Chip, Vick, and The Staff

Posted: February 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 65 Comments »

Chip Kelly met the media today to talk about Michael Vick, the coaching staff, and the future.  I thought the overall PC was good.  Kelly tries to answer questions, but still has that coach ability to be secretive when he wants.  A coach can only be so honest.  At a certain point, he’s got to keep some information private.  Too bad there’s not a magical way Chip could tell Eagles fans things that the other 31 teams wouldn’t be able to find out.  “You guys promise you can keep a secret?”

He seemed comfortable the whole time.  There wasn’t a me vs the media vibe at all.  Andy Reid wasn’t adversarial with the media, but rarely seemed comfortable.  Chip seems to understand that part of being a football coach in today’s world means sitting in front of a microphone and answering questions.

I do have one complaint.  There were several times when Kelly was very vague.  In regard to the defensive scheme, Kelly talked about the 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, or 6-1.  He said we’ll have 7 guys up front, but that he wasn’t concerned with specific labels.  Clearly he was joking about the 5-2 and 6-1.  It sorta bugs me that he can’t be more specific in regard to scheme.  Saying we’ll be aggressive and attack is nice, but those are generic terms.  You can be multiple and complex, but there must be a foundation.

Kelly and Bill Davis said they are still busy evaluating current personnel and want to finish that before finalizing schematic ideas.  These guys haven’t been on the job long so this is a reasonable response.  It just makes me nervous.  I’ve seen other coaches talk about hybrid defenses and the desire to be multiple and then fail miserably.  Creative gameplans are great, but there are times to just line up in a basic look and go execute.  As Gus Bradley would say…”Do your job.”

Kelly and Davis will have the defensive playbook put together soon enough.  I would just be more comfortable if they could talk more in-depth about it right now.

Defense wasn’t the only vague subject.  Kelly didn’t want a label put on his offense.  I understand he’s hesitant to say anything for fear of being pigeon-holed a certain way, but I did think he still could have described things a bit better than he did.  Explaining some basic principles would have been nice.  I do wonder if Kelly appreciates how smart NFL fans are these days, especially in Philadelphia.  Between the writers, bloggers, broadcast media, and, fans have access to a tremendous amount of quality information.  Giving us generic information won’t cut it for long.  No one is asking for the playbook to be made public, but a bit more specific information would be nice.

Kelly did offer good thoughts on Vick and the QB situation.  I appreciated his openness.  Kelly said that Vick and Foles will compete for the job.  Kelly made the comment that the decision to keep Vick was influenced by the QB landscape.  In other words, there weren’t a lot of compelling options.  There is no QB in the draft worth the #4 pick.  There is no pro QB that the Eagles can sign or deal for that will solve the situation.  2013 is going to be a band-aid year at QB.

I’m not a fan of keeping Vick around, but I do think I understand Chip’s thinking.  Look at Seattle and SF.  Pete Carroll acquired Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst to compete for the QB spot.  That didn’t work.  He then signed Matt Flynn and drafted Russell Wilson.  Flynn didn’t pan out, but Wilson did.  SF kept Alex Smith and drafted Colin Kaepernick.  Smith was solid in 2011 and flat out good this year.  Kapernick is on a whole other level.

Like with those teams, Vick and Foles are the guys competing here.  You hope one of them wins the competition.  (The alternative is settling on the lesser of two evils.)   Vick and Foles are short term answers.  If one of them plays great in 2013, that could change.  The more likely scenario is that they are babysitting the job for a rookie.  The question is whether that rookie comes from this draft or 2014.  It is possible that Kelly, Pat Shurmur, Bill Lazor and Howie Roseman will fall in love with a QB that is available in the 2nd round (Ryan Nassib perhaps) or possibly later.  If not, next year’s class looks much better.

A few people have raised the question of why keep Vick at all.  He’s clearly not the long term answer.  What is to be gained by keeping him around?  Go with Foles.  He’s young.  If he sucks, you get a better draft pick.  If he’s just s0-so, you know he’s a backup.  If he’s somehow great, you’ve got your QB.  There is logic in that thinking.

I really think Kelly wants the competition.  He had it at Oregon.  There were several QB battles while he was there.  This year the battle was between Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota…and remember that Johnny Football had committed to play at Oregon initially.  Bennett is now transferring.  Mariota looks like an elite player.  Manziel won the Heisman.  That would have been one heck of a QB competition.

I think (and this is just a guess) that Kelly believes the competition is the most likely way to bring out the best in one of the players.  It also sends a message to the rest of the team.  Every job is up for grabs.  You earn playing time.  Contract and draft status mean nothing.

Kelly preaches the philosophy of “win the day”.  That means there is value placed on every rep, every practice, every preseason game, every workout and every classroom session.  You must win your job.  You must perform to a certain level to keep it.  If you just hand the job to Foles, that sends an awkward message to the team.  Remember, Kelly is a firm believer in being able to explain “why” to his players.  This is why we did this.  This is why we did that.

I know some fans are worried about another long year of Vick turning the ball over.  That won’t happen.  If the turnovers are hot and heavy, Kelly will bench him.  Chip will not let Vick play his way out of a bad stretch.  Vick is a veteran and will be held to a reasonably high standard.  Kelly won’t expect perfection, but Vick can’t go into a slump or he’ll lose his job.  Win the day.  Not the month.  Not the season.  The day.  Too many bad days in a row will lead to change.

