Michael Vick excited about Chip Kelly; thinks he can rush for 1,000 yards

Michael Vick recently restructured his contract with the Philadelphia Eagles to make it more cap-friendly, and early indications are that he will have yet another chance to resurrect his career now that Chip Kelly is running the show. As we know, Kelly’s spread offense at Oregon relied on having a mobile quarterback. If he is looking to recreate that approach at the NFL level, Vick could be a valuable asset in Philly.

How valuable? In an appearance on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on Tuesday, Vick said he will be looking to regain his status as one of the “elite” quarterbacks in the league when the 2013 season begins. And he’s setting his sights high.

“In 2006, I ran for 1,000 yards — and it wasn’t hard,” Vick said, via Pro Football Talk. “I feel like I still can do that … Once you start trying not to get hurt, that’s when you get hurt. I think I have to go out, play lights-out football, and not worry about getting hurt.”

Health will obviously be the biggest concern, as usual. Kelly insists that Vick and second-year quarterback Nick Foles will have an open competition for the starting job during training camp, but Vick is owed a base salary of $7 million in 2013 with his new deal. That’s the type of money a starter earns — not a backup. Assuming he does win the job, Vick feels as though he and Kelly will be effective together.

“I could tell that he was innovative, and that’s what it’s all about in this league,” Vick said of Kelly. “You have to be able to change up from week to week and I think Chip will be able to do that. I think I can handle that.”

The question is can his body handle it. That 2006 season with the Atlanta Falcons that Vick referenced is the only time in his career he has played in all 16 games. However, you could argue that Kelly’s run-and-gun offense will help protect Vick from taking some of the hits he took last year while standing in the pocket. Spread offenses can mask poor offensive line play and leave quarterbacks less susceptible to big hits. The prospect of Kelly and Vick paired together is exciting, even if history isn’t on Vick’s side.

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Eagles C Jason Kelce: We thought Michael Vick was done until Chip Kelly hiring

With Chip Kelly having agreed to become the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday, one of the questions on everyone’s mind is what his hiring will mean for the future of Michael Vick. Before Kelly’s arrival, it was widely assumed that Vick had played his last game in Philadelphia. The Eagles can release Vick prior to Feb. 6 without having to pay him any money, but has he become a valuable piece of Kelly’s future plan?

According to Eagles center Jason Kelce, most people on the team thought Vick would be gone before Kelly was hired. Now, they aren’t so sure.

“That is the first thing that popped into my mind because I think, obviously, the outlook after the season was everybody thought Mike would kind of be out of here,” Kelce told Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo on ESPN Radio. “But yeah, you look at Oregon’s offense and obviously Mike kind of fits that mold a little bit. Now, whether we run the exact same offense that they run at Oregon, that’s still up for debate. I mean, he said already, I guess, that the offense that he runs will be dictated based upon the personnel that he has. So I guess we’ll find that out in a few more months.”

Kelly’s offense at Oregon was fast. Say what you will about Vick and his inability to stay healthy or throw the ball with accuracy on a consistent basis, but he certainly has the gift of speed. If Kelly can somehow incorporate Vick into his spread offense without making him susceptible to the types of hits that shortened his season last year, he could make Philly’s offense a dangerous new weapon. As we know, all of that will be much easier said than done.

Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for transcribing the interview
Photo credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Chip Kelly reportedly headed to Eagles

On third thought, Chip Kelly will reportedly become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles after all. In another surprising turn of events from what has been an offseason filled with a whirlwind of changing information, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Wednesday that Kelly and the Eagles have reached an agreement. Oregon University confirmed the news on Twitter.

A little over a week ago, several reports surfaced that indicated Kelly had decided to stay at Oregon after interviewing with the Eagles and the Cleveland Browns. That news came just days after NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that Kelly was “very close” to a deal with the Browns.

Even before the Eagles officially fired Andy Reid, Philadelphia was fully expected to heavily pursue Kelly to become its next head coach. They were clearly persistent, and it’s possible that Chip changed his mind about coaching in the NFL over the past several days or the Eagles’ brass presented him with a better offer. As Around the League pointed out, a tweet sent out by Nico Fallah, an Oregon recruit who has since committed to USC, indicated that Kelly was still actively recruiting earlier this week.

I’ll be anxious to see how Kelly reacts to life in the NFL. Chip is 46-7 in his four years as the head coach at Oregon, and he has turned the program into a national powerhouse with a spread offense that is built around speed. As we know, players on the defensive side of the ball are much faster in the NFL than they are at the college level. They’re also a lot smarter. If Kelly tries to bring Oregon’s offense to the NFL, I’m not convinced he’ll have much success with it.

Michael Vick upset with Eagles players for not working hard enough

Michael Vick is disappointed that the Philadelphia Eagles’ poor 4-12 season cost head coach Andy Reid his job, and he’s particularly upset with numerous teammates who he felt did not give a strong enough effort this season.

