The Butterfly Effect: The Spread Offense’s Effect on the Philadelphia Eagles’ Inside Linebackers

Joe Kearns Analysis 3 Comments

What if the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil began a chain reaction that set off a tornado in Texas? This notion raised by MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz has  implications for causation in physics, economics and yes, football. The rise of the spread offense in the 21st century generated a butterfly effect on defenses. Coaches in bastions of the …

The Dawn of the Second Coming: The Oklahomafication of Chip Kelly’s Offense

Joe Kearns Analysis 9 Comments

Judging by the numbers, the Philadelphia Eagles had one of the best NFL offenses last season. They ranked third in scoring, fifth in total yards, sixth in passing yards, and ninth in rushing yards. However, PhillyVoice writer Jimmy Kempski persuasively argues the fast-tempo positively skewed the Eagles’ offensive statistics. Apparently, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly also decided the numbers didn’t add up, …

Old Foes Unite: What Chip Kelly Learned From Facing Nelson Agholor

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When it comes to the NFL Draft, Chip Kelly heeds the advice of Horace Greeley: “Go West, young man.” In Kelly’s three seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, the team has used nine of its 21 draft picks on Pac-12 prospects. For this reason, it was unsurprising that Kelly decided to go west with USC receiver Nelson Agholor in …

A Tale of Two Chip Kelly Quarterbacks: An Analysis of Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota

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Past accolades do not matter to Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. He has never been afraid to find an upgrade at the quarterback position. Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas, Michael Vick, and Nick Foles can attest to this. Though Kelly acquired former Rams starter Sam Bradford and insisted he will not “mortgage our future,” reporters like Tony Pauline and Mike Florio …

Scouting a Duck: What Should NFL Scouts Think of Jake Fisher?

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Although Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy in 2014, it is not a stretch to say the man protecting his blind side saved the Ducks’ playoff hopes. Jake Fisher was not supposed to be Oregon’s left tackle last year. However, an ACL injury to the slated left tackle Tyler Johnstone forced Fisher’s move from right tackle to left, where he had …

Scouting a Duck: What Should NFL Scouts Think of Arik Armstead?

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It was April 6, 2012. The Oregon Ducks football team had finished a spring practice and defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro met with OregonLive reporter Aaron Fentress. Fentress was interested in hearing about a heralded four-star high school recruit and incoming freshman: Arik Armstead. Azzinaro quipped, “Arik who?” It did not take long for Armstead to make a name for …

Jack of All Trades: A Comparison of Connor Barwin and Tyson Coleman

Joe Kearns Analysis 1 Comment

It was March 2013 and new Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had a problem. The 3-4 defensive scheme he brought from Oregon needed a versatile left outside linebacker. In his search, Kelly found the man who would become the centerpiece of his defense: Connor Barwin. Meanwhile, in Eugene, Ore., a safety-turned-linebacker named Tyson Coleman waited for his moment behind veteran Boseko Lokombo. His patience paid off in 2014, and …

Anatomy of a Drive: The Method to Scott Frost’s Play-calling

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When Chip Kelly left Eugene for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013, he left two major voids in the Oregon football program. Kelly had not just been the face of the Ducks, he was also the play-caller for the renowned high-octane spread offense.  As much as head coach Mark Helfrich deserves credit for leading the team to a national championship game in just …

Casey Matthews and the Road to Redemption

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Time heals all wounds. That and good coaching. Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s decision to hire Chip Kelly as his team’s head coach was a blessing for linebacker Casey Matthews, one of Kelly’s former Oregon players who had struggled in limited game day action during his first two NFL seasons. Despite Matthews’s struggles in his early professional career, Kelly had …

Weapon in the Trenches: The Center in Chip Kelly’s Offense

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When people talk about Chip Kelly’s offense, one of the most common buzz words they use is mobility. Although mobility helps running back LeSean McCoy burst through the line of scrimmage or receiver Jeremy Maclin get wide open, it is arguably more important for the offensive linemen who keep defenses out of the backfield. Kelly has been fortunate to have …

Chip Kelly’s Amazing Special Teams

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Fans will not find football players listed on official rosters as gunners, wings or kick return blockers, but Chip Kelly went out of his way to ensure the Philadelphia Eagles have quality players at those positions. Newcomers Chris Maragos, Bryan Braman, Trey Burton and Darren Sproles are just a few of the players behind the transformation of the Eagles’ special teams …

Chip Kelly’s No-Huddle: A Growing Staple for NFL Offenses?

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A pickup basketball game between the football coaches of the University of New Hampshire and Brown University in the 1990s was the first of many meetings between two future NFL head coaches. Then-New Hampshire running backs coach Chip Kelly and a Brown assistant coach named Bill O’Brien exchanged ideas about X’s and O’s on the first of many occasions. O’Brien was …