Vick’s deal is covered by PFT here and here.  Vick signed for 3 years, but that is just for cap purposes.  It really is a 1-year deal.  Vick will make $7M if he’s on the team, with the potential for incentives.  He’s getting $3.5M as a bonus and the same amount as salary.  The bonus was split in two.  Half today and half in April.  If Vick loses the battle with Foles, he could be kept as a backup or dealt.  Or cut.  Les Bowen asked Kelly if Vick would accept staying as a backup, but we didn’t get a great answer to that.  Vick clearly thinks he’ll win the competition.

One important aspect of this situation is that Vick bought into the idea of staying.  Apparently he came away feeling very positive  after meeting with Kelly.  A QB must buy into the new coach’s ideas.  Randall Cunningham didn’t do that with Jon Gruden in 1995 and Randall was 1-3 as the starter before losing his job (and the only win came when he was benched early and Rodney Peete led us to victory).  Vick’s got the right attitude.  We’ll see how that translates to action and results.  I’ll get into the football side of Vick and Kelly in a later post.  That’s another long discussion.

Some people have asked about trading Foles.  Maybe.  We’ve got a 3rd round pick invested in him.  We could keep him as a backup for the next 3 years.  That’s not the worst thing in the world.  Don’t make the assumption that by keeping Vick, Kelly is now looking to dump Foles.  If the right offer comes, we should definitely listen.  I’ve said all along that Foles deserved a chance to compete for the job in 2013.  He did some good things as a rookie, but wasn’t so good that he flat out won the job moving forward.

* * * * *

Kelly said some interesting things about the staff.  He talked about the fact he wanted coordinators with NFL experience since he was coming over from college.  Kelly said that he took a long time to put the staff together because he was looking for the right guys.  Kelly talked about hitting it off right away with Pat Shurmur.  Side note…somebody get Shurmur some uppers.  He was so quiet and subdued that you’d have thought this was a firing and not a hiring.  Maybe he’s always been soft spoken.  Just seemed funny to see how almost shy he was.

As for DC, Kelly said he did want to interview someone from the Super Bowl, but that didn’t work out.  He said no to guesses of Ed Donatell and Ted Monachino so I’m guessing it was Jim Leavitt (SF-LBs).  Kelly said he was very happy with Bill Davis from the day they interviewed.  Kelly mentioned that he told Davis he was really impressed, but that he felt he needed to keep looking around to make sure he was doing his due diligence.

Was Kelly being one million percent honest?  Maybe, maybe not.  He can’t say “Davis was my second choice”.  Those type stories would come out in the future.  I thought Chip mixed in honesty with probably a little bit of spin.  That’s okay.  All coaches do it.

I don’t think Kelly did a great job of selling Davis, but it was okay.  Jim Johnson was unknown when Andy Reid hired him, but Andy did a great job of selling JJ.  He talked about the GB/Indy game where JJ’s blitzes gave the Packers so much trouble.  That PC was the first time I ever heard “fire zones” as the technical term for zone blitzes.  Andy got us all intrigued.

Kelly had this to say:

“One of the things that really attracted me to Billy was his versatility and being able to coach in both systems,” Kelly said. “He’s a 21-year veteran of this league, and has coached under guys like Dick LeBeau, Bill Cowher, Wade Phillips and Vic Fangio and just spent time in Cleveland with Dick Jauron. So he’s got a good background. And that’s what I wanted in a coordinator, is a coordinator with versatility. Then it’s our job as coaches to figure out what is the best scheme for the guys we have in place.”

Not bad, but hardly compelling.

* * * * *

Off topic, but worth discussing here.  A few have asked about trading for Percy Harvin.  I’ll pass.

Harvin would be a great addition to the team.  He is an elite playmaker.  The problem is that the Eagles have a good set of offensive weapons.  The OL needs some help and the defense needs multiple starters.  Harvin would cost too much in terms of resources and is a luxury option.

Now…if you could deal Jeremy Maclin for him…that’s a whole other story.  We don’t know what the Vikings asking price is going to be.  I would think expensive, but that’s just a guess.  A lot of people think he’ll go to the Pats.  Bill Belichick loves Florida players. The tricky part is that for once the Pats don’t have extra picks. Will they try to pull this off?

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy posted his new MAQB column.  He gave out some season superlatives and awards.  Find out which Eagle was a winner…or should I say a loser.


65 Comments on “Chip, Vick, and The Staff”

  1. 1 Jack Bauer said at 12:41 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Great article again Tommy. Harvin would be a good fit in NE with the possibility of Welker and LLoyd being gone, but thePats only have 5 picks this year before compensatory. (1.29, 2.27, 3.29, 7.12 (from TB), 7.29)

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:52 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Thanks for the info. I’ll adjust that part.

  3. 3 T_S_O_P said at 4:25 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Belichick must have believed in the Mayan 2012 prophecy to have only left himself with that number of picks.

  4. 4 Anders said at 9:19 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    While Belichick is smart, I really feel he will fall flat on his face once Brady retires.

