Chip Kelly Update: Everything’s Good Again …

Mark Saltveit FishWrap, FishWrap Archive, NFL 2 Comments

… or is it? After weeks of despair and dissension, the 4-7 Philadelphia Eagles rallied to stun the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 35-28. Chip Kelly outsmarted coaching legend Bill Belichick in their first head-to-head battle. Sam Bradford returned from injury and outdueled uber-QB Tom Brady, playing efficient, error-free football. Best of all, on Monday night the discarded DeSean …

Chip Kelly Update: Killing the Zombie

Mark Saltveit NFL 1 Comment

All of the NFC East rivalries are bitter, but Philadelphia vs Dallas is probably the worst. These games bring out the best or worst in the Eagles. No game last year was as fun for Eagles fans as the 33-10 demolition of Dallas in front of 20 million viewers on Thanksgiving Day, not even the 27-0 shutout of the disrespectful …

Chip Kelly Update: Bye, Dallas

Mark Saltveit NFL 4 Comments

The Philadelphia Eagles climbed in the NFC East standings this week, gaining half a game on the New York Giants and moving further ahead of the Dallas Cowboys. (Both teams lost.) That’s a bit surprising since the Eagles didn’t play, enjoying their bye week. Apparently, the NFC East is worth less than zero; taking a week off is all you …

Chip Kelly Update: Winning Ugly

Mark Saltveit NFL 4 Comments

Wow, was that some bad football. Let’s not get too negative, however. The Eagles won their second straight game, and amazingly, at 3-3, lead the NFC East division. It’s not even a tie, given the head-to-head tiebreaker with New York, though they’ve lost to two of their three division rivals. Philadelphia’s defense was outstanding after allowing an 80-yard touchdown drive in …

Chip Kelly Update: Winning Is More Fun

Mark Saltveit NFL 0 Comments

The city of Philadelphia was basically on suicide watch after the loss to Dallas, with the only energy wielded by people forming lynch mobs for Chip Kelly. Much of the pessimism was realistic, too. The Eagles’ offense was easily the worst in the NFL, as their three running backs combined for negative yardage against the Cowboys’ decimated defense. Kelly was running …

Chip Kelly Update: Playing Through Injuries

Mark Saltveit FishWrap, FishWrap Archive, NFL 2 Comments

In his first three months as general manager of the Eagles, Chip Kelly machine-gunned a stunning series of roster changes that left many observers saying he was over his head in player personnel decisions. He traded RB LeSean McCoy for LB Kiko Alonso, refused to match Kansas City’s $11 million offer for WR Jeremy Maclin, signed two CBs (Byron Maxwell …

Chip Kelly Update: Injuries Start to Pile Up

Mark Saltveit FishWrap, FishWrap Archive, NFL 4 Comments

Two weeks of training camp are done, and Chip Kelly‘s Eagles play their first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Meanwhile, injuries are starting to accumulate. Kelly plays it safe, with no tackling to the ground at all in the preseason outside of actual games, and the team is making great efforts to handle inevitable injuries with its “reconditioning” …

Chip Kelly Update: Training Camp Madness? Not Really

Mark Saltveit FishWrap, FishWrap Archive 7 Comments

After the long but quiet summer break, the Eagles opened training camp in humid 90-degree Philadelphia weather. News broke that they traded cornerback Brandon Boykin to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a fifth round pick. (If he plays 60% or more of the snaps this year, that changes to a fourth round pick.) Boykin is an excellent nickel corner with long arms …

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 Legend of Kiko Alonso

Henry Swift Men of Oregon: Players and Coaches 3 Comments

Most legends we hear about have one thing in common — they revolve around heroes. These legends also follow the same pattern of having a hero’s story arc. The hero comes in as a savior with a bright and promising future and has a major fall — only to rise again stronger than ever. During his time in Eugene, Kiko Alonso …

Chip Kelly is Walking a Fine Line in the NFL

Caleb Couturie FishWrap, FishWrap Archive 7 Comments

There’s a famous Johnny Cash song, way before my time but great nonetheless, that summarizes Chip Kelly‘s NFL off-season perfectly. Kelly is walking a fine line, and if he slips it could end catastrophically for the former Ducks coach. If he succeeds, he could revolutionize how GMs and coaches approach player management and personnel decisions entirely. Kelly’s off-season began with the higher-ups …

Chip Kelly Update: A Vision Takes Shape

Mark Saltveit FishWrap, FishWrap Archive 9 Comments

In his first two years as an NFL coach, Chip Kelly was a whirlwind of change, challenging the conventional wisdom on everything from players’ food to game tempo to the team schedule (giving his team Monday off after Sunday games instead of the usual Tuesday). And while Kelly’s “college boy” style was mocked at first, much of the NFL has …