You can call it nepotism, but I don't care— if it works…
The Eagles signed two more players to their practice squad on Tuesday morning, obtaining converted offensive lineman Isaac Remington and safety Keelan Johnson to the team.
With Remington and Johnson now on board, the Eagles have seven of the eight spots available on the practice squad filled up with Greg Salas, Matthew Tucker, Michael Bamiro, Trenton Robinson and Travis Long already signed.
Remington spent time with the Eagles during training camp, but was released during the team's first cuts. The former Oregon Duck came into Eagles camp as a defensive end, but switched to the offensive side of the ball right before he was cut. He was announced as an offensive lineman by the Eagles, so it is likely that is where they see him possibly fitting in with this team.
A couple of years ago, this was Remington's draft profile:
Well, that was before the Eagles took a look at him this past summer and thought maybe–just maybe— he could be turned into a stud of an offensive tackle.
Good luck with that… and yet obviously more evidence that Chip Kelly wants to develop his roster of today and tomorrow with players he already knows inside and out.
That is an intutive aproach to the game of coaching. And like it or not, your Mr. Chips is more intutive than deductive…so maybe it's time to resist analyzing his personnel moves and just accept that he is the nicest kind of mad scientist.
It's somewhat warming from a human heart standpoint that the Chippah rewards past allegiance.
It's just that nobody who's not paid to actually believe in Kelly's every whim is convinced…
Maybe a more conventional signing to the Eagles' PS8 was that of the young and still developing safety, Keelan Johnson…
Johnson is a 5-11, 209 lb. safety who was signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent this past offseason. Johnson went to Arizona State.
Johnson starred as a running back and defensive back for Mesa High School in Arizona. He also played basketball, but really made his mark in football. In his senior season, Johnson totaled 16 offensive touchdowns, 59 tackles, and three interceptions. He ultimately chose to stay in his home state, as he decided to take a scholarship from Arizona State over one from Arizona.
In 2008, Johnson took a redshirt, and spent the year playing with the scout team. The following year, he played in all 12 games, and had one start. He had 11 tackles on the year. Prior to the 2010 campaign, Johnson earned the Hard Hat player recognition for his work in ASU's offseason strength and conditioning program. On the year, he had two starts, 22 tackles, and one interception. In 2011, Johnson played in all 13 games and had three starts. He tallied 48 tackles, 1 sack, and two interceptions on the year. In his redshirt senior year, Johnson finished second on the team with 88 total tackles, and led the team with five interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He was an All-Pac 12 honorable mention.
If you ever believed in the "late bloomer" phenomenon of athletics, this guy could be the one.
Again this may seem a curious signing based upon conventional NFL deductive reasoning. But I think I'm starting to see the bigger picture. Chip Kelly wants ath-a-letes with positional upside… he's not especially concerned with past accomplishments or previous grades. If he could have his way, we could go back into the era of two-way players of the past, and also into the untold future of players who can do more than one skill set at one position. One weird example of that kind of thinking— imagine a relief pitcher in baseball who would be ambidextrous, with the ability to throw left-handed or right-handed with equal ability and command. Chip Kelly would be all over that…
See, this is the kind of forward-thinking I am beginning to appreciate in Chip Kelly. The real dilemma is in the time limit he will be given by ownership and the fans to show how his football theory can flourish in the NFL. Even if the Chippah is really on to something new and bigger than past conventional thinking, he will only get so many games and so much time to prove it.
Thomas Edison had the same problem with discovering the perfect filament material for the electric light bulb. He knew he had a winner of an idea— but he almost ran out of time to demonstrate it.