Keep It Going, Nick

This ESPN Insider article from Football Outsiders' Scott Kacsmar has nice things to say about Nick Foles, especially noting that even by advanced metrics, his interception-defying skills have been legendary. Plus, add this to that bounce in your step ahead of Saturday's playoff game:

Some simple math can quantify how balanced the Eagles [offense is]. I calculated averages for yards per pass (including sacks) and yards per run and compared them to the league averages, then added the two averages together.

The 2013 Eagles are a balance-adjusted 2.20 yards per play above average, which ranks 18th out of 1,285 teams since 1970. Of the 17 teams ranked ahead of Philadelphia, 12 won at least one playoff game (3-3 in the Super Bowl).

Gotta like those odds.

Last Chance to Pre-Order the Eagles Almanac

I know it's been quiet around these parts as I've been swamped at my real job. Just wanted to mention one last time about the Eagles Almanac. This is the last week you can pre-order the book. We will put the it up for normal sale later in the summer, but only those folks who pre-order can ensure that they get their copy before training camp begins. Plus, there are bonus extras that are only available through a Kickstarter pledge.

Get your order in now!

If You Only Read One Eagles Practice Recap

It should be this one by Sheil Kapadia:

We begin to see the new play-call structure. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur stands on the sideline with a walkie-talkie and calls the play into the quarterback’s helmet. But before each snap, every offensive player looks over to the sideline. An offensive assistant plays the role of third-base coach and runs through a variety of hand signals that relay personnel grouping and formation.

One second, he looks like he’s hula dancing. The next second, he’s a bear that’s clawing at his target. This is the system that Brent Celek said is going to change the league?

Eagles Almanac 2013 Update!

Thanks to all 220 people who have already backed our second annual edition of the Eagles Almanac -- we've reached our fundraising goal already!

But we know many more Eagles fans are still out there who would love the book. There are only 19 days left to jump in and pre-order your copy to ensure that you get it before training camp. And if you've already ordered yours, make sure to tell friends and family who would like it too!

More on Chip Kelly and Versatility

In honor of the Eagles Almanac kickstarter (pre-order your copy now!), Derek Sarley got back in the saddle to write about Chip Kelly, Eagles, Versatility or Something Like That:

When Reid’s offense didn’t work, it was usually for one of two reasons. Either the pressure was overwhelming his offensive line – giving the QB no time to hit those big plays – or the defense was playing sound, “contain-y” football and his guys just couldn’t execute the short/mid-range game consistently enough to sustain drives.

Chip will have his own challenges to solve – number one being that no one’s going to give him a six-man box to whale away at for more than a couple of plays before they change things up. (At the NFL level, every team has enough speed to do more than sit back and hope.)

It’s this realization, I believe, that’s driving Chip’s desire for versatility. He doesn’t need guys who can add “bonus plays” to his regular offense – he needs guys who can force the defense to let him run his regular offense, even when that’s the last thing the defense wants to do.

Great stuff as always.

The Herr-Dawg Prepares to Move Inside

Todd Herremans doesn't seem to mind his presumed move back to guard. From Jordan Raanan:

"They don't spend the fourth overall pick on a kid and not have him come and play tackle," said Herremans, who received a text from general manager Howie Roseman and a phone call from coach Chip Kelly after the pick. "One of the things that has always been big for me is my versatility and being able to play other places. I'm sure they'll probably bump me down to guard and see how everything else works out."

And this quote was buried, but also interesting:

"I was prepared to play tackle, I was prepared to play guard," Herremans said. "I think I can probably steal a few more years at guard, but I still think I have three or four really good years of football left."

See also: The Book of Love According to Herr-Dawg

Chip Stew: What Kelly Needs In The NFL

The latest edition of Chip Stew brings a discussion of the spread offense in the NFL, from ESPN's Ivan Maisel:

"It would take an organizational commitment," [Stanford Coach David] Shaw said. "Everybody from top to bottom, the GM, the owner, the personnel people, need to be on a mission to give that offense what it needs. You can't waver from it. Everybody needs to be on the same page. It can't be, 'Well, let's bring this receiver in.' If he doesn't fit their offense, they can't bring him in. It's so different than [what] most people are used to."

Between free agency and the upcoming draft, this is an important point to keep in mind. The question isn't always "Who is best?" as much as "Who fits best?"