The Kelly QB

Posted: October 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 151 Comments »

Chip Kelly wants a mobile QB. Dennis Dixon. Jeremiah Masoli. Darron Thomas. Marcus Mariota. Kelly also recruited Johnny Football. Kelly then kept Michael Vick in Philly.

Chip Kelly needs a mobile QB.

Without a mobile QB, Kelly’s offense just isn’t the same. He must have the read-option.


As we talk about the future of the QB position with the Eagles, I think we sometimes make faulty assumptions. Kelly did have mobile QBs at Oregon. He did keep Vick. But we don’t know for a fact that these are the guys Kelly truly wanted.

Kelly inherited Dixon at Oregon. After watching him for a year, Kelly may have decided that a mobile QB was the way to go with that program. Oregon was in a tough situation. They don’t get elite recruits, but they are expected to win and win big. That puts a lot of pressure on the coaches to find talented players that can almost overachieve.

Pocket passers aren’t easy to find in college. Mobile QBs are. Those kids are all over the place. Kelly replaced QBs with ease at Oregon. He found guys who fit his system and plugged them in.

When asked about the read-option and the NFL, Kelly always made the point that you wouldn’t run that with Tom Brady.

The point of all this is that we don’t know exactly what Kelly’s ideal vision for an offense is. We have seen him run QB sweeps. We’ve seen his QBs throw for 428 yards in a game. We’ve seen him run the ball a lot. We’ve seen him use TEs and WRs. Vick and Foles both played lights out in games this year. They couldn’t be further apart in terms of skills and style of play.

As we try to figure out who should be the QB this year, we often debate how each player fits what Kelly wants to do. The assumption is that Kelly values mobility. Kelly may actually prefer an accurate passer. Or a great decision-maker. Or someone who is a great leader.

Kelly didn’t have his choice of QBs at Oregon. He needed to find someone who was good enough and the right fit. The situation with the Eagles is different. Kelly is looking for a player that can be by his side for the next 5 to 10 years. He’s looking for someone who he can build the organization around. College QBs are disposable, for lack of a better word. Those guys will play a few years and be gone.

Kelly might decide Nick Foles is his guy. He might think Matt Barkley can be the guy. Or Kelly may look in the draft. It is faulty for us to assume he wants a mobile QB. Kelly and the Eagles had a Top 50 grade on Barkley, who is a pure pocket passer.

I’ve thought the notion of Kelly needing a mobile QB to make the run game work to be utterly ridiculous. The run game works with good blocking and good running. Kelly is able to give it a boost by doing the creative stuff he does. Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter and LeSean McCoy all had success running the ball for Andy Reid. In that time, Reid ran a handful or option or Wildcat plays.

More than anything, Chip Kelly needs a good QB. If the guy has a strong arm, ideal size and is a good athlete, all the better. But I don’t think Kelly is going to look at it as though without a mobile QB, he can’t run the offense the way he truly wants. I bet Kelly would love to be able to be so good with base plays that the QB could just be a passer.

We are learning about Chip Kelly slowly but surely. Even Oregon fans who studied Kelly’s every move for the past 6 years are finding out more about him. The NFL is a different world. Coaches have more freedom in some ways and more restrictions in others.

We’ll get another big piece of the puzzle when we see what Kelly does/doesn’t do at QB heading into 2014.


151 Comments on “The Kelly QB”

  1. 1 Mark Saltveit said at 1:06 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Of course a mobile QB is better, all other things being equal. It makes the defense hesitate, or you get free yards if they don’t. But Chip has shown he can do that even with Molasses Foles. The QB draw TD wasn’t Foles’ first this year.

    Chip’s main criteria is the ability to read the defense and react quickly. He said so directly over the summer. Bubble screens can fill in for runs (and did for Foles Sunday), though the run is preferable. (See Mariota, Vick 60 yard runs. Those are 10 at best for Nick.)

  2. 2 D-von said at 7:02 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    A mobile QB is only better if they can throw timely, accurate passes from the pocket. A QBs primary job is to get the ball to his playmakers. If the QB can make plays with his legs than great but it’s not a necessity. Chip Kelly said himself that the read option is just apart of the playbook it’s not the whole playbook.

  3. 3 Tumtum said at 9:49 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    The problem with mobile QBs is that “all other things” are not equal. At least they have not been to this point. Lets just say Vick is the best running QB in history (I think that he is), and lets say that Peyton is the best pocket passer QB in history (I think he is the GOAT…). You aren’t going to be able to marry those two skill sets and get equal production from the arm and the legs out of the new mutant. The runner is going to miss big plays down the field because he has already broken the pocket. The pocket guy isn’t going to get coverage to break down as often. Is this new baby of Peyton and Mike named Cam? Hard to tell.”

    I heard some quote from some coach on some network about running QBs. The best thing about them is that they run, the worst thing about them is that they run.

    I just think you are over simplifying the question. All things can not be equal when comparing a running QB to a pocket passing QB.

  4. 4 aub32 said at 11:04 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    You’re right that they both have their pros and cons, but I think you are looking in the wrong direction for an answer. I’d argue Aaron Rodgers would be the perfect marriage of these skill sets. He doesn’t need to run the read option but very well could. If an accurate mobile QB could get in this system the possiblities would be endless. Kelly could literally switch the gameplan up each week. Teams will prepare for the read option only to have a QB who sits in the pocket. Teams will play heavy man only to see the QB break off 30-50 yard runs. I don’t think this player will be easily found, but there seem to be some guys who may fit this mold coming out this year.

  5. 5 jackpotsdad said at 1:42 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Nick Foles works perfectly fine in a Chip Kelly offense. Sure, being able to get 20+ yards on a run would be a nice-to-have, but it’s not an absolute requirement. Even Foles can scramble awkwardly for 5 – 10 yards, and that’s more than enough.

    Will Chip ever get his ideal quarterback? The only time he’s had his ideal is with Mariota in his last year at Oregon, and he’s only had him as a first year starter. While I think he’d love to have someone like Mariota again, I bet he’d prefer to be better in other facets of the game instead of selling out his future for a top pick. I can totally see him go with Foles next year with Barkley as the heir apparent / backup, and then go totally defensive in the draft. That, in my opinion, is the percentage play.

  6. 6 ICDogg said at 2:01 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    don’t neglect the O-line and their ages. And we might need another WR. I don’t foresee going totally defensive even if we don’t take a first round QB.

  7. 7 jackpotsdad said at 2:03 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Yeah, agree with that. My point is that the Birds wouldn’t go all out on a QB, but strengthen other areas: secondary, OLine, linebacker, #2 receiver, etc.

  8. 8 ICDogg said at 6:16 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I think if there’s a QB they really like available when they draft, they won’t hesitate to take him. But I don’t think they will have the type of urgency about getting a QB that, say, Washington did when they traded up for RGIII.

  9. 9 Insomniac said at 4:05 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Jarvis Landry. Kid can do it all and would even make Avant proud with all of his highlight catches at LSU.

  10. 10 fran35 said at 10:28 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    And we can’t underestimate the value of being able to feel comfortable rolling next season with Foles or Barkley. Being able to take the best D lineman or Dback available will be a huge win for us. Look at teams like Jax, Minnesota, Cleveland, etc. They may all be looking for a QB and take one that is not really worth it(See Weeden, Ponder, etc)

  11. 11 Tony said at 1:48 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    You see Mannion in the OSU/WSU game? You think he could last into later in the 1st round? Dude looked like a tall gunslinger.

