I was listening to the Colin Cowherd show this morning when the subject of Chip Kelly came up. I don’t remember Cowherd’s exact words, but he had a negative slant on Kelly and his first 6 games. Peter King responded that Chip has done a good job and that the offense is working.
I have no problem with people being critical of Kelly, but I think too many are doing it in a nonsensical way. He hasn’t immediately fixed a 4-12 team? What the heck is wrong with him!!! Jim Harbaugh got the Niners to win right away, but inherited a team that was already built the way he wanted it. Kelly is having to build the Eagles to be his kind of team. Pete Carroll went 7-9 in his first 2 seasons in Seattle. Not all coaches can step in and win right away.
If we’re holding a referendum on Kelly’s offensive ideas – which are why the Eagles hired him – what I see is the second team in NFL history to manage at least 1,500 passing and 1,050 rushing yards through the first six games. (The Eagles, who researched the stat, say the first was the 1954 Rams.) I also see 2,699 net yards after six games, the highest total in franchise history. I see at least 400 yards of offense in each of the first six games, something that only has been done by two other teams, the 2007 Patriots and the 1983 Chargers. The Eagles have never had a stretch of six 400-yard games in a row, at any point in any season. Ever.
For those reasons, when I look at Kelly, I really don’t see Steve Spurrier, or Dennis Erickson, or Butch Davis. Or Schiano, who has now lost 10 of his last 11 games.
Am I saying that Kelly is already a success in the NFL? No. We don’t know yet whether he is going to build a Super Bowl winner here, or whether he’ll ever even have a winning season.
The personnel challenge ahead is huge, and there’s a good chance it still involves not just building a defense but also drafting a true franchise QB.
So far, though, I think he is absolutely what he was supposed to be.
I totally agree. We don’t know what to make of Kelly yet, but he’s not the failure that some hoped or that some continue to try to make him out to be.
Les also has some good stuff on the run defense and the DeSean/Revis battle. Make sure to check the whole piece out.
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The QB rotation at practice today is Foles, Barkley and Vick. Wednesday and Thursday are the key days. We’ll see how things look then.
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Bill Davis mentioned that Patrick Chung could have some nerve damage in his shoulder. If so, we’ll see a lot of Nate Allen and Earl Wolff They’re playing okay right now so that’s not the worst thing in the world.
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Some of you asked if Foles going against a lot of zone coverage in Tampa could have given a false-positive on him. That is possible. But Tampa did mix in some man coverage. The TD to Cooper came vs man coverage. The other long gain to Cooper might have been man coverage. Regardless of the coverage, Cooper made a good move and got the big gain.
One of the reasons I’m being careful not to over-praise Foles is because you really want a good sample size before coming to a conclusion. We’ve seen players and teams have singular games where they were exceptionally good or bad. You must be careful about making too much of a performance. If a guy does it over the course of several games, that can still be flawed, but it does give you a more accurate picture.
You always want to be optimistic, but it is better to be cautiously optimistic. I’ve been burned over the years by falling in love with players after a terrific showing only to find out they can’t replicate that performance on a regular basis. We saw that with Kevin Kolb. His good days were spectacular, but his bad days were bad.
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LeSean leads the NFL in rushing.
DeSean is 2nd in the league in receiving yards.
The Eagles are 5th in the NFL in team passer rating, at 102.4.
Bradley Fletcher is 3rd in the league in pass deflections with 10.
The Eagles are 16th in the NFL in run defense.
And the team is all the way up at 29th in scoring defense. Gang Green II, baby!!!