Tony Dungy on hiring of Chip Kelly: 'It's a great move'

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Tony Dungy on hiring of Chip Kelly: 'It's a great move'

Chip Kelly's hiring as the Eagles' head coach has raised a few key questions:

Which quarterback will fit Kelly's system? What's his biggest challenge in jumping to the NFL? What will the Eagles' defense look like?

NBC Sports analyst and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy joined John Boruk on SportsNite Wednesday to discuss those topics.

Your son Eric played this past year -- he's a sophomore wide receiver at Oregon -- so you have a little bit of insight on what Chip Kelly does in that offense and his coaching style.

My son has actually been there three years and is a redshirt sophomore, and Ive known Coach Kelly since then, and I tell you, Philadelphia is getting a tremendous coach. In watching him practice and seeing what they do in the spring and training camp when I was there, they practice a lot like a NFL team.

I dont think the adjustment is going to be too big and, I dont know this for a fact because I havent talked to Coach Kelly in about two weeks, but I have to think, in watching Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson do what they have done in the playoffs has led him to know that there is parts of what I do that can work and we can put pressure on people with a mobile quarterback and do some things.

I think hes going to have fun there, but hell do what his personnel dictates. Thats the one thing I really enjoyed watching them over three years. He had three different quarterbacks -- Jeremiah Masoli and then went to Derron Thomas and then to Marcus Mariota this year -- and they did a little bit of different things with each one, but they played to their strengths and won a lot of games. So again, I would have to be very excited if I were a Philadelphia fan.

Which quarterback would fit Chip Kellys system (Michael Vick or Nick Foles)?

Well, I think thats going to be a money driven decision and well see what happens. I do know Coach Kelly really liked Nick Foles. I watched Nick play against Oregon twice and have two outstanding games and throw the ball all around and make plays and I know Coach Kelly likes playmakers, so itll be interesting to see. I think Michael could flourish in that offense, for sure. Its just that probably will come down to money.

But the one thing I can tell you about Coach Kelly, he will adjust to his personnel. Hell use guys in the way they can be used best. I know DeAnthony Thomas was a highly recruited kid to go to USC and play corner because people didnt think he was big enough to play on offense and certainly not big enough to play running back, and Chip told him, You come here and Ill find a way to use you and make you a dynamic player, and thats what happened. They used him in the slot. They used him in some different ways running the ball and got the ball to him and hes a great player. So I think thats really coachs strength is getting the most out of his personnel.

What is Chip Kellys biggest challenge in his jump to the NFL?

The biggest challenge for anybody coming in is just getting people to believe and there is going to be some skepticism from his players and from everybody at first. Is this really going to work? Is this guy a pro coach? But Ill tell you what, hell do well once they get to know him and once they just see his demeanor and what he thinks about football. Hes going to impress them and once he gets everyone to believe, theyre going to be effective.

Do you feel as if a guy in Chip Kelly -- he brings an innovative mind that maybe other teams and other coaches around the league will catch on to and will follow once he gets here?

Well, he thinks outside of the box, and hes not afraid to be a risk taker and be a little different from the crowd. I know this was Philadelphias first choice. I happened to talk to both Chip and Jeffrey Lurie way back when this thing first started. I have a little bit of self-interest -- I was trying to talk like a dad and talk Coach Kelly into staying, but also talk from the perspective of being a former NFL coach and the things the Philly organization could give Coach and what its like coaching in the NFL and that type of thing.

I think he was intrigued by that and he wants to step up to the challenge, and I think hes going to do it. Again, the big thing I saw in three years was utilizing personnel, and the National Championship game was my sons first year, and Auburn had 10 guys drafted off that team -- that was Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and that group -- and Oregon played them right down to the last play, lost on a field goal on the last play of the game, and the only guy they had drafted that year was Casey Matthews, who went to Philadelphia. But that was, I think really spoke to what Coach Kelly can do -- take guys that might not be prototypical players, but use them in a way they can perform and produce.

What do you see in terms of the Eagles' defense with Chip Kelly as the head coach?

Well, I think, No. 1, the reason why they hired Chip Kelly was not to fix the defense. Hell get that done and hell get a competent person in there to run that side of the ball. But I know they hired him to be explosive and to move the ball and score points and I think that is his philosophy: Hey, were gonna put pressure on people to keep up with us scoring' and I think Philadelphia will do that. I think youll see some really good offense, and the one thing hes not going to micromanage the defense. Hes going to set a tone for the whole team, and the way theyre going to play and the attention to detail and the focus and the attitude and theyll play good defense.

