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Bird Droppings: Are Eagles Veterans Buying in to Chip Kelly’s System?

Jun 11, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT


Leonard Weaver caused a bit of a stir on Twitter over the past two days by suggesting not everyone on the Eagles roster is on the same page with new head coach Chip Kelly. We won’t go so far as to say it’s a baseless claim, as the former Birds fullback of two seasons would know and presumably have ties to a few players in the locker room. However, Big Weave seemed to be fairly transparent about his sources, hinting that if one person had issues with the way Kelly was running the show – specifically Michael Vick – there must be more.

In other words, there obviously are a bunch of disgruntled veterans at the NovaCare Complex these days because Vick admitted he himself is disgruntled.

Never mind Vick’s frustration is partly with the media over their unrelenting and inane line of questioning about the quarterback competition all spring long – a frustration that is apparently shared by his head coach and main source of competition. Let’s examine the root of Weaver’s argument: dissatisfied vets threaten team unity.

Or something. It’s a ridiculous point in the first place, because as several folks have already responded, the Eagles went 4-12 last season. If anybody from that train wreck isn’t on board the new vessel in time for departure, then let ‘em get left behind.

It also flies in the face of what many players are saying aloud and on the record, and what reporters have been able to observe at practices. By and large the players claim they are buying in to Kelly’s program, while the lone person whose actions have not backed that up so far is Cary Williams. That’s not even an example of somebody showing his displeasure, that’s just a man with a busy social calendar.

Les Bowen made perhaps the most succinct observation of all regarding the notion that some players might not be happy with the changes at the conclusion of one of his recent blog entries:

I think Kelly has great confidence in what he is trying to do, and that players see that, and aren’t resisting anything. Trent Cole is working very hard to become an outside linebacker at age 30. If it’s because he feels he has no alternative, rather than because he thinks it’s a swell idea, I’m not sure that really matters.

This is exactly the same reason why Vick’s comments, which were probably misconstrued anyway, meant so little. It doesn’t matter whether or not he really wants to share reps with Nick Foles, or if he wishes Chip would name a starting quarterback before camp. All that matters is that Vick is there competing, and win or lose, he is doing his job, which up to this point he has.

After all, that’s what this “buying in” stuff really boils down to: guys doing their jobs. Nobody should be worried about whether or not veterans are in their comfort zones. They shouldn’t be comfortable. That’s the whole point of making a coaching change – to shake things up, almost rattle the cages so to speak. If certain players aren’t buying in, it will show on the field, and somewhere down the line they will be replaced by players who want to be on board. It’s all part of the rebuilding process.

To be blunt: if somebody isn’t part of the solution, then they’re part of the problem. And guys have plenty of incentives – jobs, money, careers on the line even – not to rock the boat.

>> Leonard Weaver stirring things up over Twitter [CSN]
>> Riding with the Chipper [Eagletarian]

  1. tim - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Fully agree. If there’s anyone on this roster who doesn’t think changes needed to be made, or isn’t willing to at least get on board with the new coach then GTFO.

  2. willh888 - Jun 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    classic vet mentality. “but we never did it this way.”

    well yeah that’s the theory behind change knucklehead. 4-12.. change that.

  3. krt - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Chip bounced because Oregon is getting penalized…..Eagles wanted the press…….they’ll have a new coach in 3 years.

  4. BenE. - Jun 12, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Naturally, there are going to be a few older players who have reservations about a new coach with a new system. But I think these guys are bright enough to know that it’ll be their asses, not Kelly’s, on the street if they don’t perform.

  5. Lee - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Best article ina LOOONNNGG Time.
    Wow, some actual facts instead of the usual pot stirring and finger pointing by the media.
    No,, I don’t think Vick is a malcontent but just someone who has STILL not learned to deal with the snakes in the media. Desean does come off as a bit cocky but what else do I expect from my #1 wideout.
    All told this is as truthful a piece of writing as I have seem in a while and I enjoy knowing that there is a rational voice in the Philly media,,, Thanks.


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