Coaching Can Make A Difference

Posted: April 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 133 Comments »

The Eagles had major issues with tackling in both 2011 and 2012. Whether it was the Charmin Brigade of Nnamdi and DRC gently brushing against offensive players as they ran toward the end zone, Nate Allen diving and missing or Mychal Kendricks playing out of control, the Eagles found a variety of ways to miss tackles and help the offense.

That changed in 2013.

Per Football Outsiders, the Eagles were 6th in the league in lowest broken tackle percentage. FO is going with the term broken tackles rather than missed tackles.

Buffalo once again had the lowest rate of plays with broken tackles, although as I said before, the Bills didn’t have the fewest broken tackles in the league. That title went to Kansas City at 45, followed by the Patriots, Saints, and Bills. That Kansas City number is a little shocking considering how many shaky-tackling defenders Andy Reid employed in Philadelphia. But it wasn’t anywhere near as shocking as what happened to the Eagles with Reid gone. Chip Kelly’s new regime changed a lot of things about the Eagles; one of the changes that may not have been as noticeable is that the Eagles suddenly figured out how to tackle. The Eagles were near the bottom of the league in broken tackles after leading the league in both 2011 and 2012.

Remember all the nonsense last year about how Chip Kelly wasn’t doing enough live hitting in Training Camp and that would hurt the Eagles? Chip focused on bringing in tough, physical players. If you do that, you don’t have to work on their toughness. They just are.

The Eagles coaches focused on fundamentals. They stressed getting in proper position. They stressed proper technique. Players were taught how to tackle, a skill that is lacking across all levels of football. The results speak for themselves. Nate Allen didn’t suddenly turn into Brian Dawkins, but his tackling did improve.

There will always be missed/broken tackles. This is the NFL. The other guys are pretty good and they’re taught to make you miss or run you over. That’s gonna happen. You just want to limit those situations. The Eagles did that last year and it helped in a major way.

We’ll see if another spring and summer of focusing on fundamentals can make the players even better. The coaches are going to teach a lot of the same things. The players will already have good habits this time around so it should help them to improve.

All this talk about tackling may seem silly to some. Effort and desire are part of the equation, but technique is every bit as critical. Kendricks doesn’t miss tackles because he’s lazy or not physical enough. He plays too fast. He wants to make the tackles so much that he gets out of control. This is where fundamentals come into play. Guys have to know they must be under control and focus on technique. Flying to the ball is no good if you can’t seal the deal when you get there. It will be very interesting to see if the coaches can get Kendricks to take the next step and play more consistently.

Malcolm Jenkins is on the list of the players who had the most broken tackles last year. I’m sure the Eagles are aware of that and will focus on fundamentals with him. Jenkins is a tough, physical player. There is no question of desire. He just gets sloppy. That can be fixed with good coaching, which apparently the Eagles coaches did last year.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama recently posted an Eagles mock draft.

It is a pretty good effort, but I would be disappointed if the Eagles took a TE that early. I can’t say it would be a bad pick because the player is certainly good, but that’s just a position I’m hoping the team addresses later in the draft or with a UDFA. The Eagles might feel differently. We’ll find out soon enough.

Feel free to rip Jimmy’s effort. Clearly it is the worst mock ever and he should be banished from the United States.

_


  • GEAGLE

    I did not like Bama’s mock…But, I would NOT rule out drafting a TE early, tho I would assume it would be Sefarian Jenkins instead of NIklas…I think the vision is the land of Giants, where we blur the lines between TEs and Big WRs, so secondaries can’t possibly have enough size to matchup with an arsenal of big boy pass catchers…

    I also don’t view Ertz as a TE, to me he is a WR, so the only real TE we have is a traditional TE like Celek and an Hback Casey. I could see us drafting Sefarian Jenkins to start grooming behind Celek!… Then again, it sure seems like the TEs we are looking at are late round picks and there is this ultra talented TE which Kelly knows pretty darn well who is a round two talent that can be had in rounds 5-7…personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Chip Kelly team carry 5 TEs on the roster, so I don’t see how I could rule out a TE early…If we do take a TE early, I would assume it’s because a TE we like, fell down the draft boards, like Sefarian Jenkins falling to round 3..in that case, I could see us trade a 2015 2nd round pick to the Niners for the #77th pick and snatch Jenkins up….but I don’t think we would draft him in round two! which is probably where he comes off the board..,
    …I like NIklas, but he needs to be drafted High, and if we are drafting a TE high I prefer going with ASJ

    Kendrick the other day spoke about the emphasis he is putting on improving his tackling this offseason..he had a cast on his arm for a thumb injury he was playing thru, but he said improving his core strength so he can be a more consistent tackler was a priority…
    ….
    Coaching ABSOLUTELY Matters….Wolffs college tape was unbearable, yet after a few months of training, they had Wolff manned up against gates on an island in the redzone! with Wolff getting the PBUs…his rookie play, compared to his college tape was night and day… Just look at Riley Cooper, anyone who says they ever thought Coop could be anything more than a #4 WR and ST player is a damn Liar…Kelly and his coaches, came in, coached him up, put him in a position where he could succeed and coop turned into a beast! Coaching doesn’t matter in any sport like it does in football..

    For the 300th time…if your coaches are quality player development teachers, and you aren’t spending 40mil on other teams free agents, than you better be swinging for the fences and drafting kids with superstar potential..if you aren’t going to be a player in free agency, than you can’t be drafting safe prospects..

