shredded by Dallas, I’m sure my rage will last a bit. Tony Romo’s grin has a way of bringing out the worst in me.

If you want to go nuts with this team 24/7, go for it. I can see this team is too flawed for me to be like that. I’ll go crazy for 3 hours each week, but then I’ll do my best to let it go when the game is over.

* * * * *

Some of you want me to rip on Chip Kelly for the team making the same mistakes as 2011 and 2012.

I see where you’re coming from, but there is some flawed thinking going on. Michael Vick didn’t have a real turnover in the first 2 games. He played clean football. There was an odd fumble that went out of bounds and another play that was erroneously ruled a fumble. The turnover machine of the past 2 years didn’t show up in those games.

He did last night. Kelly had Vick playing better for 2 weeks. We need to see how Vick and Kelly respond to that game. If Vick goes right back to turning the ball over a lot, we’ll talk about that.

It is also possible Kelly will clean some things up and Vick won’t turn the ball over. The KC game would then be an anomaly.

Rather than try to predict the future, let’s let it happen and then discuss it.

The muffed punt by Damaris Johnson was huge last night and is huge for him. If that happens again, he could lose his job. I don’t know how the coaches feel about him exactly, but guys at the bottom of the roster cannot afford critical mistakes. Johnson didn’t panic last night and responded fairly well. That’s a good sign.

One thing you must keep in mind is that Chip Kelly has said quite a few times that he doesn’t want guys playing scared. He wants them to take chances and be aggressive. He will live with some mistakes. The cut-off line for those mistakes is different for each player and position. No one has really lost a job yet, but you can bet that will happen. We’ll start to figure out Kelly’s breaking point for those mistakes.

There is a fine line between being patient and not holding players accountable. I think Andy Reid crossed that line in recent years and it hurt the team. We’ll see how Chip does. I do think he’s gotten the attention of the players. DeSean Jackson was demoted in the spring and responded well. Mike Vick actually had to earn the QB job. Nate Allen is being pushed by a 5th round rookie.

Just today Kelly said he’s not used Ertz and Casey more because of the way Brent Celek and Jason Avant have stepped up in practice and in games. He’s rewarding them by keeping them on the field. Both Celek and Avant were likely to lose playing time due to the new scheme and roster moves, but both players responded the right way and have kept their roles.

There is plenty for Kelly and his coaching staff to complain about after an ugly loss. The coaches need to get things fixed. If the problems continue, then we will all be ripping on Kelly and the staff.

It isn’t fair to hold them accountable for the past. They are accountable for this year and that’s not very impressive based on the last 2 weeks. Let’s hope they can take advantage of the extra time between games and get some issues taken care of.

_


  • Matthew Verhoog

    Great point I’ve been able to enjoy the games a lot more this year. Less stress

    • GEagle

      Must be nice….

      Too much parity in the nfl not to be stressed. Unless you are a jags, raiders or Browns fan, you always have hope. Hope is stressful at times

  • TommyLawlor

    I’m re-watching the game now.

    Feel dumb for asking this…but were the endzones painted black in the past? if not, that’s a cool touch.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Not sure, I didn’t get to see much of the endzone yesterday.

      • westy36

        Awesome.

    • Anders

      That was a part of McNabb’s ceremony stuff

    • James

      No thats new, I like it a lot too.

    • A_T_G

      I said that it looked like the Linc was dressed up in a tux.

    • GEagle

      I know the black was new, but I can’t remember what the endzones looked like before we made them black. Hole they keep the black

  • Lateraleye

    I hope I can start reacting more calmly as well. It’s so difficult to reconcile the emotion (THIS TEAM IS A JOKE AND I HOPE THEY ALL GET CUT AND THEY GET TOMATOES THROWN AT THEM) with the rational (elite QBs aren’t easy to find, brand new schemes across the board, a single draft isn’t enough to replace all our bad players, Chip’s press conferences are amazing, etc).

    I was probably the most furious I’ve been in years after the San Diego game. My plastic lawn furniture enrolled in the witness protection program.

    After the Chiefs game, I was just in disbelief and depression afterwards. No violence this time. That’s progress, right?

    • Mac

      Denial (check)
      Anger (check)
      Bargaining
      Depression (semicheck: assuming last night more denial oriented)
      Acceptance

      The stages of Grief can be done in any order… you could get to the acceptance level as quickly as 3 weeks, or it could be much longer.

      My recommendation: don’t turn to alcohol or other substances. It’s best to just let the Grief run its course rather than putting it off until later in the season.

      Good luck!

      • Lateraleye

        Nah, I don’t do alcohol or take it out on another living thing. Just cheap, durable inanimate objects that, let’s face it, had it coming.

        I may have already been through the five stages!

        Denial (Washington – This team is going to the Super Bowl! We beat RGIII handily! This offense can’t be stopped!)
        Anger (San Diego – enough said)
        Bargaining (after San Diego – That game was just a fluke! Couldn’t possibly be that bad again! Just needed to get the one bad game out of our system!)
        Depression (Chiefs – Realizing this team has no consistency except the superhuman ability to keep the defense on the field)
        Acceptance (after Chiefs and reading Iggles Blitz)

        Ah, life is grand again. Feels like the offseason.

        • jshort

          There is a guy (from my area NEPA) sitting in jail for throwing his 10 year old son against some kind of heavy metal chair. This happened last Sunday during the Chargers game. Kid was only taking the garbage out, but bag was only half full. Father snapped! Eagles have a way to make some people go crazy. Reading this stuff helps me have a better perspective, and out of the county jail.