  5. 5 deg0ey said at 5:42 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    That’s an interesting viewpoint. I’ve kinda got the impression that one of those two is propping up the other but can’t quite figure out which it is. Is Tom actually a dominant QB, or is he a product of Bill’s scheme? Is Belichick a gifted coach or is he only getting away with it because Brady’s a beast?

  6. 6 D3Keith said at 7:13 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    BB is 64 or thereabouts. Who’s to say they don’t walk off in the sunset together, so no one ever knows if one could have succeeded without the other.

  7. 7 Rage114 said at 12:12 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Belichick the coach is still the best, or at least in the discussion.
    Belichick the GM should’ve been fired 8 years ago.

  8. 8 Anders said at 12:21 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Belichick the coach got saved by Belichick the GM 11 years ago.

  9. 9 Kristopher Cebula said at 12:43 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    I always felt like the whole “migraine” thing was a liability with least once a season, he misses time (practice if not game time) due to migraines. I don’t see how you can view him any different than someone else with a recurring medical condition. he’s going to be looking for big dollars and i would be nervous about giving it to him

  10. 10 ICDogg said at 12:59 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    On the other hand, it’s the type of recurring thing that, while it doesn’t go away, it doesn’t usually get worse over time either. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar missed several games over the years, but it didn’t stop him from being one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

  11. 11 Phils Goodman said at 1:05 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Or lead to other injuries.

  12. 12 Phils Goodman said at 12:52 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    “Do your job” is pretty vague, isn’t it? I think Kelly’s vague answers about the defense reflect the fact that they are still at a schematic stage, still making initial player evaluations.

    I also think he was being up front with his answers about having a lot of different looks. No one bats an eye when an offense goes from Ace to Jumbo to balanced or trips, shotgun or under center, yet there is an intense interest in classifying a defense according to its base formation.

    I also liked his answer about forcing turnovers, as I alluded to in my previous post:

    A few days ago, a very bright poster made this remark about the Billy Davis hiring:

    “It seems that the strong-suit of [Davis’] defense every year has been creating turnovers (rather than shutoutability).

    “I can see why that would be increasingly attractive in today’s NFL. With the way even mediocre offenses can move the ball, trying to create turnovers should be a more lucrative strategy than a futile exercise in trying to stop the opponent in his tracks. As the offensive environment becomes more potent, the importance of possessions grows ever more, while the value of field position shrinks.”

    Here is what Chip Kelly said today when asked about the hire:

    “I’m not caught up with labels. Because I don’t think it’s going to be a ladies and gentlemen defense. I think it’s hopefully going to be a defense that creates a lot of turnovers and gets the ball back to our offense so we can be productive on our offensive side of the ball.”

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 1:37 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Turnovers are becoming more and more important.

  14. 14 ClydeSide said at 12:06 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Talk of fronts without talking about coverages is unproductive. Also, personnel and the opponent impacts scheme. A lot of teams use quarters coverage against the spread. Does one Philly beat writer know what quarters coverage is? The 3-4 that the Ravens run is different (because of Reed) than the 3-4 the Steelers use (because of Polumalu). Bellichick uses 3-4 on one side and 4-3 on the other. It’s like a system with NO system–he switches out players all over the place. There are 2 gap 3-4 schemes (Fairbanks-Bullough-Parcells) and 1-gap (Phillips and Rob Ryan). There are also multiple 4-3 shcemes (Miami, Tampa 2, 46, under, over, and hybrids). I think Davis said all he could : “We’ll use multiple fronts and coverages.” That’s what you have to do in the NFL now: Moore/Manning one week, Martz or Norv the next. Kaepernick, RGIII, Eli Manning, and Cruz in his run and shoot patterns. You had better have the VERSATILITY and FLEXIBLITY to compete every week against opponents who are using evermore creative and complex offenses.

  15. 15 Dustin Hutcheson said at 12:59 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Yes, this is the message I’m “hearing” from CK as well: “We will try to do things better than they’ve ever been done before. This means asking “why” and doing things the way we think best. May not be popular or historical. We will adapt and adjust: adapt to our players and adjust to our opponents. We will adapt broadly as an organization, but also from play-to-play, series-to-series as a team. We will take what the defense gives us; and our defense will be able to adapt to what the other offenses are doing.”

    As a layman, this reminds me of one team and one coach, the Pats and Bellichick. I also feel like they look different on both sides of the ball week-to-week and series-to-series. If this is a philosophy that CK wants to emulate and can pull it off, I’m on-board.

    I think this fits with the coaching staff that he has surrounded himself with so far.

    I share Tommy’s worries that trying to be too flexible/multiple can backfire. But if CK can truly build a team that’s strength is flexibility and adaptability on both sides of the ball, it would be a cool thing to watch.

  16. 16 ClydeSide said at 2:23 PM on February 12th, 2013:


    The New England Patriots are noted for the following characteristics:

    Their self-critical, perfectionist, and militaristic approach

    Their emphasis on team, equality among players and lack of individual ego;

    Their strong work ethic, intelligence and high level of focus and preparation for each individual game;

    Their versatile players, able to play multiple positions;

    Their multiple schemes intended to take advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses.

