Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly Hope 2015 Draft Class can Fix Defensive Shortcomings

Chris Franklin tries to explain Chip Kelly’s plan for the Philadelphia Eagles and reviews their 2015 defensive draft class

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona CardinalsOct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA, (C+P) — Change is inevitable. At least that is what we witness as we grow up and experience it firsthand. What the people of Philadelphia are experiencing right now is a change with the Philadelphia Eagles. Last weekend, the Eagles entered the draft with a new regime making the important decisions when it came to draft picks. Head Coach Chip Kelly, Vice President of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz, and the rest of the personnel and scouting staffs had the task of rebuilding a defense that gave up a big play at inopportune times. They also had to find a way to balance the needs of the defense with the dearth of backup offensive linemen and wide receiver. As the draft played out, and the final selections were made, one thing was sure, the Eagles did a decent job.

Even though Kelly has had back to back 10-win seasons, he does not want to settle for just being good. “We’re not satisfied with 10 wins,” said Kelly. “I don’t think anybody is satisfied with 10 wins. We’ll continue to do what we have to do to make sure that we don’t win just 10 games, we win 11, we win 12, we win 13 and hopefully bring this city what it deserves, and that’s a championship.”

Sep 20, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Devin Funchess (1) is hit by Utah Utes defensive back Eric Rowe (18) in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles 2015 second round draft pick Eric Rowe (18) lays a hit on Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Devin Funchess. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

“It can’t be personnel department against coaches, coaches against personnel. You guys coach, we pick. We’re all on the same side, and all we want at the end of the day is the same goal, is we want to win a championship. This city deserves it, and that’s what we’re going to do, and we’re going to leave no stone unturned until we get that done. That’s what this operation is all about.”

Kelly has ample trust in the young Marynowitz. “When I had an opportunity to go around the country and interview a lot of guys, I always felt like I would interview Ed last because I’d seen everything, and then be able to compare him to, and again, he blew me away from terms of his organization, how detail-oriented he is, how intelligent he is, and kind of his vision about how we can move this thing forward and how we can make it better.”

With three of the six picks on focusing on defense, the team is hopeful that Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd, and Randall Evans wind up being as successful as the 2002 draft class of Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown, and Michael Lewis. From the way that some of the players were reacting after Philadelphia selected them, it sounds as if they are excited to be in the city.

“It feels great.” Stated an excited Rowe. “I feel like they really wanted me. I’m glad it was them because after I left my visit, I was like, ‘Man, I want to go here so bad’ but it’s not like college where I get to pick.”

“I knew that they liked me a lot, and I knew it was a possibility that I could end up landing there,” added JaCorey Shepherd. “I liked the people there when I met with them during my visit. I was hoping the Eagles would actually be one of the teams that had a chance to get me.”

The offseason shuffle in the front office will not stop as more changes are expected. On Monday, reports began to come out that three members of the personnel department (Anthony Patch, Rick Mueller & Brad Obee) had been relieved of their duties with the team.   Although this typically occurs after the draft, it still shows that the department is not where Kelly envisions where it should be at this moment.

In three years, we will have a better feeling on how well the first draft that Chip Kelly had final say panned out. With the many changes that have occurred, Philadelphia and its fans are assured one thing:  The Eagles will continue to be one of the teams that will not be boring to watch, on the field or off.



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