Posts Tagged ‘DeMarco Murray’

Why Chip Failed

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

by Gus Griffin





(Image via

(Image via

The simple truth is that Chip Kelly never had the talent to win big in Philadelphia.

The more nuanced answer is that the Chip Kelly the talent evaluator was the primary reason he lost the very sort of talent that might have helped him avoid his fate.

Say what you want about DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, they were both proven difference makers when Kelly committed the almost always fatal sin that befalls many coaches of thinking that his system mattered more than players.

A system/scheme is the platform through which players can shine.  It is no more the performer than a stage or theater is for a play.

I suppose coaches should be expected to fall for this line of thinking that they matter more than they do, especially in football where I contend they matter most.  After all, when your job is largely performed in a fishbowl and every decision is dissected and second guessed, you had better at least be able to give the appearance that you are sure of yourself…..even if you are not.

Simply put, players are most responsible for winning and winning elevates a system.  Case in point: what we know today as the West Coast offense began long before Bill Walsh got to San Francisco.  The Bengals, with Walsh as QB coach and Vikings used the same system throughout the 70’s.  But the Bengals were an occasional playoff team and the Vikings lost 4 Super Bowls, so they were not credited by popular casual observers.  The same is true in other sports.  The Triangle Offense can be traced to that L.A. college basketball juggernaut….USC in the 1940’s.  Nobody cared until it was the staple of Michael Jordan’s offense in Chicago.

Players matter more.  Bill Belichick’s record without Tom Brady is 47-52.  George Seifert after Young and Rice was 16-32.

Any coach who deludes himself to think otherwise has written his own epitaph.

Oh we love and welcome innovation.  Helps a short attention span society stay engaged.  That’s the exciting part.  But like the sheep that breaks away from the herd, your success and failure will show more brightly.

If you are right, you’re a genius and can peacock your way forward.  If you’re wrong, you are a wounded wildebeest for prey and will be fired!

Don’t believe me, ask Chip Kelly.


Gus Griffin for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles can’t hang on in loss to Dallas Cowboys

Monday, December 15th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






The Dallas Cowboys got out to a quick 21-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles, a nightmare beginning to the rematch of the NFC East rivals. The 24 unanswered points then scored by the Birds in the second and third quarters were a rousing flash of the team we saw on Thanksgiving Day. Then came the final collapse, where Philadelphia ultimately fell 38-27 to Dallas at the Linc.

We waited for Tony Romo to be Tony Romo in December, but it didn’t happen. Instead, he finished the game 22/31 for 265 yards and 3 TDs. No interceptions. Boo.

The Eagles’ secondary could not contain Dez Bryant, who had 114 yards and three touchdowns. A slew of penalties against Cary Williams added insult to injury. Once Philadelphia pulled ahead to  a 24-21 lead in the third quarter, they quickly let it vanish.  The Cowboys scored two TDs within 2 minutes and 51 seconds – a DeMarco Murray touchdown, followed by Mark Sanchez throwing an interception and giving the football to Dallas at the Philadelphia 42-yard line to start the fourth quarter, ultimately ending in a Bryant score.

Philadelphia running backs put in work – Chris Polk saw the endzone twice as his team was mounting its comeback, and Darren Sproles got one in late in the third quarter. And that was all she wrote for the Eagles offense this game.

A now 9-5 record has covered many issues on this Eagles team, which have been terribly exposed in each game against a winning opponent. A woeful secondary can only get you so far, and Mark Sanchez has shown himself to be who he truly is: Mark Sanchez. He finished the game 17/28 for 252 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Eagles now lead the league with 34 turnovers, a distinction that has made all the difference against playoff-caliber teams.

What does the playoff picture now look for for the Birds? Philadelphia is now one game behind the dreaded Cowboys. Dallas controls its own destiny – if they win out, they win the division. For the Eagles to win the NFC East – far more likely option than getting a wild card berth – they need to win the final games on their schedule – road games against the Redskins and Giants. Philadelphia then needs for Dallas to lose one of its final two games – next week against the Colts, or the following week at Washington.

Philadelphia would also get the NFC East title if the Cowboys lost both of its final games and the Birds won both of theirs. That seems unlikely, given that the unsightly Redskins are one of their upcoming opponents.

Winning the division is still a possibility for the Birds, though they have made the situation far more difficult on themselves. But the question we all have to wonder at this stage is this: Even if this team gets a playoff berth, what have we seen that convinces us that they can do anything with it?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Cowboys vs Eagles Preview: Desperate for a Win

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

by Brandon Campbell





Today’s showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field marks a battle of desperation.  Two organizations who entered the season with high expectations now see their teams sitting at a disappointing 3-5, with already slim chances of contending for a playoff spot on the line this week.

Both Philadelphia and Dallas are teams more similar than we’d like to admit.  Two squads filled with talent that can’t seem to put it all together on the field.  Two quarterbacks in Mike Vick and Tony Romo plagued with turnover troubles whose fanbases are coming to the painful realization that they are not the ones who will lead them to the promised land of a Super Bowl ring.  And growing calls for the end of the coaching tenures of Andy Reid and Jason Garrett.

In facing the Cowboys’ 5th-ranked defense, Philadelphia’s decimated offensive line catches a slight break with the injury of ILB Sean Lee.  But they will have their hands full with the force that is DeMarcus Ware, who is tied with Clay Matthews for the most sacks in the NFL with 9.  Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will move Ware around but anywhere he goes, Philadelphia’s o-line will struggle.

Demetress Bell will start at left tackle, where he will hopefully be slightly less of a disaster than he was when he stepped in for the injured Todd Herremans on the right in New Orleans.  King Dunlap will fill Herremans’ former roll at RT this week.  Dallas Reynolds will return at center, as will Evan Mathis at LG and Dennis Kelly at RG.

The Birds saw Vick sacked a season high 7 times and only managed a meager 13 points against New Orleans, the worst defense in the league.  Philadelphia must find a way to protect Vick, and the QB’s decision-making must help the line and keep him out of harm’s way as well.  For the Eagles to have any success they must involve LeSean McCoy and the run game prominently in their game plan to ease the burden of pass protection off the line.

Philadelphia, who went 0-5 in the red zone against the Saints last week, must make trips down the field count and get points on the board in order to begin to right the ship and win this game.

The Eagles D faces a quarterback in Romo who has the most interceptions in the NFL and a team that can’t get its running game going in light of an injured DeMarco Murray, who isn’t expected to play.  Wideout Dez Bryant has 42 catches this season and is a talented but inconsistent target.  Nnamdi Asomugha, who has struggled mightily since signing with the Eagles last year, was very successful against Bryant in the last meeting between Dallas and Philadelphia, so we’ll see if that success can be replicated today.

WR Miles Austin is neck and neck with Bryant with 41 catches, but Romo’s favorite weapon is tight end Jason Witten, who has 58 catches on the season.  The Eagles defense has gotten worse since changing to DC Todd Bowles.  If there is any game to step up and show improvement, it’s against the Cowboys.  The Eagles know that with Murray down the Cowboys have no option but to pass.  Romo has 10 TDs and 13 interceptions and, while throwing with 66% accuracy, he is killing the Cowboys offense with poor third down efficiency and turnovers.  Faced with a turnover machine and a decent but not fierce Dallas o-line, can the defense finally get the job done?

No predictions this time except for an ugly game between two woefully underperforming teams.  If the Eagles can’t pull this off at home we are in big, big trouble.

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports