Tag Archives: Chip kelly

The “Filthy As Ever” Eagles

Remember when Andy Reid coached the Eagles?   The fans in Philadelphia were almost guaranteed a 10 win season.  They even expected playoff success.  Sure, there wasn’t a Super Bowl win during Andy Reid’s reign, but there was a successful and confident stability within the organization.   When Reid was told that his services were no longer needed, Eagles fans were elated with the hiring of then, Oregon Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly.  Chip Kelly never delivered the high flying offense that was promised to Philadelphia but did finish 10-6 in his first two seasons.  The third season is when turmoil grew within the organization under Kelly, and after going 6-9, the Eagles were done with Kelly.

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The off-season found the Eagles dumping any remains of the Kelly era throughout the league.  Ridding the Eagles of players that Kelly signed to the team.  This was an impressive move by the Eagles in terms of cleaning up shop, but it also left them with one of the worse rosters in the NFL.

Now what’s left of the Philadelphia Eagles?  Not much.

The Eagles made a head scratching move in trading up in this year’s draft to take North Dakota State quarterback, Carson Wentz.  It was head scratching because for a team with so many holes in it they gave up a lot.  They gave up three picks in this year’s draft including their first rounder, next year’s first rounder and 2018’s second round pick.

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Let’s consider the potential drama that will unfold in Philadelphia.

Current quarterback Sam Bradford wants out of Philly and although he was just handsomely paid by the Eagles, he feels ‘insulted’ to some degree and wants out.   Bradford got grossly over-paid at the tune of 2 years for $36 million – he is barely average and the Eagles paid him like a franchise guy.  With that price tag many teams in the league are not interested so it should be an interesting stale-mate.  The Eagles want Wentz to sit down for a year and then start the following season, but if this situation with Bradford doesn’t ease up, the Eagles will be throwing the rookie to the wolves.

Wentz might be a kid with potential, but the “right now” says he’s a FCS quarterback who played weak competition and has no idea what the speed of the NFL holds for him.  Add to the fact that his best weapon is a second year receiver in Jordan Matthews; and that he will be guided by a rookie head coach in Doug Pederson (who by the way was the offensive coordinator for none other than Andy Reid).

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The Eagles, if they’re lucky will win four games this season and they can’t even cash in on the one benefit of being terrible – cashing in with an early first round pick, because it was traded away.  Sorry, Carson Wentz – you’re not getting any help, any time soon.

If the Eagles could do it all over again, Andy Reid would’ve stayed in Philly.  All the Eagles did in the last three years is confuse a fan base, lose a culture and make themselves look foolish.  They will once again be at the bottom of the NFC East looking up to the Redskins, Cowboys and even the Giants.

The Philadelphia fans are known to be the most rowdy and insane in the sports world, so it should be interesting to see what kind of revolution happens in the city of brotherly love when the Filadelfia Feebles take the field this year.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Entry One

Every week during the football season, “The Heartthrob” G.W. Gras will be giving out his college and professional football “best bets” against the spread.  The wise guys in Vegas live comfortably – it’s time we all get on their level.

College Football:

Cal -6.5 at Texas

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Going into Texas used to be a scary situation for visiting teams.  The only thing scary there now-a-days is the job security for people atthe university.  Texas has just fired their athletic director Steve Patterson, who’s reign of (not even) two years has been abysmal.  This happens a week after head coach Charlie Strong ripped away the play calling responsibilities from his offensive coordinator.  Charlie Strong is a good coach, but he needs a good four or five years to get things where the boosters want it.  With that being said, Cal has one of the better quarterbacks in the nation in Jared Goff.  Goff is a big quarterback with a strong arm and throws at a completion percentage of seventy-three.  Cal’s defense has held the offenses of Grambling State and San Diego State to scores of 14 and 7 respectively.  Those are both below average offenses and the Texas Longhorns are pretty much that – below average.  The Longhorns defense isn’t much better allowing 494 total yards per game.   Cal might start slow in the hostile environment, but not slow enough to win this game by at least 16 points.

Take Cal at -6.5

Florida -3 at Kentucky

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Some people think Kentucky will make strides this year to be a better team.  Getting off to a 2-0 start is a good look for the Wildcats, but considering the wins come against a team they should beat in Louisiana-Lafayette and a South Carolina Gamecocks team that is in a predictable “down” season, nobody should be planning a parade in Kentucky.  Kentucky’s success comes from running the ball behind Stanley “Boom” Johnson and Jojo Kemp – who average 10 and 7 yards a rush, respectively.  The yards on the ground won’t come as easy against this Florida defense though.  In playing against similar competition as Kentucky has (New Mexico and Eastern Carolina) – the Gators defense has allowed a little over a yard a carry.  Kentucky’s offensive line will get worn down by Florida’s strength and the speed on Florida’s offense will be too much for Kentucky to handle.   Florida sends Kentucky right back down to reality with a win here.

