Changes in Year 2

Posted: July 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 25 Comments »

Chip Kelly took over the Eagles in 2013 and was charged with the task of creating the football program that he wanted. Kelly has very specific ideas of how things should be done. He needed the right kind of players to both win on the field and to establish his overall ideas.

Who expected Jeff Maehl to be an Eagle? Who expected Will Murphy to be on the practice squad? Who expected Isaac Remington to be on the practice squad? Was Casey Matthews really the best backup LOLB the Eagles could find?

Chip Kelly wasn’t showing Oregon favoritism. He was trying to have players on the roster/team who knew about his ideas and his systems. Those players could help others around them. There is no way that Will Murphy was the best available WR when the Eagles added him. However, he was the best available WR for the Eagles because of his experience with Kelly.

Last year the players had to learn the Kelly way. That affected who the Eagles had on the roster.

This year will be different.

There are  a lot of returning players. They know the Kelly way. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin can teach Jordan Matthews what Kelly is looking for. That makes Will Murphy less valuable. I think you’re going to see a lot of  turnover on the bottom of the roster. If Murphy and Maehl want to be Eagles this year, they are going to have to clearly outplay guys like Arrelious Benn, Damaris Johnson and BJ Cunningham. Maybe that happens, but don’t count on it.

Casey Matthews is hanging onto the roster by a thread. He would need to have a phenomenal showing to keep his job. I’m not even sure a slew of injuries is enough to keep him around.

The standards for making the team will be more about talent and what you can do on the field than experience with Kelly. That doesn’t mean character isn’t a factor. Kelly still wants the right kind of player. But he’s not going to feel the need to keep his guys around since now the Eagles are full of his guys.

While most of the change will be on the bottom of the roster, you wonder about what happened with other players. DeSean Jackson didn’t fit in and that played some part in his departure. You wonder if Bryce Brown was traded in part due to not being a good fit. He was awkward on the field, but we haven’t heard anything about him off the field.

I wonder about Mike Vick. He wanted out because he wanted to go somewhere to have a chance to start. Did Kelly have any interest in bringing him back or was he not a good fit?

Chip Kelly will continue working on the roster and trying to get it just right. Football involves so much change that you can never get a group of guys and feel set. There will always be players coming and going. This year you’ll see some Oregon guys heading off the bottom of the roster.


  • 76mustang

    Chip deserved to be Coach of the Year last season. Really believe Chip’s first season accomplishments, when you consider all the factors – new to the league, coaching staff hires, culture establishment (sports science, practice tempo and reps, locker assignments, handling of Riley Cooper situation, etc.) sticking with 3-4 two gap, winning with his 2nd string 2nd year QB, winning on the road…the list goes on…, outpaced the accomplishments of a veteran coach like Andy Reid.

    I loved Shady commenting on the defense looking really good – practicing against Chip’s offense every day, I really think the D is going to take a big step forward this season.

    This year’s practice squad is going to have some promising talent – will be interesting to see the mix between developmental and depth players the staff decides on.

    On a side note – Tommy, will you be able to attend all the open Training Camp practices this year?

    • Jack Waggoner

      Seems to me that Tommy could get access to some closed practices as well if he could get up here.

    • Tumtum

      It was probably pretty tough for the old guard voters to pick the new kid on the block. With such a different way, selecting him might have ruffled some feathers. It also shows that there is perhaps a question of sustainability. Most detractors of the Birds I speak to still think we will be riddled with injuries due to the pace of play.

      • 76mustang

        Yeah, the old guard are pretty set in their ways…as for the detractors and pace of play/injury argument, the lack of evidence is astounding – it’s like they have Nick Saban whispering in their ears and they just nod along – just look north at the CFL, or pay attention to the type of athlete Chip brings in and you can see the emphasis and value in proper conditioning and rest. Doesn’t matter, Chip isn’t about personal achievements anyway, his eye is on the big prize…

  • SteveH

    If Casey Mathews makes this team again, then maybe dinnertime football chats at the Mathews’ house really do count for more than we thought.

  • SteveH

    Off topic but wildly amusing:

    PFF grades for the 2007 season.

    Some highlights include Winston Justice managing a -22.4 on only 172 snaps, Matt Schobel getting a +1.3 (go back and watch that season and tell me Schobel deserves anything but a -1000), and Lito Shepperd finishing 103rd out of 106 with a -13.8 (amazing how quickly he went from top shelf CB to garbage).

    There’s a few other surprises in there as well, all in all worth the read.

    • Jack Waggoner

      I have to admit I have not thought about Matt Schobel in years.

      • A_T_G

        That is exactly what Andy Reid said on December 17, 2007.

      • SteveH

        Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat, screaming, having just dreamt about his “block” on the 4th down goal line running play against Chicago.

    • Mitchell

      And who knew Sav’s name is actually Saverio?!?!?

    • Tumtum

      I remember Matt Schobel’s name and position only. That was Brent’s rookie year.. LJ Smith was still here but he sucked that year, and was still given the tag.

      I think Lito knew his body was falling apart which is why he made such a hard push for more cash. Probably could of made more if he kept his mouth shut and tried to stick for as long as possible. Unless I have it all wrong and really let the contract situation derail his career.

      • SteveH

        Matt Schobel was a relentlessly and remorselessly useless blocker. I’ve never seen anything like it.

    • Vik

      Hank Baskett is my favorite Eagles WR of all time!

    • Vik

      Are we still waiting on Victor Abiamiri to return from his ACLs?

  • Buge Halls

    Looks like I better hold off for another couple months before I spring for that Casey Matthews jersey!

  • WEUer

    And the national media narrative will be that Chip has learned his lesson about Oregon favouritism. smh

  • A_T_G

    I guess this year we find out who was around to model the system, and who has pictures of Chip with a razor blade and mirror, getting “up tempo” at his desk before a practice.

  • BobSmith77

    Please, please stay healthy Foles. Really don’t want to watch a ‘Mike McMahon redux’ performance with the underwhelming Sanchez & underpowered Barkley.

  • eagleyankfan

    Wait – CM is still on the team?
    I’ve been out of touch — any word on LJ suspension?

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  • Mike Roman

    So help me, Tommy….if I have to read Casey Matthew’s name one more time…

    • A_T_G

      I can help.

      Here is the case, see? Math: use it to set you at ease. Let me give you an example of how it saved someone from an axe.

      He was an artist, okay? See, Matt hews figures of eagles from Oregonian wood. He works closely with his brother, who packs clay into molds. In their shop in KC, Matt used to start stressing over how much better clay preformed. Now, he just backs up and subtracts the special.

  • MFlick

    Excellent point. Guys who just know the system are not as important because there are more of them.

    Focus on talent.

    I am excited about training camp starting soon. There should be a lot of good battles for roster spots.

  • P_P_K

    I’m so psyched for this season.

  • anon

    Anyone wonder how long it will take the league to catch up to what we’re doing? GB says they want to run 75 plays a game. Broncos run in the 70s. Patriots go fast too.