QB? Offensive scheme? Chip Kelly still has time

897599.jpg

QB? Offensive scheme? Chip Kelly still has time

MOBILE, Ala. -- Chip Kelly has already met with Mike Vick and already met Nick Foles. Kelly has also hired an offensive coordinator.

If youre thinking that these three events have helped him come closer to an offensive scheme and quarterback to lead it, think again.

Hes nowhere near that stage.

About the only admission Kelly made Monday was that he enjoyed his meetings with Vick and Foles and that the spread offense he ran in college isnt something that cant be modified to produce success at the NFL level.

It was good. First time I had a chance to meet Michael, Kelly said. And he just sat down and I said Tell me about yourself and see where hes coming from, and I really liked my meeting with Mike.

Since arriving in Philadelphia late last Wednesday night, Kelly has sporadically watched tape of Vick, Foles and the rest of the team in between interviewing assistants for openings on his staff.

He hasnt had a free minute to discuss college personnel with general manager Howie Roseman, which means Kelly couldnt tell you the difference between Geno Smith, whos likely to be the top quarterback taken in the draft, and Alex Smith, the 49ers backup quarterback who almost certainly will be moved in the offseason.

The hiring of Shurmur as his offensive coordinator -- which the team still hasnt yet announced, even with Shurmur in attendance at the Senior Bowl -- only made it more difficult for those looking for clues as to the direction Kelly might be headed in at quarterback.

Shurmur has worked with a mobile quarterback like Vick, having been Donovan McNabbs position coach under Andy Reid for seven years in Philadelphia. He has also helped develop conventional drop-back passers that fit West Coast schemes in Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden from his time as St. Louis offensive coordinator and Clevelands head coach.

At first glance, the Kelly-Shurmur tandem seemed like an odd pairing given Kellys pedigree in the spread offense and Shurmurs West Coast roots. But Kelly suggested that two different schools of thought could benefit his offense.

I think, again, people try to paint everybody with one brush, Kelly said. Theyre not all tied to just one scheme. You need to have people that have some versatility because your starting quarterback may be able to run your scheme and your backup quarterback may not.

You dont just throw your hands up in the first quarter when hes out and say, Were in trouble now. Youve got to be able to adapt. Thats what I think the fun part of coaching is, being able to identify what your personnel can do and play to their strengths.

Kelly said his spread offense at New Hampshire and Oregon borrowed and incorporated concepts from the West Coast offense in the same way that most coaches take and share philosophies that are trendy at the time.

He dismissed the idea that the pistol formation used so effectively this postseason by the 49ers, who will play in the Super Bowl, is a copycat of the strategy he used at Oregon.

Somebody ran those plays somewhere else first.

Like I said before, if you werent in the room with Amos Alonzo Stagg and Knute Rockne, then you stole it from somebody, he said. We didnt invent this. They were running the no-huddle along time ago. The Buffalo Bills ran this offense a long time ago. Sam Wyche did it with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Its just trying to figure out what your team does well and that was a strength of us at Oregon. Is it going to be a strength of ours at Philadelphia? I dont know our personnel well enough to say that. But we dont play until September, so Im hoping between now and September that Ive got enough prep time to figure that out.

Kelly admitted that he needs to take a long hard look at quarterbacks in this years draft for no other reason that the games most important position should always be closely monitored, not necessarily because his current roster lacks the personnel he requires for his offensive system.

Its a unique position, he said. They dont have that in any other sport, someone that has the ball in their hand on every single play. So I think youve got to spend a lot of time on it. You do have to really look at that position long and hard, and I think sometimes guys get overlooked.

Russell Wilson went in the third round. Tom Brady went in the sixth round. The problem I think people have is when they try to find the next one. Thats where youve got to catch yourself. Youve got to have a standard of what youre looking for and see if people match up to that.

E-mail Geoff Mosher at gmosher@comcastsportsnet.com.

Cody Asche: 'I'm close' to being ready to rejoin Phillies

052416-cody-asche-webbestvideo3_1920x1080_692274755694.jpg

Cody Asche: 'I'm close' to being ready to rejoin Phillies

READING, Pa. — The stat sheet says one thing, Cody Asche another.

“I’m close,” the Phillies’ once (and possibly future) leftfielder said after going hitless in four at-bats in a rehab assignment game for Double A Reading on Thursday morning. “I’m close, for sure.”

Asche, recovering from a strained left oblique muscle, is just 2 for 16 in four games at Reading, after going 3 for 18 in five games at Single A Clearwater.

But not to worry, he said. There are just “a couple little things” he needs to shore up at the plate, things that have led to “not-so-favorable results,” before he is ready to return to the major leagues.

“But I’m confident,” he said. “They’re easy fixes.”

Asche, a little over a month away from his 26th birthday, said he feels healthy, that he just needs to get his timing back, just needs to face more “good quality pitching.”

Where he will get that opportunity is a matter of conjecture. Immediately after beating Erie, 7-4, in Thursday’s matinee, Reading headed to New Hampshire to begin a road trip. Asche was not expected to accompany the Fightin Phils. Meanwhile, Triple A Lehigh Valley begins a homestand Friday.

