Chip Speaks

Posted: March 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 65 Comments »

Chip Kelly hadn’t talked to the media in quite a while, but did so the other night as the Maxwell Club handed out some annual awards. You may remember that they chose Kelly as the pro coach of the year. Kelly didn’t have anything groundbreaking to say, but it was good to get some comments on a few things.

Zach Berman has the full details. Here are the most interesting comments.

Kelly said there was an emphasis on special teams because he felt the Eagles needed to improve their coverage units and return game, where “there were yards left on the field.” Kelly said the team is not interested backups if they cannot contribute on special teams.

The two biggest acquisitions this week were Jenkins and Darren Sproles. Regarding Jenkins, Kelly said that the converted cornerback has skills that allow the Eagles to use their two safeties on the field interchangeably. He did not want a player who is strictly a free safety or strong safety.

“When you’re playing guys like Peyton Manning, you better not have the same guy doing the same thing,” Kelly said. “There are some other guys out there that there are tremendous football players. But for what . . . we were looking for on the defensive side of the ball, Malcolm just seemed to be the guy that was the right fit for us.”

The Sproles acquisition was too fresh for Kelly to expound on exactly how the Eagles plan to use him. He said the defensive coaches had shared how challenging it was to play against Sproles, and the Eagles were attracted to a “talented player, dynamic returner.”

“It was an opportunity to complement with what we have,” Kelly said. “We feel like we have a special, special back in LeSean [McCoy], but take a little load off him a little bit and the fact that he is a punt-return/kick-return guy is a huge bonus for us.”

Kelly really does love versatility and flexibility. That’s huge when figuring out which players the Eagles will target in free agency and the draft.

I am fine with the focus on STs. That’s not the sexiest part of team building, but it can be really important. Kelly placed emphasis there last year, but only got mixed results. The STs did improve from 2012, but not nearly as much as Kelly wanted. Part of that is due to Jason Phillips getting hurt. The Eagles signed him last year to be a backup ILB and key STer. He g0t hurt and missed the season. Phillips was going to be a focal point of the coverage teams. Colt Anderson missed a couple of games due to injury and that didn’t help.

The return game was a major disappointment. The Eagles will likely add another player or two with return skills (in the draft/as UDFAs). They want some competition for the PR and KOR spots.

The moves aren’t guaranteed to work, but you sure can’t say the Eagles haven’t tried to fix STs.

* * * * *

Some follow-up thoughts on the Jared Allen discussion from yesterday.

Obviously I didn’t do a very good job of expressing my thoughts. Some of you had the notion that I was talking about giving Allen a mega-deal to come in here and be the ROLB. That’s not what I had in mind.

First, let me say that I wasn’t advocating that the Eagles should definitely go out and make a push for Allen. What I was doing was trying to bring up a simple point. The Eagles need to improve their pass rush. Jared Allen is a proven pass rusher. While he doesn’t make sense in the obvious way (4-3 DE to a 3-4 defense), is that being too simplistic? Would there be a way he could fit?

The Eagles use the 3-4 defense as their base look. They use the 3-3-5 and 4-2-5 as the primary sub-packages. Allen doesn’t make sense as the ROLB, but he could be the RDE in the sub-packages. In today’s NFL, that is about half of the snaps in a game. And the Eagles had the most defensive snaps of any team in the league.

Trent Cole played more than 50 snaps a game last year. Does anyone think that was a good thing? Allen played even more than that. I don’t know if you could figure out a way to make this work with both guys, their salaries and roles in a defense where neither guy is an ideal fit.

If somehow the money was right, the players wanted to make it work and the coaches wanted it, maybe the move would be worth trying. That’s a lot of maybes and it tells you this isn’t likely to happen.

As the first week of free agency comes to a close, the market has changed. Most of the mega-money is gone. Compromise becomes a factor in the free agent market. Teams start to settle for players that they didn’t originally have targeted. Players start to settle for less money than they originally wanted. “Good enough” can become good enough to get deals done. 

This is the time to start thinking about what might work, although not ideal. You still want to be very picky with the moves you make because adding free agents in too casual a way isn’t a good thing, but I also don’t want to be too close-minded. We should learn from Seattle that you can be creative with players and how you use them. At some spots they’re huge, while others they are undersized. The key for the Seahawks is finding guys with a skill set that is worth forcing into the lineup. That might be a huge DE, small DT or huge CB. Even their QB is unusually small. There is little that is standard about Seattle, but the results speak for themselves.

I’m not wanting another older player or odd fit. I prefer the Eagles to find guys that are exactly what we want. But when those guys aren’t available, I think it is worth at least considering your options and trying to figure out if the risk is worth it.