  12. 12 jackpotsdad said at 2:02 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I’d be surprised if he comes out this year.

  13. 13 Conor Mc Namara said at 2:29 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    One thing I remember him saying when he was hired was along the lines of ‘its not college anymore if we draft you you have to come play for us’.. I think it was when he was asked about recruiting Johnny Football. Now I didn’t follow Oregon so I wouldn’t know but did he try to recruit pocket QB’s and lost them to more popular programs? Leading him to focus on the more widely available mobile QB’s.. Or I could be completely wrong and he only wanted w mobile guy..

  14. 14 shah8 said at 2:43 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    No, pocket QBs aren’t easy to find because the NFL no longer can cover for non-athletic QBs, period. You can find plenty of pocket QBs in college, because someone like Saban can recruit a line that sends everyone to the NFL. People are going with mobile QBs because that’s where the future is, and King Canute can’t roll back that wave, no matter how much certain insecure people might wish that could be so.

    This goes well beyond the question of Vick. Pretty much *all* new QBs that can be reasonably be expected to survive the NFL game has to be about as mobile as Aaron Rodgers. There’s just not much scope for young ones to get their bearings like a 10 year plus vet like Manning or Rivers and always get the ball out quickly and properly. Even those guys are relying on *very* capable OL to prosper.

  15. 15 xeynon said at 2:54 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    The last couple Super Bowls have been won by classic pocket QBs. The guy who’s far and away the best quarterback in the NFL this season is a pocket QB.

    All other things being equal a mobile QB is preferable but guys who make excellent reads, get the ball out quickly, and can consistently deliver the ball with accuracy and anticipation on a variety of throw types will always be able to succeed regardless of athleticism or lack thereof because those skills are still and always will be 90% of what matters in being a successful NFL quarterback.

  16. 16 shah8 said at 3:02 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I care nothing for your opinions, why bother?

  17. 17 xeynon said at 10:49 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    It’s not caring about facts or reason that’s your problem, not not caring about my opinion.

    Don’t worry though, I’m sure Joe Webb will be supplanting Peyton Manning as the best quarterback in the league any week now. It is after all the wave of the future.

  18. 18 aub32 said at 11:11 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I’d argue that though Flacco is a traditional pocket passer, he isn’t the consistent dropback high accuracy guy that Brees, Brady, and Peyton are. He relies heavily on his physical gifts and is more of an athlete than many give him credit for. I think a lot of the new QBs, though they may not have the Manning like accuracy, can rely on their deep ball to shorten the field and get huge chunks of yards at once.

  19. 19 xeynon said at 12:37 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Granted there is room for more than one type of pocket quarterback. Nobody will ever mistake Flacco for Kaepernick in terms of mobility or athleticism, though.

  20. 20 aub32 said at 1:31 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    True, but Kaep RG3, Wilson, and Cam are about as accurate as Flacco and have similar arm strength. So they should seemingly be just as good of pocket passers as he is. So one could say they too are pocket passers and get rid of the whole “mobile” QB moniker.

  21. 21 Stephen Stempo said at 3:35 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Oh…. That’s where you’re coming from. Well…10 foot pole and all

  22. 22 ICDogg said at 6:17 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    The OL’s goal for a passer is to create a safe spot for him to throw. Taking off and finding another place to throw from, leaves him on his own.

  23. 23 knighn said at 8:10 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Michael Irvin, of all people, said it: “Sometimes Vick gets out of that pocket a little too fast…” (see highlights from the last game)

  24. 24 D-von said at 11:20 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Lol yeah but Deion Sanders and Marshall Fualk weren’t hearing that

  25. 25 knighn said at 3:11 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    That didn’t show up in the video I watched. (NFL Highlights in the Game Center)

  26. 26 shah8 said at 3:49 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I also do not think that Kelly will be happy with a pocket QB. He can roll with one, because he prides himself on being flexible.

    Moreover, the basic construction of the dilemma, that Kelly has to value some specific traits *more* than he would another, I find to be false. Ultimately, that line of thinking is basically an elliptical discussion about race (the use of “running QB” to denote race rather than attribute) rather than football. *You*Don’t*Separate*These*Qualities. The idea that you could, is fundamentally attractive to people fishing for reasons to promote their guy over another. A good QB is a QB that has most or all of these qualities required for success in the NFL. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I watched Romo do this beautiful evasion *and* accurate throw on the run for that TD Sunday night. Romo may not scramble for much, but he moves so, so, well. You take some brainfarts, and some other issues, but Romo has enough pluses in enough categories to be a good QB. This is pretty much true for most of the really good, and even decent QBs. Stafford, for his size, can run reasonably well, for instance. Jay Cutler is fast in an understated way. This takes nothing away from their ability to throw the ball, and adds to their ability to help their team score points.

    I just find these conversations about the backup QB repetitious and asinine. I know I consume football pretty much totally on an aesthetic, intellectual, and athletic levels, and not so much quite on winning or fame or that silly idolatry the NFL wishes to encourage. Winning’s great. So is having people you like on the team doing well. However, being about the wins or the people is a great way to be let down (even after a win, because you can only bite that apple once), because that’s not the sport itself. Since I think that way, I care a great deal about seeing the best talent be on the field–live for the plays, the setup, the daring-do.

    This isn’t usually a problem, since most people want to see the best players–except at QB. When it’s the QB, there are these perpetual controversies (usually pushed hardest by losers) whenever a QB that don’t fit certain people’s tastes as far as their vicarious needs are concerned. Beyond the obvious, it’s also about the nasty attitude towards QBs like Cutler, Rivers, and all the other QBs that so obviously can’t care to even disguise their disdain for some of the media and fans (who fires right back). It’s late at night, and obviously I’m old and grumpy and tired of the NFL (and fandom) shoving no-hoper Jeremy Lins onto my screen. There are *still* Ponder dead-enders out there who scream about how all of this Viking tragedy isn’t his fault and he should get another chance! Of course, the knives are already out for Freeman, like these people are jealous hussies ready for a catfight! And I’m like, Dudes, Dudettes! If Freeman wasn’t here, **WEBB WOULD EVENTUALLY START** You all didn’t want that, right?

    And I don’t want more “samples” of Foles. I’ve “seen what we have” in Foles. I’m very happy that he played as well as he did, but he didn’t play at a level that’s in any way particularly sustainable, because in no way was his arm improved beyond having less of an arc on his deep ball (nor the ability to escape from trouble). No, seriously, I’m not being some anti-Fole-ite. Simply speaking, I’m dead sure that if you start Foles with some expectations that he’ll be a long term QB, sooner rather than later, your offense will eventually melt down. Why? Because Foles simply does not have the physical attributes necessary, in what is a very Red Queen Race NFL, to maintain success. It’s not as if all the great 2012 + Cam QBs hasn’t struggled a bit with DCs mapping their tendencies (and teammate injuries, and controversies like aldon smith, etc, etc), just like all sophomore QBs. They work their craft and adopt. If I know these realities, then I bleep well know Kelly knows it. But this is Philly, and the love of hapless backups will burn on forever. Just don’t be disappointed if it does turn out to be that Kelly really does wants Vick, and that the time off really is about getting the hamstring healthy for the playoff run rather than any fantastical political move at mollifying the locker room or some such so he could start Foles the rest of the way.

