More on the Need for a QB

Posted: October 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 162 Comments »

After another offensive debacle with poor QB play, we jump right back into the QB discussion. And quickly it becomes Vick vs Barkley vs Foles.

Some of you take this the wrong way. For many of us, this isn’t about being for or against someone. This is about the desire for the Eagles to have an answer at QB. Vick isn’t the answer. He is 33 years old. At best, he was going to be a band-aid. Foles and Barkley are longshots to be the answer because they aren’t physically gifted.

It would be convenient for Foles or Barkley to be the answer since they are already here. The problem is that neither one of them has seized control of the opportunity. Foles built up support for 1.5 games and then put on a dreadful show vs Dallas. Barkley looks like a rookie. Every time we start to get excited, he does something dumb.

Chip Kelly likes to say the most important ability for a QB is durability. You can see why based on the last couple of weeks. Vick gets hurt. Then Foles gets hurt. And the whole offense suffers as Kelly has to play musical chairs with the most important position on the team.

The Eagles need an answer at QB. A long term answer. Right now I’ll settle for a short term answer. Vick isn’t likely to play this week. Foles is up in the air. There is a decent chance Barkley will start in Oakland. I’ll be pulling like mad for him to go out and play well enough to keep the QB spot.

That isn’t because I’m pro-Barkley, anti-Foles or anti-Vick. I simply want a competent, reliable QB to get us through the rest of the year. It would also be nice to see the young guy in action so we can get a feel for his long term potential.

Take the debate away from who should be the QB and we get back to what Kelly wants/needs at QB. The key for me is that Kelly needs a good QB. Give him Colin Kaepernick and there will be lots of running. Give him Tom Brady and the offense becomes more about the passing game. Kelly can tweak the offense to his personnel.

Right now Kelly isn’t getting good QB play. Vick has been erratic since the SD game. Foles has been all over the place. And Barkley is the inexperienced rookie.

Bill Barnwell does a better job of making my point.

I think that’s the biggest difference between what Kelly was able to do at Oregon and what he might need to do to succeed in the long term in Philadelphia: His offense will require a good quarterback. At Oregon, Kelly basically ran through a series of middling options at quarterback and got great work from just about everybody he tried: Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli, and Darron Thomas all had success with Kelly as relatively unheralded (or, in Dixon’s case, relatively unsuccessful) options at quarterback. Marcus Mariota was a three-star recruit coming out of Hawaii, but he was the most productive quarterback Kelly had at Oregon, and that was as an 18-year-old redshirt freshman.

At the professional level, the windows Kelly’s offense creates are smaller, and the decision-making his quarterback needs to perform has to be done faster and more reliably than the speed at which his current options operate. Foles misses too many big plays. Vick holds on to the ball too long and isn’t accurate. Barkley is a project at best. Philadelphia’s quarterback of the future — the guy who will eventually prove whether the Kelly offense can sink or swim in Philadelphia — isn’t on the roster right now. The Eagles will almost surely draft a quarterback in the talent-rich class of 2014, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they picked Mariota.

Until then, the Eagles will probably be a pretty good offense that takes an unnecessary amount of flak for being unconventional. As long as they’re starting an overmatched midround rookie in Barkley, they’re going to look bad on offense, because that’s what happens to overmatched midround rookies. Then again, just as I cautioned with the Bengals, remember how low Washington sank during the middle of last season. Its hot start on offense gave way to a disappointing halfway point, including two games in which it scored a combined 25 points against the Steelers and Panthers. The Redskins came back after their bye and scored more than 25 points in six of their seven ensuing games. If the Eagles can get Vick or Foles active and healthy, they should be an above-average attack. And once they get Mariota or some other hotshot young quarterback whom Kelly can mold into his system, they’ll be even better.

Right now the Eagles have 3 QBs. If you believe the old NFL axiom, that means they have no QB. You need one player to win the job and keep it. He does this by staying on the field, playing at a high level and being a team leader.

Part of the problem is Kelly. Should he have trusted Vick when he told the coaches he was good to go? Kelly said the doctors told him that was a 10 to 14-day injury and Vick sat for 21 days. Vick is 33 years old. Guys that age heal differently. Kelly needed to listen to Vick, but also trust his own eyes. I find it hard to believe that Vick looked 100 percent during the week.

Kelly would be wise to make a decision early this week on who the QB should be and then get that guy ready to go. The offense must get going this week. Forget about fans and the media, you don’t want players starting to doubt. Another dreadful week would hurt their confidence. A good showing would go a long way toward making things all nice and happy. At least until the next crisis pops up.

_


  • Tyler Phillips

    I’ll settle for competent. Let’s let Barkley play out the string unless he gets injured… but he’s gotta get help from the skill guys on O

  • Ryguy55

    Mariota or Manziel in next year’s draft pleaaaaase.

    • bdbd20

      Don’t think we’re getting Mariota. Prevailing theory is he’s gonna be #1 overall. Manziel may be a possibility, especially if he stays on the injury report all year.

      Wouldn’t mind seeing Mettenberger. I know he’s not a “read-option” guy, but he seems to be a smart player and he’s playing the best teams every week.

      • Anders

        Bridgewater will be no. 1. Mariota is good, but Bridgewater is a much better passer.

        I do not like Mettenberger for our offense. He fits the Norv Turner offense much better

        • Ian Patrick

          see i think you are wrong here. bridgewater has the whole quality of competition thing going against him, and Mariota has the whole read option and mystique of Oregon thing working for him. with the rise of guys like Vick, Wilson, and Kaepernick, Marioata will be overvalued. i would even suggest you can add Rodgers and Smith and Tannehill and a few others to that list. i personally think Bridgewater is a better pro prospect. Mariota to me seems like a product of Scheme. he has a gun yes, but lets be honest…would it really help to go 5-11 this year and then draft Chips guy and then go 6-10 next year? another squirrel read option player? i think Foles partially opened his eyes. IMO the offense looked at its best with #9 at the helm. it looked efficient except when facing Dallas. with Vick it looked beatable. you need quick throws and the occasional run to keep a D honest. you do not need a guy who is going to pull a hammy week in and week out.

