Replacing DeSean

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 184 Comments »

Chip Kelly likes to say that the Eagles have an “equal opportunity offense”. He is open to running or passing. He doesn’t care who the ball gets thrown to. Kelly just wants to score points. He isn’t set in a particular way of getting that done. This is the key thing to remember when trying to figure out how the team will replace DeSean Jackson and his production.

Too many people have thought in a linear fashion. “The Eagles are nuts if they think some rookie can come in and replace DeSean.” The rookie will take DeSean’s roster spot, but his role in the offense will be addressed more creatively than that. If the Eagles get lucky and draft a WR that offers instant impact, great. But that won’t be the plan.

The first person to think about is Jeremy Maclin. I think people are overlooking him right now. Yes, he’s coming off a torn ACL. That’s a legitimate concern. We do have to remember that he tore his ACL last August. This wasn’t a midseason injury. Mac has had plenty of time to rehab and heal. The Eagles have been monitoring his progress carefully. They obviously feel good about him. If not, I doubt they would have tried to sign him to a 5-year deal a few weeks back. Also, you’d have to think his status had some role in the DeSean move.

Maclin isn’t as speedy or threatening as DeSean, but he is a more complete receiver. Mac runs better routes. He has better body control. He is bigger. He’s more of a Red Zone threat. The big issue with Mac is toughness. In 2011 and 2012, he wouldn’t block and he wouldn’t consistently work the middle of the field. I’ve seen Maclin do those things in the past, college and pro. I’m not sure why he went soft for 2 years. That won’t work in Kelly’s offense. I think Kelly will push the right buttons and get Maclin to be more of a physical presence. He won’t suddenly turn into Anquan Boldin, but I’m guessing that Self-Tacklin’ Jeremy Maclin will be a thing of the past.

I don’t think Maclin has reached his ceiling. He’s been consistently productive and he’s flashed big time ability on occasion, but I still think he can take his game up a notch. I don’t know if that will happen, but I think having a coach push him more aggressively will certainly increase the chances of that happening.

Kelly isn’t just replacing DeSean. Jason Avant is gone as well. Maclin will play some on the outside, but will also see some reps in the slot. I expect Darren Sproles to see regular reps in the slot. He lined up out of the backfield on a regular basis for the Saints in 2013.

I also think Kelly will use more 2-TE sets. When that happens, you are only going to have 2 WRs on the field. There could be more 3-TE sets, which would keep only a single WR on the field. Kelly used more 2-TE sets down the stretch last year. Zach Ertz started the season slowly, but became more of a factor and that affected Kelly’s use of his skill players. Ertz can line up in the slot or even out wide.

The Eagles will get Arrelious Benn back this spring. Like Mac, he tore his ACL last summer. Benn isn’t a player you can count on since he has never been an impact player in the NFL (just 24 starts in 4 years), but the Eagles do think he can be a good role player. Brad Smith is also returning. He’ll have a chance to play a full season and could be a good role player.

And the Eagles will draft at least one WR. They’ll likely do this with an early pick. We don’t know if Kelly will go for a speedster, hoping to replace that element of DeSean’s game, or if Kelly will go for more of a big, physical player. There are arguments to be made on both sides.

I’ll write more about Jackson’s speed and the impact it does or doesn’t have on the offense. Talking about his role is a post of its own. For now I wanted to concentrate on the personnel side of things.

The Eagles still have plenty of weapons. This isn’t going to be like TO leaving and Greg Lewis is suddenly asked to be an offensive weapon. The Eagles should still be able to move the ball and score plenty of points. Kelly is a smart coach. Nick Foles is a talented QB. There are good runners and good receivers.

DeSean didn’t make this offense go. He made it more explosive, but he wasn’t the key to the Eagles having such a productive season. The Eagles should have enough firepower to still be very good on offense.

* * * * *

Some of you are upset at the thought of DeSean going to the Skins. I’d prefer he go elsewhere as well, but it won’t send me over the edge to see him sign there. I always prefer ex-Eagles to go to the AFC so I can enjoy watching them play without having to think of how they are affecting the Eagles.


184 Comments on “Replacing DeSean”

  1. 1 JulzPE said at 8:37 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I like to think of it as aiming to replace his 2013 totals, rather than the player.

    82 receptions.
    1,332 yards.
    9 touchdowns.

    Where it becomes a combination of everyone on the offense, whether it’s Sproles and a guy added in the draft, or people posting better numbers than last season (Ertz, for example).

    So instead of being hung up on replacing DeSean, I expect us to use what we have and what we can acquire to regain the production.

  2. 2 GermanEagle said at 8:45 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    DeSean didn’t make this offense go. He made it more explosive, but he wasn’t the key to the Eagles having such a productive season.
    While this may be true, I am still missing DeSean’s effect on others, like Riley Cooper for example.
    Do you think that Maclin will demand the extra safety on top like DeSean did, with Cooper running free all day long? Or in other words, do you expect opposing Defense Coordinators game/plan and scheme around Maclin the same way they have accounted for DeSean?
    It’s always easy to say that one player doesn’t make an offense, and that his production can easily be replaced by someone else, however DeSean’s impact on others seems to get under-valued here too much in my eyes.

  3. 3 Mitchell said at 8:59 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Maclin may not at first but when he starts consistently getting 100 yd games, they D-coordinators will have to adjust.

  4. 4 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 12:39 PM on March 31st, 2014:


    If he starts consistently getting 100 yd games, for the first time in his career despite never having been the primary focus of the defense.

  5. 5 Mitchell said at 2:47 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    IF his ACL is healing well, he absolutely will.

  6. 6 shah8 said at 3:05 PM on March 31st, 2014:


    As someone who has watched the Falcons, allow me to introduce the example of Peerless Price. That dude feasted off the friendly coverages which resulted from DCs being far more concerned about Eric Moulds. Of course, in 2002 the stats looks the same. Drew Bledsoe was having a career year…

    Then Peerless Price was traded to Atlanta, got big money, and did next to nothing since. Why? Price can beat the second best DB when attention is primarily elsewheres, and he doesn’t have to be crisp or attentive to the little things. When he was number one, he never got open, and when he did, he dropped the ball.

    Price and Maclin are different players, but there is no telling whether Maclin will be that productive as a number one, particularly this year. I do not think that 2012 is a good indicator whether he can. Generally because much of it was sandlot football after Vick went down. I also do not think he will be that productive as a chain mover.

  7. 7 Anders said at 3:28 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    do you always have a build in excuse for any player you do not like?

    2012 do not count bc bla bla bla.

    2012 counts because 2012 was still played against REAL NFL TEAMS WANTING TO WIN AS MUCH AS WE WANTED TO WIN

  8. 8 shah8 said at 4:58 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Most of the offense was gone, and we didn’t exactly play boss football, on either squads. We mostly just nickle’d and dimed for yardage while not scoring enough meaningful points. Most opponents tooks us for easy meat and showed their basic defensive profile. And for all but Schiano, it worked just fine.

  9. 9 Anders said at 4:15 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    or maybe it had something to do with Maclin actually been the only worthy starter? No Shady, No Jackson, no Celek, only Mathis left on the OL and a rookie QB who cant pass according to you and yet Maclin still had great games

  10. 10 bill said at 3:37 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I know I’m breaking my own rule here, but…

    BRAVO. This is approaching Kaufmanesque levels. Your posts consistently rank among the best troll posts ever. So well disguised that it took me a long time to truly conclude that you were indeed trolling. But this line was the straw that broke the camel’s back:

    “Generally because much of it was sandlot football after Vick went down.”
    Simply sublime awesome irony at its finest. BRAVO! ENCORE!

  11. 11 shah8 said at 4:55 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    that is so wierd.

  12. 12 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 5:27 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Or, you know, he won’t, because he’s never demonstrated the ability to before.

  13. 13 Mitchell said at 6:03 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Or, he might because everyone had a huge increase in numbers with Chip.

  14. 14 Anders said at 9:27 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    “Do you think that Maclin will demand the extra safety on top like DeSean did, with Cooper running free all day long?”

