Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has raised eyebrows in his limited time in the NFL. From the high-paced offense to flashcards and an army the size of France on the sidelines, Chip is doing things his own unique way. Thus, enter Tuesday afternoon when the Philadelphia Eagles decided to agree in principle to a trade that will send running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Once again, Chip Kelly is doing things his way. Unfortunately, the franchise and the fanbase have absolutely no idea which direction the Eagles are moving in.
Go Joe Bruin
Following the release of wide receiverDeSean Jackson
, much of the argument in favor of the move was directed at an
stating Jackson had gang-ties and was a detriment to the franchise off the field. While I’m not advocating the move, I do call into question the legitimacy of singling out one player due to his extra curricular activities.
Regardless of DeSean’s absence last season, the Eagles offense was still a top five scoring offense. The running game however faltered, due in large part to the fluctuation among the offensive line. It’s not often that you can lose a Pro Bowl receiver and still accomplish the things that Chip Kelly’s offense accomplished last season.
Much has been written, talked, and tweeted about Chip Kelly’s apparent fondness to players deriving from the Pac-12. To that, I find myself asking the more important question, “What kind of football players are they and can they produce on the field?” At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether or not the entire 53 man roster went to the University of Oregon. If they can win football games in the NFL, they are the right players for the job.
That brings us then to LeSean McCoy. McCoy was second all-time in yards from scrimmage for the Philadelphia Eagles. In just six seasons, McCoy amassed 27 more touches than Brian Westbrook did in Philadelphia. Coupled with his exorbitant contract for a running back, it’s not difficult to see that the writing was on the wall. Yes McCoy produced for this franchise, but this isn’t fantasy football and it’s not Madden. McCoy’s best days (and cheapest) as an Eagle are behind him and it’s time to move on.
If your argument against the trade is fondness for McCoy, or a desire to see him succeed in the post-season with the Eagles, logic won’t dissuade you. If uncertainty regarding the health and/or productivity of linebacker Kiko Alonso is your reasoning, surely you’re not alone. And if don’t believe that the remaining two running backs can shoulder the load, I say: Patience is a virtue. There is still a long way before Chip Kelly finalizes this roster.
According to Spotrac, the Philadelphia Eagles have the 5th most cap space heading into free agency. Familiar territory for a franchise that has strung together two consecutive 10 win seasons. But with that cap space, Chip Kelly can target a bevy of free agents on the defensive side of the ball to replace those that have been lost. The Eagles also have the fortuitous luxury of extending contracts for several young players such as defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The key is, we just don’t know what the finished product is going to look like.
Unfortunately anything short of a Lombardi trophy is deemed as a failure in this town. However a champion is not made overnight in the NFL. Just ask Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll who endured two consecutive 7-9 seasons in Seattle prior to reeling off three straight seasons of 11 or more wins. I’m willing to concede a few curveballs because quite frankly, it’s something new, invigorating, and exciting. And “new” is the one thing that has encompassed Chip Kelly’s tenure here in Philadelphia. Whether it’s new players, new schemes, or new approaches to mainstay veterans, Chip knows what he’s doing. Whether or not it works for the betterment of the franchise however is another story entirely.