    • TommyLawlor

      We need Baloophi to write about your lawn furniture.

  • RIP Worms

    I don’t know if others picked up on this, but it looked like two of those long 3rd down conversions by Donnie Avery were essentially screen passes, with the blocking being set up ten yards downfield. Especially on the second one, the other receivers ran straight at the d-backs, never once looking back for the pass. Instead, they glanced to their left to look for Donnie Avery, then started blocking for him. Unless I’m mistaken, that was a one-receiver route.

    The Eagles made it work by sitting in a zone right at the sticks (not an uncommon tactic in 3rd and long). The idea in that defense is to give up the catch underneath, then go and make the tackle. Andy Reid exploited that tendency brilliantly via the play design.

    I was impressed with the play design the first time I saw it. It was a play I hadn’t seen Reid run in 14 years with the Eagles and showed that he’s still one of the great offensive minds in the NFL.

    But I was flat out disgusted with the defense when they ran the exact same play in the exact same situation later in the game and we reacted to it the exact same way: by sitting down at the sticks and letting the DBs get blocked.

    • ztom6

      That’s exactly right. Thank you for being the first I’ve seen point this out. There was one of those plays where it looked like they started blocking before the ball had been caught however. I was hoping for offensive PI. Still good play design against the defense the Eagles were using however.

    • Nah__Roots

      Right on.

    • westy36

      On the Eagles Post Game Show, Trotter said that’s pretty much what the play was.

    • DJH

      They actually pointed this out (with graphics) during the broadcast.

      • RIP Worms

        Huh, I may have fast-forwarded through that. I got a late start on the game and was trying to finish it before midnight. I feel a lot less clever now!

    • A_T_G

      More importantly, why in the hell didn’t he run that play when he was here?! It’s not like he and Marty never faced a third and 15 after two incompletions with a false start thrown in.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    I thought the defense played well until the 4th quarter. They gave up 26 points, but 7 came from a Vick6 and another 3 came off a FG after Johnson fumbled the ball at the 8 yard line. The Eagles went on to have 2 more turnovers and the Chiefs were only able to get 3 points off of it.

    Maybe the defense got tired.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think the D was tired in the 4th Qtr, but it was their own fault for not making 3rd down stops.

      • Tom33

        I think they should have jumped offsides on 3rd and longs until it was 3rd and 1 or 2. I don’t think KC converted any of those.

        • Mac

          Someone get Chip on the phone with this man!

      • TheRogerPodacter

        this is the one thing that has been driving me crazy about critics of kelly’s up tempo offense. their usual cry being “see! this is what happens when the offense goes too quickly on each play! it just tires out our own defense!!”
        in this last game, the D had more than enough opportunities to get itself off the field and they didn’t. that is on the defense, not the offense.

        i completely agree that the D was gassed late in that game, particularly on that one long drive that KC had. but IMO, its more because of their inability to stop KC on third down than it was on the offense’s previous possession.

        • A_T_G

          Usual game situations, absolutely, but the turnovers put the defense in a lot of closely spaced, high intensity situations early in the game. They burned a lot of fuel keeping us within 10 in that first half.

      • P_P_K

        Anybody know the Chiefs 3rd down conversion stat for the 2nd half? Seemed like they about nailed it every time.

  • Matthew Verhoog

    This one loss proves once and for all that Laurie should have never fired Andy.

    • Neil

      I blame the six turnovers on McNabb.

      • A_T_G

        I believe it was only 5 turnovers. Six turnovers would have just been ugly.

    • BlindChow

      Yeah, I’ve seen pundits saying that if he won this game, Andy would be making a statement that they were wrong to fire him.

      Like that would erase 4-12, or the fact that Kelly was losing with Andy’s players…

  • James

    That game was completely sloppy. I was at the game, and what disturbed me the most out of anything else was how KC defense abused the “hurt player” timeout rule. There were 3 distinct times where a secondary player, including Eric Berry would fake an injury whenever we started to get into a rhythm on offense. While Vick was shooting himself in the foot, there were instances where it seemed like we were going to steamroll down the field only to have it followed by a stoppage. I’m worried because I think defenses are going to do this all year now and we will rarely see the constant flow and quick pace that Chip installed.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      Maybe they just got cramps. The offense wasn’t really tearing them apart. Also I like that Berry would be out for a play.

      • BlindChow

        The Eagles need to come up with some sort of post-injury play, something they can check into once the ball is ready to be snapped. I’m not sure what that would be, but there has to be a way to hurt the defense with something unexpected when they pull that crap…

        • TheRogerPodacter

          i would think a good play would be to attack the player that comes in to backup the guy who has to leave the field. last night, when a CB went out, we ran the ball (on the one that i remember). granted, shady was having a monster game so i can’t complain with the play call. but it seems like a way to capitalize on what the D is doing.

          • Christopher Miller

            ^ this…I kept wondering why we never took a shot deep every time Flowers went out.

      • Stephen Stempo

        This. If you’re going to have players faking injury that player isn’t going to be Eric Berry. It’s going to be your dime or nickel corner or a back up DT.

    • RIP Worms

      I’d like to see the league consider changing the rule from “an injured player must sit out at least one play” to “an injured player cannot return until there is a change of possession.” That would help.

      • Lateraleye

        This is the correct solution. If it’s serious enough to lay down in the middle of the field for a few minutes, it’s a good idea not to push it by coming back in 30 seconds later. Then the NFL can give more proof they care about player safety. Win-win.