  • Chiptomylou

    Jimmy should be banished to Ghana for this dirty piece of toilet paper mock. Many harumphs for you sir!

    OK, I did like the Brandon Thomas pick. The Janis kid from Sagnaw Valley looks like a great value pick too.

    • GEAGLE

      Yeah those were the only picks I’d be down with…

      Then again, I think any mock that has the eagles drafting someone at 22 who isn’t named Barr is trash. I do NOT believe we will keep the 22nd pick unless he were to fall to us…I doubt our first pick comes before #30, and we may not make our first selection til early round two…

      So any mock that has the eagles drafting someone at 22 other than Barr! I don’t agree with

    • Ark87

      Just hope his predictive powers of what he thinks the other teams and the eagles do are waaaay off. Hupefully he’s just a cynic, hah. Remember, mocks are a forecast, not a wishlist.

      • GEAGLE

        Can’t wait to see how Howie plays this draft….does he just play it normal, and try to come away with 6 solid draft picks who can play, or will he want to take advantage of Chip knowing all these kids since highschool and try to come away with 8-10 picks? I’d rather mortgage a future pick so we can draft more player while we have such an advantage of our staff of coaches knowing so many of these prospects better than most NFL coaches…in a year or two, Chip will no longer have this advantage, so I’d assume we strike while the iron is hot! and trade back as many times as teams allow us…

        Also wouldn’t mind trading a 2015 2nd round pick for an extra 3rd this year and it’s probably not hard to find a team with too many picks who would love to convert one to a 2015 pick

        • Ark87

          It’s tough to say, I’d say he’ll seriously be looking to trade back in the first round…even out of the first round, and pretty much anything else to acquire more picks, he’s got to be desperate for more picks. This seems to be THE year to build a team to Chip’s vision. That said this is a year people are particularly stingy, we’ll either get stuck with picking what we got…or get fleeced (well only time will tell if it’s the right move but it won’t look great at first).

          • GEAGLE

            I agree, but I disagree about teams being stingy….I can see how it could look that way, but there are SOOO many teams who were awarded an Absurd amount of compensatory picks. You can’t trade your comp picks, but if you know you have say 3 comp picks in round 4 that you can’t trade away, I’m sure it makes it a lot easier to trade your 4th round pick to move up in round 2 and secure the player you really want…..

            There are teams like the Niners who simply have too many picks and not enough roster spots. Those teams have 3 options:
            1) package picks to move,up
            2) Draft injured kids you can stick on IR
            3)’Convert picks into future picks. When you do that, you typically get a draft pick a round higher than the pick you trade away….Niners have had an absurd amount of picks these past few,years and I’m sure they want to keep that going. Doubt they would turn down a round 2 pick next year for a 3rd this year, or a 3rd next year for a 4th this year…

            There are desperate GMs trying to save their jobs, then there are new GMs like Cleveland trying to make a splash and wipe away the stench of the previous regime, which was run by the stinky, funky Joe Banner…
            last year we saw the Vikings try to splash by drafting 3 times in round 1…browns have 2 first round picks already, and an absurd amount of picks after that’ll.wouldn’t be surprised if they try to get a 3rd first round pick….Browns have a pretty nice defense in place, I’m sure drafting a LT,QB and WR in round 1 would really captivate that fan base and be a splashy sexy way to turn the page from dirty banner…..also, if the browns don’t draft a QB with the 4th pick, they will
            Want to draft a QB at #24 instead of early round two so that they can have him on a rookie contract for 5years instead of 4, they also want to find a quality CB to play across from Haden…might be smart of the browns to go with Sammy Watkins across from Josh Gordon with their first pick, QB like Carr or Bridgewater at 24, package two of their 200 picks to get into the 20s which is a sweet spot for talented CBs…they have the cap space to handle it…Imagine if that regime starts off with a round 1 haul of Sammy Watkins, Bridgewater/Carr and William fuller/Dennard….

            Heck,you can see a team like the jaguars,Bucks,Raiders,vIkings not draft a QB in the top 10, and want to move all the way up to 22’from their early second round pick to jump ahead of the texans at 33 and the browns at 24 to draft a falling QB that they strongly considered in the top 10 of round 1..
            ..
            No matter how deep this draft is, I expect to see a ton of movement this year

          • Ark87

            That’s true. Definitely looking at the 9ers. Rams are in an interesting position as well. Lots of ammo and a lot of the BPA picks would be slightly awkward for them to pick. If the 9ers weren’t in the same division as them I could see them making one of those block-buster trades. I’m interested to see how they play their hand. This is a pretty cool article on it. http://grantland.com/features/the-nfl-draft-which-team-has-it-best/

            Depending how much stock you take in Barnwell. I respect his opinion, he rarely takes any hardline stances one way or another but offers up thoughtful analysis, if not a little bit math and stat heavy in his analysis. But I do find the table at the bottom to be pretty interesting.

