The Specialness of the Special Teamer

Posted: September 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 153 Comments »

Chip Kelly believes in Special Teams.

A lot.

Kelly offered up his explanation for some of the recent roster moves.

“Any backup spot is all the value of special teams,” Kelly said. “If you’re going to be a backup player here, you’re going to be on teams.”

He then explained the situation with OLBs.

“Right now, at our outside linebacker spots, we have a lot of rush guys, not a lot of drop guys,” Kelly said. “To keep a third rush guy, we kept Vinny [Curry], kind of look at Vinny [as someone who] could play in that spot for us. To keep another rush guy who’s not contributing on teams just wasn’t going to help us. Especially when we go to 46 [on game days].”

This makes complete sense to me. You may still disagree with cutting McCoy or some of the other moves, but it should help you to now understand the thinking behind the moves.

“It’s about special teams,” Kelly said. “There’s three ways to make this football team: special teams, special teams, special teams. …If you’re going to be the fourth or fifth receiver, it’s the value to Coach Fipp and our special teams.” Kelly said that’s the reason the Eagles acquired Najee Goode, because special teams outweighs a player’s production on offense or defense because that’s how they’ll contribute in games.

Frankly, after the poor STs play of the post-Harbaugh era, I’m just fine with Kelly and Dave Fipp doing whatever it takes to solve that unit. When you have a talented, but flawed roster like the Eagles do, STs can win/lose you a few games a year. Damaris Johnson’s fumble in the Arizona game last year completely changed the momentum of that game. The PR score in the first Dallas game broke that contest wide open. Fipp won’t let that happen this year. Players don’t want to deal with the wrath of his stare.

* * * * *

Earl Wolff will play in the opener. Interesting. Pat Chung and Nate Allen will start. Colt Anderson will be key on STs. Does this mean Kurt Coleman will be inactive? Is there any way Kelly would dress all 5 Safeties?

* * * * *

I loved all the Iron Maiden comments/stories in the previous post. Great stuff.

* * * * *

Dave Spadaro did an interview with The Chipper. Chip talked about wanting his players to play aggressively. Take chances. Don’t be afraid to fail.

This is an interesting mentality. So many coaches over the years wanted players to be cautious and avoid mistakes. Kelly has told his guys not to be afraid of making mistakes. Clearly they can’t play recklessly, buy he doesn’t want safe. Kelly wants playmakers.

_


  • T_S_O_P

    Frankly, after the poor STs play of the post-Harbaugh era, I’m just fine with Kelly and Dave Fipp doing whatever it takes to solve that unit.

    Singing from my hymn book, and it is clear that Russell Shepard did all he could do to make this team. Maybe he will make the Julian Vandervelde route to being an Eagle.

    Also, the philosophy of the bottom of the roster being having to be competent STs rather than offensive Tinker Toys or projects, more so when you consider how much the OC rarely used his back ups, is refreshing to say the least.

    • Media Mike

      I totally agree with every single roster move based on this philosophy with the exception of the final cut of Acho and keeping of Matthews. Prior to that, every move had an easy justification.

      • Mark Saltveit

        Acho had no ST skills and was passed over by every other team. Matthews had 14 tackles on ST last year. So how does that move contradict this philosophy?

        • Media Mike

          I don’t know if Acho has any special teams experience, but he’s showed the skills at LB that would translate well to special teams. And just because guys are passed over by other teams and/or not experienced doing certain things doesn’t mean that they can’t be developed into good players by other teams. Evan Mathis, Chris Carter, Victor Cruz, James Harrison, Priest Holmes, Jimmy Smith, and many other guys were considered trash players until given a chance to play full time.

          • theycallmerob

            I get what you’re saying, but it’s still known vs. unknown. He may be good, but Kelly already knows Matthews the Lesser is good*. For a team already with a lot of ?uestion marks, I can see why they wanted to go with some known quantities.

        • eagleyankfan

          let’s put that in perspective though. The special teams from last year were absolutely brutal. BRUTAL. Were those 14 tackles after 20 yard returns? If Casey was on special teams last and last year they stunk…conclusion is…

          • bentheimmigrant

            Asking questions like that to make a point doesn’t. If you’re trying to say Matthews was bad at special teams, show it. The coaches watched the tape, and had a whole summer of practices and preseason games to evaluate these things. They have a lot more to go on than “Is that the case? I don’t know!”

          • eagleyankfan

            show it? You do the homework. You go see where the Eagles finished ranked last year on special teams. I already know the answer. The point is, they do have a lot more to go on — it’s called “Oregon”.

          • bentheimmigrant

            I didn’t ask the questions. You did.

          • eagleyankfan

            you said “show it”…

          • bentheimmigrant

            Yeah. Because you asked some questions to make it sound like you had the facts on your side. You might. As it happens, neither of us has done that film study, so I’m going to defer to the people who did. Now, if you’re going to say they’re wrong, show it.

