I’m busy with the DGR so just some short, quick stuff for now.
Chip Kelly is an amazing offensive coach. He is 2 games into his NFL career. Think about this…
* LeSean McCoy has a career high for carries and the 2nd highest rushing total of his career already.
* DeSean Jackson set a career high with 9 catches on Sunday. He had the 2nd best day of his career in terms of yards (193).
* Michael Vick set a career high with 428 passing yards against the Chargers.
It is often overlooked, but a crucial trait with great coaches is that they get star players to play at an elite level. Jimmy Johnson didn’t win Super Bowls because he loved fast DL. He won because Aikman, Irvin and Emmitt played at an elite level.
Chip was given great offensive talent and he’s delivered great results so far.
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80 points. 846 yards.
That’s how the 2007 Giants defense started off their season. New DC Steve Spagnuolo was teaching his scheme. He had talented players to work with, but the team struggled as they learned the system…and faced talented QBs in Tony Romo and Brett Favre.
I’m not saying the Eagles defense will become a juggernaut unit, but keep things in context. This is a completely new system. And they just faced RG3 and Philip Rivers.
The defense should improve as the players learn how to play in the scheme. That takes time. Since the new system is completely foreign to so many of the guys, it will take longer than 2 games. I’d love to give you a number. Could be 3, 5, 7 or 9 (see I don’t always choose even numbers).
The personnel issues won’t get solved until next March/April/May. But the current group can and should get better as they adjust.
Good defense is all about 11 guys functioning together. They need to communicate. They need to execute their assignments correctly. We saw some blown coverages yesterday where players simply made mental mistakes. Those should go away. Should, being the key word.
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In regard to my comments yesterday about the defense vs 2012…I wasn’t referring to numbers. The 2012 unit was the worst Eagles defense I’ve seen because they made life so easy on opponents in those final 10 games. They gave up points and yards, but also style points. Opposing players were running free down the middle of the field on a regular basis.
This isn’t a Juan Castillo issue. The defense fell apart after he was fired. That’s when we hit rock bottom.
If this group does give up 30 points a game, they may be statistically the worst Eagles defense ever, but I can live with the effort and intensity. If you have players that just aren’t good enough, all you can ask is that they give maximum effort. I’m only going to be mad at players who underachieve. Those guys tend not to give maximum effort and that’s a major red flag for me.
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Chip Kelly is going to have some growing pains as he adjusts to the NFL game. He could have done a better job late in the game on Sunday. We knew there would be moments like that. You don’t mind Chip making those errors once, but you hope he learns from them.
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Nate Allen won’t remain a starter for much longer. You can already see Earl Wolff is tackling better and is a more decisive player. The coaches just want him to have a firm grasp on the defense.
The reason for that is they don’t want to throw Wolff out there early and have him make mistakes that would affect his confidence. You can ruin a young player by playing him too early. Those guys can develop bad habits that will affect their mindset and the way they play. It is better to live with Nate’s issues for another game or two and make sure Wolff develops properly. The goal here is to have Wolff as a starter for the next few years. Don’t be impatient. You wouldn’t eat pudding that hadn’t fully finished cooking would you?
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Someone referred to Fletcher Cox as possibly being a bust. I couldn’t tell if that was a joke or not, but let’s be perfectly clear. Cox had a good rookie season. He’s doing some good things this year. He’s adapting to a new system and that will stunt his growth, but he’s got the potential to be a Pro Bowl player. He is where he should be. Don’t visit the sins of other 1st rounders upon Fletch. He looks like a good young player.