_


  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    is phillips still under contract?

    • Anders

      yea, we signed him for two years

      • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

        nice, good look

  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    as for DE, we have that guy named curry i recall.. lol

    • Anders

      Jared Allen is just a step or two up from Curry.

      Also Curry seems to be better inside the tackles than outside

      • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

        yeah but curry is younger and will get better with more snaps… plus allen is losing steps and will cost $$$$ and doesnt play STs..

        and nah curry can play inside and out just as well, just needs those snaps!!

      • A Roy

        Just a step or two…… or three.

      • Sconces

        I remember at Marshall he was always going through tackles’ outside shoulder and punishing QBs that way. Didn’t think he’d fit well last year as a 2 gap player. But after seeing him in limited snaps I’ve determined he’s just a really good football player. He can play just about anywhere on the line, now if only they’ll let him play.

        • Anders

          I think what makes Curry so good inside is his first step is elite. That means slower less athletic guards have a hard time blocking him.
          I do love Curry and think he will have a very good season for us

          • Stephen Stempo

            I hope so. Though with only 6 draft picks I can see us trying t move some of these high potential players in packages. Curry, Graham, Brown come to mind

  • HazletonEagle

    Tommy I thought it was very clear you werent wanting Allen here on a mega deal as the starter at ROLB. Dont worry about that.
    For me, I just want to sigh Haushka and bring back Nate Allen for some safety competition. Thats all I need out of FA at this point.

  • Cafone

    “When you’re playing guys like Peyton Manning, you better not have the same guy doing the same thing,” Kelly said.

    I don’t see Denver on the list of 2014 opponents, so Kelly is obviously thinking Super Bowl.

    • anon

      I think he was thinking about that embarrassment this season.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I think he meant any QB as well versed as Peyton in reading the defense pre-snap. However, I wouldn’t mind your thinking either.

    • Arby1

      With regard to that statement, I was wondering if we could infer that Kelly would prefer HaHa’s versatility over Pryor’s hard hitting?

      • Jerry Pomroy

        So you’re implying that Pryor is not versatile? Look up definition of versatile, then watch Sugar Bowl. Too many imply that Pryor is just a hard hitter. He’s not a wrap up tackler like Ha-Ha, no. But he can play the back-end & in the box (Ha-Ha is not physical enough to play the box and can get run over). He’s a good blitzer, has pretty good instincts and yes he can hit and separate ball from ball carrier. Just because he hits hard, doesn’t mean he’s just a grunt. I seem to remember another Safety that people hold near and dear to their hearts being very much like Pryor coming out.

        • Anders

          HaHa do at this point have better instincs and better coverage skills.
          I think the 4 safeties Kelly most want and are realistic (HaHa might go top 10) are:
          Ward: FS type who has coverage skills like a CB, but is a good enough tackler.
          Buchannon: Big physical safety, biggest question is his deep coverage, but I think it is more than good enough.
          Terrence Brooks: Very underrated all round safety. I say 2nd best all round safety after HaHa
          Dontea Johnson: A longer safety who is a hybrid player like Jenkins, late round target who needs to develop

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I like all of the safeties you listed, along with Ha-Ha & Pryor. I just get perturbed when people say that Pryor “is just a big hitter”, when that’s just one part to his game. There are areas of his game that need work, or need to develop, but by no means is he just a hitter.

        • Stephen Stempo

          I thought the implication was that HaHa was more versatile in a 1 to 1 comparison, and not that pryor was, I dunno, “unversatile.”

          • Arby1

            Exactly. Thank you. From what I’ve read (and not from studying tape), Clinton Dix is considered very good but not great at all aspects of safety play vs. Pryor being great at heavy hitting, creating turnovers but more of a box player with OK coverage skills occasionally taking wrong angles, etc. Versatility being the key characteristic Kelly seems to be looking for – which is perhaps why they were so interested in Dontea Johnson at postseason events: a safety/CB hybrid.

  • Sconces

    Have a feeling we’ll switch to our sub-packages less with Jenkins being able to cover slot men. Then again we have to have to have Boykin play a lot. Damn, talk about game time decisions.

    • Anders

      the back end and the front 7 have nothing to do with each other. You still go to 3-3-5 or 4-2-5 in 3 and long

      • Sconces

        Maybe I wasn’t explaining properly. The game time decision for Davis would be to stay in base (which coaches prefer I’d assume) and have Jenkins cover WR3, or switch to sub so that Boykin sees the field.

