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Kelly Taking The Right Approach

Posted Feb 22, 2013

The questions come at head coach Chip Kelly with a purpose: "What is going to happen, Coach ..."

Chip Kelly has been the head coach here for, what, five weeks and change? He's had just enough time to have a word -- mostly on the telephone -- with his current roster, comb the country for the right men to join his coaching staff and watch as much of the 2011 Eagles season as possible.

There have been a few times when Kelly has emerged from the heavy workload to meet the media, and those sessions have been entertaining, if not necessarily informative. We ask questions to get answers and, understandably, there are not many answers to give right now.

For example, when Kelly sat down on Thursday on the set of the NFL Network, the conversation naturally to the quarterback position. Kelly was asked, of course, how he thought the position would "work out" for the season ahead.

"I don't know," said Kelly.

He's right, right? How does anyone know what is going to happen in the future? The truth is, as frustrating as it may be for the fans and for the media, there isn't much Kelly can say right now that has an impact. He hasn't seen his players on the field. He hasn't coached a single practice. He hasn't been down this path in his professional career.

So Kelly is taking the right approach with his non-committal answers. He's promised nothing more than competition and hard work for the Eagles. Kelly brings with him an exciting and successful past from his seasons at Oregon, but that guarantees nothing at this level and Kelly understands the challenges in the NFL.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us speculating about what might happen and it requires us to wait until free agency opens on March 12 to see in greater depth the team's off-season plans.

The ask here, then, is for more patience. I'm right there with you, wondering what the Eagles are going to do to get back into the mix in the NFC East. There are a lot of pieces to like here, but there is no denying that the roster needs to be improved.

How do the Eagles make that happen? I, like you, am waiting with vigorous, excitable, patience.

NEWS, NOTES AND A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND THAT

  • No surprise that the team is reportedly talking about a restructured contract with cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. How that works out, I don't know. But we all understand the picture at cornerback: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and the Eagles have not revealed any plans to retain him. It could happen, certainly, but a deal would have to come into place very quickly. Asomugha's contract is prohibitive, so maybe the two sides can come to terms on something that is more palatable. It is possible, however, that the Eagles could go into free agency without their two starting cornerbacks and, even though both players struggled in 2012, that would leave a pair of gaping holes to fill.
  • I remember seeing George Wilson when the Eagles played at Buffalo in October, 2011. Wilson was remarkable that day on the field with 11 solo tackles, 3 passes defensed and an interception. He was the best defensive player on the field. It was interesting to see, then, that Buffalo released him following the 2012 season. The Eagles did not, apparently, show any interest in the 32-year-old Wilson, who signed with Tennessee on Friday. Remarkable how it all changes so quickly for players ...
  • Combine prediction: West Virginia's Geno Smith will have his stock rise after he throws on Sunday and you will hear all kinds of chatter about Smith going No. 1 to Kansas City or No. 4 to the Eagles. He's a highly talented player who has great touch, accuracy and arm strength.
  • The Eagles have a fine, fine opportunity to make their offensive line whole if they choose to add a top talent in free agency or the draft. All of a sudden, there's a wealth of talent for the offensive line. Boy, if the Eagles can make the line great -- good is just not good enough -- this offense can be truly outstanding in 2013.
  • Haven't talked at all about the punter position since the 2012 season ended. How did Mat McBriar punt? He wasn't bad at all and his numbers were decent, and in theory McBriar should be all the way back physically from his foot injury. If McBriar gets back to the form he was in when he played with Dallas and was a Pro Bowl punter, the Eagles could have a weapon there for coordinator Dave Fipp.
  • I love the mystery of what the Eagles are going to run on defense. A 4-3 or a 3-4? Or does it really matter? Will the Eagles change their fronts based on personnel and opponent? Can they really be that flexible after a few years of having so much trouble establishing an identity? The Eagles going to add to the defense in this offseason, no doubt about that. Can they fix the defense in the span of a single offseason?

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