Perhaps the most interesting matchup in today’s game against New England is the battle of the coaches. Chip is a New England native who still spends all of his vacations in New Hampshire and visited the Patriots’ practices while he was still an assistant at UNH.
Belichick, meanwhile, had Chip come in to Foxboro in 2011 to school the Pats on his no-huddle offense and one-word play calls. He used those tactics to blitz Denver in the divisional round that season, 45-10, shutting down Tebowmania in the process.
Now the two coaches meet head-to-head, for the first time outside of training camp. And the mind games have already started. You may have noticed that Belichick added WR Damaris Johnson to the Pats roster Tuesday. New England has multiple injured receivers, but Johnson had been out of the league since September 5 and there are better receivers on the street.
The real reason Belichick signed Johnson is probably that he was a (completely ineffective) kick returner for the Eagles in 2013. So he knows Chip’s NFL scheme and can give away the secret inside knowledge.
Dirty pool, right? Maybe, but if so Chip started it.
You know that obscure wide receiver (Jonathan Krause) that Chip signed from the practice squad right before Thanksgiving? He was on the Patriots’ practice squad for most of the 2014 season and all of this year’s training camp, learning their system, playing against their DBs and scouting Amendola and Edelman up close.
He has a lot more to tell the Eagles coaches than Belichick might learn from Damaris, who was acquired by Andy Reid in 2012 and last played for Chip alongside Curtis Marsh and Alex Henery. In fact, Chip may have promoted Krause mostly to keep him out of Belichick’s clutches as injuries piled up on the Pats’ roster.