          • GEAGLE

            Definitely interesting article people should check out, especially that table…thanks for sharing..
            ..
            With teams seeing the advantage teams have in roster Bulding who are paying FOles,kAp and Wilson on cheap rookie deals, I think every team that wants to pick a QB with their second round pick, would think it’s worth trading up to draft that same QB in round 1 so that they can contractually get him for 5 years instead of 4’on his rookie contract…so I think the KEYS to our trade back, are the texans and Browns not drafting a QB with their first picks…if those franchises don’t take a QB in the top 5, then everyone will expect the browns to take one at 24 and the texans to take one at 33, so not only will teams want to get back in the end of round 1 so they can get the 5th year option on the contract, but say a team like the jags or raiders strongly considered drafting Teddy in the top 10, and they see that he is still on the board at 22, those teams will probably strongly consider jumping the browns at 24..,and if I’m paying to jump the browns! I might as well make sure and jump KC while I’m at it…

            So I’d the texans and Clevland don’t draft QBs with ther first picks, they should create the perfect trade down Market for us…we could see a team pay two 2s to move up to 22 from like 36…or we could end up trading to 30 and then trading down again which would net us two 3s or a 3rd and a 4th…and even if our first pick doesn’t come til 36, we probably still have a shot at a big WR talent like KB,Lee,Cody.A-Rob..

          • Ark87

            Very true. Definitely angle to be watching for on draft day. Hopefully the Browns (or Chiefs) want somebody’s baby and gets our phone to ring.

          • GEAGLE

            Thinking Andy will try and draft savage

          • ACViking

            GE —

            Look at whom Reid drafted at QB:

            1. D-Mac
            2. Andy Hall
            3. KKolb
            4. Mike Kafka

            Every one of those guys was — I think — noticeably more mobile than Tom Savage.

            Thoughts?

          • Mac

            Manziel to KC.

          • ACViking

            you know, that makes a lot of sense — even with the extension to Alex Smith. it really does.

        • eagleyankfan

          That’s a great question about getting 6 solid picks. That would be boring for me. I want trades. Move ups. Move backs, the whole 9. LOL.

    • Stevo

      If Jimmy were banished to Ghana, part of his punishment should be to find the next Ziggy Ansah or not come back.

    • Maggie

      Seems like more players are coming from Nigeria than Ghana lately. Maybe Jimmy can become a Nigerian prince. ;~)

      • Mac

        I got an email from a Nigerian who said that he helped Kempski get $400,000 and is offering to do the same for me if I split it with him.

  • eagleyankfan

    That WR in the 3rd is a bad idea. Eagles need help at WR – not depth. They don’t need a project, they have players that are projects. It’s possible(I’m hoping) on of he WR on the team step up and can play at a higher level. But if not(and only the coaches know that), Eagles need a WR the can contribute this year.

    • Mac

      I wouldn’t want to count on starting any rookie at WR, which makes me think that Chip isnt building his plan around it either.

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t think you will ever see us factor rookie production into the equation. Nor should they…Don’t let who the most NFL ready players are taint your judgements..the ONLY thing that matters is drafting the WR with the highest ceiling who you can coach to reach realize that ceiling…
        ….
        who you can count on more as a rookie, doesn’t even factor into the equation IMO…

        With that said, take one of the less polished kids like KB or Moncreif, I’d bet that in our offense, Chip could get them to bring something to our offense as rookies…but that doesn’t mean they will or should start day one of their rookie year…Ertz was a pretty polished route runner and even he was brought along slowly…

      • eagleyankfan

        I didn’t say start. That’s going to be tough to do. That’s why I said contribute. That WR in the 3rd, with about 1 year of football in him wouldn’t be able to contribute at all this year. Maybe as a return guy but I don’t see spending a 3rd round pic for a return guy.

        • GEAGLE

          I dunno man…It’s really hard to watch Earl Wolffs college tape and think you can put him on the field as a rookie, yet we drafted Wolff in the 5 round last April, 6 months later we were asking him to cover gates in the redzone man to man with no help…If we were to talk about Wolff a week before last years draft, I doubt anyone would be looking at him as someone we could even consider playing on defense during his rookie year, yet we were all clamoring for him when he was injured and unavailable…and he was a defensive player…I’d bet Chip can ease any WR we draft into our offense and get the kid to bring something to our offense during his rookie season, but whether he does or not, rookie contribution isn’t what makes a kid a good draft pick..

          If we had to put a raw rookie on the field with Avant and Celek, I’d be worried about the rookie, but a rookie won’t be getting any attention from defenses when he is playing with weapons like Maclin, Ertz, Coop, Celek, and shady and Sproles running wheel routes down each sideline and I believe our offense is simple enough to where Chip can get some production out of raw rookies like Martevis bryant(who I’m not a big fan of) or a unpolished kid like Moncreif or KB..

          • eagleyankfan

            I hear what you’re saying. People always say to give a WR 3 years in the nfl to reach potential. The kid they are talking about seems to only have 1 year of college playing football. My comments are based more on him and not WR in general. That would be a huge jump for him. Not saying he couldn’t do it or that Chip couldn’t get something from him. I think the odds would be stacked against him as a 3rd round pick

          • GEAGLE

            Bruce Ellington right? I don’t like that kid to begin with…well not that I don’t like him, just don’t see what we would ever consider that kid in the 3rd round when you can get a 6’4 WR who runs a 4.4 in that round?…

            Whether he can do it or not as a rookie, IMO he would be a horrible pick. Why in the world would we want a 5’9″ WR in THIS draft class?..whether you draft Ellington in round 2, 3, 4’or 5, I can name ATleast 1’WR who will be available that’s Somewhere between 6’2 to 6’6, 200lbs to 225lbs, 4.40-4.53, 35-40 inch vertical. If you trust your coaches developing young talent, then take the rare size/speed combo for your coaches to develop…to take a 5’9 Ellington in round 3 would absolutely infuriate me! I’d rather draft another RB I like Tre Mason…

          • Mac

            And yes, specifically, I have no idea what Jimmy is thinking with that WR. Makes no sense to me.