  27. 27 bill said at 8:31 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Bzzt. Thanks for playing. Calling the other side racist when the topic has nothing to do with race is a sure fire admission that your argument lacks all credibility. Welcome to ignore.

  28. 28 knighn said at 8:50 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I will agree with you on one thing: “mobile QB” often is code for “QB who isn’t white”. Those who use the term ignore the fact that Steve Young held, for a long time, many records for QB mobility. He still holds some records for post-season QB mobility.

    Here’s the issue that I have with any QB that holds onto the ball too long, and you can probably put Ben Roethlisberger into that mix: they take a beating more like a RB than a QB… and RBs generally don’t last in the NFL beyond 30 years old. So, why should we expect QBs, that take a beating like an RB, to last beyond 30? Steve Young ultimately had to leave the NFL due to his repeated concussions. Young only lasted as long as he did because he was stuck on the bench for years behind Montana.

    If mobile QBs, regardless of their race, continue to take a beating like a RB, they’re ultimately only going to last as long as a RB. Shortened QB careers don’t work in a league that bases so much of its success upon long-time franchise QBs – they bring stability to a franchise and marketablity to the NFL.

    Then here’s another issue: outside of Steve Young, which mobile QBs are winning Super Bowls? That’s not to say that it won’t happen more often… just to say that QBs who are more likely to spend time in the pocket seem to be the ones that are getting the job done.

    That brings us to the Eagles: Mike Vick, as a QB and a RB all-in-one has missed a lot of games over his career and he is 33 years old. If he was 23 or even 30 years old, I don’t think the conversation would be nearly as strong. Then there are other numbers that show that Nick Foles truly could be a better option that Vick:
    In short: this isn’t the ridiculousness of a lame, underperforming backup like Kolb and AJ Feely. This is a guy who is showing that he could have a future in the league.

  29. 29 BlindChow said at 1:07 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Kaep was one throw away from winning the Super Bowl. In his first year as a starter.

  30. 30 knighn said at 3:13 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Very true! I’m not saying it can’t happen or won’t happen. I just see it as a less likely outcome. The mobile QBs are more likely to take hits like a RB, they’re more likely to be injured, they’re more likely to have shorter careers, so they’re less likely to make it to Super Bowls. Is this faulty reasoning?

  31. 31 TommyLawlor said at 10:01 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    @ shah8,

    The days of QBs being looked at along racial lines should be long over. Teddy Bridgewater is a pocket passer. Johnny Football is the athlete that runs around and makes plays with his legs. Which one is white and which one is black? Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck are terrific athletes. Tannehill was a WR in college. Luck easily could have been a TE.

    Please don’t try and make this about race at all. Eagles fans would be thrilled to have Bridgewater or Russell Wilson at QB. We’d also love Luck or Tannehill.

    i agree that there are fewer and fewer pure pocket passers, but there are still some. Zach Mettenberger and AJ McCarron are a couple of them. If Kelly takes some player like that it would surprise me, but my point is that we might just be surprised. I didn’t expect him to like Foles or want Barkley.

    Your point on pocket passers in college is flawed. Yes, there are lots of them, but in order to have a good one, you need a strong supporting cast. That’s why I made the point that college coaches go find mobile QBs. When I say there aren’t many pocket passers, I’m referring to good players. Finding a 6-3 guy who can throw the ball 50 yards isn’t hard at all. Finding one who is really talented and great at being a pocket passer is a whole other story.

    You can go find an athlete with an okay arm and he can make plays for you if you can make him a “good enough” passer. Look at the guys Baylor has had since RG3 left. Nick Florence and Bryce Petty aren’t stars, but they’re incredibly productive in that system. Baylor’s offense continues to thrive, no matter who is at QB.

  32. 32 knighn said at 10:58 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    We’d love Tannehill’s wife more than Tannehill, but other than that you’re pretty dead on!

  33. 33 aub32 said at 11:30 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I would argue your point about race just based on the perception of fans, pundits, and others. You are right that the reality is that there are black pocket QBs and white mobile QBs. However, when Geno Smith came out there was so much talk about him running the read option, despite him being a pocket guy. Luck is about the same if not more athletic than Smith. No one would even dare mention Luck and read option in the same sentence. You now see QBs like Kaep and RG3 trying so deperately to shake the notion that they are athletes first and QBs 2nd. I don’t see Rodgers or Luck having any trouble with that. Futhermore black QBs still have to deal with whether or not they have the intelligence to play the game. One of the most offensive things said to RG3 when he was coming out is that he is “well spoken”. How many QBs get descibed as being well spoken? As opposed to what, sounding like a rap album in what’s basically a job interview. It’s a very backhanded compliment that most people don’t realixe only speaks to the fact that there is still the mentality among some that black QBs are still a little behind white QBs.

  34. 34 fran35 said at 12:13 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Alright, a few points.
    Geno Smith was only discussed as a read option type QB because that was the flavor of the month. Kapernich, RGIII and others had brought it into the spotlight.
    For some reason, Russell Wilson is black, but they do not discuss the read option with him. What gives? When RGIII was coming out, there was not alot of read option talk with him, because Shanahan hadnt implemented it yeat. Same for Kapernick. I think in Geno Smith’s situation, he was not special as a passer. Alot of his success came off of bubble screens and his ability to run a pro offense and make the necessary throws was questioned. Then he ran 4.5 at the combine. Suddenly, because of the read option becoming successful, people were wondering if he could do that. It had nothing to do with him being black. But you are entitled to your opinion, as am I.
    And the whole well spoken thing is a double edged sword. So if it is racist to say that RGIII is well spoken, am I allowed to say that Vick sounds like he is working with a 5th grade education? No, because I would be flamed as a racist. So, utilizing your mindsight, a black QB is beyond reproach. Perfect.

  35. 35 aub32 said at 12:24 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    The point is nothing ahould be said at all. The fact that he’s well spoken should not have to be acknowledge as something positive. Those type of descriptors aren’t given to white QBs. That was my point in bringing that up. When Luck came out, no one said “that guy is pretty well spoken”, because they already assume as such by looking at him. You may not get what I am talking about, but trust me when I say that is an issue that many black people face, not just QBs. I’m bringing it up because it’s relevant to the comment above.
    I don’t know how much of the Seahawks games you watch but not a series goes by without announcers talking about Wilson’s ability to run and that he should run the ball more.
    We disagree with the take on Geno. People were saying he could run the read option long before his combine performance. Then afterwards, people just new he could run it, despite him having a terrible rushing average in college.

  36. 36 fran35 said at 12:42 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Thank you for the response. The racism issue is one which I tread very carefully with. It is a hot button issue that is so touchy that much of our society will not even broach. My sensitivy to the race card being thrown is that it renders an arguement one sided. To argue against the existence of racism has become an inherently racist action.
    The NFL is racist, the media is racist, NFL scouts are racist, and I apparently am a racist. I would rather my QB speak/behave like Russell Wilson or Donovan McNabb than Michael Vick or Johnny Manziel. It shows homework was done at some point in their life and leads me to believe that they will take their work seriously and do their homework.
    And by the way, in case you cannot tell, Johnny Manziel would not be on my draft board-in any round.