Take Florida -3

 

NFL

New England Patriots at the Buffalo Bills

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Currently this game is a “pick ’em” and that seems about right.    Rex Ryan has at his disposal a defense that has the potential to be as good as his early Jets’ defenses and even some of his vicious Ravens’ defenses.  When Rex was looking for a new job this off-season, I’m sure folks in New England thought they were rid of the perpetual “thorn in their side,” but it didn’t work out that way.   In his last four meetings against the Patriots he came away with a 30-27 over-time win and three loses – all of which were decided by 3, 2 and 1 point differentials.   Considering how bad the Jets were last year, that says something.  Besides the great defense he’s got this year, he has legit weapons on offense as well.  With all that being said, “the Patriots are the Patriots.”  You can never count them out, even with very questionable depth on the defensive side of the ball, Bill Belichick always seems to ‘scheme’ correctly.  It will be chess match, but this is one, where the Bills take the king with the rook.

Take the Bills.

Dallas Cowboys +5 at the Philadelphia Eagles

Both teams had odd week-ones.  It looked like the Cowboys were doing everything in their power to give the Giants opportunities to get the win; while the Eagles had all the momentum late in the game against Atlanta and didn’t continue to ride it.  At the end of it all, the Cowboys won in dazzling theatrical fashion and the Eagles shrugged their shoulders at losing to the Falcons.   Romo is without a doubt, one of the most under appreciated quarterbacks in NFL history and his “haters” are turned up after his Sunday Night Football performance.  The Eagles defense had no answer for Julio Jones on Monday night, but with Dez Bryant out of the game with a broken foot, that should calm down the likes of corner back Byron Maxwell.  In the second half of Monday night’s contest, Sam Bradford looked locked in and the Eagles offense looked as good as advertised.  The Eagles fans will resemble the likes of an ugly riot come game-time and this Cowboys defense at the end of the day, just does not have the talent to keep up with the weapons that will be coming at them at a rapid fire pace.

Take the Eagles -5

 

If you must: Browns +1 – Titans play a better defense and Haden will not look like fool two weeks in a row.  Vegas knows the average Joe, wants to believe Mariota can put up Oregon numbers in the pros.  Watch the struggles this week.

College Football Tease of the Week: Four Gamer;  Cal +5.5, UCLA -5, Arkansas +.5 and Florida +9

Good Luck and wager wisely.

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio

Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Preview

A team that everyone should be eager to see this year is the Philadelphia Eagles.  Chip Kelly is the NFL’s “mad scientist.”  He has let go of and traded players in the organization that have made many scratch their heads but it’s Kelly’s belief in his “system” that doesn’t make him lose any sleep at night.

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Chip Kelly decided to hop off of the optimistic ride that is Nick Foles’ potential and swapped quarterbacks with the St. Louis Rams, bringing the often-injured Sam Bradford to Philly.  Bradford has been in the league for four years – two of those years were cut short due to injury and in the other two full seasons he played – he put up “okay” statistics.  Bradford has never lived up to the billing of being an overall number-one draft pick, but he is definitely serviceable.  More importantly there is something that Kelly sees in Bradford that he obviously doesn’t see in Foles.  Behind Bradford is a “who’s who” of former collegiate heroes in Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Matt Barkely.  Tebow’s versatility may keep him on the roster for the creative Chip Kelly; Sanchez was re-signed to a two year deal after last season and Matt Barkely has looked somewhat impressive in pre-season – expect all four to remain on the roster.

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Chip Kelly found a way to irk the fans of Philadelphia when he traded star running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso.  McCoy and Kelly had a rocky relationship and that led to Shady’s departure but the Eagles went and spent money on two backs to share the load in the backfield.  Last year’s rushing leader DeMarco Murray ran for over 1,800 yards with the Cowboys last season and although he isn’t running behind the best line in football, the drop off to now running behind the Eagles offensive line isn’t that drastic.  He won’t be rode on all the way as he was in Dallas though because the Eagles plan on splitting carries between Murray and former Charger, Ryan Matthews.  Matthews is a good all around running back but he, much like previously mentioned Sam Bradford, has issues staying healthy.

Darren Sproles’ production dropped off a bit last year and most likely won’t be used in traditional running back sets, so expect him to line up at receiver or whatever odd placement along the line of scrimmage Kelly figures out.  Sproles is still a burner with great cutting ability.  The Eagles figure to go young at the wide receiver position with sophomore receiver Jordan Matthews – who last year had over 800 yards and eight touchdown receptions – and first-round rookie Nelson Agholor. Agholor is a quick wide out who you never see just “standing around.”  He reads and works against zone coverage well but can get muscled around at times.  With all the moves being made by Chip Kelly, nobody understands why Riley Cooper is still on this squad, other than he is a good blocking wide out.  Tight end Zach Ertz might just be coming into his own right now as a top five player at his position.

The offensive line is a veteran unit with maybe two more good seasons in them, collectively.  Jason Peters has been one of the better left tackles in the league since his arrival.  The Eagles were not able to keep left guard Evan Mathis, which will hurt them.  Lane Johnson is a former first-round pick for the Eagles in 2013 and was excelling in camp and in pre-season this year.  He has a sprained MCL which shouldn’t keep him from starting week one.