  17. 17 D3Keith said at 1:25 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    I am a fan of bringing Vick back for this year, given the other options and given the potential. I explained why in detail in the previous post — not needing to use a draft pick this year on a QB, helping Kelly gain instant credibility coming over fro college, etc. — and the competition angle was one I meant to mention. Glad Tommy hit on it.

    Sometimes as fans we look at things from too black-and-white a perspective. Player X had these numbers therefore he’s good/bad. In actual locker rooms, there’s a lot of grey area. Good players can play poorly in a bad environment, as we saw in 2012. Average players can play key roles on well run teams, as we saw with the Ravens and 49ers.

    Coming over from college, and installing a mind-set, Kelly has a lot to gain by being successful this season, regardless of what the actual record is or how it affects draft position. Getting players to “win the day” as Tommy wrote, getting them to buy in to how he wants them to play and practice at his ridiculous tempo, and fostering competition in practice — and then seeing some of that result in wins, that’s important in Year 1 IMO.

  18. 18 the guy said at 2:52 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    I’m pretty much mentally done with Vick, but I’m not upset with keeping him based on those options you mentioned.

    I’m as skeptical about him as many commenters here are about Foles, but since the other options would most likely not only cost more from a cap perspective but possibly require draft picks (while still not being the QBotF), I’m fine with it. I’d certainly rather use that space trying to find a FA OL/OLB/S/CB. And as I think you said, based on 2012 performance Foles and Vick are equally likely to get the Eagles a high draft pick.

  19. 19 eagles2zc said at 10:47 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Keeping Vick doesn’t necessarily mean Eagles won’t draft an QB this year IMO. In both ‘9ers and Seahawks’ case, they spent an 2nd or 3rd on QB the same year they kept/brought in a veteran

  20. 20 D3Keith said at 6:37 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    That’s why I specifically said “not needing to” and in previous posts, “not feeling obligated.”

    With Foles, Edwards and Dixon on board, they were probably going to have to pick a QB at some point. With Vick, Foles and whoever, they can if they want to, but they certainly do not have to.

  21. 21 eagles2zc said at 8:49 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Oh I agree that it lessened the need. I was pointing out the propensity of teams around the league to stockpile QBs when lacking a franchise QB, and my agreement with that policy

  22. 22 phillyfan1987 said at 7:28 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    As you said with the magic earlier, chip has no way to fill us or the media in without the other 31 teams knowing…will they know something come game day sure… but the element of surprise is great to have while you have it.the problem with the media is that as soon as they know they are going to report it….and you wonder why coaches hate them lol…teams soon enough will be able to tell what we are doing but having any element of secrecy as long as it is not a cover up for just not knowing, is a good thing.Foles said that he didn’t think the scheme really fits him. I think one because Foles probably wants the chance to be a proto-typical QB and not just a game manager. If a QB hungry team calls and gets us a pick or two ( most likely mid to late) take it …because neither he or vick is the QBof the future for THIS SCHEME.

    If you look at the patriots you may not think they have been most productive on the defensive side until now but they have been ranked top ten in Turnovers for the last three years I believe so turnovers are important. If we can get the pass rush going, get good tackling and create turnovers we do not have to be the 85 bears, we just have to get the ball back and let the offense rack up pts and yards.Easier said than done but tire out the opponents defense and make the opponents offense one dimensional. I think this is why both Kelly, Pat and Davis dont you giving their offense a name. Against the 49ers (pretty good run defense) we cant run the ball all day so on that day we will keep the D honest but we will have to somewhat rely more on the pass, some teams will have two good corners that may shut down our guys and then we will have to rely more on the run. Maybe one game where everything on the outside is shut down and the run isnt working we may have to open up the middle and let Celek, Harbor, Avant or Johnson get more looks. As far as defense some teams that do not handle the 3-4 to well will def. be a great time to show more 3-4 looks or if we face a team who have trouble facing 4-3 teams we go ahead and give more 4-3 looks or so on and so forth. 4-3 under will probably be the base with 3-4 and 4-3 looks according to who we face.

    the biggest thing with VICK/FOLES is you have to pay big money for the Flynn’s and Smith’s of the NFL and if you pay them the big money and they get beat by “PROJECT GUY”( I know he was never that but the way the media was spinning that it was Flynn’s job to lose in training camp) you have wasted money. Let Vick and Foles have at it and bring a Project guy in( Tyrod Taylor, Dennis Dixon, EJ Manuel, Matt Scott, or maybe some small school guy everyone overlooked). If Foles is winning, Vick becomes back up or some other teams short term answer. If Vick wins see who is better between foles and the project and groom the loser as trade bait. Win/win for us because Neither FOles or Vick is Chip’s guy and I dont think he puts his career on the line for either. He will get a QB this year or next and that wil be the guy. Both are short term answers…They are not two chicks that you cant decide which one to settle down with they are your only options until Meagan Fox dumps the chump she is with and comes back to you.

  23. 23 Mike Flick said at 7:54 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    The comment that jumped out at me was when Chip said he philosophically preferred the 3-4 because you have more LBs than D-line for special teams.

    This was an angle that I never thought of before. We had what 10-11 d-lineman last year? That limits the number of guys who play on the teams.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 12:02 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    That was a good comment. I’m sure Bobby April wishes he had an extra LB to work with.

