Sports Commentary: “Chip Kelly: Dream Crusher”

BY
MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR


The Eagles traded LeSean McCoy? What is Chip doing?

Sam Bradford? Seriously? He hasn’t played in two years!

Maclin and Cole gone too? Chip is a moron!

Wait…we got DeMarco Murray? Maybe Chip has a plan after all.

Tim Tebow? All hope is lost, being a Philly fan sucks, I’m going to go cry in the fetal position.

No wait, we’re trading to get the No. 2 pick. We’re getting Mariota baby!!! Here comes Roger!

“With the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select…Marcus Mario-toe, Quarterback, Oregon.”

Despite NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell embarrassingly mispronouncing the name of arguably the most talked about player in the draft, the message was clear to Eagles fans.

The Marcus Mariota dream was dead.

After months of speculation, the Eagles’ draft was characterized by Chip Kelly’s shocking decision to do absolutely nothing shocking.

It was just the latest twist in a dizzying offseason for the Eagles.

Kelly took a 10-6 team that barely missed the playoffs—one that needed secondary help and potentially another offensive lineman—and tore it to shreds. Gone are our top quarterback, running back and wide receiver from last year. Replaced by…who exactly? With the exception of Demarco Murray and a promising but inexperienced young draft pick, very little has been done to replace the mass exodus of big name players this offseason.

First, Kelly stunned fans by shipping Harrisburg native and fan favorite LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso (older brother of Delaware grad and Phillies prospect Carlos Alonso) who missed all of last year with an ACL tear. That same day, he released the team’s long time defensive leader Trent Cole.

Shortly after, former Eagles coach Andy Reid snagged Jeremy Maclin from under Chip’s nose. Then there was the deal that sent Nick Foles and his 14-4 record to St. Louis for Sam Bradford, a formerly promising young player whose career has stalled due to crippling knee injuries. Not to mention adding Oregon grad after Oregon grad, with nine including Alonso now on the roster. If it walks like a Duck, and talks like a Duck…it’s probably an Eagle.

Chip’s predisposition extends beyond just Oregon to the Pac-12 as a whole. Since 2013, 50 percent of the Eagles draft picks have come from Pac-12 schools (predominantly USC and Stanford) more than any other team in the league by far.

Oh and who can forget the deal that brought Tim Tebow—the talentless cult favorite who had been out of football for two years—to Philly. The move sparked the reunion of Sanchbow (Mark Sanchez and Tebow) whose previous time together in New York resulted in the well-documented train wreck season during which the Jets finished 6-10.

So the Eagles now have three of the five worst quarterbacks in terms of Total QBR in NFL history (the other two being Chad Henne and Geno Smith). It’s an impressive feat, really. Maybe Chip’s taking a page out of Sam Hinkie’s book? Because surely you have to be trying to compile a group that bad…right?

Analysts have written it off as being part of “Chip’s plan,” but are we just willing ourselves to believe there’s a plan simply because the alternative is so much worse? If all of these eyebrow raising moves aren’t part of some bigger strategy, one that comes together soon, then the Eagles may actually regress in year four of the Kelly Experiment.

Still, there were some bright spots as the team addressed their secondary needs, adding multiple cornerbacks including second-round pick Eric Rowe.

First-round pick Nelson Agholor, also known as “Not Marcus,” will look to compete for a starting spot immediately on a team whose current number one receiver is second year player Jordan Matthews.

So even though the Mariota dream died a quick but painful death last Thursday night, Chip and the Eagles did add some solid players. However, as the roller-coaster ride of an offseason continues, questions remain, especially at quarterback.

There’s been a lot of moving and shaking but has there been any real improvement?

Chip—the innovative genius, the spread offense mastermind, the Eagles savior—has another opportunity to prove that there has been and that there is a method to the madness. If he doesn’t, well let’s just say Philly fans will turn on you quicker than that record-setting Eagles’ offense can get a playoff.

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