      • Iskar36

        Honestly, I think people are making too much of the faking injury issue. Every single time a player gets injured, fans are screaming that they are faking it. That’s simple not realistic. Most of those injuries I am willing to bet are legitimate. Players in the NFL get injured, that’s just part of the game.

        On top of that, if you’re going to fake injuries, why would that defense’s better players be faking those injuries? That doesn’t help the defense, it hurts it. Forcing a player to sit out an entire series if it isn’t needed hurts the quality of the game overall in my opinion.

        Finally, if a player faking an injury is enough to disrupt our offense, then frankly, CK’s offense is in fact “gimmicky”. You still need to be able to beat a defense with play design, talent, and execution, not just fast paced offense. Personally, I trust CK enough to believe he is more than simply trying to beat teams with his pace, so the injuries or fake injuries or whatever they are don’t bother me at all.

        • RIP Worms

          I have to disagree with this, “if a player faking an injury is enough to disrupt our offense, then frankly, CK’s offense is in fact ‘gimmicky’”.

          The offense’s success is not based on speed alone. I’d argue the packaged play concept is much more fundamental to its success (and to my untrained eye, I saw a lot fewer packaged play concepts watching last night’s game compared to weeks 1 and 2).

          By moving at a fast pace, the offense is able to dictate terms better to the defense. If the D brings on its heavy package to defend a 3rd and 1 against a 3-TE set and we convert and can force that heavy package to defend Celek, Ertz, and Casey in space then we’ve created a big mismatch.

          The defense can simply have a player who was going to come off anyway lay on the field with a cramp and there’s essentially no downside.

          That said, we actually should expect to see an increase in *legitimate* cramps and other related injuries from defenses that are not used to keeping up such a frenzied pace.

          My original point is that the fast pace provides an incremental advantage to the offense. In a league where teams are generally evenly matched talent-wise, any time you can create even small advantages through scheme or tactics can have a large impact on overall success.

        • GEagle

          dude, each coach has signals to fake injuries, a lot of teams have the designated guys who will fake it sorted out before games…plenty of former players have admitted this

          • Iskar36

            Reread what I wrote. I didn’t say it doesn’t happen by any means. I said that not every single injury is a team trying to slow the eagles pace. Of course teams are doing it some, but I simply don’t see it as big of a deal.

    • RIP Worms

      Also, this:

      @bountybowl did u notice that one guy didn't finish the game and the other was inside for 10 minutes?— Rick Burkholder (@proatc) September 20, 2013

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i’m willing to side with the players on it – injured or not.
      EDIT: it looked to me like Flowers was dry heaving like crazy. i can completely understand how he had to just go down on the field.

      what really bugs me was the first time it happened.
      i think it was sean smith? he was near the sidelines and had actually stepped out of bounds. he then came back onto the field in order to lay down on the field to stop the game. if you are already there, step off the field and let play continue. going back onto the field like that is intentionally stopping the flow of the game.

      • Tom33

        I didn’t notice the stepping back onto the field, but if he did, you have to give the guy his due and admit that was pretty smart. I do think he was really hurt, because it was the only time Cooper was able to get open all night.

        • TheRogerPodacter

          agreed – definitely a smart play on his part. if it was one of our guys doing it, i’d be applauding him. lol.

          initially, i thought he was legitimately hurt because it looked like he slipped and fell on the play trying to cover coop. after watching the replay, it looked like he was fine… just walking around with no problems… until he wasnt.

  • Donald Kalinowski

    Off Topic,- Priyanka Chopra is hot, but her song sucks and I don’t know how it got to be the opening on Thursday Night Football

  • Patrick

    Tommy, i’m not gonna lie. If I don’t see a new H2H show in my iTunes soon, I cant be accountable for my actions. I’m not threatening or anything, but I’m jonessing so bad that i might actually go watch a Jamie Dukes or Skip Bayliss analysis or a discussion between Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin focussing on Tim Tebow. Are you really going to have THAT on your conscience or are you gonna kidnap Kempski and force him to binge record a couple of hours?
    Your move Lawlor, your move.

    • RIP Worms

      Patrick, you’re playing awfully fast and loose with the English language using words like “analysis” and “discussion” to characterize the inanity of those “screen personalities.”

      • Patrick

        To be fair, english isn’t my first language but I get you. I’m just saying i’m in that must pain, that if i cant get my H2H fix i’m willing to redefine the meaning of analysis and discussion to make them cover the obnoxious rambling and mind numbing stupidity, to include the aforementioned characters. Don’t blame me, blame the crime fighting couple known as Jimmy Bama and T-law, the blood is on their hands. Or at least it will be if I have to listen to Jamie Dukes for an extended period of time, because my head might actually blow up from his “Keen observations on the NFL”.

        • RIP Worms

          Wow, I would have never guessed English was not your first language. You seem to have a better grasp of the language than most Americans I know. And certainly a better grasp of Jamie Dukes than the folks at NFL Network.

          • Ben Hert

            That seems to be a recurring theme with a lot of the international Iggles fans around here…

          • A_T_G

            WTH u sayin bout the way i rite lol brb okib lol jk i no i right fin in my opponion

  • DJH

    I’m not an expert on Kelly’s offensive concepts nor on football in general, but here’s what I feel are the major needs of the Eagles right now:

    1) A QB that can quickly and consistently making correct reads/decisions, see the field, and get rid of the ball _quickly_.

    2) A QB that can _consistently_ anticipate opening passing windows and “throw receivers open.”