          • D3FB
          • D3FB
          • eagleyankfan

            Thanks for posting these links. Most impressive.

        • Mac

          Sorry, I just assumed you were looking to upgrade over Maclin and Cooper with a rookie. It seems like a lot of folks are hung up on the Eagles “needing” a dynamic weapon at WR, but I just don’t see that as a need this year. Coop and Maclin are both capable down field threats for Foles, and we have Sproles and a nice set of TEs to work the middle and also stretch plays deep.

          I won’t complain if we find a way to get a guy like Cody Latimer, but I won’t be surprised if our BPA pick isn’t a WR in round 1 or 2.

    • Tumtum

      Do you place WR as our biggest need?

      • eagleyankfan

        No. I wouldn’t mind a S or CB. But — depending on grades, if there’s a WR for the taking(say one falls) and he’s with reach, and considered BPA — -than it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they took one.

        • Tumtum

          I can get on board with that.

        • Maggie

          When were you planning on improving the pass rush?

          • eagleyankfan

            If it’s me — not with the first pick. Unless we’re thinking OLB. The way some mock drafts are going — it seems the bpa may not be a pass rusher. However, I’m not sure the difference between the bpa at 22 to 30. So it’s my best guess is all…

            I’m no fan of Nate. Jenkins is ‘ok’. Other safety returning from injury. Lots of questions marks at safety.

  • Stevo

    Don’t get Jimmy’s mock with only drafting 2 defensive players total and one linebacker, Ronald Powell, who has injury and other red flags (and in the 4th round of all places). He says he doesn’t see a defense-heavy draft, but I don’t understand, why not? BPA also involves need — who best upgrades a position both now and in the future (comparing him to guys you already have). There are several spots on the defense that could use current/future upgrades.

    I could see them drafting a WR high, but don’t understand why the Eagles would go through an entire offseason only upgrading one safety spot (Jenkins) and not addressing linebacker at all in any meaningful way.

    Ideally, the Eagles draft a OLB, CB and S with first three picks and then WR, ILB, and OG with the next three picks (order in each grouping based on BPA). Understand it probably won’t play out that way, but at least for a mock draft, you can think in “ideal” terms.

    • Jarrod

      This article makes a pretty good argument for going defense heavy. Basically saying Kelly can do more with an average offense than the average coach so more resources can be put into the defense. Interesting take.

      http://eaglesrewind.com/2014/04/19/draft-talk-and-chip-kellys-alpha/

      • Stevo

        I agree with the basic premise of the article, although I might take a slightly different spin on it. My sense was that last year, Chip & Howie went heavy on offense in the draft early (3 of 4 first picks were offense) because he needed to test whether his system could work in the NFL. He needed good talent to see if it would work because if he didn’t have the right talent and it didn’t work, you wouldn’t know if it was the talent or scheme. I see last year as the “proof of concept” year and now he (and we) know that he can make it work (but probably not done experimenting completely).

        Now, Chip has a sense of what works and what doesn’t work on offense (his side of the ball). Yes, he probably wants another WR or other offensive weapons. But he also knows that we’re talent-deficient on defense, and, to build a complete team, the pendulum needs to swing the other way. We all know that the later you go in the draft, the less of a chance who you draft can be a contributor (let alone a bona fide starter). So, you have to draft impact defensive players early… rounds 1-3. I would be a little disappointed if we don’t go heavy on defense in the early rounds.

    • D3Center

      BPA only involves need when you have two or more players graded out as the same or close to the same. If Teddy Bridgewater is available at 22, you take him, we don’t need a QB but he’d clearly be the BPA. Including need heavily in the discussion and having it outweigh talent ratings is how you end up with Danny Watkins. Also drafting players you plan to immediately plug in is a bad strategy because now you need that pick to pan out.

      • Stevo

        I think people have different definitions of BPA. I don’t subscribe to the strict definition of BPA as you said (you then have to draft Teddy Bridgewater). Rather, taking player evaluation into consideration along with need, who provides the most impact for your team (with a strong view to what you have on your team already) both now and in the future.

        For example, if you have a Pro Bowler at a position, but someone falls to you at that same position who you project to be a Pro Bowler, who you could move around in the short-term or who will eventually take over, then that absolutely could be BPA. Of course, it can’t be seen isolation, but I think you get my point.

        • D3Center

          I agree you can’t go strict BPA because in a draft like this you’d probably end up with a lot of guys at one position. I also think a lot of people are still getting used to taking BPA in the draft, maybe not even in the strictest sense like I said, because for a lot of picks in the Andy regime we picked for need a lot (Jerome McDougal, Danny Watkins, etc.).

          • Stevo

            I agree, we have to avoid the “need-first” pick — I’m assuming the Eagles brass are NOW smart enough not to reach — we’ll see. You bring up painful memories with McDougle and Watkins. Had high hopes for McDougle, but he was a walking manifestation of “Murphy’s Law.” Watkins was the perfect storm of all of Andy’s blind spots (“he’s mature, not old”; “he’s a high character guy, not he’s only interested in putting out fires”; etc.). Old, slow learning curve, turned off by Mudd. Ugh. Also a case study of someone’s pre-draft workouts really helping him move up draft boards.

