PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — NFL on Fox play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt joined WIP Afternoons on Tuesday to give his perspective on the Eagles and where the team is situated within the NFC East. Burkhardt, a South Jersey native, wasted no time expressing his opinion on Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly.
“I think Chip’s brilliant,” Burkhardt said. “I got to know him a little bit and really delve into what he’s about.” Burkhardt and other broadcasters are often able to see entire practice sessions and Kelly’s practices are like none that the Fox broadcaster has ever seen.
“Some of the stuff that he did was so different than all the other practices we saw all year,” Burkhardt said. He also noticed how much the players responded to Kelly’s unique approach. “They all bought into it,” Burkhardt said of the team. “He’s got this mad scientist quality, but he’s also got this thing that makes it fun.”
Burkhardt complimented Kelly on his ability to make sure the players understand that things will be done his way, but that they will ultimately have fun doing it while winning football games.
With training camp coming up, it will be time to see how Kelly’s unique style continues to translate to his old players and how his new players adapt to it.
“I cannot wait to see what he’s going to do this year with McCoy and Sproles in the backfield,” Burkhardt said. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles could potentially be a serious problem for opposing defenses and it will be interesting to see what packages Kelly comes up with for his two versatile backs.
Burkdardt also praised the team’s decision to draft Jordan Matthews to help to fill the void of DeSean Jackson.
Defense is the only question mark for the Eagles as far as Burkhardt is concerned. “How will the defense handle being on the field and playing a lot more plays than anyone else in the league and being with that tempo?”
Despite the questions on that side of the ball, Burkhardt thinks it’s easy to see where the Eagles rank in the NFC East picture. “I think in the NFC East, they’re the favorite,” Burkhardt said. “They certainly have question marks, but I think they’re the favorite in the division.”
Burkhardt characterized the Seahawks and the 49ers as the class of the conference, but he did not discount the Eagles as one of the second tier teams that could make some noise.
“I think the Eagles are right there,” Burkhardt said. “They are a team that if certain things go right and they stay healthy they could very easily get close to that next level. I think they’re right there.”
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