    3) At least one more WR that can create separation in man coverage.

    4) Safeties

    5) LB(s) good in coverage

    The Eagles have lots to work on and we’ve seen flashes of good and bad play. However, the above 5 points are needs that we either haven’t seen or have seen very rarely so far.

    • Mitchell

      I like number 4 lol

    • Anders

      1 and 2 could be Foles (he fits the description) or it could be a drafted QB.

      3 healthy Maclin if he is brought back.

      4 trolol – Tho a guy like Clinton-Dix would be perfect. He got the size, he is his best in coverage, but is also physical and good tackler.

      5 Ryans and Barwin are good enough. Kendricks have the potential, but for some reason is totally lost in zone coverage. Cole, I prefer him just staying near the LOS. A guy like Anthony Barr would be perfect OLB draft prospect.

  • Jerry Goldstein

    Really? Two games with no “real” turnover (first game wasn’t a “real” turnover? I guess we didn’t give them 7 points on that play?) was completely wiped away in one game with 3. Now he is averaging 1.X TO a game. Typical Vick.

    Are we really still at the point of “give him time” with Vick? We have 12 years of history showing us that this is who he is. He doesn’t have a “real” turnover in the first 2 games against the 2 bottom ranked defenses in the NFL and we’re back to “give him time”? Absurd.

    If Vick was having different problems then he has had historically I’d be willing to wait and see but he still can’t read a defense, make line adjustments, throw receivers open, anticipate a route beyond his first read, protect himself, protect the ball, get rid of the ball quickly, and so on.

    In the interview Vick did with Irvin recently, Vick said that Kelly met with Vick 3 times to convince him that the offense will be great for him and he should restructure. Kelly put on a show with the QB comp and then handed Vick the job after 2 games even though the comp was at least close. Kelly has pinned his NFL life on Vick and whatever mobile QB we draft (even though we have drafted QBs seemingly every year). All the while JOE FREAKING FLACCO is the current Super Bowl MVP. SMDH

    • TommyLawlor

      Dude, you take the Vick stuff too far. Vick is done as an Eagle after this year. Give it up. Hating on him relentlessly does no one any good.

      I never said that Kelly was re-inventing Vick and he’d be a completely new player. My point is that Vick may be better than the guy we saw the last 2 years.

      And the turnover from the WAS game was bogus. That ball went forward. Bad call by the refs. That’s why I refer to it the way I do.

      • Jerry Goldstein

        I’ll hate on Vick until the day he is no longer an Eagle. It is absolutely inexcusable for Kelly to have fallen into the same exact trap and trot out the same exact offense that Reid did. Kelly has said he’s not judging players past because he doesn’t know what they were asked to do. That’s fine but you must learn from history. Did he not watch the games from the passed 3 years? How is it possible to be watching the same offense when everything is new? I’ll tell you it’s because D-Jax is a one-trick pony and Vick isn’t a QB capable of running an up-tempo, quick decision offense. We had a chance for a clean break from the past but Kelly thinks he’s smarter than Reid. Well Reid proved him blatantly wrong last night.

        What are the rules of this comments section? No bashing players who play badly? You even wanted Vick gone now he’s a protected player deserving of no criticism? When is it OK to bash him again? How many bad games? I’ll refrain from bashing the protected player until after the DEN game. How’s that?

        • TommyLawlor

          The same exact offense? Do you realize that Shady is on pace to set the NFL record for rushing yards in a season? The offense is completely different.

          There are no specific rules for comments. I want people to feel free to express their opinions.

          The point is that you come into every discussion and bash Vick relentlessly. The point of my post had little to nothing to do with Vick, but that’s what you seized upon and wanted to talk about.

          You’ve clearly established you don’t like Vick. That’s fine. I’ve got my issues with him. But to make him the focus of every discussion just gets tired.

          I never said you can’t be critical of Vick. Any Eagles player is fair game.

          I do wish you would pick and choose your spots to focus on him so the discussion wouldn’t turn into a pro/anti-Vick shouting match. Does that make sense?

        • TheRogerPodacter

          dude. tone it down a notch. if you want the discussion to be all up in arms and panic and ranting about how everybody sucks, you likely won’t find much of that here.

        • GermanEagle

          Dude, you can criticise Vick as much and often as you want to. However I am pretty sure to be one of a few people who get bored with your Vick bashing on here.

          By the way did you give Vick credit for his first two great games. I don’t think so and this is when someone’s
          hatred towards a player makes the fan disillusioned and non objective.

          • Jerry Goldstein

            Yes I absolutely did. I don’t want Vick to fail. I want him to win games. I’m at the point where I’ve had enough of Vick and don’t believe this team is going anywhere until he is gone. I understand people’s feelings on my ranting though so I will respectfully bow out.

        • xeynon

          Sheesh man… I think Vick is a decidedly mediocre quarterback and was unhappy with the decision to keep him, and even I think you’re being over the top with your criticism.

          Relax. Too many more games like this one and he’ll be riding the pine. Chip Kelly hates turnovers and he hates bad decisions by the quarterback, and plenty of both are the historical norm with Vick. This is not a marriage that is fated to last. Treat it like your sister dating a guy you don’t like who she’s not showing any intention on committing to – it’s annoying, but she’ll come to her senses and dump the loser sooner or later. Same deal w/ Chip Kelly and Vick.

