This has gone pseudo viral so I guess I gotta post it. “Where the fuck’s my knife at? I’m cutting my goddamn throat.” So… you’re telling me you don’t see the upside potential?
Video after the jump. Continue reading31 Comments
It can’t be official until next week, but it certainly looks like the Eagles are in the market for a new running back. And why not look in the same place you looked before. According to Pro Football Talk, just one year after making a move to get Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints, the Eagles are interested in picking up potentially-former Saint Mark Ingram in free agency.
Ingram, who PFT ranked as the third best likely free agent running back behind DeMarco Murray and C.J. Spiller (Eagles interested in them, too?), had a Pro Bowl (replacement) year last year with nine touchdowns and 964 rushing yards on 4.3 yards per attempt. McCoy averaged 4.2 yards per attempt but outran Ingram by 355 yards. Ingram’s downhill running style may be appealing to Chip Kelly, according to PFT, and the Eagles would now have much more cap room than the Saints do to offer him a deal. It’s all part of the plan, seemingly, to turn the Eagles into Chip Kelly Presents: Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles, assembled by Chip Kelly™.
For what it’s worth, Ingram is 17 months younger than McCoy.21 Comments
ESPN’s Josina Anderson tweeted late last night that a source close to McCoy (who sounds an awful lot Drew Rosenhaus) says Two Dimes is not at all happy about the trade and, yeah, probably wants an extension. Here are her Tweets, aggregated:
A source close to LeSean McCoy to me on how the #Eagles RB feels about news of an agreement to trade McCoy to Buffalo: “He’s a Pennsylvania kid. He’s never played football outside of Pennsylvania—high school, college, pro. So of course he’s not happy. Sounds like it’s pretty final to me unless LeSean is refusing to go to Buffalo.”
On whether the source believes McCoy will make a trade to Buffalo difficult, in light of McCoy’s initial reaction to the news:
“It’ll be interesting to see how this process plays itself out because he’s an interesting individual. In your mind, when you think of Buffalo you think of cold and losing games. It’s not like it’s the Philadelphia market where you’re always on t.v. and you’re playing for like the division title or that type of thing…It was unexpected. I’ll tell you that much.”
The source on how McCoy is feeling at the moment:
Honestly, he’s frustrated…It’s alright. It’s the league. I told him that. I guess he just never experienced that, but he was like ‘why me.'”
The source said he thinks McCoy is “not going to make it easy, that’s for sure.”
The source on whether the trade news was a surprise:
“Honestly we were under the impression the whole time, that eventually at some point, Chip [Kelly] was going to ask LeSean to restructure his contract–not a pay cut, but convert some of his signing bonus.”
The trade can’t become official until next Tuesday at 4 p.m. Expect a lot of posturing between now and then.18 Comments
This trade, though it may have shocked you initially, makes a lot of sense. For too long, our local teams (looking at you, Phillies and Flyers) have operated with sentimentality, bias and tunnel vision toward their own or known (typically expensive) name players. It’s why Ryan Howard is still a Phillie. It’s why Andy Reid couldn’t get out of his own way. It’s why the entire Flyers organization exists. Trading McCoy is shocking to us because it’s the sort of move that would’ve been unfathomable for any of our teams just five years ago.
But things have changed. The Sixers flip players like they’re a 1994 middle school kid trying to leverage his Fleer Ultra duplicates for Pog slammers. Ron Hextall just traded two warm-bodied defensemen for draft picks in a year where the Flyers have a chance of making the playoffs.
Ruben Amaro bought a computer. And over the last few days, Chip Kelly has taken a torch to his Eagles and cut loose, in one way or another, Todd Herremans, Cary Williams, Trent Cole and LeSean McCoy (probably with more to come). The times, they are a-changin’, and this sort of pragmatic thinking might push some local elder scriptuals and pundits, who view this sort of executive irreverence as a sin, over the edge. But I, for one, welcome it.
Though more has been made about Kelly’s use of sports science and unconventional wizardry than his embracing of traditional analytics, there’s no doubt that his progressive philosophy is a sibling to the sorts of advanced statistics-based models pioneered by the A’s and Rays (in baseball) and the Rockets and Sixers (in basketball). One of tenants of that mindset is finding value in the market– measuring an expensive star’s worth against a cheaper, perhaps more impactful alternative. So to that end, we really can’t judge the McCoy traded until we see A) Kiko Alonso play (anyone short of Oregon and Chip Kelly guru Mark Saltveit who claims they are familiar with his game is lying to you) and B) what the Eagles do with the cap space they just freed up–McCoy’s cap hit next season would’ve been around ~$11 million, Alonso’s is ~$1 million.
No one will argue that, presently, Alonso is a better player than McCoy. But the Eagles are going to get a lot more for McCoy and his cap hit than just Alonso. And there’s also an argument to be made that a good linebacker is harder to come by and therefore more valuable than a good running back. In fact, this move, in the words of the great Jony Ive, almost feels inevitable. It just makes so. much. damn. sense.