Though Vick did not call out specific individuals, he indicated there was an attitude problem throughout the team’s locker room.

“It’s all about focus, dedication and commitment,” Vick said Monday, per CSN Philly. “Until you get guys who are willing to better themselves week in and week out and want to win, you’re not going to win. And I haven’t played with guys like that. It’s unfortunate for coach thing turned out the way they are. It could have been a lot better. This locker room could have dictated that.”

Vick agreed with a reporter who asked if the lack of effort from his teammates “pisses him off.” Vick also agreed with LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin, who both said they felt like some of the new faces failed to “buy in” to the team.

“Guys have to start to understand: You can’t do it your way,” Vick continued. “You have to follow the leader. If you don’t then we end up in the situation we are in now, losing the head coach, a man that we love and have a great deal of respect for. A man that I played hard for. I gave him 100 percent. At least I can feel good about that. And there are guys in here that gave it their all. But you need consistent effort from every guy in this locker room.”

Vick said he tried to lead by example, but he admits he probably should have tried to be more vocal about the issue.

The Eagles disappointed for the second season in a row. If many players weren’t buying in to the system, then it probably was time to fire Andy Reid. Vick certainly didn’t help out his coach’s plight with his below-average performance throughout the season.

Photo credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Chip Kelly reportedly will be pursued by Eagles

Chip Kelly is expected to be one of the hottest head coaching candidates after the NFL regular season ends, and reports say the Philadelphia Eagles will be one of the most prominent teams to target him.

CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora says the Eagles will likely make a “heavy push” to get the Oregon coach. Current Eagles coach Andy Reid is expected to be let go after Philly’s disappointing season.

Kelly was pursued by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and reportedly accepted the job before being persuaded to return to Oregon. He has gone 45-7 over four seasons as Oregon’s head coach since replacing Mike Bellotti. His Ducks are getting prepared for their Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl game against Kansas State.

There are a few reasons Kelly might consider leaving Oregon for the NFL.

Oregon reportedly is facing potential sanctions from the NCAA and may have to appear in front of the committee on infractions in the spring. Knowing penalties are coming, Kelly could skip out the way Pete Carroll left USC for Seattle. Additionally, Kelly has been so successful running the Ducks program, he may want to see whether he can enjoy similar success at football’s highest level. Kelly has exclusively coached at the collegiate level during his career.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer also reports that the Carolina Panthers likely would have interest in Kelly if they fire second-year head coach Ron Rivera. Chip Kelly calling plays for Cam Newton? Now that would be spectacular.

Philadelphia Eagles called for ‘disconcerting signals’ penalty

nfl-referee-unsportsmanlike-conductStop me if you’ve ever heard this one before: the Philadelphia Eagles were flagged on Thursday night for a “disconcerting signals” penalty.

The penalty came when the Eagles apparently mimicked the Bengals’ snap count as Cincinnati was preparing for a field goal attempt during the fourth quarter of their 34-13 win.

Disconcerting signals is just a fancy term for the defense trying to replicate the offense’s calls by mimicking the quarterback’s cadences. The penalty falls under the category of unsportsmanlike conduct, and results in 15 yards.

It is defined as “words designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap,” in Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 of the NFL rule book, per the Tampa Bay Times.

The Colts were penalized for “disconcerting signals” in 2010, and the Buccaneers were hit with it earlier this season against the Saints. Anti-Cowboys fans will love this too: Dallas complained about the Redskins doing it last year.

Eagles fans probably found the penalty quite fitting; the team’s entire 4-10 season has been disconcerting.

Video via @cjzero

Jason Babin says he laughed when Andy Reid told him he had been released

In a somewhat shocking move on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles released defensive end Jason Babin. Last season, Babin was the anchor of the Eagles defense when he recorded a career-high 18 sacks. He had only 5.5 sacks this year prior to his release and was one of the more highly-paid players on a defense that has completely lost its identity.

Like most of us, Babin was surprised to learn he had been cut. However, he said he took it quite well when Andy Reid called to give him the bad (good?) news.

“One, any time you see Andy Reid come across your caller ID, you know [laughs] it’s probably not a good thing,” he told Jonathan Coachman on ESPN Radio, via The 700 Level. “But two, [laughs] all I could do was was — almost — I laughed. I was like [while laughing], ‘Alright, coach. if that’s what what you gotta do.’ It was just — I don’t know — caught me off guard.”

Some people tend to laugh when they’re nervous or angry, but Philadelphia is 3-8 and has lost seven straight games. Babin should have little trouble finding work coming off an 18-sack season, so part of him is probably relieved that he no longer has to look at fans with bags over their heads or listen to them chant nasty things at the players and coaches. Being granted freedom from those burdens may be worth temporary unemployment.