      • Tom33

        I’ll admit that I was decidedly anti-Vick in July and against bringing him back. But do you really think he’s done if he plays well this year? Last night was a disaster, but if the Vick from weeks 1 & 2 shows up most weeks going forward, do you still think they still let him walk? Just wondering…

        • TommyLawlor

          I cannot see any way Kelly keeps Vick around, barring a miracle season, which it doesn’t appear will happen.

          Kelly will want a young QB to develop and grow with. Could be Foles/Barkley. Could be a kid in college.

          • Always Hopeful

            I don’t see the “answer” at QB for next year on this roster. I agree Vick is gone after this year (unless as you said the miraculous happens) but I can’t see Kelly trying out Foles or Barkley next year. I say that because why wait? Put one of them in now. Maybe the offense would be uglier than last night, but let the kid (s) grow by playing.

            Vick isn’t Doug Pederson to Foles or Barkley’s McNabb, but maybe that’s what’ll happen when Vick misses a few games.

            On one level, Vick’s elite skill makes this offense more explosive, yet his tendency to take sacks, to fumble, to throw picks, to get hurt make him a liability waiting to happen.

            Kelly has been trying to ride the fence with Vick as his choice: present success/ future success. Vick’s dynamism dwarfs Foles and Barkley’s so he’s needed to validate Chip’s offense I get that.

            I just don’t see Foles or Barkley being the option next year. I may be wrong though. It’ll be interesting to see how this season plays out. Foles will get some playing time at some point.

            Allen Iver–, um I mean, Mike Vick will miss some games, it’s only a matter of time.

            The reality is that there is only so much change we can expect from Vick or ANY veteran for that matter. Mike’s make good changes, but when harried, he goes to default setting. No shame in that, we all do.

          • PeterAkkies

            I know it’s early, but I’m not going to lie–I’m a bit worried about being that 8-8 team that barely misses the playoffs yet has to give up a lot of draft picks to trade up to be able to select a QB.

          • GEagle

            You shouldn’t be worried about that lol because 7 wins will win the division

          • BlindChow

            Yeah, but making the playoffs means nothing if you can’t compete when you get there. And your draft pick just ends up being WORSE if you happen to win a game…

      • Andy124

        Vick is done as an Eagle after this year.
        Wish I shared your optimism. :)

        • Julescat

          Marcus Mariota time!

          woot woot

    • P_P_K

      I had to look up SMDH.

      • TommyLawlor

        I’ve had to look up all kinds of these things. The younger readers are always out ahead of me with lingo.

        • Andy124

          ikr

          • A_T_G

            Icftoo

  • GermanEagle

    Am I the only one who thinks Chip Kelly looks lost on the sideline when it doesn’t go well. Also it was quite odd that he didn’t come onto the field to check out Shady when he got injured while Andy Reid did so.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am still excited about The Chipper hire, however he definitely is going through some learning and growing pains, respectively.

    • TommyLawlor

      Chip hasn’t looked lost to me, but I’ll look for that.

      • BlindChow

        There was that one play where they were looking for Kelly on the sideline, but it turned out he had somehow wandered into the parking lot…

        • TommyLawlor

          Now that would be awesome.

        • TheRogerPodacter

          he couldn’t find the water cooler so someone told him it was over at Citizens Bank Park as a prank. he didn’t see the joke until he was in the parking lot.

      • GermanEagle

        Thanks, mate. Maybe it was just too late for me when watching the game at 3am…

  • anon

    To be fair Eli has 8 picks in 2 games. Sometimes people have bad games. Peyton had 3 picks against the Falcons last year, Romo has 3 pick games regularly, Vick’s not going to be perfect, no QB is really. You can’t expect him to be Peyton Manning.

    • Jerry Goldstein

      Eli is a two-time Super Bowl MVP so I think he gets a little more leeway than Vick who is a two-time playoff game winner.

      • Always Hopeful

        It’s amazing what a “little” wining will do for your rep, huh? Eli has proven he can suck AND be virtuoso/lucky in the same season, so he gets a pass.

        I think patient Giants fans have seen Eli’s flaws long enough now to know that he can right the ship and get the Giants where they need to be come the end of the season. The teams in the NFC East are not world beaters so far this season so they still have hope…maybe we do too?

  • shah8

    I’ve come to the conclusion, that due to past terrible drafts (and I’m thinking Lane Johnson was a luxury pick), the Eagles basically cannot afford to draft a QB. The hands are pretty tied down to true needs now. We pretty much HAVE to draft either a julio jones/AJ Green style stud WR, or defense. We may have to draft a new freakin’ RG in the second or third and put up with more rookieness on the line (prefer FA). I suppose if enough QBs come out, this should drop other elite talents to us, like Fletcher Cox.

    If we play horribly and can get the best or second best prospect at QB, then of course, but otherwise? No. I would rather get some toolsy backup who might be able to start instead. The last game has really soured me on the prospect of Foles being particularly valuable. I knew this from the start, but replaying the game with Foles starting in my imagination just makes it even clearer that he’s not a fit, regardless of his actual talent–no more than Mallet would be a fit (if I thought Mallet was any good, which I don’t).

    • A_T_G

      Strangely enough, when I replay the game in my head with myself at QB, it turns out to be a 48-0 beat down when Kelly tells me at halftime he wants me to try throwing left-handed in the second half, just to keep it sporting.

    • xeynon

      Dumb comment.

      What matters is results on the field, not results as you imagine them. If Vick continues to be inconsistent and turnover prone, then despite his greater physical tools Foles will get the job. And if Foles doesn’t show improvement from both Vick’s level of play and his own as a rookie last year, some new guy should and will be drafted high next year, because this team is going nowhere with 2013 Vick or 2012 Foles as the quarterback, and Chip Kelly is smart enough to realize that.