Running backs41 Comments
For NFL nerds, Kiko Alonso isn’t a new name. But for those whose realm of expertise consists only of the Eagles and their opponents, or fantasy position players, Kiko is just a former Oregon linebacker with a silly name. For the latter group, here are some things you need to know.
In 2013, Alonso’s rookie year, he lead the league in assists on tackles, ranked third overall in combined tackles, was named the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year, and named to the NFL’s All-Under-25 Team for 2014.
Someone once traded his jersey for a blowjob. Point Kiko.
He’s really come into his own in the NFL, which is rare. As Mark Saltveit at Bleeding Green Nation wrote:
Most college players flounder in their transition to the NFL, with its vastly higher level of talent and strategy. Kiko Alonso is one of the few who blossomed, actually doing better than he did in college. It’s a marker of the untapped potential that convinced Chip Kelly to surrender his best offensive player in return.
And he’s an incredibly hard worker. From Saltveit again:
On the field, Kiko’s motor ran all the way up into the red part of the dial. A month into practice, the Bills had to give him some days off after their sports-science monitors showed he was running too hard.
He has had a history of injury issues (and behavioral problems that he seemed to leave behind in college). He tore his ACL in college and missed the entire 2010 season. He tore his ACL again last July while recovering from hip surgery.
But that doesn’t negate what he did in 2013. SB Nation’s Buffalo Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings, compared his 2013 performance to the Bills’ three other linebackers using their Pro Football Focus ratings. It wasn’t even close:
“Alonso is still the Bills’ best coverage linebacker by a country mile,” the rumblers wrote in explaining why it doesn’t make sense to part with him. “In fact, he has the potential to be one of the best coverage linebackers in the entire NFL for a long time.”
And over at FiveThirtyEight, Neil Paine praised the move, pointing out that LeSean McCoy was a shadow of his former self last year (especially when you look at advanced metrics). And what does Alonso have to offer? Youth and talent. “Alonso may have missed all of 2014 with an injury, but he’ll only be 25 next season,” Paine wrote. “When healthy, he ranked as the 9th-best inside linebacker of 2013, per Pro Football Focus. One more thing: the deal freed up a ton of cap space for Philadelphia.”
Oh, and he also does stuff like this:6 Comments
Alonso, who’s coming off a torn ACL, went to Oregon. Oh my.
UPDATE 1: Chip is on a cap-clearing mission, I guess to sign free agents and something something trade up for Mariota?
UPDATE 2: McCoy clearly lost a step last year. Running backs hit walls. McCoy is due to hit his soon. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds, by itself, but Chip just took a torch to the entire team. WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE? I NEVER KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING IN THERE!
UPDATE 3: Anecdotally, two people who identify as Bills fans (here’s one), have told bloggers that they like Kiko and think he’s going to be great. Soooo, there’s that.
UPDATE 4: LeSean find out from MEDIA REPORTS?
Interesting wrinkle, but the reports are everywhere now, from both sides.
UPDATE 5: Jim Cramer perplexed:
And I’m still trying to fathom that Popeye’s stock pick. You better be right, Jim! You better be right!
UPDATE 6: The guy was a bit of a meme in Buffalo, which is … good?
UPDATE 7: ESPN from 2011:
Oregon has indefinitely suspended linebacker Kiko Alonso following his arrest on burglary and trespassing charges.
Oregon football coach Chip Kelly announced the suspension Monday in a statement from the university that said there would no further comment while the case was pending.
The Register-Guard reported the 20-year-old junior from Los Gatos, Calif., was arrested early Sunday after a Eugene woman called 911 to report a strange man pounding on her front door demanding to be let inside.
Alonso was released later Sunday from the Lane County Jail after he was charged with burglary, trespassing and criminal mischief.
He was suspended for the entire 2010 season after a driving while intoxicated citation last winter.
Guess he’s not here for his character.
UPDATE 8: This feels like the 2010 Blackhawks or 2012 Red Sox blowing it up and reloading. Bold, shocking moves that lead to a title. Please?
UPDATE 9: Continue reading110 Comments
Kiko Alonso, who is reportedly your newest Eagle, had a little cooking webseries (courtesy of Campbell’s Soup) called “Kiko in the Kitchen.” He made dips. He put them in bread bowls. This is all very strange.6 Comments
Chip Kelly doing his best Sam Hinkie of late. Multiple reports that the Eagles will release Trent Cole, after they were apparently unsuccessful at getting him to take a pay cut. That means the already hole-filled Eagles will be without Todd Herremans, Cary Williams, Cole, and potentially Brandon Graham, who reportedly will most likely test free agency.
Les Bowen posits exactly what I’m thinking: that Chip Kelly’s regime is cleaning house and bringing in his guys. It’s weird, because the Eagles, of all the local teams, seemed to be the one that was moving forward. But now they, too, look to be taking a step backward.* Hashtag Philly.
*Perfect time to bring in a rookie quarterback, however.9 Comments