        • D3FB

          I don’t know that it would be an advantage. Maybe in situations that are borderline nickel vs base ie 3rd and 5 or 2nd and 10, but in general when you are in nickel it’s because it’s a high probability of a pass play. Jenkins is a good player but given the choice coaches are going to put Boykin on the field.
          Jenkins ability to play slot helps in situations where we are in base but get caught against a no huddle, that suddenly goes from a run formation to a pass formation by flexing the TE or RB’s out, as well as allowing for him to rotate down in blitzing situations in the base package where you want tight coverage immediately to try to force the qb to hold the ball so the pressure gets home.

          • Miami_Adam

            Agree, Boykin can tackle anyone he gets his arms around. I’d imagine that the big benefit of Jenkins’ ability to play the slot is hiding blitzes.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Hiding him as a blitzer is just part of the flexibility you can use him for in addition to the other items listed by our resident D3FB (which makes tons of sense).

      • Jerry Pomroy

        What about a 3-4-4??…lol, j/k ;-)

  • Iskar36

    Definitely understand your point about Allen, and obviously he would be a unique case, but in addition to the odd fit on defense issue, I imagine Kelly wouldn’t want to bring in a sub-package player who likely isn’t an ideal STs player.

  • Sifter

    Ah good ol Chippah. Don’t agree with everything he does, but I feel safe with him around. Seems like a ‘man with a plan’.

    As for the Allen talk, well this is the kind of thinking I was hoping would apply to Brandon Graham. He’s been the square peg, round hole poster boy. But he’s talented, and can find the QB with decent regularity. I’d love to find a way to get him more involved rather than just shrug our shoulders, sigh about what could have been and move him for a 6th rounder (which would be an absolute bargain for some lucky 4-3 team).

  • Insomniac

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq9jBbJT034

    How we could use Sproles this year.

    • Anders

      I think DAT is a better WR than Archer

      • Insomniac

        No doubt but he’s not bad as a receiver.

        • Anders

          Reason why I like DAT over Archer, they are more Sproles type in the NFL than a RB.

          • Insomniac

            They were both used everywhere so I don’t get how either one of them are more Sproles-like?

          • Anders

            I meant both are Sproles like instead of pure RBs that people often have them listed at

    • GEAGLE

      Just see how lamicheal James was used at Oregon if you want an idea of what Chip has cooking for Sproles…for us he will be half lamicheal James! and half Wes Welker

      • eagleyankfan

        Wasn’t/isn’t DJ suppose to be that player? I have a bad memory but I do recall DJ saying he would be used like ??? at Oregon but I can’t remember the name he used.

        • Anders

          That would be DAT or the TAZR role. LMJ was used a bit like that, but he was more like McCoy last year. Sproles will be used like DAT.
          Jackson will still be used all over the field, but he cant really play the TAZR as he is not somebody you want taking carries between the tackles

  • shah8

    I don’t think you were misunderstood.

    Allen would be a pass rushing specialist. And that would be it. With all of those snaps, Trent Cole does a lot more than rush the passer, even in clear passing situations. Allen isn’t really like Michael Bennet or Cliff Avril, but then again, they couldn’t have freelanced (and so they were a lot slower than the 49’er pass rush, or how they *could* be) in the tighter-run ship that was the ’13 Seahawks. Allen would be better than Cole at rushing the passer, but all the little stuff Allen doesn’t do is passed onto the other DL. It was usually okay because the Vikings front seven was relatively talented until about ’10 or ’11 or so. This wouldn’t be a similar situation here, where everyone’s got a full plate already. Allen wouldn’t, on balance, make the defense better.

    Even with all of those sacks Allen had in recent years, it’s a distinct consequence of QBs hanging onto the ball to test a horrific secondary (aside from ’12). Think of it as a bit analogous to the ’12 Eagles defense where we constantly got hurries, and in the first few games, that threw off the QBs. Then everyone realized that we couldn’t actually close worth a damn, and every QB, even the slowpokes, started hanging onto the ball and weaving the pocket like a savant so they could feast off a secondary gravely wounded by the demands of the Wide-9.

    • A_T_G

      I didn’t think it was a matter of Tommy explaining himself well enough either. I do think that a lot of readers disliked the idea and started skimming to the end to express their disagreement without fulling understanding the hypothetical he was posing.

      You weren’t one of those readers, however. I don’t agree with you often, but you certainly fit your argument to the case Tommy presented.

      With some of the situational players we cycle in, I think there is a place on this team where Allen could provide a significant upgrade, regardless of how we feel he handles the run. I do not, however see a way for egos, finances, and playing time all to find common ground to make this a legitimate possibility.