    • Andrew J. Race

      keep johnny football away…he’s a bigger diva than scam newtown…he’s a child not a leader

    • xlGmanlx

      Not a fan of either, I don’t believe next years draft of QB’s will be anything special, but you never know, it is a crapshoot. I would rather get stout up the middle and then make a move hoping Russell Wilson 2.0 is there in the 2nd/3rd.

  • P_P_K

    We all agree Vick ain’t the answer. We believe Foles probably ain’t the answer. I don’t think there’s any way to say anything near conclusive about Barkley. Do we have the Matt of the near-Heisman, or the guy with the injury who got killed behind that crummy o-line?

  • Donald Kalinowski

    I guess what’s depressing is that even if the Eagles don’t win anymore games this year, they might not draft high enough to get Mariota or Bridewater. Guys like Hundley and Manziel might not even enter the draft this year.

    As for the current guys, I would stick with Matt Barkley. He has a decent arm and gets the ball out quickly. If only he wouldn’t act like such a pussy and run with ball a few times.

    Prior to the last two games, I thought Chip Kelly was on of those coaches that didn’t need a great QB to be successful. I thought his gameplan was predicated on making quick decisions and letting the skill position players make the plays.

    • shah8

      I think there’s a pretty good chance Mariota doesn’t enter the draft.

      • Donald Kalinowski

        I would be surprised if he didn’t. It would be foolish for him not to. There’s a pretty good chance that he gets picked in the top 3.

        • Neil

          A lot of people said the same thing about Barkley. I wouldn’t be surprised. A national championship is quite alluring I’m sure.

          • BlindChow

            He’s on his way there this year. If Oregon gets there and wins, I bet he comes out.

          • Andy124

            I think that’s a no-brainer.

        • shah8

          Not as confident as you are that teams are chomping at the bit to draft him top three. He may also just like the college scene, as various quarterbacks at USC not named Sanchez…

          • bdbd20

            You may very well have a point. I will disagree. I think Lattimore’s injury had a big impact on guys staying in school.

          • ACViking

            Definitely had an impact on guys at S. Carolina who have Top-of-the-Draft potential

          • Finlay Jones

            you’re right, we should stick with Vick next season.

      • Anders

        Only reason should be that he loves college. He will 100% be a top 10 pick and almost certainly a top 5 pick if he enters the draft

  • shah8

    I know talking about the QB gets a lot of hits, but we really need to talk about WRs.

    • goeagles55

      I hope Howie at least explored the possibility of trading for Josh Gordon.

      • holeplug

        Nah they need to save all their picks for the draft. Might have to package a bunch together in order to trade up for their QB

    • TommyLawlor

      I need to see the All-22 before discussing Riley Cooper. DJax is fine. Avant should be upgraded heading into next year, but is okay for now.

      • Mac

        Aaaand done.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      This

  • Ryguy55

    No on Mett. It became clear Chip needs a mobile guy to run that read option. Don’t know if you noticed in that game but Barkley had tons of chances to pull the ball and had open space but instead gave it to Shady where the Giants loaded the box. Athletic QB would have had an easy 1st in those situations.

  • Lateraleye

    My thoughts on what I saw from Barkley yesterday, let me know if I am crazy:

    He still seems like he has a huge chip (ha) on his shoulder from being picked in the 4th round and not being immediately named starter and not in a way that would benefit the team. In interviews/press conferences, he’s not very conceding or humble. Last night he said something along the lines of “I think I played pretty good considering… not my fault the jerks in charge didn’t give me first-team reps.” He backpedaled and said he wasn’t going to use it as an excuse but it sounded so phony. He’s not a very humble guy. That can be a good thing if he’s using it as incentive to prove himself but not if it’s sour grapes for being a backup the first time in his life. That won’t get you far.

    As far as his performance though, I was quite surprised. I watched the game via the condensed NFL Rewind so I got to see everything quickly… let me pick up on patterns. I didn’t really see him panic in the pocket. He spread it around pretty well. He did stare down some receivers. Footwork looked great, though I’m no expert on that. Where he had big whiffs was when he anticipated routes incorrectly. He threw one to Jackson before Jackson even turned around to see the ball. Not on the same page and it ended up nowhere near the receiver. That’s where practicing with these guys would have come in handy. And Chip’s playcalling in desperate situations didn’t help much either.

    Assuming he isn’t really a secret diva, I look forward to seeing how he develops. Not only his football skills, but if he can be a leader and team player as well.

    If he can run faster than Foles, then I think we have our franchise guy for the next 20 years.

    • GEAGLE

      I was pissed when he threw Chip under the bus revealing he wish he got more practice reps…keep that ish in house, better yet, to your self..
      ..
      I was however surprised with the arm strength he displayed…throwing a few lasers that I didn’t think he had in him

  • xlGmanlx

    Give Barkley a full week of reps with the 1′s and we might see some improvement. If he makes the same mistakes week after week, fine. But he is a rookie! I like his decision making and the temp of the offense with him in. I put most of this on Kelly’s play calling, not being creative enough and not controlling the tempo better. This was a team with QB issues that went 4-12 last year, so I don’t know why the elevated expecations. If you look at this as year one of rebuilding, they aren’t doing to bad. The offense has shown spurts and the defense is possibly rounding into decent form by the 2nd half of the year. I would like to see more pressure from the front four and the OL concerns me. I’ve never been a fan of Kelce and Celek must go. DJ as a specialist is a joke.

  • eagleyankfan

    Good read. “Chip Kelly likes to say the most important ability for a QB is durability.” That’s a problem. If Chip believed in that 100% — he would have never named Vick the starter. When a coach comes out with such a strong statement, than goes against it — people start to question….