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On the other side of the trenches stands a solid front for a 3-4 defense with Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox.  This Eagles defense gave up less than four yards a carry last season but still gave up twenty-five points a contest which put them in the bottom quarter of the league.

At the present time, Kiko Alonso has yet to make it onto the field as an Eagle and the organization is being quiet about why.  Nobody knows if there is still recovery going on from last year’s ACL or if it’s something different.  Linebacker DeMeco Ryans had a second Achilles injury and there are still questions about him being ready for the season opener as well.  Connor Barwin is still in the mix and had his best season last year with 14.5 sacks.  The play of Brandon Graham last year made it easier for the team to depart with fan-favorite Trent Cole.

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After last season, the Eagles did not want to see their secondary get shredded again, so they went out and spent big bucks on former Seahawk corner back Byron Maxwell.  Maxwell was the lesser known face from the “Legion of Boom” but keep in mind just because Sherman played opposite of him, that does not mean Maxwell was subjected to always covering the oppositions number two receiver.  The Seahawks defense played in a set zone and offenses would usually flip their number one against Maxwell just to find out, it’s not so easy going up against him.  The Eagles have a knack for picking up players with injury history and they did so by acquiring Walter Thurmond.  The Eagles spent a second-round pick on Eric Rowe out of Utah, who is a physical corner who is expected to start at corner this season.

Chip Kelly is really betting on himself and if things don’t go right he’ll find himself coaching in the NCAA again (with all due respect).  The Eagles defense should be much improved but the health of their linebackers will be key as this has the potential to be the best 3-4 attack in the league.

Predicted Record: 10-6

Predicted Pro Bowlers: DeMeco Ryans, Jason Peters, DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, Connor Barwin

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Chip Kelly Gambles On Himself

Chip Kelly exudes confidence.  Or is it arrogance he exudes?  Guess everyone will find out a lot sooner than later.  Besides being head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly also oversees the player personnel department.   The Eagles have shown their faith in what Chip Kelly can do, and now he’s shaping up the roster anyway he seems fit.

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When the news broke of the Eagles trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso it shocked mostly everybody.  Mainly because McCoy is one of the few all purpose and three-down backs in the league, who was without a doubt the biggest weapon in Chip Kelly’s offense.   This wasn’t a bad trade per-say for either side involved: The Eagles got a young stud linebacker on a rookie contract and also relieved a lot of cap room while the Bills, now coached by Rex Ryan, found an upgrade from CJ Spiller in what will be a run dominated offense.  The Bills defense did just fine without Alonso last season and with Rex Ryan there, they’ll be just fine in that department.

What the move says though is that Chip Kelly has more belief in what his offense can do, than the players that are in it.  This should come to no surprise to those who have followed Kelly though. Remember last year, he departed with Desean Jackson as if he was a passing bug.

Acquiring Kiko Alonso might be just the beginning of Kelly’s plan.  Alonso is a former Oregon Duck, who understands the physical demands of which a normal Chip Kelly practice feels like.  Kelly does things differently – where others break down a free agent or rookie prospects squat numbers and broad jumps – Kelly wants to know a players sleeping and eating habits.  He has to know that the player he puts into his system is not only smart enough to understand it, but is in the right physical state to play in it.

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Remember when you were in school and the teacher brought out WIlliam Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar?”  A word that was thrown around during that lesson that you’ll never forget was “hubris” – meaning excessive pride.  This is what led to Caesar’s downfall.  He was so self righteous it made everyone around him sick – and they assassinated him.  Nobody is saying Chip Kelly is going to get stabbed 23 times to his death (“Et tu, Kelce?”) but what his ego might do is lead to his downfall and maybe exile himself from the league.  Extreme?  Not really.  If a head coach is going to take a gamble on himself to this extent, he had better be right.

In terms of this trade, it was smart.  McCoy is entering his seventh season and last year was paid over $7.5 million.  Nobody is arguing whether he deserves the money or not – but the bottom line is, no matter how great one thinks McCoy is – they didn’t make the playoffs. At the end of the day, he wasn’t that big of a difference maker to Kelly, who still has Darren Sproles  and (ah hem) former Oregon Duck Kenjon Barner in his backfield.

If current rumors are true, Chip Kelly has another big deal to broker.  If Chip Kelly wants to get his hands on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, he’ll have to trade up of the draft and most likely give up a considerable ransom for that pick which could be anywhere in the top 6 or 7.  Mariota himself is a gamble in the NFL, but there is no better place for him to be situated than with Chip Kelly if that was to come true.  The timing, language and chemistry would be true from the start.

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If anything, the seemingly brazen arrogance of Chip Kelly is somewhat inspiring.  If you have that much belief in yourself and your abilities there should be no second guessing in the actions you take.  The city of Philadelphia are putting blind faith into Chip Kelly who seems more like a mad scientist than a football coach.  Or better yet, a super villain who has Metropolis nervous with his every move.   For Chip Kelly’s sake, he’d better be right because we are talking about Philadelphia here. . . a scene similar to that of Julius Caesar may not be too far off if Kelly sinks this team into the abyss because of his own selfish pride. 

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio