Has everyone calmed down yet? Has the emotional rollercoaster that was last week’s Eagles transformation come to a complete stop? Seems like Chip Kelly played a Madden video game with the Eagles. In real life, you never trade a premier running back for an injury risk linebacker. You don’t let your No. 1 wide receiver walk for the second consecutive year. You don’t trade away someone who, just one year ago, was thought of as the next franchise quarterback in Philadelphia. You just don’t do those things…or do you?
As a die-hard fan my emotions were a whirlwind all last week. At first I was irate at the McCoy trade, but as I dug deeper I began to see the logic. In exchange for LeSean McCoy, the Birds got a young stud linebacker, albeit one that could be injury prone. While McCoy is a special talent, the lifespan of a NFL running back is not too long, and McCoy could be getting ready to hit the back nine. Additionally, LeSean never ran the ball the way Kelly expected in his offense. Kelly wants a north-south runner, not an east-west dancer who will try to give up yards to find more room. In the up-tempo run and gun, negative plays are kryptonite.
You may have thought that the moving of McCoy meant freeing up cap space to resign Jeremy Maclin, but you would have been sadly mistaken. Kelly let Maclin walk back to Andy Reid in Kansas City. The final straw was on Tuesday, when it was announced that the Eagles would trade Nick Foles to the Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford. Speculation on draft pick compensation ensued. The city was furious with Kelly later that night, when more details of the trade were released and it appeared that the Eagles got hosed in the deal. When it turned out this wasn’t just a pawn to move up and get Chips’ guy Marcus Mariota, fury turned to bewilderment, with many wondering why the Eagles would want an immobile quarterback with two ACL injuries on his resume.
More controversy unfolded later in the week, as last year’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray (an absolute north-south runner) made it known he wanted to leave the rival Cowboys for the Eagles to play with Bradford, his former University of Oklahoma roommate. Both Murray and Bradford excelled in the spread offense at OU, and, come September, Kelly will certainly try to play off of that.
The past week in Eagles Land was certainly chaotic. Only time will tell if Chip Kelly is some kind of twisted genius or just insane.