Is Kelly Putting The Fight Back Into Philly?

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Nov 2, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) is pressured by Houston Texans defensive end

J.J. Watt

(99) during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tough Times In Philadelphia

Well, the first question to ask is where did that fight come from?   The 2013 training camp has the answer: a team coming off a horrific season had a new coach with a lot of new grand ideas: individual nutritional smoothies, new training methods, football training aids, new format, and a head coach who used logic to justify what why where when and how.  If the reasoning was proven invalid, the training changed to accommodate.  The team was ripe for change, and latched onto it as though it was a rubber raft in a stormy sea.  Everyone believed. They believed they had nothing to lose, so they won.

But in 2014, belief was not uniform.  Success can be its own worst enemy.  Suddenly, a young quarterback stopped paying attention to his footwork and the ball spiraled into waiting defenders hands.  Running backs, depleted from injury, became the focus of opposing defenses, forcing the team to pass over and over.  While the Eagles won the battle early in the season, it took its toll.  The passing game made mistakes.   Meanwhile, the offensive line battled through injuries.  Early in the season, the defense and special teams preserved victories.   Finally, when the offense seemed to shape up, the starting quarterback fell to injury, and the defense, suffering its own set of injuries, sprang a leak- falling victim to the deep ball.

When the team needed to be tough the most, they were just “out toughed” by a visiting Seattle Seahawks in Philadelphia.   And from that moment, the hopes for making it into the playoffs faded away.

Now in 2015, the head coach who uttered the words “We Fight!” finally has the authority, the power, the seat, to fill the roster with players that do just that.  Has he?  Murray and Matthews certainly had carried their former teams on their backs to the playoffs in a fashion similar to McCoy in 2013.  Since there are two of them, let’s say yes at the running back spot.

Sam Bradford has been equated to oft injured.  That’s a fact.  Since entering the NFL, he’s had a spectrum of injuries that many players never face in an entire career.   He’s had two ACL injuries already.  But beyond the injury events, can Sam Bradford lead a team to victory consistently?  To get a good reading on that, we would have to go back to college history.  College, as many know, is not the same thing as the NFL.  Players can succeed in college on talent alone.  In the NFL, desire and dedication are the difference.

The fact is that we don’t know what we have in a Chip Kelly offense with Sam Bradford under center.  That itself leaves an awful lot in question.  But I cannot remove my own bias from the equation, a bias that we gave more weight to one half of one season to determine that Nick Foles is NOT the guy for our system.  Mark Sanchez is.  Sam Bradford is.  But Nick Foles is not?    That still has to sink in, but are we tougher at quarterback?   I don’t think we can know that yet.

Next: Defend Our City