“I think the plan right now is maybe go up to Lehigh [Friday], but that’s still in the air,” Asche said, adding that he still must consult trainer Scott Sheridan, as well as his rehab coordinator, before a decision is finalized.

It’s not clear if the organization also believes Asche is close to returning to the big leagues. Manager Dusty Wathan was not available for comment after Thursday’s game.

Wathan did address Asche’s situation after he played his first game at Reading on Sunday.

“It’s like his spring training,” the manager told reporters. “He’s trying to get himself back, get himself comfortable in left field, get himself comfortable at the plate and back into baseball shape.”

Asche, the Phillies’ fourth-round pick in 2011, hit .252 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs in 121 games at third base in 2014. Last year he began the season at that position before making the transition to left, in the wake of Maikel Franco’s emergence. But when Franco broke a wrist late in the year, Asche returned to his natural position.

Overall he hit .245 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 129 games. Five of his homers came in his last 18 games.

“I came in to spring training as confident as anybody in myself, and building on last year and going forward this year,” he said.

But he injured his oblique (which is near the rib cage) while swinging a bat on the eve of spring drills. Then he rehabbed, returned and promptly reaggravated the injury while swinging through a pitch the final week of camp.

It only hurt when he did … well, everything.

“Imagine everything you do during the day, you feel pain in your abdomen,” he said. “Just small things, like sneezing and coughing, are uncomfortable. Getting in and out of cars.”

Nor was his anguish merely physical.

“We’d be here all day if I tried to explain how frustrating it is,” he said. “It’s been a long process. It’s been tiring. It’s been stressful. A lot of sleepless nights during it, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see it. I know I’m close. It’s just a matter of time, from here on out. Once it clicks, it will click, and I’ll be ready to go.”

Asche began swinging a bat on May 1, and started his rehab assignment at Clearwater on May 13. He made the move to Reading nine days later.

“I’m kind of over the frustration part,” he said. “I had eight weeks to be frustrated while I was rehabbing. Right now I’m just solely focused on playing baseball, and preparing myself to go up there and compete when it’s my time.”

The Phillies could use him, to add punch to the anemic corner outfield spots. And he believes he can help. 

“There’s still plenty of time,” he said. “We’ve still got a long season left. It’s not even June yet. I’ve got plenty of time to leave my mark on this year.”

Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

052416-ingram-slide.jpg

Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

The Sixers are losing a top assistant coach just five months after he joined the team. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical, the Houston Rockets are finalizing a deal to hire Mike D'Antoni as their head coach. According to Wojnarowski, the deal is for four years, with a team option in the final year.  

D'Antoni had been a Sixers associate coach since last December, when the team hired him after starting the season with a 1-26 record. 

While he took a supporting role in Philadelphia, D'Antoni has 12 years of NBA head coaching experience with the Nuggets, Suns (where he worked with Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and special advisor Jerry Colangelo) and, most recently, the Lakers. The 2013-14 Lakers went 27-55 under D'Antoni. 

D’Antoni is 455-426 as a head coach. He won the 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Suns. He also was an assistant coach for gold-winning Team USA men’s national teams.

Rockets interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff withdrew himself from consideration for the job earlier this month, and D’Antoni has been considered a top candidate for the position. The Rockets have had four coaches in the past 10 seasons, including Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman, Kevin McHale and Bickerstaff.

The Rockets finished eighth in the Western Conference this season with a 41-41 record. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Warriors, 4-1. 

Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported P.J. Carlesimo could take D'Antoni's place. 

Carlesimo, 66, and Sixers head coach Brett Brown were both assistant coaches under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs from 2002-07. Carlesimo also has previous head coaching experience with the Blazers, Warriors and Sonics/Thunder. 

CSNPhilly.com's Dave Zangaro contributed to this story.

Markieff Morris detained at Philadelphia International Airport

us-morris.png
USA Today Images

Markieff Morris detained at Philadelphia International Airport

Former Prep Charter and current Washington Wizards star Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, according to law enforcement officials.

Morris, who was with a party that included his mother, checked a bag for an international trip when “a suspicious item” was found in his suitcase, according to law enforcement.

A secondary search of his bag revealed what law enforcement officials called “suspected marijuana.” Terminal A at Philadelphia International is overseen by Tinicum Township Police in Delaware County, not by the Philadelphia Police Department. Philadelphia airport security notified Tinicum Township Police. Morris was then taken to the Tinicum Township Police precinct for questioning. He was later released on his own recognizance.

A Tinicum Township police spokesman said the investigation is ongoing.

Morris, a Philadelphia native, is in his first full season with the Wizards, who acquired him from the Phoenix Suns in February. The Suns drafted him out of Kansas with the 13th overall pick in 2011. Morris' twin brother Marcus was drafted one pick later by the Houston Rockets before being dealt to Phoenix, where played with his brother for a little more than two seasons. Marcus now plays for the Detroit Pistons.