Jason Peters: Last Year Was ‘Hurtful,’ ‘Frustrating’

Jason Peters. (Jeff Fusco)

Jason Peters. (Jeff Fusco)

Jason Peters addressed the media today after practice, talking about Chip Kelly and what went wrong last season for the first time. He echoed many of the sentiments of his teammates, indicating the Eagles’ former coach was intolerant, predictable and bad for veterans.

The offensive lineman was particularly discouraged by Kelly’s lack of adaptability, and how the former coach didn’t make needed changes. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Myke Tavarres’ Opportunity

Myke Tavarres. (Jeff Fusco)

Myke Tavarres. (Jeff Fusco)

Myke Tavarres was at a crossroads, and he didn’t know what direction to go in. He had just completed his first season at Arkansas in 2013, where he was primarily used in scout team and special teams roles, after being a two-time all-conference selection in junior college.

The year before, Tavarres helped lead the College of the Siskiyous in California to the most wins in school history and a division championship, evolving into an SEC prospect and the 63rd-best junior college player in ESPN’s top-100 ranking. Then, after just a season in college football’s best conference, he decided to leave without a destination in mind.

While trying to figure out his future, Tavarres saw a snippet on ESPN that Ricky Williams, his favorite player growing up, was the running backs coach at Incarnate Word. A couple of days later, a close friend and former junior college teammate called Tavarres to recruit him to the school in San Antonio.

Tavarres “took that as a sign,” he said after practice yesterday, and without visiting the FCS program, transferred there. He credits the Southland Conference school with reinvigorating his love for football. Read more »

Eagles Place Ryan Mathews On Active/NFI list

Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

Ryan Mathews has been placed on the Active/NFI list with an ankle injury suffered last week. Mathews, whose injury wasn’t noticeable as he walked by reporters today when he reported for training camp, is expected to receive the bulk of the carries this season in the Eagles’ new offense.

After Mathews, the depth chart at running back is very unclear. Darren Sproles does the most damage as a punt returner and receiver out of the backfield on offense, and he’s now 33-years-old. Kenjon Barner has only 34 career carries, although Wendell Smallwood has continued to impress Doug Pederson this summer. Read more »

Barwin Denies Character Standards Have Diminished

Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)

Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)

Before the Eagles begin training camp tomorrow with all of their players practicing, veterans reported to the NovaCare Complex today for meetings. On their way in, several guys stopped to address the media about their teammates’ off-the-field incidents this offseason, including the rape accusation against Nelson Agholor — although he wasn’t charged — and Nigel Bradham’s arrest this week for allegedly assaulting an employee in a Miami hotel.

Malcolm Jenkins noted that he doesn’t think the team needs to talk about off-the-field expectations, and that the coaches can handle it.

“I don’t think we need to talk. Guys get in trouble all around the league. Stuff happens,” Jenkins said. “I’m sure the coaches have a plan to deal with that. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a distraction.” Read more »

Why Jim Schwartz Prefers His 4-3 To Two-Gapping

Beau Allen and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)

Beau Allen and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)

If you’re curious why Jim Schwartz believes his aggressive 4-3 is better than the typical two-gap system, consider kickoff coverage. Teams no longer preach the “stay in your lane” adage, Schwartz says, because if one person leaves his lane, the returner picks up a lot of yards. Instead, coverage units now attack in levels, and that’s precisely what the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator has built his system around.

“You have guys that are disruptors, guys that attack the blocks and other guys that play leverage off of them,” Schwartz said. “If we are going to play attack up front — and we are, because we want to put those guys in position to be able to rush the passer and play the run on the way to the quarterback — the linebackers have to be tied and the safeties have to be tied in.

“It’s a lot different than two-gap because when you’re playing two-gap … you’re generally building a wall along the front and guys are sort of falling back and linebackers are generally shuffling laterally more because your defensive linemen are going laterally. When you play an attack front up front, your linebackers have to come downhill. They have to plug those holes.” Read more »

Report: Nigel Bradham Arrested After Alleged Assault

Nigel Bradham. (USA Today Sports)

Nigel Bradham. (USA Today Sports)

UPDATE NO. 2: Les Bowen has two more notes.

UPDATE: According to Les Bowen of the Daily News, Nigel Bradham is still expected to report to training camp tomorrow. The Eagles also released the following statement:

We are aware of the recent incident involving Nigel Bradham in Miami. We have been in contact with Nigel and the proper authorities. Due to the ongoing legal process, the Eagles will have no further comment at this time.

Read more »

Schwartz Leaves Out Rowe When Talking CB Battle

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today)

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today)

It’s not newsworthy when a coach innocuously forgets to mention a player during his press conference when discussing a position battle. But when Jim Schwartz named five corners competing for playing time and didn’t mention Eric Rowe, just a day after Doug Pederson did the same and said Rowe has experienced some “hiccups” this offseason, it seems the second-year defensive back out of Utah may not have as big of a role this season as people expected.

“It’s going to be fun to watch the corners compete. We have some guys that can cover; we got some guys that have a great opportunity here,” Schwartz said. “With the blend of veteran players, a guy like Nolan Carroll, who we talked about, [and] Leodis McKelvin. Some young guys that have some opportunities — Jalen [Mills] has done a nice job for a rookie so far; Ron Brooks is going to have an opportunity. You have guys coming off injury like [JaCorey] Shepherd, who’s been out here. I think it’s going to be exciting to watch those guys.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Wentz Progressing Well

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz hasn’t had much time to simply take a step back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride he’s been on in the last several months, often referring to it as a “whirlwind.” He pole-vaulted up to be the second pick in the draft, and he signed a rookie contract worth tens of millions of dollars, but becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL is what really consumes him every day.

“He came back in the right frame of mind and [we] just told him to go. We’re going to get him plenty of work, plenty of reps not only during practice but after practice, and get him where he needs to be,” Doug Pederson said. “So him having gone through it now for 10 weeks and coming back and just having him relax, be himself, don’t press, we’re still working on some things fundamentally with him, with his feet and with his eyes.”

According to Wentz, Chase Daniel has been “very helpful” by aiding his effort to improve his footwork, particularly when they were in San Diego with Sam Bradford and a slew of receivers. The rookie quarterback labeled the trip as “really good” for developing relationships, adding that it “absolutely” helped create some unity on the team. Read more »

Sam Bradford: I Have A ‘Subtle’ Leadership Style

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford knows his time is limited in Philadelphia, but rather than worrying about the future, he says he’s focused on the present and making the most of what is likely his last season with the Eagles. One way he’s doing so is by resuming the leadership role that comes with being the starting quarterback.

“I think you guys expect a big rah-rah, someone who’s yelling at people every play, and that’s just not me,” Bradford said. “I think there’s a lot of subtle things that you guys probably aren’t privy to or can’t hear from where you guys are at. But like I said, I just try to be myself and take control when I need to.”

Bradford offered grabbing guys so they don’t leave the huddle early as an example, and he recently returned from a trip to San Diego with the other quarterbacks and his primary receivers that he said helped build a bond with his teammates. In California, the group of guys had three throwing sessions, but they also spent a lot time off of the field with each other, including a day of paddle boarding. Read more »

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