  37. 37 aub32 said at 1:01 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I am not calling you a racist. I am not calling anyone a racist. Just because someone made an assumption based on race does not make them a racist. A lot of times people don’t even realize they did it or what they heard. So it needs to be pointed out so we all can learn and move forward from the issue. Your point on Vick and Manziel seems to have nothing to do with race. You wouldn’t want those guys based on their off the field activities and way they carried themselves. That’s fine. My point is, which I think you are still missing, is there is no need to make certain assumptions based on race. For a long time the term mobile QB and black QB were one and the same. It still is to an extent.

    I am not a fan of the race card. I try hard not to use it, but when it does come up I feel it’s necessary to educate people on some things that are still happening or things they wouldn’t think twice over. This way maybe they will rethink their position in hopes that we could get to a point where it really is no longer an issue.

  38. 38 fran35 said at 1:15 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Good points. My counterpoint:
    The racis…err.. I mean “misconceptions” that plague the black athlete/QB also victimizes white athletes as well. See: “White Men can’t Jump”. How many times have we heard on televison “That white boy can run/jump/insert any athletic trait” However, this is never attributed to racism and is generally accepted. To say that a white boy cannot dance or jump is funny, but to say that a black person is “soulful” or well spoken is an underhanded compliment that smells like racism.
    But I get your points about the much maligned black QB. I appreciate the rhetoric and the ability to discuss this somewhat civilly without being pilloried.
    Back to the regularly scheduled Vick Foles debate.
    Queue the GEagle/Eagleandyankfan vs. Shah/Bigbuttandasmile friendly and senseless banter.

  39. 39 aub32 said at 1:24 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    If you look above I made the same point before reading this about when Luke Kuechly came out. I could discuss my thoughts about why one assumption is more universally accepted than the other, but that would be discussed on a different forum. I did enjoy the discussion and the fact that it didn’t turn into some crazy racism vs. affirmative action pissing contest.

  40. 40 BlindChow said at 1:03 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    With that scraggly growth on his chin and protruding brow, I expected Luck to speak in grunts and growls like a caveman.

  41. 41 ICDogg said at 1:43 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Mongo no go. Mongo stay with Sherrif Bart. Sherrif Bart first man ever whip Mongo. Mongo impressed. Have deep feelings for Sherrif Bart.

  42. 42 bill said at 12:52 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Can’t disagree with what you’re saying, and that there is certainly some racism in the way they’re treated is really beyond question. But saying that anyone who expresses a preference for a Brees- or Peyton- type QB over the RB as QB-type QB is really expressing a racial preference is pretty much the definition of ad hominem, and of the basest sort. Unfortunately racism still exists, and is prominent in the NFL. But using implications of racism to deflect legitimate disagreement on the merits of given systems and players as “irrelevant,” well, that’s despicable. This isn’t the same as Limbaugh bloviating, against all evidence, about McNabb’s performance. That, to me, given Limbaugh’s past and absolute lack of any evidence for his pronouncement, was pretty clearly racial in nature. I’ve seen no one on here make that level of argument, save Shah, with respect to blindly clinging to counterfactuals that have been disproven by actual facts, and I still would never accuse Shah of having an implicit racial agenda. It’s one of those taboos in the modern USA that can be an effective baseless smear, along the lines of pedophilia. You just don’t frivolously accuse people of it unless you have SOME evidence that such is a motivating factor for them.

  43. 43 aub32 said at 1:18 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I hope you didn’t take what I said as me accusing anyone of being a racist. I was simply making a point that there a certain stereotypes that black QBs have to fight through that white QBs do not. We can look at other positions to find the same thing. When Luke Kuechly was coming out the knock on him was that he was a high motor guy on a BC defense that had no one other than him to make tackles. No one thought he was an athlete until he proved many of the doubters wrong at the combine. Cam had to deal with a lot of the same doubters until he broke the NFL rookie passing record.

  44. 44 bill said at 1:25 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Absolutely didn’t take you that way. Just trying to flesh out my stance given the hard line I took. I think there is a legitimate place for discussion of race in the NFL (and society as a whole) – and your comment was a good example of a legitimate (I could even call your comment restrained) discussion. On the other hand, introducing implications of racism on your critic’s part into a discussion that isn’t inherently racial is something you don’t do unless you’ve got solid evidence of racism motivating your critics. There certainly are “code words” for racial attacks, but they also depend on context, and I haven’t seen anyone on here use “code words” when context is considered. Using such ad hominem tactics only exacerbates the problem, as it detracts from the credibility of legitimate discussions of racial issues, and makes people hesitant to engage in legitimate discussions on the issue.

  45. 45 bill said at 1:40 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Just to be super clear here, I’m using “you” in the abstract, not as an accusation. Too much coffee this afternoon means typing faster than I’m thinking.

  46. 46 aub32 said at 1:59 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I knew what you meant. I thought you made a good point. So there was no need for me to say much more wihout repeating myself or echoing you.

  47. 47 xeynon said at 3:00 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Your points are well taken, aub32, but I don’t think these race-based stereotypes are as pervasive as they used to be. Russell Wilson is black, but for the most part when people discuss what sets him apart they talk about how intelligent he is, his leadership qualities and maturity, etc. While I can see how certain statements along these lines can definitely come across as back-handed compliments (e.g. “well-spoken” – Chris Rock had a hilarious routine about that particular phrase), others mean exactly what they mean – sometimes a positive scouting report is just a positive scouting report.

    The Chris Rock routine I was referring to (relevant bit starts at around 2:00) – NSFW language.

  48. 48 shah8 said at 12:32 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Well, first of all, AJ McCarron is not an NFL starter level prospect. Mettenberger is more of an open question, but I will lean towards maybe and no.

    I found this column, late last night, mostly really rather strange. I still find it strange if I read it straight, because it just smells like flop sweat and unconfronted anxiety. You want a refined passer, and a “pocket quarterback” should refer to that quality. However, instead of talking about Jay Cutler, or Teddy Bridgewater in that light, the tone of the writing is almost as if you want a statue, like Ryan Mallet or Brandon Weeden. Remember, I’m not talking about mobility like Aaron Brooks. I’m talking about having functional mobility or better. Same as I’m talking about functional arm strength or better. Same as I would functional mental ability to cope at NFL speeds or better.

    As such, I think you’re being incredibly unrealistic about “pocket quarterbacks”, so long as you’re talking about the Brandon Weedens of the world who needs “strong supporting casts”. Marcus Mariota is not as athletic as Jake Locker, and is around where Mike Tannehill is. Do either of them really run much at all, other than opportunistically, this year? Mariota seems unlikely to be even as effective as Russel Wilson. Is Andrew Luck running as much as he did in college, even though he was an effective rusher in college? How about Geno Smith? He didn’t run much in college, but he certainly can run reasonably fast. That isn’t enough to help him other than manipulating the pocket and rolling out in the pros. Guys who really can be useful QB rushers (unlike, oh, Alex Smith and his headless chicken game this year) are the guys who can outrace Patrick Peterson after juking a linebacker or two to the end zone. There will never be very many of those, and they will always get selected high (if they’ve got the arm and passing skills). The flip side is that the people who are *slow in college* are not likely to survive the pros.