          • eagleyankfan

            ugh. What are you 10 going on 11?

          • bentheimmigrant

            Why do you think asking someone to back up their claims is immature?

          • Richaud Jeaffreson

            You really think a person would risk a multi-million dollar job because he wanted to put kids he coached in college on his team? Chip isn’t retarded like Steve Spurrier.

          • Jernst

            I don’t think Chip is doing that at all, but he seems to err on the side of familiarity when choosing players. Maybe he likes having people on the team that he knows what they can do and there just happens to be less guesswork with players he’s already comfortable with. There’s too many Oregon players on this roster for there to not at least be some truth to that. I would love to see some one do a statistical analysis to see what the chance would be for this many Oregon players from the last 4 yrs to randomly end upon one team by chance. I bet there’s a statistical deviation from what would be expected if the Oregon connection made no difference.

          • theycallmerob

            Looking at this another way, the team was wrecked these last few years by an erosion of chemisty (the “Eagle’s Way”, if you will). Bad drafts meant more mercenary FAs. Bad coaching didn’t formulate chemistry. Losses piss everyone off. The cuts this offseason showed that.
            Besides Kelly simply being familiar with what these guys bring to the table, none of these players are starting! The culture for STers is bust-a$$ on every play; these are try-hard, team players.

            We had the greatest roster turnover in the league, and a new culture to boot. It makes sense for some dudes who will be critical in practice to already know what’s going on. Kelly’s scheme does not strike me as one where FAs can walk in a few days before the season and pick it up at a high level.

          • bsuperfi

            This comment strikes me as right on. On one hand, a coach could make a straightforward attempt to build up talent at the bottom of the roster. That can be useful, especially if you’re good at development. But it’s also like playing the lottery in some cases.

            On the other hand, a coach could focus on improving ST and building culture, both of which are pretty important in the beginning of a new regime with a bad team. ST can turn around fast and have some impact on W/L, and culture is critical for the long term.

            The one thing that bugs me is that some of the moves send the message that competition doesn’t matter. It was real for Vick/Foles and for some guys fighting for playing time. But it’s not real across the board. That’s a mixed message re culture and trust in the new HC.

          • theycallmerob

            With regard to your last paragraph, it may be the case that the plays we saw these guys making were really negative marks against them. I think at some point, on this site or 24/7, one of the writers looked at the reason Curry was still not starting/playing more. His “playmaking”, which stands out, may have been a result of missed gap assignments.
            I personally don’t agree with that in his (Curry’s) case, but I see that logic for Acho and McCoy. McCoy was still the 3rd-best rushing OLB, and I doubt we go all season not grabbing someone halfway-decent to back up Barwin. Acho may be better, presently, at run-stuffing, but that may be one example where potential won the job. I think the team is very high on Knott, and I would not be surprised if he’s 3rd ILB later on this year.
            Where else do you see that not being the case? Salas and Shepard? Either one would be the 5th WR anyway (little offensive contribution), and Salas in particular would be the 3rd slot receiver. Shepard can’t run routes well enough to be trusted on the outside.
            I may not agree with every spot, and some aspects of the depth chart, but I do believe Chip’s reasoning is sound and is visible across all his decisions. I respect that.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Don’t forget the other reason for this – it might not be about familiarity, but the type of players they are. There will naturally be a lot of overlap between the type of player Kelly is looking for, and the type he coached at Oregon. So, as he said, if you don’t do STs, you’re not on the team. He would have trained these guys the last 4 years to put real effort into their ST performance. With someone like Maehl, he would have prized his route-running and safe hands. That’s why as soon as he was on the field he had 8 catches – not because of some conspiracy, but because he was exactly the type of player Kelly was looking for in that role.

          • Mark Saltveit

            Don’t forget, Jeff Maehl was a hard-hitting safety in HS — check out this video — and Chip prizes safeties on ST kick coverage because it’s a very similar skill set (open field tackling).
            Also drops by all receivers and TEs were horrible for Eagles this preseason, except Maehl didn’t. Shepard just couldn’t catch passes, which is kind of important for a receiver.

          • Jernst

            Agreed…good points! I actually like Maehl a lot and wasn’t 100% sold on Sheppard. That being said the LB thing still confuses me, although I concede that Chip and Davis know what theyre looking for much more than I do. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy as much as I think there’s something to the Oregon connection. It might be the overlap you talk about, the ingrained desire to play well on special teams, knowledge of the schemes or just familiarity of what they can do from time at Oregon. I don’t know what it is, but I also can’t logically explain Casey Matthews at all….at all.

      • eagleyankfan

        you know the reason why. Kelly will never say it. Again — CK actions are not matching what he’s saying … then again — “don’t be afraid to fail” — Nate Allen made the team before spring training even started ….. clearly this guy is not afraid to fail. CK should have said — “don’t be afraid to cover or tackle or knock down a pass or ….”