    No sane DC will run Cover 0 on us all day long as we saw Cover 1 a lot even with Jackson, so doubt we will see less.

    “Do you think that Maclin will demand the extra safety on top like DeSean did, with Cooper running free all day long? Or in other words, do you expect opposing Defense Coordinators game/plan and scheme around Maclin the same way they have accounted for DeSean? ”

    Maclin produced like a no. 1 WR once he became the no. 1 back in 2012 after Jackson was injured and that was with a crap OL, a rookie QB and Celek and McCoy missing most of that time as well.

    Elso Ertz will demand a safety or CB covering over a LB because no LB in the NFL can cover him

  15. 15 Mitchell said at 11:33 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I agree. I know there are concerns with Maclin and that is completely fair, but this guy can play. He is a very good receiver and I am excited to see what he can do in this offense. I am concerned about this ACL tear, but we will see.

  16. 16 Ben Hert said at 11:36 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Watch a little bit later in the clip for the replay of exactly what Maclin is doing, and you can see that he has the burst you need to beat man coverage. Love that play.

    Edit: Oops meant to be a reply to GE.

  17. 17 planetx1971 said at 10:46 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Living far away from PA now & being surrounded by & friends with fans from a huge variety of other teams, I never failed to hear from every single one of them (when we played their fav. teams) that Desean scared the living hell out of them. I’ll miss that. They mentioned him, right or wrong, even more than Shady. It’s pretty amazing that only 22 of his 82 catches didn’t end up as a 1st down. Sure hope we find a nasty weapon to replace him.

  18. 18 Mike Roman said at 8:49 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Not worried about Jackson going to the Skins. Anything that franchise touches crumbles.

    I really think Kelly viewed DeSean as an expensive luxury. Very few teams have a guy with his top end speed. But you have to weigh the good and the bad with a guy like DeSean. Obviously his speed works in his favor in some situations but his lack of size can work against him. I wouldn’t say he’s a one trick pony by any stretch of the imagination but I think Chip Kelly wants a more well rounded WR.

    I’m not sleeping on Maclin by any stretch of the imagination either. He is more well rounded and he’s not exactly slow. I don’t think we should look at this as “what rookie can come in and replace DeSean’s numbers?” I’m looking at as, can Maclin / Sproles / Rookie out-produce DeSean and Avant? I think this really could be a year where we have 5 guys catching 50 passes but nobody catching more than 70.

  19. 19 P_P_K said at 10:06 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    “Not worried about Jackson going to the Skins. Anything that franchise touches crumbles.”

    LOL. You’re right.

  20. 20 Buge Halls said at 1:57 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Yep – please refer to McNabb’s illustrious career with them!

  21. 21 Bob Brewer said at 8:57 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Losing all pro talent in their prime, with no compensation, to a division rival, is always the optimal strategy for NFL success.

  22. 22 Arby1 said at 9:03 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Don’t worry – Chip Kelly is a GENIUS. He must know what he’s doing. Right?? (Actually, if we take Odell Beckham or Brandin Cooks or Mike Evans in the 1st, we should be OK)

  23. 23 Anders said at 9:35 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    You do not think the Eagles have thought of that?

  24. 24 Mike Roman said at 9:45 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’m okay with them releasing Jackson because, well, I have to be. But no matter how anybody tries to spin it there is really no arguing your point.

  25. 25 mark2741 said at 10:26 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    There wasn’t any compensation to be had. He wasn’t worth anything, per the market. It’s been reported (so take that FWIW but it’s best we have to go on) that he has been on the market since Kelly took over as HC. If that’s the case then it’s not a situation where the Eagles tainted the market by making him look bad in the press, because no one reported he was on the market until just this past month.

    He had zero value. Only a buffoon like Snyder in Washington, or the Raiders, who have made no sensible moves in a decade now (aside from letting Namdi walk), will take him. And when they do it’ll be cheaper than what he made here.

  26. 26 Ben Hert said at 11:38 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I put him on the trading block in Madden and got a first round pick. So the Eagles should have gotten something. Rowie Hoseman such bad, much waste.

  27. 27 ChaosOnion said at 8:59 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I am not so worried about replacing the stats. Jackson was that guy that opposing defenses had to spend 20-30% of their time studying. That was time taken away from the rest of the offense. He opened running games. He pulled double teams. He made safeties cheat to his side. He caught the ball if you put it on him. Those things are intangible.

    It is really unfortunate for everyone involved his other intangibles got in the way. The Eagles fan in me wants this to be the right decision. The human in me wants this to just be about money, because the alternative is really hard. I do not want to think about anybody I cheered for on Sunday being involved in anything gang related. It is a path that leads to tragedy and I do not want to watch an ESPN 4 for 40 on the rise and fall of DeSean Jackson.

  28. 28 Weapon Y said at 9:00 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Ultimately the question is this: Are the Eagles better without DeSean than with? It will take a lot to convince me that having fewer deadly skill players is better than more.

  29. 29 Arby1 said at 9:08 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    A lot of the younger sports writers seem to love Chip’s ballsy move of cutting DeSean and I see a few of the older ones are now starting to question the wisdom of the move. Interesting.

  30. 30 Weapon Y said at 9:10 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’m a young guy and I hate the move. Not sure if that’s worth anything, but I figured I’d throw that out there.

  31. 31 Arby1 said at 9:17 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Well, it was a calculated risk, on many levels. If he signs with the Skins, we get to see close-up how it plays out and whether it comes back to bite us.

  32. 32 Weapon Y said at 9:23 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I just don’t see any upside to this move. It’s not like this is a high risk-high reward. There’s no reward.

  33. 33 Anders said at 9:34 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    The reward is Jackson not been a bad influence on younger players.

  34. 34 Arby1 said at 9:45 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I look forward to hearing more specifics about that as time goes on, assuming anything else comes out. I really hope it wasn’t just that he had bad friends and flashed signs.

  35. 35 BobSmith77 said at 11:18 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    If one guy in the locker room has such a disproportionate influence on the team, there are much bigger issues with the leadership and coaching staff.

    That reason along with the ‘cap savings’ are the weakest and most irrelevant reasons on why Jackson was released.

  36. 36 Buge Halls said at 1:54 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    So what does your crystal ball tell you are the “real” reasons he was released? I’d be interested to hear how you know smothering that everybody outside of the FO doesn’t know.

  37. 37 Ben Hert said at 2:56 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’m pretty sure “disproportionate amount of influence on a team” is exactly how you would describe a leader.

  38. 38 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 12:43 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Yeah, we should surround them with high-character guys, like Riley Cooper.

  39. 39 Neil said at 1:46 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Diference between Desean doing what he does every day and the thing Riley did once but admitted was wrong and tried to learn from.

  40. 40 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 5:27 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    You’re right. There’s a huge difference between having unsavory friends, and yelling about fighting “every n—-r here” when you’re drunk.

    The difference is that you can fix your friend group. You can’t fix being a racist prick.

    I’m glad Riley’s on the team, but let’s not pretend that the Eagles have the high ground in terms of “high character guys.”

  41. 41 Neil said at 5:37 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    No, the difference is Desean wasn’t about to fix his friends, his work habits, his focus or his attitude, and Riley Cooper is going to continue to be a good example as a football player and never going to do something so terrible again when he’s drunk.

    I might just be assuming about Cooper, but you wouldn’t keep a guy who’s going to give you any less. Look what they did to Desean, a significantly better player.

  42. 42 Mitchell said at 2:50 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Are you insinuating he isn’t high character because of one incident? Have you ever screwed up in your life?

  43. 43 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 5:23 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    What do you mean “insinuating”? I am saying that Riley Cooper is not a high character guy, because he screamed the n-word at a black man.

    I have screwed up in my life. I screw up all the time.

    What I have never done is scream at a black man that “I will fight every n—-r here,” because I am not racist trash from Florida.

    Oh, and I don’t have a problem with Riley being on the team. I don’t care what he’s like off the field, as long as he plays well on it. I just apply that principle equally, rather than limiting it to young black men who have tattoos and don’t talk the way I do.