  25. 25 Anders said at 12:12 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Im sure April still wishes the 3 man wedge was allowed

  26. 26 Baloophi said at 2:27 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Would that have made it easier to count how many players were on the field?

  27. 27 austinfan said at 9:23 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    I’m not sure Chip knows what he’s going to do on offense and defense.

    I think he has basic philosophies on both sides of the ball, but I also think he’s not Saban, he’s not coming to the NFL thinking he has all the answers. So I see 2013 as sort of a mad scientist experimenting to find out what works.

    On offense, people focus too much on the read option part of Chip’s Oregon offense, he’s seen it in the NFL, and it works with talented QBs who run 4.5 40s, but notice Harbaugh gave up on it with Alex Smith who runs a 4.7 40. You don’t think Chip hasn’t looked at SF, Washington and Seattle game film, gauging how fast NFL defenders close on QBs trying to run?

    I think the core of Chip’s philosophy is an up tempo zone blocking running game, with a short passing game based on that run game, with deep strikes coming off play action, almost the inverse of what AR did. The read option is one wrinkle, it won’t surprise me if he installs a Pistol package (for Foles and other “immobile” QBs, immobile at the NFL level means you run 4.7 or slower) along with the read option. I would expect some WCO elements with Shurmer on board, possibly steal from Belichick’s two TE playbook, etc. And it won’t surprise me if a third of the 2013 playbook is discarded in 2014 as Chip sees what does and doesn’t work at the NFL level.

    I think the core of Chip’s defensive philosophy is to attack an offense and be disruptive, what attracted him to Davis was the idea of sending 5 on a regular basis without tipping off which five. Because he has confidence in his ability as an offensive coach, he doesn’t want a conservative defense that allows opposing offenses to keep his offense off the field – he wants an attacking scheme that forces turnovers but may allow the opposing offense to get to the red zone quicker (the anti-Nolan scheme). Again, I think they’ll try different subpackages and see what works, the base scheme will be Davis’ 4-3 under/3-4 hybrid, but notice that Davis sends the SLB far more often than Carroll out of a similar formation.

    If you see 2013 as a year to experiment, keeping Vick and Foles at least through training camp allows Chip to install both his mobile QB and his “slow” QB packages in his offense (and I think he wants to develop both because he can’t recruit 3 mobile QBs every year in the NFL, he has to be prepared to work with the talent he can obtain, not the talent he wished he had). Vick has the upper hand simply because he still has great talent, people focus on his legs so much they forget he’s got one of the top five arms in the NFL even at age 33.

    Can Vick adjust to a system in which the QB is given limited options, has to make a lot of pre-snap reads, short throws, and hand the ball off even when he might have a running lane? That will be interesting to watch Mr. “Freelance” adjust to a coach who will be far more demanding than AR in winter (movie reference).

  28. 28 Anders said at 11:04 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    “Can Vick adjust to a system in which the QB is given limited options, has to make a lot of pre-snap reads, short throws, and hand the ball off even when he might have a running lane?”

    The QB in Oregons offense isnt doing much pre snap reading, because at least Oregon, Kelly believe in players not in plays (opposite of AR). That mean they will just line up and execute the play because Kelly is convencied he will out execute the other team (again opposite of AR).

    Vick is very good at short throws when he is on his A game. Also if Vick got a running lane he should run in Kelly’s offense.

  29. 29 austinfan said at 12:17 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    The QB in Oregon’s offense does make pre-snap reads, how the defense is lined up, and changes plays at the LOS.

    Vick will either learn to make the proper read on the read option or he won’t make through four games – what he can’t do is rely on his athleticism to outrun the defender who doesn’t bite instead of handing it off. He has to focus on executing the play, not trying to make a play.

  30. 30 Anders said at 12:21 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    The only pre-snap read the Oregon offense did was basic counting the number of people in the box and indenty the mike.
    Also the read option is really that hard to learn. Wilson was able to run it this season and he had never run it before.
    One the reason its also so popular in college is how easy it is to execute and learn.

  31. 31 holeplug said at 1:26 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Just look at Dixon at Oregon between his Jr/Sr year. He went from an interception throwing head case to the heisman front runner before his injury when Chip became OC and installed his offense.

    Jr year – 12 td/14 int – Adjusted Y/A 5.4 – 61.2% – 120.7 rating
    Sr year – 20 td/4 int – Adjusted Y/A 9.3 – 67.7% – 161.2 rating

  32. 32 Anders said at 2:37 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Great find.

    It amazes me how many people think Vick cant do the read option stuff. Its one of the easiest thing to learn as a QB.

  33. 33 ClydeSide said at 3:13 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    On the read option, Kelly has his QB read different players on different plays: sometimes it’s the DE, or the NT, or the LB. It could even be 2 linebackers! Passing reads are somethin else again. That’s where Shurmer can contribute.