          • Maggie

            How quickly people forget. Watkins was not a “reach”. He was highly regarded AROUND THE LEAGUE. And he was blocking for RGIII at Baylor. On the left side.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah cuz you are privy to teams big board

  • Ark87

    For the main parts of the article: If there is one thing I believe in defensively, it’s the coaching staff’s ability to teach effectively. They took a lot of….I don’t know if scrubs is fair to say…but a ton of people who aren’t ideal fits and got them playing like a middle of the pack D. Scheming: that has to be seen still. Things stayed relatively vanilla last season with all the players adapting to a drastic scheme change and new roles.

  • Mike Roman

    If they draft a CB in the first round, how much playing time does he see? I would only like that move if the Eagles feel like the corner they draft can compete for playing time early and push for the starting job by the stretch run. I don’t think the Eagles are good enough where they should be drafting players early just to have them sit for a year.

    • GEAGLE

      He will play ST…doubt he plays ahead of Cary,Brad or Nolan. I’m expecting to see a better Cary and Brad, if we manage to improve our ability to pressure QBs

      • GEAGLE

        Correction: but we had them playing off all last year, which SCREAMS not trusting our safeties and pass rush

      • Mike Roman

        Everything you just said got me thinking … and I don’t think the Eagles want to add a CB early in this draft. I’m sure with better pass rush and safety play they are looking for #24 and #26 to improve. Signing Carroll for competition and depth almost eliminates the need to draft a CB in the 1st or 2nd round. The guy would clearly have to be the best player available.

        • GEAGLE

          Yup…that where I’m at with the CB situation..

    • A Roy

      Your last sentence is the antithesis of what Kelly is doing…building a team. They are not ready for a SB run. There are WAAAY too many positions where they have insufficient talent. They are still two drafts (including this one) and an off season away from having enough talent. At least. To try and find “stretch run” talent in the draft is what got AR fired. If they were to draft a CB, I would expect him to be talented enough to be an immediate ST contributor…and a solid sub (and maybe starter) during the second half of the season.

      • Mike Roman

        Anti what? Just kidding. Seriously though, I’m saying the same thing as you — if they do draft a CB, I would hope he can contribute and push for the starting role late in the year. I don’t think they should draft a player just to try to fill a hole like AR was doing, but I also don’t think they have the luxury of taking a guy who can’t contribute this year. For example, if the Eagles have the same grade on a WR and a CB, I’d rather them take the WR. The WR is more likely to get on the field as the 3rd receiver, whereas the CB is probably going to sit behind Fletcher, Carroll, and Williams and rarely contribute outside of STs.

    • Maggie

      Totally agree. First round should address OLB. We have to remember that a quality pass rush automatically gives the DBs more chances to see the play developing and hopefully make better plays. It doesn’t always have to be tackles, either. Disrupting routes and interceptions work really well, too!

      • eagleyankfan

        It would be the same question — how much playing time would you expect from a OLB drafted at 22? I’m not saying they shouldn’t take one. Just wondering.

        • GEAGLE

          I would say Cole would see all snaps on first and second down. With Cole and the rookie rotating on 3rd down pass rush situations..

          Everyone assumes we are cutting Trent At the end of the year..I wonder what Chip would say if Cole offers to take a massive pay cut and be given limited snaps in a backup role, so he can finish his career in philly, as a situational pass rusher…if he doesn’t play the run and stays fresh on the bench I wonder what type of pass rush he could provide?

  • austinfan

    Chip put together a teaching staff, and installed schemes based around “simplicity,” compare his play book to AR’s tome. And I suspect he stresses similar values to Davis on defense, KISS, focus on fundamentals, lot’s of reps in practice, don’t try to out think your opponent, outplay them instead.

    This comes out of coaching at a college where a good recruiting year was cracking the top 20 nationally, forget about the top ten. So you have to take good athletes and quickly (since you had maybe one red shirt and one bench year at best) bring them up to speed. It’s not like Alabama, where Saban gets the best athletes in the country, red shirts them, then sits them behind other great athletes for two years.

    Translate this to the NFL and Chip is looking for the same edge, he only has 7 draft picks a year (to start), a salary cap which limits his ability to buy talent or retain talent during a player’s peak years. So it’s not that dissimilar to the challenge he faced at Oregon, how to maximize the skills of the players I have, and quickly integrate new players.

    This is why he’s constantly looking for small edges, whether through sports medicine, highly structured and efficient practices, schemes that are easily assimilated and which have limited complexity (think of Foles, instead of memorizing hundreds of plays he practices a few plays until they’re second nature and he can focus on reading the defense and reacting quickly).

    Chip values flexibility because instead of having a bunch of packages build around specific skill sets to create mismatches, he can move his players around in a few packages to obtain the same result – again, KISS. Players learn a few roles in a set number of plays or packages.

    The focus on teaching and fundamentals fits this pattern, get an edge by doing things right, all those reps allow technique to be honed and perfected because players aren’t running through numerous plays to master them, instead they’re focused on execution of a few plays or packages. And part of execution is perfect technique – for example, Stoutland focuses on footwork, if you take the right first step you’re in proper position.

    This is why measurables are important, because Chip has “simplified” his playbook, there are well defined roles each player must fill, and minimum measurables ensures they have the body and physical skills to master each role. If safeties are interchangeable, then each safety must be able to do everything at a certain level, so if a short safety would be a mismatch against TEs, no short safeties. You attack an offense by setting up mismatches, you thwart a defense by avoiding obvious mismatches.