  44. 44 Mitchell said at 6:04 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’m not getting into this argument again, but it is just one incident and he apologized.

  45. 45 DanJ3645 said at 6:51 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    But part of playing well on the field is in preparation and practise.
    While Cooper might have issues outside of football it appears DeSean did not have good football habits off the pitch. On top of that he had a questionable social life.

  46. 46 eagleyankfan said at 9:35 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    You’re a great poster and I look forward to reading your posts. This DJ thing though, you make it sound like this was a football/strategy move. This has nothing to do with DJ ability on the field. Chip did not ask his generals “how do we improve this team” and they all responded with “let’s get rid of DJ”. DJ was a problem(I don’t like the word cancer) to this club. Worse than Cooper’s incident(we have to assume). You might have to say it’s a problem that was unsolvable — which means they did attempt to fix this at one point. Maybe DJ was stubborn — maybe Chip was. Either way, it’s viewed as “it’s a best to move” on thing…

  47. 47 Weapon Y said at 9:39 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Honestly, there are tons of crappy workplaces with coworkers who are terrible people, but they function because they execute their strategy and don’t make decisions based on emotion. The Eagles didn’t have to let DeSean go. They could’ve just said, “You’re under contract. There’s nothing you can do about it. Deal with getting paid $12 million.” I appreciate the compliment btw. Thank you very much.

  48. 48 eagleyankfan said at 9:45 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Agreed. This is only an example and a guess. If Chip says DJ, you’re the punt return guy and DJ at first refuses. Chip talks and talks etc and eventually, DJ says ok Chip, I’ll go back there. Than all DJ does is fair catches every single punt. What’s the point in having someone just go through those motions if he’s not being the player you need at that point? Again, it’s only an example. DJ would show he’s allowed to be defiant to the coach. If DJ is defiant, than all of them can be. I have no clue if that’s the case but you have assume he and Chip were butting heads. I do believe, if it was a football move — DJ would have been traded. My guess — to the Panthers :).

  49. 49 P_P_K said at 10:04 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    And if DeSean is dogging it, Chip has to face the problem mid-season, the worst possible time.

  50. 50 Weapon Y said at 10:59 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    When DeSean dogs it, he is still better than Maclin and Cooper.

  51. 51 P_P_K said at 11:21 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I can’t agree with this.

  52. 52 BobSmith77 said at 11:17 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Then you possibly threaten to suspend him and sit him.

  53. 53 P_P_K said at 11:22 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Sure, but when you’re in the middle of a season this kind of event is a huge distraction

  54. 54 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 12:43 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    You know, like Reid did.

  55. 55 Buge Halls said at 1:52 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    You can’t compare a warehouse environment with a handful of d-bags working there to a “problem” guy in an NFL locker room! Wildly different atmospheres. In most jobs, you can sit down and do your job, or walk to the other side of the office, etc. to avoid the tool. Football is a TEAM sport and everybody on the TEAM has to be doing the same thing at the same time with no arguments or whining (no matter how subtle, it’ll screw the whole thing up!).

  56. 56 Arby1 said at 9:41 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    The risk is whether you think removing the sometimes distraction of DJ in the locker room/practice field/sideline and asserting ‘team first’ principles is worth the loss of production DeSean gives you. Kelly’s saying he’s replacable. We’ll see about that.

  57. 57 eagleyankfan said at 9:48 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    And when you say “he’s replaceable” you’re saying in Chips offense, he’ll find ways to still be successful? Chip isn’t going to try replace DJ(it’s hard to) rather Chip is going to adjust his offense to compensate for the lose of skill at that position.

  58. 58 BobSmith77 said at 11:15 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Exactly. Eagles got nothing for a valuable asset and it won’t in any way help this upcoming season. Don’t understand why people don’t seem to grasp that concept?

    This was a very high performing offense last year but it enjoyed very good health & played a weaker schedule against several poor defensive opponents. If anything, they have nowhere to go but down a bit especially as they are more likely to have some injuries this season.

  59. 59 P_P_K said at 11:28 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I agree with you about the luck we had last year with health and the schedule. I do, however, grasp the concept that we got nothing for a Pro Bowl receiver. This totally sucks, no argument. But Chip and the fo must also understand how much this sucks and what idiots they will look like if the team goes downhill this year, especially in the passing game.
    This couldn’t have been an easy decision by the Eagles brass. I hate that we don’t have DeSean on our roster but I’m reluctant to criticize the decision makers without knowing all the information they have in hand.

  60. 60 BobSmith77 said at 11:31 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    If there was a ‘smoking gun’ I do think the Eagles would have been front and center with it.

    Since there isn’t and the NFLPA might get after them, they have chosen to say nothing of substance about the release and yeah I do think they planted that story with ESP.

    ESP certainly has benefited on Twitter and his followers base has increased by more than 20% since the story was released. Went from a nobody/non-entity covering the team to a guy that has been in the national spotlight & been doing the rounds on local media the last week.

  61. 61 P_P_K said at 11:55 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Yea, I agree with you, I doubt there is a big smoking gun. If there was, the Eagles would have probably leaked it so they wouldn’t be taking so much criticism right now. I’m guessing they weighed the pros and cons, using whatever criteria and info they have, and came down on the side of cutting DeSean loose.
    My point is that this couldn’t have been an easy decision. I would have prefered they kept him and figured out a way to make it work. Now that he’s gone, I’m pondering why that decision makes sense to guys who know more about football and the Eagles roster than I do.
    It will be interesting to revisit this discussion during the season, especially if Jackson signs with the Redskins.

  62. 62 Pennguino said at 12:09 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I am of the belief that there were internal employee issues. DJ the stats side was a good employee. I think they had issues with all the other stuff.

    I think they looked down the road and saw a huge issue that would arise if everything did not fall into place. They chose the path of mitigation by releasing DJ to avoid a potential blow up when they are making a push for the playoffs.

    They chose to continue building a family. They chose to walk away from Drama. They chose piece of mind. That was the reward.

  63. 63 Ben Hert said at 2:50 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    That line of thinking is what causes a problem in the first place. Its not a black or white question. And its not a question that can be answered immediately. Do they have less skill players? Yes. Does not being on the hook for Jackson’s remaining contract help them out in the long term? Yes. Can CK replace DJ production in other ways? Maybe. Its not YES or NO, its multifaceted.

  64. 64 Dasdip said at 9:47 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    How many times do we say, “Once Player A gets back from injury…” only to see Players A, B, and C never return from injury?

    The Eagles have added an aged Darren Sproles. He should be able to replace Jason Avant in catches. However, New Orleans did let him leave for a reason. We should trust Sean Payton (sound familiar) to know what his offense needs to provide points.

    The “addition” of the Benn and the oft injured Maclin in no way should be expected to contribute; they’re bonuses not foundations. I’ll believe their health when I see it. Until then, call me not surprised when Maclin slips and falls in a bath tub.

    For all of the talk of Jackson’s career year (and supposed locker room division), people often forget to mention Cooper’s career year (and locker room division). Prior to last season, Cooper’s career was in peril. Cooper’s performance came in a contract year opposite of DeSean Jackson in the first year of an NFL offense unfamiliar to opposing DCs.

    Brent Celek (age 29) has taken huge hits in his career. He may begin to have wear and tear add up on him. While I am not predicting a drop in performance, I am definitely not predicting a boost.

    The one player I expect to see improve is Zach Ertz. The Kelly system with option routes appears to ask rookies and new additions to learn even more in their first year. Having a full year under the belt should help this young player.

    You do mention that the Eagles have an early round draft pick to devote to receivers, but that’s an early round draft pick that the Eagles could have devoted to adding a pass rusher, complete OLB, or a stud safety that the Eagles will instead have to give to a WR.

    Rookie WRs’ performance is often disappointing when compared to fans’ expectations. For even the “good picks” this is often the case. Tavon Austin, last year’s eighth pick overall, had 40 catches for 418 yards with 4 TDs. That yardage includes an 81 yard play. Dez Bryant (a 24th pick) had 45 catches and 561 yards with 6 TDs in his rookie year. Bryant came into a team in need of a WR with a solid run game and an established TE receiving option.