  34. 34 phillyfan1987 said at 4:43 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    The Great thing about it is Vick is not doing it himself… VIck, the Oline and tightends will be in sync knowing the # of guys on the field and identifying the mike and will be conditioned to be ready for the hand off or ready for the QB to keep the ball… people say the defense will soon catch on but the thing is its instinctual football… they wont do the same thing everytime..sometimes they hand it to the RB sometimes they pass it to the QB, sometimes they quick pass, sometimes screen and etc there can be so many different looks based on what they read and so many things you can do from an inside zone read or outside zone read it will give defenses headaches

  35. 35 phillyfan1987 said at 4:38 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Wilson is a very intelligent guy. He transferred schools and picked up the WCO pretty quick then absorbed the senior bowl playbook pretty quick and caught on to the Seahawks play book quick….don’t take anything away from Wilson.I do however agree that Chip simplifies his pre-snap reads to identifying the number and switching up plays in a situational hot read type way pretty much. He dumbs it down to where you are not overthinking the plays, so 1) you are playing eleven on eleven., know whose in the box and whose out in coverage so you can pick the play that gets the most out of what the defense is giving you. 2) if its not there throw it away. 3) FORCE nothing, let the play play itself out….simple… also he sets his practice up to move quickly and run plays in under 12 seconds….you are conditioning the offense to tire out the defense and keep them on their feet. The quick calls make defenders feel like they are in the no huddle because it reduces the amount of time they have to catch a breather and trade out guys.

  36. 36 ClydeSide said at 12:29 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Kelly has always adapted. His offenses and defenses changed every year he was at Oregon. He constantly adjusts. However, his teams scored a ton of points and he won a bunch of games–with varying schemes, personnel and opponents. Winning is the constant with Chip Kelly.

  37. 37 ACViking said at 10:19 AM on February 12th, 2013:


    Great work.

    Your comments about “Kelly on B-Davis” vs. “Reid on J-Johnson” was really interesting. The lack of excitement, I mean.

    I didn’t see the PC. So I’m curious whether CK was equally restrained when discussing the other coaches?

    Also, in the same regard, has C-Kelly expressed his excitement about anyone connected with the Eagles organization (besides the owner)?

  38. 38 Anders said at 10:59 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    He sounded really in love with Ted Williams and Duce Staley. He also sounded very much in love with Vick.
    He wasnt asked about any other players.

  39. 39 ACViking said at 11:21 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    Wow, that’s very interesting. Very interesting.

  40. 40 CalSFro said at 12:44 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Not to step on toes or anything, but I didn’t get the sense that he was in love with Vick. I got the sense that he was enamored with Vick’s skill set, and there were just a lot of Vick related questions he was forced to answer.

  41. 41 Anders said at 12:54 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    That was what I meant.

  42. 42 TommyLawlor said at 12:05 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Anders is right about what he said in regard to those coaches.

    Chip was very glowing when he spoke of Bill Davis. The problem is that he didn’t sell us (the outsiders) very well. There wasn’t anything he said about Davis that couldn’t have been said about candidate X, Y, or Z. That’s kinda my point.

    Explain to us why you chose him. Give us some nugget that makes us understand what you saw in him.

  43. 43 Kevin_aka_RC said at 1:16 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    TBF, Chip talked about scheme diversity and adapting to personnel. This is the complete opposite of the Juan Castillo approach of the last 2 years (Draft for scheme and coach em up).

    If Davis wasn’t Chip’s 1st choice, I understand why he didn’t go all out to sell him. What if Rex Ryan is available as DC next year?. Keep your options open.

  44. 44 Bdawkbdawk said at 11:08 AM on February 12th, 2013:

    I hear people’s frustrations with scheme vagueness, but I just don’t understand it. Until we have figured out our personnel wants/needs in FA and the draft, scheme information should remain confidential. It’s a tell. An admittedly very small tell, but a tell nonetheless. Football is no great feat of espionage, but its a results-driven business. So I want my coaches to be accountable, but I do not want them to make forward looking statements. After Chip holds up the Lombardie a few times he can write his tell-all novel.

  45. 45 TommyLawlor said at 12:06 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    My job is to write about the Eagles and explain what will happen…who we’ll sign and who we’ll draft. When I don’t know what’s going on, things get a whole lot tougher.

  46. 46 Bdawkbdawk said at 1:19 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    I understand- you do a damn good job of it too. I just think that there is a natural tension between a franchise and the media. The media wants disclosure even though its probably in a franchise’s best interest to play things close to the heart, and the media wants spectacle, even when its in a franchise’s best interest to keep an even keel. Im just hoping that Eagles Fan Tommy Lawlor can keep media member Tommy Lawlor happy until we execute. Keep up the good work.

  47. 47 A_T_G said at 4:41 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Yeah, we understand that, and we will cut you some slack, but I think that is bDawk’s point. It is also tougher for the other organizations to predict what we are going after in FA and the draft this year. We only get that advantage this year, so ill be patient.

  48. 48 Rage114 said at 12:13 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    There is so much experience and versatility on the defensive side of the ball that it feels like it really will be a defense by committee.

  49. 49 T_S_O_P said at 1:42 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Azzinaro: DL coach/Assistant Head Coach. Billy Davis: defensive co-ordinator. No conflict of subordination?

  50. 50 Anders said at 1:53 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    That pretty normal. Azzinaro got the title because he know what Kelly wants and can explain it to the other coaches.

  51. 51 TommyLawlor said at 2:26 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Nah. The Asst HC might have a couple of oddball responsibilities, but he doesn’t have more power than the DC. Usually a role given to a longtime assistant as a reward. More $.

