Chip Kelly has been the Eagles coach for about a year and a half. But it seems like forever since Andy Reid was running the show. I remember everything about Reid right up until the end, but it just seems like a distant memory. Part of the reason for that is that Kelly has come in and really made the Eagles his team.
Things were less dramatic when Reid took over for Ray Rhodes. They both ran the 4-3 and the West Coast Offense. They had similar backgrounds and beliefs. The one big difference is that Reid bought into Joe Banner’s desire for younger players. Rhodes preferred veterans. Reid had a plan. Rhodes wanted immediate results.
Kelly has brought tons of change to the Eagles. From smoothies to the read option to the 3-4, life is very different for the guys in green as well as Eagles fans. Not all of the changes are great. Kelly got rid of Training Camp being up at Lehigh. That was a great experience for the fans. Kelly no longer lets PE.com show extensive practice clips. Heck, they had TC shows that would last for hours.
If the changes help the Eagles to win, I’m all for it. But that doesn’t make them any less frustrating.
I can’t stress enough how happy I am that the Eagles hired Chip Kelly. I know that Bruce Arians and Mike McCoy each had success in 2013. I know Gus Bradley is a lovable coach who would have been a solid hire for the Eagles. But those guys don’t have the overall vision that Kelly does. I don’t know if Kelly’s ideas will result in championships, but coaches like him don’t come around very often. I think you have to roll the dice on greatness when you’ve got the chance.
I’m dying to know how things turn out over the next 3 to 5 years. Does Kelly build the Eagles into an elite powerhouse that does special things? Is he just a good coach that produces good results? Do things go terribly wrong when plants start attacking people? Sorry, I got off track there.
We all have to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Let’s see where Chip Kelly takes us.
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Tim McManus put together a “What They’re Saying About the Eagles” post over the weekend. There was one really interesting bit.
KC Joyner of ESPN.com says the Eagles won’t miss DeSean Jackson. He identifies four elements that are part of their plan to replace his production, which includes the return ofJeremy Maclin.
Jackson’s main role in the Eagles’ offense was to be the vertical threat. According to ESPN Stats & Information, his 905 receiving yards on vertical passes (defined as aerials thrown 11 or more yards downfield) accounted for 38 percent of Philadelphia’s production in that area last season.
Maclin missed the entire 2013 campaign due to an ACL tear in his right knee, but in 2012 he outpaced Jackson in terms of vertical receptions (47 for Maclin, 42 for Jackson), vertical yards (540 for Maclin, 449 for Jackson) and vertical touchdowns (five for Maclin, two for Jackson). To be fair, Maclin played in 15 games that year and Jackson played in only 11, but even if those numbers are tabulated on a per-game basis, Maclin was nearly as productive as Jackson. Given that his recovery is going quite well (Maclin recently said he feels faster in some ways), Maclin should be on pace to mimic Jackson’s role as a downfield target in 2014.
Good old KC Joyner. He drives me nuts at times. Joyner loves his numbers, but they don’t always have good context. Numbers don’t mean anything without proper context.
That said, Joyner has been right much of the time when it comes to his numbers.
The way to look at Mac/DJax is this. Jackson was such a vertical threat that teams always had a plan for dealing with him. The only way he put up the numbers he did is because of his great speed. Maclin isn’t such a threat and teams will single cover him on a regular basis. When they do, Mac is fast enough to beat them deep and make a play. He can produce similar type numbers, but only because he is defended differently.