NFLN Says: Is Eagles offense sustainable?
After months of debate about whether Chip Kelly’s Blur offense could work in the NFL, the Eagles showed in one breathtaking game that it can. In the wake of their 33-27 win at Washington, the discussion has shifted:
Yes, it can work for a half, but is Kelly’s system sustainable over the course of a 16-game NFL season?
It’s a three-part question: Can the Eagles maintain the hyperdrive speed throughout a game? Can they do it week in and week out, especially with two games in five days? Can they avoid injuries to key players -- Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy all missed substantial time last year with injuries -- while running so many offensive plays? Kelly, for his part, doubled down on his belief that speed kills. He said Tuesday that his team can play faster, and that future opponents might already be playing catch-up.
"I know our team is in shape," Kelly said. "I know how we train. We're very specific in how we do that. We can keep up what we're doing right now because we've been doing this since April. If you're going to wait until the week before we play to say we need to get some extra sprinting in, it's probably too late."
Can the Eagles keep up the pace? Within the Eagles locker room, no one is 100 percent sure.
"We’ll see when it comes," wide receiver Jason Avant said. "We’ll continue to work hard, continue to live right off the field. A whole bunch of things play into us playing well on Sunday and playing fast. If we consistently do the right things that coach tells us to do, we’ll be fine."
We've put our NFL Nation network of reporters to the test and asked players and coaches their opinions on Kelly's offense. Here's a sampling of what they had to say:
-- Justin Tuck, Giants defensive end
-- James Ihedigbo, Ravens safety
-- Kyle Long, Bears guard who played for Kelly at Oregon
-- Chris Long, Rams defensive end and Kyle’s brother
-- Dion Jordan, Dolphins defensive end who played for Kelly at Oregon
-- Jordy Nelson, Packers wide receiver
-- Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner, on his radio show
-- Desmond Bishop, Vikings linebacker
-- Tom Coughlin, Giants head coach
-- Peyton Manning, Broncos quarterback
-- Cortland Finnegan, Rams cornerback
-- Ryan Clark, Steelers safety
-- Tamba Hali, Chiefs linebacker
-- Arian Foster, Texans running back
-- Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars running back
-- Greg Toler, Colts cornerback
-- Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals defensive back
-- George Wilson, Titans safety
-- Bobby Wagner, Seahawks middle linebacker