    • xlGmanlx

      He also believes in competition, one in which 7 won it by all accounts. His injury was non-contact, keep that in mind, but I agree. 7 has only gone 16 once in his career, I say it every year, we are going to see the backup.

      • eagleyankfan

        I don’t agree he won. I don’t think there ever was a competition. Vick was starting from the beginning. Why else would Vick sign an incentive of over a million instead of going after guaranteed money up front? This clearly was a competition with a wink…

        • P_P_K

          I thought the same thing. I don’t blame Chip, though. The guy is coming into the NFL and wants to start strong. Foles and Barkely are both untested. With Vick, at least you get a guy who is a veteran qb. Kind of a “devil that you know” sort of thing.

        • Kristopher Cebula

          Maybe Vick signed the incentive based deal here because the guaranteed offers really weren’t out there.

    • Andy124

      Was really more of a soundbite than a baring of his innermost soul of qb priorities. He also said repetative accuracy is the most important thing. He has an afinity for catchy sayings. He’s still a coach, we can’t take anything he says too literally.

  • Nah__Roots

    I don’t expect Barkley to rip off 30 yard scampers, but I find it hard to believe he’s incapable of pulling it on a read option and picking up 5-10 yards and then sliding. I’m certain he was doing it during the preseason.

    • Jerry Goldstein

      Why would he subject himself to a hit for a measly 3-4 yards? You think the Giants would change the way they were playing because he ran for 3 yards? They would take that ALL DAY.

      The point is, you don’t run read-option plays with non-mobile QBs.

      • Michael Winter Cho

        He said 5-10 yards. If you can get 5 yards and slide and don’t get hit, you win every game.

      • Anders

        if you can get 4 yards on every play, the offense will take that any day of the week.

  • BlindChow

    It’ll be hard to trade up for a QB, since most of the teams picking top-5 will also be looking for a QB. But it’s possible with enough future 1st rounders, you could get it done.

    So how many 1st round picks would you give up for one of the top two guys next year? 3? 4? 5??

    • Andy124

      0.
      Cannot stand traing future firsts. Trade every pick this year if you want. Don’t trade those future firsts.

    • Donald Kalinowski

      I would give up 2-1st rounders (this year and next) along with a 3rd this year and a 2nd next year. I think our best chance of trading up is if Atlanta or Pittsburgh is in that slot.

    • Neil

      Washington may have their QB, but they’ll have to endure 3-4 seasons of a terrible team behind him, or maybe more. On top of that, now it just takes something bad happening to one guy for their team to be completely DOOMED. Which has already happened to some extent in that particular instance. Don’t throw all of your resources into one pair of legs unless it’s a Luck prospect. Maybe.

    • bdbd20

      I’m not sure you need a top pick at QB. You can win with lesser talent if you build around them. Kaepernick and Flacco are two examples of guys that were taken high, but not top 5.

      If Chip doesn’t like what he has, maybe Aaron Murray or Brett Hundley could fall to us in the late 1st round or early 2nd.

      • ACViking

        The 49ers became talented by have a losing record for 8 straight seasons. The team collected some great talent in those years.

        The Ravens are run by the best GM in the business in Ozzie Newsome. No one better at more hits than misses in the draft year after year.
        ______________

        So, yes, Kaepernick stepped into a talent-laden situation.

        But are you prepared for 8 losing seasons to get there?

        Or do believe Roseman’s the next Newsome?

        • Anders

          I think Newsome is an overrated GM. He had an average team in cap problems, there lucked into a SB and he had to blow the team up and look how it is doing now?

        • bdbd20

          We’ve got to have some hope with Roseman.

          My point was that a RG3-type trade is foolish. I’d rather build around a good QB, than try to get a great QB with a high draft pick.

          • holeplug

            Don’t think anyone is getting the Rams RG3 haul this year.

          • paul88

            Tomny I truly believe Barkley was a Roseman pick, not Kelly.

      • Anders

        I do not want Aaron Murray. He is a career back up QB for me. Brett Hundley will not fall out of the top 15 and that is if he really falls (he was a top 3 pick for many just 2 weeks ago).

        • GEAGLE

          Wouldn’t be surprised if Hundley stays in school….Andy Reid will steal manziel

          • Anders

            Hundley thinks the NCAA is a cartel. Doubt he stays.

            Andy will not draft a QB in the 1st round.

        • Ian Patrick

          youre high if you truly believe that. has tebow taught you nothing? the only good Urban meyer guys have been D. percy harvin may be the lone exception on the offense side. wouldnt want any urban player. i really think the team missed the boat this year on a few players. we had a chance to take a flyer on Chandler harnish or case keenum and chip wanted neither. not every guy will be a rodgers or stafford or geno or tannehill or wilson or kaepernick but grabbing Barkley felt like Chip wanted a guy who was a good scout player. not sold on Humley or Mariota. Manziel intrigues me, a few big boy hits would wake him up. he is an immature drew brees. granted the ryan leaf factor is at play here but you cant hold that against him. by all accounts his football IQ is high. i would be more concerned with his arm strength. i suspect there may be an underlying shoulder injury or something. much like brees had. i think he has a tremendous work ethic, and i could see him being blackballed in the top round for not being a media darling. i do like Aaron Murray a tad more overall but i think Manziel is more chips cup of tea. people can say that hes a career backup but no one gives him credit for losing a shit ton of talent on defense. no1 is a 2 way player anymore folks.

    • GEAGLE

      Î don’t view any of these college QBs as Luck or RG3 types

  • ACViking

    Re: Barkley’s Look

    Tommy Lawlor wrote:

    “Barkley looks like a rookie. Every time we start to get excited, he does something dumb.”

    __________________

    Yes, Barkley’s looked too much like Rick Arrington out there.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aR2fArayuY

    But, in fairness, Barkley — unlike, say, Luck or Griffin — didn’t arrive in Philadelphia for the first post-draft workouts as the designated starter. He didn’t get all the 1st-team reps during the next round of workouts and then in TC. Nor did Barkley split 1st-team reps with Foles or Vick the way Russell Wilson did with (the now-out-of-football) Matt Flynn or Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez.