        • Mark Saltveit

          Who do you think beat Nate Allen in competition?

    • GermanEagle

      Mate, how you put words into “italics”?

      • RIP illa

        Beginning of sentence Type…
        at the end of sentence.
        have never used it but that’s the way I was told it was supposed to be done.

        • Andy124

          In order to put test in italics type
          test but with the spaces removed.

          • knighn

            And multiple for all of the above.

          • theycallmerob
          • GEagle

            Brooklyn Zoo!!’

          • Andy124

            nevermind.

    • mheil

      Shepard is the one cut I can’t stomach. He was their best gunner, made a few ST tackles, recovered a fumble and worked hard to improve as a receiver. Kelly said Maehl is a good ST player but I can’t recall his making one play. Maybe Kelly is referring to his play at O. If he is such a good ST player, he should be active on game day because of his ST skills. We will see if he is as good as Shepard.

  • SteveH

    Not being afraid to fail, very smart to create that culture in the locker room.

    • Baloophi

      Anyone on the team from last year clearly isn’t afraid to fail…

  • Jamie Parker

    I sang the title of this article as an Iron Maiden song. (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner)

    • TommyLawlor

      Glad someone got the strange reference.

  • Media Mike

    I’m still unconvinced that Acho (in relation to Matthews) couldn’t apply his superior ability to key and diagnose along with his double superior ability to shed blockers to become a quality special teams contributor.
    Special teams play requires lane discipline, speed, the ability to key and diagnose the path of a runner, and a willingness to take on blockers.
    Acho showed a superior ability in most of areas in relation to Matthews all preseason.

    • Mark Saltveit

      Arguably he could have been a good punt rusher/blocker — did he get close at all in the preseason?

      • Media Mike

        I’m not sure because I can’t find special teams pre-season stats on any web site, but my view of his skill set would lead me to believe he can do the job.

        • Anders

          Speciel teams play is a mental thing. He might not have shown the needed mental part or maybe Matthew’s cover skills was simply better and needed

    • bentheimmigrant

      I don’t think anyone’s arguing that Matthews has a higher ceiling. The question is whether Acho could be that guy on Monday night.

    • Julescat

      does it make any difference to you that Acho went unclaimed?

    • mksp

      dude. just stop harping on acho already. its been talked to death, chip has explained why, and on top of that, he wasn’t even claimed. you’re wrong about him, its over, move on.

  • GermanEagle

    Derek Carrier must have been really useless on special teams then…

  • Corry

    Cutting McCoy does make sense in that having 3 of the same skill sets doesn’t do a whole lot for your team. Even less if that 4th guy doesn’t contribute to Special Teams. However, having only 3 guys on the roster at the position and cross-training Casey Matthews to be an outside guy still makes me nervous.

    I thought Casey had a solid summer this year and looked way more comfortable in the 3-4 than he ever did playing for Castillo and company, but if you thought McCoy wasn’t very good at holding the point of attack on run downs, I can’t imagine Matthews will be at all impressive either. I’m crossing my fingers and toes and rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot hoping for no injuries at that position.

    • Jernst

      Agreed completely! This logic works just fine until there’s an injury…and then your F’d

      • theycallmerob

        Of course, but that’s true for almost every team. Especially ones void of talent at many starting positions, let alone backups.

  • ICDogg

    The thing that bugs me a little about this approach, though, is that great special teamers do not necessarily translate into even decent position players. The first name that came to mind after Colt Anderson for me was Mark Simoneau. When we got him I was convinced he was going to be good based on watching some clips of his which were mostly special teams plays, including a great punt block/recovery. Then again, the Eagles expected him to be a starter, so maybe that’s the answer right there.

    • bentheimmigrant

      I think part of it is also that Chip wants to be able to play pretty much any kind of D. So, while we would consider Barwin getting hurt to be the D’s Achilles Heel, I suspect if that were to happen we wouldn’t just carry on in exactly the form of 3-4 that we’d been playing. I think we would shift more towards a 4-3, and we’d see one of the backup ILBs coming in more.

    • Obed Torres

      Completely agree.

      Also, since there are going to be inactives, would it not be wise to fill a couple of “bottom of the roster” spots with players that have the potential to become starters despite a less than awesome ST acumen?

      That is my issue with the roster. We are trying to redefine ourselves defensively, do not have the pieces in place to run the system we want, and also are not developing players who appear to be natural fits despite having the inactive spots available for this purpose.

      • bentheimmigrant

        There is the other option that the coaches didn’t think they were natural fits. Tommy has pointed out in the past the shortcomings of some of the fans’ choices… it’s entirely possible those were dealbreakers for the coaches. E.g. Shepard not getting open, Acho looking lost in coverage.

        • Obed Torres

          I didn’t want to mention any player specifically but still managed to poorly phrase my post.