    As far as race being an improper topic, I think I should inform you that looking at the way things are going, you will eventually be forced to talk about it in a way that’s not comfortable for some of you all. Not just the whole Redskins name controversy current now or the Riley Cooper situation before. Because, you know?, people are getting pissed off, including (or especially) the players, by my reckoning.

  49. 49 fran35 said at 1:18 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Great questions. However, what is your opinion of AJ McCarron’s girlfirend VS Tannehill wife VS Johnny Manziel’s girlfriend? Or is *Joe Webb* still hotter?

  50. 50 Cafone said at 4:06 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    How about we just keep letting Foles put up huge numbers and then trade him for Kaepernick and a 3rd round pick this offseason?

  51. 51 eagleyankfan said at 9:00 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Not sure that makes sense…

  52. 52 BlindChow said at 9:16 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Woot, Madden trade!

  53. 53 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 6:12 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Considering how Kelly approaches most things, I assume he wants two good and versatile QBs on his roster at all times. Versatile to be able to adjust to what the defense gives. Two so he will have less compunction about putting them in harm’s way with running plays.
    I think its possible he will go with Foles.and Barkley next year, allowing to spend more resources on defense and WEs. I think we are not seeing his end vision for an offense, just taking advantage of his best current players. I have seen enough to conclude he really is a genius, only Payton on NO has impressed me as much as an offense guy in all the NFL.

  54. 54 ICDogg said at 6:44 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    “The point of all this is that we don’t know exactly what Kelly’s ideal vision for an offense is.”

    Does he even have such a grand vision? Or is he just more apt to just start from “what have I got and what can I do with it?”

  55. 55 BlindChow said at 9:15 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Well, we at least know that’s not how he looks at defense.

  56. 56 ICDogg said at 11:20 AM on October 15th, 2013:


  57. 57 Corry said at 7:26 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    This is off topic, but ESPN reported this morning that Ware is likely out for 3-4 weeks and Murray is unlikely to play. That is HUGE.

    Dallas is already thin on the d line so if we’re going at warp speed to open the game those guys are going to need oxygen by the 2nd quarter if the offense is executing.

    With Murray out, I imagine the defense will make some other mediocre talent look like probowl material.

  58. 58 Mike Flick said at 7:39 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Murry out makes their offense 1 dimensional. There is no fear of the running game. Simple defensive game plan: Blitz, but contain Romo – and catch his gift picks.

    Ware being out makes their d-line crap. Our offensive line has to dominate. I am sure they will try to mix it up with stunts and blitzing so we need to counter with making them pay for not being gap sound. Shady should break some runs.

    But those two injuries should impact the game plans.

  59. 59 BlindChow said at 9:13 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    With Murray out, I imagine the defense will make some other mediocre talent look like probowl material.

    Definitely would have been true last year, but I’ve been impressed with our defense against the run this year…

  60. 60 Corry said at 10:30 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    They have been getting better against the run. Statistically they’re exactly middle of pack with a ranking of 16.

    But you’re right, their run defense hasn’t been horrible. It’s my anti-Bill Davis bias speaking.

  61. 61 fran35 said at 1:20 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    They have been better, but I think this week is the exception. I think if Murray is out, we dare the Pokes to run the ball and try to play more pass coverage. Hence a big game from whoever the Pokes trot out as RB

  62. 62 TheRogerPodacter said at 10:19 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    do we know for certain that Murray/Ware are out for this next game? i saw on the SB Nation site for the cowboys (dont remember name…) that there was a report that Ware was day-to-day.

  63. 63 Corry said at 10:28 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Jay Glazer is reporting 3-4 weeks for Ware so I would say that’s as close to confirmed as you can get.

    He’s also saying Murray has an MCL strain, so he’s undecided until Friday.

  64. 64 Mike Flick said at 12:16 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    The best news with Murray out? Curry will finally get some snaps.

  65. 65 knighn said at 8:16 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    “We’ll get another big piece of the puzzle when we see what Kelly does/doesn’t do at QB heading into 2014.”

    Tommy, with all due respect: we may get a big piece of that puzzle when we see what Kelly does/doesn’t do at QB for the rest of 2013. Of course: this all depends of the play of the two QBs.

  66. 66 eagleyankfan said at 9:07 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    not two….

  67. 67 knighn said at 9:34 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Foles is kind of stuck in a no-win situation going into Dallas. Foles could put up a once-in-a-lifetime QB performance against Dallas and still lose because Dallas O is so good and the Eagles D is so terrible.
    If Foles doesn’t come out with a good, solid win against Dallas, then I think there is a greater chance that we see Vick again.

  68. 68 eagleyankfan said at 9:39 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    that could be — but Vick isn’t in the long term plans. Only Foles has a chance to show he belongs. That’s why I was saying not two. win or lose, hopefully Foles is “steady”

  69. 69 knighn said at 9:52 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Whether or not Foles is in the long-term plans, I also hope he is steady and distributes the football well and decisively. A good performance from Foles only strengthens the Eagles, even if they only plan to trade him.

  70. 70 BlindChow said at 12:55 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I think if Foles puts in a Romo-vs-Denver level performance against Dallas and still loses, no one will hold it against him (coaches or fans). Unless he goes Full Romo and throws the pick at the end of the game…

  71. 71 knighn said at 3:18 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Really? Don’t you know that wins are the only thing that matter to some people. Foles’ wins against the Giants and the Bucs don’t count since those teams are winless. Vicks win against the Redskins counts because they have a win this season.

  72. 72 ICDogg said at 1:18 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I don’t see it that way. Foles has an opportunity to seize the starting job. How is that a no-win situation?

  73. 73 knighn said at 3:24 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    No matter how well Foles plays, I don’t know that any 2nd year QB, playing with this offense, is going to put up enough points to win against the Dallas Cowboys playing against the Eagles defense.

    I hope Foles outplays my expectations, but this is a very tough one for him.

  74. 74 ICDogg said at 3:38 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Who says he has to do that to win the job? That’s not the standard Kelly would be using.

  75. 75 knighn said at 8:10 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Impossible to know the standard that Chip Kelly will use. I’m not even sure CK knows right now! I absolutely love that they’re not playing hypotheticals right now and that they refuse to change the status quo right now. In the eyes of the players Vick is still a legend and their leader… and Foles is a guy who has a couple of wins against the Bucs in his career.
    Right now CK and coaches have no idea how Foles will perform against Dallas or the Giants or the Raiders… and they have no guarantee that Foles will stay healthy until Vick is 100%.
    To name Foles the starter before Vick is 100% and then to have to go back to Vick would be a little embarrassing. Let it play out. Hope they keep letting it play out until Vick is 100%.

  76. 76 ICDogg said at 8:23 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    no reason not to

  77. 77 brza said at 8:17 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Tommy, this is way off topic but I just saw a tweet about ILB Larry Grant working out for the Seahawks in the wake of Bobby Wagner’s injury. I completely forgot about him. He was supposedly an up-and-coming player 2 years ago unfortunate enough to be stuck behind two of the top 6 ILBs in the game in San Fran. He got suspended for 4 games for PEDs and it seems nobody has been willing to touch him since.

    In light of the poor to average grades the Eagles ILBs have been receiving this year wouldn’t he be a low-risk high-reward pick up? If not for this year maybe for the future? Is his age (28) a factor for a relatively unproven guy? Or does the fact that he’s still a FA prove that the hype around him was unwarranted?