    Did Barkley earn the chance to be the man — in the 3-way QB “competition” Kelly held this past summer? Obviously not. With his shoulder still healing, he didn’t have a chance.

    My objection is a mild one. I’m only suggesting that — unlike Vick and Foles — Barkley at least deserves a footnote putting his *preparation* for the 1st-string job in context.
    __________________

    NOTE: So there’s no mistake, I’m not saying Barkley’s the solution. All I’m saying is he’s performed about like someone whom his head coach treated as a 3rd stringer since TC.

    • TommyLawlor

      I totally agree that Barkley can’t fairly be judged until he gets time as the #1 guy in practice and games.

      • P_P_K

        And this is an important judgement call. If Barkley can be a #1, that means we use our top draft picks to address other needs.

        • Thorin

          He better be a really clear #1 then, because it looks like we could get a really good prospect in the first round this year.

    • Baloophi

      AC –

      BlindChow found your avatar!!

      • Baloophi

        Actually, did you make that, BlindChow???

        • BlindChow

          Yes, one of the many side effects of insomnia is lots of spare time when nothing is on TV…

          • ACViking

            That is brilliant.

          • BlindChow

            Here’s a cleaner version if you’re interested…

            http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu267/BoogaFrito/VikingAvatar.png

          • Andy124

            I always pictured Dauber from the old sitcom “Coach” with a Viking helmet on playing the slots in Atlantic City.

          • Baloophi

            You mean, one of the many “benefits” then!

            And let’s not be so quick to say that NOTHING is on TV during the late hours… plenty of ten year old poker tournaments and penny-auction infomercials to tide you over until the early-morning BBC news…

      • ACViking

        And that’s a wrap.

        Thanks to Baloophi and Blind Chow

  • Baloophi

    A quick thought on whether Kelly should have “believed” Vick when he said he was ready to play, since this has been used as evidence against Kelly’s abilities as a coach:

    As a 34 year old who has pulled his hamstring (albeit in slow-pitch softball and without the assistance of an NFL training regime… oh, and talent), I can relate to the uncertainty of whether you can trust a hammy or not. It’s a tricky injury and unlike, say, an ankle or knee when you know after you step out of bed whether you can put weight on it or not. Even running around in practice is different than game speed in terms of the extra stress and force of cuts, etc.

    In a sense, the only way to know whether it’s okay or not is to put him in the game and find out. In short, I don’t think Vick was trying to deceive anyone, and I don’t think Kelly made an egregious error by starting him.

  • Baloophi

    When will Foles be lucid enough to answer questions about the Dallas game?

    Per Tommy’s sage observation (“For many of us, this isn’t about being for or against someone”) I’m simply curious whether the consensus is that it’s time to stick a fork in Foles, or whether there’s anything he could do on the field to convince people that Dallas was more the fluke game, and that Tampa was more likely what we can expect.

    A quick temperature check of the water following the Tampa game seemed to suggest many were ready to toss Foles the keys.

    I guess what I’m questioning is how certain are we that the answer at QB is not on the team. Obviously we should proceed and draft as if the answer is “he’s not”, but then again, time and resources have been spent on developing Foles.

    • Andy124

      It seems the consensus is to write him off. I’m of the opinion that if 6 quarters of effective play is too small a sample size, then 4 quarters of horrendous play is as well. Show me more. Also, show me you can stay healthy.

      I think the odds are high that he’ll start again this year and the more he plays the more confident we can be in our evaluation of his play.
      Decide what to do after the next 8 games. No reason not to hope for the best in the meantime.

      • bdbd20

        Totally agree. We haven’t seen enough to make a decision one way or the other. He’ll never be Brady/Manning, but he’s shown that he can be effective. I’d definitely like to see more.

    • Neil

      If Foles just comes out and plays good football, everyone will forget the Cowboys game like they forgot every other good QB’s terrible rookie games. Foles is just going through his first 16 starts unorthodoxly.

    • GEAGLE

      Really? Writing FOles off for what? Having a horrible game that every QB in the history of the NFL has had at one point or another with the exception of Andrew luck lol

  • ACViking

    Baloophi / Blind Chow:

    Thanks . . . . Subtle yet distinctive

    • Ben Hert

      Excellent.

  • Obed Torres

    I think if Foles is healthy, he should be the starter. He has gotten much more time with the 1s in preseason.

    Chip has repeatedly said that he will go with the QB that will lead the team to points. Foles has done that barring one terrible game. We need to know if that was an outlier or if that is just him. Barkley has not.

    We are one game out of 1st… Matt Barkley is just too far away right now. Starting him over Nick right now may send the team the wrong message.

    • GEAGLE

      No way that Barkley starts over a healthy FOles at this point…

  • Thorin

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Tommy. I don’t care who is the QB now or moving forward so long as we’re making progress toward stabilizing the positions at some point in the future.

    With Vick and Foles both essentially out at least most of this week, I would like to see Kelly just says= the rookie is starting this week and coach him up. No one on the team really knows this offense yet, they all need practice time, and I’d rather see a stable team next Sunday that’s had a stable week of practice than another lost week of wondering if it’ll be Vick or Foles.

    What Kelly needs to have right now more than anything is a stable teaching environment to keep helping the guys understand the offense better, and the injury questions just seem to undermine all of that. Whoever’s healthy on Monday, drill him up to start Sunday.

  • BobSmith77

    The only thing I don’t want to see if Vick get another start this year. Didn’t see what benefit it served to start the year and it makes even less sense now.

    Name Barkley the starter this week early, let him get the reps with #1 team, and roll the dice in Oakland next weekend.

    Personally, I think the Eagles are going to get beat handily next week and was puzzled at why the Eagles opened as 2.5/3 points favorites. Raiders’ defense has been playing better than expected, Raiders have been playing pretty well at home, and I could see Pryor causing some problems for this defense with his legs.

