A Tale of Two PCs

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 60 Comments »

Chuck Dickens famously wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Go watch the press conferences by Jason Kelce and Riley Cooper and you’ll come away feeling that Dickens could have been writing about those PCs.

Kelce was one happy dude. He was excited to have the new deal and to talk about the future. You get fired up listening to Kelce talk about how optimistic he is for the Eagles future.

Cooper’s PC had a different tone. It wasn’t nearly as upbeat or celebratory. Maybe he was in a defensive mode since he knew he was going to get hit with a bunch of questions about last summer. Or maybe Cooper just isn’t Mr. Personality. Whatever the case, don’t watch that PC and expect to come away fired up. Cooper did get hit with several questions about The Incident. Anyone who thinks that wouldn’t have been a major factor in him going to a new team is being hugely naive. That will now drift into being a forgotten story here in Philly.

Kelce had a lot of interesting things to say. He mentioned he’s trying to bulk up and get stronger. I get questions about where he ranks among NFL Centers. Kelce must get stronger before he can be mentioned in the Top 5 guys. He is one of the most athletic C’s, but he still gets pushed around too much. That will change as he gets older. He’ll put on a few more pounds and he will get stronger. In a couple of years, I expect Kelce to be among the best in the league.

He also talked about the need and desire to get better. Chip Kelly pushes this idea on his players. Never settle. Push yourself to be better, to do more, to never be satisfied. If you believe what Kelce says, a lot of players have bought into that mantra. If so, that’s great news. Complacency is one of the biggest enemies of success. Coaches can yell at players, but that only works for a while. At some point, you need players who truly want to get better and will be self-motivated to go the extra mile.

I’m really excited to see what Chip Kelly does with this team in 2014. A good coach should show improvement each year. If Kelly and the players can get better, the 2014 season is going to be a lot of fun.

  • Chippah

    Thsi is why i love Connor Barwin. If you haven’t read this article yet, go. Now. http://mmqb.si.com/2014/02/28/connor-barwin-nfl-locker-room-culture/

    • Mike Roman

      I didn’t read the whole thing but I’ve seen experts. Dude is a great fit as an Eagle. Him and Kelce are both awesome for Philadelphia.

    • ICDogg

      I agree. Read.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      yea, i don’t get all of the national reports saying “such and such guy would be a great fit for the defense opposite of Trent Cole”.
      but… Barwin….

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I read that earlier today. One word…excellent!

    • P_P_K

      Thanks for the lead. One of the best essays on football, and on brotherhood, I’ve ever read. Barwin is a fine writer.

      • Chippah

        And from all accounts a good man. Glad you liked it.

  • I still don’t get the “Kelce is pushed around too much” storyline. That may have been the case as a rookie, but he showed a much greater ability to anchor last year, especially as he got into a groove over the course of the season. The NYG “nut stunting” game sticks out for many, but that worthless hack Kempski actually came to a similar conculsion during his meta-analysis of the OL:

    Like Mathis, Kelce was at fault for just two sacks, and was only physically beaten on one. The other was a bad shotgun snap. Kelce was the only Eagles offensive lineman not to have been responsible for a sack as a result of a misread or miscommunication. He does a tremendous job of seeing blitzes and acting appropriately. Some people would prefer a bigger center, as they believe that Kelce is easily bull rushed. Kelce did struggle in one game against the Giants, but if you watch the sacks allowed in 2013, that sentiment is complete and total nonsense.

    • shah8

      *exception for my personal rules*

      Yes, Kelce and Mathis are too small when it comes to power situations in the end zone or other obvious short yardage situations. I’m not sure what the totals are and how relative to the rest of the NFL it would be, but my sense is that we very much depended on horizontal spread concepts to get the ball in the end zone, and that this was reinforced by failed traditional plays like sneaks or FB dives.

      • Anders

        At one point in the season was we the best short yardage team in the NFL.

      • Jamie Parker

        Especially since we don’t have a FB.

  • ACViking

    T-Law wrote:

    ” A good coach should show improvement each year. If Kelly and the
    players can get better, the 2014 season is going to be a lot of fun.”

    Tommy . . .

    I think you’ve made a comparable comment in the past.

    My understanding of what you mean is, improvement should not necessarily be measured by the team’s record for various reasons (e.g., injuries, strength of schedule, draft/free agency outcome).

    Instead, we should look to other benchmarks — like RZ production on both sides of the ball, 3rd-down efficiency broken down by yards-to-go on both sides of the ball. Things like that.


    What 5 categories would you look at — besides record — to evaluate whether the Eagles have “show[n] improvement” in 2014?

    • D3Center

      I think given what we know about Chip Kelly that two definite areas to look for improvement in would be turnover differential and points against. Although they were ranked second in turnover differential last year so it may be hard to improve there.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Points off turnovers? Yds/play?

    • A_T_G

      It feels like you put the ball on the tee for us AC, but I am just no able to find the right club…

    • Chippah

      Perhaps 3rd down efficiency? Particularly for the defense. They just weren’t able to get off the field.

  • Patrick
    • Tumtum

      Sweeet…. Looks like he got what he wanted.

    • Insomniac

      Ugh fire Howie. He’s obviously a push over since he caved in and only got Mac to sign that one year deal.

      • shah8

        Uh, huh…

        Have you looked at the Miami rumor mill? Keeps suggesting that there’s been a fireball and a resulting Crazy Ed’s sale about to happen. Dion Jordan, Cameron Wake, Mike Wallace on the block and shit…

        Or this could be Mark Davis’ outfit.