          Let me ask a question – what players are we keeping that can project to be starters? I see Wolff, who is already going to play and little else. We are thin at olb to run a 3-4 and are not developing anyone. Not saying McCoy or Acho were the answer, but if the 3-4 is truly the direction the team wants to head towards, the lack of a developmental olb could be seen as an issue. We do have inactive roster spots for situations like these.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Oh, I agree about the developmental spots – We’re using some, e.g. Knott, Poyer, Square. My assumption is that they decided that the options at OLB weren’t what they were looking to develop, for whatever reason. All this stuff about special teams is for an “all else being equal” situation, I think. If they think they’ve got their hands on a definite starter in the making, I suspect they’d be all over him.

            The other side of this is, if you’re a promising defender, why do you struggle with your special teams assignment?

          • anon

            I think that would be the route if we had those players on the team. I don’t think we do, we barely have starters, so the other option is special teams contributors.

      • Mark Saltveit

        ST players contribute every game. 5th receivers and 7th linebackers may not contribute once all year, and if they can’t play ST, then you’re risking injuries by your better players.

  • A_T_G

    As I have said, Sheppard is the cut that bugged me, partly because I thought he could be very good on special teams. Is it possible that the coaches looked at the roster, and the IR, and came to the conclusion that there is no way Sheppard cracks the roster in the next few years?

    • holeplug

      Probably considering he couldn’t really beat 2nd/3rd stringers in coverage.

    • Anders

      You can’t just ir a guy. Also Shepard needs to learn how to run routes before he can help. Only space for so many Colt Anderson types on the roster

      • bentheimmigrant

        I think ATG was referring to Maclin, not the possibility of IRing Sheppard.

        • A_T_G

          Yep. And Benn.

  • A_T_G

    Chip has mentioned the 53 and 46 numbers, a lot. I wonder if this particular variation from the college game is making him feel handcuffed. It seems as if he is being very careful to get guys that can help the team now into each of those slots. It might take a year or two for Chip to be sure he can field a good product with 50 game-ready players and be comfortable using the last few spots on projects.

  • sprawl

    “Earl Wolff will play in the opener. Interesting. Pat Chung and Nate Allen will start. Colt Anderson will be key on STs. Does this mean Kurt Coleman will be inactive? Is there any way Kelly would dress all 5 Safeties?”

    Will Kurt Coleman be dressed as backup CB as well?

    • ICDogg

      Interesting questions. The other one I have is whether we’re going to see a three-safety look.

      • GermanEagle

        I am pretty positive that we will see some 3 safeties looks. And though it will involve Nate Allen, I cannot wait to see it!

      • OregonDucker

        Yeah, I think we will see three safeties. Especially when the skins are trying to close a 30 pt. deficit.

    • Richaud Jeaffreson

      Hughes is hurt, and prater just came to the team. It isn’t completely inconceivable.

    • theycallmerob

      That was my first thought as well, but I made sure to scroll down first and make sure no one beat me to it! Well played.

      I think to start the season, they have to go heavier on DL and LB active players due to the rotation, ST playing time for the LBs, and continued attempt to develop a hybrid front and test these players’ ability to transition to the 34.

      Thus, Chung/Allen/Wolff may see actual time at S, Anderson may play ST, and Coleman may still be activated as an emergency S/CB (hence the preseason snaps, rather than a rush to sign more CBs before the Jets game). That would allow the Eagles to deactivate Hughes (until healthy), Prater (until he learns the defense/shows he’s better than Hughes), and Poyer (until he’s ready/better than Coleman at that tweener spot, or better than Hughes for 4th CB).
      I know some fans will hate this flip-flopping, and the inability for players to get comfortable with each other, but there are still a lot of new faces who have not been NFL tested. This is a transition year on defense, and we need to see who is capable of being here this time next year.

      • GermanEagle

        I honestly don’t think the Eagles will only dress 3 CBs’, even with Coleman being “semi-able” to line up at corner.

      • GEagle

        I believe that my of the pieces of our future defense are already on this roster and it’s more of a case of finding out what type of Caliber players do we need to add to the position groups..Take the Dline for example:
        I think Thorton,Cox,Logan,Curry are her for the next 5 years or so…Gaethers,Square and Soap(we all know he is a temporary year or two stop gap), will have to continue to improve and show something to have a future here…ATleast 1 Dlineman will need to be added,maybe two…but this year will tell us how much we have to invest in those two new linemen….If Fox becomes a probowler, and guys like Logan, Thorton and Curry all are continuing to improve and play at a high level, then we won’t have to invest high draft picks, or spend a lot of money on Free agent linemen….but If those guys look to be average, then we will need to invest higher picks, more money, trying to get a real impact Dlinemen…
        ..
        Just look at the secondary…Fletcher and Chung will be Eagles, Safeties and corners will need to be added, this year tells us how much we have to invest in them…Is Bradley Fletcher going to prove that he is a starting outside corner of our future, in that case we would need to add better backup corners…but if fLetcher proves to be a future backup for us, then we would need to invest more in getting a starting outside corner…

        I think almost 2/3rds of the future Eagles defense is alreeady i place and that this year is about finding out if we need to add starters, or better backups to what is in place already

  • GEagle

    I have an inside tip for you guys…
    …MY buddy is a TE on the Ravens practice squad named Matt Furstenburg…his agent got a call from the Eagles two days ago, and the Eagles told him they might sign him to their roster during tonight’s game…

    • BlindChow

      Who would they cut? Igwenagu?