  78. 78 BlindChow said at 9:09 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Tom Gamble would have been familiar with him, right? I’m guessing there was a reason he wasn’t interested.

  79. 79 brza said at 9:21 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Oh yeah you’re right. I forgot about Gamble.

  80. 80 GEAGLE said at 8:24 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I despise these articles that talk about what Kelly wants….they were ok, until we drafted Barkley…..I will say this for the thousandth time? mentally, and from an accuracy stand point the QB position is too hard. no coach in their right. Mind discards capable QBs because they aren’t fast enough….FOles will be the QB the next 3 years….sooner you guys get on board sooner we can discuss reality.

  81. 81 eagleyankfan said at 9:10 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    the draft threw me for a loop too … but loved the pick. you never know if this kid could be gold. worth the gamble.

  82. 82 GEAGLE said at 8:28 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    QBs are supposed to make players better. who does Vick make better? Shady?

    We know he doesn’t make the oline better! we know he doesn’t make the Wrs better.

    For the tenth time, Vick isn’t a QB. his offense has NO flow…when we win games he makes enough big plays to overcome his choppy offense. if V ick and FOles were competing for RBs or punt returner, then yeah Vick sis probably the best bet..
    Chip Kelly’s offense will work better with an actual QB instead of a Homerun hitter

  83. 83 GEAGLE said at 8:31 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    People need to stop assuming that Kelly’s College offense will be identical to Kelly’s pro offense

  84. 84 GermanEagle said at 8:40 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Dude, why you keep flooding these comments sections with multiple posts? We all know you don’t like Vick, but if you want to repeat your thoughts please feel free to do so in one combined post.

  85. 85 Anders said at 12:28 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    So far Kelly’s NFL offense is very similar to his college version.

  86. 86 ICDogg said at 12:31 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    much more so than I expected

  87. 87 Anders said at 1:00 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    The only difference is the WR routes, but kudos to Pat Shurmur for helping Kelly draw up NFL passing concepts

  88. 88 Adam said at 8:43 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I love how Mariota has looked this season and last, but damn, that kid looks breakable. I would never bet the farm on a bean pole like that in the NFL. It’s great now in college where the defenders aren’t as big and fast, but he’s not going to play that clean in the NFL.

  89. 89 austinfan said at 8:49 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Chip had a relatively immobile QB in Darron Thomas [4.77 1.63 4.28 7.17 36 10’1] who hardly ran the ball starting two years in Oregon (and would have started over Mariota in 2012 had he stayed in school).

    Jeremy Masoli was more athletic [4.60 1.60 4.13 6.89 30 9’4] but much less accurate as a passer so Chip used him as a runner more than Thomas.

    Chip adjusts to his QB’s skills. He’d love a highly mobile, very smart QB with a great arm, but guys like Luck go #1 in the draft. The fact that he kept Foles (he could have traded him) and drafted Barkley, both QBs who he knew intimately from playing them multiple times in college, suggests that both mobility and arm strength are valued less by Chip than intelligence, accuracy and a quick release.

    As we’ve seen with Foles in this system, Chip can utilize the short pass as an effective alternative to the Read Option, the system is built around the run blocking scheme (inside zone, outside stretch and power pull), not the Read Option – so a running QB is a luxury, not a necessity. A smart, accurate QB is a necessity, which is why I think Vick’s days are numbered, Chip can see his limitations as a QB.

  90. 90 Anders said at 9:16 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Actually Darron Thomas didnt stay because it was clear pretty early that Mariota would win the starting job despite Thomas winning a bowl in 2011.

  91. 91 eagleyankfan said at 8:57 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Great article T-Law. “More than anything, Chip Kelly needs a good QB.” AMEN!!!! “I’ve thought the notion of Kelly needing a mobile QB to make the run game work to be utterly ridiculous.” Sing it brother!!!!!

  92. 92 Mac said at 9:50 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Dude, I didn’t read your whole thread yesterday, but with the way you were lambasting Tommy’s article (and I daresay practically Tommy the person) this post comes off a bit awkward at best, at worst it’s the internet equivalent of having borderline personality disorder. In the future, I’d recommend toning it down.

  93. 93 eagleyankfan said at 10:36 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    no. I can call him out on an article like that. If he was clear on the last article and is more clear here…I can say that too…my opinion doesn’t change…I’d get your point if I got on him about this article…

  94. 94 Nah__Roots said at 9:16 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Witten is going to murder us.

  95. 95 eagleyankfan said at 9:19 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    so is Dez….but our offense should keep in stride ….

  96. 96 Nah__Roots said at 9:30 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I hope. But if Dallas tries to go zone on Djax like Tampa did, I’ll be shocked.

  97. 97 eagleyankfan said at 9:37 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    If they do, Eagles go “bunch” on wr set to free up DJ. Revis can say all he wants to about he didn’t get help — he got burnt…

  98. 98 TheRogerPodacter said at 10:02 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    i think the offense just schemed ways to get DJ open – where someone on the D would have to make a choice between covering someone else and helping revis cover DJ. sometimes that defender went to DJ and the ball went to another receiver. sometimes the defender went to the other receiver and the ball went to DJ : )

  99. 99 ICDogg said at 12:18 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Revis was in the coverage he was supposed to be in, though. The safety bit on a fake (I think to Celek?)

  100. 100 Anders said at 12:28 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    That play call is a zone beater. Unless you got a very good LB who can cover Celek and a safety who wont get sucked in. We have scored many TDs on that play even under AR.

  101. 101 Anders said at 12:01 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Dallas is a zone scheme and they have no CB who can cover Jackson, let alone a safety who is good enough to help.

  102. 102 BlindChow said at 9:25 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I’ve thought the notion of Kelly needing a mobile QB to make the run game work to be utterly ridiculous. The run game works with good blocking and good running.

    It was weird how after the Giants game some people were insisting it was Foles’ very presence that stopped the run game in the second half, even after the subsequent All-22 analysis showed the problem was the offensive line (particularly Kelce) being unable to block the defensive tackles. I assume those people have since been silenced by the Bucs game.

  103. 103 aub32 said at 9:46 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Do you think Kelly has seen enough of Foles to know if he wants (thinks he has the potential) him to be his franchise QB? Kelly likely knows more about the guys coming out of college better than anyone else. He coached one recruited others, and had to gameplan for a few more. My question would be that if he knows that there are 2-4 guys coming out that he would prefer over Foles long term, why continue to play Foles, if Vick is healthy of course. Foles’ value is at an all time right now. He just had a great game against a top defense in a scheme many think is suited best for a mobile QB. I don’t think Foles will crash and burn if he continues to start, but the TB game could be for Foles what the Detroit game was for Flynn. I don’t think Foles can really outperform himself (that’s not a knock. he just played an impressive game) Any further showing would just bring him back down to Earth as his numbers are impossible to sustain even by the best QBs in the league. Right now I’d wager Foles is a better option than what they have in Houston, Cincy, KC, and ARZ. These are all teams that may have too good a record for a top QB pick and have preferred pocket QBs, which there doesn’t seem to be as many as mobile QBs.

  104. 104 D-von said at 11:08 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    If he is good, why would you want to trade him? The Kolb trade was different as he was an expensive backup who wanted to be a starter. Flynn was also different in that Aaron Rodgers was the starter for the long term in Green Bay. Our Qb situation is unstable and just trading away a good Qb for the possibility of landing one of the Qbs in the draft is to risky.

