Chip Kelly doesn’t like hypotheticals. He prefers to deal with what he knows. You can see this in the way he built the roster.
There is no question that Russell Shepard has more potential than Jeff Maehl. I think even Mama and Papa Maehl would agree with that. But Maehl is the more polished player right now. Maehl caught 178 passes and 24 TDs at Oregon. Shepard caught 58 passes and 5 TDs at LSU. Maehl is a proven WR (at the college level). Shepard is still a project. Think about the preseason. In 4 games, Shepard caught 3 passes for 42 yards. Maehl was here just 2 weeks and was 8-61 in the Jets games.
Maehl was an outstanding blocker at Oregon. I haven’t studied his blocking with the Eagles so far. Shepard was pretty good, but still had his rookie moments. Shepard stood out as a gunner on STs. He still had some moments when he ran around blocks, but his effort was outstanding.
What Chip told us by keeping Maehl is that he wants guys he can count on right away. We also saw this in the move to keep Damion Square and put Joe Kruger on IR. Kruger is bigger (in terms of his frame), more athletic and more naturally gifted. Square is the better player right now.
We can discuss the merits of the philosophy, but I think the key is in understanding it and how Kelly thinks.
The Patriots have a saying that they aren’t collecting talent, but rather building a team. And that’s exactly what Chip Kelly is doing. His goal isn’t to choose the most talented 53 individuals. Kelly is looking for the right combination of 53 players. We all have our thoughts on which 53 guys we want the Eagles to keep. We know who we like.
Chip Kelly is the world’s leading expert in building a Chip Kelly football team. He knows what he wants. He’s watched these players all summer and has a strong feel for which guys can help him lay the foundation for his team. Remember that Kelly isn’t a typical coach. He has a total concept for his players – fitness, rest, nutrition, etc. Kelly has very specific ideas on how to build and run a football program.
Kelly will make some bad decisions. That’s just the reality of being an NFL coach. The key is for him to make more right than wrong and to hit on the big decisions.
Let’s also remember that the last 2 years the Eagles loaded up on individual talent. The problem was that those players weren’t all ideal fits for the scheme. The players also didn’t fit well together. Kelly is trying to find players that fit the schemes and that can fit in well to his overall system. He wants a tough, physical, productive, cohesive team.
Starting on Monday, we’ll find out if that’s what he built.
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Danny Watkins signed with the Dolphins. Good luck to Danny and his new team.
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The Eagles signed S Keelan Johnson and OL Isaac Remington to the practice squad.
Johnson has good size and is a talented DB.
Remington is here as a practice player. He was a DL at Oregon and through the spring and early summer. Remington has good size and he’s a physical player. I don’t know if he can develop as an OL. I’d think of him as a G.
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Eagles tried out former Ravens offensive tackle Rogers Gaines, according to a league source, as well as linebacker Vic So'oto
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) September 4, 2013