  • Right_On1

    The comments on Celek and Avant have to cause a bit of concern. Not involving Casey & Ertz when it was clear we needed different options basically left us with 90% of the same personnel that have been error prone for 3 seasons. Result? Oddly, lots of mistakes, an inability to convert in the red zone and maddeningly inconsistent performance.

    I wouldn’t be hugely concerned if it weren’t for the fact that we burnt a high second round pick on Ertz, signed Casey in free agency yet have ended up exactly where we were half way through last season. Not losing faith yet, but definitely concerned.

    • TommyLawlor

      Ertz will be a big player for the team. He led rookie TEs in receiving yards after 2 games already so it’s not as if he’s being ignored.

      • Right_On1

        Tommy – agree Ertz will be a big player but he leads in yards because of 2 excellent runs after catch, not because of targets.

        My point was that as neither he and Casey are being heavily used leaves us with effectively the same skill players as last year (and the year before) and they (Shady exempted) are proven to be inconsistent.

  • SteveH

    Tommy, what do you make of the lack of use of guys like Casey and Damaris in the offense? I like that he’s trying to reward Avant and Celek, but when the season started I was really anticipating Casey and Damaris to be more impactful.

    • TommyLawlor

      Will do a separate post on that.

    • Always Hopeful

      Not Tommy, and I look forward to seeing his post on this, but I don’t see Damaris Johnson as being a NFL type play maker. Casey is another interesting question though. Is he not getting the offense? Is he hurt? Is he not quite the player they thought they were getting? Look forward to seeing what Tommy thinks.

    • Iskar36

      I’m curious about Tommy’s take as well, but Kelly’s comments about Avant and Celek didn’t do it for me. Celek has just 4 receptions this season for a total of 74 yards in 3 games. Avant has a decent number of receptions with 11, but it isn’t like he is making so many plays that you can’t take him off the field or mix some other players in (besides, with 5 lineman, 1 QB, DeSean, LeSean, Avant, and Celek, that’s only 10 guys, and you still have space for one more guy on the field who can make plays). Right now, the Eagles are not doing a good job spreading the ball around.

      • bridgecoach

        I think Celek is in there as much as he is because of his repoir with Vick…

        • BlindChow

          I assume it’s his blocking.

    • BlindChow

      Yeah, if none of your receivers can get separation, it’s time to try a different crew. Just shaking up the line-up may have thrown that defense off a little.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    i just want to point out…

    “False Start, Offense, Everyone but the Center.”
    that about summed up the game. lol

    • Always Hopeful

      I gotta good laugh at that. That was classic. Not quite “giving the quarterback the business” but funny none the less.

    • P_P_K

      That was one for the books.

    • ICDogg

      lol… when that happens, though it’s the center’s fault. He didn’t snap the ball when he should have.

  • Ben Hert

    Regardless of your description, I would still bid good money at a charity auction to watch an Eagles/Cowboys showdown with you. Unlimited Funyuns, pudding, and PBR as well, of course.

  • ojdiddoit

    Stoutland needs to go back to Alabama

  • Mitchell

    Up vote for trying Dennis Kelly at right guard!

    • BlindChow

      I wouldn’t be opposed to trying Barbre at RG.

      • Mitchell

        I’m sure they are looking at their options. I forgot about Barbre

    • Mitchell

      lol why am I getting down voted

  • ICDogg

    It’s not so much that they lost. It’s how they lost. Turnovers. Batted down passes. Muffs. Missed field goal. They were hapless.

    • ACViking

      ICDogg . . .

      Hapless — really *hapless* — was Eagles circa ’70 with the likes of QBs Snead and Arrington, HBs Pinder and Keyes, TEs Hill and Ballman. The list goes on.

      Nearly every week we were treated to pee-wee league football at Franklin Field.

      The fans loved it though — until Santa showed up.

      • ICDogg

        Yeah, I was young then but I remember (sigh). I’ve always felt that the snowballs at Santa was an exercise of sheer frustration based on the Eagles winning some games they needed to lose in order to tank and be in a position to draft O.J. Simpson.

  • ICDogg

    Anyway, anyone else think we should pursue a trade for Josh Gordon, since Cleveland seems to be having a fire sale?

    • ACViking

      There’s a lot talent in that kid.

      So I say yes. If the Eagles don’t do it, someone will . . . maybe not this week or next week, but before 10 weeks from now.

      The trouble is Gordon’s troublesome past.

      Who on this roster has the kind of checkered off-the-field dossier that Gordon does?

      Maybe he’s not Roseman’s or Kelly’s kind of guy. Regardless, all he seemed to do last year was catch mid-range to long passes. (And drop a few, too, if my memory’s right.)

      Anyway, I like him from 1,000 miles away. And he’d probably cost a song.

      • Anders

        Problem for Gordon is that one more failed drug test and it is a whole years suspension.

        • ACViking

          Yes. Knew there was trouble.

          That’s trouble with a capital “T”.

          On the other hand, if the US Justice Department has a policy of not prosecuting individuals for possessing small amounts of dope . . . and several states have legalized its possession . . . and, finally, public opinion favors legalizing dope, then why should Gordon be punished for failing a DT if the drug is marijuana?

          Can you imagine if the owners were tested for their alcohol blood level during games? And coaches afterwards?