  105. 105 aub32 said at 11:35 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    That’s why I asked if Kelly sees him as the QB of the future. Kelly can clearly run his system with either QB. Vick won’t be here long. So does Kelly, knowing what he knows about the QB class of 2014, want one of those guys. If so, he won’t be keeping Foles.

  106. 106 D-von said at 11:55 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Chip could very well want another QB (Mariota) or they could just do BPA like they did last draft. Here is my reasoning: if Foles or Barkley can play at an 8 or 9 level out of 10 in chip’s systems, why not keep one of them as the starter and work on our defense instead. Anthony Barr, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and some other defensive players could help this weak D.

  107. 107 aub32 said at 11:59 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    Didn’t we all talk about how good the Bucs were defensively last week? They are 0-5. The Packers went 15-1 wih a terrible defense. Brady has done the same in past years. If you have a chance at a guy you think is special, you go get him.

  108. 108 D-von said at 12:07 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    But both the Packers and Brady lost (to the f’n Giants). Of course offense is arguably the most important aspect in winning, but if we have a defensive stud we might be able to hide some of our flaws on the defensive side and make us a more complete team.

  109. 109 aub32 said at 12:14 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I’d take a QB like Luck over a player like Ware or Revis all day. Ware can be doubled and schemed against. Revis can be thrown away from. The QB touches the ball every snap. I’m not saying ignore the defense. I just think you do everything to get your QB first. If Kelly doesn’t like any of the QBs, roll with Foles and beef up the D.

  110. 110 D-von said at 12:21 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I agree with this

  111. 111 BlindChow said at 12:51 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Why throw away from Revis when you can just let his coach take him out of the game for you!

  112. 112 aub32 said at 1:32 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I don’t think Tampa’s next coach will be that stupid.

  113. 113 BlindChow said at 12:47 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Flynn wasn’t traded. Green Bay let him hit free agency because he was asking for too much money for a backup (the Lions game drove up his price).

  114. 114 D-von said at 12:55 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I know but I didn’t specify in my post

  115. 115 cliff henny said at 11:25 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    plus, not every bad team has a fanbase excited about another rookie qb. also,GMs and coaches have jobs on the line, 8-8 might save their livelihoods(minnesota, cleveland oakland has to be tired of rookie qbs). only part i disagree slightly is foles will probably continue to look good, that’s what kelly does. 4-4 at oregon, vick and foles look much better. long as weapons stay healthy, foles will be fine. good 5 or 6 game stretch might bring in additional buyer or 2

  116. 116 aub32 said at 11:34 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    I have no doubt Foles will play well, but he will also have a bad game or 3. Every QB does. There’s nothing left for him to do to improve on his performance. Even a good showing against Dallas won’t necessarily be as good as the game he had against Tampa.

  117. 117 cliff henny said at 11:37 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    get what you are saying, i’d rather sell a qb with 4 good 2 mediocre than 1 good.

  118. 118 bill said at 10:31 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    At this point, the hypothesis that it’s all about competition is the one that is making the most sense. I believe it was Kelly that made the comment about QBs as teabags, and it seems to fit with what he’s doing everywhere, not just at QB. He sees some players as possibly foundational pieces for his team, but he wants to see how they react to adversity. Curry and Cox are other examples: This team has truly struggled with pass rush this season, and yet Curry still can’t get on the field much, and Cox is being misused. For Foles, this is a bit of a make or break – he either improves to overcome the adversity of being 2nd string, or he probably is a journeyman at best for his career. He’s got Barkley behind him and Vick in front – that’s adversity. All three of these guys might become a foundational piece of Kelly’s team, but they’re going to have to overcome adversity to do it – and I think that’s exactly how Kelly wants it to be.
    Of course, it’s just a hypothesis.

  119. 119 ICDogg said at 12:14 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Why do you feel Cox is being misused?

  120. 120 BlindChow said at 12:41 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I’m guessing 1-gap vs. 2-gap.

  121. 121 ICDogg said at 1:00 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I think he’s adjusting to it very well. It’s not like a Warren Sapp situation where the Raiders took him out of 3-tech and tried to make him a 0-tech. But Cox played well in this game.

  122. 122 Anders said at 1:06 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I hate PFF’s rating but if you believe in it. Fletcher Cox has the 4th highest pass rush grade from a 3-4 DE and he is only playing in 2 gap base scheme (the 3 in front of him are Justin Smith, Cameron Jordan and JJ Watt).

  123. 123 bill said at 1:17 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    He’s adjusting to it, and I think he can be very effective in it, and will improve at it. That said, he was highly rated in the draft for his “explosion” off the line – which is why he was seen as such a great pick for Washburn’s wide 9. This year, utilizing him “correctly” would have been to use the 4-3 under (or some form of 1-gap 3-4), like everyone was saying preseason. Instead, they chose to force him out of his comfort zone, and actually play away from his biggest strength. “misuse” was probably too strong a word, but the point was that if the team was looking to maximize his productivity, they didn’t go about it the right way. Which is why I don’t buy the whole “win now” argument. “Win now” would’ve been a 4-3 under, while mixing in two-gap plays. Even now, in nickel, I see a lot of two gapping from the DL. This is forcing Cox to struggle at least a little bit more than he probably had to – but, if the hypothesis is correct, that’s sort of the whole point. Leaders overcome adversity, and Kelly’s trying to build that leadership core.

  124. 124 ICDogg said at 1:33 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I really like the Cox, Thornton, Logan line as a foundation for our D going forward.

  125. 125 cliff henny said at 11:19 AM on October 15th, 2013:

    10-15yrs ago it was an either/or in regards to mobile qb, decision maker, accurate passer, it just wasnt being made. now, colleges are producing mobile accurate high iq qbs at a better rate than pocket passers. kelly doesnt have to decide which, he can take all the above. the best part is the learning curve seems to be so much less. look at flacco or ryan, good qbs but no where near the immediate impact, stat success at least, that rg3, luck, kaep, wilson, tannehill even newton(carolina is mess for many reason outside cam). think Foles is a very nice back-up, not a thing wrong with that. maybe showcase him for trade bait. i watch vick a dream of what could be with Marioti or Hundley.

  126. 126 ICDogg said at 12:25 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I think, though, that it’s hard to get around the fact that the most mobile guys to have won Super Bowls were not guys you really think of as running QBs. They had maybe a threat of running in their games, but it wasn’t a major part of their games.

  127. 127 cliff henny said at 12:32 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    the change has been recent. table that arguement for 10 yrs, see where we stand. though, wouldnt you love to see rodgers, elway or young player for kelly?
    also, if eagles hired kelly 15 yrs ago i would of gone nuts. the nfl has changed defensive rules so much, that’s allowed for duel threat qb. as they age, either they’ll be able to transform away from legs or not. if not, go qb shopping. one huge benefit to lowered learning curve.

  128. 128 Vick or Nick said at 12:19 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    The focus on the QB is huge but there’s so many factors. The line played great last week, the receivers got open and caught the ball.

    Here’s what I think Kelly’s list would look like:

    1. Durability
    2. Repetitive Accuracy
    3. Quick Release/Decision (Going through progressions fast)
    4. Arm Strength
    5. Speed

  129. 129 eagleyankfan said at 12:59 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Durability number 1? I like your list — but how can durability be number 1 and Vick be the choice?