  • ACViking

    Re: And this team needs . . . .

    In order (on the assumption the Birds won’t get a QB via trade-up or serendipity, e.g., Aaron Rodgers to the Packers):

    1. A Big, physical, fast (and talented) WR . Riley Cooper with AJ Green’s skills, in other words.

    How ’bout Texas A&M’s Mike Evans? He looks the part, but I’ll wait for T-Law’s scouting report. At this point, Evans doesn’t seem to be at the talent level of AJ Green or Julio Jones — speed-wise if nothing else.

    2. A Pass Rushing OLB.

    UCLA’s Anthony Barr, 6’4″ 245. This year’s Dion Jordan. On TV, he appears faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive. (He’s GEagle’s guy.)

    Oregon has a red-shirt junior DE/OLB named Tony Washington. He leads the Ducks with 10 tackles-for-loss, 7.5 sacks, and 4 sack/forced fumbles in 8 games — although he’s probably played less than 2/3 of all defensive downs. He put on a nice show against UCLA the other day with 3 tackles and a sack/forced fumble coming off Hundley’s blind side (maybe because UCLA didn’t offer him a scholarship, despite growing up only 1 hour away). Looks like he could carry more weight too.
    http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=3378&SPID=233&DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=204971251&Q_SEASON=2013 playing the Dion Jordan

    __________________

    Looking at next year, give Barkley or Foles that big, fast, physical WR and the passing game is automatically better.

    The NFL is an Offense-first league — and a Pass-first league in that regard. So get the WR first (assuming he grades out as Mr. Difference-Maker).

    Then use non-1st Rd picks to find undersized DEs to play OLB and rush the passer, the way the Steelers did from the mid-90s through Lamar Woodley in 2009.

    Big, fast, skilled WRs are harder to find even than pass-rushing OLBs.
    ________________

    Kelly’s offense has to work without depending on a running QB.

    It’s hard enough to find non-running QBs with NFL passing skills.

    Running QBs who can pass on the move into a 12″x12″ window? Have to be fewer of those guys around than the less mobile types.
    ________________

    It’s gonna be a slow marathon to build this team. It just is.

    • Anders

      Sammy Watkins, while he isnt on the level of AJ Green. He is on the level of a healthy Hakeem Nicks.

      There is also a couple of other good big WRs such as a Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Ty Montgomery and many more, most of them are in the 6’1″ -6’3″ category.

      I doubt Tony Washington comes out this year, but he is legit prospect right now.
      After Barr and Mack, guys like Trent Murphy, Von Roy, Aaron Lynch (lacks the production, but got the size, speed and athleticism), Michael Sam, Vic Beasley and Marcus Smith are all early to mid round prospects.

      • ACViking

        Sammy Watkins reminds me of Maclin, certainly in terms of size.

        I’m just dying — and have been since 1982 (Carmichael’s last good year in green) — for the Eagles to have a big, dominant WR.

        If not Evans, who? If not now, when?

        • Anders

          Watkins is more Nicks sized than Maclin sized and plays more like Nicks than Maclin (Maclin even in college was a finesse WR).

          My only problem with Evans is speed, but I would have no problems with us taken him.

          • ACViking

            I think you’re right on both counts.

        • Insomniac

          Brandon Coleman is 6’6 and could go between 2nd-3rd round. Personally, I’m tired of our “finesse” players who try to dance their way out or outrun people. Give me a guy who’ll just catch the ball and fight for the yards. Jarvis Landry and Kasen Williams come to mind.

          • Anders

            I havnt looked at him my self yet, but I have heard less than good things about him.

          • Insomniac

            I haven’t watched much tape on him but from what I’ve seen he’s fast for his size and could put on a little more weight. He has above average hands and I haven’t seen him block yet. Seems like he only runs a few routes but runs it well.

          • Anders

            He has 286 yards in 7 games

          • Insomniac

            It’s Rutgers and he’s not exactly a polished guy. His value lies in his athleticism and size.

          • GEAGLE

            Brandon Coleman…that’s it!!! That’s the big dude who’s name I couldn’t remember yesterday. Thanks

          • Stormbringer

            They need to make sure he’s really a baller and size isn’t the only thing. We don’t want another Billy McMullen. He was great in college too and was very big WR.

    • BlindChow

      One thing you can say about Mike Evans: he’ll go up and get a jump ball. Without him, Manziel doesn’t look anywhere near as good.

      • GEAGLE

        Love him…reminds me of a young David Boston

        • ACViking

          A beast even before his naughty behavior

    • deg0ey

      As an Ohio State fan, I might be a a little biased, but I think Devin Smith is awesome. He’s only a junior, so might not come out this year, but he’s definitely worth a look if he does. 6’1, 200, is one of those guys that that just always seems to be open and blocks like a beast. The only real knock on him is his speed (I think he runs a 4.5) but that’s hardly a deal-breaker. Also, he can do some crazy Avantian catches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OC65k1sw6M

      On a slightly unrelated Ohio State note, is anyone else becoming more intrigued by Braxton Miller? His passing and decision making has taken a definite step forward this season and I’m starting to think it might be preferable to pick him up in the second round and use the first pick on the best available defensive player than to try and grab a QB in the mid-late first.

      • Anders

        Im really intrigued by Braxton Miller. He has really improved his passing game.

        • deg0ey

          He always reminded me of a bigger, slower Vick – good runner and a cannon arm but questionable reads meant it didn’t come together in the way you would like, but this development suggests that he’s receptive to coaching and he’s coming out of an offense that is doing a lot of the packaged run-pass things that Chip likes, so it shouldn’t be too much of a learning curve.

          If we’re not gonna be in a position to get a Bridgewater/Mariota, I’d much rather take a flyer on Miller than Manziel or Mettenberger in the bottom of the first.