    The only Eagles receiving option that I trust going into this season is LeSean McCoy.

    Hopefully the Eagles do make a trade involving a receiver; it would save the excuses mid-season of “Foles has nobody to throw it to” if the team traded a mid to late round pick for an established receiving option.

  65. 65 Weapon Y said at 11:00 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Saints were basically in cap hell. I have no clue how they got Jairus Byrd, but they had to give up people to get him. I still think Sproles was a very good (not great) addition.

  66. 66 Ben Hert said at 11:26 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    At the same time, players rarely get credit for returning from an injury. Other than the first game or two of the season, how often does Kelce get credit for having a phenomenal year despite coming off of mid-season ACL surgery? And Peters from his Achilles? Jesus, our entire OL coming back from group visit to the ER in 2012. And they performed admirably. Sure, there are plenty of busts, but there’s every bit as much room to assume that Player A, B, and C will return from injury to have a great year as well.

  67. 67 Mitchell said at 11:28 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    In regards to your first round pick argument. I’m not sure there is an OLB or safety that would be worth pick 22. For instance IF we have Mike Evans sitting at 22 but Pryor is there too, who do you take?

  68. 68 Sb2bowl said at 1:02 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Hard to say– trade back 5 spots and take the one still remaining, all while picking up an additional 3rd rounder?

  69. 69 holeplug said at 1:10 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Whoever has the higher rating

  70. 70 Insomniac said at 1:16 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’d take the first pick and shop it. I got a lot of flak for this last night but I still think we could pry Josh Gordon away from the Browns. He’s worth the trouble.

  71. 71 Mitchell said at 2:50 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Absolutely trade back, but I was responding to this:

    “You do mention that the Eagles have an early round draft pick to devote to receivers, but that’s an early round draft pick that the Eagles could have devoted to adding a pass rusher, complete OLB, or a stud safety that the Eagles will instead have to give to a WR.”

  72. 72 eagleyankfan said at 9:56 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Just a curious question — if DJ and the Eagles(whoever that may be) got along great — would the Eagles have signed Cooper and Sproles? Or were they preparing for the cutting of DJ?

  73. 73 bdbd20 said at 9:57 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Another angle is Chip’s use of McCoy as a receiver. Using Brown/Polk in the backfield with Shady in the slot may be something we see more of this year.

    We keep wanting to get a LaMichael James or D’Anthony Thomas. Shady may be just as elusive in space.

  74. 74 Anders said at 9:58 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I argue there is no more elusive player in space than McCoy

  75. 75 IrishEagle25 said at 10:01 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    He is fantastic in space but if you put him out in the slot he could be covered by a nickle cb, shady with the ball already in his hands i would take all day, but would he consistantly beat them running his route for the ball to get there in the first place?

  76. 76 bdbd20 said at 10:33 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I think it’s a good problem to have. If he’s covered by a CB, throw it behind the LOS and let him use his power.

    If it’s a LB, he should be able to abuse him.

  77. 77 IrishEagle25 said at 10:42 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Yeah I suppose… hit him quickly and let him run..

    Compeltly agree no lb is getting anywhere near him

  78. 78 Scott J said at 10:03 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    It will be interesting to see how much better Ertz is this year. The kid has some serious potential.

  79. 79 Mitchell said at 11:40 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I hope he turns out to be the best TE of his class.

  80. 80 austinfan said at 10:30 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I sometimes wonder if fans and reporters actually watch the games.

    Eagles faced more cover 1 than any other team. Why? Because Chip is a pick your poison guy – I’ll spread the field horizontally, and if you keep your safeties back to take away the deep play (see the AR/MM years) I’ll run the ball down your throat because you can’t cover every gap.

    Think about Oregon, Huff is the fastest starting WR he had in six years, at 4.48, also the shortest at 5’11 but 205 lbs. Chip comes to Philly and puts DeSean on the trading block shortly after he arrives – why? Because in his scheme he doesn’t need a fast WR enough to justify a $12M cap hit. Who were the speed guys at Oregon? The scatbacks, Barner, Thomas and James. Who does Chip trade for? Sproles.

    Now Chip is happy to send DeSean deep against bad pass defenses with soft zones like Oakland and Minnesota last year, and he put up big numbers. But Chip also knows that good CBs can shut down DeSean, especially in the playoffs. As a role player, DeSean’s outside speed is a great option, as a $12M starter, his lack of size limits the offense. The guys who do best against tough pass defenses are the bigger WRs who can make plays when the refs swallow their whistles (see Lewis in the NO game).

    With DeSean gone, Chip can now go into the draft and get “his” kind of WRs, either smooth guys like Maehl or big WR/TE hybrids – guys who can run block, have good hands and catch radius. Why? Because Chip wants the ball out of his QB’s hands in less than 2.5 seconds (he says 1.5 but that’s obviously an exaggeration). That means WRs aren’t going to have time to get downfield, they have to get NFL open and catch accurately thrown balls (consistent accuracy – see how these things work together?).

    Next year he has an additional $12-15M to spend on defense, either extending guys like Thornton and/or adding a FA or two, and his offensive personnel will be a better fit to his scheme.

    Oh yeah, he got rid of a major headache and doesn’t have to worry about the 4 AM call about DeSean getting busted.

  81. 81 Neil said at 10:42 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    You can give a fan a microscope and some cells in culture, but they aren’t gonna be able to tell you where the mitochondria are.

  82. 82 Michael Winter Cho said at 8:26 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    But anyone can spot the endoplasmic reticulae.

  83. 83 BobSmith77 said at 11:11 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    All reasonable but again the cap savings this year was largely irrelevant given the timing of his release.

    Still just don’t understand how the Eagles think releasing Jackson outright improves the team for this year. If Jackson had been a problem again this year & didn’t think he was worth the money, the Eagles could have released him next offseason.

  84. 84 Neil said at 11:15 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I could totally see Chip not wanting him to be a part of the team though. He doesn’t want some guy being the best paid player and basically the opposite of everything he wants as far as character for a whole other season.

    Assuming it’s Chip who wanted to push him out, on which who knows.

  85. 85 Ben Hert said at 11:20 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    If its the problem we were led to believe it was, Chip wanted him out of there ASAP. We have a very young team, and another year with Jackson in the locker room is another year that the younger players fall in line with him. Something akin to the Vick effect. You draft a young player to replace DJ this year, who is he going to learn a lot from? Probably DJ, and from what we know so far, that’s exactly what Chip didn’t want.

  86. 86 Ben Hert said at 11:18 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Its great to add context to the Jackson discussion. Looking back and seeing Jackson’s true effect on our offense is useful for predicting what will happen as we try and fill his spot. Great stuff, as always AF.

  87. 87 Buge Halls said at 1:42 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Some of that $12-15 mill is going to be headed Foles’ way too!

  88. 88 new coach said at 10:47 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Agree on Maclin- obviously the fact that they entertained a multiyear deal says a) they think he is healthy or will be
    b) he fits what Chip wants

    Chip has had a year in the NFL and knows how it works. I’m sure he knows what he needs to be successful as a pro coach. Could be Jackson isn’t the fit he wants. Could be he was a bad seed in the locker room and Chip knows the team needs to be a cohesive unit.

  89. 89 new coach said at 10:55 AM on March 31st, 2014:


  90. 90 new coach said at 11:02 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    one thing that jumps out-

    “Will the Eagles miss Jackson?
    Less than you’d think.”

    he thinks Cincy is the best fir for DeSean

  91. 91 shah8 said at 5:37 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    “With that all said, there were times last year when Jackson was the only player who could seem to get himself open for the Eagles, especially when teams had success jamming Philly’s receivers at the line. Kelly definitely prefers to have bigger receivers who can get around that problem, but one quote of his stands out: “One-on-one coverage is a big deal for us … Anybody we are going to look at at wide receiver from the future here on is what is your ability to get open in single coverage.”

    For whatever problems Jackson posed in the locker room and whatever size he lacks, he was the receiver the Eagles had last year who could beat one-on-one coverage and make plays. The offense helped get him open, but just like LeSean McCoy, Jackson made the most of his opportunities.”

