Minor Personnel Moves

Posted: September 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 501 Comments »

The Eagles made some changes on Monday. This has nothing to do with the 0-2 start. This is the typical bottom of the roster shuffling that goes on all year for all 32 teams.

QB Stephen Morris was cut. The Eagles added veteran QB Thad Lewis to take his place. Lewis played for Pat Shurmur in Cleveland so there is familiarity there.

It sounds like the Eagles have some long term interest in Morris, but just don’t think he would be ready to get on the field if needed this year. Lewis is meant to be a #3 QB. He doesn’t have upside and isn’t good enough to be a starter or primary backup. Good practice player with enough skill that he could be functional if needed in a game situation.

The Eagles have worked Lewis out a couple of times so they have had an eye on him.

Maybe Lewis can help in practice.


The Eagles cut TE Connor Hamlett from the practice squad and added TE Chris Pantale. There were reports that Pantale had been signed a couple of weeks ago, but he wasn’t healthy at that point. I guess he is now.

Pantale played for Ryan Day at Boston College. He has good size and potential as a blocker. Could challenge for a roster spot in the future, but might be another player that is here to help with practice.


Seeing old friends Todd Herremans and Trent Cole playing for the Colts is not fun. Herremans looks to be struggling. Cole isn’t getting a lot of pressure.

Herremans has at least one holding call in this game.

Evan Mathis had one vs KC.

Allen Barbre had one vs Dallas.

I don’t recall if Andrew Gardner had one.

No conclusions intended. Just happened to watch the games and see them get flagged.


There are a couple of differing reports out there on Kiko Alsono’s knee injury. Not sure what is true. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.


Per Brandon Lee Gowton, DE Cedric Thornton broke a finger and could be out a couple of weeks.

Ugh. Taylor Hart would likely take his spot as a starter, with Brandon Bair getting a chance to play as a reserve. Hart looks to be a player on the rise, but he’s not as good as Thornton right now.


Sunday, Ugly Sunday

Posted: September 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 390 Comments »

So…what did you do this weekend? Anything notable happen?

As much as I’d like to pretend I didn’t witness that debacle yesterday, I did. And boy was it bad.

I thought there might be some growing pains for Sam Bradford and the offense, but I figured they would be more specific or situational. They might struggle in the Red Zone. Or in short yardage situations. Or they might not throw the deep ball well enough. Things like that.

I did not anticipate getting a simple 1st down would be the challenge. But it sure was yesterday.

It will be interesting to see how Chip Kelly handles this mess. John Madden believed that you didn’t need to be hard on players when things were bad. They would get criticism from their wives, friends, neighbors, Wawa clerks and anyone else out there. Madden tried to build his guys up when they were down.

There is something to be said for the occasional fiery speech. Andy Reid’s players knew he was legitimately mad when he called them the P-word in a group meeting. Sometimes they responded. Sometimes they didn’t.

Yelling at the players isn’t going to fix the problems. You can yell at your computer for an hour, but the blue screen of death isn’t going away unless you actually address the problem. I tend to think that’s the mentality Chip will have. There is a problem. Let’s fix it. Yelling will make you feel good for a moment, but won’t do anything to fix the problem.

Kelly is generally pragmatic.

Still, players are human beings and sometimes you do have to push buttons to get them to snap out of whatever their issue is. Was the team overconfident the last 2 weeks? Are they trying too hard? If Kelly senses something is off, he’ll try to get the players back on track mentally and emotionally.

The real key here is fundamentals, which I wrote about for PE.com.  There is no magic elixir. The team needs to block better. Tackle better. Throw better. Catch better. And so on. This isn’t about a playbook. This is all about execution. Right now the Eagles aren’t doing it.