          • Stormbringer

            He is normally throwing to wide open receivers. The Buckeyes have probably the fastest starting WRs in the NCAA. Philly Brown’s HS 200M was 0.1 slower than Jeff Demps HS best, Devin Smith was the D1 100M and LJ champ (with a better time than either De’Anthony Thomas or Percy Harvin and his LJ was over 1 ft. farther than Harvin’s). Donte Wilson had top 200M time too.

          • Anders

            This is a good video of the improvement he has made

            http://espn.go.com/ncf/video?gameId=332990194&vid=9886406

            Thats a perfectly throwing strike, while stepping up into the pocket. Everything you would ask your mobile run first QB to do.

          • Anders

            I bet Miller still runs a 4.4-4.5. Im really impressive with his improvement this year. Last year he was 2001 Vick or this years Pryor in the NFL. Now he is almost only running on designed draws or reads (He still scrambles, but more in the old McNabb fashion).

      • Insomniac

        Would he even declare for the draft this year?

        • deg0ey

          It’s a very good question. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a possible but not necessarily likely.

      • Stormbringer

        Big time thumbs up to Devin Smith. He is fast as he ran a 10.56 100m in HS (faster than De’Anthony Thomas and Percy Harvin in HS) and was the state LJ and 100M champ. Put him in a system like Baylor now or USC in the Barkley days and he’d put up video game numbers. I think he’d do really well in this offense.

        I am not high on Braxton Miller. He is like a more athletic Tim Tebow (though he has an arm). He is more of an athlete playing QB than a QB who runs. He has great upside as he is a fantastic athlete but he is a boom or bust pick.

  • Weapon Y

    I don’t think Chip will have much of a choice on who the starting QB will be. Barkley will probably be the starter by default. There’s no way Vick’s hamstring magically heals in a week after reinjuring it. We haven’t heard anything from Foles, so I’m suspecting he has a pretty bad concussion. I’d expect G.J. Kinne to be activated to the gameday roster as Barkley’s backup, unless Chip wants to steal Dennis Dixon from the Bills’ practice squad. Is this the moment that G.J. Kinne becomes the next Kurt Warner/Tom Brady? I think so (ok maybe not haha).

    • ACViking

      No on Kinne . . . hands are too small.

      You know what Chip thinks of small-handed QBs

      • Andy124

        Like Vick? :)

  • CampDracula

    I want Barkley. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the only unknown commodity left. That makes him more desirable (or more precisely – less undesirable) than the other two.

    I also want Kelly to run the ball with a 1st and goal at the 1 and to not punt at the 30 yard line.

    I also want to not sound like a grumpy Philadelphia fan.

    • BobSmith77

      How is Foles a known quantity at this point? If he starts another 5-6 games this year and is mediocre at best, then yeah I would agree but he is still largely an unknown too.

      I just hope Vick is out of the picture now. Name Barkley as the starter this week, let Foles get healthy, and see where things go from there.

  • BobSmith77

    To me the most glaring deficiency is the play of the O-line. They have had all 5 starters play and it is still a below-average unit overall when it was supposed to be the strength of the team. I would learn more to see if it is because the players are struggling to grasp the new schema or if it has been more of a talent-issue. Sadly I think it is the later.

    Johnson continues to take his lumps especially in the passing game. Only thing he has been is glaring inconsistent so far this year. Kelce gets overpowered/outmuscled too often and isn’t great at picking up stunts/blitz pressure. Herremans looks like a guy who is going to be somewhere else next year.

    Even the left side isn’t nearly as good and they can’t count on running behind Peters and Mathis to pick up a necessary 3 and short (>3) right now because of the failoff in Peters’ ability especially his mobility.

    Any team’s offense is going to struggle with their 3rd-string QB especially a mid-round rookie draft pick. It is up to the rest of the offense to pick him up a bit and that just hasn’t been the case the last 2 weeks with the crummy o-line shouldering a lot of the blame.

  • ACViking

    Re: The AVATAR man

    Hey, BlindChow:

    Thank you. That is one damn cool thing you created.

    I’m very appreciative.

    • BlindChow

      Ha! You’re welcome.

      Makes it easier to find your own posts, doesn’t it?

      • ACViking

        It does. And I chuckle now every time I see the avatar

        • P_P_K

          Very cool.

  • BobSmith77

    Failoff in skill positions ability after the No. 1 WR/RB on this team is arguably larger too than anyone else in the league right now.

    I would question the effort that Brown and Cooper both give on a weekly basis. Brown in particular who I think plays soft and has increasingly looked like he wants to avoid contact this year & not square up his pads. I wouldn’t with Avant but the raw ability just isn’t there anymore. Rest of the Eagles’ WRs are roster filler and not much more.

    At TE, Celek is an ‘okay’ starter and not much more. Too many drops and below average speed at this point with no separation ability. A good coverage LB can cover him 1-on-1. Plays hard though and is by far and away their best non-OL blocker. Still waiting to see what Ertz can do but so far it hasn’t been much and he still looks like he is having trouble getting on the field consistently. Casey is a flat out bust.

    People keep wondering where the 2 or 3 TE sets used in preseason went but I don’t think the Eagles have 2 quality TEs on the roster right now they feel comfortable enough to use those sets with any kind of consistency.

    • anon

      Sadly agree. Wonder if Celek could be our FB and just plod for yards since that’s how he gets his YAC generally. Ertz needs to get it together, call Gronk and figure out how to play. Both the guys out of Stanford have turned out to be no that great.

      • holeplug

        Most rookie tight ends don’t do much their 1st year.

        • BobSmith77

          He isn’t even getting PT with any kind of consistency though. Make that is the coaching staff holding him back but you have to think it is in part because Ertz isn’t showing enough in practice either and limited game time.

          Not like Casey has shown anything or that Celek has been playing at such a high-level. The opportunity is there and this offense desperately needs contributions outside of Jackson/McCoy.

  • Ark87
    • Insomniac

      pretty sure he’s looking at Riley Cooper.

