The Linc - Chip Kelly, Athlete of the Year

Working up a sweat - USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/21/2013.

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Let's get to the links...

Wulf's Den: Flipping Quarters - Bo Wulf, PE.com
In the latest edition of this brilliant, can't-miss weekly column: Eagles rushing stats, worst Christmas gifts received by Eagles players, and a Brandon Bear (sic) interview..

Week 16 NFL picks - JimmyK, Philly.com
Nick Foles has dropped back to pass 326 times this season. Jay Cutler has dropped back 337 times. In other words, they're about even. Cutler has thrown 10 INTs, Foles has thrown 2. The Eagles' playmakers are going to make their share of plays. Conversely, the Bears' playmakers are going to make their share of plays. But which QB will do a better job of taking care of the football. I'll take Foles.

Young DL - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
One of the things that Howie Roseman, Chip Kelly and the Eagles have gotten right this year is the defensive line. The Eagles have a lot of young, talented players. They look great at times, but still have lots of room for growth. Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton and Bennie Logan can become one of the premiere DL’s in the league if they continue to develop. All 3 of them can play the run well. All 3 are athletic enough to get after the QB. They have a good combination of size, strength and movement skills. Backups Vinny Curry, Clifton Geathers and Damion Square are a notch below. Curry is a potentially great role player. I don’t know if he can ever start in the 3-4, but there are enough sub-packages played these days that he can be an impact player even off the bench. Geathers is a project that may never pay off. He flashes at times, but isn’t consistently good. Square is undersized, but plays like a veteran and is a polished 3-4 player. He can handle NT or DE.

Cole feeling more comfortable at linebacker - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
Raise your hand if you were certain before or even during this season that Trent Cole wouldn't be back with the Eagles in 2014. Count Cole among the many. In fact, the defensive-end-turned-outside linebacker wasn't sure he would make it to 2013 after the Eagles hired Chip Kelly and he was told the defense was moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4.

One year later: Eagles almost back in the playoffs - John Gonzalez, CSN Philly
A year ago at this time, the Eagles had four wins and 10 losses. They had lost nine out of 10 games heading into the penultimate weekend. And as they limped toward the end of the season they knew many of them wouldn’t be brought back – including the coach. The situation has changed drastically from then to now. New coach. Quite a few new players. And the despair that accompanied the Eagles for much of last season has been replaced with cheerier circumstances.

Grantland's Athletes of the Year - The Triangle Blog - Grantland
Chip Kelly arrived in Philadelphia and got Mike Vick eating salads, had everyone else drinking personalized protein shakes, and ran exhausting 11-on-11 practice drills while blasting the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. The NFL coaching fraternity can be a pretty dour collection of struggle-faced hardasses. One thing that unites the Mike Shanahans, the Mike Munchaks, the Bill Belichicks, Jim Schwartzs, and Mike McCarthys, is a feeling that the presence of the media and even the fans (I know, I'm projecting) is a distraction from their gridiron fight against Satan to pass into heaven and rest at the angel feet of Vince Lombardi. Chip Kelly knows that heaven is a place on Earth, and his offense is the house band. For him, life's too short, NFL games take too long to start, referees are hilariously too slow, and press conferences are for LOLs. Chip Kelly didn't do anything athletic all year, but nobody in sports brought me more joy.

The Evster’s Guide to Hating the Bears - The700Level
Welllllllllllll, I sort of really like bears. Both the animal and the football team. They’re so furry and cuddly, and have never changed their helmets, and even though Philly fans are supposed to be the ANGRIEST fans around, it’s kinda hard to hate a city where there’s so much encased meat. Truth is, Chicago is a pretty cool place with a pretty lovable football team. From Ferris Bueller and deep dish pizza to the Superbowl Shuffle and my main man Dick Butkus, the Windy City is my kinda town. I know, I know, Oprah Winfrey’s a B, but the ’86 Bears got Buddy Ryan a ring. But this is Philadelphia! And we’re supposed to hate stuff! I guess we could make fun of Jay Cutler? but he’s low hanging fruit. His fat, stupid face is too easy a target. There’s gotta be some other Bears who deserve to be drilled with a Duracell.

Former Eagles cheerleader now stars for Army - USA Today
As a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, Rachel Washburn toted pom-poms. As an Army intelligence officer with a special ops combat unit in Afghanistan, she carried an assault rifle and pistol. She was a pioneer on a special mission to relate to local women in ways that would be culturally inappropriate for male troops — including helping deliver an Afghan baby in a snowstorm.

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