    I think for Chip, it is a philosophy of team building and development that all works together, choosing the right mix of players, preparing them properly both in the training room and on the field, then putting them in a “position to succeed,” with plays and schemes build around this mix of players.

    • mtn_green

      I agree. I think as the season went on the offense started to add more complexity and I could see the offense starting this year with a bigger playbook and much more complexity. I think Chip underestimated how complex the offense could be and how quickly the players could pick up new formations, plays etc.

      Last year it seemed like defense started complex and then got simpler and stayed that way, Boykin blitzes diminished, seemed like less double A gap blitzes. I think the players know their roles and techniques better and that Malcolm Jenkins becomes the player that allows for unique blitz schemes as he can do man coverage. I think we finally see the complex highly variable schemes Bill Davis says he wants.

      • Jernst

        A real ROLB is key. That package with Boykin playing OLB was absurd. Thank god Davis moved off that poorly thought out wrinkle.

      • austinfan

        I don’t think you’ll ever see Chip rival AR’s multitude of plays, while he’ll add more complexity in year 2, I think KISS is an important element of his philosophy – too many coaches get carried away with trying to out scheme the opposition, instead of focusing on what works and executing those plays to perfection.

        Everyone knew what Lombardi was going to do, fat lot of good it did them.

    • Jernst

      Well said is an understatement!

  • ChaosOnion

    At the risk of sounding like a Reid apologist (which will get you drawn and quartered in some parts,) guys like Rodgers-Cromartie and Asoamagh should not need to be taught how to tackle. I also do not remember Allen or Kendricks having tackling issues in college. (Sample scouting reports below are *not* provided as absolute truth, just evidence I am not completely out of my mind.)

    http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2010nallen.php
    “Physical tackler”
    http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2012mkendricks.php
    “Reliable tackler”

    Do the Eagles need to teach each prospect coming out of college how to tackle? At some point “basics” and “fundamentals” need to be basic, fundamental parts of a football player. It is not like these guys were straight out of Canada.

    • mtn_green

      Disagree. Constant coaching in simple techniques makes it natural instinct and then coaching can move to more advanced techniques. There was talk of simple things like tackling with you head on the inside of the ball carrier, things we didn’t see in 2011-2012. Those tackles improved because of constant focus in simple technique. It’s easy to think that highly skilled new hires should know their job inside and out, many times that is not true, and you need to start with basics.

    • Maggie

      College players are not trying to tackle NFL pros. And to address your last snark, http://canada.nfl.com/2014/02/14/football-in-the-genes/.

  • barneygoogle

    Is there anywhere I can go to get treated for mock-draft overdose? How many more can we take? I mean, if you just get one player pick wrong–the whole continuity of your draft is gone. I can’t wait until May 8th!
    (Note: On May 11th, mock drafts for 2015 begin.)

  • Kirk

    Is it time to change the logo at the top of the page? There is now only 1 player left on the team of the 3 that are currently in the picture

    • A Roy

      Previously noted multiple times and acknowledged by Tommy. He’s pretty busy until the draft is completed.

      • Guest

        Opps, missed that. Thanks!

        • A Roy

          De nada.

  • Maggie

    Kendricks seems a lot like Andy Russell, with the Steelers. Chuck Noll threatened to cut him if he didn’t learn to play with control. Kelly reminds me a lot of Noll and Russell got in on the first 2 Pittsburgh Super Bowls before he retired.

    • SteveH

      I hope Chip and Kendricks win 2 super bowls together.

  • ACViking

    Re: Better Coaching

    Reid left a tackling mess here. Kelly’s fixing it.

    Crennel/Haley left a tackling mess in KC. Reid’s fixing it.

    I’m very confused.

    • Insomniac

      Must be that KC BBQ

    • Mac

      Prediction… toward the end of Reid’s tenure in KC tackling will be a mess.

      • Weapon Y

        Agreed. Once all of KC’s Pro Bowl defensive players are gone, their defense will be horrendous. We all know how good Andy is at drafting defensive prospects.

  • ACViking

    Re: Big Bet

    Cody Latimer to the 49ers — who trade up ahead of the Eagles to select him.

    A bigger, faster, less-tempermental version of Crabtree.

    Do the 49ers need much of anything else beside a big, fast WR to pair with TE/R V-Davis?

    • Mac

      Could help push the Barr lower.

    • GEAGLE

      Yeah they needs some CBs..and as a SUPERBOWL contender, I’d make sure to grab some Navarro Bowman injury insurance

    • Maggie

      They already gave him the playbook, apparently.

  • Weapon Y

    The more I watch Allen Robinson, the more I like him. What makes him different from Lee/OBJ/Cooks is that he can consistently beat press man coverage. There was a fast WR who was really frickin good whose one flaw was that he couldn’t beat press man coverage consistently and he got cut by the Eagles. I can’t think of his name. Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Chip drafts Robinson.

    • Mac

      He may well be our 2nd round “consolation prize.” Is it draft day yet?

      • Mitchell

        Close! I can smell my two delicious Papa Johns pizzas already!!! I think this year for my beverage I’m going to go with cherry pepsi!

        • Mac

          Toppings?