    • jshort

      Looks like the water boy (Bobby Bouche)

  • Finlay Jones

    Kelly deserves quite a lot of criticism really, for not giving Barkley first team snaps. If Vick wasnt confident enough to sprint 2 days before the game, he wasnt ready to play.

    • Mac

      Thats what I’m talkin about

  • Joseph Dubyk

    ONE Of the many gaffes Kelly has had was bringing Vick back. He really needs to start making better decisions, this isn’t Appalachian state , this is the nfl

    • anon

      How was that been a bad thing?

      • Joseph Dubyk

        because a 33 year old qb doesn’t belong on a rebuilding team…

        • BobSmith77

          Not as the starter especially since he is a FA at the end of the year, couldn’t stay healthy the past 2 years, and commits too many turnovers/makes too many shaky decisions.

  • ACViking

    Re: The Legend of Gunslinging QB Ricky Santos

    Half way into Kelly’s first NFL season, the drumbeat of whether Kelly’s offensive scheme requires a running QB is growing louder. Or at least more often. I’ve beaten that drum.

    Remember back in January, when the Eagles hired Kelly, the media — assuming Vick was gone and Foles looked to be the next QB — asked Kelly if his offensive scheme required a running QB.

    After all, during Kelly’s Oregon tenure as OC and HC, his QBs were Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Massoli, Darron Thomas, and Marcus Marioto. Each of them had at least 100 rushing attempts and a 5.0+ YPC average. All except Thomas in 2011, after which — interestingly — he left Oregon early for the NFL draft, only to go unselected and unable to make an NFL or CFL roster.

    _____________

    So this past January, Kelly answered the media’s question by sharing with us the legend of Ricky Santos.

    Who was Santos? Kelly’s starting QB at the UNH from 2004-06, when he was the team’s OC (just before taking the same job at Oregon in ’07).

    Kelly told us, via the media, the story of how Santos regularly racked up big yards through the air. Santos — 3x All American. Santos — the Div I-AA Walter Payton Trophy Winner as a junior in 2006, Kelly’s last year at UNH. Santos — the kid whose jersey number UNH retired after his 2007 senior season.

    Santos did indeed build a passing legend at UNH

    ______________

    What I don’t remember, though, after reading about the Santos legend was an article breaking down Santos’s college statistics.

    Specifically, did Santos run the ball? Or did he just throw the ball.

    Turns out (and I may just be late to this party) that in Santos’s 3 seasons as Chip Kelly QB, he did of course throw the ball a heck of a lot: more than 400 attempts in 2004, ’05, and ’06.

    But Santos also ran the ball. A lot. A heck of a lot. In 2004, he’s credited with 126 rushing attempts and 2.3 per rush; 119 attempts in ’05 and 4.2 per rush; and 150 attempts in ’06 for 3.2 per rush.

    Now, without a doubt, some of those 350 rushing attempts were sacks. But not 350 of them. Maybe 60. Probably less than that.

    Here’s Santos’s college numbers:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/stats/_/id/149238/ricky-santos
    ____________________

    It is true that Santos didn’t run for nearly as many yards as Kelly’s Oregon QBs Mariota, Masoli, or Thomas in 2010.

    But Santos did run. A lot. And just as often as his Oregon QBs.

    For a comparison, consider classic pocket passer Matt Barkley at USC.

    In four full seasons, Barkley’s credited with a total of just 132 attempts for -113 yards. Here’s Barkley’s USC stats.
    http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/matt-barkley-1.html
    __________________

    All these numbers suggest to me that when Kelly told us the Legend of Ricky Santos, he left out the part about Santos running the ball more times per year than each of Kelly’s Oregon QBs did in their seasons as starters.

    Maybe Kelly forgot. I ascribe no motives.

    All I feel safe in saying is, based on the numbers, Kelly’s offense — even as far back as when the legendary Santos was his QB — is constructed around the threat of the QB keeping the ball on the read-option.
    _________________

    This is all just a theory.

    Maybe the Eagles’ offense is different from what Kelly ran at Oregon and UNH. I don’t know.

    I leave it to the likes of Tommy Lawlor, Jimmy Kempski, and Derek Sarley to sort it all out.

  • GEAGLE

    I’m hoping FOles starts this week..
    ..
    Btw, it’s disgusting how Vick just say alone with a towel over his head and sulked for 45 minutes..if it were Peyton you could bet your ass he would be trying to do anything to help Barkley…Desean and shady clearly got dejected, where was their leader whom they idolize?….Very disappointed

    • ACViking

      I’ve been waiting for someone to talk about Vick’s behavior.

      Ray Didinger described what Vick did as “he checked out” and sending a “bad message” to the rest of the team.

      When Vick pulled his hamstring in the first Giants game, the announcing team talked about how Vick wanted to prove he could play 16 games.

      I think, on Sunday, when he had the towel over his head, Vick was thinking about one thing and only one thing: “31 other NFL teams know I [Michael Vick] am not a reliable alternative at QB because I can’t stay healthy enough to play 13 games, let alone 16 games.”

      • GEAGLE

        Agreed…but after he took all of the inexperienced rookies reps all week, the decent thing to do would be to try to help the kid when he gets thrust into the game to clean up Vicks mess…I found selfish and the exact reason why he can’t be here going forward….I think it was a mistake for him personally…he can play 16 games and still not get a starting job next year….if he is smart, he will show that he can accept a backup role and prolong his years earning a paycheck

        • ACViking

          You’re very wise . . . Van-Hel-Sing

          • anon

            I think he was hurt and disappointing. He did have that cam newton face — but he’s been great the rest of the season, i’ll give him a break for sunday.

    • ACViking

      GEagle . . .

      Hints that maybe a house cleaning is in order?

      At least some serious deodorizing, right?

      • GEAGLE

        Yes sir!!!! This team needs a friggin exorcism!!! Howie needs to purge us of the Andy slop…

        Defense has 6 new non Andy players….the offense filled with Andy players we over rated…..which group is headed I the right direction? Billy “Jethro” Davis has his unit improving…yet Andy’s unit the offense, is regressing…I’m basically ok with trading anyone who has been here longer then two years…I’m ok with keeping guys like Desean if we compliment them with other good WRs…but if he is just going to be our best WR, then he can go too….