          If I’d been D-Smith, I’d have made pushed to have the owners tested . . . or at least to get dope violations to warrant far less severe penalties.

          It’s not the year 2000 anymore.

          • Anders

            I actually think weed is of the WADA doping list as well.

    • D3FB

      Jabal Sheard could be available as well.

  • ACViking

    Re: Growth and Development

    I get that Kelly wants to win right now, rather than — say, oh I don’t know, like Cleveland — play to build for next year.

    What’s concerning, only mildly at this point, is the following. Jason Avant is taking snaps from Ertz. Cole is taking snaps from Graham. And someone — I have no idea whom — is taking snaps from Curry, whom the coaches apparently see as not a particularly good fit for whatever they’re trying to do.

    Avant’s a fine slot receiver in this, his 8th season. And with those 8 years’ experience, he’s out-playing Ertz in practice and in the 55-15 play-advantage that Avant’s getting in games. But what if Ertz were out there the past 3 games for 30 plays? Maybe he’s racing up the learning curve — and justifying his 2nd Rd draft status — so by weeks 9-16 Ertz is a big-time contributor and, next year, much further along.

    Same with Graham v. Cole. No question Cole’s playing very good football. And, with all his experience (and the same relentless drive I think Graham has), Cole’s outperforming Graham in practice and games, with the 65-17 play advantage to do so. At a 50% split, maybe Graham grows into the position and next year, he takes a bigger step forward. Or he proves to be a complete bust and the team moves on from another 1st Round pick.

    Then there’s Curry. The more I watch him the more disappointed I am that Kelly’s staff had him bulk up to 275 (or whatever he is), rather than get leaner and compete for Cole’s position. That said, the mystery persists as to why the staff has been so reluctant to find a way to get him out on the field — even at the expense of Cole and Graham.

    Saying it’s all about “competition” begs the more fundamental question of development in a season in which Kelly’s going to get EVERY reasonable doubt.

    It’s true that playing the veterans for most of the game — as T-Law alluded — may produce record in the .500 area or even the playoffs.

    But if nothing much changes regarding use of personnel I’d argue this season was a lost opportunity for the staff to develop the high-level picks on this roster — particularly Ertz.

    As long as McCoy stays healthy, more so than Vick, the Offense will produce points.

    • Anders

      We are 3 games into the season.

      Kelly/Davis have already shown that he isnt set in his ways regarding the DL, switching the underperforming Square with Curry. I think we will keep seen guys like Graham, Ertz etc. get more and more playing time.

      I also think that if we are lets say 1-7 (plauseble), I would think Kelly would say fuck it and just play the young guys.

      • BlindChow

        Yeah, I don’t get the obsession with playing underperfoming guys simply because their young. Plenty of eventual stars didn’t start their first or even second years, and their “development” wasn’t hampered in the slightest. An argument can even be made that sitting and learning behind a veteran helped them.

        I’m all for Kelly playing the guys he thinks deserves to play (though it’s about time Curry got on the field).

        And yeah, we should all strive to be more like Cleveland

  • Julescat

    Fat Andy Reid ran this team into the ground. So when sportswriters and KC fans talk about Reid’s successful return to Philly realize that Reid inherited a team with decent talent in need of a QB. Reid didn’t build that team. His bad judgement will run KC to the same point the Eagles are in now.

    • anon

      Yeah, they are smart by keeping him out of personnel decisions.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    if vick keeps playing the way he does at some point we have to evaluate if the Foles era begins again or the Barkley era starts….If Vick gives us the best cfhance to go 6-10 I rather see what the youth has……

    • anon

      Did you watch pre-season?

      • Joseph Dubyk

        Did you watch the past two years?

  • GEagle

    I was literally in the stands, Meooowing at Nate Allen,Kelce,Vick calling them not so nice word for a cat, people were looking at me like I was nuts..

    Did you guys hear about the fight near the OSS box? Not Su if there is video or not…but 5 Black Eagles fans were taunting and Hating on Vick all game screaming how the wanted Foles, and White dudes sitting behind the, we taking offense because they were Vick fans…so it was a bloody, black vs. White, Eagle on Egle crime, Black man fighting for the white man, white man fighting for the black man. A weird version of reverse racism lol…There was a lot of blood, a husky woman jumped in and started swinging, seats were completely broken off…they had to clear the section and couldn’t let people back because of blood and broken seats so they we scrambling to re seat people…
    ….
    is that enough emotion lol? only in the city of brotherly love!!!

    • Jerry Goldstein

      Is that a true story? If so… wow.

      • BlindChow

        I think one of the beat writers mentioned on Twitter that all the press guys were pulling out their cell phones to record the melee. I haven’t checked YouTube, but you know if there’s footage that’s where it’ll turn up…

      • GEagle

        Yeah it’s true

  • A_T_G

    On the play where Henery sent a message (no, not that message, the one where he made the tackle), the official announced that a face mask penalty was committed by our #35, but turned down in favor of the horse collar penalty.

    We don’t have a #35. That penalty was on the ball carrier and should have been offsetting, right?

    • anon

      No i think both fouls were on henery he did a facemask / horse collar tackle combo, but it’s ok b/c he’s a kicker.

      • ICDogg

        well, as small as he is, he probably wasn’t likely to hurt anyone

  • miked718

    What’s really going to win the NFC East this year? We could be looking at a 7-9 team winning (a la Seahawks few years back). That allows us a whole lot more losing before we snatch the crown. It’s a long season!

