Philadelphia Eagles or Philadelphia OREagles?


Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Kiko Alonso (50) against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo beats Miami 19 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Free Agency “legal tampering” period has begun and the Philadelphia Eagles were quiet on the first day. The Eagles are linked to multiple players and with the increased cap space, they could come away with a solid group of free agents.

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Part of that cap space comes from the recent/somewhat shocking player for player trade of former Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. When I heard the news I was really confused. Before I saw the details, I thought that this was part of the Eagles ploy to move up to the 1st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to get former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Imagine my shock when I found of that it wasn’t a trade with Tampa Bay, it wasn’t part of a trade to get Marcus Mariota, but it was a trade for former Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso. What is the common denominator here? Oregon players and Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly.

I have heard a lot of chatter about Coach Kelly bringing to many former Oregon players to the Eagles, currently the roster has 9 former players. This has brought up the question of “does Coach Kelly have an Oregon player bias?” My answer is yes, but is that really a bad thing?

My answer is yes, but is that really a bad thing?

I wanted to bring an alternate theory to the fans who believe that Chip Kelly will do anything to land his former players and that will ultimately hurt the team.

Chip Kelly is trying to change the culture of his NFL team. That is no easy task, but if he successfully transitions the mindset of his Philadelphia Eagles, the team will be better for it. Think of it this way: when a college gets a new head football coach, what is the first thing that happens? He starts building the team in his vision.

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Starters might become backups, recruiting needs change, team attitudes change and with a little luck, the team becomes a cohesive unit that the head coach built. Perfect example is what Chip Kelly did at Oregon. He completely changed the culture of the program. He built a team that potential high school players wanted to be on. He ran his program his way and built a powerhouse program as a result.

So what does this mean for the Philadelphia Eagles? Simple, think of it exactly the same. In his first full season as the complete “leader” of the Philadelphia Eagles, Coach Kelly has already made some bold moves. Yes, he does have a lot of former players on the team, but is that a bad thing when trying to turn a football team into your own personal vision?

Eventually, Chip Kelly will have to look elsewhere, he will have no players that he personally recruited at Oregon. Until that happens, why not get players that you know will 100% buy into your scheme, help build the culture that you want, and by most accounts, help the team in major areas of need.

I believe that these players are not only helping the Eagles, they are helping Coach Kelly prove that when everyone buys into his system, good things happen. No egos, team first and winning football. This is the culture that Chip is pushing for.

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I think the ideal situation for Chip is that other players see the success the Philadelphia Eagles are having and they want to jump on board. Much like a high school player that looks at Oregon and thinks, “man, I’d really like to be a part of that team.”

So relax, yes we have 9 former Oregon Ducks on our roster, but most of them are legit players that will make this team better. The Philadelphia Eagles need to prove the culture works before other players buy in and Coach Kelly is making that happen.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles 2015 Mock Draft Series Part 4