  • GEAGLE

    I want Anthony Barr…lol start whoever you have to at QB to make that happen!!
    ….
    I watched the LT documentary at like 4am..then I thought of Trent Cole, and I had to fight the urge to sob hysterically

    • ACViking

      Elaborate for the non-vampires, please.

      • GEAGLE

        The LT documentary, Lawrence Taylor…basically I had to sit and watch what an OLB looks like for two hours…and Cole does NOT compare favorably to Lawrence Taylor lol…to put it mildly
        ,..
        In other words…ci serve un OLB come ci serve L’aria

        • ACViking

          He’s out of position and almost out of time, unfortunately.

    • ceedubya9

      If they don’t get a top qb in the draft, Barr is also at the top of my list.

      • GEAGLE

        Having a tough time figuring out how special the QBs are…it’s even obvious to a blind man how special Barr is…

  • disqus_jB7dl5fzvO

    Nate Allen

    It seems as if ever since he started playing better, the QB play has gone down. Coincidence? My theory is that he started doing better in practice, resulting in a spike in his confidence and a decrease in the confidence in the QBs. So on Sundays, the QB(s) are terrified that Nate Allen may come in ghost form on the other team and start picking off one handed passes and Dawkins-ing receivers as they come across the middle. No matter how well Nate plays, he’s always hurting the team. Insensitive prick.

    • Insomniac

      Danny Watkins sold us out.

      • P_P_K

        LOL!

    • goeagles55

      That would explain why Chip didn’t want to give Barkley too many practice reps last week.

  • Vick or Nick

    Tough spot. But in the back of our minds we knew Barkley would start at some point this season. I agree with Tommy. I want Barkley to do well so we at least have a legitimate starter for rest of the season. Just some stability.

    Our future QB is either in this draft or the next.

    It doesn’t matter how bad we are at those other positions, if we don’t have a long term answer QB we are bound to keep losing.

    So Howie, please pick a QB in the draft. And soon.

  • ACViking

    GEagle . . .

    Speaking of late nights, vampires, and wise judgment — this movie clip hits all three.

    It’s about 1:30. Watch it through the end.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYYTwG0k53k

    • GEAGLE

      Lol classic…wise man…

  • Vick or Nick

    With the way Kelly spoke of Barkley’s performance, hes looking like a lock to start. Don’t you all rush to the fantasy waiver wire.

  • jackpotsdad

    I really hope Foles or Barkley proves adequate. From what I’ve seen at Oregon, Chip can get by with some mediocre QBs (Masoli, Darron Thomas are not good QBs, though they are okay).

    The story that a lot of folks are missing is that this 2014 draft is a great draft for a lot of positions – possibly one of the better ones for years to come. If the Eagles can find a QB either here or in free agency (Cutler?), they could find many promising upgrades. Anthony Barr (LB), Mike Evans (WR), Jake Matthews (OT), Marquis Lee (WR), Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (DB), Haha Clinton-Dix (S), Kyle Von Noy (LB) would all help us in some critical positions.

    There’s great value to be had in 2nd to 4th rounds in this draft. If we have to package multiple picks to grab Mariota…I dunno. And trust me, I’m a huge U of O homer, and I think Mariota is essentially Kaepernick with better decision making. So it pains me to say, it might be better to pass him up.

    • Insomniac

      If we’re going down that road then I rather draft Derek Carr in the second round.

      • jackpotsdad

        Agreed. Carr would be a solid choice. However, I think he’s gone by the first. What may turn off some teams is that David, his older brother, is an infamous bust. I think, Derek, from what I’ve seen, is a better player. But I think that view is widely shared, and he’ll be a late first round value pick.

        • Insomniac

          Maybe. Unless the QB needy teams like the Cardinals, Cowgirls, Browns and Gnats pick him before our second pick then yea he’ll probably be gone. I think they have bigger needs in the first round though but two of those teams are unpredictable in the draft.

  • BobSmith77

    For real?

    Eagles defense has had marked improvement over the last 4 games across the board but 3 of those have come 2 of the worst offenses in the NFL: Giants and Bucs.

    If the defense plays adequately vs Raiders/Skins and doesn’t get embarrassed at Lambeau by the Packers, then I’ll be on the Butch David bandwagon but not until then.

  • Mr. Magee

    Kelly can make it work, whether he has Kaepernick or Brady – that’s good.
    I just hope he knows what he wants. Both Foles and Vick were too good to trade. Then they took Barkley, declaring him a steal given where they drafted him.
    I can’t help but wonder: if Kelly is all that when it comes to devising and running an offense, should there be this much speculation about what Chip really needs from his QB? Doesn’t seem to add up…

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Just remember teams usually have problems when they get to their 2nd and 3rd string QBs.

  • ICDogg

    I'm hearing #eagles QB Nick Foles will be back at practice on Tuesday. And I hear he's likely to start on Sunday against #Raiders..cont— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) October 29, 2013

  • austinfan

    There are only two kinds of starting QBs, elite QBs and competent QBs – if you’re not competent, in a year or two you’re a backup QB.

    The odds of ever landing an elite QB is very long, and as Brady is showing this season, even a top QB, if he slips a notch, is at the mercy of the talent and scheme. So you have to assume at best you’ll have a competent QB.

    Foles and Barkley have a chance to become competent QBs. Unless you can land an elite QB (and I doubt Mariota will be one), you’re better off going with what you have and only taking a QB if one falls into your lap, right now Geno Smith is playing worst than Foles as a rookie, and Emanuel is injured. So there is no reason to think most of the QBs they could draft next year could start or make a difference over what they have as rookies, or at anytime.

    The grass is always greener, until you find out it’s actually painted astroturf!

  • Pingback: Chip Kelly Update: Rock Bottom & Rock Bottomer