      And why wait till the game? Is the Ravens’ Practice Squad pen lightly guarded during away games or something?

      • theycallmerob

        That would run counter for all the rationale around keeping him over Harbor. If there looking for a backup for Casey at the H or F, I don’t see how Furstenburg is an upgrade. Unless they cut at another position.

        • GEagle

          I don’t understand it….but they must have Had their eye on him for some time

      • GEagle

        No idea….that’s the text message I got, all I asked was if it happens to get me tickets to the skins game….Try not to bother the guy at a time like this…He knows Im an eagles Maniac, if something happens, He will let me know and ill post it..

        Edit: Cheap ass PS player already promised the skins tickets to someone if it happens in exchange for used furniture. Lol

      • GEagle

        I just sent anoth text asking why during the game,,,All I got back, I dunno agent seems to think that during the game they will make the offer so that the ravens wont have time to offer more money, but didn’t seem like he knew……would that be feasible?

    • OregonDucker

      Matt is definitely a replacement for Iggy. Hope we get him.

      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2011/profiles/matt-furstenburg?id=2539983

      • GEagle

        He isn’t spectacular at anything.l.runs a 4.6 but he is a pretty balanced player in terms of catching balls, and blocking….he does have good hands, catches some tough balls….comes from a good football family

        • OregonDucker

          From what I am reading, he has better hands than Clay. And he can block. Looks to me like a Chip boy.

          • GEagle

            Yeah, he isn’t known for the drops that Celek,Ertz, clay are known for…Very tough kid tho…he battles!!!

          • OregonDucker

            I honestly think we will get him. Good info GEagle!

          • GEagle

            When I asked why during the game, I was told so that the Ravens didn’t have time to off him more money…Is that a possible explanation?…I got this follow up into from his Girlfriend tho…I’m not texting him during a time like this..lbut as soon as I hear something I’ll post it

          • OregonDucker

            Yes. That means the Eagles really want him but on the cheap.

            They need the extra cash for the Byrd offer!

          • GEagle

            Yeah but is this a known strategy of going after guys during game time?

          • OregonDucker

            I’m not connected enough to know. Maybe someone here can help. Tommy??

          • GEagle

            Yeahm I would like to know from someone who knows the agent side of things, if this is typical practice when trying to poach PS players

          • A_T_G

            I would guess that isn’t the real reason. If the Eagles wanted to steal him without giving the Ravens a chance to offer him more money, they wouldn’t have let the agent find out days in advance. Any decent agent would have already told the Ravens that his client is going to be offered a job and if they want to keep him they should give him a raise before that happens.

          • GEagle

            Yeah but, wouldn’t we be trying to put him on our Roster so wouldn’t the ravens have to add him to their roster, or is offering him more PS money enough for the Ravens to keep him

          • Andy124

            Great, now that you’re spilling the beans all over the place, the Ravens will easily be able to counter. /s

          • GEagle

            or I could really be hoping my friend comes To Philly, and instead using Frutenbergers name to put out counter intelligence, while my friend is actually someone else on the Ravens practice Squad lol…..you never know lol

          • Andy124

            TE on Baltimore we’d really like to steal… Ozzie Newsome (nothing against Roseman).

          • A Roy

            You got that right.

          • A Roy

            Except they have but one TE on their PS…

          • GEagle

            Maybe my friend isn’t a tight end

  • Mike Cappelli

    “Take chances, make mistakes!”
    Chip Kelly is confirmed as the football Mrs. Frizzle

    • bentheimmigrant

      I just watched that last week with my kid. Hadn’t seen an episode in probably 16 years.

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  • bdbd20

    Great point about ST’s. It seems that it’s more of a mentality than a skill set. If guys don’t buy in, it’s gonna be ugly. Guys like Colt Anderson and Jeff Maehl will be great in their roles.

  • Andy124

    “Take chances. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
    I’m calling coachspeak. Every coach wants their players to be aggressive. No coach wants their players messing up, blowing coverages, turning the ball over, taking penalties etc. Be as aggressive as you can without effing up.
    __________________
    If you take his quote too literally you end up with oodles of turnovers and the players who made them shrugging them off and explaining they were just trying to make something happen. We all know where that leads.