        It really could be worse, you know…

        Yes, I know you’re sarcastic, but just…in…case…

        • Insomniac

          Yea I was being sarcastic. What I don’t get is that Maclin said he’d “prefer” to sign a longer deal but conflicting reports said that he wanted a 1 year deal. Either way, we won’t know how he’ll look till training camp.

          Miami is just knee deep in crap and it starts with their owner. They’ve tried to take the next step but gave up after struggling to do it. In general, they just sound like a dysfunctional organization.

          • mksp

            Maclin wanted a longer deal but they were too far apart on $$$. Wants to get healthy, play well and sign a new long term deal midseason. Based on his PC.

          • Honest question: is that possible under the CBA? I thought there are situations where a player on a one-year-deal has to play it out before r-signing with the same team.

          • A_T_G

            You are correct. Maclin will need to enter FA, at least for a minute, before he signs a new contract.

          • mksp

            Strange that none of the writers brought this up when tweeting his comments from the PC. I wonder if his being injured all of 2013 means the rules are applied differently?

          • A_T_G

            Not that I know of, but you are right, that is strange.

          • Neil

            Maclin says in his meeting with reporters that they can do something midseason. That might only apply after the season.

          • A_T_G

            Could be, or could be an injury clause to the rule like mksp suggested, or maybe a 1-year extension is different than a 1-year contract. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Doesn’t mean that Howie can’t talk football with Mac’s agent over a couple of power lunches. Yah know, to shoot the sh#t and discuss the weather and politics.

    • Mac

      Seems better than a deal for 0 years and see how he does for another team… lol

  • planetx1971

    I just found about Maclin signing as well. Man, it sure feels like the Eagles are crushing it, in terms of the off season in house game.

  • Tumtum

    If I was given the opportunity to have a beer with Cooper….. I would accept. My pants would be far less steamy than for any other Eagle though, that is for sure.

    • Joe Minx

      Drinking with him may not be the best idea. Just sayin’.

      • the midatlantic

        [pained, stifled laughter]

    • Mike Roman

      Wait. What?

      • Tumtum

        I was going to say that I would probably pass. Realized half way through typing it that of course I would have a beer with any friggin Eagle possible. I would however be far less excited to do so with Riley than any other Bird!

        Yeah I’m not funny, but at least I try.

        • fran35

          Alex Henery might be less desirable for me. Seems about as fun as a root canal. At least Coop would keep you on your toes, what with a potential race riot around every corner.

          • D3FB

            But at least with Alex Henery you could stand next to him and think, dear god I am built like hercules himself compared to this guy.

  • Brandon Ramsay

    I get the feeling Cooper expected more. I guess with the situation of not being comfortable in another locker room played into not having leverage for a higher contact. Maybe, just maybe.

    • Insomniac

      I would’ve had a major problem if Cooper got more than Maclin. In fact, let me just say that Cooper should be glad we didn’t cut him after his little incident. I’m damn sure he wouldn’t have gotten a contract of this scale elsewhere so suck it up Cooper.

    • shah8

      Flat out, Cooper only got paid for his overperformance. It’s ultimately something like a two year, 3-4 million deal in practical terms, and ridiculously cap friendly.

      Don’t believe the hype about the Chesney incident. The real issue is that Cooper isn’t a sound WR. This is a prove it deal where he gets better at what a wide receiver is supposed to do, and he renegotiates, using a holdout if necessary. Ain’t like Djax or Percy Harvin being pissed at multiple years of being underpaid for all-pro level play.

      • Tumtum

        10 mill is guaranteed, right? Where did you find details?

        • shah8

          That’s right. What I’m saying is that part of that guaranteed money is really meant as payment for overperforming previous contract. So spread the money over this last season, this upcoming season, and the season after that.

          • Tumtum

            All right I got ya now.

      • Andy124

        Define: “sound WR”

      • A_T_G

        So, it can’t be the case that the team has a higher opinion of Riley than you do? Instead, the team has little expectation of him repeating the feat, evidenced by essentially paying him 1.5 to 2 million per year over the next two years, but then threw in an extra 6 or 7 million as a pat on the back for what he did last year?

        Your powers of rationalization are staggering sometimes.

    • Tumtum

      Its sounds to me like he genuinely wanted to stay here. There are multiple reports that there would be multiple teams interested in him on the open market and decided to avoid that all together. He could just as easily of hit the open market and signed this deal later.

      • Brandon Ramsay

        I agree with you to a large extent. He is comfortable here and wanted to stay. I’m so proud to be an iggles fan with all these in house signings

  • GermanEagle

    Sharing a Tweet by @BobGrotz – @BobGrotz Maclin said #Eagles wanted to sign him to 5 year deal.

    Link to Tweet: https://twitter.com/BobGrotz/status/439521555836461056

    Wow, that shows you that the Eagles still have high hopes of Maclin, despite coming back from an ACL injury…

  • Media Mike

    A huge THANK YOU to Tommy for adding some balance to the Kelce discussion. I enjoy having a center who run blocks well on the 2nd level and does a nice job making line calls, but the lack of bulk/power needs to improve.

    • D3FB

      He has room for improvement but lets not act like he’s anywhere near a liability either.

      • Media Mike

        Not a liability by any stretch, but not Dermonti Dawson quite yet either.

        • A_T_G

          Eh, I think Dawson has slipped a but the last few years.

          • Media Mike

            True, but he’s certainly doing better than Mike Webster. Watch those roids children.

          • the midatlantic

            Ick, it was the sport we love that killed Mike Webster.

  • Vick or Nick

    Jason Kelce might be my favorite player on the team.

    “All I wear is hoodies and sweatpants”

    Also the 2014 X-Factor is by far and away: Nick Foles.

  • Cliff

    I hope there’s some way we’ll be able to bring Avant back later in the season so he can hop on for a ring when we win the SB. 🙂