  52. 52 xeynon said at 1:50 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    I’m fine with competition at the QB spot. Foles has weaknesses in his game that will preclude him from being a long-term starter in the NFL unless he improves on them, and I think it would be foolish of the team to assume that that will happen even if Kelly does think he can succeed with an immobile QB. However, I’d rather the competition come in the form of Matt Flynn, Alex Smith, or some other veteran QB not currently on the roster, or a developmental prospect like Nassib or E.J. Manuel. I’ve had enough of Vick missing open receivers, throwing into double coverage, fumbling, taking unnecessary sacks and hits because he refuses to get rid of the ball, and exposing himself to injury with his reckless style of play. These are not scheme-specific problems – Reid’s pass-happiness exacerbated them to be sure, but did not create them. They’re all issues he’s had as long as he’s been in the NFL, and a new offense won’t magically solve them. I just don’t see any upside with him, no matter what the scheme. Sure, in a read option type offense he won’t be called on to make as many reads in the passing game and will probably cut down on his interceptions as a result, but he’s going to take even more hits, which means more fumbles and a higher likelihood of injury. There’s just no way to win anything meaningful with him IMO. Sure, acquiring a veteran from another team will require using resources, but so does paying Vick 7 million to maybe be a transitional starter in the first year of the Kelly regime (money is one resource, but so is playing time that could be used to evaluate other options as potential long-term solutions).

  53. 53 Cvd52 said at 4:14 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    would you have wanted alex smith two years ago? you want him now but he was garbage two years ago. i would rather take a chance on vick in kellys system. especially since you have to trade for alex smith and maybe you sign smith to 2 years or whatever, vick is one and done if he doesnt perform

  54. 54 xeynon said at 8:58 AM on February 13th, 2013:

    I wouldn’t have, but Alex Smith has had sustained success over the lasts two seasons and is much younger and less brittle than Vick. Still wouldn’t trade any more than a mid-round pick for him though.

  55. 55 Cvd52 said at 3:42 PM on February 13th, 2013:

    they would both be a roll of the dice i guess, at least vick wont cost a draft pick tho. i agree about the health part

  56. 56 D3Keith said at 7:10 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    “I just don’t see any upside with him.”

    I find that hard to believe. I can buy the argument that you never think a Vick-led Eagles team will win a Super Bowl, but it’s not hard to imagine Vick’s upside. He was pretty great in 2010.

  57. 57 xeynon said at 8:55 AM on February 13th, 2013:

    He was great for about 6 games in 2010. Once defensive coordinators got some film on him and he started playing against better defenses, he crashed back to earth pretty quickly. He was awful against Minnesota in that Tuesday night game and not much better against the Packers in the playoffs. Since then he’s mostly been mediocre, but the bad-to-awful stretches have outnumbered the good-to-great ones. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single game he played in the last two years that would have been considered an excellent effort by the standards of an elite quarterback like Rodgers, Brady, or Brees. And I can think of several complete stinkers just from this last year alone. That six game stretch in 2010 was nice, but I think at this point the most logical conclusion is that it was a mirage and the turnover-and-injury-prone so-so quarterback we’ve seen for 90% of his time with the Eagles is the real guy.

  58. 58 D3Keith said at 5:55 PM on February 13th, 2013:

    There’s only so many Rodgers, Brady and Brees types to go around. That’s a nice standard to hold quarterbacks too, and I’m sure all of us and Chip Kelly would prefer one of them to Vick, but that’s not the choice he had, now was it?

    Fans who think the only options are Rodgers/Brady/Brees or Ship Him Out of Town, he’s not worth having around are kind of missing the reality for the 25 or so teams who do not have elite every-week quarterbacking.

    I don’t disagree that Vick hasn’t been good for much of the past two years, and that he struggled against the elite pass rushes of the Giants, Bears and Vikings in 2010. But I also don’t find it hard to envision a scenario where Vick is effective enough to lead a team that is otherwise good enough to win to victories. If all else is equal, and Vick could play as well as Kaepernick or Flacco, I’d be happy with that.

  59. 59 xeynon said at 11:26 AM on February 14th, 2013:

    There’s only so many Rodgers, Brady and Brees types to go around.

    Very true, but since unless you have one of those guys, or at the very least a second tier type like Flacco or Eli, your chances of winning the Super Bowl are minuscule, I subscribe to the view that for any team that doesn’t already have a franchise quarterback, acquiring one should be the #1 priority. I think cycling through different options and if it doesn’t work shipping them out is preferable to playing a mediocre retread like Vick or Hasselbeck who has proven not to be good enough to get it done. I’d rather go 6-10 next year and know for sure that Foles/young quarterback X aren’t the answers than go 10-6 with Vick (which I think is the best case scenario) and still be looking for a long-term answer at the QB spot at the end of the season.

  60. 60 D3Keith said at 9:55 PM on February 14th, 2013:

    Xeynon, you’re one of my favorite commenters, going back to IgglesBlog, and I think what you’re saying about finding out if Foles can play makes sense … for most teams in most situations. However, the Eagles hiring Chip Kelly changes the game:

    As a new coach, an offensive head coach, and a guy straight out of college, the record in 2013 is less relevant than getting Kelly’s “program” put in, and it gaining credibility among the players. he has a certain way he wants them to practice, a certain way he wants the offense to be run, and it has to be effective in terms of either scoring points or wins, so the players are fully on board. If Foles is potentially not the best guy to get that done, I believe you gain a lot by playing Vick even if he is ultimately not the QB to take this all the way.