I think its a great move and theres no doubt in my mind Coach Kelly is going to be a special coach in the NFL.

Inside Doop: Union limp home after brutal week

Inside Doop: Union limp home after brutal week

It’s time for the Union to get some rest — and try to forget what happened over the past few days.

On Saturday night, the Union suffered their worst loss of the MLS season just four days after getting knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup in crushing fashion.

What went wrong on the road trip? And how can they move on from such a brutal week? We’ll examine in the latest edition of the Inside Doop:

Three thoughts from the past week
1. Following last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls, Union head coach Jim Curtin sort of dismissed the idea of “squad rotation” while several players praised the team’s fitness for being able to rally from two goals back to tie New York. And it was true that the Union had successfully managed busy weeks for much of the last two months. But even the most fit and deep team would have struggled with what followed for the Union, who lost in an Open Cup shootout in New England after playing 120 minutes before then leaving the country to face the star-studded Montreal Impact, who drubbed them 5-1. Curtin said he wouldn’t use the grueling schedule as an excuse, but it’s certainly obvious that it played a big role.

2. Before saying he would “tear up the tape” from the rout in Montreal, Curtin candidly stated the team was “beat by stars.” That’s certainly true as the ageless African legend Didier Drogba netted his second MLS hat trick and standout Argentine playmaker Ignacio Piatti assisted on two of those goals and also scored one of his own. Perhaps in the subtext of that statement is this: the Union don’t really have any true stars of their own (except perhaps a rising one in goalkeeper Andre Blake), and while they’ve won a lot of games this season by playing well as a unit, sometimes the talent gap can be too much to overcome.

3. There’s no sense analyzing too much of how the Impact were able to score five times in a single game. Everyone along Philly’s backline played poorly and even typically surefire midfielders like Tranquillo Barnetta didn’t do enough to slow down the Montreal attack as the floodgates opened. But the fact that it came just four days after the Union had a bad breakdown to leave a player wide open on a free kick and let New England score basically an uncontested goal is troublesome. And that came just three days after the team gave up two goals at home. In other words, you can be sure a defensive-minded coach like Curtin will work to correct some of these glaring issues moving forward. Speaking of which …  

Three questions for the week ahead
1.
For a team that’s worked tirelessly on its fitness, sometimes even training twice in the same day, this week will start in somewhat of a unique way: the Union will get Monday and Tuesday off. It’s certainly understandable why Curtin wants his players to get time away from soccer after an arduous 11-game-in-39-day stretch. But will it help reenergize and galvanize the group heading into Sunday’s home game against Real Salt Lake (7 p.m., CSN)?

2. One player to keep an eye on during this week is Maurice Edu. The Union captain has yet to play this season because of a stress fracture but recently returned to the training field. Curtin has stressed the midfielder still needs time to get his fitness back up to where it should be, but there’s no question his return would give the team a big boost at a time when such a thing is needed. Could we see him get on the field, perhaps off the bench, in Sunday’s game?

3. Two players that won’t be with the Union for most of the week are goalkeeper Andre Blake and right back Keegan Rosenberry — and for good reason. The team’s two young rising stars made Thursday’s All-Star Game and traveled to San Jose today to begin preparations for the contest that features the top MLS players vs. English Premier League power Arsenal. Seeing how the two players both perform — and how much playing time they get — in such a marquee matchup will certainly be fun for Union fans. But either way, the fact both players simply got there so early in their careers is quite an accomplishment.

Quote of the week
“We've been a group that's been together and has been a team all year, and that's why we've had some success. Tonight we were beat by stars. Drogba and Piatti were unstoppable.”

-- Union head coach Jim Curtin

Stat of the week
Saturday’s 5-1 loss was the Union’s worst since they lost by the same scoreline to the L.A. Galaxy on June 20, 2015.

Player of the week
It sort of got lost in the general frustration of the week but rookie Fabian Herbers did a lot of damage off the bench, scoring his first career U.S. Open Cup goal in dramatic fashion before getting a secondary assist on Philly’s only goal Saturday. Did he earn himself a start coming up?

Flyers and Brayden Schenn to go to arbitration

Flyers and Brayden Schenn to go to arbitration

Barring an 11th-hour settlement, the Flyers will go to arbitration on Monday against swing forward Brayden Schenn.
 
