We’ve talked a lot about Bill Davis and the defense. What about Chip Kelly? What exactly is his vision?
* a 3-4 defense that can give multiple looks to the offense. It is easier to do hybrid stuff from the 3-4.
* big players
* takeaways…Oregon was always among the national leaders in takeaways. That wasn’t an accident.
* good Red Zone defense
Oregon was not a juggernaut defense under Kelly, but they were better than you think. They always were among national leaders in sacks, RZ defense and takeaways.
They produced NFL talent.
S T.J. Ward
MLB Kiko Alonso – frontrunner for Def Rookie of the Year
DE Dion Jordan – #3 overall pick
CB Walter Thurmond
LB Spencer Paysinger
LB Josh Kaddu
Ducks CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu could be a 1st round pick in the upcoming draft.
The point of all this is that Chip Kelly has produced good defenses and good defensive players. It may seem like he’s clueless at this point based on the sloppy start of the Eagles defense, but that’s not the case. It just takes time to get the right players into place and to teach them to play the way Kelly wants.
Oregon’s defense got better under Kelly. It took time for things to work there. The same will be true in Philly.
Of course, part of Davis’ problem is a basic lack of talent to implement the two-gap 3-4 that Chip clearly wants. Before the season began, both Kelly and Davis made noises about easing the drastic transition from the Wide-9 to the 3-4, perhaps via a 4-3 under, according to the talent available.
In practice, though, they have stuck with the 3-4 pretty rigorously despite some square pegs in those round holes — neglecting Vinny Curry despite his evident success in the few plays he’s been given, and sticking with Sopoaga when his only noticeable contribution has been throwing long passes in practice.
We don’t know if Davis and Kelly have a vision they haven’t announced, or if they’re winging it. But clearly they are not living up to Chip’s standard of a vision that anyone can figure out by watching the team for five minutes. And perhaps they’d be more successful on D if they did. There’s a danger in a lack of clarity. As Chip once said, in a different context, “I think sometimes you can confuse yourself more than you can confuse them.”
I don’t fully agree with Mark here. There may be a clear vision. The players just may not be executing it well. Flash back to 1999. Andy Reid couldn’t get his passing attack working as desired. He didn’t have the OL to block, the receivers to get open or the QB to run the show. Donovan McNabb had great talent, but it took him to time adjust to the NFL and a professional passing offense.
I do agree with Mark in the sense that we don’t know many specifics about the defense. We’re doing a lot of guessing and projecting. Hopefully that will change over the course of the season.
* * * * *
Here is an article on the Giants trading for Jon Beason. Sounds like age and injuries finally caught up with him.
Quick story on Beason. I used to really avoid watching underclassmen during the fall. I liked to focus on Seniors. I heard a lot of buzz about this kid from Miami, Jon Beason. I put on the Virginia/Miami game. At the end of the 1st Qtr, I has unimpressed. It was like a light switch came on in the 2nd Qtr. Very quickly I started writing good notes and lots of them. Immediately I dreamed of Beason as an Eagles LB, knowing that would never happen. The Eagles just didn’t value LBs in the 1st round.
I always hate to hear when players like Beason start to decline. I watched most, if not all, of these guys as college kids. Always want them to play as long as possible.
The Giants put CB Aaron Ross on IR and released OL Dallas Reynolds. They added S Will Hill and CB Charles James.