The700Level

Gabe Kapler addressed the coconut in the room

Gabe Kapler addressed the coconut in the room

“Coconut oil is a phrase,” Howard Eskin said while seemingly stumbling for the right words.

Most people wouldn't go there. Eskin did. He called it the "elephant in the room."

He said it at the press conference during which the Philadelphia Phillies introduced their new manager, Gabe Kapler.

He said it while attempting to ask a question directed at Kapler and team GM Matt Klentak about Kapler’s unique and interesting lifestyle website and whether it should raise any concerns.

The question, like the blog post, was a bit awkward.

But Kapler handled his first uncomfortable moment as the Phillies manager like a pro.

In case you are unfamiliar, we wrote about some of the out-there stuff on Kapler’s lifestyle website earlier in the week.

There’s an entry about coconut oil and it’s a little, well ... risqué.

Kapler took the question about whether he was proud of the content in stride and answered thoughtfully. 

“Much of what I have written is several years old,” Kapler said. “And when I was writing that I was in a different mindset than I am now as the manager of the Phillies. Even with that said, if you look through the various posts, there is some tongue-in-cheek stuff that I had directed at players to try and make them laugh. Thinking through it, there are some things I may have written a little differently. Certainly, we all make mistakes and miss the mark from time to time. If you go back and look at those posts, they were meant for health. They were meant to help people be more prepared and stronger. They are imperfect. I am imperfect. But I’m also very proud of a lot of the content that I would encourage people to go back and dig into and find the stuff that really does hit the mark.”

Anyone who has ever written anything that was published to the Internet probably has a thing or two they aren't exactly proud of. I thought the way Kapler handled the question was about as good as you could hope. If anything, as I wrote earlier in the week, it shows he's a unique thinker and not afraid to speak his mind.

Klentak added some thoughts of his own.

"As we try to move the needle here, as we try to move this organization forward here, there's an element of risk, new behaviors, trying new things and that's inevitable," Klentak said. "That's part of what we are excited about with Kap's arrival here."

More from Kapler's intoductory press conference here.

Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

ajayi-barner.jpg

Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

It's not everyday you see an Eagles player take the ball and run for 71 yards. So Philadelphia fans understandably went bonkers when Jay Ajayi did just that in the Birds' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.

It's also not that frequent that you see a dude get chased down from behind on such a play.

Sadly, the latter happened to Ajayi and his teammates let him hear it on the sidelines after. The fantastic Inside the NFL gave us an up-close look at the roasting.

You almost feel bad for Ajayi, like Kenjon Barner is laying it on a little too thick.

"You slow as $#@!," one player tells him.

"They're gonna lower my speed on Madden," Ajayi says.

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

usa-chipkelly-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

After spending the year out of football, former Eagles coach Chip Kelly is returning to the sideline — and might be aligning with ex-Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman in the process.

According to reports, Kelly is expected to accept a head coaching job at one of two college football programs. The decision is down to Florida and UCLA, and he is rumored to have already turned away other high-profile programs such as Nebraska and Tennessee.

UCLA may be Kelly's most likely landing spot at this point, with alumnus Aikman putting on a "full-court press," says ESPN's Mark Schlabach, and Florida supposedly wanting an answer ASAP.

Wherever Kelly winds up going, that should end his unsuccessful foray into the NFL once and for all. Consider this an obituary of sorts.

The move will cement Kelly as a "college coach," if his pro tenure hadn't accomplished that already. After guiding the Eagles to the playoffs and being named Coach of the Year in his first season, he missed the postseason the next two years and was fired. Kelly got the hook again after one miserable season with the 49ers, bottoming out with a 2-14 record.

There are no shortage of excuses for why Kelly flamed out in the NFL. Lack of talent — specifically under center — was certainly a factor, though his failed stint as the chief talent evaluator in his final season with the Eagles certainly contributed to that.

The simple truth is not everything that works in college translates at the next level, and Kelly never adjusted.

Kelly only turns 54 this week, so a return to the professional ranks years down the road isn't completely out of the question. After his last two trainwreck seasons in the league, it's difficult to imagine what an organization would still see.

Employing schemes that aren't suited to the team's personnel, calling the same 10 to 15 plays every game, eliminating the quarterback's ability to call an audible or even something as small as never using a snap count may work at university. Those concepts are fundamentally opposed to what has been successful in the NFL.

Honestly, it's kind of too bad. The Eagles could use that easy W on the schedule periodically.

Perhaps the Eagles should just be grateful to have survived Kelly's radical changes without overhauling the entire roster again, and somehow coming out better off for everything. After releasing DeSean Jackson, trading away LeSean McCoy, trading for Sam Bradford, and spending huge sums of money on the likes of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell -- to name a few, and all in the span of a year -- the franchise easily could've wound up in the tank.

There's no denying Kelly looked like a genius while at Oregon, racking up 46-7 record and three top-five finishes in four seasons as head coach. Yet like so many college coaches before him, and many bound to come after, he was never destined for sustained success in the NFL.