  92. 92 BobSmith77 said at 11:25 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Still think the biggest issue with the offense going into next year isn’t the running game or even the passing game unless Maclin/Cooper go down for a significant stretch. It is the O-line.

    Everyone talked about how Kelly’s training regimen had them feeling rejuvenated but this was a unit that struggled and struggled badly the last few games of the year. They got whopped in the passing/running games vs Minnesota & Dallas and struggled vs New Orleans. Not exactly teams that had dominant DLs last year.

    It is an old unit with a couple of guys who might hit that inevitable ‘wall’ this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if Herremans is largely shot. Really hoping the Eagles would get value and take an OL high who could be plugged into a G spot next year and eventually take over for Peters at LT in the next year or two.

  93. 93 Mitchell said at 11:36 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Wait, we have Lane Johnson for the future LT and Dennis Kelley should enough, as a rookie, to be a RT on this team. We will see in the draft how we feel about our backup OL. We didn’t sign any in FA so maybe that is an endorsement of what we already have.

  94. 94 BobSmith77 said at 11:40 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    That surprised me this offseason and the relative lack of signings in general in FA this year vs last year.

    Kelly was pretty mediocre his rookie year and not sure if he has the ability to be a quality starter.

  95. 95 BobSmith77 said at 11:34 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    This team has several holes yet and they need to nail the draft this year with at least 2 starters who contribute meaningfully this year right away & increase overall organizational depth.

  96. 96 Mitchell said at 11:37 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I think it is becoming apparent that we will be competitive this year but the Superbowl may be a couple years off still.

  97. 97 BobSmith77 said at 11:44 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    That baffles me then and why this offseason has been puzzling in general.

    Last year was the time to evaluate, see what fits, and move ahead forward withe foundation.

    Kelly said the result wasn’t good enough this year and he expected to see progress next year. Means at least winning a playoff game and winning 10+ games again.

    Now the Eagles are seemingly taking a longer view given releasing Jackson and their modest inactivity in FA this offseason.

    Yeah there are some younger players here including Foles and a couple of guys on defense but the key pieces on offense except Ertz and maybe Kelce are all in their primes now.

  98. 98 Mitchell said at 11:45 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    I mean, we’ll see how it goes but this still isn’t Kelly’s team. He is trying to stay competitive while building his own team?

  99. 99 BobSmith77 said at 11:48 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Then why go out of his way to constantly with the day the season ended about improving next year and ‘taking the next step.’ There wasn’t any ambiguity in Kelly’s press conference either that ended the season or what he has said since.

    Sure Kelly doesn’t suffer from a lack of ego but with a fairly high baseline of expectations set (10-6, winning the NFC East, playoff appearance) it seems like he is setting himself and the team to take some real flak this offseason.

  100. 100 D3FB said at 4:33 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    What would he have said though? “Yea we probably will regress to the mean next year, we are totally only going to win like 7 or 8 games”? The best coaches focus on the process and the system, it is possible to see improvements in those areas while simultaneously seeing a short term decrease in win totals.

  101. 101 BobSmith77 said at 11:54 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    The issue too isn’t the NFL isn’t a league anymore where teams build for a 4 or 5-year window.

    I don’t see Kelly as having a long shelf life here one way or the other and him having a willingness or personal patience to wait to Year 4 or Year 5 here of being considered a SB contender.

  102. 102 Mitchell said at 11:59 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    That’s why he is still trying to win now, while building his team. We can be competitive but he is still turning over this roster.

  103. 103 Insomniac said at 1:21 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    This team is going to look a lot different in a few years.

  104. 104 eagleyankfan said at 1:48 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    your comment is on the mark — even if DJ was here, that statement is still true…

  105. 105 Rage114 said at 11:44 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    Something still leads me to believe there is more to this story. A couple of days before he was released, Chip and DJ supposedly had a conversation which prompted DJ to emphatically announce that he isn’t going anywhere. Did that happen? DJ didn’t mention anything about being lied to or back stabbed…which is the reaction I would have expected if Chip really did tell DJ he is staying.
    So the question is did they agree on this course of action? This is fascinating to me because what we “know” doesn’t add up.

  106. 106 Pennguino said at 11:49 AM on March 31st, 2014:

    IT may have been a mutual agreement between DJ and the team to put up a front. They may have informed him they were going to release him but not until the report was released from the NJ Times. Work with us and we will try and trade you over the next couple of days so you can still get your 10+ million this year. No one was willing to touch his current contract so they had to release him. He had to know he wasn’t making that kind of scratch when he does another deal.

  107. 107 Buge Halls said at 1:39 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’m thinking that as soon as Jackson signs with a team, he’ll be a little more talkative. Right now he’s being quite so he can cut as good a deal as possible.

  108. 108 BC1968 said at 12:32 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I don’t know if this is a photo shop or just a mistake, but it’s funny.

  109. 109 Mac said at 1:30 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I believe that article is by none other than “the onion”

  110. 110 BC1968 said at 9:18 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    That explains it.

  111. 111 Andy124 said at 6:08 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    They misspelled fuccup.

  112. 112 Insomniac said at 12:57 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    It’s more of the matter of improving the team and taking the steps to win a Superbowl. Cutting Jackson wasn’t that progressive this year, which is why some people are angry or confused.

    People are giving a bunch of statistics of what Chip did at Oregon but all of that is fluff. What you did in college has little correlation to indicate what you’ll be at the next level. Not to mention that there’s now more time and tape for opponents to study what Chip does. A year in general causes major changes for teams. The Texans/Falcons went from perennial playoff contenders to what the Chiefs were a year ago. Strength of schedule, injuries, and a lot of other variables have played in our favor this year.

    A fair comparison would be the Saints without Sean Payton but the fact that they were already a talented team is parallel to what Chip did with this team. I’m not going to discount that but what the negadelphians want is more assurance and not fodder.

  113. 113 Bert's Bells said at 1:10 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    The Saints/Payton comparison is interesting. Lurie has determined that the NFL is about coaching and there’s no better example than New Orleans. Sean Payton makes them a contender.

    At this point, the information we have on Chip Kelly says that he may be that same kind of difference maker as a coach. By putting up the numbers last year, by going from worst to first he’s shown every indication that his approach to the game works.

    Whether it works over the long haul, whether it takes the team deep into the playoffs -that’s when we’ll see where the comparisons to Payton end.

  114. 114 Insomniac said at 1:13 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    It’s a small sample so far which is why some of us won’t give him the benefit of the doubt yet. Now if Chip can get Billy Davis to replicate what Rob Ryan did for the Saints this season..time to buy all in.

  115. 115 Bert's Bells said at 1:57 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Even if the Eagles have an historically bad defense -like pre-Ryan NOLA -none of us will care if they have a parade down Broad Street.

  116. 116 Buge Halls said at 2:03 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    The worst part about this whole episode is that it affect me personally! I have three Jackson jerseys (home, away, and black)! Dam! At least I have a Maclin and a Westbrooke for throwback!

  117. 117 Tom33 said at 2:13 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    maybe you’ll get lucky and Sanchez will get #10…

  118. 118 GermanEagle said at 2:21 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    At least I have a Maclin and a Westbrooke for throwback!
    You may want to check if this jersey is a fake, mate. 😉

  119. 119 Cafone said at 2:30 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Throwback jerseys with current player names/numbers, or players who played after the jersey existed, always annoy me for some reason.

  120. 120 Cafone said at 2:22 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    If a big part of this whole situation is Chip Kelly’s conviction that he can swap offensive weapons in and out almost interchangeably, what does that mean for Foles next year? Kelly had no trouble swapping QBs at Oregon, and so far he’s had no trouble doing it in the pros with Vick/Foles.

    Will Chip Kelly be convinced that the Eagles need to spend 12-17 million a year on Nick Foles when he can swap in Sanchez or someone else for a few million a year?

  121. 121 peteike said at 3:35 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    No way, I cant imagine he would be that short sighted esp at QB. Hes not that arrogant

  122. 122 P_P_K said at 5:44 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    This will be a deciding year for Foles, at least in terms of what his next contract will look like.