          I have recently settled in on a pizza i like with bacon, pineapple, and banana peppers. It’s an odd combination at first glance until you realize it’s meaty, salty, sweet, acidic, and just a little bit of heat.

          • A Roy

            Had a pepperoni-jalapeno recently. Oven takes the edge off the peppers and it’s delicious.

          • Baloophi

            Beware ye of the ring burn…

          • A Roy

            LOL…but it did not happen.

          • Baloophi

            Sure it didn’t, A Roy. Sure it didn’t.

          • A_T_G

            I prefer the japelenos too. The pineapples are great with the spicy and salty, like Mac said.

          • Baloophi

            I will definitely try the “Mac” on my next pizza experience.

          • GEAGLE

            Love pineapple on my Za

          • Mitchell

            Big fan of bacon and chicken. PapaJohns has that new double pep and bacon pizza…….

          • Maggie

            You are talking about pizza? Not good music?

    • GEAGLE

      Wouldn’t be surprised if he is number 1 on our list over, ODB,Lee,Cooks,KB…Think our wish list at WR is:
      1) A-Rob
      2) Cody lat
      3)’Monsta Momcrief
      46 Martevis Bryant

      A-Rob doesn’t even turn 21 til the end of August, Chip would be getting a baby beast to mold, and there is just soooo much to like:
      ..
      1) rare size/speed convo our coach used to define Elite WR potential…

      2) for such a young kid he is already one of the best prospects at beating man coverage

      3) one of the best prospects at going up and coming down with a Jump balls (reminds me of a bigger Anquan BOldin)
      ..
      4) Obien made sure he is very experienced and well versed in the NFL route tree
      ..
      5) Much more fluid than you would expect for someone so big and young
      ..
      6)’Good in the screen game..

      7) Weakness is probably blocking, but I’m sure you can trachea kid his size to smash DBs

      This is a kid, Chip can fall in love with who he knows for a fact he can draft if he wants him…
      ..
      heck there is a chance we can trade back to #30 and get an extra 3rd, trade back to #36 and get another extra 3rd,,and still land this 21 year old baby, 6’2 220lb 4.44, 40inch vertical…

      • Weapon Y

        I seriously like him more than OBJ, Cooks, Lee, and maybe even Evans. He’d be a steal if the Eagles could get him in the second round. I just don’t know if he’s going to drop that far. Might have to trade down in the first or trade up in the second to get him.

        • GEAGLE

          I wouldn’t be surprised if he is better than every one of those names 3 years from now. Kid has everything he needs to turn into a top NFL WR. If we were to miss out n him, I’d turn my sites to Cody Latimer, and if Both are gone, I’d take Moncreif…all 3 of those kids have an insane ceiling and if our coaches can get them to realize their potential we will have a beastly NFL WR on our hands

  • SteveH

    Off topic but anyone see the news about Jameis Winston shoplifting crab legs? Dude is determined to screw himself out of millions of dollars.

    • Weapon Y

      “I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake.” 4.0 GPA, my ass.

      • SteveH

        In fairness, even your dopiest college athlete could probably score an A in remedial arithmetic.

    • Insomniac

      How do you even shoplift crab legs? Even if it’s in a box or bag that’s just…really uncomfortable.

    • ICDogg

      FSU = Free Seafood University

    • GEAGLE

      Yeah, crazy ain’t it…funny he would have gotten in more trouble if someone would have bought him the crab leg lol…

    • Media Mike

      Winston is trash.

    • A Roy

      Is there any DNA on the crab legs?

      • Media Mike

        Maybe the crab legs were too inebriated to say no, so Winston believed they were consenting to being stolen.

        • A Roy

          All those legs…and no clothes. The crab was asking to be eaten.

          • SteveH

            Ultimately the crab should have known not to be in the grocery store if it didn’t want to be eaten.

  • planetx1971

    I’m going to go ahead and chalk Big Red’s group tackling well to inheriting really talented players who hadn’t yet been exposed to Andy’s apparent “de-emphasizing” of time spent on fundamentals. And him not yet poisoning their well with “high effort” undersized defenders. Andy did some amazing things here that I will always remember fondly. THOSE were NOT among them to put it mildly.

    • ACViking

      I don’t think that assumption works.

      It forces the question, “Did the very same, talented KC defensive just blow off 2012?”

      Hard to wash, for me at least. Seems too easy — and doesn’t explain 2012 for KC, when the same coach who was there in 2011 was the next season.

    • Media Mike

      I always assume the tackling degraded around here because of McDermott being a horrible coach. And being followed up by over-matched Castillo.

      • Maggie

        McDermott has done pretty well since leaving Philly.

        • Media Mike

          Rivera runs that D and McDermott was handed awesome levels of talent to play in Rivera’s D.

          You don’t have the 32nd ranked red zone D (while being 12th in yards) that was the worst in the NFL for over 30 years if you’re anything other than a poor coach.

          Plus, look at the player quotes from team-first guys like Trent Cole about McDermott…………….he was a train wreck.

  • planetx1971

    Drafting another TE with one of our 6 PRECIOUS picks would have me very upset to say the least. maybe in the 7th, but in the SECOND rd?! With it already being one of our positions that’s so deep that James Casey basically never even gets a grass stain? Sniffing glue is known to cause permenant brain damage Bama…. seek help friend.

    • ACViking

      Can’t agree.

      TEs who create match up problems, because of size-speed, may be more valuable than a WR.

      Casey doesn’t present those problems. Neither does Celek.