If one person were to blame, he’d be gone. As Chip Kelly talked about on WIP this morning, this is a group failure. Jason Peters misses a block on one play. He’s perfect the next play, but Allen Barbre makes a mistake. Then he cleans it up and Jason Kelce screws up. This O-line should be able to run block. My concerns were pass protection. Go watch tape from last year and Gardner was a solid run blocker. Barbre has been a solid run blocker in the past. This is the O-line version of Whack-A-Mole. One guy screws up. That gets fixed and then another guy screws up.

This can be fixed.

This season can be saved.

But there are no guarantees. This team could also fall apart and finish 5-11.

Chip Kelly built this team and now it is up to him to fix it.

He never had a losing record at Oregon. He hasn’t had a losing record with the Eagles. This is a smart coach who has shown the ability to get a team on the right track.

Then again, I don’t know that he’s ever been part of a team that made so many big changes. This might prove to be the biggest challenge of Chip Kelly’s career so far. Maybe that will bring out the best in him.

So far all we’re seeing is the worst of his team.


Ugly x Infinity

Posted: September 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 614 Comments »

I was nervous going into the Dallas game, but sure didn’t expect that.

We hit the low point of the Chip Kelly era, with the team falling to 0-2 and the offense looking completely inept.

The Cowboys backup QB led his offense to 7 points.

Cowboys STs scored 7 points.

Their starting offense was held to just 6.

The mighty Eagles offense…10 points. One friggin’ FG and a garbage time TD.


There are no definitive conclusions to be drawn from this game. This loss doesn’t mean Sam Bradford is a bad QB and the trade was wrong. Or that DeMarco Murray isn’t a good RB. This doesn’t mean Chip Kelly’s offense has been exposed. And on and on.

This was group failure.

There were breakdowns all over the place. Jason Peters missing easy blocks. Jason Kelce had a bad game, topped with an early snap that gave the ball back to Dallas. Jordan Matthews dropped a pass. Miles Austin dropped a pass. Riley Cooper failed to make a grab on a ball that came his way. It seemed like every offensive player had at least one moment in the game that hurt the team.

And Sam Bradford…he was just awful. Bad reads. Bad decisions. Bad throws. Bad, bad, bad game.

In his PC, Chip Kelly focused on the lack of a run game. He was not happy with the O-line at all. Before you pile on Allan Barbre and Andrew Gardner, I think the struggles involved everyone. If it were as simple as one player, I think Kelly would have made a change.

Kelly said he will review the tape and see if any personnel changes need to be made. There isn’t any one thing that I want, beyond simply better execution. Kelly has an offense full of smart, high character guys and right now they are playing dumb. That is as frustrating as anything.

Life seemed so good just 10 days ago. Right now, things are a mess.

Kelly, the staff and players have to find a way to fix the issues if they want to save the season. 0-2 is not good, but the Eagles did catch a break with the Giants blowing another lead and Tony Romo getting hurt. The NFC East remains wide open.

Last week the team played one good half. Today the defense played well, but the offense was awful all game long. And STs chose the wrong week to have a huge breakdown.

So far the 2015 Eagles are a mess. One person isn’t to blame and one person isn’t going to fix this. It will take a group effort. We’re going to find out really quickly how Chip and this team handle adversity.


DAL 6, PHI 0 – 2nd half

Posted: September 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1,069 Comments »


But only down 6 points.

Offense has to wake up and get going.


DAL at PHI – 1st Half

Posted: September 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 861 Comments »

The game is almost upon us.

Nervous? I sure am. Can’t wait for this game to kickoff.


QB Stephen Morris
WR Seyi Ajirotutu
OL Dennis Kelly
OL Julian Vandervelde
DL Brandon Bair
LB Marcus Smith
CB Denzel Rice

RB Kenjon Barner takes the place of Ajirotutu. This is all about STs. Tutu was one of the gunners. Barner is likely to help with that rotation today.

Tempo could be a big factor today. Dallas really stresses effort by there defensive players when pursuing the ball. Sustained drives could wear them down.

We need Fletcher Cox to make his presence known. Be disruptive, big fella.

Beat Dallas!!!