  123. 123 shah8 said at 2:42 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Turning an offense explosive is exactly why you have stars.

    For example, what’s the biggest difference between Knowshon Moreno and Maurice Jones-Drew?

    Plenty of people say you can make do with lesser ingredients. I say, “Well, yeah, that’s what the fox said about them grapes!”

  124. 124 Cafone said at 2:45 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Shah, aren’t you contradicting yourself a bit here? All season long you you downplayed Nick Fole’s success and questioned his abilities. But numbers don’t lie and the numbers he put up had some people thinking he was the second coming of Peyton Manning.

    So, which is it? Can Chip Kelly’s offense succeed with, as you put it, “lesser ingredients”? Or is Nick Foles an incredible prospect and one of the top QBs in the league?

  125. 125 shah8 said at 2:49 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Ah, wait? Was I ever talking about stats? I was talking about explosiveness, and the sort of play that is associated with it. That’s mostly on tape.

    Said it before, much of Foles production is opportunistic. Foles is the opposite of someone like Desean, or Adrian Peterson, or Aaron Rogers. Or Joe Webb for that matter. All of the aforementioned players can do the “All Eyez On Me” and dare everyone to stop them from what they do best. Explosive players tilt the field, determine some of the DC’s choices for them, etc, etc.

  126. 126 Cafone said at 3:05 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Fair enough… But, hypothetically, let’s say that the Eagles offense is better next year without Jackson. Where would that put your opinion? Would you say that Jackson wasn’t one of those “All Eyez On Me” players after all? Would you say that Chip Kelly’s offense doesn’t necessarily need an “All Eyez On Me” player to be successful? Or would you have a different verdict?

  127. 127 shah8 said at 3:13 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    What’s your definition of better? A better offense oftentimes scores less than a bad offense, if you went by touchdowns or yardage out of context, since the circumstances determine what choices the offense makes…

    For example, a better special teams player like Cordorelle Patterson can force Chip Kelly to use his not as good kicker to pooch kick all the time, and give good field position. That doesn’t necessarily mean that special teams get the direct acknowledgement of their superiority in terms of yards gained or TD returns.

  128. 128 Cafone said at 3:18 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I give up.

  129. 129 Mac said at 3:19 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Plenty of folks allowed the benefit of hindsight to criticize the moves of the 2011 off-season. I believe the comparison was made to “fantasy football.”

    Based on these posts I would be willing to bet that was a very disappointing season for you.

  130. 130 Neil said at 3:41 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    My definition of better is Maclin provides a nearly as credible deep threat but is able to do many more things besides that better, so the overall offense is better than it was with Jackson.

    The thing cafone was talking about with Foles though was about results, which obviously were impressive. I think a possible explanation for how Foles could work when you come at it from your angle and not from the angle of stats is that whatever Chip is doing conceptually allows the quarterback to be successful by, using your word, being opportunistic.

    I get the feeling you think that such a possibility is preposterous. A player must be able to physically assert his will to really make an impact. But this isn’t true at QB; Peyton Manning is just opportunistic. The QB is in the unique position of making a ton of extremely important choices on every single play. That means that he can have a huge impact on the game simply by making the optimal choice with a high level of reliability. This is how it’s possible to have a star QB without a special body.

  131. 131 A_T_G said at 4:56 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I think what the question was asking was how YOU will define better? Yards and scoring are out. Explosive plays? 3 and outs? Advanced stats? Wins?

    To borrow a phrase, I have a sneaking suspicion that you have already determined the offense won’t be better and will find a nebulous, unquantifiable reason to support your view that boils down to because you say so in an intellectual, superior-sounding way.

    Any chance we can get you to nail down your criteria for us?

  132. 132 shah8 said at 5:25 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Well, I was kinda arguing from the point that the best offense can score points when they need to. Seattle scored way fewer points and had a 2013 offensive DVOA ranking of seventh, while Philadelphia score way more points and had a ranking of second. However, if you looked at the playoff games with NO being the common opponent…


    You could see that Philly only accomplished one score until deep into the third quarter. While Seattle scored regularly, and the win probability charts reflects that. If you were to look at things on a deeper level, you’d see that Seattle is a far more conservative offense than Philadelphia is, and usually far less inclined or motivated to go for broke than Philadelphia. Moreover, you will find that when they *need* to move the ball, they generally can. Lastly, they faced much more difficult defenses playing well at the time, than Philadelphia did. DVOA is supposed to reflect that, but it’s not perfect.

    You see where I’m trying to go with this? Much of the difference is about the respective defenses, but it’s also about the fact that Russel Wilson is a far better QB than Foles, and if his back is up against the wall and away from Bevell’s preferred strategies, Wilson can make the full palette of standard passes into windows (or otherwise difficult throws), where Foles just holds the ball until someone makes a mistake.

    Same with Desean Jackson vs someone who technically can do the job as a speedster. Going back to old Atlanta days, does anyone remember Tim Dwight? Speedy little white dude? He was pretty good back when, but he never even cracked 700 yards receiving or did 1000 all purpose yards. And he was pretty good! Desean Jackson is far closer to Steve Smith, who pretty much made Delhome’s career (until he got too old to bust coverage just so) just like Randy Moss helped his QBs, than he is like Tim Dwight or some other replacement level-plus receiver.

  133. 133 A_T_G said at 6:25 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    See, I would read that situation as the Eagles offense being better than the Seahawks offense, but the Seahawks defense and special teams being superior to a much larger degree.

    As an aside, if Wilson can make a full palette of throws into tight windows when his back is against the wall, why doesn’t he just do that all the time? Then his back would never be against the wall and he would be a better QB than Foles. Is it a lack of confidence? Poor coaching calls?

  134. 134 shah8 said at 6:31 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Because he’s handing off to the RB all the time, and going ahead and punting the ball if the play isn’t there.

  135. 135 A_T_G said at 7:09 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    But isn’t that the same thing you lambast Foles for doing? Taking what they give you?

    If he could just make the tough throw into the tight window while yelling “all eyes on me,” why does he lean on a running game and great defense? Lazy? How does a player who touches the ball every play, and whom can make plays when he needs them ever find himself in a situation where he needs them? Hubris?

    Or, maybe, the whole “when they need it” is more a function of confirmation bias, selective memory, creating a narrative to match desired conclusion?

  136. 136 shah8 said at 7:24 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    You need to both take what they give *and* make plays and simply take what they won’t give you.

    There was a *lot* of discussion about Russel Wilson’s lowered numbers during the last few games of 2013 and into the postseason. Broadly the answer was that Pete Carrol said so.

    It takes quite a bit more talent and the belief in your talent to do well in the pro leagues. Sure, there are teams that have the QB lean on the defense and running game. Some have even been vaguely successful, like Hasselbeck during the Super Bowl run. However much the refs didn’t help the Seahawks, though, Hasselbeck couldn’t actually make plays when the Steelers could stop the run. Moreover, much like Denver this last year, or Chicago during the year before their run, Hasselbeck’s Seahawks faced not particularly strong teams before reaching the Super Bowl.

    Compare, then, with Eli Manning who did much the same thing! Rely on the defense and running game! However, Manning got to the postseason and won games in more than one year, and he has a pair of rings to show for it. Why is that? Because unlike Hasselbeck, Eli Manning can make the harder throws. He can move around in the pocket and buy time to throw barely catchable balls for that crucial first down. Manning’s advantage compared to Hasselbeck doesn’t show up during the regular season, as Hasselbeck often had a better QB rating, and certainly fewer turnovers. But Manning’s greater genuine passing talent does show up when you’re playing good defenses game in and game out.

    It wasn’t for no reason I expected us to lose what would have been a very winnable game had Vick played against NO.

  137. 137 A_T_G said at 7:46 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    First, you predicting Foles to let us down wasn’t exactly unique to that game. You may remember predictions like, “Tampa Bay is a very poor matchup for Foles, so I’m nervous about a game I think we should win.” But, hey, you are right about 10% of the time.

