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Eagles stun Redskins in season opener: The Morning After

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Good morning campers and welcome back to another season of Philadelphia Eagles’ football and The Morning After!

 

And welcome, of course, to the Chip Kelly era.

 

If nothing else, we Eagles’ fans had grown exceedingly tired of the Andy Reid song and dance. So changes were long overdue and welcomed far and wide by Birds’ fans across the land.

 

I have been asked by many over the past few months for my thoughts on this upcoming season. There is one word I have been using to describe the 2013-14 Philadelphia Eagles and the Chip Kelly era and it is a word not often associated with Eagles’ fans and most assuredly is not a word used to describe yours truly:

 

Patience.steve olenski

 

Believe it or not and like it or not, the Eagles are rebuilding and very much in a transitional phase. Rome was surely not built in a day and neither will the Philadelphia Eagles under Chip Kelly.

 

There are so many changes one can make in one offseason.

 

What I want to see and quite frankly expect to see during the season is progress; continual progress. I want to see the Eagles improve as the season plays out and heading into next season.

 

I realize many of you out there are not “practitioners of patience” as witnessed by the predictions of 11-5 and 10-6 records among many of you, but we all must somehow find our collective patience and give Chip a chance; a fair chance to succeed or fail.

 

Remember, we gave Andy Reid 14 years.

 

I think the least we can do is give Chip Kelly at least one or two, don’t you?

 

Ok, I am back to my normal perch, directly to the left of the greatest financial mind since James Cash Penney, the immortal MQ – so let’s get to getting…

 

 

FOR OPENERS…

 

Didn’t take long to a discernible difference between Chip Kelly and Andy Reid. Faced with a 4th and short deep in Redskins’ territory, Chip wasted no time in deciding to go for and eventually getting the first down.

 

Under Big Red, we would have seen a timeout called followed more than likely a field goal attempt.

 

Whether it was successful it or not, it was a great call and I happen to love the aggressive play-calling.

 

Of course a few plays later, we witnessed a very bizarre play in which the Skins returned a backwards pass/fumble recovery for a TD for the game’s first score.

 

 

PUT THE REMOTE DOWN…

 

Remember the good old days when you could quick change the channel in between plays? Well, when the Eagles are on offense this year, you will want to put the remote down- for there will be NO time to check what’s on Lifetime or the E! channel.

 

Change the channel at your own peril.

 

 

PING PONG

Watching a commercial for Grand Theft Auto 78 or whatever number it is, I remarked to MQ I miss the old days when a video game was comprised of two vertical bars on either side of a screen and your job was to “pong” it back to your opponent.


Or something like that.

 

 

 

LET’S JUST MAKE THIS A FULL BLOWN SECTION…

 

How ‘bout I just collect all the ways Chip Kelly’s Eagles are different than Andy Reid’s Eagles? At least after one game, anyway.

 

*The aforementioned going for it fourth down (which in it of itself is something Reid would do). But the big difference lies the speed in which Kelly made the decision.

 

*The Eagles’ defense had two turnovers in the first two Redskins’ possessions. Say that one again- just so it sinks in.

 

*Oh yeah, they had a safety on the Skins’ third possession. Where have you gone, Juan Castillo? 

 

*Not sure of the exact count, but how many consecutive running plays did the Eagles run on any given series? Yeah exactly, a lot more than they ever did under Big Red?

 

 

LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE…

 

 This year, the NFL has promised to crack down on players faking injuries as a means to slow down the opposing team’s momentum. This is especially relevant for Eagles’ fans, as their frenetically-paced offense will surely cause opposing defenses to look for ways to slow them down.

 

All this sounds great, but the obvious question is how will the officials be able to tell if a player is indeed faking an injury?

 

How will they know for certain whether a player is indeed actually hurt or merely feigning malaise?

 

Will they throw a flag if they deem a player to be fabricating and announce to the crowd “Liar, liar pants on fire, defense, number 78?”

 

 

HAVE A SEAT, SON…

 

What a great move by Chip Kelly in the second quarter taking DeSean Jackson out of the game. It was immediately following a dust up Jackson had with the Skins’ DeAngelo Hall following a late hit by Hall on Jackson.

 

Clearly, DeSean was emotional and close to committing a penalty himself.

 

And wisely, Kelly pulled him for the simple reason to calm him down.

 

Just a great, great move by Kelly- who, oh by the way, was coaching his first regular season game – just in case you forgot.

 

Come to think of it, this too could be another example of how Kelly is different than Reid. For Big Red would have never taken DeSean out of the game for the simple reason being he would not have been astute enough in the first place.

 

 

SOUNDS OF THE SEVENTIES…Dick Clark photo: pull-up8.katinia.com

 

The name of the Eagles punter is Donnie Jones, and I don’t know about you but his name just sounds like someone who was a pop star in the seventies

 

Can’t you just imagine Dick Clark announcing Rate-A-Record on American Bandstand this way?

 

“This next guy is on a roll. He had a smash hit with Coffin Corner and here he is with his latest single, Punt Me Amadeus.

 

Come to think of it, didn’t LeSean McCoy do The Hustle in the seventies? Oh wait, that was Van McCoy. Never mind.

 

 

 

AVANT GARDE…

 

Let me just say I love Jason Avant. He has the best hands on the Eagles and has for many years.

 

But it is now two straight years that he has fumbled in a very crucial situation.

 

He atoned himself very nicely however, by picking up a key first down late in the 4Q.

 

 

DID YOU NOTICE?

 

*The Eagles ran a play with only three offensive linemen, two guards and a center? They split the tackles out wide as if they were going out for a pass.

 

*Jon Gruden say that Eagles DB Bradley Fletcher used to play for the Los Angeles Rams instead of the LA Rams?

 

*Eagles rookie DB Jordan Poyer is, what’s the word? Terrible. Ok, only one game. But Lord almighty, this kid had a rough nite.

 

*In addition to the aforementioned DeSean Jackson losing his cool, Eagles TE Brent Celek did as well, drawing an unsportsman-like conduct penalty?

 

*Cary Williams pretty much walked the walk after talking the talk all during training camp and the pre-season?

 

 

THE BOTTOM LINE…

 

Why am I reminded of A Tale of Two Cities watching this game? Oh yeah, because in the first half it was the best of times and in the second half it was clearly the worst.

 

For everything the Eagles did right on both sides of the ball in the first half, they did essentially the opposite in the second half. By the way, have I told you how much I abhor the prevent defense?

 

I realize I am on record as one preaching patience for this entire season, but I surely did not expect to see the Birds start so fast and with the Redskins starting so poorly.

 

Point being, I went into the game expecting the Eagles to stay close to the Skins; to be competitive at best, but I surely did not see this coming and neither did any of you. No you didn’t, so don’t even try it.

 

Win or not, there is plenty to learn from this game (with the defense being at or near the top of the list). Their secondary (save for Cary Williams) was exposed in a very large way in the second half.

 

Obviously, teams are going to learn to adjust to the Eagles during the year- just as the Skins did during the game itself.

 

It will be interesting to see how Chip Kelly and staff adjust to teams adjusting to them.

 

Tell me what you think.

 

Leave a comment or tweet me @steveolenski.

 

Bring some fire in the belly though.

 

You want to disagree? Fine.

 

But bring something to the table.

 

‘Til next time.

 

As always, time’s yours…. Food’s mine.


  

 

Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com 

 

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Dick Clark photo: pull-up8.katinia.com