    • Anders

      Marty Ball was the opposite

    • GermanEagle

      Again, how do you put text in “italics” on here?!

      • Andy124

        Your question has been answered below where you first asked it. Multiple times in fact. :)

        • GermanEagle

          Cool :)

  • RichF

    I may not agree with each of his decisions, but I love that Chip’s philosophy of having a reason for everything he does extends to giving fairly direct answers when we’re all scratching our heads on things like personnel moves. Better or worse, he had a clear reason for making the decisions he made in building a complete team, so I’ll give him and Fipp the benefit of the doubt.

  • HipDaDip

    The argument Kelly made about rush vs. coverage OLB is interesting. I think I read that C. McCoy was the best OLB in coverage. Is it the case that he’s still a rush guy, but looks good at dropping because of how bad the other OLBs are at it?

  • GEagle

    Rotoworld: sources say Jarius Byrd is trying to force a trade out of buffalo….

    • GermanEagle
      • GEagle

        !!!!!!!!

        • GermanEagle

          Honestly, I would happily give away a 3rd rounder for arguably one of the top 5 safeties in the NFL. How many times did we score a homerun with one of our third rounders?! Exactly!!!

          • GEagle

            You do understand that if we get Byrd I will go Batshit crazy? I’m talking about THE T.O days when I was in college type crazy…where I would cross the street stop traffic, and start flapping my Eagles wings at Cars while singing thru the streets “T.O, TO, T,O..T.OOOOO(to the Olay Olay Olay Olay beat)…..ahhhh the best time in my eaglesfandom….As a fanbase, we were out of our friggin minds that year..I feel for those of you who weren’t in Philly that year

          • GermanEagle

            I remember being in a shop in Munich when my buddy called me that we have just traded for TO. Will never forget this moment, to be honest with you.

          • P_P_K

            We also signed Kearse that off-season. Best of times.

          • GermanEagle

            Aaah, yes I do remember now! Thanks for bringing back those great memories. If it wasn’t for his ACL tear we’d probably would have seen awesome times on D!

          • P_P_K

            By 2007, he was also apparently spending a lot of his off-season in Miami on his boat partying with the ladies. This was the beginning of the end for his career. But, I guess, not a bad way to go.

          • GEagle

            The 2013 Buffalo Bills…..”Losing Leverage by the day” should be their slogan….lidiots should have been traded him…now their best player is trying to force a trade, he is damaged with a foot injury, and is months from hitting fee agency…Bills better trade him today, before all they can get for him is a 5th round pick!! Lol….

            Buffalo, stop trying to pretend that you aren’t a minor league feeder team to the real Football teams…You drafted him, you developed him, now do what you Friggin Do, and hand him the F OVER!!!!

          • OregonDucker

            If we get Byrd, the Eagles are a CONTENDER. Period and exclamation point!

          • GEagle

            You already low how I feel about my beloved front 7….Bryd would make Chung so much better!!!

          • OregonDucker

            I wonder if some fans will still bitch about the Oregon bias if we get Byrd? Winners beget winners!

          • GEagle

            Probably…we are an aquired taste as a fanbase..not for the feint of heart lol….

            But there also could be another count to the Oregon Bias…Chip has known the next step for him was the NFL for quite sometime…you can also look at it as him grooming his Oregon players for this NFL leap…every negative has a positive

          • OregonDucker

            I know his Oregon players absolutely love him. Will they take a contract hit to play for him? YES!

          • Andy124

            Only if they feel what we had to trade to get him was too much.

  • BlindChow

    Did anyone notice how Coleman performed at CB? The few times I saw him were when the ball went his way, and he seemed to do well, except for not catching that interception…

    • GermanEagle

      I think he did surprisingly quite good!

      • GEagle

        Didn’t stand out to me…which means he couldn’t have been bad

        • GermanEagle

          Exactly! :)

          • GEagle

            Cuz you already know I woulda been bitchin if he looked bad!! Lol

    • Mac

      I thought he looked pretty good. It’s maddening that he has such a good football mind, but isn’t quite fast enough for the pro game. He was stride for stride with a WR on at least one play.

  • GEagle

    Collingsworth picked the Eagles last night to beat the skins!!!
    the Ov/under on pts is 51..that’s the second highest total of the week. Vegas is expecting a Monday night shoot out.
    They also talked about something I found interesting on SHOWTIMe: Because
    we are seeing young QBs like Wison,Kapernick Play at a high level and aren’t being paid much, we are going to see these stacked loaded rosters. teams like Baltimore,GreenBay, Detroit designating a big chunk of change to the QB position, yet San Fran and Seattle gets to save that money and invest it in the rest of the roster!!!…..should have built with Foles, but whatever…Is almost game time! Time for bitching about Vick is OVER….GO VICK!!! Go BIRDS!!!