    I think it’s likely that the move with Vick as opposed to fully committing to Foles means it’s likely that a QBotF will be brought on board at some point soon. But techinically Foles is still here and in the competition, and might well get another handful of starts, enough to know if he can play for Kelly or not.

    However, I agree there’s a chance that Vick will play well, we won’t learn anything about Foles and we’ll be left next offseason where we are this offseason. But there’s a chance we could be looking for a QB then anyway.

    I also think the anti-Vick crowd, while solid in their desire to know if Foles can or can’t play, operates off a couple false suppositions:

    The first being that a poor record guarantees anything in terms of landing that QBotF. We don’t know how many QBs will play lights-out and look like top prospects next year, and how many will pull an Landry Jones/Matt Barkley.

    We also don’t know that riding with Vick will get us such a good record that we won’t have an opportunity to pick a QB anyway. Based on what we’ve seen the past few years, 6-10 is a possibility with or without Vick.

    But here’s the supposition I think everyone just accepts as fact: That Kelly can’t win with Vick.

    I know, he’s a coach killer, etc. But in a different offense, there’s no telling how good or how bad it will go. It might not be likely, but we have to at least acknowledge that it’s possible this thing could turn around quickly and Vick could be good under Kelly and stay more than one year.

    Not long ago, we’d have said you need an elite QB to win it all. Roethlisberger, Brady, Eli, Peyton, Rodgers, Brees. Shoot, 12 weeks into this season, you’d have put Joe Flacco in the Vick/Hasselbeck “he’ll never win it” bin. I’m not a big believer in ruling out a future occurrence because it hasn’t happened in the past given a small sample size. Mediocre QBs that play really well for a stretch can win a championship, if all else goes well.

    I fully acknowledge that bringing Vick back is no sure thing and might end up being the wrong move. But I don’t think that’s any more of a sure thing than getting rid of him and not keeping the options open is.

  61. 61 xeynon said at 3:09 PM on February 15th, 2013:

    Thanks for the compliment. I enjoy your comments as well.

    You make as good a case as can be made for keeping Vick, better than I think Derek did on igglesblog – still don’t entirely buy it, but I at least see where you’re coming from. The “we need somebody to run the offense the way it’s meant to be run, i.e. using the QB’s mobility” is perhaps the best argument for Vick over Foles, but I don’t think it’s the best argument for Vick, period (I’d prefer option C – a QB who is more mobile than Foles and makes better decisions than Vick. Doesn’t have to be the long-term guy, just a veteran caretaker type with decent wheels, a la Alex Smith.)

    As far as Vick being a possible long term answer? I guess it’s possible, but only in the same sense it’s possible Bar Rafaeli will call me to ask me on a date tomorrow. I.e. it goes against everything we know about how football and the universe work. He’s 33 and in physical decline, and very injury prone – even if he does play reasonably well in Kelly’s system (which I do think is realistically possible), it’s very unlikely he’ll be able to stay healthy and productive over the multi-year window we’ll need to compete for a SB title. Any move we make at QB is going to be a calculated risk, but I’d prefer one where the odds are a little more in our favor.

  62. 62 Cvd52 said at 4:06 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    our wrs are weak but Harvin seems like what we have but on steroids. dont get me wrong i will gladly take him but i woudl prefer we find a bigger WR that can go up and get balls (instead of having to be wide open to catch a pass). avant might be the only guy who can catch a pass when he isnt wide open, problem is avant catches a pass and is basically tackled immediatley, he cant out run anyone.

  63. 63 Cvd52 said at 4:10 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    i really dont think Kelly is excited one bit about Foles. i really think he wants and expects Vick to win the job. i think vicks warrior mentality really makes coaches want to see if they can fix his flaws.
    hey niners fans were probably sick when they found out alex smith was staying another year when harbuagh came over, but he worked it out. i can see vick playing well in kellys offence. we arent passing on joe montana and choosing vick so who cares if it deosnt work out. worst case is we missed out on the matt flynn sweepstakes.

  64. 64 phillyfan1987 said at 5:14 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    More and more I think we go OT in the first round and then the rest of the draft is Defense with the exception of a project qb……I think Stoutland and spuds hinted that we are adding one or two pieces to the OLINE… maybe Andy Levitre in FA and then OT in draft…. Imagine this line Peters, Mathis, Kelce,Levitre, Joeckal( i cant get his name right to save my life forgive me)

  65. 65 Dan Mats said at 6:07 PM on February 12th, 2013:

    Could it be that they signed Vick for Kelly to see what Vick is while also to keep him away from the Redskins that would be looking for a possible one year replacement for RG3 as he heals from his knee issue. This way they keep him out of the division and possibly as a trade chip for say the Jags or however misses out on Geno and isn’t comfortable with their QB situation after free agency/draft, and as a contingency we don’t get a developmental QB they target in the draft. I know it might seem far fetch that the Eagles would make a move just to stick it to another team like that, but question is if its in the realm of possibility.