Chip Kelly looking for more production from Marcus Smith

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The Eagles drafted linebacker Marcus Smith in the first round of May’s draft in hopes of boosting a pass rush that registered an underwhelming 37 sacks last season.

They’ve given Smith a lot of time on the field during the first two preseason games, he played 73 of 81 defensive snaps against the Patriots last Friday, but they’ve yet to see him get home on one of his rushes. Coach Chip Kelly said he saw “bright spots” from Smith against New England, but that there were also moments when he looked “overwhelmed” and that the team needs to get more out of him in general.

“Marcus got a real extended look,” Kelly said, via the Philadelphia Daily News. “He’s got a burst. He’s got some speed coming off the edge. But if you’re going to play that many plays, we’re going to need more production out of you. He’s still working at it. He still has a lot of things to improve at.”

There’s going to be a learning curve for any rookie, but there’s a bit more pressure on Smith because the Eagles didn’t do much else to boost their pass rush this offseason. While they like what they’ve seen from linebacker Travis Long, chances are that Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are going to have to produce more than they did last season if Smith doesn’t turn the corner quickly.

19 responses to “Chip Kelly looking for more production from Marcus Smith

  1. He’s an awesome talent that will respond perfectly to the best coach and team in the history of the NFL. 25 sacks and the Pro Bowl.

  2. Brandon Graham 2.0. We should have taken best safety available and called it a round one. I hope I’m wrong, but he has situational pass rusher written all over him. How is it that the Steelers hit linebacker gold every couple years and we can’t figure out from an organizational standpoint how to draft a linebacker that can play in this league?

    A tad frustrating, but at least our offense is sick. Just like last year, we’re going to have to win shoot-out style. Fun to watch, unless of course you like watching good defense which doesn’t really exist anymore in todays NFC East. The days of Reggie White, Darrell Green, Pepper Johnson, Darren Woodson, etc are loooooong gone.

  3. To these eyes, the kid doesnt have the killer instinct.

    Look at college game tape – All those times he gets in the backfield…he doesnt wreck guys. I’ve seldom seen a guy get such a burst/leg up and when he gets these blindside hits or hits where he’s bringing all the momentum, he hits too high and/or gets stood straight up. He seldom, if ever just wrecks guys. Not a very good look.

    I havent seen any of his snaps in the pre-season, but that’s what I saw in all the footage after he was drafted.

    That’s what you get for drafting a converted QB.

  4. Holy crap people!! Give the guy a chance to actually get his feet wet and get used to the speed of the NFL game. He’s played one and a half pre-season games. No one said that he was expected to be the best OLB in the league after a game and a half. And the rookies that are doing AMAZING in the pre-season are gonna look a lot more pedestrian when they play against the 1’s starting in 3 weeks.

  5. As a fan of the Steelers, who run the 3-4, I can tell you that it is folly yo expect a converted DE to make much of an impact his first year. The 3-4 is simply night and day from the 4-3 in terms of responsibilities, technique, etc. This is on Chip, not Marcus. The guy needs some time to adjust. You should have known that.

  6. Looks like another year of keeping track of the stat that Eagles fans know as The Mamula.
    (that’s an *almost* sack for those not familiar)

  7. Kelly loves the spotlight. After all he was not introduced to the big stage until 50. Why ? Who knows. After all he does everything faster and better than anyone else. And he has many championships to show for his genius. Doesn’t he ?

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