By Kelton Brooks (@BrooksWeekly)
It’s getting Shady in Buffalo; the Eagles coach is missing a Chip off his block
Five days after the Philadelphia Eagles traded 26-year-old, All Pro running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso, Buffalo signed McCoy to a 5-year, $40 million contract that includes $26.5 million in guarantees. The deal will be finalized today.
Alonso finished his rookie season with 159 combined tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, four interceptions, and 11 pass deflections. That was a prolific season for a rookie.
But that was in 2013. Alonso missed all of 2014 after he tore his ACL training in Oregon, the city of his former University where he played under his new head coach, Chip Kelly.
McCoy had the highest percentage of the Eagles yards from scrimmage last season with 22 percent, according to ESPN Stats&Info. Since joining the league in 2009, McCoy ranks third in total rushing yards (6,792) and fourth in touchdowns (44). He led the NFL with 1,607 rushing yards in 2013.
The Eagles, I mean Kelly, traded a legitimate top-5 running back in the NFL for a player coming off a torn ACL. And honestly, he traded for Alonso because he played at Oregon. Kelly now has nine former Oregon Ducks on his roster. He is a year removed from trading away DeSean Jackson because of alleged “gang ties” that went unproven.
And on Sunday, now ex-Eagle Jeremy Maclin reunited with former coach Andy Reid and has singed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The McCoy trade screams arrogance. It screams “I am Chip Kelly and you’re not.” Kelly has immense trust and faith in his system and believes you can plug in players and still have success. This is the NFL where talent triumphs. Some sort of power struggle is spilling over in the city of Brotherly Love, and Kelly is the one who tipped over the cup.
Kelly is either a genius or insanely arrogant. I’m leaning towards the latter.
The masked triple-doubler
Remember when rumors were circulating of a possible trade for Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook?
Not only has the thunderous guard catapulted himself into MVP conversations, he’s arguably the best player on his team over Kevin Durant, and Westbrook is unquestionably playing at the highest level of any player in the NBA right now.
In Westbrook’s last 10 games without the injured and reigning MVP Kevin Durant, Westbrook is averaging 34.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 11.3 AST per game, a triple-double.
Let me put this into perspective: In the last 50 years, the only players to average 33 PPG, 10 REB, and 10 AST over a 10-game span in a season are Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
How about one more for good measure? In Sunday’s 108-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Westbrook compiled an unworldly 30 points, 11 rebounds and 17 assists. He became the first player with 30+ points, 11+ rebounds and 17+ assist in a game since Magic Johnson in 1988 (32-11-20).
Without Westbrook, the Thunder would be a lottery team at this juncture of the season. Instead, he has them clinging on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference, clinging on to a one game lead over Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Westbrook has the tenacity and aggressiveness to take the Thunder further in the playoffs than Durant could.
If I’m Steph Curry and the No. 1 seeded Golden State Warriors, I’d want no part of Westbrook in the first round.
Not-so Sexy Rexy
Speaking of LeSean McCoy earlier, newly hired Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan acquired one of the most gifted running backs in the NFL. The acquisition of McCoy allows Ryan to revert back to the ground-and-pound days that brought him immediate success during his first two seasons as the New York Jets head coach, including an AFC Championship appearance in his second year.
Ryan also formed a stingy and formidable defense during his tenure as the Jets coach. He has inherited a more-talented and versatile defense in Buffalo headlined by Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Stephon Gilmore. McCoy and the Bills’ defense matches the blueprint of Ryan’s DNA.
But like in New York, Ryan is missing the centerpiece of a beautifully prepared roster, a quarterback. You can’t have a proper Thanksgiving feast with only dressing, you need the prized turkey.
During Ryan’s time as a head coach in the NFL, the following are the quarterbacks he has started under center: Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Matt Simms, an aged Michael Vick, Greg McElroy and last but not least, Tim Tebow.
That list looks a lot more like bologna than a Thanksgiving turkey.
And who does Ryan have playing quarterback in Buffalo? A regressing former first-round pick in E.J. Manuel who was benched in favor of journeyman Kyle Orton. The Bills flirted with signing Josh McCown who failed miserably last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but opted to sign Matt Cassell.
Nothin about that list of names sounds enticing either.
Rex, we’ve tasted this recipe before and it left a sour taste in the mouths of the fans and the organization. I’ll be the first to sign my name in the Shady McCoy fan club, but he’s not going to deliver you a clutch first down pass on 3rd-and-8 with a 1:22 left to go in the fourth quarter.
You need a viable option at quarterback, and it’s not Cassell or Manuel.