  • Weapon Y

    I’d be ok bringing in Jared Allen on a short term deal at a reasonable price. I’m on board with bringing in specialists for different situations.

  • barneygoogle

    Notice that Kelly gave no clear endorsement of DeSean Jackson going forward. He could have said: “he’ll be back– period.” He didn’t. Humm…….

    • ICDogg
      • GermanEagle

        Brilliant. #wishIwasstoned

        • barneygoogle

          The Eagles lose a heartbreaking game to New Orleans in the final seconds–after coming from behind on a great drive. And what happens in the locker room? DeSean Jackson cries about his contract.
          You think that wasn’t noticed–by the whole organization?
          So both of you guys can stay stoned.

          • D3FB

            Actually he made the comments on locker clean out day, which was two days after the playoff loss. He was also specifically asked by a reporter a question about his contract. Let’s not act like he went into the postgame press conference and started demanding he makes more money out of the blue. He was asked if he thought his deal was fair (the reporter had alluded to it not being heavily guaranteed) to which DJax informed him that he felt he was deserving of a renegotiation but that would be something his agent would be working on.

          • jshort

            Now that’s what I call brilliant!!!

          • Stephen Stempo

            I wish I had read your comment before I made mine. But that’s ok it’s good to reinforce. Too many Misaneli fans sometimes

          • barneygoogle

            Oh come on. Talk about whiny excuses. DeSean has been a PAIN ever since he came to the Eagles. Holdout, later, suspension by Andy Reid—now arguments with his new position coach.
            DeSean is expecting Kelly to come to his aid with a fresh diaper about now–but to his credit, Kelly is non committal. .
            Now wait until DeMoron figures out Sproles for 40-50 catches, Maclin 50-60 catches…and less for him = whhaaaaaa.

          • GermanEagle

            #lolbrilliant.

          • Stephen Stempo

            Yes I think that wasn’t noticed. And he cried about his contract? Really because I’m pretty sure he didn’t come out on twitter, or say “Hey just want to mention something that’s been bugging me.” No he was asked, specifically, a question, by a reporter about his contract. Kind of different.

            You did know it was a response to a question right?

      • jshort

        Think i wrote that book……I think?????

    • GermanEagle

      Why would he feel like to have to say anything, especially something like ‘he’ll be back’?! It was only for some stupid journalists to come up with this silly idea of trading Desean.
      It was more like Chippah making fun of those…

  • ICDogg
  • Joseph Dubyk

    I am absolutely naesuated at the fact not only do a lot of BGN guys but A TON of WIP/Fanatic callers keep saying how the Eagles “DROPPED THE BALL” after they LAUDED Howie and Chip for making smart, calculated off season moves last year.. Apparently they wanted to throw that out the window this off season and go for broke like in 2011… Horrible!!!

    • Insomniac

      Some guys over there still think Djax will be traded because Mike Evans is working out for us. Lol.

      • Anders

        If Jackson ever gets traded it has zero to do with anything else than what potential return you get back.
        Very few players are untradeble in the NFL. Andrew Luck is one such player, but Jackson is not.
        Of course, the compentation for a 3 time pro bowler in his prime is very high and I doubt anybody will pay it (best fit is Niners as they have tons of picks and could really use him, but they do not have the cap space)

        • eagleyankfan

          pro bowl is a joke.

      • Joseph Dubyk

        lol…There’s guys out there that think we should pursue Manziel hard. It’s lunacy.

  • Miami_Adam

    I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, TL, but I think in defending your article, you forgot to mention your main point: to keep in mind that this front office doesn’t exactly see players the way the public at large has characterized them; e.g. Sproles isn’t necessarily a RB, he may well be a Slot WR/RS and just for good measure, a Shady insurance policy.

  • RC5000

    FYI Jared Allen reportedly visited Seattle today and left without agreeing to a deal not that I think he fits Eagles scheme all that well. He’s looking for more $ than the offers he is getting supposedly whatever those offers are.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000334516/article/jared-allen-leaves-seattle-seahawks-visit-without-deal

    • Anders

      Dallas do not have the cap unless they make a Byrd like contract where they give him a good guaranteed contract, pro rate it and get little cap hit this year, but next couple of years will be huge hits.
      I would love it because it means when Allen is on decline, they cant cut him.

  • KeithPetres

    Never been particularly impressed with Jared Allen. Too one trick pony: speed rush around the LT. Wouldn’t want him even if defense was base 4-3, let alone predicated upon individual positional flexibility.

    • Anders

      It is one hell of a 1 trick pony then. You think he would have less sacks if he was so easy to predict

  • ICDogg

    The real wildcard would be if Wilfork is released.