    • GermanEagle

      Yes, please do us all a favour and stop bitching about Vick. At least unitil week 3. ;)

      • GEagle

        I’m jacked up about Vick. It’s game time, decision has been made, nothing to do but root for Vick

        • GermanEagle

          Good boy.

          • GEagle

            I have my oppinions during the offseason, but come game time, all I see is midnight green!!!!!! ….Plus this ain’t even about Vick or Foles, This is The SHADY AFTERMATH SHOW!!!!!!!

    • Anders

      Problem is, in a year or two, San Fran and Seattle needs to pony up BIG money for those players. So unless they like the Ravens or Packers manage to win a SB before the contract is up. It wont matter.

      Take Seattle. How are they going to afford Sherman, Chancellor, Thomas (he will get paid but dont deserve it), Wilson, Harvin etc?

      • GEagle

        Yeah, those teams would have to really take advantage of a smaller window to win a SB, but in a league where a team is capable of going bad to good in one offseason, something that isn’t possible in a league like an NBA, it seems like it might be worth the risk of a smaller window to win it all….You also see a SB winner like the Ravens, who practically lost its entire defense this offseason and quickly reloaded to where it might be a better group then last years bunch that won a SB…

  • Iskar36

    While I still think Kelly’s strategy towards making the 53 man roster puts an overemphasis on STs, after thinking about it, I think I can understand his logic. Most of us, when we talk about the roster, we talk about it in the sense of 22 starters, ST specialists, and backups. I wonder if Kelly views it more as in 33-40 starters. On offense and defense you have the obvious 22 starters, but then Kelly may view STs players as starters as well. At a minimum, that is 33 starters, but when you factor in the different phases of STs (kickoffs, punts, field goals, kick returns, punt returns), those different units require different players and skill sets. If the mindset is that all of those players need to be “starters”, I can imagine it is hard to cut a starter for the sake of a backup who lacks STs ability. Furthermore, the remaining few spots beyond those ~40 starters then must go to your absolute best backups which would include your backup QBs and certain guys who may be essential for certain packages (4 TEs, nickle/dime, etc.). If that’s the case, it leaves very little room to keep guys on the team who lack STs ability and are “developmental” type players.

    I still think this strategy has flaws and puts too much emphasis on STs as I said, but I think there is plenty of logic to it as well.

  • Iskar36

    I don’t know if anyone else has heard this or mentioned it, but John Middlekauff, a former Eagles scout, was interviewed on the Mocking the Draft podcast. He talked a bunch about the draft process for the Eagles and going into that 4th overall pick. I don’t know that he has said anything completely new, but definitely provides a bunch of interesting nuggets if anyone is interested to listen.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mockingthedraft/2013/08/29/interview-with-former-scout-john-middlekauff

    • Anthony Hart

      John puts up good stuff on twitter, thanks for the link

  • Ark87

    Curry #3 rush OLB on roster…how fast can the man lose 25 pounds? Hopefully he isn’t called upon in the middle of a game.

    • GEagle

      I’d just turn him into a Joker and line him up everywhere and just unleash him!!!

      • ICDogg

        works for me

        • GEagle

          Especially moving him all around the Line…His explosion off the ball is just a flat out weapon. Slower Olinemen will need to get acclimated to his speed…until each lineman sees it and gets acclimated to it, Curry will have a chance to reak havoc in backfields or cause holding penalties…and when the lineman gets acclimated to it and starts to slow Curry down, move him to another position on the line(I’m talking mostly on 3rd downs ATleast early in the season) so you can again really maximize his explosion off the ball as a weapon against another Olineman that will need to get used to it…when he gets Curry’s timing down, rinse and repeat!!!

  • GEagle

    Wow…I just heard the best Desean Jackson interview I have ever heard…Sounds like Chip got thru to Desean and that’s a scary thought for opposing defenses…
    ..l
    reporter asked Desean about Soaps comments that this eagles team could shock the NFL. here is what a mature. Focused Desean had to say:
    “Honestly we trying to stay under the radar as much as possible, I think in the past guys spoke out and really put pressure on the team that we really didn’t need…He is confident but says: we have some great plays at great positions with chip coming in and installing that great offensive scheme and ally making some key additions on defense…it’s neither here nor there, we still have to get on the field and win games, play at a high level…

    Man, I’m pumped for the kickoff to the season tonight

    • GEagle

      Reporter: John Harbaugh talking about defenses stopping the read option by hitting the QB hard on every play dissuading teams from running the read option..
      Vick: We have something for that!!!!
      ….
      Vick on buying into chip when he got here: “we all understood that if we were going to get bett we have to listen to the guys that know more then us…Initially when I heard guys bricking and complaining, what do we have to lose?why no I give it a shot, It sounds good, let’s try it! It only took two weeks for everyone to buy into the program, now we enjoy it, these guys come to work and love to be he every day and it’s a great environment to be in..