    But let’s not wonder to far afield. I still don’t think you have answered my question, but instead steered off in a different direction. If the QB can take what he wants, why does he wait until his back is against the wall? Why does he wait until the playoffs? Why do the Seahawks rely on their running game and defense until they finally are forced to allow Wilson to go and make the tough throws into the tight windows?

    He can’t. He doesn’t. That is not what is happening. As a fan, that is what you are seeing, but as a wise man once said, “None of that’s really true. Just because you say it’s so, or wish it to be so doesn’t make it true.

  138. 138 shah8 said at 8:10 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Tampa *had* played well on defense before that game. In review, Foles made a number of his better throws during that game. However, Tampa did not play well at all during the game, and frequently was out of position. That is due to Kelly’s playcalling. Thus, it’s mostly the *any given Sunday* effect. Did we expect Foles to do well or terribly against Minnesota, who had no CBs and no RB at NFL starting grade level for that game? This is part of why I don’t gamble, even when I *know*, that the Vegas Super Bowl line of Denver -3 was wrong. I didn’t totally believe that that the Eagles would lose the game. I wouldn’t have watched it if that were the case. I expected that we would lose the game, mostly because teams that try the Princeton BBall scheme usually get smacked once they hit talent. I also saw how postseason teams played against NO during the regular season, and this strongly influenced me about the prospect for the horizontal aspects of Kelly’s offensive scheme.

    Carrol never took Russel off that conservatism outside of stretches like the end of the second Arizona game. The difference was that Russel can move the chains even when the opposing defense plays well. So when Russel is forced to throw on third down during the Super Bowl, he hit those windows perfectly, and beat competent defensive play. That lead to building up to an 8 and 15 point lead before the game was out of hand. During the season, when Wilson was dealing with a clusterfuck of a game against Tampa they still ran the ball, but he threw a lot more, and got intercepted one more time during the process of tieing the game up. To give a bit of flavor, compare what happens beginning of the third quarter between Wilson at Tampa and Foles at Min (or you could do NO if you like, talking about down multiple scores).

    If you wish to turn my words against me, you’ll have to do better than that. I’ve actually used examples, data, memory, and logical chains. Funny thing, that.

  139. 139 Neil said at 8:30 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    What are we supposed to be looking at in those boxscores exactly?

  140. 140 shah8 said at 8:39 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Wilson completing a number of throws after being down more than two scores with just three incompletions. Foles being a bit more dependent on random long balls.

  141. 141 Neil said at 8:55 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Both scored multiple touchdowns after being down three scores. I have a hard time believing you’re justified in ascribing skill to Wilson’s performance and luck to Foles’. Even if the arch is higher on Foles’ (deeper, further down the field) attempts, he had to anticipate whether that ball would get there or not. It’s funny you picked the game where Nick Foles finally made a bad decision on one of those “random long balls”, which was the only times he was intercepted on one of those attempts in about 10 games.

  142. 142 shah8 said at 9:02 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I chose the game because the point of what was said before was about “backs to the wall”. The interception wasn’t that important to my interpretation. You can easily just substitute the NO game, though that was a 13 point lead before the comeback.

  143. 143 Neil said at 9:06 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Understood. But the interception detail was important to my point that Nick Foles reliably connects on deep passes no matter how the passes look from a scouting perspective, so that’s why I included it.

    On NO, yeah, Nick Foles left the field with a lead. He seems pretty good when the team’s back is to a wall.

  144. 144 shah8 said at 9:13 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Well, the thing was, his comeback effort started with just three minutes and forty-eight seconds left in the third–with two failed possession in the quarter already. When it’s that late, as the win probability chart shows, the chances of winning were very much minimal. Even when Foles got that late lead, win probability was only bumped it up back to a bit above 50-50. There was never really a great chance to win that didn’t involved some unlikely event like a missed field goal.

  145. 145 Neil said at 9:19 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    …Or the defense getting the stop it should have.

    But I’m not insinuating Foles’ performance couldn’t have been a lot better.

  146. 146 shah8 said at 9:22 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Our defense had played waaaaaaaay better than we had any right to expect during this game. Would have been something else if they could have made one more stop.

  147. 147 Neil said at 9:23 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Now that I think about it the KO coverage shot them in the foot.

  148. 148 A_T_G said at 8:39 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    There is no need to turn your words against you, you are talking in circles. They turn against themselves.

    You mentioned common opponents, but you chose NO. Let’s use TB. Foles was excellent, Russell matched Foles yearly total for INTs in a single game. Of course, Wilson could have taken it from the defense whenever he wanted, he just wanted to make things interesting, right? I’d rather have the guy that just doesn’t waste time growing two INTs in the first place.

    But, of course, the NO game was the true indicator, while the TB game was just Any Given Sunday, and Chip’s genius, and…anything except Foles being good. You see what you want to see, which is why you disdain stats so much, they just see what is there.

  149. 149 A_T_G said at 8:41 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Discus cut me off again, I guess that means I said enough. Besides, my question was answered by omission.

  150. 150 Neil said at 8:29 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    In shah’s defense (as much as I can manage), I can see what he sees when Foles throws the ball. It’s different from such as Wilson. Less zip. Practically, this means Wilson can make some throws Foles can’t. However, it’s not a big difference. And I think most of the time Foles is just throwing it as slow as he can without messing up the play to make catching easier. I’ve seen him zip a ball 40 yards downfield to Ertz while rolling out.

  151. 151 Maggie said at 12:58 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    Isn’t this like the chicken and egg thing? Quarterbacks and teams are regularly praised for making a high percentage of 3rd down plays, yet if they were really that good, they would make all 1st or 2nd down plays and rarely get to 3rd down.

  152. 152 Maggie said at 12:54 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    Don’t you think it should be “Nick Foles is an incredible prospect” OR “one of the top QBs in the league.”?

  153. 153 Mac said at 2:46 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    If Chipper’s offense relies on interchangeable parts, does his defense resemble a cotton gin?

  154. 154 Maggie said at 12:52 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    Not yet. There were not many “bolls” separated from receivers or RB’s last year. :~)

  155. 155 Mac said at 11:33 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    I’m glad someone understood the joke! 🙂

  156. 156 izzylangfan said at 3:05 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Yes, it would rankle me if DeSean ever helps the Washington team beat the Eagles. But then it might be more likely that DeSean self destructs leaving Dan Snyder holding a big dead money number against the cap and a season in tatters. For an Eagles fan, the gifts that keep on giving are Snyder and Jerry Jones.

  157. 157 Cafone said at 3:09 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I don’t think that is likely at all. First of all, this whole situation would probably have Jackson more motivated than ever. Secondly, if RGIII is healthy then I think Jackson would fit their style of play perfectly, getting open down field for long gains as RGIII scrambles around trying to make something happen on busted plays.

    Anything said about the Redskins always comes with the “If RGIII is healthy” caveat, but if he is healthy and Jackson goes there, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him have the best year of his career.

  158. 158 P_P_K said at 5:42 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    The combination of RG and DeSean could be dynamite but for the terrible O line that will need to protect their qb.

  159. 159 Mac said at 3:32 PM on March 31st, 2014:


    Hire Mike Vick.
    Won’t touch DeSean Jackson.

    What do you guys think about that?

  160. 160 Maggie said at 12:50 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    I’m not a guy, but have noticed that DeSean’s great good friend and moneybags, Andy R. does not want him now, either. And anyone who says it’s too much money for KC’s front office doesn’t know Andy Reid.

  161. 161 Mac said at 11:33 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    Also true.

  162. 162 barneygoogle said at 4:02 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Very good article on Kelly at Bleeding green nation by Mark Saltveit, who wrote a book on Kelly.
    Don’t feel so bad about him letting DeSean go now.