    • GEagle

      I think it’s simple when it comes to Vick. The hope is this Oline plays elite football and hides some of Vicks flaws. As the line goes Vick will go until he inevitably gets hit on his own outside the pocket. Don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the first two games when the offense played well, Vick put up 30. But when the line is struggling like last night, chip need to make an effort to run the ball. He can always play the numbers game. Sometimes you gotta pound the rock no matter how many people are in the box and considering I don’t ever recall KC holding our RBs to less then 4-5 yards on two, three plays in a row, It’s frustrating that we didn’t pound the rock more. I know you have to take what the defense gives you, but it’s also important to dictate to the defense and impose your will…Good coaching is finding the proper balance of the two…
      ….
      Vick was under pressure all night, Desean was handcuffed, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have ran the ball 30 times last night…

      I get not wanting to throw Wolff into the fire, but can we please never again play Nate Allen on third and long? Play Ku Coleman on third down for all I care, ATleast he won’t play scared.

      When it’s 3rd and 12, your safety’s mindset NEEDS to be “Do Not allow the opponent to get more then 11 yards AT ALL COSTS”..That is the Only thing a safety should be thinking at the time.

      Nate Allen isn’t wired that way. on 3rd and 12, his mindset is “I can Not get beat deep at all cost”…and we don’t stand a friggin chance with a safety who thinks like that. It’s no secret, every coach around the league will see it. 3rd and 12 and Nate is 20yards back, and opponents just continue to throw underneath to fast recievers knowing that Nate won’t get their in time to shut it down…Everyone Knew what they were doing on that crucial 3rd down. EVERYONE. it’s not THAT complicated, yet Nate doesn’t have the confidence in himself to play up and jump that route. A competent Safety will easy adjust to a team continuing to do that, jump it and turn it to 6 pts…
      ..
      I’m really tired of piling on, but after last night, in what we call a “good game” since we lowered the ball as much as we possibly can….It’s obvious that Allen can Never again play on 3rd down. And I mean NEVER, not even on a 3 safety set….Get 11 guys on the field who are Only thinking, stop this team short of a first down, and get off the field at all costs…Guys who aren’t too afraid of failing that can actually go out thee and make a play.

      You want to keep Nate on the field on 1st and 2nd? Don’t want to play Wolff on 3rd? Fine…then get Kurt or Colt in the game because Nate is just too big of a liability, and i can assure you right now, that his confidence issues won’t magically disappear. play Scared, and you don’t have a chance! Stop allowing his weak mind to compromise the other 11 guys who are clawing and scratching to get off the field…I’d rather give up 30 yards being too aggressive on 3rd and 12, then to give up 13yards

      • anon

        Agree, but sadly Kendricks wasn’t helping at all.

        • GEagle

          chung also made too many mistakes

  • Weapon Y

    One thing that makes me anxious is Michael Vick’s contract situation. Because he will be a free agent at the end of the year, we’re at a crossroads for the quarterback position. I’m just not sure we can trust Vick to play up to a long-term deal. Chances are this season is going to be the best season of what’s left of his football career. He’s getting older and slower. Guys like Peyton Manning can survive so long because their mental command of the game is so dominant. Vick just doesn’t have that trait. Obviously, it would be foolish to jump to a decision for the long haul only 3 games in, but if we see a mixed bag from Vick like we have so far, I think we have to let him walk.

    The question then becomes who do we turn to be a dependable franchise quarterback? Clearly, Matt Barkley is not the answer. Not now anyway. Nick Foles is a much trickier subject. If Vick collapses the way 1995 Randall Cunningham did, Chip will be tempted to start Foles. I think taking the attitude of, “Foles wasn’t even good enough to beat Vick, so if Vick disappoints, he shouldn’t get a chance” is wrong. That assumes Foles won’t get better as time goes on. Not to mention that Vick was freakishly good in preseason and legitimately earned the job, while Foles was clearly improved from last season too. If we pull the plug on Vick, I can’t overstate how important it is to get more film on Nick Foles. Chip needs to keep a high standard for Foles to avoid repeating the Bobby Hoying mistake. Any uncertainty should be a big fat No to him being the franchise QB.

    One last thing complicating matters is the way the draft works. This draft features a lot of quarterbacks with big time potential. This would be a very convenient year to struggle and get a bad record. None of the QBs are Luck or RG3, but Teddy Bridgewater has a very high ceiling. So does Tajh Boyd. Then there are other intriguing guys like Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, and David Fales. Vick is Plan A. Foles is Plan B. If neither works, it is very important to get a solid Plan C. If that fails too, Chip might just be out of time.

    • BlindChow

      Right now I’m assuming we’ll stink up the joint again this year and get a high pick. If not, then that means we won a few games, which would be okay by me, too.

    • The Answer

      Don’t forget UCLA’s quarterback Brett Hundley he is rising up boards.

  • xeynon

    I missed this game and am not sad that was the case. Was not surprised by the results though.

    I’ve been saying for months that this is not a very good team. They don’t have a very good quarterback or receiving corps, and they have a terrible defense. That’s a difficult recipe to win with. 8-8 with growth from the young players would absolutely be a successful season. If guys like Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, and Mychal Kendricks learn from the mistakes they are making now, we will be better positioned to win next year or in 2015 when we have a better quarterback and more depth at receiver and on defense.

  • dan quisenberry

    Why do people think Damaris Johnson is a good PR? 9 times out of 10 he gets tackled immediately. I know, on that 10th PR he goes 40 yds blah blah blah. He just looked terrible against KC.