  130. 130 Vick or Nick said at 1:09 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I agree. But I made the list partly based off of what Kelly has been saying since he got to Philly. He has said on many occasions the number one ability it durability. why vick then? idk.

    In my opinion, I think Kelly wanted Foles to win the job. Its unfortunate Foles made a couple bad plays during preseason cus otherwise he was neck-neck with Vick.

  131. 131 eagleyankfan said at 1:13 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    agreed. I think Chip wanted “some” stability too. Vick could provide that. Foles never really had a chance.

  132. 132 BlindChow said at 1:15 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    The number 1 ability is durability.

    The number 2 ablity is stablity?

  133. 133 BlindChow said at 1:13 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Kelly did say the QB’s were starting with a clean slate. Remember, he said he didn’t know what the QB’s were asked to do in previous schemes so he couldn’t judge them based on past performance. Maybe Vick was asked to get injured all those times…

  134. 134 mheil said at 12:22 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Tom, Brian Westbrook said that TB made a big mistake by playing zone, rather than man, as was done by our prior opponents, despite the fact that among their 4 DBs, they had a #1, #2 and two prime free agents. Brian believed that this was a hugh mistake, enabled Cooper to have a big game and Foles to look better than he might have otherwise. Any thoughts?.

  135. 135 anon said at 12:30 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    yeah clearly the case, though i think cooper would have made plays regardless b/c he’s faster than his man. that said dallas plays a zone scheme as well so more feasting next week.

  136. 136 BlindChow said at 12:39 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I think they’ve been playing more man coverage the last couple weeks, but I do remember reading that Claiborne was struggling after switching to zone.

  137. 137 Anders said at 12:46 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Well Kiffin’s whole scheme is based on zone. He might ask Carr to line up in man with Jackson from time to time, but they are a zone team by heart now.

  138. 138 D-von said at 12:33 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Tampa is just a zone team. If I’m not mistaken they did play some man coverages though. On Cooper’s TD catch, it looked like Banks was in man coverage on Cooper

  139. 139 ICDogg said at 12:35 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Cooper had a bigger game because Foles is better at getting the ball to an exact spot allowing for Cooper to get it over his shoulder.

  140. 140 Anders said at 12:45 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    The problem is that even with Revis, the Tampa’s defensive gameplan is mainly zone. Most teams cant just switch it up to become a pure man team.

  141. 141 eagleyankfan said at 1:00 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Maybe they D is good — and they had 2 weeks to prepare — and maybe the Eagles game plan was just better?

  142. 142 bsuperfi said at 12:46 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    All of this talk about playing Foles to trade him is pretty strange to me. QBs flame out all the time. High picks and low picks, players who flash in some games, etc.

    I LOVE the idea of having Foles, Barkley, and some decently-to-really talented rookie duking it out next year. Keep rolling the dice until the QB of the future is here. I’d love to see Foles take command this year. But even if he does, I’d love to see serious competition next year. Both sides are right on this dude: he make the offense run smoothly and has great numbers in limited play this year. He also lacks some physical talents that other QBs have.

    If Foles can finish out the year strong, win a QB competition in the offseason, and then play well next year, we’ve got our guy. But even then, we want to have that next Steve Young pushing and waiting in the wings…

  143. 143 ICDogg said at 12:48 PM on October 15th, 2013:


  144. 144 cliff henny said at 12:51 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    getting picks and packaging reduces the cost of trading up to get a marioti or hundley. not drafting top 5 and benching hand picked qb for foles. steve young would never be sitting on bench in salary cap nfl. 9ers were carrying huge payroll back in those days.

  145. 145 bsuperfi said at 12:58 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I hear you on this, but I’m skeptical about selling out for any player. If that player is “your guy” and you know it to your core, I suppose it can be worth the risk. I just generally think the idea of shotgunning talent into a competition inside of a good organization is a better formula for building a good team in the long run. It’s great if a Luck or RGIII is available, but absent that kind of talent, I’d be very hesitant.

    On another note, my 4 year old daughter asks me every week why there are only guys playing football. I haven’t come up with a satisfactory response yet. Help!

  146. 146 cliff henny said at 1:08 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    ok, i get your point. i like foles, he is a good backup. i’m 100% on ’14 draft. it’ll take 6-8 great games by foles to move me. kelly went 4-4 at oregon, foles and vick both look alot better this year. kelly may not need a luck or rg3, though these guys coming out arent too shady. marioti and hundley are the best of what foles and vick bring. cant see hiring offensive guru, then ask him to settle at most important position.
    good luck with daughter. teach her to kick field goals. she can be first.

  147. 147 BlindChow said at 1:17 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Take her to a lingerie league game?

  148. 148 bbbulka said at 1:38 PM on October 15th, 2013:


  149. 149 ICDogg said at 1:40 PM on October 15th, 2013:


  150. 150 Don said at 8:50 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    I tend to think that Nick Foles, when running the read-option only needs to get at least 4 yards on a good fake to be effective as a threat combining that with his efficiency with throwing the football, I like him to be considered our future QB until proven otherwise. Except for preseason game 1, a very good QB, M.VIck, has shown inconsistencies in his decision making that mirror prior years. I want him, obviously with his running ability, to be a better QB. That would give me more assurance of that offense going the distance. But it seems like, in the NFL, running QBs, not to be confused with mobile QBs or elusive QBs, are not yet Superbowl Winners. The risk are to high, the nerves to racking for the QB to be efficient. When the play breaks down, they will either go the distance, or give up a huge negative play. Vick, being one of the best if not the best “running QBs” has the chance to change this history.

    Foles, on the other hand, obviously has serious QB skills. He shows flashes of greatness, and also has somethings to work on as well.

    My opinion is that unless Vick is ready to show us what preseaon 2013 game 1 Vick looks like in the regular season, Foles is the best option. He has played CONSISTENT. Vick showed us a different Vick, then he started making some of those same mistakes.

    I am not for a Dallas COwboys sitaution where Tony Romo looks like a MVP one second, then makes a critical mistake the next second. And I know, its not all his fault at all, but he seems to have bad luck, seriously. I actually feel sorta bad for Tony………nahhh.

    I never doubted Foles could run that offense, Running ability is secondary to decision making, accuracy, vision. Teams can stack the box…then what? you gotta play QB. Right now, Foles is the better QB, Vick has the talent, but bad habits have plagued his career.

    I remember when Philly played Vick and the falcons in the playoffs. I mean vick had nice wideouts and a star in the making TE. Yet, we frustrated him. I remember not even being worried about that game. I knew we were going to frustrate him, but I also knew he would be competitive and put up big numbers.

    But the fact is, the numbers dont impress me any more…most of us fans looking at the game can see it…Vick is mistake prone, injury prone, sturggles in the redzone.

    If Foles can play like he did this week, with a little improvement, he should get the job. Everybody feels it, thinks it, knows it. It just seems like thats whats going to happen.

    In any situation at QB. I wish for a Eagles Superbowl. Lets JUST WIN. Wins really light up my week.

  151. 151 Don said at 8:55 PM on October 15th, 2013:

    Also, Tommy. I love u man! Great Blog! Really appreciate this little space