      “Desean and I are about to watch film together right now, which is something we rarely did these past year..Desean is now understanding the big picture, striving to be one of the best, trying to be the best RECIEVER he can be..we both ,made a promise to each other, we don’t know if it’s in our future but ATleast we can shoot for greatness. Desean understands that Great players are those that make others
      around the them better so we kind of leaning on each other for that”

      it’s almost like hip has come in and brainwashed our players, and I mean that as a BIGTIME compliment!!!

  • ICDogg

    ..double post

  • ICDogg
    • D3FB

      espn is going to make this unbearable.

      • BlindChow

        Kinda looked like his glove got caught in Riley’s facemask, and Boykin had to detach it. Unless he just really didn’t want to let it go.

    • P_P_K

      DeSean as peacemaker.

  • GEagle

    What reporter did chip take a shot at during his recent press conference and what did the reporter say to piss Chip off? All I could make out was the end where chip said “couldn’t get in? Shot fired, shot answered…we could keep going” lol….anyone know what the hell the st of that feisty exchange was about?

  • austinfan

    Don’t take Chip’s comments too seriously, it’s a bit more complex than STs.

    Three groups of players at the back of the roster

    1) potential future starters (Wolff), it would be nice if they could play STs while waiting for their chance, but STs won’t decide their fate

    2) projects that will never dress unless starters drop like flies, your 9th OL, your last DB, your 5th WR/4th TE. You can only dress 46, and a few more will rotate into some games or be the first guy activated in case of injury, but 3-4 guys will probably never dress until December.

    3) your backups who aren’t good enough to start in the near future, no team has 46 starting caliber players dressing each week, so the last 10 guys or so need to play STs.

    Where Chip differs from AR the last few years is he doesn’t think the marginal difference in talent among options at your 7th and 8th LB or 4th and 5th WR is equal to the value of a better ST player. Plus, STs showcase many of the skills you want in players, and can help some players develop – Graham played well on STs in preseason, and moving to LB, the experience of tackling in space will help him play the run. It also can expose young DBs and LBs who don’t like to tackle or aren’t willing to work off blocks.

    Now there are a few guys who are marginal players who will dress due to special teams, Colt Anderson simply isn’t a NFL caliber safety, etc. But ideally you’re looking for guys like Coleman, who are solid backups (he may be a marginal starter, but if a starter goes down, he’s a lot better option than someone like Anderson) who can also contribute on STs.

    Matthews and Goode over McCoy and Acho was a ST decision, a slight dropoff in playing talent for a significant increase in ST performance. However, none of them are starter quality talent (Acho might be the closest but he has stiff hips which limit him in coverage, as does Goode).

  • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

    “Is there any way Chip will dress all 5 safeties?”

    Well, Kurt is one of our better STers, right?

  • Tumtum

    Well I am off the Carey Williams bandwagon. The guy can’t stop bringing negative attention to the team. Just STFU bro. Vick didn’t look too happy with him either.

    • GEagle

      Cary Williams has quickly become one of my favorite eagles…
      .,.
      for years fans complained that our defense lacked the toughness, leadership accountability that Cary brings to our unit. I absolutely Love It! we have enough charecter on this team, and I don’t need to see Tim Tebow choir boys on defense…Meco is known as a great leader, but he leads with positivity..Finally we have a “Bad Cop” in Cary to combine with Meco’s “Good Cop” role…Cary demands toughness, I couldn’t care less if it won’t always be pretty. we got a gritty defender, with a short memory who can handle the pressure of playing CB on an Island in this city…and fans are complaining lol……

      Chung(especially when he gets paired with a playmaking centerfield cover safety), Barwin, Cary will prove to be excellent additions to our team especially taking into account what was available on the market and how many holes we needed to fill…none of those 3 were maxed out as players, they still have room left in their ceiling for them to improve..Soap is HUGE when you have such a young Defensive Line. he won’t show up on any stat sheet, but he will do a competent job on a consistent basis, not make any mistakes, and be enough to free up Mykal Kendricks to be the stud playmaking LB That he is destined to become…He will set a great and professional example for our linemen, teach them how to be pros, preserve their bodies for longevity, watch film to give themselves every single advantage on game day….

      People have sold this defense too short, and I’m excited for everyone to see what this unit can do, especially by the KC game when they had a few regular season games to settle in…assuming that I don’t see too much two gapping

      • Neil

        Constant fighting would be bad enough, but to pick a fight with Riley Cooper like he did? Just constant dumb. I like the toughness, but the action after the play is just petulant. He’s the only person who hasn’t moved on with Riley and I guess it’s not surprising given his history of putting his emotions before his team.

        • GEagle

          Lol you do realize stuff like this happens every single year in every single lockeroom at every single level?

          Don’t take the bogus Philly media bait…hook, line and sinker