The hearing is slated for 9 a.m.
 
The two sides are more than $1 million apart with no progress having been made over this past weekend.
 
“We will probably go to arbitration,” Don Meehan, the agent for Schenn, said Sunday.
 
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall seemed to concur.
 
“I’m not overly optimistic,” he said about avoiding arbitration.
 
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto filed last summer but signed without going to a hearing.
 
The 24-year-old Schenn is the highest-profile Flyer to get this far without signing since John LeClair back in 2000. He received $7 million — the highest one-year award ever.
 
By filing on July 5, Meehan assured his client will get a contract. The Flyers’ qualified Schenn, who earned $2.75 million last season, on June 30.
 
He is a restricted free agent, who could earn close to $5 million a season on his next deal. And that’s the sticky part.
 
Sources said the Flyers offered a two-year deal that would pay Schenn $4.25 million this coming season and $4.369 million in 2017-18 (see story). That’s an AAV of $4.30 million.
 
Meehan wants $5.50 million, which is excessively high given Schenn’s seven-year career thus far.
 
At the same time, if you look at the some of the RFA signings this summer, as Meehan surely has, the comparable numbers would suggest Schenn is worth slightly more than what the Flyers have offered.
 
Two examples here: New Jersey’s Kyle Palmieri, a 25-year-old right wing, signed a five-year deal earlier this month worth $23.25 million. His AAV is $4.65 million. That’s the correct ballpark for Schenn.
 
Schenn had his most productive year last season with career-highs in goals (26), assists (33) and points (59) while proving he can play the wing on Claude Giroux’s line with Wayne Simmonds on the right side.
 
Palmieri had career-highs as well in goals (30), assists (27) and points (57).
 
Problem is, the other end of the spectrum, where Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues sits.
 
The 24-year-old center recently signed a five-year, $26.5 million deal as an RFA with an AAV of $5.35 million. That’s far higher than Hextall wants to go with Schenn at this point.
 
A fractured ankle and subsequent surgery ruined Schwartz’ past season (33 games played), but Blues’ general manager Doug Armstrong looked at what Schwartz accomplished two years ago — career-highs with 28 goals, 35 assists and 63 points – and used that as a barometer for the future.
 
That deal hurts the Flyers here with Schenn.
 
Hextall’s offer suggests the Flyers want Schenn to prove he’s a $5 million player, which means show the Flyers 30 goals and 70 points this season.
 
Schenn finished second in goals to Simmonds (32) and third in points behind Giroux (67) and Simmonds (60) last season.
 
The arbitrator should be able to locate a fair medium. Expect Meehan to ask for a one-year award only.

The 38 Eagles who will take the field Monday at training camp

The 38 Eagles who will take the field Monday at training camp

As training camp kicks off Monday morning, 38 Eagles will be in attendance: quarterbacks, rookies and select vets. 

All four quarterbacks will be on the field when practice kicks off at 8:40 a.m., but most of those 38 are rookies. The rest of the team will report to camp on Wednesday, followed by Thursday's full-team practice in the afternoon. 

It's not hard to figure out why some of the select vets are in camp early. Cody Parkey, Nolan Carroll and JaCorey Shepherd are all veterans coming off of injuries. 

This is also the first time we will see rookies Isaac Seumalo, Aziz Shittu and Byron Marshall, who were all at rookie camp, but missed OTAs because of the NCAA graduation rule. 

Here's the full list of 38 who will be on the field Monday morning: 

K Cody Parkey
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
QB Sam Bradford
QB Chase Daniel
QB Carson Wentz
WR Hunter Sharp
CB Nolan Carroll
S Nick Perry
RB Wendell Smallwood
S Blake Countess
CB Jalen Mills
RB Cedric O'Neal
CB JaCorey Shepherd
CB C.J. Smith
CB Aaron Grymes
RB Byron Marshall
CB Randall Evans
LB Myke Tavarres
LB Don Cherry
LS John DePalma
LB Quentin Gause
DE Alex McCalister
LB Travis Long
LB Joe Walker
DT Aziz Shittu
C Bruce Johnson
G Dillon Gordon
T Halapoulivaati Vaitai
G Isaac Seumalo
G Malcolm Bunche
DT Connor Wujciak
DT Destiny Vaeao
G Darrell Greene
WR Paul Turner
TE M.J. McFarland
WR Marcus Johnson
WR Cayleb Jones
WR Xavier Rush