Behind the Mic: Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly became the Eagles’ head football coach in January of 2013.  And, boy, has he shaken things up.

DeSean Jackson is gone; LeSean McCoy is gone; Nick Foles is gone; Michael Vick is gone; and most of the secondary is gone.  Add Trent Cole, Jeremy Maclin, Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis to the “gone” list, and, just this past weekend, Brandon Boykin was let go.

The Eagles were 10-6 in Kelly’s first two years.  They made the playoffs in year one; just missed them in year two.  Not bad, right?  Obviously, it was not good enough for Chip Kelly.  Eleven of last year’s twenty-two starters are gone!  Nine of the eleven were part of the 2013 playoff team.

So, will they be better?

OFFENSE
They will be better at quarterback if Sam Bradford’s knee holds up.  They should be better with both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews sharing running back duties with a sprinkling of Sproles.  They may be equal to last season with this receiving corps and just as good at tight end. The offensive line cannot possibly be better.

DEFENSE
The defensive line is solid.  The exits of Trent Cole and Casey Matthews seem to make the Eagles weaker at linebacker and that is never a good thing.  The Eagles really needed help at cornerback and appear to have acquired that help when they got Byron Maxwell from the Seahawks.  They retained Nolan Carroll and signed four rookies.  Success rests on the improvement of this area over last year.  Malcolm Jenkins returns at free safety, but the strong safety spot does not look particularly strong.

Will they make the NFL playoffs?

For some reason, I have faith in Chip Kelly.  I certainly enjoy his style of football; I respect his confidence in the changes he has made; I like his philosophy of keeping players who love to play football as part of a team.

Eagles’ fans, as we all know, are an impatient bunch (perhaps, much like Kelly himself).  All of Philadelphia is ready for a winning season from at least one of its major pro teams and the city painfully waits for the next championship team.  It will be awhile (make that a LONG while) for the Sixers, Flyers, and the Phillies.  And certainly the expectations rest more heavily upon the Eagles and Chip Kelly to get it done much sooner.  Make no mistake, Kelly knows that and I, for one, think he will excite the Philadelphia masses this year.  I don’t envision a Super Bowl quite yet, but, if at all possible, try to be PATIENT!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME NO-HIT MUSINGS) 

  1. Remember this past Wednesday when Twitter put it out there that the Mets’ Wilmer Flores was traded to the Brewers. Flores got word while he was playing for the Mets and cried in the infield.  He had been in the Mets’ organization since he was 16-years old.  It turns out the internet was wrong.  He remained a Met. Flores capped off the week with a walk-off home run against the Nationals on Friday night.  Watch:

  1. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah won the Haskell Invitational in Oceanport, NJ on Sunday. A record crowd of 60,983 people cheered him on.  Betting on him, however, did not make anyone much money – $2.20 on a $2.00 bet.  It is anticipated that the $5 million Breeder’s Cup Classic will be his final race in October.  Then, it’s on to the breeding life.
  2. For Eagles’ fans who love to read anything bad about the Cowboys comes the story out of training camp that WR Dez Bryant got into a fist fight with CB Tyler Patmon on Sunday. Each one swung at the other and both missed!
  3. Unlike Dez Bryant, UFC Bantamweight champion Rhonda Rousey did not miss her foe on Saturday night. She knocked out the previously undefeated Brazilian Bethe Correia in 34 seconds in Rio de Janeiro.  Her last three fights have lasted a total of 64 seconds!

  1. As I write this, the Mets are tied for first place in the National League East and the Phillies are the hottest team in baseball in the last ten games going 8-2. It must be a very cold day in Hades!
Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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