  163. 163 P_P_K said at 6:29 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I went to BGN and read the article and, yea, it’s a good read. But I come away with mixed feelings. A good college coach is a molder of young men, and Chip sure seems like a guy with a ton of integrity who took that task seriously. At the pro level, though, these guys are adults. Their personalities are, to a large extent, fully formed, although there is ample room for how they integrate and demonstrate their personality with their professional performance.
    There’s no way for me to know, but I sure hope Chip isn’t overly invested in being a mentor to the Eagles players. Everyone needs to put on their big boys clothes and go out and do their jobs, with the emphasis on “job.” If the Eagles got rid of DeSean as a business decision, thinking he wasn’t worth the money or wasn’t their type of employee, I can respect this, even if I disagree. If this turns out to be about a coach’s ego or his inability to work with another grown man, I’ll be floored.
    I always admired Phil Jackson for the way he managed Dennis Rodman. Rodman was a full-court wingnut, but Phil was very simpatico and got Rodman to perform at an extremely high level as part of a team. The result was all those Bulls championships.
    I guess what I am saying is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting character, team-first guys on your roster. This is a fine thing. Just don’t forget that this is the NFL; relating to 27 year-old millionaires requires a different skill set than relating to 19 year-old kids who don’t want to lose their scholarships.

  164. 164 Insomniac said at 6:57 PM on March 31st, 2014:


  165. 165 barneygoogle said at 8:11 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    You make some good points. My view is that DeSean is not fully formed as an adult. He is not married, sulks a lot, still into rebellion and young kids’ pop culture–maybe he really lacks and needs a father figure to guide him.
    When the Eagles gave him that big contract, it should have stipulated he live in the Phila area, see a counsellor on a regular basis, and have an older mentor, like a Troy Vincent type.

  166. 166 Mac said at 11:34 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    100% agree

  167. 167 GermanEagle said at 8:44 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Perfectly put, my friend! My upvote is yours.

  168. 168 Iskar36 said at 4:15 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I would imagine one of the players the Eagles hope to use to replace some of DeSean’s production will be Sproles. When the move happened, I was not a fan of us giving up so much for him. I still think a 5th round pick is a very high cost for a player who has been less and less productive each year. I also think people are are overestimating the impact Chip will have on Sproles production by underestimating Sean Payton as an offensive guru himself. We aren’t exactly taking a player from an offense that did not take advantage of Sproles’ talent and plugging him into ours.

    Having said all that, while I don’t think he is worth the cost, I also don’t think he is worthless, and maybe the reason the Eagles were willing to pay so much is that they were a bit desperate to fill in some of the production that DeSean had. If we are going to accept the premise that the decision to cut ties with DeSean was made awhile ago, seems that this move was a result of that, and was more a necessary move than a luxury move for the FO.

  169. 169 Cafone said at 6:28 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Sproles receiving yardage totals from the last three years are 710, 667, 604. Is his production declining? Yes, but let’s not exaggerate it. His average per target is about the same and the reduced targets probably have a lot to do with the emergence of the best tight end in the league.

    I don’t think it’s as simple as replacing one player’s numbers with another’s, but if you want to look at it that way then, yeah, an average year for Maclin and an average year for Sproles adds up to significantly more than DeSean’s numbers last year.

  170. 170 Insomniac said at 6:35 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    So when his contract is up he’ll be producing Jason Avant numbers?

  171. 171 Cafone said at 6:46 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Sure, if Ertz becomes the next Jimmy Graham (so no)

  172. 172 Insomniac said at 6:59 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’d be glad if he just become the next Jason Witten.

  173. 173 Iskar36 said at 6:47 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I agree it isn’t a simple summation of parts, and I wasn’t trying to imply that. But, my point is he will be relied on to carry some of the load that Jackson was carrying.

    As for the receiving yards, those have stayed reasonably close, but his rushing yards (6.9 to 5.1 to 4.2 ypc) and his return yards (10.1 to 8.0 to 6.9 yard per pr and 27.2 to 26.8 to 21.3 yards per kr, with the additional fact that he only 12 returns last year as a kick returner) have drastically declined. It is clear he is approaching the end of his career and you have to wonder if he can continue to be productive if he is only a threat as a WR and no longer a threat as a runner.

  174. 174 Cafone said at 6:55 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    Well, Jackson’s returns have been declining even further than that…

    But that’s a reasonable point: Is he still a threat as a runner and can he be a threat as a receiver if he’s not longer a threat as a runner? I don’t know…

  175. 175 anon said at 11:06 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I think with sproles we have all of our basis covered at WR going into the draft. We don’t have a speed guy but maybe we don’t need one.

  176. 176 Maggie said at 12:46 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    Sproles may become the premier kick/punt returner that the Eagles want. He is tough and DJax was no longer as effective in that role.

  177. 177 Ark87 said at 6:48 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    If Maclin can consistently be the guy from the Falcon’s game in 2010 when Jackson got clobbered by Dunta Robbinson, we’ll be fine….and we’ll owe him some money at the end of the season…btw if you have access to that game, that’s a good one. Vick was also out due to injury (what!?!?!?!), Jackson got knocked out, and we took it to the eventual 13-3 Falcon’s hard.

  178. 178 Cafone said at 6:57 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    And then Chip will take a pass on signing him and he will go to the Giants setting off Maclipocalypse 2015.

  179. 179 Ark87 said at 7:00 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    HAH, a fellow cynic! This is what the Eagles have made us!

  180. 180 D3Center said at 10:10 PM on March 31st, 2014:

    I’ve said this on here recently but I really don’t think the Eagles will hesitate to sign Maclin provided he plays like Chip wants him to and he’s not looking for some astronomically high pay day

  181. 181 Maggie said at 12:39 AM on April 1st, 2014:

    The Eagles already wanted to sign Maclin for more than 1 year.

  182. 182 greenblood0118 said at 1:41 PM on April 1st, 2014:

    I think Kelly’s approach is smart. No one piece (except QB, as Chip has already stated) is irreplaceable in his offense…so the FO doesn’t have to wring its hands over dolling out high-priced contracts to returning starters to the point where it handicaps itself in the future.

  183. 183 philliesfan136 said at 4:09 PM on April 1st, 2014:

    I posted here yesterday and Tommy Lawlor removed my post. I used NO abuse language. I did however criticize Lawlor for being a apologist for Eagles management. He RARELY, if ever, criticizes the Eagles or questions anything that they do. His ONLY ” inside source ” to the Eagles, is Dave Spadaro …… who is the Philadelphia Eagles ( PAID ) publicist. Roseman gives Spadaro the ( propaganda ) scraps, to feed to Lawlor, then Lawlor REGURGITATES them to the fans on this website. I challenge Mr. Lawlor to have the integrity to LEAVE my post this time. If he is comfortable in his self, and his behavior …… leave my post, and defend your position. If you choose not to defend yourself, at least be man enough to accept the criticism. I am a die hard Eagles fan …… but it is extremely difficult to read, ( all too many ) articles on this site, that couldn’t be more pro ” Team ” and pro ” Management ” if they were written up in the offices @ One Novcare way. Tommy is a smart football guy. Many of his articles on players, positions and scheme, are great. My problem is ( maybe he doesn’t realize it ) I believe that his relationship with the Eagles ( Spadaro ) is effecting his opinion too often. The same thing has happened to Anthony Gargano ( 94.1 WIP ), who has cozied up to Howie Roseman. I was a big fan of Gargano, who is a real, Philly type guy, who championed the views of the fans. Since he started doing the ” Howie Roseman ” show at Chickies and Pete’s for WIP, his stance has softened considerably. Unfortunately, the show has been a back slapping, yuck fest, with ZERO hard hitting questions. To add insult to injury ….. Gargano even had the audacity to take a ( official ) college scouting trip, with Howie Roseman last year. I find it hard to believe that these men can look in the mirror and tell themselves that these relationships have not affected their reporting on the team. These type of relationships bring into question, the integrity of the reporting …… and the reporter ( and / or ) opinion maker. I respect Mr Lawlor as a professional, i’m just suggesting that he be aware of the fine line that must be straddled to be a unbiased and trusted reporter.

  184. 184 Miami_Adam said at 5:46 PM on April 1st, 2014:

    Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    On the real, though, (1) you can’t call someone a shill for management, then say you respect him as a professional; (2) TL just says what he hopes will happen. He didn’t defend Chip, Howie, or anyone; (3) forget it, I already wasted too much time on this trolling comment.