      That said . . . I’m guessing it’s an either/or proposition. Either the Eagles grab a big WR in Rd 1 or a big TE in Rd 2. Not both.

      Have to fine a ROLB in one of those slots (including in a trade back).

      • planetx1971

        I really respect your opinions AC so I’m highly demoralized that you find all my thoughts to be rubbish. I have to try & preserve the shred of dignity I’m still clinging to. So how about a truly innocuous opinion….ummmm…Chip Kelly has been a great hire to this point?? Lol : ) Can we agree on THAT at least?

      • eagleyankfan

        is there a chance they don’t either?

    • ACViking

      On further review . . . maybe a TE late in the draft would be a more efficient use of the 6 picks (absent a series of first-pick.com-esque trade-downs that yield 4 more picks in Rds 2-4).

      WR and ROLB are critical.

      Kelly? Is it too early to tell?

      • A Roy

        Only way I’d be happy with a TE early is if the #1 fell to 22. Expect one late and/or an UDFA. ROLB critical. They will get a good WR along the way. Kelly is at least a good hire to this point…trend may move toward great based on the next 2-3 years.

      • planetx1971

        I would be absolutely thrilled if we could manage to pick up a couple of picks trading back. As long as we were pretty confident we weren’t going to miss out on somebody potentially great for us by being to greedy going for extra picks. It’s a crap shoot to be SURE.

    • GEAGLE

      I’m sure you would be ok with drafting a WR, so why would you be that disgusted about drafting a TE? It’s not like Chip will spend a pick on a 1 dimensional blocking TE..if we add a TE, you can bet he will be an explosive athlete with a hugs catch radius….

      Then again, I don’t really view Ertz as a TE, to me he is a better version
      Of Mike Evans so all we really have,at TE is Case and Celek..I wouldn’t mind a young TE to eventually pair with Ertz, but I would want that player to be a big, physical, athletic pass catcher who projects as a bruising blocker liken Sefarian Jenkins….
      .,
      I’m hoping Chips vision is for Maclin to be the shortest pass catcher on our tea….everyone talks about Chip putting up 3 fingers, I want to see him put up 4 fingers, line up in 4 wide, but with all TEs, how do you defend that? If you put your dime defense. We will have 4TEs smashing your 4 CBs in the run game..and If you try to stick safeties or LBs on Ertz and Sefarian Jenkins we!will torch them

      I also wouldn’t be surprised to see something crazy like Chip carrying 5 TEs h his 53 man rose

    • Baloophi

      Just to throw some kerosene on this discussion, what happens when our pick comes up, there are no trade offers, and Eric Ebron is far an away the best value on the board?

      • Media Mike

        Take him.

        • A Roy

          In a heartbeat.

      • planetx1971

        I feel like I just went 12rds. with truckasaurus. Battered from every direction! I respect you guys opinions immensely, so I’ll adjust my thinking accordingly lol. I think maybe if I didn’t spend 12 hrs a day in the field & barn this time of year, (why God do planting season & the draft coincide?) I’d likely be better informed. Literally fell asleep at my desk in the den last week using draft magazines as a pillow! Lmao

        • Baloophi

          Don’t feel battered! It’s easy to misread tone, and you should always express your thoughts! Look at the great discussion you sowed…

          Also – perhaps planting season and the draft coincide because both are the necessary first steps in cultivating a bountiful harvest. “Food” for thought…

      • anon

        Knowing hte offense i’d be completely happy with them.

    • Media Mike

      Celek’s contract $ isn’t matching his production. If you could upgrade from him with the low rate that first rounders make for the next 5 years, why not?

      • D3FB

        I’m going to have to strongly disagree with that sentiment. Let’s take a look at the numbers the 3 players just ahead of him in pay.

        Pitta- 20rec 169yards 8.5avg 1td (4 games)

        Olsen- 73rec 816yards 11.2avg 6tds

        Bennett- 65rec 759yds 11.7avg 5tds

        Celek- 32rec 502yards 15.7avg 6tds

        Keller- DNP

        Miller- 58rec 593yards 10.2avg 1td

        Fasano- 23rec 200yards 8.7avg 3td (9 games)

        Celek is the tied with Heath Miller as the best blocker. He’s the same age as Olsen and Pitta, Bennet is a couple years younger the other three are older. Celek had the highest avg, and tied for the most TD’s. Only Miller and Olsen have more career Recs and yards and TD’s with Olsen only slightly edging him and Miller being two years older. So no he very much is not overrated or overpaid, both in numerical values but also in non stat sheet production.

    • anon

      Ebron is like a low budget Evans, i dont think chip wants Wrs, i think he wants TEs.

    • suthrneagle

      Everyone thought he needed more than help when he published his ideas on Jackson..maybe you should put some thought to what and why he thinks these players are who the Eagles are looking at…don`t necessarily agree with all the choices, but no doubt he has a better understanding of how this team`s going about their business than most,and that definately includes you.

      • planetx1971

        I’m sure you’re absolutely right, but for the record It was just tongue in cheek, I’m a big Jimmy Kempski fan. He’s knowledgeable & totally hilarious. Also, if nothing else, I definately can spell definitely. :)

  • shah8

    Wide-9

  • McNabbulousness

    any epitaphs for the flyboys?

    Mine: we lost, but we might have found a long term solution at goalie.

  • Raul Estrada

    Fine him $2.50/lb on grapes.